Meet Maison Berger's Nose
My obsession with Maison Berger fragrances is well documented! I can’t get over how unique they are—more like perfume for the home than a one-note air freshener. When I learned that one master perfumer, Aude, is behind these amazing fragrances, I wanted to know more about what she does. It’s so rare for a brand to have their own in-house perfumer! Hailing from the world of body perfume, Aude is responsible for stewarding Maison Berger’s scent aesthetic. I was able to reach the “nose” of Maison Berger in France to chat about what makes Maison Berger’s fragrances so special.
How does one become a perfumer?
After a master's degree in organic chemistry, I trained at a prestigious fragrance and cosmetics institution at ISIPCA, for two years before completing my studies with a master's degree in marketing and management at ESSEC. After interning at Lancôme, Rochas, and Gucci, I worked at Guerlain for eight years before I came to Maison Berger Paris.
How long have you been a perfumer at Maison Berger Paris? It’s so unusual for a brand to have their own in-house perfumer! I’ve only heard of luxury body perfume brands doing this.
I arrived at Maison Berger in November 2007. I'm about to celebrate my 15th work anniversary! The position moved in-house with me; before my arrival, fragrance development was entrusted to an outside consultant. So far in my tenure at the company, we’ve developed 600 different concentrates!
As the in-house perfumer, you put your stamp on every fragrance. Do you work from a brief? How much latitude are you given in each fragrance’s creation?
I’m lucky to have freedom when creating fragrances! I write the olfactory briefs myself. Based on the current trends in home décor, I imagine fragrances to enhance different collections. These new fragrances must be novel, while fitting the DNA of the Maison Berger brand. For instance, we are releasing the Honey Gourmand and Hazelnut fragrances at the end of this year. Both are gourmand, sweet fragrances developed around trendy and seasonal ingredients.
What inspires you?
I travelled the world with my parents when I was young, touching down on every continent. I continue this adventure with my own family. Anything can inspire an idea for a new fragrance! Take caviar lime, for example. This ingredient is very trendy in cooking, and it inspired me to create an extremely tonic, crunchy, green fragrance with elegant bottom notes. Tonic Lemon works like an Eau de Cologne with a lively, sparkling, and surprising elegance, to harness that explosive impression of lime caviar pearls.
How do you view your sense of smell? Were you just born with this secret superpower?
It’s not a superpower, unfortunately! It took daily training to forge my nose over time. I don’t think I’m gifted, but I do know how to recognize a beautiful, well-balanced fragrance that tells a story consumers identify with. Fragrance is not one of life’s necessities, but it does enhance one's daily routine! It is a way of experiencing pleasure and well-being. I am so lucky to play a part in bringing this pleasure to others!
You’ve shared your inspiration behind the Tonic Lemon, Honey Gourmand, and Hazelnut fragrances. What are some other fragrances we can look forward to?
White Cashmere was inspired by the Astral collection to be very soothing and cottony. This is a pure fragrance of infinite white—extremely elegant. Fireplace, on the other hand, is a warm evocation of an evening by the fire. This sweet and friendly scent subtly combines the smell of caramelized marshmallows with the warmth of smoked cedar crackling in the fireplace.
I loved learning more about Aude and getting the scoop on what’s in the works at Maison Berger. Which fragrance are you most excited to try?
Martha Slocombe is a translator and copy writer who lives in Montréal, Canada with her husband, two sons, two cats and dog. She started writing for Maison Berger in 2020 and quickly became a huge fan. Martha’s favorite fragrances include Winter Joy, Lavender Fields and Ocean Breeze. When not running after her family, Martha can be found reading, gardening and baking. Her favorite fragrances in her garden include rose, lavender and lilac.