|Established||April 26, 1990|
|Location||36 Rue du Parc de Clagny |
|President||Patricia de Nicolaï|
|Public transit access||Gare de Versailles-Rive-Droite|
The Osmothèque (from Greek osmē "scent" patterned on French bibliothèque "library") is the world's largest scent archive, a leading international research institution tracing the history of perfumery, based in Versailles with conference centers in New York City and Paris.Founded in 1990 by Jean Kerléo and other senior perfumers including Jean-Claude Ellena and Guy Robert, the Osmothèque is internationally responsible for the authentication, registration, preservation, documentation and reproduction of thousands of perfumes gathered from the past two millennia, archived at the Osmothèque repository and consultable by the public.
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages, native to Greece, Cyprus and other parts of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea. It has the longest documented history of any living Indo-European language, spanning more than 3000 years of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the major part of its history; other systems, such as Linear B and the Cypriot syllabary, were used previously. The alphabet arose from the Phoenician script and was in turn the basis of the Latin, Cyrillic, Armenian, Coptic, Gothic, and many other writing systems.
French is a Romance language of the Indo-European family. It descended from the Vulgar Latin of the Roman Empire, as did all Romance languages. French evolved from Gallo-Romance, the spoken Latin in Gaul, and more specifically in Northern Gaul. Its closest relatives are the other langues d'oïl—languages historically spoken in northern France and in southern Belgium, which French (Francien) has largely supplanted. French was also influenced by native Celtic languages of Northern Roman Gaul like Gallia Belgica and by the (Germanic) Frankish language of the post-Roman Frankish invaders. Today, owing to France's past overseas expansion, there are numerous French-based creole languages, most notably Haitian Creole. A French-speaking person or nation may be referred to as Francophone in both English and French.
An archive is an accumulation of historical records or the physical place they are located. Archives contain primary source documents that have accumulated over the course of an individual or organization's lifetime, and are kept to show the function of that person or organization. Professional archivists and historians generally understand archives to be records that have been naturally and necessarily generated as a product of regular legal, commercial, administrative, or social activities. They have been metaphorically defined as "the secretions of an organism", and are distinguished from documents that have been consciously written or created to communicate a particular message to posterity.
Exclusive to the collection are countless rare masterpieces elsewhere discontinued or reformulated, including François Coty’s Chypre (Coty), Paul Parquet’s Fougère Royale (Houbigant) and Aimé Guerlain's Jicky (Guerlain) as well as numerous personalized fragrances worn by historical figures such as Elizabeth of Poland, Napoleon and Eugénie de Montijo.Since 2008, Patricia de Nicolaï has served as the institution's president.
François Coty was a French perfumer and businessman. During World War I, he became one of the wealthiest men in France. He gained control in 1922 of daily newspaper Le Figaro. To check the growth of French socialism and Communism, he founded two other daily papers in 1928. In later years his wealth was much reduced. The company he founded in 1904 is now Coty, Inc., based in New York City.
Chypre is the name of a family of perfumes that are characterised by an accord composed of citrus topnotes, a middle centered on cistus labdanum, and a mossy-animalic set of basenotes derived from oakmoss. Chypre perfumes fall into numerous classes according to their modifier notes, which include but are not limited to leather, florals, fruits, and amber.
Coty Inc. is an American multinational beauty company founded in 1904 by François Coty. With its subsidiaries, it develops, manufactures, markets, and distributes fragrances, cosmetics, skin care, nail care, and both professional and retail hair care products. Coty owns around 77 brands as of 2018.
The founding of the world's first international scent archive was initially proposed to the Société Française des Parfumeurs in 1976 by Jean Kerléo, then head perfumer at Jean Patou, in an effort to formally record and preserve the history of perfumery.Kerléo envisioned reconstituting various discontinued classics according to their original formulae, working in collaboration with the world's foremost perfumers and perfume houses. An advisory committee was thus assembled, composed of experts Jean-François Blayn, Raymond Chaillan, Jean-Claude Ellena, Yuri Gutsatz, Jeannine Mongin, Raymond Pouliquen, Guy Robert and Henri Sebag.
