THE PERFUMER: Frank Voelkl
THE MOLECULE: Paradisone®
Ever since it infused Edmond Roudnitska’s groundbreaking Eau Sauvage with its citrus-tinged, floral airiness, Hedione®, an analogue of a compound naturally present in jasmine, has been one of the most widely-used materials in perfumery. Paradisone®, a captive molecule patented in 1996 by Firmenich, is its purest, most precious and most powerful expression.
THE SCENT: The flower of angels
Paradisone® is “the angelic aroma of one million flowers… a storm of delicacy and diffusion,” in the poetic words of the perfumer Arcadi Boix-Camps. In the astonishingly radiant efflor_esce, Frank Voelkl blows its heavenly breeze over an edenic Sicilian orchard. Touched by the luminous soul of jasmine, the fruit, leaves, twigs and blossoms of the orange tree unfurl their heady, sun-gorged scents. Bergamot adds its peppery sparkle; osmanthus, the yielding velvet of its apricot and suede flesh; tuberose, its narcotic sillage. This is nature, but better: Paradise found.
A consummate cosmopolitan whose first calling was diplomacy, the German-born, New York-based Frank Voelkl grew up in the Netherlands and France. It was in his grandfather’s farm in Germany that he discovered the scents of nature. During his teenage years in Paris, he was drawn into the world of fine fragrance, spending all his weekends happily sniffing away in a parfumerie on the rue de Rivoli. But it was his wife’s birthplace, Tahiti, which inspired his first composition in 1997, Tiaré by Chantecaille. Frank, who has been working for Firmenich since 2005, thinks of scents in terms of colors, melodies and musical movement. In his compositions, he strives for “perfect imperfection”—to him, it is those very imperfections that yield beauty and emotion. For Nomenclature, he signs adr_ett, efflor_esce, lumen_esce and holy_wood.