Perfume has been a part of David Benedek’s life since he was a child. Born in Paris in 1989 to a father of Romanian origins and a mother born on the border between Algeria and Morocco, David Benedek grew up in the world of perfume. His paternal grandparents, exiled from Transylvania, arrived in Paris in the early 1950s, where they soon found their calling in selling scented products and went on to open their first boutique in the city, on the corner of Rue Royale and Rue Saint Honoré, near the gardens of the Palais-Royal, in 1959.
A lover of knowledge, David Benedek credits his understanding of the history of perfumery and his thirst for creation to his grandmother, Édith. Although he knew perfume was his calling, in 2007, he attended Paris Dauphine University and ESSEC Business School in 2009, where he studied Economics. After which, he spent time in both Beijing and New York, to further his education. He eventually moved back to Paris in 2012, where he took up a place at the French Institute of Fashion, specializing in perfume and cosmetics. Over the course of more than a year, he learned to recognize principal raw materials, as well as the fragrance families and their qualities and perfected an understanding of the steps necessary for the creation of perfumes. During his time at Givaudan, the world’s largest fragrance and flavor company, Benedek familiarized himself with the subtleties of perfumery. It was this passion that transformed, little by little, into a deep need and yearning, one that ultimately became his vocation. With this in mind, in 2012, David Benedek decided to enroll at the Cinquième Sens Institute, where he developed his distinct olfactory universe.
BDK Parfums was born in 2016 out of a love for perfume, the result of family expertise and an irrepressible desire to provoke emotion through creation. Since its inception, BDK Parfums has been creating perfumes with immense personality, evoking feelings, and enabling the mind to run freely. The creative process is never rushed; new scents are complete when the perfect equilibrium between note is found, and the alchemy is perfect.
Tanja Beljanski: What excites you about Perfumery?
David Benedek: One of the main reasons I decided to create perfume, is to make people feel even more sensual. I think we wear perfume for ourselves and for others. The beauty of the raw material that composed Ambre Safrano will help with that. We used the amazing quality of woods and vanilla.
TB: What made you decide to start a brand?
DB: Perfume has been with me since my childhood. I remember the bottles I used to draw in the living room of the apartment where I grew up. The house of BDK Parfums was born in 2016 from a love for perfumes, a family expertise and an irrepressible desire to provoke emotion through creations. Since I was a child, I spent time in my parent’s perfume shop which allowed me to have a big perfume culture of perfume. I grew up in this world. It made me very curious, and that is why BDK Parfums is exploring many olfactory directions but keeping the same signature.
TB: What part of being part of a perfume brand do you enjoy the most?
DB: Without a doubt, what I like the most, is the creative part. BDK Parfums consists of a small team of amazing people, and I am still handling both parts, business and creative.
“When I imagine a new perfume,
I think about
colors and textures.”
TB: Which are your favorite notes to work with?
DB: In all my perfumes there are certain ingredients that I like to use to keep having the BDK signature in all the perfumes even though they are very different from each other. I love to use warm raw materials such as sandalwood and a touch of vanilla. Musks are also very important for volume and projection.
TB: Which is your most favorite creation?
DB: At BDK Parfums, I tried to work in different olfactory directions because I always wanted to speak to everyone. The idea behind the brand is that everyone can find his own BDK signature scent. But I have some which I like to wear myself such as Gris Charnel and Creme de Cuir. I think they are very sensual, and addictive and they have in their top notes this fresh spicy start that I love so much. I find myself very sensual wearing these ones, so they have a special place in my heart.
TB: What inspires you to create the perfumes you create?
DB: Since I was a teenager, I was also passionate about painting. I used to paint a lot and I think I kept some reflexes when it comes to perfume. When I imagine a new perfume, I think about colors and textures. I need this abstract approach to be able to choose the olfactory direction I want to go.
“I love to make
people feel even more sensual.”
TB: How do you like to wear fragrance?
DB: I love to wear fragrances directly on my skin and also on my clothes; especially during the winter in Paris — on my scarf.
TB: What was the most surprising thing you learned while creating the scents?
DB: The most surprising thing I learned was that there is no truth in creation. There are unlimited possibilities. You are the one who knows and feels when the perfume is ready. Sometimes you need to explore different directions to understand that the previous ones were more balanced and wearable.
TB: What’s your earliest fragrance memory?
DB: My grandmother Édith used to have a beautiful apartment with a nice terrace. She loved flowers and I still remember the bloom of the flowers during Spring. It had this nice floral fresh smell there; a joyful smell that I associate with the memory of my beloved grandmother.
TB: Are you a signature scent type of person or do you prefer to switch it up?
DB: Before launching BDK, I was very loyal to the perfumes and brands I was wearing. Since then, I’m always working around new smells, so I am wearing a lot of my trials. It’s a bit hard sometimes because I feel that I don’t have my own signature scent. Maybe, as a perfume creator, it is not my goal anymore to have one for me, but to create perfumes for my customers. If they are happy with it, it was worth it!