Unlike other fragrance suppliers, International Flavors & Fragrances Inc. never had a master perfumer — until now. And he is Carlos Benaim.
During his more than 45-year career at IFF, he has created a string of landmark fragrances, including the original Polo green by Ralph Lauren, Euphoria and Eternity for Men by Calvin Klein, Herrera for Men by Carolina Herrera, White Diamonds by Elizabeth Taylor, Very Irresistible Givenchy by Givenchy, Prada Amber by Prada, Armani Code for Women by Giorgio Armani and both Flowerbomb and Spicebomb by Viktor & Rolf.
“Carlos’ creativity and mastery has been recognized in the industry for many years,” said Nicolas Mirzayantz, group president of fragrances at IFF. “In addition to his extraordinary success in the marketplace and his strong relationships with customers at all levels, Carlos has also coached, mentored and inspired generations of IFF perfumers. Carlos is truly a master perfumer in every way.”
Perhaps the greatest tribute came Monday evening, when Mirzayantz hosted a dinner in Manhattan for about 25 fragrance division employees, most of them fellow perfumers, to pay tribute to Benaim. He had expected to be roasted, but it turned out to be very friendly fire, indeed. Mirzayantz related a story that Pablo Picasso once told about a conversation he had with his mother, who said to him: ‘If you are a soldier, you will become a general. If you are a monk, you will become the pope.’
“Instead he was a painter and he became Picasso,” Mirzayantz observed. “The same applies to Carlos. Instead he chose to be a perfumer and became Carlos Benaim.”
The IFF executive went on to praise Benaim for being the first to embrace innovation — even before it was a buzzword — for being quick to mentor the young. Nor did he dodge hopeless assignments. Mirzayantz recalled how once, when was young, he went after an account that everyone in authority told him was a suicide mission. Benaim joined him, doggedly fighting for a year, until they finally prevailed and won.
For much of its history, IFF has had chief perfumers, beginning with Ernest Shiftan, who founded the department, followed by the legendary Bernard Chant. But there have never been master perfumers among the rank and file. The company now defines them as “perfumers who have consistently challenged themselves and the company to take the art of perfumery to the next level; they are paradigm shifters who have developed trendsetting fragrances; and they are individuals who also have demonstrated leadership within the company.”
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews
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Quenum, creator of the fashion blog “J’ai Perdu Ma Veste,” was a fashion week fixture, and regularly shot for New York magazine’s The Cut, among other outlets, and brands such as Louis Vuitton, Moncler and Adidas. He was also actively involved in the #NoFreePhotos initiative, which kicked off in the fall. Read more about Quenum in @kbsmoke's story on WWD.com. #wwdnews
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