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

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, Frutarom and Symrise. It bought Noville in 2006 and in 2007 acquired Danisco's flavor division.


The company was founded as Chuit & Naef in 1895 in Geneva 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 October 1, 2014.[2] Yves Boisdron was elected as 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 synthetic flavors followed for use in processed foods and preserved foods.[1]

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

On May 3, 2007, Firmenich announced that it would be acquiring the flavors division of Danisco in a deal worth €450 million.[4][5] The deal was 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 February 16, 2015. 
  2. ^ "Firmenich Names New CEO Gilbert Ghostine, Effective Oct. 1". Retrieved February 16, 2015. 
  3. ^ "Firmenich announces change of Chairman". Retrieved February 16, 2015. 
  4. ^ Heller, Lorraine (July 3, 2007). "Danisco completes flavours sale to Firmenich". Food Navigator. William Reed Business Media. Retrieved April 12, 2015. 
  5. ^ "All News". Retrieved February 16, 2015. 

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