inspiring happiness
and well-being

We create fragrances and flavors for the world’s most desirable brands, delighting billions of consumers every day.

Swiss and family-owned for over 120 years,
Firmenich is the largest private company in its industry.

Innovative Craftsmanship in Fragrances and Flavors Since 1895


Led by our passion for taste and smell, we put our creativity and innovation to work every day to delight the senses.

Driven by our deep sense of responsibility, we seek to enable solutions that contribute to greater health and nutrition; and hygiene and sanitation, while preserving nature’s most precious resources and empowering sustainable livelihoods across our value chain.

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Company founded

in Geneva, Switzerland

Group turnover
3.2 bn

Swiss Francs (June 2016)

Average growth per year

since 1989

No. of employees

around the world

Global presence



around the world



R&D centers

Geneva, Princeton,
and Shanghai

Patents presently in force

Annual turnover invested in R&D

R&D awards

prizes and awards,
including Nobel Prize in Chemistry

Company headquarters




We fragrance and flavor our customer's products for our mutual success

  • Our customer intimacy is unique as we partner with our customers to transform their ambitions into reality.
  • We anticipate consumers’ desires continuously reinventing the world of taste and smell.
  • We deliver value through innovative products and services, placing decision-making as close as possible to our customers.


Our people are the heart of our Company. They are recognized for their passion, talent and commitment.

  • We strictly maintain the highest levels of personal integrity and ethical behavior.
  • We value diversity and create an environment in which each colleague is empowered and encouraged to grow, enabling us to shape our future with confidence and imagination.
  • We unite the finest talents and nurture an entrepreneurial team spirit to attain our strategic goals.


Creativity is our essence.

  • We create fragrances and flavors that inspire moments of pleasure and delight for consumers worldwide.
  • We lead our industry in research and innovation, constantly driving incremental and breakthrough winning ideas and technologies.
  • We apply our creativity to improve all parts of the business.


Our integrity and sense of individual and collective responsibility ensure our long-term success.

  • We practice a sustainable business model for the well-being of present and future generations.
  • We engage all our partners to build a responsible, sustainable and traceable value chain.
  • We strictly comply with all regulatory requirements and strive to achieve the highest international standards on quality, safety and the environment.


Our independence gives us the freedom to control our destiny.

  • We are a family-owned company, committed to our independence.
  • We take a long-term view of our business.
  • We pursue a policy of financial strength, profitable growth and return on assets.


A private company with a public governance, Firmenich values its independence and long-term view of the industry. That’s why it operates according to the highest standards of governance worldwide.

This operational excellence is represented by the high caliber of its international Board of Directors, led by Patrick Firmenich, Chairman of the Board, as well as its Executive Team, headed by Gilbert Ghostine, CEO.

Mr. Gilbert Ghostine, CEO and Mr. Patrick Firmenich, Chairman of the Board

Executive Team
From left to right: Mr. Eric Nicolas (Group Chief Financial Officer, Corporate Vice-President Strategy and Global Services), Ms. Mieke Van de Capelle (Chief Human Resources Officer), Mr. Bhavesh Shah (Chief Purchasing Officer), Ms. Jane Sinclair (General Counsel and Secretary of the Board), Mr. Gilbert Ghostine (CEO), Pr. Geneviève Berger (Chief Research Officer), Mr. Armand de Villoutreys (President Perfumery Business Unit), Mr. Christopher Millington (President Flavor Business Unit), Mr. Boet Brinkgreve (President Ingredient Business Unit and Firmenich China).

