Jean Carles is a legend in the perfumery world, not just for his creations, but above all for the impact of his professionalism on the Company he worked for, Roure Bertrand, and for the whole Fragrance Industry because, as well as creating for famous stylists, he can also be proud of having trained under his guidance a whole generation of perfumers.
In fact the training method he created has influenced and continues to inspire Schools and Training Institutes. The main principle upon which the Jean Carles method is based is that the creator must “imagine” the olfactory effect of his composition before even beginning to realise it. The practical translation of this philosophy is the cross study of the raw materials. The apprentice perfumer must learn to recognise each raw material in association with others, at first with odours within the same olfactory sphere, then with any type of odour. A principle which, with the necessary modernisation, has been applied by the Givaudan International School since 1946.
Jean Carles was also the mentor of famous perfumers, among whom Marcel Carles and Jacques Polge. Curiously, it is said that he preferred to teach students who didn’t have a specific preparation in chemistry, privileging above all creativity. This information comes from Monique Schlienger, at one time his student, now perfumer and founder of Cinquième Sens, a training Company whose pedagogic process is inspired by the teaching method of Jean Carles.
It’s impossible to know how many modern fragrances owe their creation even indirectly to the work of Jean Carles. What is certain is that Carles also owes part of his fame to the development of “bases” for fragrances, useable as if they were a single ingredient, known as “coeurs” in fragrance jargon.
Among his many successful creations we can recall: Tabu Dana (1932), Canoé Dana (1935), Indiscret Lucien Lelong (1935), Shocking Elsa Schiaparelli (1937), Elle...Elle... Lucien Lelong (1937), Tailspin Lucien Le long (1940), Ma Griffe Carven (1946), Orgueil Lucien Lelong (1946), Tout Lelong Lucien Lelong (19..), Miss Dior (with Paul Vacher) Christian Dior(1947).
Incredibly, during the last years of his life Carles lost his olfactory sensitivity, something which only a few people knew of, but thanks to his great experience and profound knowledge of raw materials, he managed to continue his activity of creating fragrances.
Guy Robert remembers him in this way: “He was a sort of organisational genius. All that has been written in the presentation of his method is true: he never wrote down the formula of a fragrance without already knowing what it would have smelt like, which helped him in his old age, when he was suffering from anosmia.
His experience was based on incessant work, an infallible nose and a deep knowledge of an enormous number of raw materials … His conception concerning the use of patchouli in counter-point to carnation accords created a true style in the perfumery … His famous accords are universally known, because he was very generous with his knowledge. He was doing business with clients who were also friends and often his old students!...“