Jacques Polge doesn’t need introduction. You may not recognize his face but you will surely recognize his creations – he has created some of the most seductive and alluring perfumes of all times. He is one of the best perfumers in the world and the fact that he’s been working for Chanel since 1978 proves that.
Like other perfumers, he has something in common with Grasse, France, where he was enchanted by the scent of jasmine in the air, when he spent the summers there as a child. Grasse was where his apprenticeship took place as well. Born in 1943, he says that the place where he spent his childhood had great influence on his decision to become a perfumer.
Here’s what he recalls of his childhood: “I grew up in the South of France, near Avignon. I would go to Grasse for the summer with my family, and go to Cannes to swim in the ocean. From Nice to Cannes, to Grasse was a garden when I was a child. There were fields of rose, jasmine, violets, and orange blossom. It was the birthplace of perfumery. When you approached Grasse, you would smell the jasmine. Now you don’t, because there is much less production here, but then, flowers were everywhere.”
He took a degree in English and literature at the university and his true love of poetry explains his vision about perfumes: “For me (a perfume) – it’s a poetic form… It’s a very peculiar way of expressing things, of saying things without using neither words, nor image – something which is invisible… And at the same time because it’s invisible it’s so strong. Because for instance a woman wears a perfume, then she disappears. What remains of her is her fragrance.”
In one of his interviews he even compares a perfume to a language: “I liked the idea, the poetic idea that fragrance is a kind of language. It doesn’t use words. It doesn’t use images. It’s invisible. All these attributes, for me, made sense.”
We can only imagine where his career would go if he followed his love of poetry. Here is his beautiful explanation of the similarity between poetry and fragrance: “I am a lover of poetry. What would reality be without its poetic dimension? Even if you do not read poetry, it plays an important role in everyday life. I am a lover of fragrance, and fragrance is a form of poetry. It doesn’t speak, but it gives so much.”
We should all be thankful he chose to follow his nose rather than his pen in his career, ever since he started working for Chanel, he has created some of the best selling Chanel fragrances, including Chanel No. 5 (EDP version), Allure, Antaeus, Egoïste, Cristalle Eau Verte, Coco, Coco Mademoiselle (EDP, EDT, Parfum), Chance, Les Exclusifs series, Chanel N°5 Eau Premiere, Bleu de Chanel, etc. What’s more, he put his genius into reviving some of Chanel’s lost and never realized fragrances from the past.
In one of his interviews he reveals the secret of successful Chanel product development and marketing strategy: “… we don’t want to create too many new things because often new fragrances replace the old ones… We want our fragrances to complement each other, and to last. When we create something, we’re always looking to the long term, we never do anything just for the short term.” He also shares that the most difficult (and the longest) part of the perfume creating process is finding a name for the new perfume (as most names are already taken).
Here are some of the perfumes created by Jacques Polge that you will find in our website:
- Chanel Coco Noir EDP for women
- Chanel Coco Mademoiselle EDT for women
- Chanel Allure Homme Sport Eau Extreme EDT for men
- Chanel Allure Homme EDT for men
- Chanel Bleu de Chanel EDT for men
- Ungaro Diva EDP for women
Are you a fan of Jack Polge’s perfumes? Which one is your favorite among them?