22 agosto 2013

Chanel's new Parfumeur Maison (1/2)


Last July, the House of Chanel announced the name of the new Parfumeur Maison to replace Jacques Polge, in office since 1978 (Antaeus, Coco, Egoiste, Allure and the whole Exclusifs line are among his masterpieces). The new Chanel composer will be... Olivier PolgeThat is, Jacques' son.
The company has announced that Olivier enters as deputy and will take the head as Parfumeur Maison in a couple of years.



This choice was a positive shock for me: Olivier Polge is still very young and I love when young talents are trusted and empowered.
But then, this choice evokes issues of nepotism, which I favour much less. I thought this was just an Italian problem!
Apparently, it isn't. In France, fragrance composers find perfectly normal to pass on the job to their children. Mainly, because places are few, the training is very long and there's almost no way to get a proper training if you or a family member don't work in a company. Besides, children exposed to the perfume world absorb skills, ideas and know-how that their peers will acquire after many years of hard work. For this reasons dynasties are quite common in this field (see Roudnitska, Robert, Ellena, Guichard, Fraysse etc.) and quite a few of today's composers are related to each other also in less visible ways (spouses, uncles, etc.). 
However, even considering the perspective view of sectoral French perfume industry, pushing ahead the Boss' kids isn't a particularly chic move, even when it takes place at Chanel's (but this is only my opinion).

Besides, looking around for candidates, there would've been many other valuable ones to choose from.
Which ones? 
Keeping in mind  Chanel's stellar "standing",  the need to find a neither too young nor too aged candidate who, above all, had proven capable of creating both industrial best sellers and exceptional artistic fragrances, I would have liked: 
(follows in the next post)

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