Master Perfumer, Firmenich
Honorine Blanc is a woman who combines an undeniable personal strength with the sensibility of a true artistic spirit. She does not smell her fragrances – she feels them.
Born in Beirut, she spent her earliest years there; her character was molded by its dynamic, refined culture. She went on to study in Paris where she first entered the world of perfumery. An offer to be taken under the wing of Master Perfumer Sophia Grojsman brought Honorine to New York and she never left.
Honorine loves to take time alone to collect her thoughts and take in the world around her. She escapes through books – she is a voracious reader. “Women who read are dangerous…!” she says with a mischievous smile. In fact, her book choices are eclectic and intriguing and help explain just who she is: among her favorite authors are Stefan Zweig and Khalil Gibran. She escapes through her pastime of sailing: on the open seas she feels utterly free. And she escapes through art: Honorine loves to travel and visit the world’s greatest museums, finding that “Art is emotional — vibrating with energy and modern beauty.” She is particularly moved by the enigmatic works of Gerhard Richter and by female nudes whose bodies and curves touch her heart with their imperfections.
But when it comes to her work Honorine herself is a perfectionist. She wants to create fragrances that are “themselves imperfect and addictive, filled with new ideas, tensions and emotions. Understanding imperfection helps me create new structures and textures.” She is passionate about communicating what only perfume can – in ways that transport us with the simplicity and clarity of their structures – layering in the intangible sensuality and addiction that make a fragrance great.
Honorine particularly loves creating without the boundaries of a project, thriving on the chance to take new risks and make a new statement. “I don’t believe in rules when I am working on a fragrance. I want to liberate myself and free my mind to explore new territories. This is when I am able to be the most creative.” Like her fragrances, she is vulnerable, questioning, provocative — and very much alive.
And so it is that Honorine’s perfumery puts us in a delicious state of intoxication, desire, freedom and fearlessness. When asked what defines her as a perfumer she says, “I love challenges, and I demand a lot of myself. My biggest fear is to wake up one day with no new ideas to create. Living on the edge of this fear is my own personal abyss – dangerous and delicious. It exhorts me to reach for something more. I love what I do! ”