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Perfumer's portrait: Heidrun Harder

Nose Interview : Vol.3

Hello everyone! We were more than happy to have the beautiful Heidrun answer our Soft Interview! An original route and especially an immense talent that made us all crazy about the fragrance Georges et Moi.


Can you introduce yourself to our readers?

My name is Heidrun (I always blamed my parents) Harder (Perfumery second generation). I have a husband and three children (adorable) and lots of years of experience in perfumery (which I do not regret a day). I am an individualist but I love working in a team and especially sharing my expertise.

What was your first contact with the world of perfume?

Perfumery accompanied me since my childhood.

My father worked as a perfumer and odor researcher. I grew up in a small town in Germany where half of the population worked at Dragoco and the other half at Haarmann & Reimer. On my way to school, I walked through the smell of vanillin - sometimes - unfortunately - onions.

I loved drawing on the white paper that my father brought to his work, it smelled like an attracting and mysterious world...

My most vivid memories are accompanied by very specific smells – from an age that I have no thought of becoming a perfumer myself. But ISIPCA’s lessons from 1992 to 1994 in the class Yves Saint Laurent showed me quickly that perfume was a passion - for me and for others.

And the desire of creating and managing olfactory ideas have never left me since.

Can you tell us what were your inspirations to create the fragrance of this Soft Perfume?

I've always been fascinated with chypre notes which are vibrating by contrast balsamic, woody and fresh notes that are never innocuous. Jean-Claude Ellena (note: former Hermes Nose) created a fantastic chypre around vetiver, the magnolia and grapefruit. This combination is very masculine and I wanted to add to this harmony floral and sweet notes such as rose, iris and peony to create a perfume which is expressive and tender. The result is "Georges et Moi," a rare perfume that I wear myself.


Soft Perfume Georges et Moi, 22€

Do you have a favorite fragrance or smell?

I always liked the scent of mimosa blooming in abundance in Britain - a passion I share with the entire Franco-German family.

What would be the impossible scent to recreate in a fragrance for you?

The sense of smell, old as it is, is very conservative and is closely linked to the subconscious. Perfumes too "abstract" will not pass.

At ISIPCA, a young German colleague created a composition called "Blood and tears” which was supposed to illustrate war ... it can only remain an interesting attempt ... Nowadays perfume - even with a provocative edge - must bow to the rules of aesthetics. The immanent purpose of a fragrance is to make the consumer more attractive.


Are there any commodities you are particularly fond of in your work?

Magnolia (from 20 years!), Davana, Basilica, Clary Sage, damascones.

What advice would you give to someone looking for his signature scent and who is loosing himself before the immensity of the proposed options?

Today the choice is abundant and it’s difficult not to be lost. The only advice I could give is: stay true to yourself - do not pay too much attention to what everyone is wearing - go to colors and textures that are appealing to you and stay open to new experiences.

What scent do you appreciate on others but not on yourself?

I like to smell amber fragrances, greedy and white flowers, but I'd feel as if I were disguised if I wore them.


In your opinion what is the delight of a perfumer and his biggest challenge?

As in the design, perfumers often work on request and for orders. I developed the idea of the perfume "Georges et Moi" for my own pleasure - and there is nothing more beautiful than to share this pleasure with your clients.

The biggest challenge is to motivate yourself to always go further and try new paths.

What motivates you in your job and what is your motto in your private life?

Debuting in the perfume industry, I had the opportunity to work a few weeks in Singapore and a Chinese colleague took me to a temple. The advice that I found there for me was: If you fail, try again!

I often think about it and nothing is more true for perfume! Unfortunately, we move forward by making mistakes.



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