Behind the perfume : between history and creative process

Meeting with Amaury Bernard at BnF (Bibliothèque nationale de France)

This month, meeting with Amaury Bernard.  The successful candidate for the Per Fumum Endowment Fund’s grant on the history of perfume in the 20th century.

More accustomed to a research environment focused on contemporary history, Amaury Bernard, since March 2023, has been applying all his mastery to the elaboration of a catalog raisonné on the history of perfume in the 20th century.

Despite his proven applied research method, which he was able to draw on during his thesis, he confesses: “Undertaking this rigorous research work represents a new intellectual and scientific challenge for me“.

We have a first marking: the definition of key terms, useful concepts and concepts that will be mobilized to write this catalog raisonné” – by these words Amaury Bernard reveals that this preliminary work makes it possible to identify the key ideas that will be used to classify the works listed in the catalog. This first step is fundamental because it provides a solid framework that ensures clarity and a good understanding of the subsequent reading of the document. After having determined all the subjects concerned within the various departments of the BnF, he regularly exchanges with the scientific committee in order to refine the guidelines to follow. 

The committee is composed of its Conservative tutors and members of our endowment fund.

When asked about the major themes emerging from his initial research, he replies, “I’m still in the early stages of trial, but the themes will depend on what we find and what’s in the collections and archives“. Amaury Bernard evokes the history of the senses, techniques and society associated with perfume at the time in order to structure his research. This gives him an overview before embarking on an in-depth exploration of the BnF archives. Classification by theme is a crucial step in guiding his work and giving it a clear, relevant direction.

JUNE, 2023

Source : Gallica.bnf.fr

Read the exclusive interview with Amaury Bernard on www.fondsperfumum.org : here.

Also worth discovering! With the kind and friendly permission of the author, Clara Molloy’s book 22 perfumers, a creative process is available for free consultation on our website.

A virtual library has been created for the occasion, giving you free access to the precious works online.

We invite you to follow all our news on our website www.fondsperfumum.org by subscribing to our newsletter here or on Instagram @fondsperfumum. Please do not miss the opportunity to support the Per Fumum Endowment Fund in its missions by making a donation. For any question, send your mail to contact@fondsperfumum.org.

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