Wednesday, August 19, 2015

The secret ingredient that makes high-end perfumes irresistible

So on Monday, when the temperature in Central Park tied a daily record of 95 degrees, we took a tour with a sommelier, Pascaline Lepeltier, the beverage director at Rouge Tomate in Manhattan; and a perfumer, Céline Barel, who develops scents for major fragrance companies at International Flavors & Fragrances in Manhattan. ...

She passed around a sample of another expensive perfume, which had an even sharper earthy scent.

“It’s the classical smell of a syrah from the northern Rhone,” Ms. Lepeltier declared. “That black olive and a little bit of horse and saddle.”

Ms. Barel nodded. When the salesman was a safe distance away, she lowered her voice and added that that particular fragrance was “very fecal.”

When a reporter looked startled, she explained, again in a hushed tone: “It’s usually used in traces, in very high-end fragrances, to give the addiction, the sexual aspect. And that’s what makes the fragrance literally irresistible. But people, they don’t want to know about that.”
--Kate Taylor, NYT, on the dirty secret of attraction. HT: ML