Sheldrake's perfume story began in 1974. Having decided to study architecture, a three-month placement at CHARABOT in Grasse, France, led him to discover an unexpected passion for the ingredients of perfumery, their origins, their history and their odours. The Master Perfumer Georges Cœur detected his potential as a Nose and so he was hired as an apprentice.
Successive passages at ROBERTET in England then CHANEL Paris in 1980, consolidated his knowledge of the natural ingredients and the fine-fragrance world. In 1984, Sheldrake joined QUEST UK (now GIVAUDAN), which permitted him to discover global markets.
In 1987, he spent 5 years in Yokohama, Japan, learning from the local culture, particularly of South Korea and Japan where he created for cross-categories from luxury products to detergents. The technical restraints created an important base of understanding of the complex chemistry of perfumes. While the antithesis, the intriguing spiritual association of incense burning became a new passion.
In 1989 he met Serge Lutens, the Artistic Director of Shiseido, in Tokyo. Serge Lutens’ brand Salons du Palais-Royal was launched in 1992 with Sheldrake’s Féminité du Bois, the fragrance disrupts trends. A year later Sheldrake created Ambre Sultan. This partnership has since generated a collection of almost 100 fragrances, including such names as "5 o’clock au Gingembre”, “Une Nuit en Cellophane”, “Fille de Berlin”.
In 2005, Sheldrake returned to CHANEL with the title of Perfumer - Director of R&D Perfumes. He worked alongside Jacques Polge and 10 years later, Olivier Polge. As is the tradition, the Creators make all decisions in their domain from agricultural experiments, innovation in methods of extraction, supply-chains, creation and manufacturing of finished products.
With the elegant accord of CHANEL, Sheldrake continues to create for Serge Lutens working with the Givaudan palette of ingredients. Sometimes called his secret garden, this work permits him to express his passion in different styles. His work is labelled, authentic, mysterious, creative…
Christopher Sheldrake is also :
Founding member of the S.I.P.C. - Société International Parfumeurs Créateurs,
Vice-Président of the Osmothèque (Conservatoire International du Parfum),
Président of the S.A.O. - Société des Amis de l’Osmothèque.