BBC Perfume Documentary

I recently watched a series of episodes from a BBC perfume documentary as the next project we will be doing on my course at University is scent based so it seemed rather fitting to get a heads up on what this could involve and the perfume industry.

The first episode featured a young girl going to get her first ever perfume from the renowned perfumery Guerlain in Paris. It was soon apparent that this was seen as a pretty big deal, which instantly made me realised that perfume seems a lot more important in France compared to in England as I personally growing up did not do this or know of anyone that did so. The other difference I noticed was that the people working in the store did not try and sell perfume to her or wave lots of samples at her, it was much more like they were just assisting where they could and respected her, even though she was so young, which I thought was very nice to see. This may be due to the fact that one of the key aims of the founder of Guerlain, Pierre-Francois-Pascal-Guerlian, was to make a quality and a calm working environment a priority so much so that he actually built his soap factory in a area known to be tranquil and have a countryside feel to it.

I also learnt that the Parisian way of thinking is that scent is of paramount importance as once a women takes off all her clothes and makeup, the one thing she is left with encompassing her scent, which I thought was very interesting as again, this is rather different in comparison to how we are brought up to think of perfume in the UK.

What this did remind me of though was tattoos! As personally I absolutely love tattoos! ( I think as I am of a creative mind set, why wouldn’t I like the idea of decorating you body with art? I think of it as being a blank canvas there for you to make whatever you want from it). One of the main reasons I wanted to get tattoos for was because like what was said in the documentary, when you’ve taken everything off, all you clothes, makeup and jewellery, you still have your tattoos! Which I see as a way of  showing who you are without having to speak or do/wear anything else. Whereas, with perfume when you have a shower, the scent disappears and can also fade throughout the day, however with tattoos you don’t have this problem! But I can definitely see the point the man was making.

A key phrase I picked up on during the first episode was that Guerlain is “French perfumery personified” which I really like and I think was such a unique and clever way of putting it! I think this is quite fitting seen as the cosmetic and perfumery brand Guerlain, has been around since 1828 and is still highly successful today and especially renowned s being one the best brands in Paris. As they are very much so a classic brand, the  announcement that they have appointed Angelina Jolie as the new icon of Guerlain Parfumeur is great news. I think she embodies the brand perfectly and it is also a fabulous choice marketing wise. On their website she is described as a “a filmmaker, Special Envoy of the UN Refugee Agency and co-founder of The Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative.” Finally it says that she has donated her entire salary from the Guerlain campaign to charity which I think is a astoundingly kind and honourable thing to do! Well done Angelina!

After watching this documentary, it has made me much more knowledgeable about the world of scent and I am looking forward to having a go at the project I am given in the near future!

If you would like to learn more about Guerlain and their latest collaboration, then click here:


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