Scent & Care | Corporate

— Portraits of anosmia sufferers by photojournalist Eléonore de Bonneval
— Fragrances created by Symrise perfumer Evelyne Boulanger
— Interactive exhibition in Bordeaux to be followed by global roll-out

In early Summer 2014, Eléonore de Bonneval is presenting her exhibition on anosmia. In Bordeaux at the French University Hospital, the photojournalist shows the role the sense of smell plays in daily life and the lives of those affected by anosmia. Symrise perfumer Evelyne Boulanger created the fragrances for the interactive presentation.

Anosmia is to smelling what blindness is to sight or deafness to hearing. It is a severe disability which is known only to a few. For those affected genetically or accidentally, it means a total or partial absence of olfactory guidance. Deprived of the olfactory sense, one can feel socially isolated and lose the taste for life.

From April to July 2014, Eléonore de Bonneval is presenting her exhibition “ANOSMIA: Lives Without a Sense of Smell” at the French University Hospital of Bordeaux (France). Symrise has created the fragrances for the olfactive journey that is part of the exhibition to illustrate the importance of smell.

“We support this exhibition because it fits perfectly into our mission Because We Care,” says Anne Cabotin, Vice President Scent & Care Sustainability at Symrise. “At Symrise, we are fortunate to live in a world of fragrances and flavors. It is part of our everyday mission to deliver the most inspiring scents and delightful tastes to our customers. Smells have the extraordinary power to bring back the most intimate memories in the emotional context in which they were perceived and memorized. Some people suffer from anosmia and don’t have this ability.”

The photojournalist Eléonore de Bonneval demonstrates the importance of the sense of smell in everyday life. Symrise perfumer Evelyne Boulanger created accords for the first section of this interactive exhibition where visitors are invited to challenge their olfactory memory. Four scented universes were established: Memories and Emotions, Taste and Flavours, Breathing Space, and Social Life.

In Memories and Emotions, visitors are encouraged to identify a clean cosmetic note inherent to baby scents, a dry-woody scent that brings back school memories and evokes the sharpened pencils, or a lavender note that reminds many of a summer holiday in the Provence.

Tastes and Flavours includes the smell of cotton candy that instantly brings back memories of a magical day at a carnival.

Breathing Space treats the visitor to the smell of fresh-cut grass in the spring and a seaside composition that provides the nose with solar freshness.

Social Life surprises with everyday impressions of smells – a morning “café au comptoir” or ashes from the chimney. It also demonstrates how most people are affected by partial anosmia by having a special scent which people will refer to as a powerful odor from urinals while many others won’t smell it.

Once consciously aware of the importance of their sense of smell, visitors are invited to enter into the second section of the exhibition. A glasshouse where Eléonore manages the balancing act of making the absence of a sense of smell visible through moving testimonials and photographic portraits of anosmia sufferers.

Symrise perfumer Evelyne Boulanger: “Through our fragrances, we create beautiful and timeless emotions some people unfortunately cannot smell. That is why Eléonore has inspired me immediately with her passion for this project. With these evoking scents, I want to show what is lost to people suffering from anosmia.”

About Anosmia

Anosmia affects five percent of the population according to Professor Ludovic Le Taillandier, ENT at French University Hospital of Bordeaux. The loss of the sense of smell may appear as an early sign of a degenerative brain disease such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. It can also occur after suffering from severe head trauma or from inflammatory diseases of the nose and sinuses such as nasal polyps. Some people simply never recover from a flu or cold virus.

Smell plays an important role in social interactions and its loss may have important psychological and physiological consequences. Although research on anosmia is on-going, there is a major lack of awareness about this medical condition.

About Eléonore de Bonneval

Eléonore de Bonneval is a photojournalist, graduated from the Masters MIPC of the ISIPCA, the Institut Supérieur International de Parfums, Cosmétiques et Aromes alimentaires, and obtained an MA in photojournalism and documentary photography from the London College of Communication.

For her project on anosmia, she combined both her passions for smells and photojournalism. She created a documentary about anosmia, the lack of a sense of smell, as well as an exhibition in London, where she lives.

About the exhibition

From April 10 – July 18, 2014 (9 AM to 6 PM)
Centre François-Xavier Michelet | ENT Service
CHU de Bordeaux | Groupe Hospitalier Pellegrin | Place Amélie Raba-Léon | 33 000 Bordeaux

About Symrise

Symrise is a global supplier of fragrances, flavorings, cosmetic active ingredients and raw materials as well as functional ingredients. Its clients include manufacturers of perfumes, cosmetics, food and beverages, the pharmaceutical industry and producers of nutritional supplements.

Its sales of € 1.830 billion in 2013 place Symrise among the top four companies in the global flavors and fragrances market. Headquartered in Holzminden, Germany, the Group is represented in 35 countries in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, the United States and Latin America.

Symrise works with its clients to develop new ideas and market-ready concepts for products that form an indispensable part of everyday life. Economic success and corporate responsibility are inextricably linked as part of this process. Symrise thus takes sustainability into account in every part of its corporate strategy. DQS certified Symrise as a “Green Company” in 2013.
Symrise – always inspiring more…

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