The third in Prolitec‘s series exploring our “Scents of Clean” Principal Perfumer Sabine De Tscharner shares how she helps reassure people around the world with fresh atmospheres and sophisticated, clean fragrances.

by Heather Lane

Perfumer Sabine de Tscharner has a nose for making people feel good.

The Swiss national graduated valedictorian of her class at Versailles’s ISIPCA, a prestigious institution in the field of perfume, cosmetics, and flavoring. After training as a perfumer in Geneva, she moved to the U.S. to continue her journey as a Principal Perfumer at Firmenich, the largest privately-owned fragrance and flavor company in the world.

With the pandemic on the top of everyone’s mind, this talented perfumer has been focused on creating fragrances that communicate cleanliness.

Like all of us these days, I have many different responsibilities,” de Tscharner said. “But the best part of my day is writing fragrance formulas. Our COVID-19 research tells us that while people are looking for clean fragrances, they also are looking for comfort. This provides us with a unique opportunity to explore many olfactive directions.”

While people everywhere are looking for clean fragrances during the pandemic, what smells clean varies depending on geographical location and social upbringing. Firmenich creates for brands and partners globally, so experts like de Tscharner must be able to adapt to the cultural preferences of their clients.

“As someone who was raised in French culture, I love lavender,” de Tscharner said. “However, this is a cultural reference and not all countries find the smell of lavender clean. From a global standpoint, citrus fragrances are considered to smell clean, so it is very exciting to think of new ways to reinvent citrus.”

Notes like lavender can be found “old fashioned” in Germanic culture, according to Peter Wieser of Aromea Airdesign, a commercial scent provider in Austria and Germany. Instead of the fresh floral scent of lavender, he finds these countries align more with de Tscharner’s global favorite – citrus.

“Clean scents in Austria & Germany are always citrus notes…this is the ultimate feeling for cleanliness,” Wieser said.

Working with this global favorite, Tscharner developed a new twist on citrus and ended up creating what is now her personal favorite fragrance, “Windswept Linen.” Top notes of lemon, sweet orange, and clementine with traces of green ivy add a breath of fresh air to any space while hints of pine and copaiba wood bring the feel of freshly dried laundry to life in the scent.

The bright citrus notes have made Windswept Linen popular with Wieser’s company. Aromea Airdesign has found happy customers for this fragrance across many industries – from hotels to pubs – demonstrating the broad appeal of de Tscharner’s creations.

“I am especially proud of my Windswept Linen fragrance because I think it has a very interesting clean note that is perfect for the times we currently live in,” says de Tscharner.

To create a successful fragrance like Windswept Linen, de Tscharner uses emotion to tell a story through scent.

“Each one of the fragrances I have created has its own story; I always try my best to make those stories great by telling them with lots of emotion,” de Tscharner explained.

Research shows 75% of the emotions we generate on a daily basis are impacted by our sense of smell, something de Tscharner considers with every creation. Perfumers like de Tscharner are constantly striving to evoke a positive emotional response and improve the well-being of those experiencing anxiety and stress during the pandemic through scent.

Dean Wilson, a scent expert with U.S.-based Prolitec Inc., a global leader in commercial ambient scent services, echoes these efforts.

“We’ve been seeing more and more customers looking for ways to create a sense of comfort. The idea of well-being is going to be increasingly important as we all navigate the long-term impacts of the pandemic,” Wilson said.

Looking to the future, clean scents will play an important role in making people feel good during the pandemic and long after. In the meantime, de Tscharner continues to give the world a little breath of fresh air with her fragrances.

“Fragrances have a proven effect of calming people and bringing them joy,” de Tscharner explained. “Now that we are spending more time in our homes and often feeling stressed by all of the events happening in the world, using some type of air freshener to fragrance your home (or business) is an easy and wonderful way to reduce anxiety and make the experience a little more peaceful.”



Lindstrom, M. “Brand Sense: How to build powerful brands through touch, taste, smell, sight, and sound.” Strateg. Dir. 2006, 22, 22-29.

About the Author

Heather enjoys delving into research exploring the ways fragrance impacts people in their daily lives. She is a VP at Prolitec, a global provider of ambient scenting, and a recent graduate of the MBA program at Tulane University in New Orleans.

When not studying the fascinating ways fragrance intersects the world of business, Heather renovates historic houses and gets her hands dirty with her non-profit ceramics arts studio.