It was during her chemistry studies, which would have very wisely led her to the engineering profession, that Fanny Bal discovered the path of perfumery. The thunderbolt is immediate and the decision to become a perfumer is irrevocable. Since then, this passionate young woman continues to demonstrate her determination.
Born in Lyon, Fanny begins his post-baccalaureate courses in this city. After two years of IUT of chemistry, she seeks for more creative alternatives. As soon as she hears about ISIPCA, Fanny is determined to integrate the school and is admitted in the famous formulation Master fragrances after her degree. During her study program, the young apprentice is fostered at IFF to work on the fragrance’s performance. From the laboratory, her horizon becomes clearer and obviously confirmed her vocation to create fragrances.
When I first met Riccardo and Alessandro, I felt a great connection, because they are as passionate as I am. We are talking the same language and sometimes we don’t even need words to understand each other. It was very easy to work with them, as we directly agreed on an olfactive direction for this new Scene, built around Vetiver, a raw material that we both love. In my creation, I have used a large amount of natural vetiver, as Riccardo and Alessandro wanted to pay homage to this beautiful material. I was very excited to be part of the Masque experience, as I love the concept of the opera and the different acts, which have different inspirations each time.EDP: HEMINGWAY EDP: MADELEINE
There is no doubts perfumery has arrived by serendipity to me: I was on the path to become a pharmacist, as my family heritage; then during a period spent in Kerala studying Ayurvedic plants, I got in contact with some local producers of essential oils and I was captured and seduced by the mysterious and sensual smell of Sandalwood. I decided to investigate further and the curiosity become an interest and the interest a passion. This is when I decided to pursue my dream and attend the prestigious perfumery school ISIPCA in Versailles. This allowed me to make the first step in the wonderful fragrant world enriching my preparation. After that I have been selected for an internship in the Netherlands within IFF, where I learned the dynamics of the industry, the technical side of perfumery and the team sprit needed to reach higher objectives; later I had the opportunity to move to France, Paris where the pulsating heart of perfumery is. During those years I got in contact with the greatest masters, grasping their aesthetics and signatures shaping my artistic vision in fine fragrances: I made great treasure of the experiences lived. Recently I reached the south of France where the historical womb of perfumery is and in Argeville, thanks to the compelling in-house capabilities and the well esteemed internal palette of natural ingredients, I have the possibility to express myself in different olfactive ways offering to each person a whimsical perfumed life. I love my job because I can learn on a daily base and I focus my attention on perception and intuition, sillage and intimacy, simplification and faceting.
With Alessandro and Riccardo we originally met at the very beginning of our careers sharing values, visions and perspectives. Time passed and one day we agreed it was time for us to join forces and build a fragrance together. The objective was to create a modern floral with a retro touch evoking the great Victorian age. The creativity process was instinctive and we kept as a gravitational point, the extraordinary Narcissus Poeticus: multi-faced challenging material, a royal fragrance itself and ideal to interpret our ambassador Dorian Gray. To adorn his personality the opening bursts with Absinth, Orange Flowers and Angelica ideal to recreate a dandy’s touch; then it develops into a sumptuous hedonist bouquet counting on Violets, Narcissus and Hyacinths; later it moves into ambiguous ambers, decadent woods and civet. We wanted to exemplify the duality of this narcotic flower with the gentle white petals, delicate looking and the deep green, animalic side. The result is a polarized fragrance, vertically elegant, distinctive in character. Its name is Romanza, a floral poem.EDP: ROMANZA
I was meant to become a perfumer, as I was literally born inside the industry. Indeed, the story of my family business goes back to nearly one century: my grandfather established the company back in 1925; later on, my father resumed and expanded the work of the company from 1975 onwards.
I was trained, of course, in the in-house lab, surrounded not only by the best possible advisor – my father! – but also by a brilliant team of perfumers.
When I’m not travelling across the world, which is quite often, I’m putting my nose into work in order to create new fragrances, new smells and new sensations. Frequently I land into a new city, reach the hotel and get a parcel full of sample to be evaluated.
I work to send a feedback and wait till my next destination to get again a new set of samples with all the modifications on the projects I’m working on. My business trips are not only to visit customer: I also source my own ingredients all over the world, I love to get lost in the research of unique quality ingredients.
My deep knowledge of high-quality natural materials, such as oud, the current “black gold” of the perfume industry, was the first object of discussion with Alessandro and Riccardo: thanks to the common passion for naturals, we immediately established a good rapport with each other.
Later on, different perfumes and projects made our careers happily cross again, as we shared a creative and artistic approach to the industry.
