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Firmenich International SA
Industry Flavors and fragrance
Founded 1895
Headquarters Geneva, Switzerland
Key people
Gilbert Ghostine (CEO),Yves Boisdron (Chairman), Patrick Firmenich (Vice Chairman)
Products Flavors and fragrances
Revenue CHF 2.95 billion (2014)
Number of employees
over 6,000 (2010)

Firmenich SA is a private Swiss company in the perfume and flavor business. It is the largest privately owned company in the field and ranks number two worldwide.,[1] Firmenich has created perfumes for over 100 years and produced a number of well-known flavors.

Firmenich employs 6,200 people in 64 countries. Major competitors include Givaudan, International Flavors and Fragrances and Symrise. It bought Noville in 2006 and in 2007 acquired Danisco Flavor division.


The company was founded as Chuit & Naef in 1895 in Geneva (Switzerland), by chemist Philippe Chuit and businessman Martin Naef. Fred Firmenich joined in 1900 and later became the majority partner. The company was renamed Firmenich SA. Firmenich's board named Gilbert Ghostine as CEO to succeed Patrick Firmenich, effective Oct. 1, 2014.[2] And Yves Boisdron has been elected as the new Chairman of Firmenich’s Board of Directors as of July 1, 2013.[3]

Originally a fragrance company, Firmenich branched into the flavor business by creating a raspberry substitute in 1938, followed by creations of citrus and strawberry flavor. Other flavors followed in the booming field of flavor synthesis, spurred by the developing trend of companies worldwide selling processed foods and preserved foods.[1]

In 1939, Firmenich director of research and development Lavoslav Ružička was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

On May 3, 2007, Firmenich announced that it is to acquire the flavors division of Danisco in a deal reportedly worth €450 million.[4][5] The deal is expected to move Firmenich ahead of IFF as the second largest flavor company in the world.[1]


  1. ^ a b c "Flavor & Fragrance Industry - Top 10". Retrieved 16 February 2015. 
  2. ^ "Firmenich Names New CEO Gilbert Ghostine, Effective Oct. 1". Retrieved 16 February 2015. 
  3. ^ "Firmenich announces change of Chairman". Retrieved 16 February 2015. 
  4. ^ Firmenich's announcement of the acquisition of Danisco's flavor division
  5. ^ "All News". Retrieved 16 February 2015. 

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