Board of Directors
From left to right: Mr. Michel Firmenich, Dr. Antoine Firmenich, Mr. Olivier Bazil, Ms. Barbara Kux, Mr. Yves Boisdron, Ms. Karen Jones, Dr. Ajai Puri, Mr. Patrick Firmenich (Chairman) and Mr. André Pometta

Gilbert Ghostine
Chief Executive Officer

Gilbert joined Firmenich in October 2014 as the Group’s first non-family member CEO. Building on Firmenich’s legacy of world-class research and creativity, Gilbert is firmly focused on shaping winning solutions for his customers to delight their consumers worldwide. Determined to enable more sustainable lifestyles, Gilbert places sustainability at the core of Firmenich’s strategy and acts as co-chair of the WBCSD Sustainable Lifestyles Cluster. Gilbert has a deep understanding of the Consumer Goods and Luxury industries, having spent over two decades with Diageo, leading its businesses and living across 4 continents. A Lebanese national, Gilbert is married with two children.

Pr. Geneviève Berger
Chief Research Officer

Geneviève is committed to driving Firmenich towards its next level of scientific excellence, building on the Group’s legacy of world-class research. An internationally recognized science and business leader, Geneviève is passionate about improving quality of life through science. Prior to Firmenich her experience spans Chief Research & Development Officer at Unilever, leading the CNRS (26,000 employees) and Medical Doctor and Professor at the Hôpital de la Pitié-Salpêtrière in France. She holds three doctorates in Physics, Human Biology and Medicine, and currently sits, as a non-executive director, on the Boards of Astra-Zeneca and Air Liquide.

Mr. Boet Brinkgreve
President Ingredients and Firmenich China

As a seasoned global business leader, having lived and worked in three continents, Boet has a history of driving business performance to new levels through the creation of winning teams. Currently he is leading both Firmenich’s business in China and the Group’s ingredients business globally. Boet has created significant value for Firmenich by reinforcing Ingredients as a strategic asset, and also creating the naturals business unit for the Group. Prior to joining Firmenich, and after having run two start-ups, Boet worked for DuPont in several business development roles.

Mr. Armand de Villoutreys
President Perfumery

Armand is passionate about leading his team to reach the greatest levels of excellence in Perfumery. He oversees the Business Unit’s global operations and categories covering Fine Fragrance and Body and Home Care. To win consumers hearts, he focuses on excelling in creativity, while delivering breakthrough technology solutions for more sustainable lifestyles. Prior to joining Firmenich, Armand was a Director at Accor and held numerous positions at Steelcase Strafor in Paris and Madrid, including the posts of General Manager, Marketing Director and International Account Director.

Mr. Christopher Millington
President Flavors

Chris is committed to driving growth across Flavors’ three segments globally: Beverages, Sweet Goods, and Savory. He shapes winning solutions to create value for his customers through innovation, quality, cost, and service. Chris is committed to enabling healthier choices for consumers, including reducing calories and developing sustainable proteins, without comprising on taste. Prior to joining Firmenich Chris held several positions at Nestle Professional including, Global Head of Beverages and Vice President, Regional Head of Beverages for the Africa, Oceania and Asia region.

Mr. Eric Nicolas
Group Chief Financial Officer, Corporate Vice-President Strategy and Global Services

In addition to overseeing best-in-class finance practices and governance, Eric is responsible for the optimization of our IS function, real estate management, organizational transformation and the design and execution of our Strategy. A champion for sustainable finance, he is a Board Member of the Livelihoods Carbon Fund, rated as “Best Corporate Offsetting Program” by the Voluntary Carbon Markets Rankings in 2016. Prior to joining Firmenich, Eric served as Senior Vice President, Corporate Controller and Group Strategy of the Renault Group in Paris, France.

Ms. Jane Sinclair
General Counsel and Secretary of the Board

Jane leads the Legal and Compliance functions across the Company’s worldwide operations with direct oversight for Intellectual Property; Quality, Health, Safety and Environment (QHS&E) and Security; Product Safety and Regulatory Affairs (PSRA); Toxicology, Integrity and Legal Compliance. Prior to joining Firmenich, Jane held the role of Head of International Legal and Global Privacy, at AbbVie Biopharmaceuticals. She also served as Senior Legal Counsel, Pacific, Asia & Africa (Australia) and then Regional Legal Counsel, Europe (France) for Abbott Laboratories. She spent the first 17 years of her career at The Coca-Cola Company across multiple Asia Pacific, US and Australian locations.

