The fourth edition of Nez continues our olfactory exploration, breaking down yet more confines, conventions and preconceptions around our sense of smell.
We open with olfactory icons including Andy Warhol, chemist George de Laire, philosopher Chantal Jaquet and neuroscientist John P. McGann.
The nose of designers reveals some olfactory secrets of the profession.
In our Odorama section, we learn about how the blind perceive odour, the story of ionones - the molecules that make the fragrance of violets - and the olfactory secrets of the carrot. And, without breaking the law, we immerse ourselves in the aroma of drugs, both soft and hard.
Among the Connections pages, you can read an open letter from a young perfumer to their elders, discover the olfactory world of Sarah Bernhardt, take a fragrant, urban tour of Amsterdam, take in Roberto Greco's photography, get to know Olivier Roellinger and learn how, for him, the nose and mouth are linked, and experience a Fantin-Latour painting through smell.
In the Magazine section, Annick Menardo, the creator of Bois d'argent, Lolita Lempicka and Hypnotic Poison, gives us her thoughts on the perfumer's craft and her opinion on the industry. And from plantation to bottle, a photo-essay on oud, which everyone talks about without really understanding. An olfactory flashback whisks us off to the 1970s, while the fantasy perfumery has recommendations for some of that decade's biggest names.
Our special feature draws on the close and complex complex links between perfume and art, both in the bottle and in the gallery. Is perfumery an art? Is a perfumer an artist? Is perfume intellectual property? How do artists incorporate smells and perfume into their work?
In-depth analysis and a clash of opinions on the close and complex links between perfume and art from artistic, philosophical, aesthetic, legal, historical and artistic perspectives.
The perfume pages help us to better understand this ever-changing industry, with a portrait of Oman's independent brand Amouage, an investigation into counterfeiting, and the genealogy of the most famous perfume - Chanel N°5.
The Selection sniffs out our favourite 30 perfumes from the vast array of new releases, as well as a handful of new toiletries and home fragrances that have recently caught our attention.
Finally, an agenda of not-to-be-missed olfactory listings: a growing number of new books, exhibitions and other events related to smell and perfume.
This fifth edition of Nez looks at the issues surrounding the use of natural and synthetic ingredients in perfume. What role has chemistry had in building the perfume business of today? Why are natural products so favoured, and are they always preferable to synthetic fragrances?
«An event, place or encounter will always be associated with a perfume or scent, serving as an infallible and trusty aide-mémoire, a formula we do not always recognise but available if we need it.» Dominique Ropion is often described as reserved, gifted, playful and a hard worker. He defines himself as a composer, an arithmetician of fragrance, motivated by the idea that «the same formula recounts different stories on each person's skin».
In these chapters, he deconstructs the smells that characterised his childhood, the ones he likes to come across in the street or through a spontaneous encounter, and the aromas of flowers -rose, narcissus, tuberose - to offer us their olfactory and emotional secrets. Exploring the notions of addiction, animality and attraction, he strives to create scents that will «bind to any being and mould to its inner depths, which will necessarily be different» from his own. With this unique testimony, he reveals the sensitive and inimitable approach he takes to his work.
Dominique Ropion has been a master perfumer at the fragrance house International Flavors & Fragrances (IFF) in Paris since 2000. In the last 30 years, he has authored some of perfumery's greatest triumphs: Ysatis and Amarige by Givenchy, La vie est belle by Lancôme, Alien by Thierry Mugler, Invictus by Paco Rabanne, and even Portrait of a Lady and Carnal Flower for Frédéric Malle. Marie-Bénédicte Gauthier is a journalist and author of several books, including Parfums mythiques (La Martinière, 2011).
Narcissus, so delicate in its appearance, gives off a fragrance that is heady, complex and bordering on narcotic. Immerse yourself in the world of the Auvergne narcissus across botany, history, art, gastronomy, literature, agriculture, economy and chemistry, not to mention perfume and perfumers.