Christophe Laudamiel has quietly left IFF to work for a fragrance media company called Aeosphere. His official title is co-CEO and Senior Perfumer. Anyone familiar with his olfactive work and independent forays knows that he has been marked by the fates for quite some time. Visionaire 47 Taste, lecturing to architects at Harvard, scenting rooms at the 2008 World Economic Forum in Davos; the list goes on and on. Laudamiel possesses an energy that resembles the ethereal medium he works with and like a bottle of fine perfume, his essence cannot be contained.
There seems to be an earthquake in the fragrance world with aftershocks that will be reverberating for quite some time. On December 11th Cosmetic News reported that perfumer Francis Kurkdjian would be opening his own fragrance house while maintaining ties with Takasago, his current employer. In October, Symrise perfumer Mark Buxton, another stellar creative, launched his own line of perfumes. The buzz among industry insiders centers on the question of whether or not these moves will become more common. Could perfumers be striking out on their own in a quest to break out of the culture of mediocrity that currently haunts the industry? With all of the channels of distribution that are currently available today and the rise in demand for authentic artisan fragrances, it is a question many talented perfumers may be asking themselves.
Heston Blumenthal, renown chef at The Fat Duck, created a remarkable sensory Christmas dinner replete with "...edible Christmas tree baubles filled with smoked salmon mousse, a dish inspired by gold, frankincense and myrrh, mulled wine that is both hot and cold in the same glass and goose fed on a mixture of ingredients - including apples and grain ..." The dinner was featured as part of the chef's In Search of Perfection television series, which is no longer in production. I experienced some of the flavor and scent effects from the dinner at the 2008 International Chefs Congress in September and they were nothing short of magical. "Perfect Christmas", will be rebroadcast in the UK on Dec 19th at 8pm, on the BBC.