Mr. Bhavesh Shah
Chief Purchasing Officer

Bhavesh is responsible for the strategic leadership of sourcing, procurement and supplier collaboration for Firmenich worldwide. Bhavesh ushered in a new era of purchasing excellence through sustainable management of the Company’s sourcing activities, while playing an instrumental role in strengthening the group’s risk management, operational efficiency and innovation efforts in order to build value for both the Company and our customers. Prior to joining Firmenich, he spent 19 years with Procter & Gamble where he held several key positions in Operations, Purchasing and Executive Management.

Ms. Mieke Van de Capelle
Chief Human Resources Officer

Mieke is responsible for leading HR and Communications to strategically support Firmenich’s growth by enabling a winning culture, cutting-edge capabilities and seamless execution around the world. A seasoned HR Leader, Mieke is passionate about excellence in talent development and innovation, rooted in a deep sense of social responsibility. Prior to Firmenich, her previous positions include Chief HR Officer at Perfetti Van Melle, a global confectionary leader, as well as leading the EMEA HR organization for Electrolux Corporation. She also spent 11 years with Sara Lee Corporation, culminating with the role of Vice President Human Resources.



As a family company with strong values and fundamentals, Firmenich sets goals and standards well beyond compliance levels in all the markets where the company operates.

Firmenich created a Corporate Compliance division in 2003, as part of an overall program of corporate governance. The division helps the Firmenich Board of Directors and Senior Management identify and mitigate risks potentially facing the company.

The compliance team encompasses:
· Health, Safety & Environment
· Quality Assurance and Control
· Product Safety & Regulatory Affairs
· Toxicology
· Sustainability
· Insurance

The Firmenich Social Accountability Standard

As part of its ongoing commitment to ethical & sustainable business, Firmenich has developed the Firmenich Social Accountability Standard. The Firmenich standard requires compliance with national laws & ILO (International Labour Organization) Conventions and Recommendations and the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, in critical areas of employment & basic human rights including:
· Child labor
· Forced labor
· Health & Safety
· Freedom of Association & Collective Bargaining
· Discipline
· Discrimination
· Working Hours
· Wages

In addition to applying this standard in its own affiliates, Firmenich has also included a Supplier Social Accountability Program within its Standard. This requires all suppliers and subcontractors, to formally commit to adhere to similar social standards, and to provide evidence that these standards are being met. View the Firmenich Social Accountability Standard.
View the Chinese version of the Firmenich Social Accountability Standard.
View the Portuguese version of the Firmenich Social Accountability Standard.
View the French version of the Firmenich Social Accountability Standard.
View the Spanish version of the Firmenich Social Accountability Standard.

Firmenich also designed a Code of Ethics and Business Conduct, in 2007, designed to help our employees make ethical decisions in their day-to-day work within the company.
View the Firmenich Code of Ethics and Business Conduct
The Firmenich Code of Ethics and Business Conduct is also available in: Chinese, French, Portuguese and Spanish


2016 was a historic year for Firmenich marked by its 120th Anniversary and many breakthroughs.

Read more


Firmenich is not just the name of a Fragrance and Flavor House. It is also the name of a Family that has been personally committed to its Colleagues, Customers, Communities and Creativity for 120 years.
Firmenich was founded in 1895 in Geneva, Switzerland, by Philippe Chuit, a talented Swiss chemist, in association with Martin Naef, a shrewd businessman.

They rented premises from a certain Charles Firmenich and it was there that they started creating groundbreaking molecules such as Dianthine® and Iralia® (still present on the market today) and attracted their first customer, Francois Coty.
The daughter of Charles Firmenich, Therèse, later married Philippe Chuit. Her older brother, Frederic, soon joined the company as the salesman of Chuit, Naef & Co. After Chuit, and later Naef, retired, the Firmenich family became the majority partner and in 1934 the company changed its name to Firmenich & Co.

