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The art of Olivia Giacobetti – October 12, 2016

Image - - Olivia Giacobetti by Guillame Luisetti, 2001

“Oh look, here’s a pic of that Van Gogh I saw in Amsterdam.”

“Uh huh. Nice. Have you seen the new Picasso exhibit at the Art Gallery yet?”

We’re used to talking about painters and sculptors and photographers, and have no trouble calling up their distinctive styles in our mind’s eye, but what about the artists that create invisible art? If you’ve read this blog for the past few years you’ll know that Gwen and I make it a point to learn about the noses, the perfumers, the artists who create the beautiful scents that we write about.

We‘ve learned to recognize their distinctive styles, their signature accords that make their scents so uniquely appealing, at least to us, and we’ve done this by sniffing and smelling and comparing – a lot. One of our favourite perfumers is Olivia Giacobetti. It was two of her scents, Dzing and Idole, that lured us back into the world of perfumes and lit the flame that re-ignited our perfume obsessions.

Some noses come to the profession as a second career, but for Olivia Giacobetti being a perfumer was a career she decided on at a very young age. Daughter of famed French photographer and filmmaker Francis Giacobetti, Olivia decided at the age of nine to become a perfumer after seeing Yves Montand portray a “nose” in the French romantic comedy ‘Le Sauvage’. She never wavered from her decision.

By age seventeen she was working for Robertet, by age twenty-one she had signed l'Artisan Parfumeur's Premier Figuier.  At twenty-three she had worked with Jean-Paul Guerlain on the creation of a children’s fragrance called, Petit Guerlain. Over the years she has created scents for Hermès, Diptyque, Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle, Penhaligon's and L’Artisan as well as her own house IUNX. Currently she is the creative director at Parfums Lubin.

Giacobetti is an artist with a totally unique signature – she zeros in on notes in a minimalist style, and yet wraps them in nuances that are unexpected and beautiful. She never disappoints, and always amazes.

Here are some of our favourite Giacobettis that can be worn by everyone – click on the links to read our stories. Four spicy, four floral, all different, and definitely worth trying:


Fou d'Absinthe – L’Artisan Parfumeur - bitter and spicy, warm and deep

Idole – Parfums Lubin - spicy and boozy, warm and seductive

Tea for Two – L’Artisan Parfumeur - smoky and spicy, rich and exotic

Costes – Hotel Costes – herbal and spicy, casual and elegant


En Passant – Frédèric Malle – green lilacs in the rain, absolutely swoon-worthy

Tilleul – D’Orsay – an ode to the linden tree - grassy and sweet, airy and hypnotic

Vamp à NY - Honoré des Prés - “green” tuberose with a hint of rum and coconut, exotic and feminine

Safran Troublant – L'Artisan Parfumeur - aromatic saffron and rich rose, creamy, soft, and sensual