"Perfume creation is a refined and intimate art. It's also hypercerebral. Every morning I air my whole house and set off for a walk in the woods. When I get back with my nose refreshed I assess the tests and blends I did the previous afternoon. All-natural perfumes, that's my thing," says Delphine Thierry. At her home at the top end of Grasse, where she also works, she told us about her unusual approach to perfume design. "I knew by the time I was 15 that my life would be guided by my sense of smell," she says. In the early 1990s, after a two-year chemistry diploma, she passed the entrance exam to the ISIPCA perfumes and cosmetics school in Versaille – the only school of its kind in those days, founded by perfume house Guerlain. Top of her class on graduation, she did internships for Jacques Polge and at IFF (International Flavors & Fragrances, New York), where she then spent six years as apprentice perfumer. After that, she decided to settle in France. In 2007 she launched Inspiration Libre, working with prestigious brands like Floratropia, Lubin and Masque Milano, for whom she created subtle perfumes and eaux de toilettes, and for the eco-conscious luxury candle maker Claepsidra. She also designs signature fragrances for hotels and scents for cosmetics. "What I like best is woody and earthy scents, barks and spices, but I also love working with iris, angelica, osmanthus, tuberose and so on."
We feature artists, Michelin-starred chefs, designers, racing drivers, fashion designers and even beekeepers. All of them all movers and shakers in their field of endeavour, be it the luxury world or the region's cultural, economic or social spheres. Read their unfiltered accounts of their lives, careers, dreams, ambitions and projects.