Since then, Firmenich has remained independent, building on that original entrepreneurial vigor and pioneering spirit. Today we are the world’s largest private company in the fragrance and flavor industry.
1895 - 1935


The company’s first premises were in a shed at the back of the garden belonging to Charles Firmenich. The eldest daughter, Thérése, noticed Phillipe Chuit and started chatting to him over the fence. Five years later they married.

1896 - 1902

Opening of La Jonction Site, 20 employees and 30 agents

Fred Firmenich joins the Group

Launch of Violettone and Dianthine®

1903 - 1921

Launch of Iralia®

Launch of Cyclosia® Base

Philippe Chuit sells his shares to Fred Firmenich

1922 - 1930

First syntheses of Nerol and Nerolidol
First ‘Haute Couture’ creations

Production of Exaltone®
Number of employees: 50

Launch of Exaltolide®

1931 - 1935

Philippe Chuit retires

Martin Naef retires

The Company becomes Firmenich & Cie.

1936 – 1969

1936 - 1944

Opening of affiliate in New York City, U.S.

Opening of Firmenich France in Paris

Nobel Prize in chemistry is awarded to Leopold Ruzicka

1945 - 1948

Creation of a Flavor division
First pension fund for employees

Tetraromes and the first strawberry flavor

Opening of affiliate in Mexico City, Mexico
Opening of affiliate in London, United Kingdom

1949 - 1954

Discovery of Ambrox®

Acquisition of La Plaine chemical production factory
Opening of affiliate in Toronto, Canada

Opening of affiliate in Sao Paolo, Brazil

1955 - 1961

Opening of affiliate in Bogota, Colombia

Introduction of a bonus plan for all employees

Discovery of Hedione®

1962 - 1969

Introduction of Ambrox®
Opening of affiliate in Quito, Ecuador

Introduction of Furaneol®
Opening of 15 storey building at La Jonction
Opening of Firmenich GmbH in Cologne, Germany

Opening of Nihon Firmenich K.K. in Japan

1970 - 1989

1970 - 1972

Creation of a grouped industrial Social Service in Geneva

Introduction of flexible working hours for all employees
Launch of Muscone

The company becomes Firmenich SA

1973 - 1975

Fred-Henri Firmenich becomes CEO (3rd generation)
Opening of affiliate in Buenos Aires, Argentina

Opening of Firmenich Italy

Launch of Rose Ketone bases Dorinia, Damascenia 185 and Cetylia®
Opening of Firmenich, Vienna

1976 -1979

Inauguration of a new compounding factory in Meyrin-Satigny, Geneva
Introduction of retirement preparation seminars

Introduction of progressive retirement system
Launch of Mayol®

Launch of Damascone Alpha and Damascone Beta

1980 - 1985

Creation of work units for the mentally or physically disabled

Introduction of Citronova®
Launch of Damascenone

Introduction of Polysantol®
Opening of Firmenich Limited in Australia, Firmenich Singapore and Firmenich Spain

1986 - 1989

Acquisition of Chem-Fleur, Port Newark, U.S.

Introduction of Firanova®
Launch of Ambrox® DL, the first totally synthetic amber material
Opening of new corporate headquarters in Meyrin-Satigny, Geneva
Opening of new affiliate in South Africa

Pierre-Yves Firmenich becomes CEO (3rd generation)
Opening of new affiliate in Turkey

1990 - 2001

1990 - 1992

Creation of a holding company, Firmenich (International) SA

Discovery of Helvetolide®
Firmenich signs the Business Charter for Sustainable Development
Launch of Dynascone®

ISO 9001 certification in Geneva
Firmenich signs the Responsible Care Programme
Launch of Galbanolene Super

