lessons in perfumery #1


The first “oh, my, God, that stinks!” is really hard to “swallow”, I don’t care what anyone says. I got mine last week when LV smelled one of my modifications and his reaction was like being slapped in the face. Ouch!

How not to get discouraged when creating is as important as creating itself and of course making a lot of duds is part and parcel of any sort of training.  But how do you get past it? Those less than pleasant reactions to formulas we sweat and agonised over for weeks, months even, are what help build our scent files about what doesn’t work for others because sometimes as artists we can be too close, too protective and not objective enough about our work.

One solution that combats these blues that seems to work for me is lots of experimentation.  By lots I mean anywhere between 5 -10 versions of a theme or an accord.  Something good, something unexpectedly wonderful, is bound to reveal itself. Doing it this way makes it much easier for me to accept and let go of the failures when I know I’ve got one or two mods I can run with.  Those one or two are what give me the inspiration to keep going.  I tried formulating one at a time but found myself getting way to invested and attached to the formula. For someone else it might be the perfect solution, but definitely not good for someone like me.

As perfumers we will instinctively create our own processes picking up pieces of how to work until the whole process becomes custom made like a bespoke piece of clothing.  I’ll share how I approach multiple formulation in the next post.  Have a wonderful Monday!