Guy Robert created Madame Rochas, Caleche, Equipage, Gucci Parfum and Dioressence.
This is a transcirpt of his lecture at the British Society of Perfumers.
The musical part will make much more sense to you as a musicist than it does to me;
Our method could be compared to the Art of Cooking, a sort of “rule of thumb”
(empiricism), and I agree this is not looking very serious! I am convinced that a few rules comparable to what is called in music :
“harmony” or “counterpoint”, should actually exist in perfumery, but nobody
succeeded in defining them. Many fascinating other theories, among them this idea : for every perfume note there are several levels, like what the musicians call
“octaves”. (example : Damascones, Rose Oxydes, Otto of Rose, Geranium, Rose Absolute, Rhodinol, Geraniol, Phenyl Ethyl Alcohol …) It is also possible, by comparing perfumery to painting, to imagine an “inter
communication of tones” like what is happening between the colours. That theory is probably the most advanced one and the best : Like a painter, a perfumer, consciously or not, built his “palette” which is
the “catalog” of his preferite tones or products. And like a painter, if he accumulates too many elements he is going to get a
sometimes awful confusion of grey and sad tones. Lasting power is not easy to reach, nobody knows how and why this is
happening. I hate and find stupid that theory of “fixateurs”. We all know these many little songs we are hearing anywhere and forgetting
almost immediately, but, from time to time, one of these songs sticks to our
ear and we go on whistling it the whole day … I can assure you the author of these successful songs do not use any
“fixatives ingredients” to get that result …