quotable: go deep


This quote got me thinking of something the guys over at The Minimalists said about passion…found it!  Here it is: “‘Follow Your Passion’ is Crappy Advice”.  They talk of cultivating a passion instead of following one and I think this makes so much sense. Here’s how they break it down:

“Follow” implies that you discover the passion in advance then go match it to a job. At which point, you’re done. “Cultivate” implies that you work toward building passion for your job. This is a longer process but it’s way more likely to pay dividends. It requires you to approach your work like a crafstman. Honing your ability, and then leveraging your value, once good, to shape your working life toward the type of lifestyle that resonates with you.”

When I go deeply I discover I am passionate about creating, I want to create — I need to create every day! Whether it’s a beautiful bouquet of flowers or a cool image or a porcini mushroom risotto, it makes no difference, I must create. What makes me a perfumer is not a passion that all of a sudden grabbed me and said “Hark! This is what you were meant to do your whole life!” although there was some aspect of, “please, sit up and take notice, ’cause I think this could really be a beautiful fit for you and your life.” Yeah, it was more like that. What makes me a perfumer is that every day I choose to sit and study my raw materials, I choose to research botanicals and I choose to follow a certification course to give confidence and structure to a growing skill.  And each day those choices build upon each other and nourish me.

As I am learning and I apply myself daily this doesn’t mean I am full of Eureka! moments, there are days I sit in the chair and ask myself what the hell makes me think I can do this?!

But understanding is dawning that passion flows from desire. Each day as a new piece of understanding fits into this enormous puzzle called my life I make wonderful discoveries, like, “oh, so that’s the role I want synthetics molecules to play in my creations!” or some unexpected nuance in Patchouli I had never noticed before — even after the 100th time smelling it — unveils itself to me. Each time this happens my passion for perfume making grows and forms itself more clearly.

As I go deeply I realize my perfumes do indeed flow from my life. My eclectic nature, my silence, my isolated dwelling, my struggles, joys and triumphs. It’s all here in what I do when I go deep.

Wishing you many wonderful discoveries!




This is a picture of my new/old desk in my studio.  Before I was only using the main one attached to the wall.  And that was the problem, I was facing a wall.

Often I would go into this room to work and come out an hour later having been completely unproductive, feeling thoroughly dissatisfied and depressed and not knowing why.  I put it down to various factors, some of which I’m still struggling with but I knew there was something more fundamental at the bottom of it and that it was solvable. I just didn’t know what it was. So I gave it time to breathe, to percolate, to exist, though it disturbed me.

Realisation dawned one day in the form of an idea to recoup the old desk (that I had chucked when we finished the room). I had resisted this idea because I was willing to sacrifice flow for aesthetics.  For me things need to be functional as well as beautiful, pleasing to the eye and in the beginning that desk just wasn’t doing it for me.  But the fact remained that I wasn’t creating.  I was constantly hitting a “wall”.

The fact is I love having a lot of empty space on my desk. I realise now I needed space to breathe, to imagine, to create. Now, you can find perfume ingredients jammed up against photography equipment and writing tools all working together to create a beautiful trinity of harmonious creative energy that is uniquely mine.

Creating one’s space takes time, at the heart of which lies the art of listening.

making 10% dilutions


I know, pretty boring stuff, but necessary to the perfume making process to ensure that every note has the same odour intensity, so I’m going to do a very quick run through of how to do a 10% dilution.

1. First turn on your scale, then place the empty bottle on it and tare it so that it reads 0

2. This is important: say you’re using a 30ml bottle don’t plan to fill it right to 30ml, leave room for the alcohol to breathe. So plan to fill to 25ml, therefore, measure 2.5gr of your synthetic or natural with a pipette

3. Then top up with alcohol until you get 25gr

è voilà your 10% dilution!  So, before beginning to formulate all of your ingredients should be diluted.

At this point I would label it and then write a brief description of the note on a sticker and label it. You can include things like odour description, supplier, date of purchase and the CAS or FEMA number for easy re-ordering.

Happy June!                                                                                                          – M