The main project of this two year perfumery course is our personal perfume created around a vision which must, to the best of our abilities, be articulated and handed in during the first module. This will be the defining structure of our perfume. I got it done and handed it in finally last month and I learned so much from the process of articulating a perfume vision. Bloody hard!
Of course the materials are limited to those offered by the course and nothing else, so you’re already starting off with a limited palette to choose from. Ah, the reality of restrictions! This is exactly what most perfumers working for big perfume companies encounter daily or what a perfumer can expect when working one on one with a client or building a saleable perfume around IFRA restrictions.
I knew I wanted to formulate around an image, a photo of something that inspired me so I bought a 70cm x 50cm piece of bristol board, chose a photo and pasted it in the middle of the board. Around this I tried to connect on a visceral level with the top, middle and base note(s) that instinctively seemed to be attracting themselves like filings to a magnet to this project. Then I wrote a brief storyline about the ghost of the perfume, the impression that should live on and finally I was inspired to pull out my water colours and slap three of them as a colour representation of the whole. And before I knew it I had my very first creative brief!
What I’m discovering so far from the process is that less and less I am inclined to judge a raw material or one of my formulations as “like or don’t like” but rather by the answer to the question “how closely does it resemble or surpass your original intended vision?” and for me this was a monumental aha! moment that I am really proud of.