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It was during her chemistry studies, which would have very wisely led her to the engineering profession, that Fanny Bal discovered the path of perfumery. The thunderbolt is immediate and the decision to become a perfumer is irrevocable. Since then, this passionate young woman continues to demonstrate her determination.
Born in Lyon, Fanny begins his post-baccalaureate courses in this city. After two years of IUT of chemistry, she seeks for more creative alternatives. As soon as she hears about ISIPCA, Fanny is determined to integrate the school and is admitted in the famous formulation Master fragrances after her degree. During her study program, the young apprentice is fostered at IFF to work on the fragrance’s performance. From the laboratory, her horizon becomes clearer and obviously confirmed her vocation to create fragrances.
When I first met Riccardo and Alessandro, I felt a great connection, because they are as passionated as I am. We are talking the same language and sometimes we don't even need words to understand eachother.It was very easy to work with them, as we directly agreed on an olfactive direction for this new Scene, built around Vetiver, a raw material that we both love. In my creation, I have used a large amount of natural vetiver, as Riccardo and Alessandro wanted to pay homage to this beautiful material. I was very excited to be part of the Masque experience, as I love the concept of the opera and the different acts, which have different inspirations each time.
After a Master Degree in Pharmacy at the University of Ferrara, I decided to pursue my dream, attending the prestigious Master at ISIPCA in Versailles. This allowed me to make the first step in the wonderful fragrant world and now it has been some years since I started working in the industry within one of the largest companies, formerly in Amsterdam and currently in Paris. Here I am learning from the greatest masters, improving on a daily base and sharing with my colleagues and partners an unstoppable passion. I think that my ultimate challenge is to offer to each person a whimsical perfumed life, employing my skills throughout the olfactory palette, creating a “scented bubble” able to restore and heal soul.
I was meant to become a perfumer, as I was literally born inside the industry. Indeed, the story of my family business goes back to nearly one century: my grandfather established the company back in 1925; later on, my father resumed and expanded the work of the company from 1975 onwards.
I was trained, of course, in the in-house lab, surrounded not only by the best possible advisor - my father! - but also by a brilliant team of perfumers.
When I'm not travelling across the world, which is quite often, I'm putting my nose into work in order to create new fragrances, new smells and new sensations. Frequently I land into a new city, reach the hotel and get a parcel full of sample to be evaluated.
I work to send a feedback and wait till my next destination to get again a new set of samples with all the modifications on the projects I’m working on. My business trips are not only to visit customer: I also source my own ingredients all over the world, I love to get lost in the research of unique quality ingredients.
My deep knowledge of high-quality natural materials, such as oud, the current “black gold” of the perfume industry, was the first object of discussion with Alessandro and Riccardo: thanks to the common passion for naturals, we immediately established a good rapport with each other.
Later on, different perfumes and projects made our careers happily cross again, as we shared a creative and artistic approach to the industry.
At the beginning of 2016, Alessandro, Riccardo and I definitely joined forces in the Mandala project, a myrrh and incense perfume creation, which is a truly spiritual journey through the sense of smell.
My background is certainly uncommon for a nose. I define myself “aromatario”, a “speziale”, a researcher of olfactory memory.
I am a chemist, and graduated in Erboristical Techniques at the School of Pharmacy of the University of Parma, I spent my youth among plants and trees, quiet havens where nature expresses itself at its culprit.
The human experience of anthropology and etno-botanic, in Marocco and Turkey, fostered my passion for the Arabic world. Hence the love for aromatherapy, and the almost instinctive entrance into the world of perfumes.
The poetic pyramid, followed by the olfactory one. This is my belief, smell before perfume, poetry before molecules.
I worked with Alessandro and Riccardo in a timeless fashion, letting written words getting hold of me, in order to understand every olfactory direction, every scented cue.
I stepped on the stage of Masque, interpreting the existential act of the Opera - what every person carries along, for an entire life – trying hard to find into the Lights and Shadows a meaning, an olfactory sign.
Still only knee high to a grasshopper, Bruno was already jumping over the neighboring fences – just as he would any future obstacle – to steal roses to make his own concoctions. Already in pursuit of new odors, he put his nose into everything, including the aromas of his mother’s dishes simmering on the stove before they were even ready to eat. In the course of his budding sensorial fantasy, Bruno even went as far as renaming his family: his father became Chamomile, his mother Violet and his grandmother Rosa.
Bruno discovered a whole new world the day he came across the profusion of different perfumes on show at the big department stores. “I was with a friend who came away with a bottle of Fahrenheit in his pocket while mine were full of miniature bottled samples. I had suddenly discovered a universe I had never imagined existed that I wanted to belong to. Every day, while everyone was at the canteen, I went back. The salesgirls would say “What would you like to try smell today? And I would leave with as many samples in my pockets as olfactive discoveries in my head.
Later on, he got hold of the Dictionary of Perfumes, his “Bible” that he knew off by heart in less than a year. His baccalaureate C under his arm, Bruno took a degree in Physics and Chemistry with one objective in mind: the ISIPCA. Although the careers advisor tried to dissuade him. Proselytism paid off: two friends took the entrance exam with him. But it was Bruno who came second out of 900!
For Bruno today is already tomorrow. “The immediate wake of a fragrance is too ephemeral to be interesting to me.” An aesthete, who works out everything intellectually.