At the beginning of 2016, Alessandro, Riccardo and I definitely joined forces in the Mandala project, a myrrh and incense perfume creation, which is a truly spiritual journey through the sense of smell.EDP: MANDALA
All or nothing… it was always obvious to me that I would one day become a perfumer. Passion – although the word is not quite strong enough – had always been there, but it was perfume more than anything else that I was fascinated by. As vital to me as the air that brings them to life. My itinerary includes a Chemistry degree before enrolling to ISIPCA to obtain a Master’s degree in the famous school in Versailles, and several internships in perfume composition.
I am a Perfumer in my own rights since 2016. Never giving up, a total believe in my vocation, I am a defender of free and daring perfumery, not afraid of dark and mysterious materials, always in search of their true power. I build a specific experience in Asian markets, and to me the world is the horizon and painting is an endless source of inspiration. To me, materials come together in a fragrance like on a canvas, to arouse emotions and feelings, faithful to a style that prefers achieving the beautiful than pursuing perfection.
Creating Love Kills for Masque was a great experience, as working with Alessandro and Riccardo is very particular. The first time we met, I did not know what they wanted and I made them smell proactively a scent around rose, which is one of my favorite raw materials. I was totally surprised and impressed, when – minutes later – I found out that they had in mind the idea to create a rose, so we directly aligned on that for our project.
However, the idea they had of that rose was very different from the usual way I like to work it. I used to make white transparent rose, dewy and fresh, but they wanted a more dense and animalic rose, with a velvet touch, where also the thorns were essential. We even talked about the image of a dried rose, almost decadent. This is also something I really liked the first time we met. The way we talked about materials, touch and synesthetic feeling that allowed us to understand on every detail of our creation.EDP: LOVE KILLS
My background is certainly uncommon for a nose. I define myself “aromatario”, a “speziale”, a researcher of olfactory memory.
I am a chemist, and graduated in Erboristical Techniques at the School of Pharmacy of the University of Parma, I spent my youth among plants and trees, quiet havens where nature expresses itself at its culprit.
The human experience of anthropology and etno-botanic, in Marocco and Turkey, fostered my passion for the Arabic world. Hence the love for aromatherapy, and the almost instinctive entrance into the world of perfumes.
The poetic pyramid, followed by the olfactory one. This is my belief, smell before perfume, poetry before molecules.
I worked with Alessandro and Riccardo in a timeless fashion, letting written words getting hold of me, in order to understand every olfactory direction, every scented cue.
I stepped on the stage of Masque, interpreting the existential act of the Opera – what every person carries along, for an entire life – trying hard to find into the Lights and Shadows a meaning, an olfactory sign.
Still only knee high to a grasshopper, Bruno was already jumping over the neighboring fences – just as he would any future obstacle – to steal roses to make his own concoctions. Already in pursuit of new odors, he put his nose into everything, including the aromas of his mother’s dishes simmering on the stove before they were even ready to eat. In the course of his budding sensorial fantasy, Bruno even went as far as renaming his family: his father became Chamomile, his mother Violet and his grandmother Rosa.
Bruno discovered a whole new world the day he came across the profusion of different perfumes on show at the big department stores. “I was with a friend who came away with a bottle of Fahrenheit in his pocket while mine were full of miniature bottled samples. I had suddenly discovered a universe I had never imagined existed that I wanted to belong to. Every day, while everyone was at the canteen, I went back. The salesgirls would say “What would you like to try smell today? And I would leave with as many samples in my pockets as olfactive discoveries in my head.
Later on, he got hold of the Dictionary of Perfumes, his “Bible” that he knew off by heart in less than a year. His baccalaureate C under his arm, Bruno took a degree in Physics and Chemistry with one objective in mind: the ISIPCA. Although the careers advisor tried to dissuade him. Proselytism paid off: two friends took the entrance exam with him. But it was Bruno who came second out of 900!
For Bruno today is already tomorrow. “The immediate wake of a fragrance is too ephemeral to be interesting to me.” An aesthete, who works out everything intellectually.EDP: TIMES SQUARE
I was born and bred in a family of perfumers: when I still was a child, thanks to my father and grandpa I had the chance to develop a keen sense of smell. I first stepped in to a Lab when I was 16 – and that really was like entering into a magical kingdom. I was literally overwhelmed by the allure of raw materials and the mysterious alchemy through which they mingle, so I resolved to dig deeper into such a unique and wonderful world.
Unlike most other perfumers, I had the opportunity to go through an individualised training – just the way it was “once upon a time”, when this job was handed over from father to son and the well-kept secrets shared with a very narrow circle of lucky few. My first mentor has been Françoise Marin, perfumer and teacher in one of the most coveted “école du parfum”. She taught me how to memorize thousands of raw materials with the Jean Carles method, to concoct accords and fragrances, and to study the history and evolution of perfumery. Some years have passed and now – just as then – my only goal is to create beautiful fragrances, able to convey my passion for this scented universe and to donate moments of bliss to people wearing them.
