The Lost Art of Natural Animalic Fixatives, a Conference at l'Osmothèque {Scented Paths & Fragrant Addresses}


L'Osmothèque are organizing a lecture on Les Fixateurs Animaux or "Animalic Fixatives" by Bernard Bourgeois on May 14, 2013. The technical title reveals a questioning about their gradual erasing from the perfumer's palette from the 19th century until today where the combined "pressure of the medias and politics" has made them be obsolete...

As in other areas of the legislation regarding perfumery, glaring inconsistencies appear when comparing the tolerance demonstrated towards food products admitting animalic substances, and perfumes where they have come to be seen as unacceptable either due to fear about contact dermatitis or the humane treatment of animals. If you think that people daily ingest, and not just smear their arms with, animalic products, you can ask yourself the question of the cultural and economic construction of taboo animalic ingredients in perfumery. I don't know if this is what the lecturer has in mind, but this is certainly the question I raise myself.

Another question I have in mind is the relationship between the relative scarcity of these animalic products, the need for synthetic substitutes and the altogether negative dynamic of nearly 100% editing it has generated over time.

In an era when natural perfumery is experiencing a new level of interest and eco-conscious agricultural and animal husbandry methods are developed, it is perhap not impossible to foresee a return towards high-quality animalic ingredients. But first, we must understand why there is such discrimination towards the practices of perfumery as opposed to those of the agro-alimentary sector, and inject more political consciousness in a field which has shunned it. This is not to defend a naturals-only position, but to be able to have access to new, natural ingredients, even animalic ones, if we realize that there is no reason to accept political diktats in one area, perfumery, when they are absent from the foods industry. I mean, you can even buy Kopi Luwak or civet coffee, which has been excreted by the Asian Palm Civet in select grocery stores. 

If you are in Paris: 


par email : osmotheque at

par téléphone :

Public : à partir de 12 ans

Tarifs : 

Plein tarif : 20€ 

Tarif réduit : 15€*

*(enfant, étudiants, membre SAO et groupe à partir de 10 personnes)

Conférencier : Bernard Bourgeois

Durée : 2h00

Heure de rendez vous : 18h15

Lieu :  Galerie de Nicolaï, 25 rue de Montpensier 75001 Paris (Métro Palais Royal - Louvre (ligne 1), Parking Louvre)

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