Meet Perfumer Clement Gavarry

Introducing Perfumer Clement Gavarry

Perfumer Clement Gavarry
Perfumer Clement Gavarry

The name Clement Gavarry may not be a household name, but the Senior Perfumer at Firmenich in Paris has composed some of the most popular fragrances in modern times. From Sarah Jessica Parker’s Lovely to Tom Ford’s Private Blend Black Violet, Gavarry taps more than three generations of perfumery expertise for his beautifully balanced fragrances. His great-grandfather farmed and processed lavender; his grandfather was a gardener for Chanel; and his father, Max Gavarry, was a renowned perfumer in France. So it was no surprise when, at the age of 18, he landed an internship at International Flavors and Fragrances. This led to studying at perfumery school ISIPCA before embarking on a career as a professional perfumer. “I remember engaging with nature as a child. I loved smelling the fir balsam; the immortelle; the sweet, resin eucalyptus trees.”

“When I started working on the MCM Eau de Parfum project, I was immediately inspired by tribes of fearless free thinkers and sought to design a sustainable blend of classic and modern elements that fuse together to create an attitude of unbridled optimism and powerful connection,” he explains. What’s fascinating about this fragrance is that is appeals to both women and men thanks to a surprising ingredient. “I added a green facet to give a freshness to the scent. Violet leaf gives it a modernity.” He handpicked raspberry and apricot to create an uplifting and bright first impression. Then classic white blooms of white peony and jasmine blend with a hint of vanilla and sandalwood. The composition is designed to appeal to global nomads around the world.

But what’s truly fascinating about this fragrance that makes it unique is how Gavarry broke classic rules of perfumery to compose it. “I deconstructed the jasmine and then infused it with raspberry. This created a tension that became addictive. The idea was to deconstruct ingredients in the lab and then reconstruct them in a new way using green chemistry.”

MCM Eau de Parfum: A Floral fruity-green scent for her or him

The MCM fragrance opens with a hyper-real red raspberry note and fresh apricot

Blends with a sheer floral bouquet of peony and jasmine with a hint of green violet leaf

Sits on a base of vanilla, ambrox, sandalwood and white moss, which gives it an urban edge

“Each day is a new adventure. Creativity, passion, freedom. Carpe diem (Seize the day) is my motto.” He currently lives in New York where he works on a myriad of projects and fragrances for clients. It takes him more or less six months to create a fragrance, but that is thanks to years of experience and training. (When he wants to refresh his nose, he tends to drink water which has a cleansing effect on his sense of smell.) Within the industry, he’s known for being a perfectionist focusing intently on each project. “We need time for trial and error – or plain luck – in order to create the best fragrances.”

(photo credit: Firmenich)

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  • Liz Howard
    December 19, 2022 at 8:37 pm

    Wow, so interesting and fascinating!

  • Angela Citrigno
    December 16, 2022 at 10:18 am

    I’m in aah of his talent. Being a perfectionist in this competitive field must be so stressful. I’m curious how does one keep their sense of smell to remain superior? Inventing ways to make sure fragrance are environmentally green alone is a task in itself. The environmental climate changes must be reeking havoc for perfumers too? So much to think about. Truly a career of passion.

  • Cynthia Sacks
    December 15, 2022 at 1:57 pm

    Fascinating read! @cindy_sacks

  • September Dee
    December 15, 2022 at 10:05 am

    I love green notes in fragrance. This facet really makes a difference and is a pleasant addition for many reasons. The backstory to this fragrance is so interesting. A note can be deconstructed and then infused with another to create something new and modern. It reminds me of grafing used to create new varieties of flowers, plants and trees. Modern technology makes things easier and allows for extra flexibility and creativity. A master perfumer has such a fascinating job.