Internal affairs: firmenich

With a short walk down Madison Avenue, the mark. interns were within the walls of Firmenich, a family-owned 115-year-old luxury perfume company, whose palette is known as the haute couture of perfumery (Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue, Marc Jacobs Daisy, and many more). Luckily, they create fragrances for both the Avon and mark. brands as well! We had the great opportunity to visit the offices and get an inside look at the intricate process of developing a perfume.

Fragrance combines the creative/artistic with science and business/strategy. A perfumer is like 1) a chef who images a finished dish and writes a recipe to achieve it and 2) a fine artist who plays with molecules. So really, you’re just mixing all the different disciplines when creating a scent. There are top, middle and dry notes that make up each fragrance – a perfumer breaks it into pieces to analyze the formula. On average there are 50-100 ingredients! (I still don’t understand how that’s possible.) The process of developing a single perfume takes months.

The 5 Fragrance Families:

Citrus: fresh, sparkling, happy, tangy

Floral: opulent, intense, delicate, fresh; the pillar of feminine perfumery

Oriental: sensual, warm, voluptuous; traditionally for winter

Chypre: elegant, refine, signature

Woody: warm, sensual, sexy, rich

Get Firmenich’s stellar scent with mark. Jewel (a warm caramel-vanilla scent in the oriental family and my absolute obsession) fragrance ($20) and body cream ($12) or the RioRhythms and RioBikini fragrance mists ($18 each, both for $28!).

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