What is Postmodern Perfumery?

The concept of “Modern Perfumery” was created in France, at the dawn of the 20th century, when chemists and perfumers found one another. New kinds of fragrance creations became possible - ones that were abstract and not only figurative. The idea of a perfumer was typically male and French, or at the very least a person who had trained in France. The evolution of Modern Perfumery has slowly taken us to a slightly broader view from what perfumery can be, and who can be perfumers. But not by much. We still talk about Modern Perfumery as the pinnacle and conclusion of the entirety of perfume history and assign more value to certain attributes that have been passed down the generations.

We are now in an era of Postmodern Perfumery, where the concept of what perfumery can be and who can be perfumers has broadened in multiple dimensions. Some of this new way of thinking simply means acknowledging global perfumery in its many forms, as it has existed all along. Some of this new way of thinking is only new to those of us in Europe and the USA.

A Postmodern Perfume can be created by anyone, anywhere, using any creative direction and pragmatic methodologies. Providing the product itself is safe to use, providing the end result fulfils its aims, nothing else should be prescriptive.

A Postmodern Perfume may also come from people who think about the broader trade we operate in a little differently from the norm. From farming, green chemistry, supply chains, creation, education, transparency, authenticity, marketing, new distribution channels, new retailing… the era of Postmodern Perfumery is already here.

We invite everyone to question what you believe and hear about good perfume, about perfumery, about our trade, about marketing, about learned and repeated truisms. And if some of it gives you pause, we invite you to participate in making things better for everyone involved. Not least the person who buys and wears our perfumes.