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We create positive emotions to enhance wellbeing, naturally.

Swiss and family-owned for over 120 years, we create fragrances and flavors for the world’s most desirable brands, delighting billions of consumers every day.

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 purpose and guided by our fundamentals, 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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At Firmenich we are creators of positive emotions through the senses of taste and smell. We believe that business is a force for good, that’s why we seek to enhance wellbeing across everything that we do, naturally.

Discover what makes us naturally different.
Learn more about our purpose

For good, naturally Working for a Family Owned Company

"There are two family names on my business card: my family name and the Firmenich family name." - Imad Farhat, VP Taste

At Firmenich we are creators of positive emotions through the senses of taste and smell. We believe that business is a force for good, that’s why we seek to enhance wellbeing across everything that we do, naturally.

Discover what makes us naturally different.
Learn more about our purpose

For good, naturally The Strength of the Family

“Family is stronger than anything else.” - Frank Voelkl, Perfumer

At Firmenich we are creators of positive emotions through the senses of taste and smell. We believe that business is a force for good, that’s why we seek to enhance wellbeing across everything that we do, naturally.

Discover what makes us naturally different.
Learn more about our purpose
Group Turnover
3.9 bn

Swiss Francs (FY19)

+ 6%

Swiss Francs (FY19)

Average Growth per Year

Since 1989

We are the

Privately-Owned Perfume & Taste Company

We are

in Fine Fragrance & Ingredients


in the Last Three Years

Our People

Around the World

Globally Certified Gender Equality Employer

in our Industry

Global Presence


10% Annual Turnover Invested in R&D
CHF 390m

(in FY19)

R&D Centers

Geneva, Princeton, San Diego, Shanghai
and Gujarat


Presently in Force



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 calibre 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 (Chief Operating Officer), Ms. Mieke Van de Capelle (Chief Human Resources 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 and Ingredients), Mr. Emmanuel Butstraen (President Flavors), Mr. Boet Brinkgreve (Chief Supply Chain Officer).

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
Chief Supply Chain Officer

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. He is responsible for driving a new era of excellence in operations, positioning Firmenich as the reliable partner of choice for all our customers, by taking our commitment to best-in-class service, safety and competitiveness to the next level. Boet has created significant value for Firmenich by reinforcing Ingredients as a strategic asset, and also driving growth in China over the past years. 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 & Ingredients

Armand is passionate about fragrances and constantly pushes his team to reach the greatest levels of excellence in Perfumery and Ingredients. Overseeing the Divisions’ global operations and categories covering Fine Fragrance, Body & Home Care and Ingredients, he is focused on fully harnessing the creative synergies across all segments. To win consumers hearts, and make Firmenich the reference and the preference of its customers, he focuses on excelling in creativity, while delivering breakthrough technology solutions for more sustainable lifestyles. Armand started his career in consumer goods marketing at General Foods, prior to joining Firmenich, he 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. Emmanuel Butstraen
President Flavors

Emmanuel is committed to strengthening Firmenich’s position as the innovation partner of choice in taste and nutrition, leading dynamic growth across the Group’s three segments: Beverages, Sweet Goods, and Savory. Shaping winning solutions for his customers with a focus on enhancing wellbeing, Emmanuel is actively putting Firmenich’s expertise to work to make healthier choices taste great, from sugar, salt and fat reduction, to green protein solutions. Prior to joining Firmenich, he was President of Solvay’s Novecare Global Business Unit, a leader in specialty technologies for broad consumer applications. He also spent 17 years with BASF, where he served as Senior Vice President Strategy for the Group’s Agricultural Products division.

Mr. Eric Nicolas
Chief Operating Officer

Leading transformation of the Group’s business, Eric oversees best-in-class Finance practices and Governance, as well as Corporate Strategy, Digitalization and Information Services, Business Process Excellence, Global Workplace Solutions, Indirect Purchasing and Risk Management. 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 Commercial Legal and Intellectual Property (CL&IP); Quality, Health, Safety and Environment (QHS&E); Global Regulatory Services (GRS); and Business Ethics and Trade Compliance (BE&TC). 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.

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

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, as well as the Gifts and Entertainment Policy and Anti-Corruption Policy.
The Firmenich Code of Ethics and Business Conduct is also available in: Chinese, French, Portuguese and Spanish. The Firmenich Gifts and Entertainment is also available in: French, and Spanish.


Firmenich delivered strong results in its Fiscal Year 2019 (FY19), delivering 3.9 billion Swiss Francs in net sales. With our customers’ success top of mind, we advanced our business in many ways.

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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.

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1896 - 1902

Opening of La Jonction Site, 20 employees and 30 agents

Fred Firmenich joins the Group

Launch of Violettone and Dianthine®

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1903 - 1921

Launch of Iralia®

Launch of Cyclosia® Base

Philippe Chuit sells his shares to Fred Firmenich

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1922 - 1930

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

Production of Exaltone®
Number of employees: 50

Launch of Exaltolide®

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

2015 - 2017


120 years Anniversary

At COP21 (Paris) launch of 2020 environmental goals to become carbon neutral

Co-Chair Sustainable Lifestyles Board, WBCSD

Dupont Operational Excellence Award

CLEARWOOD® wins first prize for innovation in Europe

Livelihoods Fund for family farming investors

#Naturals Together™ launch

Patrick Firmenich Joins Fragrance Foundation Circle of Champions


Joint venture with Essex Laboratories, leading in natural mint solutions

Inauguration of Léman, state-of-the art Perfumery Plant, Geneva

Launch of AMBROX®Super, second bio-based ingredient

UN Biodiversity pledge signatory

Presidential Award in Indonesia

Inauguration of New Facilities in Lagos, Nigeria and San Francisco, California


Acquisition of Agilex Fragrances

Launch of breakthrough malodor control technologies with Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Dupont Sustainability Award

“Ethical Business” Award, Better Society Network

Inauguration of New Facilities in Singapore; Mexico; Vienna, Austria; Barcelona, Spain and Seoul, Korea.

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