As soon as I started reading the first lines of the brief, I was convinced that no other raw materials could express the feeling of “L’Attesa” (The Wait) better than the precious iris. I wanted to make sure that the nuances of this noble material were present since the opening till when the curtain falls on the last basenotes.
One of the most beautiful moments of the creation process was meeting with Alessandro and Riccardo. It was in particular Riccardo which, thanks to his Sommelier expertise, after introducing the first “scene” of the Third Act of their scented opera, illustrated the true champagne smell through an actual bubbly tasting. The three of us were enticed by the idea to recreate for the first time the smell of yeast, which would have created a bitter yet intriguing counterpoint to the floral, earthy and poudrè facets of iris, eventually exalting it. After many an attempt, I managed to track down a very peculiar raw material – Beer CO2 – perfectly reproducing the smell of yeast, which of course I employed to recreate a realistic Champagne accord. I decided to employ Italian iris absolute – a rare and utterly precious raw material, stinging and powdery, which enhances the smell of yeast since the opening headnotes – as well as Italian and French iris concretes, much more buttery, which boost the richness of the floral heartnotes and smooth the milky-woody, leathery and musky basenotes.EDP: L'ATTESA
I think meeting Riccardo and Alessandro was an immediate understanding and respect of each other’s poetic approach. I was impressed by the strength and coherence of the universe they had created, I had smelled their amazing previous creations, and wanted to be part of their story. Like film directors, they told me I might fit a casting they were doing for their brand, looking for a perfumer to express the role of Russian Tea.
The force of Masque is that the fragrance is more than a composition, it is a story telling and an acting experience, interpreting a given role, where the game of the actor is only relevant if played with conviction and inspiration.
Russian Tea is a journey, a day spent in Russia with a boiling Samovar, reining in the house as the center of socialization and sharing. The black tea smell is strong, diffusing all around the house. It also evokes the journey of the tea through Siberia, taking the smell of campfires, and transportation in harsh conditions, interpreted by woody and leathery notes. The fresh mint leaves blend incredibely well with the smokiness, and the hint of raspberry and cinnamon that sweeten the bitterness of the tea.EDP: RUSSIAN TEA
While studying perfumery at ISIPCA, I completed my knowledge in raw materials and perfume creation with master perfumer Jacques Polge at Chanel. Once graduated with great honors, I entered IFF as a perfumer where I spent 6 years between New York, Paris and Mexico. After other 6 years at Mane, in 2007 I resolved to create my own company: “Inspiration Libre”, to rediscover the intimate and craft character of my job, between artist and “artisan” and to work hand in hand with my clients in a direct relationship with no intermediary.
When I first met with Alessandro and Riccardo, I was immediately seduced by their individualities and their artistic and inspiring fragrance project. It has really been a pleasure to embark on a creative journey with no compromise in terms of originality, refinement and quality.
Creating Terralba I was inspired by my trekking vacations in Corsica when, descending the rocky mountains, I could catch sight of the deep blue sea far away. Smells of shrubs, herbs and resins, typical scents of Mediterranean landscapes such as myrtle, juniper and lentisc; as well as the saline scent of the sea, the sand and the seaweeds. This weightlessness feeling is what I expressed in Terralba, a lighthearted fragrance in which I also decided to use a difficult while fascinating raw material, the curry-leaf absolute for its bitter herbaceous and resinous lasting note.
The idea of recreating the “smellscape” of Montecristo – leathery and rum notes, the used playing cards scent, the tobacco leaves and the fireplace – carried me away for a pure inspiring moment. As I so much love old stone houses, I endeavored to recreate the soul of the old stone villa which shelters this deep intimate moment in the fragrance, with mineral mossy wall notes, and animalic notes such as goldenstone – one of my favorite raw materials.EDP: TERRALBA EDP: MONTECRISTO EDP: DOLCEACQUA
I graduated from ISIPCA, I was trained for four years in Robertet, at first in Grasse, then in Paris. I was still a trainee when I created my first fragrance. In 2011, I decided to found my own company, and to set up my laboratory in Paris, in order to be able to dedicate my entire time to working freely as an independent perfumer. That’s how I have created more than twenty fragrances for various brands of the niche perfumery market.
In addition to that, I have developed an artistic project with an illustrator, leading to an exhibition, which took place in Paris then in London in 2013: the objective was to correlate 6 visuals and 6 perfumes, in perfect harmony. One of the two universes gives birth to the other, then reverse: paint brush following olfactory narration, nose lead by sketch.