Jean Kerléo is a French perfumer who worked in-house of Jean Patou and is also the founder of the Osmothèque, a scent archive in Versailles. Kerleo was born on 24 February 1932 in Brittany, France. At age 22, he began making perfumes for a New York City company, Helena Rubenstein. He received the Prix des Parfumeurs de France in 1965, served as the president for the Society of French Perfumers from 1976 to 1979, and was awarded the Prix François COTY in 2001
Jean Patou was a French fashion designer and founder of the Jean Patou brand.
Jean-Claude Ellena is a French perfumer and writer.
After successfully reproducing the discontinued perfumes of Jean Patou, Jean Kerléo and his team were entrusted in 1986 with the formulae of the defunct F. Millot, among them the 1925 classic Crêpe de Chine by Jean Desprez.Kerléo's reconstitution, completed a year later with perfumer Aimable Duhayon, impressed many within the industry, a major catalyst for the launch of the proposed scent archive. When in 1988 the project won the support of both the Chambre de Commerce et d’Industrie de Versailles and the Comité Français du Parfum, a repository facility was provided on the premises of the Institut Supérieur International du Parfum, de la Cosmétique et de l'Aromatique alimentaire. There the Osmothèque was officially founded on 26 April 1990 with an initial collection of 400 perfumes, both those reproduced by the Osmothèque and those supplied by external perfumers at houses such as Chanel, Guerlain and Lanvin.
Jean Desprez, was a comedian, journalist, writer, and director in radio and television. She was known as a Quebecois radio personality and dramatist.
ISIPCA is a French school for post-graduate studies in perfume, cosmetics products and food flavor formulation, with an apprenticeship period in the industry. It was founded in 1970 by Jean-Jacques Guerlain as ISIP. It became Groupe ISIPCA in 1984 when the CCIV backed up and sponsored the school with significant capital.
Chanel S.A. is a French privately held company owned by Alain Wertheimer and Gérard Wertheimer, grandsons of Pierre Wertheimer, who was an early business partner of the couturière Coco Chanel. Chanel S.A. is a high fashion house that specializes in haute couture and ready-to-wear clothes, luxury goods, and fashion accessories. In her youth, Gabrielle Chanel gained the nickname Coco from her time as a chanteuse. As a fashion designer, Coco Chanel catered to women's taste for elegance in dress, with blouses and suits, trousers and dresses, and jewellery of simple design, that replaced the opulent, over-designed, and constrictive clothes and accessories of 19th-century fashion. The Chanel product brands have been personified by male and female fashion models, idols and actresses, including Inès de La Fressange, Catherine Deneuve, Carole Bouquet, Vanessa Paradis, Nicole Kidman, Anna Mouglalis, Audrey Tautou, Keira Knightley, Kristen Stewart, Pharrell Williams, Cara Delevingne and Marilyn Monroe.
The Osmothèque is the world's largest scent archive, storing over 3,000 perfumes from the past and present, all preserved at a constant temperature under argon gas.Perfumes accepted into the collection are either those reconstituted using archived formulae by the Osmothèque's internal perfumers (known as osmocurators) or those supplied by external perfume houses. As a legal deposit archive, the Osmothèque receives a supply of all new perfumes produced in France and much of the world, in addition to those obtained through its program for content acquisitions. The role of chief archivist is currently filled by Patricia de Nicolaï, having assumed the presidency of the Osmothèque from Jean Kerléo in 2008.
Legal deposit is a legal requirement that a person or group submit copies of their publications to a repository, usually a library. The requirement is mostly limited to books and periodicals. The number of copies varies and can range from one to 19. Typically, the national library is one of the repositories of these copies. In some countries there is also a legal deposit requirement placed on the government, and it is required to send copies of documents to publicly accessible libraries.
Patricia de Nicolaï is a French perfumer who works as the head of her own perfume company Parfums de Nicolai. She is also a member of the technical committee of the French Society of Perfumers and the president of the Osmothèque scent archive.
