A decade into the business of creating beauty, Edward Bess unveiled his trio of evocative perfumes: Genre, La Femme Bohème, and Spanish Veil. A look behind the scenes reveals that the two-year journey of creation alongside master perfumer Carlos Benaïm left an impact on Edward that was memorable and beautiful as the fragrances themselves.
The Master Nose
Edward had always wanted to work with the internationally acclaimed Carlos Benaïm, and it wasn’t just because of his resume, although Benaïm’s track record is certainly magnificent: American Society of Perfumers’ Lifetime Achievement Award in 2004, the first ever title of Master Perfumer by International Flavors & Fragrances in 2013, and a 2014 Perfumer of the Year Lifetime Achievement Award from The Fragrance Foundation. As Edward set out to create his fragrance collection what set Carlos Benaïm above the rest was his innovative mind, conceptual approach, and true passion for the elusive craft of perfuming. To Edward, the beauty of sight, scent, sound, ideas, memories, and emotions are all inextricably interconnected. He felt it was essential that he partner with an expert artist that shared this perspective if his creative concepts were to be brought to life. Benaïm had the ideal combination of artistic intuition and technical skill to intimately understand Edward’s abstract inspirations and transform them into perfumes.
In an interview with The Fragrance Foundation, Carlos Benaïm once recalled the scent of orange blossoms from his childhood in Morocco. “It is a smell I will forever associate with certain thoughts and feelings; an olfactory invocation of an atmosphere. This unique marriage of immediate sensory information and all that it evokes — that is my palette.”
Synergy in Scent
There’s a special kind of invigorating chemistry that occurs when two complementary minds meet and create something together. From the first moments of the project, Edward and Carlos shared that unique creative spark as they worked in tandem to develop their olfactive creations.
They started by exploring Edward’s concepts for La Femme Bohème, Spanish Veil, and Genre. Together, they walked in the land of feeling and fantasy, painting impressionistic images of the intangible. Once the vision was captured, the two got to work seeking the perfect symphony of ingredients to express those ideas via scent.
Edward trusted Carlos to lead the way, deferring to his experienced hand and natural instinct. As the fragrance began to emerge from fantasy to reality, he was deeply inspired and enervated by the creative experience of shaping each scent with an accomplished master at the helm.
After a significant period of careful refinement, the three fragrances were finalized, and Edward had the unrivaled joy of wearing the completed submissions. Each is a deeply personal expression of a different treasured memory, a moment of wondrous communion with the multifaceted nature of beauty, its culmination in scent. To physically enjoy these complex impressions brought to life was the work of years, and the reward of unabashedly pursing passion.