The New York Times has an interesting article that considers the results of recent rulings on the issue of perfume and intellectual property (see ruling in the Netherlands that said perfumes are covered by copyright, L'Oreal case against perfume copycats, French decision that perfumes can't be copyrighted). Are perfumers artists, or artisans? Jean Claude Ellena:
“When I write a perfume, the scents are the words,” he said. “And with these words I construct a story. There is breathing, and there are transitions, just as in sentences. Perfume, first of all, is a mental construction.”
He said that his Poivre Samarcande for Hermès came together after an enormous sick oak tree had to be cut down in his garden near Grasse, the capital of the French perfume industry.
Read the rest in the Times.