Cool, Calm And Collected – Dominique Ropion

The perfect poet, discerning connoisseur, Dominique Ropion is an oxymoron all of his own 

Dominique Ropion
Dominique Ropion

Star perfumer at IFF, Dominique Ropion is master of his art and still modest in spite of his success. Dominique Ropion received the International Perfume Award in 2008, and was appointed Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres in 2012.

An awakening of the senses

Dominique Ropion says amused, “Even as a child, I could smell everything, even a handshake! I saw the world through its odours more than its perfumes.” Indeed, its ironic for a Parisian who grew up with a mother and a grandfather who both worked for Roure in Argenteuil, one of the most important perfume companies of the 20th century. “I was very much aware of the profession very early on but the idea only came to me much later. Even though I worked many summer jobs at Roure, once I passed my baccalaureate, I decided to study physics and become an engineer.”

The discovery of a vocation

Ysatis by Givenchy
Ysatis by Givenchy

The opportunity which made Dominique Ropion one of the great contemporary perfumers, was a training course at the end of his studies in the chromatography department at Roure. He had been asked by Jean Amic, the President at the time, to join the company’s school of perfumery. “I was told this profession was a journey of patience and learning and that fit me like a glove. I met Jean-Louis Sieuzac and Pierre Bourdon (the company perfumers at the time) : everything was set up for me and I let myself be convinced.”

What happened afterwards is almost history – three years of training in Grasse, followed by a job as a junior perfumer at Roure in Argenteuil. With his first project came his first success and Dominique was able to demonstrate his talent with home fragrances and then hairspray and shampoo. He proudly remembers them as important steps in his career. “Quite a few technical difficulties and not many raw materials, it was very interesting and extremely educative. I even made a toilet cleaner based on a famous women’s fragrance which I was very proud of!”

Luck put him in the spotlight again at the beginning of the 80s. One of his submissions was chosen at the end of a particularly challenging competition by Givenchy and this perfume, Ysatis, was to become one of the stars of the brand. Suddenly at 27, the young perfumer became famous – “The doors were flung wide open for me in the world of perfume and I had suddenly become part of an elite! “

The art of approach

Following 12 years with Roure and 10 years with, Dominique Ropion joined the IFF Fine Fragrance team in 2000 in Paris. A breath of fresh air, a new creative momentum, he was able to further his already famous know how and his craftsman’s approach, making longer his list of. “I like the idea of working with perfume as an olfactive form, like a sculptor or an architect….. Going to the core of a scientific study of the make-up of a natural raw material and then suddenly being seduced by its beauty all over again is a great satisfaction for me”, says this discreet epicurean with that intellectual air he has about him.

Manifesto L’Elixir by Yves Saint Laurent
Manifesto L’Elixir by Yves Saint Laurent


Manifesto L’Elixir by Yves Saint Laurent

La Vie Est Belle L’eau De Parfum Légère by Lancôme

L’homme Parfum Intense by Yves Saint Laurent

Enchanted Golden Absolute by Chopard

Brit Rhythm by Burberry

Paris Premières Roses by Yves Saint Laurent

Oriental Collection: Suprême Bouquet by Yves Saint Laurent

Code Summer For Women 2013 by Giorgio Armani

Flowerbomb Velvet Sensation by Viktor & Rolf

Invictus by Paco Rabanne

Happy Spirit Bouquet d‘Amour by Chopard

Flowerbomb la Vie en Rose 2013 by Viktor & Rolf

Alien Aqua Chic 2013 by Thierry Mugler

Acqua di Gioia Eau Fraîche by Giorgio Armani

Very Irrésistible Electric Rose by Givenchy

Oud Malaki by Chopard

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