This French perfumer uses some of the the world’s rarest and most expensive ingredients to create Amaffi perfumes

Currently based in Paris, Feisthauer welcomed CNA Luxury into her artistic Montmartre home, located along the same row as Spanish artist Pablo Picasso’s first studio in the city. Her three-storey apartment is a cosy trove of paintings and books. There is a gorgeous roof-top terrace filled with pots of herbs and vegetables that Feisthauer uses in her cooking. On a clear spring day the terrace offers splendid views over the neighbourhood with the cupolas of the magnificent Sacre-Coeur Basilica peeking in between buildings.

As we settled down to tea and cookies, Feisthauer shared how she came to work for Amaffi, a project that has given her access to the who’s who of ingredients in perfume-making.

“It is a project like nothing in the world,” declared Feisthauer, who was creating scents for luxury brands like Cartier, Versace and Azzaro as well as multinational FMCG companies Givaudan and Symrise for over 35 years before starting her own company Lab Scent in 2014.  “Many clients say there’s no limit in price but there always is. Only Amaffi has no limit, it uses the absolute best.”

To date, Feisthauer has created more than 20 fragrances for Amaffi, using natural ingredients such as agarwood oil, absolutes of champaca, iris, narcissus as well as hard-to-obtain rose centifolia from Grasse. Absolutes are the most concentrated form of fragrances in the form of highly aromatic, oily mixtures. These are typically extracted using a solvent such as hexane or ethanol compared to the steam distillation method used in most perfumes.