I really liked Riccardo and Alessandro’s vision, they consider the perfumer as an artist, playing a scene in an opera through a fragrance with a soul. The atmosphere, the passionate “mise-en-scene” of Tango immediately inspires me to give birth to a warm and sensual perfume.
I have Corsican and Italian roots, but I was born in Paris. My childhood between the Corsican shrub and my artistic Parisian «Rive Gauche» family sphere stimulated my creativity. Fascinated for a long time by the huge power of the smells and the perfumes, I was been awarded in chemistry and by the famous ISIPCA perfumery school of Versailles. Having begun my career in Milano then in Grasse, the world capital of perfumery, I came back to Paris to work with senior perfumer of the House Jean Patou. Now, being an independent perfumer, I can explore unexpected olfactive universes for various Houses, transgressive or institutional. I play piano, and I compose my perfumes always looking for the right balance like in musical scores. Passionate by perfumes with rich and generous forms, I dedicate myself in the musicality of the smells and I am receiving growing recognition in the world of the Parfumerie d’Auteur.
I started working with Riccardo e Alessandro 4 years ago, and it’s a great pleasure to be working with them. We share the fascination for smell and perfumes powerful influence. To create a fragrance for MASQUE Milano means entering in a world of sheer creativity. I have total freedom in the choice of raw materials. Riccardo e Alessandro never feared excess. For Kintsugi they insisted to increase Magnolia absolute, bringing it to a level of concentration which I find revolutionary. At the end, the combination between Ambergris, Patchouly and Magnolia donates a wonderful fragrance, certainly one of my favourite creations.EDP: KINTSUGI
“I love playing with overdoses and creating paradoxes, trying to find unexpected associations between ingredients.”
I was immediately interested in working on the concept of mimosa because on a personal level, mimosa was a flower completely foreign to me before I arrived in Europe. I first discovered this flower intimately during my perfumery studies in Grasse. I was always in awe of the never-ending golden hills of blossoming mimosa in Tanneron, a small town near the coasts of the Côte d’Azur. I always wondered why there were so few mimosa centered fragrances created in the history of perfumery. During my years of sharing my passion for perfumery, I also discovered that I was not alone and that many people had little notion of this flower – this was truly an “alien” flower for many people in the world. I sought to find the context to tell the story of this flower. Call it kismet or destiny, this brief gave me the opportunity to do it.
During the briefing process, the word “neon” was the color tone MASQUE Milano wanted for their perfume. The idea of a bright golden, orange neon mimosa became the image that I wanted to translate.
Mackenzie is a deeply sensitive person. She is gifted in many creative fields. She developed these multiple artistic talents at a young age, as a way to express her understanding of the world, which never seemed quite aligned with what the teachers were expecting from her: “I always thought differently than others. When I was a child, it was obviously considered a problem then. For example, when I took a test, I usually gave answers that were technically correct but not the answers they were looking for. It was not on purpose. I was and I am still a very dreamy person; I get lost, I lose things, I am late … Fortunately, I was exposed to a lot of creativity because of my family background and, from a young age, I was encouraged to be creative. I played many instruments, did visual arts, like painting, drawing, design … I wanted to be a fashion designer for a minute, always taking these art forms very seriously but never really finding that one thing that rose above the others. Almost like if you love so many things, how can you be so serious about one of them? But then I found perfume, and it was very clear.”
Working on this project with Alessandro and Riccardo was a great adventure. I loved the challenge of creating an elevated gourmand fragrance for the niche world. Masque Milano hadn’t really done a gourmand before and it can be a delicate territory for a high-end luxury brand. The challenge was to create a fragrance that would be delicious, addictive and comforting, while still being intellectual, intriguing, and highly qualitative. We had meetings in New York City and Grasse, both in the office and in the fields. It was important for us to smell raw materials together and do some gourmand tastings of interesting flavor combinations and unique desserts for inspiration. We had many interesting brainstorming sessions on how to tell the story of Lost Alice & her mad tea party, on how to distort proportions, disrupt familiar notes, and create something that would take the wearer on a journey through the looking glass.
– Mackenzie Reilly
Mackenzie works and lives in NY so our first contacts happened via email. We could finally arrange a meeting in Grasse in January 2019.
After a morning spent in IFF plant in Grasse, smelling fragrances and wonderful raw materials, we headed to lunch and finally, after toasting to our nascent collaboration with an excellent, full-bodied red wine (that Mackenzie picked from the wine list), we introduced our project of an Alice-themed fragrance, and asked Mackenzie if she liked the idea of immersing herself in the Alice character. “My friends call me Alice” was her eloquent answer!
– Alessandro Brun and Riccardo TedeschiEDP: LOST ALICE