The institution also maintains a substantial reference library of fragrance bases and aromatic sources, both natural and synthetic, historical and contemporary, as well as a vault inaccessible to the public containing historical perfume formulae, many unusable due to a lack of corresponding raw materials.
Rarities from the Osmothèque's collections include examples of ancient perfumery, such as the Parfum Royal of the Parthian kings as described by Pliny the Elder in the 1st century, medieval toilet waters such as the 14th century Eau de la reine de Hongrie of Elizabeth of Poland and 18th century powders such as the Poudre de Chypre.
Equally unique is a major collection of 19th century perfumes from leading houses such as Farina, Guerlain, Houbigant, Lubin, F. Millot, L. T. Piver and Roger & Gallet.Also from the period is the eau de cologne made for Napoleon in 1815 during his exile on Saint Helena.
The largest portion of the Osmothèque's archives is devoted to modern perfumery (beginning in the late 19th century), presenting innumerable original masterpieces now discontinued or reformulated, including:
|1882||Paul Parquet||Fougère Royale||Houbigant|
|1900||Paul Parquet||Le Parfum Idéal||Houbigant|
|1901||Paul Parquet||Peau d’Espagne||Houbigant|
|1916||Henri Alméras||Le Fruit Défendu||Rosine|
|1925||Jean Desprez||Crepe de Chine||Millot|
|1944||Germaine Cellier||Bandit||Robert Piguet|
|1946-47||Vincent Roubert||Iris Gris||Jacques Fath|
|1949||Edmond Roudnitska||Diorama||Christian Dior|
|1981||Jean-Yves Leroy||Nombre Noir||Shiseido|
|1999||Jean-Michel Duriez||Yohji Homme||Yohji Yamamoto|
The Osmothèque maintains an active website, including an online database detailing the institution's collections.
Various conferences for professionals, researchers, students and members of the public are regularly offered at the Osmothèque's headquarters in Versailles, as well as at conference centers at the Galerie de Nicolaï in Paris and the Academy of Perfumery & Aromatics in New York City.In addition, the Osmothèque frequently organizes partner exhibitions and conferences with museums around the world, including the Carrousel du Louvre, the Palace of Versailles and the Smithsonian Institution.
The Osmothèque also publishes books on the subject of perfume, in addition to a bilingual periodical titled Les Nouvelles de l’Osmothèque, available online and at the Osmothèque's bookshop.
Guerlain is a French perfume, cosmetics and skincare house, which is among the oldest in the world. Many traditional Guerlain fragrances are characterized by a common olfactory accord known as the "Guerlinade". The house was founded in Paris in 1828 by the perfumer Pierre-François Pascal Guerlain. It was run by the Guerlain family until 1994, when it was bought by the French multinational company LVMH. Its flagship store is 68, Avenue des Champs-Elysées in Paris.
Olivia Giacobetti is a French perfumer. She has an independent line called Iunx and has also created fragrances for Diptyque, L'Artisan Parfumeur, Guerlain, and Hermès, among other lines. She is particularly known for a refined style as well as innovation such as her novel use of fig in perfumery, popularizing the note beginning in the mid-1990s. She is among the perfumers who became prominent in a late-20th and early-21st-century turn toward the "nose" behind the scent and independent lines that foreground these creators, a shift away from perfumes sold by fashion labels or celebrities in other fields.
Fougère, pronounced [fu.ʒɛʁ], is one of the main olfactive families of perfumes. The name comes from the French language word for "fern". Fougère perfumes are made with a blend of fragrances: top-notes are sweet, with the scent of lavender flowers; as the more volatile components evaporate, the scents of oakmoss, derived from a species of lichen and described as woody, sharp and slightly sweet, and coumarin, similar to the scent of new-mown hay, become noticeable. Aromatic fougère, a derivative of this class, contains additional notes of herbs, spice and/or wood.
Joy is a perfume created for Parisian couturier Jean Patou by perfumer Henri Alméras in 1929. It is considered to be one of the greatest fragrances created and is a landmark example of the floral genre in perfumery.
