The story of iconic perfume by their perfumer

They are called L’Eau d’Orange verte, Cool Water, Pour Homme or Black, iconic perfumes that have marked the career of their perfumer-creators. They tell us the story of these perfumes…

“L’Eau d’Orange Verte”, by Hermès, was created very quickly. When Françoise Caron received the brief, it was an evidence for her and she took pleasure in creating the accords that perfectly matched the client’s expectations. A fresh perfume for the morning, which wakes up and puts in a good mood, she confesses that she created it as if it was for her. 

At the release of this Cologne, she confesses in the testimony filmed for Héritage(s), her joy at this success. Canvassed, like movie actresses, she received many requests for creations.

However, Cool Water by Davidoff is a bitter story, for its creator Pierre Bourdon. After having been refused the formula eight times before reaching the worldwide success we know, this perfume was originally designed for Lancôme before being finally proposed to Davidoff. For the latter, Pierre Bourdon, who had almost destroyed the formula, had, with the complicity of the marketing project manager, been inspired by the film “The Big Blue”, only to rename it “Cool Water”. Planted in a Los Angeles setting, it became the best-seller in Germany for 20 years and was the best-selling men’s fragrance in the world for 15 years. It also propelled its creator Pierre Bourdon to the rank of a highly respected perfumer in the profession.

Jérôme Di Marino’s career was launched by Daniel Hechter’s Black. He was then under the supervision of Francis Kurkdjian, his mentor, who entrusted him with this project for which he confided that he had difficulty gaining the trust of clients, who considered him too young for such a mission. But the success of the perfume was there and in addition to twisting a few preconceptions, allowed Jerome Di Marino to embrace new projects in his name. 

From left to right : L’eau d’Orange verte by Hermès, Cool Water by  Davidoff, Black by Daniel Hechter and Azzaro For Men

It is not Gérard Anthony, who will contradict Françoise Caron, when he tells us that the meeting with the customer is sometimes essential to translate his olfactory expectations. In the story of Azzaro pour Homme, he tells us that the original fragrance was almost rejected by the client, before knowing its identity and immediately rectifying the formula. Thus, accords evoking the Mediterranean and Tunisia were added, making this formula the iconic fragrance that Azzaro pour Homme has become.

The stories of our iconic fragrances reveal that their formulas were not always obvious to customers before being offered to the general public. 

In perfumery, success is also born from the virtuous combination of human encounters, audacity and timing.

Find exclusive extracts from the testimonies of the great figures of Perfumery on the website of the Per Fumum Endowment fund. You can also contribute to the constitution of this important intangible patrimony for the heritage and the future of Perfumery by making a donation to the Per Fumum Endowment Fund. All the answers to your questions on the website or contact us on

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