“For me the journey of creating a fragrance requires complete immersion – into the brand, the market, the consumer. This belief has taken me around the world to engage with fragrance. I’ve smelled bar soaps in India, shampoos in Shanghai, harvested organic rose petals in Grasse, and collaborated with the world’s top perfumers and clients in NY, London and Paris. My passion is to live the creative process; it’s the only way to make the concept become a reality.”
A passion for product, brands and global culture lie at the root of Kathryn Balcerski’s expertise. She received her chemistry degree at university, then earned her masters from the renowned Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management in Marketing and International Business. Balcerski’s first love was chemistry, spending many years working on specialty beauty care products for Sherex Chemical (now Evonik) and Unichema (now Croda). During this time she interfaced with ‘fragrance people’ and found herself drawn to the allure of the world of perfume. She made a decision to follow the scent, never looking back.
After a stint with Haarmann and Reimer (now Symrise), Balcerski honed her craft at world leader International Flavors and Fragrances. There she worked in global category and management roles, covering a broad range of product categories – hair care, deodorants, fine fragrances, skin care, home fragrances, personal cleansing and laundry products. She has collaborated on brands such as Axe, Degree, Calvin Klein, Bath & Body Works, Suave, Dial, TIGI, Lux and Perry Ellis.
Twenty-five years later, Balcerski’s passion for the industry has only intensified. Ascertaining that brands reflect who the client is, what they trust in, value and stand for, she expertly guides the client on a journey of self-exploration to zero in on what makes the brand outshine the rest. What distinguishes Balcerski is her ability to really listen, develop the strategic plan, and translate that into the creative process to land the right fragrance.