Jean Pierre Subrenat, co-chairman of the organizing committee for the World Perfumery Congress.
The business at hand, however, was serious -- the global nature of the market; its impact on the future of perfumery; the legislative, intellectual and aesthetic concerns of the worldwide fragrance industry; and the implications of the new technologies.
Ferdinand Storp, general manager of Drom Fragrances International gave a thought provoking paper, "Perfumery Creation and Cyberspace." He acknowledged that the leap from industrial age to information age has brought fundamental changes in many societal structures, some which directly affect perfumery. Since human beings are moving about in virtual environments to ever-greater extents, what happens when reality becomes increasingly artificial for us? In defining Cyberspace, Storp includes theme parks, the Internet, computer animated worlds, cinema, home entertainment and virtual environments. He points out that "it is not a question of technology but rather how we perceive technology... On the macro level it is a global event, on the micro level an individual one... Taking account of individual emotional needs is a perfumistic key to the future. Because information is becoming global, a retreat towards the self and, therefore, to individual emotional states, is taking place."
Storp envisions a world where technology can lead to more effective methods for introducing fragrance into artificial environments and cautions: "the more we use visualization, the more we have contact with computers, simulated experience, media flooding and artificial environments, the more important honesty and integrity will become. Scents and odor must be assessed in terms of how well they fulfill these requirements... the experiential value must be classified as real... and scents are the emotional key to successful illusions." A virtual environment which smells artificial leads to negative emotions. His message to perfumers is to be natural: "In a world of increasing artificiality it is the mission of perfumery to provide emotional …