The Best Perfumer

El mejor perfumero

Legend has it that after the French Revolution, taking advantage of the new times with the disappearance of the Old Regime, a perfumer from Provence set up shop in Place Vendôme in Paris. He unveiled a flashy sign that read: “the best perfumer in France.” Such a provocation left the local perfumers bewildered and extremely worried. If the best perfumer in France was already established, there was little space left for them.

After much contemplation, a daring perfumer from Rue Rivoli decided to move to Place Vendôme, just a few storefronts away from the presumptuous “best perfumer in France.” He chose a location with large windows and placed a carefully crafted and prominently displayed sign that proclaimed: “the best perfumer in Paris.” The rest of the competitors saw their reputation sinking further, as now they had to compete against the best in Paris, who even surpassed the best in France.

Amidst all this, Brochez Saavedra, the son of a French mother and a Spanish father, born in Fauburg du Temple on the outskirts of Paris in 1772, who had learned the art of perfume alchemy in his maternal uncle’s laboratory from a very young age, eager to be independent, soar on his own, and create his own masterpieces – what we would now call an entrepreneur – rented a space in Place Vendôme. He inaugurated his business with a grand sign that proudly declared: “the best perfumer in this square.”