I was born and bred in a family of perfumers: when I still was a child, thanks to my father and grandpa I had the chance to develop a keen sense of smell. I first stepped in to a Lab when I was 16 – and that really was like entering into a magical kingdom. I was literally overwhelmed by the allure of raw materials and the mysterious alchemy through which they mingle, so I resolved to dig deeper into such a unique and wonderful world.
Unlike most other perfumers, I had the opportunity to go through an individualised training – just the way it was “once upon a time”, when this job was handed over from father to son and the well-kept secrets shared with a very narrow circle of lucky few. My first mentor has been Françoise Marin, perfumer and teacher in one of the most coveted “école du parfum”. She taught me how to memorize thousands of raw materials with the Jean Carles method, to concoct accords and fragrances, and to study the history and evolution of perfumery. Some years have passed and now – just as then – my only goal is to create beautiful fragrances, able to convey my passion for this scented universe and to donate moments of bliss to people wearing them.
As soon as I started reading the first lines of the brief, I was convinced that no other raw materials could express the feeling of “L’Attesa” (The Wait) better than the precious iris. I wanted to make sure that the nuances of this noble material were present since the opening till when the curtain falls on the last basenotes.
One of the most beautiful moments of the creation process was meeting with Alessandro and Riccardo. It was in particular Riccardo which, thanks to his Sommelier expertise, after introducing the first “scene” of the Third Act of their scented opera, illustrated the true champagne smell through an actual bubbly tasting. The three of us were enticed by the idea to recreate for the first time the smell of yeast, which would have created a bitter yet intriguing counterpoint to the floral, earthy and poudrè facets of iris, eventually exalting it. After many an attempt, I managed to track down a very peculiar raw material – Beer CO2 – perfectly reproducing the smell of yeast, which of course I employed to recreate a realistic Champagne accord. I decided to employ Italian iris absolute – a rare and utterly precious raw material, stinging and powdery, which enhances the smell of yeast since the opening headnotes – as well as Italian and French iris concretes, much more buttery, which boost the richness of the floral heartnotes and smooth the milky-woody, leathery and musky basenotes.
I think meeting Riccardo and Alessandro was an immediate understanding and respect of each other's poetic approach. I was impressed by the strength and coherence of the universe they had created, I had smelled their amazing previous creations, and wanted to be part of their story. Like film directors, they told me I might fit a casting they were doing for their brand, looking for a perfumer to express the role of Russian Tea.
The force of Masque is that the fragrance is more than a composition, it is a story telling and an acting experience, interpreting a given role, where the game of the actor is only relevant if played with conviction and inspiration.
Russian Tea is a journey, a day spent in Russia with a boiling Samovar, reining in the house as the center of socialization and sharing. The black tea smell is strong, diffusing all around the house. It also evokes the journey of the tea through Siberia, taking the smell of campfires, and transportation in harsh conditions, interpreted by woody and leathery notes. The fresh mint leaves blend incredibely well with the smokiness, and the hint of raspberry and cinnamon that sweeten the bitterness of the tea.
While studying perfumery at ISIPCA, I completed my knowledge in raw materials and perfume creation with master perfumer Jacques Polge at Chanel. Once graduated with great honors, I entered IFF as a perfumer where I spent 6 years between New York, Paris and Mexico. After other 6 years at Mane, in 2007 I resolved to create my own company: “Inspiration Libre”, to rediscover the intimate and craft character of my job, between artist and “artisan” and to work hand in hand with my clients in a direct relationship with no intermediary.
When I first met with Alessandro and Riccardo, I was immediately seduced by their individualities and their artistic and inspiring fragrance project. It has really been a pleasure to embark on a creative journey with no compromise in terms of originality, refinement and quality.
Creating Terralba I was inspired by my trekking vacations in Corsica when, descending the rocky mountains, I could catch sight of the deep blue sea far away. Smells of shrubs, herbs and resins, typical scents of Mediterranean landscapes such as myrtle, juniper and lentisc; as well as the saline scent of the sea, the sand and the seaweeds. This weightlessness feeling is what I expressed in Terralba, a lighthearted fragrance in which I also decided to use a difficult while fascinating raw material, the curry-leaf absolute for its bitter herbaceous and resinous lasting note.
The idea of recreating the “smellscape” of Montecristo – leathery and rum notes, the used playing cards scent, the tobacco leaves and the fireplace – carried me away for a pure inspiring moment. As I so much love old stone houses, I endeavored to recreate the soul of the old stone villa which shelters this deep intimate moment in the fragrance, with mineral mossy wall notes, and animalic notes such as goldenstone – one of my favorite raw materials.
I graduated from ISIPCA, I was trained for four years in Robertet, at first in Grasse, then in Paris. I was still a trainee when I created my first fragrance. In 2011, I decided to found my own company, and to set up my laboratory in Paris, in order to be able to dedicate my entire time to working freely as an independent perfumer. That's how I have created more than twenty fragrances for various brands of the niche perfumery market.
In addition to that, I have developed an artistic project with an illustrator, leading to an exhibition, which took place in Paris then in London in 2013: the objective was to correlate 6 visuals and 6 perfumes, in perfect harmony. One of the two universes gives birth to the other, then reverse: paint brush following olfactory narration, nose lead by sketch.
I really liked Riccardo and Alessandro’s vision, they consider the perfumer as an artist, playing a scene in an opera through a fragrance with a soul. The atmosphere, the passionate “mise-en-scene” of Tango immediately inspires me to give birth to a warm and sensual perfume.
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