Something Old, Something New

Image for Something Old, Something NewNot currently available on BBC iPlayer

Episode 1 of 3

Duration: 1 hour

Today, all perfumers face the same challenge: how to make their fragrance stand out in a market crowded with product. We spend a year with two very different perfume houses as they attempt to win over the next generation of consumer.

In Paris, the ancient house of Guerlain looks outside the family for the first time for its next perfumer-in-chief. But Thierry Wasser has to tread carefully - adapting the iconic fragrance Shalimar for the 21st century without upsetting the old guard. When esteemed head of the family Jean-Paul Guerlain lands himself in hot water with a racist remark, the slow transfer of power is dramatically accelerated.

Meanwhile at Estee Lauder in New York, executives are devising a mass-market fragrance for designer Tommy Hilfiger. Getting the concept and packaging right is as important as important as the smell. But will buyers get this liquid rendition of rock and roll?

More episodes

See all episodes from Perfume
  • Photo: Jean-Paul Guerlain

    Photo: Jean-Paul Guerlain

    Jean-Paul Guerlain was the last family master perfumer. He created Guerlain's classic men's fragrances Vétiver (1959) and Habit Rouge (1965). He also created Nahéma (1979), Jardins de Bagatelle (1983), and Samsara (1989), as well as Héritage and Coriolan in the 1990s.

    Read more about the House of Guerlain
  • Photo: Thierry Wasser

    Photo: Thierry Wasser

    Thierry Wasser was appointed as the in-house perfumer of Guerlain in 2008.

    Read more about Thierry Wasser

Credits

Director
Ian Denyer
Director
Ian Denyer

Broadcasts

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Added. Check out your playlist Dismiss