“The art of perfume is in the olfactory image - the lingering impression left in the air after its wearer has left the room.”
Carlos Benaïm is a Master Perfumer and one of the living legends of modern perfumery. Son of a pharmacist who distilled plants and flowers as a hobby, Carlos’ earliest childhood recollections are the smells of Tangiers. The distinctive violet scent of his grandfather’s tobacco, the pennyroyal essence that lingered on his father’s hands after a day working with medicinal herbs, the odor of the markets where Berber women would come from the mountains to sell their wares – this rich tapestry of memories from the southern Mediterranean provides a distinctive twist to Carlos’ approach to perfume.
Carlos began his career when he was chosen for one of six manager-in-training positions from over 400 applicants who responded to an IFF ad in Le Monde. He moved to Paris and Amsterdam to explore the world of flavors and fragrances. In a whirlwind year that would define his life, Carlos created a best-selling potato chip flavor in the UK one week, and met future mentor Ernest Shiftan the next. IFF’s leading perfumer at the time quickly realized Carlos’ talent for fine fragrance and invited him to give up the managerial track to study with him in New York and become a perfumer.
Today, this aficionado of all things refined and a skilled painter, too, Carlos interlaces the intangibility of color and emotion, balancing them with a deep understanding of the technical aspects of perfumery. His perception of perfumery is touched by the science of the consumer’s scent experience and how fragrance behaves on the skin. Composing in four dimensions, Carlos is an architect of the conceptual. Balancing his own vision with true passion for the art of it all, Carlos’ work is best considered in its own wake – a sillage of diffused perfume.
Carlos is a truly international perfumer. His life and work have brought him around the world, while his fluency across markets sets him apart as a Master Perfumer. His numerous awards include The Fragrance Foundation 2014 Perfumer of the Year Lifetime Achievement Award, The American Society of Perfumers Lifetime Achievement Award, and nine Fragrance Foundation Awards for his fragrance creations.