Perfume interview: meeting the perfumer Anne Flipo

Jan 12, 2023Tiphanie Nguyen0 comments

My travels, art, music, gastronomy… Ideas are everywhere. ” -Anne Flipo

Anne Flipo parfumeur chez IFF

Today, we take you to meet Anne Flipo, perfumer at IFF and creator (alongside Paul Guerlain) of our eau de parfum which pays homage to the sensual and mysterious tuberose, Pleine Lune .

Passionate and curious , discover her story, her journey, her inspirations for the creation of Pleine Lune and the challenges she encountered when composing natural perfumes .

Good reading !

The journey and inspirations of Anne Flipo

Can you introduce yourself and tell us about your background?

When the time came for me to make a choice for my studies, my parents already saw me in preparatory class for engineering schools.

But I ultimately chose ISIP, training as a flavorist in cosmetics and perfumery. This is where I started to learn how to smell.

Then I had the opportunity to train with very great perfumers : Jean-Louis Sieuzac and Michel Almairac. At the start of my career, I first favored small structures before joining IFF in the 2000s. Today, I have been a perfumer for more than 35 years .

What ultimately made you want to become a perfumer?

Difficult to isolate a single factor.

I think there are several elements: the magnificent family garden in Aisne, always in flower; the candy store that my father ran where I learned to appreciate the smells of candy; my grandmother and her generosity when it came to entertaining; my mother who always sought to develop our senses...

Smell is a special sense that can instantly bring back good (and bad) memories. To understand how this sense works and its link with your emotions, go to our dedicated article Smells and emotions: when a perfume makes your heart beat !

What are your inspirations?

There are many sources of inspiration … my travels, art, music, gastronomy… Ideas are everywhere.

Just let them in, grab them. I like to give myself an almost meditative time where I play with ideas, avenues… then I sort and keep just what I need.

How do you manage to transcribe words, an inspiration or a memory into a perfume?

It’s a process inherent to my job.

First of all, it's a lot of reflection , time given for ideas to mature and take place. Obviously, to this I also associate my knowledge of the ingredients and their alliances with each other.

Do you have an olfactory signature? If yes which one ?

No. My signature is the way I use my palette, so it evolves according to desires and projects.

Anne Flipo and Bastille…

What are the challenges of composing perfumes with 95% natural ingredients?

Composing perfumes with 95% natural ingredients means playing with new rules of the game and we must adapt, find new brands.

It's a different kind of gymnastics .

What did you like/like about the Bastille adventure?

The desire to support a new brand which carries a beautiful project, the creative freedom which was very great and also the creative challenge of composing 95% natural ingredients. I like challenges !


Can you describe to us in 3 words the perfume that you signed at Bastille?

Full Moon : feminine, sensual and addictive

Full Moon - eau de parfum - Bastille


What did the Pleine Lune brief inspire you when it was presented to you?

Great freedom of expression !


And we end this fragrant interview with these last 3 questions:

For you, a perfume is…

So many things at once... Since the dawn of time, perfume has had many uses. For me it is above all pleasure, a source of well-being, a comforter too, a transformation .

And a perfumer is…?

A wizard.

Finally, what is your motto?

Less is more .

The olfactory portrait of Anne Flipo

We now move on to the olfactory portrait . Let's go !

Your personality in 3 words? Free, rigorous, curious.

Your first olfactory memory? I come from the North of France so it was only when I was 15 that I smelled orange blossom for the first time, this very special flower. These flowers give off an incredible scent, both sweet and powerful. I will always remember this olfactory encounter: between freshness and opulence. Orange blossom exudes a honeyed, almost warm sensuality. It's probably the flower that I like to work with the most since that day .

Orange Blossom

A smell you hate? There are materials that I prefer to work on more than others obviously, but none that I hate!

A smell you love? Orange blossom absolute.

A favorite raw material that you like or would like to work with? Here again I could answer orange blossom but I also like to work with so many other materials... Sandalwood, blackcurrant bud absolute, green notes...

An original association? Iris and mint.

A legendary perfume? L’Heure Bleue by Guerlain

Natural, synthetic or both? Both !

So ! You now know Anne Flipo inside and out.

To discover the perfume interviews of other perfumers who have signed Bastille perfumes, go to the "Perfume Interviews" section of our blog - they arrive very quickly, a little patience!


Photos: Michael Avedon


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