Henri Alméras was a French perfumer, author, and painter.
Paul Parquet (1856–1916) was a French perfumer and joint owner of Houbigant. Called the "greatest perfumer of his time" by Ernest Beaux, he is widely regarded as the founder of modern perfumery for having pioneered the use of synthetics in works such as Fougère Royale. His bestselling perfume, Le Parfum Idéal, was described by Robert Bienaimé as a “masterpiece of fragrant equilibrium, harmonious and of good taste as shall never be surpassed”.
Francis Kurkdjian is an Armenian contemporary perfumer and businessman. and winner of the Prix François Coty in 2001 for his lifetime achievement. He was made famous at age 26 for designing the scent of Le Male for Jean Paul Gaultier, one of the world's best selling perfumes. This was followed by an additional forty creations for major perfume companies worldwide. Some of these creations include the Elie Saab Le Parfum, My Burberry (Burberry), L'extase and Narciso Rodriguez for her. In 2009, he co-founded luxury fragrance house Maison Francis Kurkdjian with the Lebanese-French businessman and former Ernst & Young partner Marc Chaya, now a major global player in the luxury niche fragrance segment.
Jacques Edouard Guerlain was a French perfumer, the third and most famous of the Guerlain family. One of the most prolific and influential perfumers of the 20th century, over eighty of Guerlain's perfumes remain known, though certain estimates suggest he composed some four hundred. Among his greatest fragrances are L’Heure Bleue (1912), Mitsouko (1919) and Shalimar (1925). Though his work earned him universal renown, a considerable fortune and honours such as that of Chevalier of the Legion of Honour, Guerlain avoided public attention, never once granting an interview. As a result, relatively little is known of his creative process or personal life.
Jacques Cavallier-Belletrud is a French perfumer formerly with the Swiss fragrance and flavor company Firmenich, who currently works for Louis Vuitton of the LVMH Luxury Group.
Élisabeth de Feydeau, is a French historian and writer. She is also an expert in fragrance.
Mathilde Laurent is a French perfumer. She is the in-house perfumer at Cartier.
Ernest Daltroff,, was a French perfumer and the founder of Parfums Caron in 1904.
Yuri Gutsatz,, was a perfumer. He emigrated to Berlin in 1924 and then to Paris in 1933 where he worked for the Parfums de Mury. After the Second World War, he was hired by Louis Amic at Roure Bertrand Fils and Justin Dupont. As a perfumer, he created many perfumes like Carven Chasse Gardée in 1950. and PM of Mary Quant. He participated in perfume projects for Ungaro and Estee Lauder as well as for Cartier, Dior and Van Cleef & Arpels. On December 12, 1975, he registered the trademark Le Jardin Retrouve and founded the first niche perfume house, a few months before the I'Artisan Parfumeur (1976). Yuri Gutsatz was also a perfume critic and vice president of the Société Française des Parfumeurs, and one of the founders of Osmothèque- the perfume conservatory-, in 1990 with Jean Kerleo.
The Grand Musée du Parfum was a Paris perfumery museum that operated from December 22, 2016 to July 6, 2018. It was founded by entrepreneur Guillaume de Maussion and overseen by industry experts including Jean-Claude Ellena, then the in-house perfumer at Hermes; Mathilde Laurent, house perfumer at Cartier; and Sylvaine Delacourte, director of fragrance for Guerlain. The museum, developed over two years for $7 million, was Iocated in the hôtel particulier at 73, rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, once the residence of the Roederer champagne family and later the location of fashion house Christian Lacroix. Entry cost between 5 and 14.50 Euro. Exhibits included a recreation of the laboratory of French perfume house Houbigant, using items on loan from the Musée Carnavalet. It also had a "garden of scent" with white sculptures that each released different scents.
Alberto Morillas is a Spanish perfumer. He is a master perfumer at Swiss fragrance and flavor firm Firmenich, where his notable creations have included Calvin Klein CK One, Giorgio Armani Acqua di Giò and Marc Jacobs Daisy. He has an independent line called Mizensir.