Episode 8: Firmenich

Step into the World's Largest Private Perfume House, with Firmenich’s Frank Voelkl



About the Episode

Since starting out in the early 90s, Frank has brought to life some of the most beloved fragrances of our time. Nowadays he’s best known as the creator of Le Labo’s Santal 33. His portfolio goes on to include collaborations with Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci, Hugo Boss, Jason Wu, and Ariana Grande. He’s been prolific in crafting scents that, in his own words, “evoke a profound emotional connection with the power to elicit pure, unadulterated happiness.”

In this episode, Frank sits down with Brittney Jackson Moseley, who runs integrated marketing at Scentbird. They explore three areas that are shaping the future of fragrance: sustainability, artificial intelligence, and gender. Frank shares what it takes to become a great perfumer and takes us back to where it all began, his uncle’s farm in Germany, and all the smells that surrounded him.


• The first time Frank felt like he was officially a perfumer
• Early scent memories at Frank’s family farm in Germany
• Frank’s first exposure to fragrance in Paris in the late 70s/early 80s
• Attending ISIPCA, a leading perfumery school in Versailles
• The intense training it takes to become a perfumer
• What it felt like to join an industry leader like Firmenich
• Inner Workings: How perfumers work, from idea to the bottle
• 90% of your fragrance creations never get to market
• An inside look into the fragrance development process
• After thousands of trials, how you know a fragrance is done
• Why the best fragrances contain some imperfections
• The role of fragrance in our lives, beyond seduction
• Scent Spotlight: Glossier You by Glossier, Red Wood by Nomenclature, Bois by Commodity
• Collaborating with Dora Baghriche and Emily Weiss to create Glossier You
• Using molecules and growing patchouli in a lab as the main ingredient for a fragrance
• Shaping the future of fragrance: sustainability, gender, and AI
• Harry Fremont’s view on AI in perfumery
• What Frank would say to his younger self about his journey as a perfumer

Featured Fragrances

Glossier You by Glossier
Red Wood by Nomenclature
Bois by Commodity

Key Mentions

Firmenich, Glossier, Nomenclature, Commodity

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