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Choosing Perfumery Over Art Or Research: Véronique Nyberg

Véronique Nyberg is a senior perfumer at IFF’s Paris office

Véronique Nyberg

Véronique Nyberg

She could have become an artist or researcher. But destiny put absolutes and essential oils in the path of this Doctor in Organic Chemistry and changed everything. As passionate about cooking as she is of abstract art, Véronique Nyberg likes all forms of cultural mixtures.

From botany to chemistry

Born in a small village in the Alps, Véronique’s grandmother was an expert in botany and passed on her passion for plants. Awakened to the perfume of wild flowers and concoctions of wild grass, Véronique’s easily recalls the fields of narcissus, enchanted under woods, and the streams with their enormous bouquets of iris. She finally turned to science, threw herself headlong into chemistry and rediscovered her love of botany. After ten years of relentless study she became a Doctor in Organic Chemistry.

Early on in life

Very early on, the young chemist became a trainee in Grasse where she was a raw material quality controller for a perfumer. Drawn like a magnet to this new profession, she tried to launch herself on the road to becoming a ‘nose’ but since she didn’t have the right training she continued with her doctorate.

With her new diploma in hand, chance put her on the right path when she joined the Dutch site of IFF as a chemist. During her training by IFF over the next year she discovered all the restraints and demands of operational perfumery. Picking up the thread of her dream of becoming a perfumer, she was chosen for the IFF perfume school and returned to Grasse.

She would dress in a boiler suit, and peel and husk raw materials, pick jasmine and even extract absolutes! It was in New York that Véronique made her first fragrance and discovered all the pleasures of creation. Back in Paris, Dominique Ropion took her under his wing for two years so she could finish her training.

Happy Spirit Bouquet d‘Amour by Chopard

Happy Spirit Bouquet d‘Amour by Chopard

Molecular Gastronomy

Completely self-taught, Véronique Nyberg follows her instinct when she cooks. Armed with spices and daring, she experiments with unusual combinations and never follows a recipe. She has worked closely with the flavourists at IFF. She says,“They opened up unexplored territories for me like new sweet and salty savors. So many things to learn which also help feed my imagination as a perfumer. It’s thanks to them that I learned that a hint of sandalwood is indispensable in the creation of a lychee harmony. Watching them you understand that the most essential thing about taste notes is to make the mouth water.”

The importance of art

Guided by her emotions, Véronique has always been attracted by art in all its forms. Since she was 12, she has been drawing, painting and sculpting and takes advantage of every trip she makes abroad to attend a new evening course. This is how she got initiated to pottery, mosaics and watercolours in New York. “Drawing helps me recuperate and think about new olfactive creations” she admits. Admirer of Rodin, Camille Claude, Monet, Gauguin and also of Picasso, the perfumer also likes to meet young and unknown artists. “Just like cooking, I love mixtures of colours and textures. Perceptive contrasts which really inspire my every day work.”

Olfactive obsessions

It’s probably in the Alps that she developed her fascination for the green notes that she is so fond of and uses as top notes in perfumes. “Flashy, fluorescent, almost shocking greens.” Her favourite materials to work with include white flowers like orange blossom or jasmine.

Invictus by Paco Rabanne

Invictus by Paco Rabanne

SOME OF HER PERFUMES:

Treffpunkt 8 uhr by J.F. Schwarzlose

Make B by O Boticario

Forever Sailing by Moschino

Miss Aura by Swarovski

Exotic by Jimmy Choo

Invictus by Paco Rabanne

Swiss Unlimited Snow Flower by Victorinow Swiss Army

Fun Sensation by Adidas

Happy Spirit Bouquet d‘Amour by Chopard

Rajasthan by Etro

Armani Code Luna by Armani

Secret Mission by Baldessarini