7 Jan

On my web site, you can now order samples with ecommerce; also I lowered the price for custom perfume, to $350 for a basic, sublime perfume, and $700 for a high-end perfume, with more rare, esoteric, and expensive extracts, extracts like orris, boronia, honeysuckle, etc. I have limited experience with custom perfume. I’ve made a few; they’ve all brought waves of delight, after one or two trys. I have good imagination for making custom perfume, but I don’t have all that much experience. I need some clients to give me a chance. I would say that with my experience thus far, I’m excellent at custom perfume. I am able to take what a client says about certain essences, pull it all together, and figure out what a person is actually trying to tell me about the perfume they’re hoping for. Your average person is painfully unable to talk intelligently about what they smell.

Petitgrain. A top note that I believe helps give a perfume body.

My first client said she didn’t like “tea” smells; I had to do a lot of assuming about what she meant by that. Her perfume was a smashing success. What’s the main reason for our inability to talk about smells, intelligently, accurately, with insight? A lack of olfactory education. At some point modern philosophers decided the sense of smell was somehow lower than the other senses (I think it has to do with rank/foul smells; how could a sense which picks up on the “disagreeable” ever be higher?). We perfumers know in fact, with the location of the olfactory nerve in the same location as memories in a person’s brain, it’s actually one of the highest senses, if not the highest. I know I’ve succeeded when a person takes a whiff, their head cocks back, and they start to moan as if they were smelling something which is an integral part of their consciousness. Those who push for, say, olfactory education in grammar school or high school, are looked at like they’re crazy. I know a fellow in Italy who created this really cool contraption meant for olfactory education (actually modeled on work GW Septimus Piesse did in the 1800s).

Rosewood. Another top note that lends body.

Piesse envisioned a large keyboard connected to an array of essences. When you played certain notes or chords, the various essences would be sprayed out in front of you. (He spent much of his life attempting to correspond musical notes to particular essences; I think he got four octaves.) This is a great way to test “accords,” which are like musical chords. It’s amazing to think about the parallels between music and the practice of perfumery. You have bass (base) notes, you talk about accords (chords), my perfumes feel like the music of a bass or cello (one blogger says, and that’s fine by me–I much prefer bass-heavy music to treble-heavy). If we got even just a bit of olfactory education in school, we’d talk about agrestic smells, or anisic, or sharp herbals. Instead, it’s like we’re inside of a bag, and just can’t come up with accurate vocabulary. Please push for early olfactory education!


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