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Article: The Shoe Fits - an interview with Thierry Wasser


New member
Apr 23, 2010
Thanks for a great and very interesting interview here!
With regard to Monsieur Wasser's daily fight for the integrity of the formulas, I want more hard work on L'Heure Bleue in extrait concentration! I am seriously irritated about its latest incarnation as per end of 2010. I felt insulted when I noticed its distinctive spiciness (anise) was obviously dismissed, together with a faint and watered down general appearance. I expect better from the house of Guerlain.


New member
Jan 10, 2011
You cannot compare the latest bottle sold in a shop to a collector’s vintage perfumes that have oxidized and macerated.

He perfectly describes why I stay away from vintage stuff. It's never "the real thing" anyway. I rather go for the reformulation. Good to see that he's doing all he can to recreate it as close to the original as possible.
I have even more respect for Guerlain now then I already had.


Oct 10, 2011
This is a great interview, and the questions asked were very even-handed. I think Mr. Wasser has a real love of material; something that can't always be detected just from smelling the products from a perfume house.

I'm glad to hear about the work that Guerlin has done to create sustainability in the production of scents - That's inspiring. It's easy to forget sometimes that these oils come from real, living plants that are grown by people as their primary source of income. Wasser's approach makes a lot of sense - create sustainable plant sourcing to protect jobs, protect the local environment, and protect future resources for Guerlin's raw materials. It's a great strategy.


Well-known member
Sep 1, 2010
Thankyou for a fascinating read!
Monsieur Wasser's dedication & love for his work shines through in this interview. lt's good to know that the house of Guerlain is in such capable hands.
Very interesting to read about the lengths he goes to in order to source the best quality raw materials, & to reward in a meaningful way those who produce them.
l am especially excited by the idea of a new source of sandalwood! :)


Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Mar 12, 2010
Thanks very much indeed for this.

I've said this before and I'll say it again: I think we haven't yet seen what TW is capable of. I have a feeling that once he's fully settled into his current role, he might delight us with several gems.


Oct 19, 2011
It's interesting that Thierry mentions this:
"I am most interested to see which fragrances in L’art et la Matière and Les Exclusifs are most appealing. I see this as being in the same vein as Jacques Guerlain’s customer testing. The customer feedback to these lines could determine my next fragrance direction."

But it's surprising the "Il Était Une Fois" fragrances have seemingly been abandoned. Guerlain has a strong scent history which appeals to many of it's customers, which if not done so already, should be considered by M Wasser. It's apparent that Jean-Paul Guerlain started on Ode (1955), Kadine (1911), and Cachet Jaune (1937) but they never made it to distribution. But of course, it's not appropriate to bring back a fragrance if it cannot be done so near it's original shape.

And a criticism: Whos idea was it at Guerlain to remove L'Attrape Coeur/Guet Apens? In my opinion, this is a big shame when it was 'replaced' by fragrances such as Cherry Blossom. And as a whole, the attempt to 'satisfy' both men & women, by limiting the femme fragrances, and introducing previous masculine fragrances is also a shame. The Elixirs Charnels, in my opinion, do not measure up to the discontinued 'femme' les Parisiennes.

The last picture of Thierry is wonderful. It's nice to finally see his smile. How cute :thumbsup:


New member
Aug 18, 2011
Thank you very very much for this great interview. I love the honesty and sincerity, and I find TW's dedication to Guerlain and to quality is clear in every sentence. Personally, I can't wait to see what the next L'art et la matière release will bring, and had hoped for a little hint :)


New member
Aug 11, 2008
Excellent interview! Mr. Wasser is delightfully articulate and forthcoming. My respect to him and House Guerlain.


New member
Oct 3, 2007
What a fabulous, revealing, and interesting read. Great article MB! It is nice to hear TW's dedication to uphold the old formulas and minimize change.


New member
Aug 6, 2008
It was obvious to me that Wasser was the perfect choice the second I smelled Cologne du Parfumeur. Shalimar Parfum Initial cemented my opinion. It is absolutely stunning. I'm so happy that Guerlain is in such good hands.

mr. reasonable

New member
Jan 1, 2009
Terrific interview, encouraging to read that M. Wasser is engaged with real people growing real flowers and sandalwood trees and so on, there's still hope, then. Guerlain is probably the least reliant on the 'gang of four' (or five) for ingredients and doesn't need to be coy about the situation facing the industry caused by what can only appear to be collusion under the IFRA banner IMO, and to his credit M. Wasser gives a polite but clear voice to the frustration felt by many in that regard - a more political individual would not.

I hope he can fight the good fight keeping the classics alive and have fun building on the work he has started. It's clear that Idylle is doing its job admirably, L'Abeille is a sublime beauty and Cologne du Parfumeur is just plain great stuff.


New member
Oct 26, 2010
Thierry Wasser has some pretty big shoes to fill. I wish him great success with his endeavor.


Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
May 22, 2009
I appreciate the work of Initial, and I hope there are some new originals from M. Wasser in the future.


New member
Nov 11, 2011
Nice post indeed.
But, obviously formulas have changed over the past 10 years because of Ifra legislation. Why do they desperatly want to destroy old formulae? It has NEVER been proved that Shalimar, Femme, Miss Dior or l´Heure Bleue would be dangerous for the body (unless if you drink one liter:(
So why big and powerful brands let Ifra look into their business to tell them how they have to do with their perfumes! That makes me crazy.
By the way, nobody tell either that ALL the perfume brands belonging to LVMH has to respect their own inner rules> no nitro, polycyclic musks nor animal raw materials in their perfumes.
Guerlain belongs to LVMH since the mid 90´s...so...no more civette or casto, musk keton or ambrette in their fragrances anymore.
Then why saying that any formula has changed ?
Consumers are not stupid, they smell the differences! I am pissed off.


New member
Dec 15, 2007
Thanks Basenotes for the interview and good to know more about the story behind Jasminora. I love this soothing scent and use it as room spray quite often. As to the L’art et la Matière, to me the most appealing are Angélique Noire, Bois d'Arménie, Cuir Beluga, Iris Ganache and Tonka Impériale.(in no particular order) To the next one. It would be very nice to see any possibilities that the honey note in L'Abeille featuring in this line in the near future.

Redneck Perfumisto

League of Cycloöctadiene Isomer Aestheticists
Basenotes Plus
Feb 27, 2008
What a great interview! Wow. Thierry really opened up - this may actually be the best perfumer interview I've ever had the pleasure of reading. Very cool!

I really think it's important for people to read this, on so many levels. It's an amazing look at the industry. And I have to say, I admire Thierry's attitude toward the people at the other end of the component supply line. It's nice to see how much the planet continues to move away from old relationships of exploitation, to more of a partnership between the agro-world and the techno-world. Bravo!

Also excited by the possibility of new creative works! :engel017:

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