28 July - 30 October 2020
Fragranze's Proust Questionnaires - Vol. 2
News
Edition 18
12.11.2020
Chandler Burr's questionnaires: With a nod to Proust, it’s all about perfumes. Discover the protagonists of the second episode.
In the latest episode of his column, perfume critic and artistic director of Pitti Fragranze Chandler Burr features the artists of International Flavors and Fragrances, the globally renowned American firm that produces aromas and perfumes. Discover the dreams, desires, and fears of the perfumers behind some of our most beloved fragrances. Read the interviews.
Anne Flipo
Anne Flipo is never happier than in her countryside house, by the North Sea, when the French West Coast wind blows its marine breeze. She is a perfumer with IFF

1 What quality do you most admire in other people?  
Intelligence 
 
2 What do you consider the most overrated virtue? 
Loyalty 
 
3 What is your greatest strength? 
Agility 
 
4 What do you dislike most about yourself? 
My age 
 
5 What makes you happiest?  
A good shared moment 
 
6 What is your greatest fear? 
The police
 
7 Which living person do you most despise? 
No one  
 
8 What is your greatest extravagance? 
All of them
 
9 When do you lie? 
Very rarely 
 
10 Why did you choose to create in the art medium of scent? 
Intuition 
 
11 Who are the architect, the musician or group, and the film director whose artistic style and aesthetics most closely resemble yours? 
Zaha Hadid 
 
12 Which scent raw material can you not live without? 
Orange blossom
 
13 Which scent raw material do you never use? 
None 
 
14 What is your favorite perfume of your own? 
The next one
 
15 What is your favorite perfume not your own? 
L’Heure Bleue by Guerlain 
 
16 If you had to choose in another person: bad breath or bad body odor? 
Is this a joke? 
 
17 Which city or place smells the best? 
Saint-Josse-sur-Mer 
 
18 What do you most want that you could get if you had enough money? 
Nothing
 
19 What do you most want that money cannot buy?  
Time 
 

Céline Barel
Céline Barel is a perfumer with IFF. Her job is to re-enchant the world for a moment with a single spray

1 What quality do you most admire in other people
Responsibility 
 
2 What do you consider the most overrated virtue? 
Tolerance: we sometimes tolerate the intolerable 
 
3 What is your greatest strength? 
Being strong-willed 
 
4 What do you dislike most about yourself? 
I’ve learned to accept myself, all the good, all the bad! 
 
5 What makes you happiest? 
A delicious meal in great company
 
6 What is your greatest fear? 
Losing my loved ones 
 
7 Which living person do you most despise? 
Terrorists 
 
8 What is your greatest extravagance? 
Countering mainstream thinking when I disagree
 
9 When do you lie? 
Sometimes to myself 
 
10 Why did you choose to create in the art medium of scent?  
I wanted a job I’d be delighted to go to every day. A job with content, complexity, psychology because I am instinctively intellectual, one where I could maximize the use of all my senses. Culture and creativity while also fiercely business. It’s like having a super power: seeing and carving the invisible
 
11 Who are the architect, the musician or group, and the film director whose artistic style and aesthetics most closely resemble yours? 
Andre Malraux wrote in “Les Voix du Silence” “The greatest artists are not the transcribers of Nature but its rivals” 
 
12 Which scent raw material can you not live without?  
Orange Blossom Water Absolute from LMR

13 Which scent raw material do you never use? 
Anything citronella related 
 
14 What is your favorite perfume of your own? 
Squid
 
15 What is your favorite perfume not your own? 
Versace Blonde, alas discontinued. An atomic olfactive bomb. I still have some bottles in my fridge
 
16 If you had to choose in another person: bad breath or bad body odor? 
Bad body odor  
 
17 Which city or place smells the best? 
Sevilla, Spain. The orange trees
 
18 What do you most want that you could get if you had enough money? 
Opening schools to educate people to align their economic activity with as much respect as possible towards the environment

19 What do you most want that money cannot buy? 
Harmony

Delphine Lebeau
When she was 10, Delphine Lebeau asked her parents for a Christmas gift a dinner at the then-chicest restaurant in Paris: Maxim’s. She is a perfumer at IFF

1 What quality do you most admire in other people? 
Empathy 
 
2 What do you consider the most overrated virtue? 
Ambition 
 
3 What is your greatest strength? 
Perseverance 
 
4 What do you dislike most about yourself? 
Lack of self-confidence 
 
5 What makes you happiest? 
My children’s laughter
 
6 What is your greatest fear? 
Worms 
 
7 Which living person do you most despise? 
Trump 
 
8 What is your greatest extravagance? 
One hour alone doing whatever I want! 
 
9 When do you lie? 
To protect the people I love 
 
10 Why did you choose to create in the art medium of scent? 
For the endless possibilities 
 
11 Who are the architect, the musician or group, and the film director whose artistic style and aesthetics most closely resemble yours? 
I.M. Pei 
 
