January 26, 2021

Perfumer of the Year Lifetime Achievement Award: Harry Fremont, Master Perfumer, Firmenich

NEW YORK — Harry Fremont, a master perfumer at Firmenich who has created upward of 350 scents in his over 30-year career, compared fragrance to clothing or shoes — specifically to suits for men.
From afar, an expensive and cheap suit pretty much look the same, Fremont explained during an interview at his office at the Swiss fragrance and flavors supplier’s U.S. headquarters in Midtown here last week. But when one puts on the suit, the difference therein lies in the fit and how long the jacket and pants remain intact.
Similar to a suit, the goal with scent is to create the same effect — whether it’s a rose-driven juice that retails for $75 or $250. But upon closer look, the variances become evident.
“Once you have more quality materials, very often the fragrance wears more easily. When we do cheaper fragrances we use ingredients that are aggressive or tiring and we lose a certain comfort. We can create the same effect — but when you wear it you realize they are different,” said Fremont, who has worked on scents that span the designer, mass, celebrity and prestige categories.
He called synthetic sandalwood “made from a molecule” very “tiring and more opaque” than the

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