Perfume interview: meeting the perfumer Caroline Dumur

Dec 01, 2022Tiphanie Nguyen0 comments

A perfume is a relationship. With yourself and with others.” -Caroline Dumur

Portrait of Caroline Dumur, perfumer at IFF

Today, we take you to meet Caroline Dumur, perfumer at IFF who created 2 eau de parfums at Bastille: Demain Promis and Rayon Vert .

Passionate and fascinating, discover the story of Caroline Dumur, her journey, her inspirations for the creation of two Bastille eau de parfums and the challenges she encountered when composing natural perfumes. Good reading !


The journey and inspirations of Caroline Dumur

Can you introduce yourself and tell us about your background?

I knew very early on that I wanted to do a job related to perfume creation . From the 4th grade, my goal was to do the ISIPCA and I did everything to achieve this goal. I finally joined this school after my Chemistry degree.

I then discovered the profession of evaluation at Mane before becoming an assistant perfumer then perfumer at IFF. That's where I met Anne Flipo . I often say that the day I was told that I was going to work with Anne was one of the happiest days of my life ... and it's true. She taught me so much: the basics, rigor, writing formulas in the order of evaporation. I trained by working alongside him for 3 years but also by following the internal school course during which I had the opportunity to work in Singapore, then in Grasse at LMR* but also in New York .

*IFF-LMR is the pioneering laboratory for the natural and ethical sourcing of perfumery ingredients around the world. It promotes sustainable agriculture and allows us to integrate fair trade ingredients into our perfumes.

What ultimately made you want to become a perfumer?

This passion for perfumes comes from my mother . My mother always loved perfumes. She worked in a publishing house, and I remember that at home, we always had a lot of books devoted to perfume, the history of perfumery , and raw materials.

I remember the pleasure I had as a little girl reading these books, discovering the stories behind the creations, the story of the perfumers' quest to find the most beautiful natural ones . I also remember my mother's favorite perfumes: Féminité du Bois, Kenzo Jungle, Chanel 19... These fragrances rocked my youth.

What are your inspirations?

My sources of inspiration are multiple and diverse .

Nature is an essential source of inspiration for me ... Even as a little girl, I loved spending time in my grandparents' garden smelling the flowers, rustling the leaves, tasting the berries. I often summon these childhood memories when I create.

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

This is not an easy process to explain.

I have an idea, a creative desire and I look for the materials, the agreements, the dosages that will bring me closest to this concept. I explore, I facet, until I obtain THE formula that perfectly matches my idea.

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

This is quite a difficult question... I don't think I have an olfactory signature as I like to explore several different olfactory terrains.

Caroline Dumur and Bastille…

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

Working on a formula with 95% natural ingredients is a creative challenge for a perfumer . You have to know how to move away from what you're used to doing, look for a new balance between ingredients , formulate differently .

The creative palette available to us is obviously more limited. That said, our opportunity at IFF is to have access, thanks to LMR, to extractions of natural raw materials of excellent quality.

Natural ones are often powerful, so they must be tamed to create perfumes that remain harmonious and beautiful.

What did you like/like about the Bastille adventure?

  • The freedom of expression that we were given and the trust.
  • The Bastille team , super nice. It is a small, agile team with whom discussions are pleasant and quick.
  • And I like the vision of the brand .

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

Promised Tomorrow : Enveloping, addictive and cuddly.


Green Ray : Joyful, aromatic, and luminous.


What did the Rayon Vert brief inspire you when we presented it to you?

Rayon Vert : when Bastille told me about the Rayon Vert project, the team actually showed me an image of a disco ball in the middle of nature . This immediately made me want to explore the multiplicity of green notes.

Here is the brief we imagined for Rayon Vert:

moodboard of the new bastille perfume

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

For you, a perfume is…

A relationship. With yourself and with others.

And a perfumer is…

The one who facilitates exchanges, relationships, a conveyor of emotions.

Finally, what is your motto?

Let's explore!

The olfactory portrait of Caroline Dumur

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

Your personality in 3 words? Passionate, energetic, persevering.

Your first olfactory memory? The smell of my grandparents' house. An old house with a pleasant smell of cold, damp stones and wood.

A smell you hate? None ! Even the most loathsome smells can reveal wonders.

A smell you love? The smell of the ground after the rain.

A favorite raw material that you like or would like to work with? I love them all, is it serious???

An original association? Any association can become original, it depends above all on the way in which it is treated.

A legendary perfume? Aromatics elixir, Clinique

Natural, synthetic or both? Both !


So ! Now you know Caroline Dumur 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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