Excellence in Perfumery
We are a community of creative entrepreneurs, yet our history extends over 220 years intersecting nature, chemistry, and culture, elevating perfumery into an avant-garde art form—from one historic first after another.
From the formulation of vanillin—the first synthetic molecule—to the creation of de Laire bases, Symrise has developed some of the most profound building blocks of classic perfumery. And we have maintained this spirit of innovation today, as the No. 1 producer of the most exquisite and sustainably sourced raw materials.
Through the collaboration of our “community of creative entrepreneurs,” including some of the world’s most renown master perfumers, Symrise has developed signature scents for many of the world’s most iconic fine fragrance brands and has garnered many accolades including 40 Fragrance Foundation Awards (FIFIs). This tradition of partnership is being instilled in the perfumers of tomorrow through our Perfumer’s Academy. And we’re sharing our knowledge with the world through our fragrance genealogy—a classification of fine fragrances—creating a common language for scents.
All in the mission to deliver better living through scent.
With a rich and diverse history that stretches back to the 1800s, Symrise has created and developed some of the most widely used processes and ingredients that have profoundly influenced the trajectory of modern perfumery. It started with the first synthesis of vanillin from coniferin in 1874 by Haarmann & Reimer. No longer dependent on the farming and shipping of vanilla, creating beautifully memorable scents was suddenly affordable, as sourcing became consistent and reliable, with Haarmann & Reimer continuing to advance the production of vanillin for the next 100 years.
In the late 1800s, experimentation was everywhere and France was no exception. In 1878 chemist Georges de Laire created a new type of base, which served as the foundation of haute perfumery and has inspired many of the world’s most iconic fragrances. These bases consisted of the newly available synthetic materials such as Vanillin mixed with precious natural raw materials.
In 1889, his iconic deLaire base Ambre 83, containing synthetic vanillin and exquisite natural materials including vetiver, patchouli and jasmine, led to the creation of Jicky de Guerlain, the oldest continually produced fine fragrance in the world, which is still sold today. But de Laire didn’t stop there. Fabriques de Laire became an important source of synthetic aroma chemicals, bases and finished fragrances that defined their eras, utilized by the houses of Guerlain, Rochas and Chanel.
In 1987, Florasynth, a niche fragrance house was acquired by H&R, contributing a long legacy of crafting iconic fragrances such as Charlie by Revlon, Joop!, and Bel Ami by Hermès. Guided by an overwhelming belief in creativity above all, Florasynth’s ethos lives on through our perfumers collaborating with each other for the greater good, striving to develop the most beautiful fragrances possible. Further advancing the fragrance formulation process, Florasnyth purchased the rights to de Laire bases in 1985, providing unlimited access to these iconic formulas.
In 2003, Symrise was born by the merger of Haarmann & Reimer (H&R) and Dragoco, both based in Holzminden, Germany, to create the company we are today.
Always looking towards the future, our master perfumer teams continue to explore the boundaries of fragrance, collaborating to create new de Laire bases for the fragrances of today, ushering these iconic and essential bases into the modern era, and bringing new opportunities for cutting edge creativity."
We collaborate to create. Symbiosis is in our DNA. The work of our perfumers is made inimitable by their partnership with each other. And it is intensified by their liaisons with artists, chefs, scientists and experts in the realm of vitality.
We blend the master with the millennial. The expert with the idealist. Our “community of creative entrepreneurs” consists of 70 passionate and highly creative perfumers spanning 14 nationalities, across 11 countries, totaling 1300+ years of combined perfumery experience, inspiring one another to expand their horizons, push boundaries, and explore the edges where convention and creativity collide.
We invite you to meet our perfumers, learn what inspires them, what they love. See the world through their eyes, and experience what is essential to their creativity.
For the past 50 years, the future of fragrance has been here at Symrise. Our industry leading Perfumery School has trained master perfumers like Joachim Correll, Elke Dörrier, Dirk Braun, Clito Hödicke, as well as other prominent perfumers throughout the industry.
And now the masters are transferring their talent to the next generation. The School in its new 2+2 form was re-launched in 2007 for our creative centers in the US, Mexico, Brazil, France, Germany, Barcelona, Dubai Singapore, China and India. Since then, 22 young perfumers have completed their training at the academy—and all of them have become successful in their respective product categories and regions.
The program is intense. Yet, after two years in the Holzminden classroom and an additional two years of international study, each newly anointed perfumer will have acquired a profound knowledge of fragrance raw materials, bases and basic accords, as well as a deep understanding of Fine Fragrance archetypes and complex accords. Moreover, this exposure to different cultures helps deepen the perfumer’s understanding of other markets and consumers, as well as begin to influence their creative style. As they learn to intersect nature, chemistry and culture, the science of fragrance is elevated into an innovative art form.
In 1974, a perfumer at Haarmann & Reimer, a predecessor company, set out to classify all the fine fragrances on the market based on their olfactive attributes. This undertaking became the standard fragrance genealogy–and an entirely new and unifying language for the industry at large. Now whether it be a woody floral or an aromatic fougere, there is a basis for the way fragrances are defined that’s accessible to everyone, not just the perfumers themselves.
This treasure trove of knowledge and information was updated in 2006 to modernize it for the 21st century, adding a genealogy of personal care scents plus those of more functional products like laundry detergents and household cleaners.
By having this living history of fragrances, we can easily identify the most appealing scents within a particular market as well as trends that lead us to a most fascinating future.
Discover the breadth and depth of global fragrance history at: http://symrisegenealogy.com/