Fragrance Notes Issue 1, 2019 - Page 15

NOTABLE NOSES thought of becoming a perfumer. “Heck yeah I have!” I wanted to say. Finally, a good friend of mine, Cécile le Cerf, encouraged me to send applications everywhere rather than lamenting over this missed intranet opportunity and gave me the names of some contacts. It just so happened that Takasago USA was looking to start an internal perfumery school. I flew in for a 48-hour interview in the summer of 2004, started training that November, and never looked back. DANGELICO: As a perfumer, what’s your approach or philosophy for problem solving and collaborating to achieve success—both for your clients and your team? NADAU: “Don’t say it can’t be done unless you’ve tried and failed and failed and failed,” is one of my mottos. I am a “fixer”—I’m natu- rally extremely detail-oriented and find a lot of meaning in fixing problems and helping others. This comes up in my dedication and consisten- cy to rework and perfect fragrances technically until they perform, no matter the final base they go in. Deadlines generally save me from going on forever. I’m actually currently still working on a fragrance type today that is from a project that first started in 2013. This has to be the most trickled-down fragrance in the history of home care! The thing is, perfumery is all but an exact science. Everyone knows and talks about the ethereal and artistic part of it—which is undeniable—but in home and personal care, there’s a lot of solid technical work that goes into creation. This combo of soft creation and hard science means there’s never a dull day on the job. Things can work in very obscure ways—1 plus 1 sometimes equals 3, and sometimes zero. It can be really hard to not get discouraged when you try and try and try again and it still does not work. You have to have very thick skin as a perfumer, because 99 percent of your creations will be criticized and/or rejected. First, it’s not strong enough, woody enough, fresh enough, pretty enough, floral enough, diffusive enough. Then, once the smell is good enough, maybe your cost has gone up because there’s a raw material crisis affecting the one ingredient you have included 15 percent or more of… So, like I was saying, never a dull day. As far as team work, I am very fortunate because the perfumery team at Takasago USA is comprised of wonderful individuals, who each bring their own strengths. That makes collaboration easy because everyone pulls their own weight. I trust fully that whatever issue I am struggling to solve, there is someone I can get honest help from—just like my colleagues come to me for particular issues with their own fragrances. This very healthy balance of give and take makes this team extremely strong. DANGELICO: As the industry works to address concerns among the general public, legislators, and the media about fragrance and fragrance ingredients, how can perfumers help? NADAU: I personally believe that clarity and openness are paramount. Everyone wants transparency and expects it. As an industry, we agree that common-sense transparency is need- ed, and we’re figuring out how to best share and address consumer’s needs without creating undue alarm. But that’s a trend that is not going away, so I believe we have to adapt. Perfum- ers are great at coming up with solutions to complex problems and coming together to find solutions, so we certainly have a role to play. Addressing misinformation about fragrance and fragrance ingredients is just as important, if not more. So endeavors like The Fragrance Conservatory—the consumer- facing site Fragrance Creators is developing, and which Takasago USA is supporting—are key. For several years, Takasago USA has hosted a day for 8th grade students from a local school to come and learn about the industry. We explain to them that “chemical” does not equate “bad,” and some names are just that, names, and nothing to be worried about. Relentlessly teaching and patiently explaining is key. People fear what they do not know: It is our responsibility to make perfumery more accessible so that our audience understands there is nothing to be afraid of. Perfumers being at the heart of understanding what fragrances entail naturally have a responsibility to speak up and be more engaged with the public. DANGELICO: You’re actively involved in Fra- grance Creators’ efforts to uncover and share the importance and benefits of fragrance in our lives. Why this is work important to you? NADAU: I’m encouraged to see this is a multi- disciplinary, industry-led effort, which aims to promote the positive aspects of fragrance in everyday life. We will be gathering information and stories that support this and looking to uncover potential new areas for research. The most important aspect that I see about this work is the involvement of health and wellness professionals. From what I know, the involvement of medical professionals has traditionally been more as an independent third party—for example, the Research Institute for Fragrance Materials’ Expert Panel—present as safeguards to ensure the industry is employing ANGÉLIQUE AND HUSBAND ANDREW AT THE PIKES PEAK SUMMIT IN 2018 Issue 1, 2019 | FRAGRANCENOTES.ORG | 15