Edmond Roudnitska was more than just a creator of fragrance. He also devoted much of his time to understanding the true sense of the words “to create” and “Creation”.
Edmond Roudnitska (1905-1996) was a French master perfumer and author. He is known for creating some of the most famous perfumes in the world, such as Dior Eau Sauvage, Diorissimo, and Rochas Femme. Many of his creations are still in production today…
Once Again Coming to Grasse, Edmond Roudnitska was born in Nice as we know that’s very near to Grasse, the fragrance capital of the world. Roudnitska actually entered the fragrance industry lacking education in the vocation that his was later to dicover. With no background in perfume, he learned everything from scratch but was soon promoted to take charge of the physico-chemical control of a fragrance company. Wow… Have you ever think??? Yes, Passion can make everything possible…: D
A year later, Roudnitska was sent to the Paris to take over from a top perfumer of the company where he was essentially self-taught. A fantastic career followed thanks to all his work and efforts as well as his creative genius. His entire life was a constant creation…
Through the course of his life, Roudnitska met many influential people from the world of fashion, art and science. Among the most prominent were Marcel Rochas, Christian Dior and Emile Hermès for whom he created his best known fragrances which are still on sale on the international market today…
In 1946 he founded “Art et Parfum”, a private creative laboratory for perfumery first based in Courbevoie (near Paris) then located in Cabris near Grasse, also his home, where he lived until his death in 1996.
Perfume Shrine embarked on a mission: to direct and discuss one of the bastions of chypre: la maison Dior in its former glory, when under the baguette of Edmond Roudnitska and Paul Vacher it produced classics that remain up there in the pantheon for all of us to worship.
For him it is not the sense of smell or the materials that are important, but rather the spirit which, playing with forms, will coax the latter with the aid of the former. This point of view had been forgotten for decades when perfumes came out with the eye more on the commercial than the artistic, only to be revived when certain niche companies came into the fore dynamically. Roudnitska bases his axiom in the comparison to other art forms.
“A beautiful perfume is the one which gives us a shock: a sensory one followed by a psychological one. A beautiful perfume is one with happy proportions and an original form”. He often used to say that.
Dior Eau Sauvage
He thought, perfume composition should be unique, much like a musical piece, and protected against “plagiarism”. To this he was adamant.
But it was his meeting with Serge Heftler-Louiche, director of parfums Christian Dior that cemented his style and directed him into a lucrative business and artistic collaboration that lasted for decades and it is interesting to juxtapose the chypres he produced for them with Femme. Christian Dior opened shop in 1945 under the insistence of the businessman Marcel Boussac. A new perspective to fashion was brought with his New Look, which took women back to the era of crinolines, in a way, counter-revolutionising what Cadolle and Chanel had accomplished through the use of pliable materials that helped women become the men in their lives in all areas besides the boudoir.
As I said before, The year was 1947 and Dior came out with his first scent, Miss Dior, as homage to his sister. Credited to Paul Vacher, based on a formula suggested by Jean Carles and reorchastrated by Roudnitska in 1992 in extrait de parfum, it is nothing short of a classic and the introduction of a big trend in the coming years: the floral chypre; but with an animalic twist down the line, of which more later on.
But it was in 1949 that Diorama, a fruity chypre, was created by Roudnitska. With it he found a balance between complexity and clear vision that captures several olfactory nuances: spicy, floral, fruity, animalic and all enrobed in a sensual feminine dress.
Roudnitska’s most successful –commercially certainly! – scent entered the scene in 1966: Eau Sauvage. A chyprish citrus for men with the daring floral note of jasmine through the use of hedione. In this Roudnitska culminated his aesthetic odyssey of the sparseness of composition with an artistic merit that defies criticism. Diorella (1972), with its foot in the fruity tradition of Diorama, was the feminine chypre counterpart to Eau Sauvage, enigmatically relying on very few materials to give a very fresh, very young fragrance and which Roudnitska himself considered one of the best in his career. Dior Dior, a woody floral, issued in 1976, never took off commercially and was destined to be discontinued till now.