12 Which scent raw material can you not live without?  
Orris 
 
13 Which scent raw material do you never use? 
Civet 
 
14 What is your favorite perfume of your own? 
Blanc Chic 
 
15 What is your favorite perfume not your own? 
Déclaration
 
16 If you had to choose in another person: bad breath or bad body odor? 
Neither 
 
17 Which city or place smells the best? 
The Maquis anywhere in the Mediterranean countryside near the sea 
 
18 What do you most want that you could get if you had enough money? 
Travelling the world 
 
19 What do you most want that money cannot buy? 
Endless happiness 
 

 

Domitille Michalon Bertier
Domitille Michalon Bertier is a perfumer at IFF. As a child she fell in love with the Bangkok markets. When her parents lost her in the labyrinth, she calmly walked back to the car: she knew perfectly well where it was
1 What quality do you most admire in other people? 
Optimism
 
2 What do you consider the most overrated virtue? 
Pride (Chandler’s note: Great response)
 
3 What is your greatest strength? 
Perseverance 
 
4 What do you dislike most about yourself? 
La gourmandize (loving excessively and indulging in delicious food)
 
5 What makes you happiest? 
The wonderfully huge laughter of my three sons
 
6 What is your greatest fear? 
Alzheimer’s disease
 
7 Which living person do you most despise? 
My neighbour on the second floor when she screams at her children
 
8 What is your greatest extravagance?
I love to be bored and then to dream
 
9 When do you lie? 
I don’t know how to lie. It’s a problem
 
10 Why did you choose to create in the art medium of scent? 
It was obvious
 
11 Who are the architect, the musician or group, and the film director whose artistic style and aesthetics most closely resemble yours? 
Architect Charlotte Perriand: "The extension of the art of dwelling is the art of living”
 
12 Which scent raw material can you not live without? 
Ambroxan
 
13 Which scent raw material do you never use? 
Ylang Ylang
 
14 What is your favorite perfume of your own
B. Balenciaga 
 
15 What is your favorite perfume not your own? 
L’Eau des Merveilles Hermès
 
16 If you had to choose in another person: bad breath or bad body odor? 
Bad body odor because it can be washed!
 
17 Which city or place smells the best? 
The beaches of the Atlantic, my post-Covid dream
 
18 What do you most want that you could get if you had enough money? 
To buy my childhood vacation home in Saint Jean de Luz in France’s Pays Basque, just next to the Pyrenees
 
19 What do you most want that money cannot buy? 
Love, Love, Love! 
 
 
Jean-Christophe Herault
Jean-Christophe Herault is a perfumer with IFF. As a prelude to his perfumery training he was required to read Proust’s "In Search of Lost Time"
1 What quality do you most admire in other people?  
Charisma – it’s inexplicable but it fascinates me

2 What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
Charity when it’s done to make people feel good about themselves
 
3 What is your greatest strength?
My ability to analyze situations
 
4 What do you dislike most about yourself?
My impatience. I’m really not proud of it
 
5 What makes you happiest?
Nature. It’s a limitless source of inspiration
 
6 What is your greatest fear?
Suffocation. When I was a child, I started having trouble breathing, and after several hours I lost consciousness – interesting when you consider that my career is breathing in scents
 
7 Which living person do you most despise?
My pastry shop. Their portions of flan are too small
 
8 What is your greatest extravagance? 
My laugh
  
9 When do you lie?
When I answer a Proust Questionnaire
 
10 Why did you choose to create in the art medium of scent? 
Scents and their memories move me deeply, and I can share these emotions by creating perfumes
 
11 Who are the architect, the musician or group, and the film director whose artistic style and aesthetics most closely resemble yours? 
Le Corbusier, Keith Jarrett, Stanley Kubrick 
 
12 Which scent raw material can you not live without? 
Ambroxan. I love that it has an animal sensuality but in clean tonalities
 
13 Which scent raw material do you never use? 
Aldron. It smells of urine
 
14 What is your favorite perfume of your own
Aventus, which I co-created with Olivier Creed
 
15 What is your favorite perfume not your own? 
Fahrenheit. Its true uniqueness blows me away
 
16 If you had to choose in another person: bad breath or bad body odor? 
Body odor
 
17 Which city or place smells the best? 
All forests, of all sorts and in all seasons. They constantly tell us different stories
 
18 What do you most want that you could get if you had enough money? 
I would like a yacht powered with completely green, pollution-free energy so I could spend my life admiring the beauty of the world

19 What do you most want that money cannot buy? 
I’d like people to take care of themselves and of the planet. Even more today