Perfumer Story

Frank Voelkl [Fragrance(s): Amber God, Dream Box, Amber God Scent Note]

Photo: Frank Voelkl
“A strong belief in your own ideas and the power of beautiful materials give fragrance its soul”

Born in Bonn, Germany, Frank spent his teenage years in Paris. He became captivated by the perfumes his mother selected in a shop on the rue de Rivoli: “always chypres,” he recalls. During these formative years, Frank learned about the Institut Supérieur International du Parfum (ISIPCA), School of Perfumery in Versailles, France, which he attended after earning a degree in chemistry. After graduating in 1991, he studied under two perfumers whom he considers “mentors”: Arturetto Landi at Haarman & Reimer (known today as Symrise), and Maurice Roucel. From the former, he gained an understanding of olfactive structures and families. From the latter, he learned about systematic simplicity and the methodology of balance needed to create from a blank page.

A New Yorker since 1995, Frank is fascinated by the emotional power of an urban setting such as Manhattan. He finds inspiration in the city’s juxtaposition of the old and new. It is a motif that he tries to carry over to his fragrances, which he strives to keep simple and uncluttered: “Every detail must have an absolute reason to be there,” he says, “the challenge is to balance ingredients in a perfect way.” He favors fragrances that are mystical and rich, such as voluptuous florals and amber notes, which he used in his first fragrance, Tiaré by Chantecaille, a sensual perfume that was also a love letter to his wife.