Perfumes have had a powerful effect on people the world over for thousands of years. Their unique scents evoke memories and inspire feelings.
Many fragrances of recent decades have now disappeared, but at a special place in France, their memories live on.
The Osmotheque of Versailles, captures a fragrance’s magic memories in bottles.
“The Osmotheque is an archive, a world archive of perfumes. It’s a living archive because we have old perfumes and also perfumes which were very recently launched on the market,” explained Patricia De Nicolai, Parisian Perfumer.
It is the only international archive of perfumery and has a collection of 4.000 scents created from mid 1800’s until today. The archive is in constant touch with perfume companies.
“We ask companies to entrust to us as soon as they can the new perfumes that they launch on the market because once the perfume is kept at the Osmotheque we know we have it and we can continue to piece together this history of perfumery,” added Patrica De Nicolai.
The Osmotheque keeps the original formula of hundreds perfumes, which is a list of 20, 30 or even 40 chemical ingredients that are put together in specific doses to create that particular scent.
But the perfume companies never release the actual recipe of their scent – that remains confidential.
“It’s a heritage that shouldn’t disappear. The perfume’s juice will get spoiled, deteriorate and disappear one day or another. On the other hand what remains is the formula, the perfumer’s creation,” said Segolene Rolland, Perfume Evaluator.
Fragances are stored under special conditions so that their original scent can last as long as possible. Like artworks in museums they are kept under a certain light and at a particular temperature in what is the first and only historical world library of scents.