Julie Masse

Julie Massé: “Vanilla creates an incomparable sillage, a signature and volume”

Également disponible en Français

Julie Massé has been a perfumer at Mane since 2010, where her creations include Le Temps des rêves with Mathieu Nardin for Goutal, with Christine Nagel for Giorgio Armani, Thé Yulong and Pivoine Suzhou with Cécile Matton for Armani Privé, and, for Calvin Klein, Eternity for Men Cologne with Véronique Nyberg and Ralf Schwieger.


Interview from the chapter dedicated to the vanilla, in the book From Plant to Essence – A World Tour of Fragrant Raw Material (see below)

What do you think of when you think of vanilla?
Vanilla is paradoxical as a raw material because everyone thinks they know the smell, but many people are actually thinking of soft, powdery vanillin, which is just one of its compounds. If you give people the absolute to smell, they probably won’t know what it is. Vanilla holds surprises even for perfumers. It is always said that the green pods have no smell of their own, but when I went into a warehouse in Madagascar where they were waiting to be processed, I
was struck by an extraordinary white floral scent with sunny, spicy tones.

What olfactive nuances can you detect between the different vanilla extractions?
The absolute obtained from the pods by volatile solvent extraction is richer and more complex. It is woody, with
slight leather and tobacco notes and spicy, eugenol-type facets. Jungle Essence, produced by supercritical fluid extraction, is softer and closer to the pod. The same process also gives us Pure Jungle Essence vanilla oil, which is far more animalic, with cresol facets. Then there is the infusion, obtained by soaking pods in a mixture of water and
alcohol. It is milder and more affordable, so it can be used in greater quantities.

What does vanilla bring to a composition?

Its generosity and sensuality bring roundness and comfort and can soften harsher notes. I particularly love its magic in woody, leather, spicy or mineral accords. It is a luxury raw material but even just a touch will create an incomparable sillage, a signature and volume. In by Giorgio Armani, Jungle Essence vanilla gives the perfume character and body.

This interview is from:
De la plante à l’essence – Un tour du monde des matières à parfums
From Plant to Essence – A World Tour of Fragrant Raw Material
(Français-English), Nez éditions, Collectif, 2021, 45$/30€

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