Featured | 16 November 2022
Meet the Perfumer: Jean-Charles Mignon
Each perfumer who joins our team brings with them a set of unique experiences, rich knowledge and a lifetime of scent associations that impact their own fragrance creations.
Having joined our UK team at Innovation House earlier this year Jean-Charles Mignon has a special association with flowers and floral notes – both through his parents, who worked in floristry, and as a result of undertaking his training at the Grasse Institute of Perfumery.
We spoke with Jean-Charles to learn more about his associations with flowers, his recommendations for aspiring perfumers and what he foresees for the future of fragrance creation.
What is your earliest or most impactful memory associated with fragrance?
I always remember the time when I went to Grasse, France with my parents to visit the Fragonard Shop – that’s where I first heard the word ‘perfumer’!
What are your favourite ingredients to work with when creating a fragrance?
Ginger, because it gives a lift and a fizziness at the top of the fragrance. I also love cooking with it.
I also love rose, because it’s one of the most beautiful ingredients that we have on our palette as perfumers. It’s got so many facets - lemony, fruity, powdery, spicy - and gives the fragrance another dimension. This material also reminds me of the rose field in Grasse, which is a truly intoxicating scent.
Finally, vetiver, because it brings a citrusy freshness into your creation. This material also has interesting earthy, woody and dry spice facets to it.
Where do you find inspiration for your fragrance creations?
I feel most inspired when travelling to new places and discovering new cultures, nature and food. Whether it’s the hustle and bustle of a busy city like London, or in the peaceful countryside, each new place provides a variety of fresh inspiration.
What advice would you give to someone aspiring to enter the industry?
When I speak with junior perfumers or someone aspiring to enter the industry, I always say, firstly: never give up. The path won’t be easy, but if you’re motivated and show this motivation, you’ll reach your goal one day.
I also always tell them to listen to the people in the industry, be curious, and go to every fragrance event that you can – as smelling perfumes and raw materials is the most important thing.
If at the beginning of your career you get into a role which isn’t exactly what you want, I always encourage junior perfumers to remember that getting your foot in the door is essential. When I started I was a compounder in a factory, but that was what gave me the opportunity to meet people and share my passion with them.
What is your favourite stage of the fragrance creation process?
My favourite stage of the fragrance creation process is when you start with a blank page. It can be stressful because you need to have that first idea, just like anything when you start from scratch. But when you begin to put ingredients on the page and start to see your formulation taking shape, you’ll start getting excited and it’s a joyful process.
Of course, there may be a lot of trials to reach what you want, but this process results in an achievement. When you see the finished product on the shelf, you’ll feel a pride that makes you even more passionate about your work.
What do you think the future of fragrance looks like?
Now and in the future, we have to choose the right raw materials with the least impact on the planet. We need to discover new materials that are created using different technologies that generate minimal emissions in the process. With global warming, a more thoughtful and planet conscious industry is needed, and greater transparency with consumers.
Interested in hearing more from Jean-Charles? Join him on our social media channels on Thursday, November 17th where he will be taking over for the day to introduce himself.
Discover more about our creative, talented perfumers and how they work.