And that’s one of the things for which I’m extremely grateful to Arden/Revlon [Ed note: the holder of the fragrance license for John Varvatos]. They use me as part of their brand, and it’s a very open and well-known thing. It’s basically the only brand in international perfumery that has used only one perfumer. And that has become part of its DNA. John Varvatos comes to me and says, “What’s next, Rod?” There are a couple of brands out there that have very officially asked for the perfumer not to be mentioned. I find that absolutely objectionable and anti-ethical and very ungrateful. I’m saying it on record. They know who they are.
— Perfumer Rodrigo Flores-Roux talks to Persolaise about brands that refuse to acknowledge their perfumers. And about all sorts of other things — read more at "Your Claims Have To Be Honest" - An Interview With Rodrigo Flores-Roux.
I am a regular reader of Persolaise & found the article to be very interesting indeed. A pity, but understandable, about the interviewee’s discretion!
Yes. I wanted names!
Love the part where he says if you don’t want me to mention the work I do for you, then I won’t – when Glamour asks me to recommend five summer fragrances I won’t mention you. Tit for tat!
I noticed that, too. Sounds like natural consequences to me.
Yes — but he *does* get called by Glamour precisely because he is well known. I still feel bad for the perfumers who get no attribution ever & therefore never get calls from Glamour either. It’s all such a bad system.
Not that I want to play the devils advocate, but how many of us get recognized for doing our job? I think we mostly get called out when we DON’T do our job. Not saying it’s right or wrong, just saying quit whining. Does that that sound a bit harsh? ????
Oooop- intended the comment below as a reply to you, Deva!
I don’t know if it is better or worse for perfume, as an industry, for consumers to know that there are perfumers working for a few big companies that make almost all the scented products in the world.
But, insofar as that cat is now out of the bag (even Avon does videos with perfumers now! It’s not just Hermes), I’m not sure why some companies are trying to keep it all hush hush.
Not too harsh, necessarily. I do agree that, across many industries, hard work often goes uncredited. Perfumers face an additional and relatively unique challenge: not just uncredited, but MIScredited. There are so many perfume brands that not only refuse to credit their perfumers, but actively go out of the way to give the impression that the brand founder/owner is the perfumer.
On the other hand, one can have a very successful career as a perfumer without a single person outside of the industry knowing your name. So being a reluctant perfume ghostwriter is definitely not on the same level of workplace complaint as something like “I’m being forced to operate under unsafe conditions.” But I do think that brands should heed Rodrigo’s call- how much longer do they think they can keep secrets in the internet age, anyway?
On your first point — big old yes.
Wholeheartedly agree with your first point.
I just listened to a new Grammy winning recording by the Pittsburgh Symphony. Borrowed the actual CD from a friend. The liner notes include a list of every musician playing on the recording, including the subs, and which pieces they played on. To me, a perfumer is an artist and deserves similar credit. And to Ari’s first point, should not be a victim of misappropriation of credit!
It’s a good point. The most invisible part of the chain these days is possibly not perfumers, it’s creative directors — they are really unknown.
That’s interesting, I could really see that
That was not always the case for musicians, and not just with large symphony orchestras with dozens of members. A lot of people still don’t realize that the instrumental tracks on most of the American pop music in the 1960s and early 1970s were performed by the same studio musicians (the “Wrecking Crew”), who received no credits in the liner notes. No doubt most of the people who bought those records thought that the group on the cover actually played their own instruments on the recording.
In the early days of the film industry (I am talking about 1900s and early 1910s), movie studios did not give their actors on-screen credits. They were afraid that if the actors became well-known, they would demand higher salaries (which, of course, did happen).
This secrecy and misappropriation of credit is not limited to the perfume industry. They are just behind the times.
Yes, saw the wrecking crew documentary – so interesting