1993 - 1995

Expansion of our R&D Facilities - Geneva, Switzerland

Launch of Cetalox® 


Sites openings: Shanghai, China - Bombay, India - Selangor, Malaysia

Manufacturing joint ventures in Indonesia and China


Firmenich celebrates its 100th Anniversary

Rose-ketone plant in La Plaine - Geneva, Switzerland

Manufacturing Joint-venture in China

Site opening - Bangkok, Thailand
Manufacturing plant - Landes, France
Expansion of our Savory Portfolio: acquisition of Darryl Gunther, Johannesburg, South Africa

1996 - 1997

New sites openings - Beijing, China - Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, Philippines


Joint venture Firmenich Aromatics (India) Private Ltd, Mumbai, India

New automated flavor plant - Geneva, Switzerland

Opening of Georges Firmenich Flavor Technical Center - Princeton, U.S.

New sites openings - Sri Lanka - Warsaw, Poland - Ibaraki, Japan

Launch of Polysantol®

1998 - 1999

Expansion of Perfumery laboratories - Geneva, Switzerland

Plant openings - Thirsk, United Kingdom -Toluca, Mexico - Kunming, China
Automated Perfumery compounding plant - Geneva, Switzerland


Expansion of the R&D laboratories - Geneva, Switzerland

Body Care research facilities - Cologne, Germany

Perfumery Development Center for Latin America - Brazil
 Plant opening - Daman, India

Launch of Muscenone®

2000 - 2001

Plant opening - Port Newark, U.S.
Site expansion - Tokyo

Launch of Exaltenone  


Inauguration of the Food & Flavor Expertise Center - Geneva, Switzerland

Plant expansion - Port Newark, U.S.

New premises - Mexico

2002 - 2014

2002 - 2004

Patrick Firmenich appointed CEO

Acquisition of Bjorge Biomarin AS
, Norway
Launch of Damascone Gamma and Romascone® 

Site expansion - Geneva, Switzerland, and Singapore

Joint venture - InnovAroma SA, Geneva, Switzerland



Launch of Flexarome®

New manufacturing and development center - Shanghai, China

New premises - Mumbai, India

New perfumery facility - Princeton, U.S.

Introduction global HS&E Charter

Launch of Cetalox® Laevo
First Firmenich Community Day

2005 - 2007

Acquisition of Noville Inc.

New perfumery sampling center - Indonesia

Launch of Thermarome®

Launch of Popscent®

Annual turnover reaches CHF 2 billion 


Launch of Duralife® Omega3

Launch of Dynarome®

Introduction of Freshone®

Opening of company crèche - Geneva, Switzerland

Opening of new R&D center - Shanghai, China


Firmenich signs World Safety Declaration

Acquisition of Danisco's Flavor Division

Launch of Neobutenone® Alpha and Coranol

First public Sustainability Report

Number of employees worldwide: 5,000

2008 - 2011

Partnership with Senomyx

Opening of new Fragrance Development Center - Paris, France 
Uganda sustainable vanilla program launched


Creation of Jean-Marc Bruel Award for HSE

Creation of Naturals Business Unit

New Site opening - Dubai, U.A.E. 


 Firmenich enters partnership with Amyris
Plant opening - Gujarat, India

New offices - Jakarta, Indonesia


New R&D Center - China

Swiss Government partners with Firmenich for sustainable sourcing of vetiver in Haiti

New premises - Jakarta, Indonesia

Firmenich wins Campbell Award for Health and Safety


Operation expansion - Dubai, U.A.E.

Firmenich vanilla from Rainforest Alliance Certified™ farms

Plant opening - Indonesia

New offices and laboratories facilities - Mumbai, India

Firmenich awarded Research Grant for Malodor by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation


MSC certification for seafood flavors

Joint venture with Jasmine Concrete Exports PT Ltd., Chennai, India

Members of The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD)

Launch of ClearwoodTM

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