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Meet the masters of mystery behind some of the perfume world’s most iconic scents
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A Who’s Who of Perfume A Who’s Who of Perfume

A Who’s Who of Perfume

Meet the masters of mystery behind some of the perfume world’s most iconic scents
Read more

By: Kate Przybyla

A Who’s Who of Perfume
The Directory

A Who’s Who of Perfume

Meet the masters of mystery behind some of the perfume world’s most iconic scents

Shop Perfume

By: Kate Przybyla

It takes a certain type of ‘nose’ to sniff out a cult scent, which is why the fragrance industry calls on an elusive band of perfumers – and curators – to craft the olfactory icons we’ll never tire of uncovering. Hailing the aroma innovators of the perfume world, we introduce you to the noses to know…

Geza Schoen


Rebel of the perfume world, Escentric Molecules’ Geza Schoen confronted commercialisation in the industry by tearing up the rulebook. His experimentation with synthesized substances has changed the game in modern perfumery, most notably as creator of Molecule 01, formulated using nothing more than a single aroma-molecule: Iso E Super.


Schoen also collaborated as nose for the mysterious BOUDICCA Wode, which fades from shocking blue to invisible on contact.

“I realised that the common denominator in all the fragrances I liked was that they contained a large dose of Iso E Super. You can never get enough of it. One sniff and you want the whole bottle.”
- Geza Shoen

Alessandro Gualtieri


Nasomatto is Italian for ‘Crazy Nose’, which says a lot about Alessandro Gualtieri – the nose in question. Also behind Orto Parisi, the avant-garde alchemist’s subversive scents bottle the rawness of bodies and past exploits: a radical shift from the conventional landscape where the former Helmut Lang perfumer cut his teeth.


Black Afgano has, at times, been so hard to obtain, that rumours speculate the hashish-inspired scent includes the illicit raw material itself.

"I start making something but at a certain point it starts making choices by itself.”
- Alessandro Gualtieri

Serge Lutens


Distilling the essence of Morocco into universally-minded scents, Serge Lutens is perfumery’s independent artist, famed for fragrances with the power to intoxicate. The multidisciplinary creative was a filmmaker, photographer and hair and makeup artist before building his perfume line, crafting each scent to morph with the wearer’s character.


A pioneer of unisex scent, Lutens deconstructed the concept of gendered perfume as the first to showcase cedar’s feminine facets in Féminité du Bois.

“Wearing a perfume means making it a part of one’s own character, a sign of distinction… My perfume tells my story, it’s up to you to find yours.”
- Serge Lutens

David Seth Moltz


DIY renegade and one half of husband and wife duo D.S. & Durga, David Seth Moltz aka D.S. is the self-taught nose weaving music and myths into scents. An anti-traditionalist in every sense, the multi-talented Brooklynite considers his perfumes invisible soundtracks, using fragrance to translate powerful narratives – a hangover from his life as writer and musician.


Moltz staged a sonic happening in the West Texas desert for the launch of El Cosmico, where a bespoke scent machine sent out pulses of different accords to accompany live music.

“The art of perfume is more about how you use your items, not just their quality. Off-notes, unexpected combinations and novel constructions are the core of our aromatic vision.”
- David Seth Moltz

Barnabé Fillion


Botanist-turned-perfume designer Barnabé Fillion is the mastermind who launched Aesop’s foray into fragrance, first with Marrakech Intense and once again with Hwyl. Trained in phytology, the French perfumer followed his nose into the olfactory world, where he pits innovation against tradition by pairing natural botanical ingredients with advanced scent design methods.


Before Aesop came Le Labo, for whom Fillion composed the limited-edition Geranium 30, alongside iconic floral artist Thierry Boutemy.

“Our relationship with Barnabé is built on a passion for botanicals, enriching conversation and intuition, not creating a fragrance by brief or numbers.”
- Dr Kate Forbes, Aesop General Manager

Frédéric Malle


Playing editor to what he describes as a ‘publishing house for fragrance’, Frédéric Malle knows what makes a future classic, thanks to an encyclopedic knowledge of raw materials honed over 25 years at perfume lab Roure Bertrand Dupon. Guiding his perfumers from concept to bottle, his skill lies in transcending creative limits to produce fragrances he considers works of art.


Restoring integrity to perfumery in response to mass consumerism, each scent is sold under its nose’s own name, from Dominique Ropion’s Carnal Flower to Carlos Benaïm’s Eau de Magnolia.

“We start with a few raw materials that we assemble to generate an unusual accord. It’s like creating abstract art, bringing colours together to create a masterpiece.”
- Frédéric Malle

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