Master Perfumer, Firmenich
Master Perfumer Harry Fremont is accomplished and successful — a man whose deep-seated memories of his childhood in the South of France continue to influence his thorough enjoyment of all that life can offer.
Harry arrived in New York in 1990 with his wife and three young daughters, at once beginning a new chapter both for him and for Firmenich as this was the year that the company opened its Creative Center in Manhattan. The first fine fragrance perfumer based in New York, Harry played a pivotal role in the development of the company’s reputation in this all-important segment. He is also the only perfumer to have won the International Prize from the French Society of Perfumers two years in a row, an impressive credential that Harry continues to build upon year after year.
As a young boy, Harry loved to watch as his father worked — painting, sculpting, even building his own home. From him he learned that hard work and an inherent love for what we do are essential qualities that make it possible to create beautiful things. He tells us: “My Dad’s extreme talent with his hands — for building anything — taught me what you can achieve when you work hard; that anything is possible to create as long as you have the will and the imagination to do it.”
Always fascinated by the extraordinary beauty of flowers, herbs and trees, Harry has dedicated much of his free time to becoming a knowledgeable and talented gardener, and this innate love and appreciation of nature has helped him a great deal in his career as a perfumer. His interest in high-quality natural ingredients has also inspired many of his fragrance creations.
But for Harry, the world of beautiful fragrances is nonetheless grounded in the realities of the market – with consumers and clients at the forefront of his mind. He feels strongly that an excellent fragrance must have character, signature and its own recognizable aura. It must surprise without being overwhelming. Harry doesn’t believe in compromise when it comes to beauty and quality; to him these are equally important aspects of his work which he strives to experience in each of his creations.
There is another aspect of his life that Harry prizes: his time to relax and rejuvenate.
Each day, upon returning to his home in Mamaroneck, New York, Harry enjoys an important ritual. Winter and summer, spring and fall, he enters his garden, collects branches and underbrush, and lights a small fire which he quietly watches as it burns and slowly dies out. This soothing and sensual personal sanctuary provides a rhythm and counterpoint to the hectic demands of his career. Harry insists on the importance of taking quiet, private moments to revitalise himself, creating harmony and meaning in a world that can often be cacophonous and demanding.
Harry lives by the credo that creativity is nourished by personal experience, so he tries to absorb everything around him to inform his fragrance work. He is constantly attentive, whether it be to his wife and daughters (all of whom have inspired successful creations!), to passers-by in the streets, to closely observing the most recent trends.
But the true “formula” to Harry’s phenomenal success is that he values high quality, warm relationships, and the heat and sustenance of a daily private retreat. Above all, he never forgets that, like his father, he is blessed to create with his hands — and his heart — every day of his life.