Paris. The city of love. There’s so much romance here
you can practically smell it and history shows that when fragrance meets
France, it’s a match made in heaven. I’m in the French capital to learn
about the country’s passion for perfume and have been given rare
access behind the scenes of the world’s biggest fragrance and
flavorings company, Givaudan. In 2017, the Swiss company dwarfed its competitors
with sales worth more than $5 billion. This is an industry
not to be sniffed at. The global fragrance market was valued
at more than $50 billion in 2018, and is expected to be worth
$72 billion by 2024. Founded in France more than 250 years ago,
Givaudan has evolved over time, acquiring a number of its competitors, but there are
some traditions which have stayed the same. So here, Calice Becker, that’s me.
So those are the last creations I’m working on. You’re working on all of these, right now? Yes. Calice Becker is one of Givaudan’s master perfumers
or noses as they’re sometimes called. She uses her expert sense of smell to create fragrances
for some of the world’s biggest brands. Everything starts with a purpose.
You have to create with purpose. Either you have an idea on your own
or you have a brief from a customer. Briefs can be very different such as a
statement, a poem or a mood board. One Japanese brand gave Givaudan’s perfumers
just a one word brief to work with: black. You always have a narrative to start with and our work
is really to translate this narrative into a fragrance. If I was a perfume brand I
could come to you and say, “Okay, I want a perfume that is
based around free spirit, that’s it.” At this stage I will make you some
propositions, and I will walk you through. The process of creating a perfume starts with
what’s known in the industry as a sketch. The noses will experiment with different ingredients
that not only smell great together, but also follow the brief from the client.
They then write the formula. Those ingredients were sent to my
computer. It looks like a recipe. I have ingredient, quantity, ingredient, quantity
and voila it was sent to the lab. You can go in the lab and see how it works,
and we will be able to smell and evaluate it. Am I going to feel the free spirit? I hope so. Perfume is thousands of years old,
but for centuries France has been the European epicenter of the fragrance
industry. So how did that happen? But before I learn more about the history of
perfume, my nose is being put to the test. We have eight different flowers and eight scents.
You have to smell them and match with the flowers. Oh God. This is quite
tricky, isn’t it? Maybe lemon, number six. Jasmine. There you go. How did I do? Let me see. Only two. Two right? It’s alright. Okay. So maybe I’m not quite a master perfumer,
but when did smelling flowers become so important? We can see the cabinet de curiosite. Everything here is related to perfume
and how we used to make perfume. This animal is called a civet. It’s an African cat.
In the past, we could use animal essences. So if you wanted to smell
like a furry animal, you can. You can. Perfect. People created this machine to try
to extract the essences of plants. It looks like something
out of a hairdressers. You can see people picking flowers in Grasse in the
30s. The 30s was the golden age of the perfume. Grasse is a medieval town in southern Provence
known as the perfume capital of the world. The climate is perfect for growing rose,
jasmine, lavender and many other flowers that were used to develop natural fragrances
and grow the French perfume industry. Today the fragrant flowers that make perfumes
for the world’s most biggest brands like Chanel… …and Givenchy… …are still grown here in France. However to meet increasing international demand,
many perfumes are now manufactured under precise conditions in
laboratories in the heart of Paris. So the formula was received by Assia,
and it will be sent right away to the robot. In a couple of minutes it will get out. Is that our one down there? It’s there. It’s going through
the different heads. So this is why it works so well
for such a big company because you can send these
recipes all around the world. Exactly. For instance, if you develop a fragrance
with me, but your market is Japan we will deliver that straight in Japan,
compounded there under the same exact conditions. How are you trying to incorporate
technology into the company? It’s a bit of art, it’s a lot of science.
I don’t think one will replace the other one. We actually are investing into digital technologies
to make better fragrances and flavors not necessarily replacing our magic
noses with artificial intelligence but for sure the combination of
both I think will be for the better. I’ve created 3,000 different types of
fragrances, 300 went on the market and 30 are currently on the market,
on the premium market. But I don’t think it’s important to know
who is behind the fragrances. Now it’s time to test my fragrance
with an evaluator who will determine if ‘Free Spirit’ is ready
to go on the market. The freshness, we have a very
fizzy citrus, sparkling citrus on top. Here we really capture
the fruity and fleshy part. Mmm, I like it a lot. Is that free spirited enough? I think so. Hi guys, thanks very much for watching our video.
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