Typically I spend my Saturdays doing a lot of running around both for LV and I and my in-laws, house work and I’ve got a couple private students that I tutor in English. Usually after that I’m wiped. But Sunday we take for ourselves either together, going for a walk or a hike or alone doing whatever we need to to recharge our individual batteries. This Sunday, since I’ve been doing a lot of reading (Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself by Dr. Joe Dispenza – nothing short of miraculous!)and working on my inner self, I came up with a few insights:
I’m going to change things up a bit and sort of back track. I’ve decided I want to focus first on profiling the naturals in my possession and then profile the synthetics. Why? Because learning the naturals is so much more complicated, by nature they are more complex and I’m choosing to mainly use the synthetics as accents in my perfumes anyway so for me I want the emphasis to be on learning the naturals by heart. So from here on out the profiles will be of naturals until I’m done what’s in my organ.
The other thing I don’t think I mentioned is that from a couple profiles ago I started including information about the therapeutic benefits – body, mind and soul – of some of the naturals. This is because I’ve always approached life as a whole and even though my focus, the focus of this blog, is about my lessons in creating perfumes, I believe that I can become a better choreographer of notes if I am conscious of all the levels on which a particular essential oil or isolate can interact with us, including it’s full extension and reach on us as an organism and upon our personal environment.
And finally, as I lay languidly on the couch all afternoon reading, one part of the book struck me. It struck me because it is changing my whole approach and the dance that I’ve chosen to engage in with perfume creation: cultivating an interest. Doesn’t seem like an earth shaker, does it? That’s my point. We’re so obsessed with making a splash, a point, passions, drives and success that we miss the gentle force of something as subtle as an interest. And something as banal as cultivating. Yet, cultivating anything takes diligence and determination in the face of the elements and unforeseen circumstances. An interest doesn’t scream or shout, but it is something you choose to meet day after day just for the pleasure of the dance and the curiosity of getting to know your partner better.
a.k.a. Cananga Odorata. The one I have is a complete and is 100% organic, and I got it from John Steele via Perfumer’s Apprentice in USA and of course I’ve already diluted it to 10%.
First impression (between 10:20 – 11:07): drawing from my list of the language of odours – that I posted here which you can download – to my nose it’s soft, warm, generous and definitely sweet. But there’s also something very sophisticated, elegant and languid about this note, like being on holidays somewhere warm, thick and heavy.
1 hour: it’s grown much softer, more pliable and elastic not as sweet and a bit like…paper?
3 hours: the smell is almost undetectable to my still untrained nose, but what I do detect smells almost powdery, very gentle, softer still, I can almost smell citrus in there??? It is literally magical after 3 hours!
1 Day: it’s still present on the smelling strip but very, very faint, it smells now like a light breeze with hints of lemon in the air
2 Days: the note is wonderfully powdery and sweet, no longer sticking in the throat but floating
White Lotus Aromatics describes it this way: “The absolute is a light green or light golden liquid with a fresh, sweet, delicate balsamic-floral bouquet with an elegant vanilla-floral-balsamic undertone which remains uniform deep into the dryout.”
WHY: Because it’s the closest thing to starting with a blank canvas, from an olfactory point of view.
Scent is everywhere, we can’t escape it, it’s in our laundry detergent, our fabric softener, our shampoo, our hand cream, etc. Unless you’re anosmic. So when it comes to perfume design I am not interested in “smelling” clean – being clean, yes – as much as I am interested in not smelling a predominant odour like my laundry detergent or shower gel or any one thing in particular. My work space becomes a No Smell Zone.
That’s why I began some time ago washing clothes in Marseilles soap, just washing my hands with water, using my own skin care products, not wearing any perfume when I formulate and using a 100% pure Marseille soap in the shower. When I found this stuff in the grocery store at first I bought the lavender scented one and one day they were out and I had to buy the non scented one and I LOVE IT! If I thought the lavender scent was subtle and soft this beats it hands down, there’s nothing like the smell of pure Marseilles soap to render every scent neutral. As a perfumer we have to take care of our nose by realising that every smell makes an impression on us around which we unconsciously make a judgement; minimizing these impressions makes the job easier.