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Perfume creation 101

my street in Grasse

my street in Grasse
my street in Grasse -the 8th biggest company in the world in the fragrance creation and raw material production sectors), and our class has been divided into two teams, to compete and create 3 fragrances for the main stream market as well a product extension of a corresponding personal care and household product. The target market is loosely Generation Y, aged 15-30-ish, and must be high-tech, energetic, relate to the world of cyber-communication, include love, environmental; awareness, and appeal to the idea of a modern tribe. We are to create the marketing concept, and connect the raw materials we choose to this concept. Then we must, of course, formulate the perfume itself and it must be good! My team has had some amazing brainstorming sessions and I am feeling inspired with many ideas of some basic accords that I want to try. I spent last evening with Ana, looking at websites to really understand the trends, and working ourselves into a whirl-wind of inspiration. We work incredibly well together with super-cohesive ideas. I dreamed all night about formulating, even waking up at one point smelling a particular combination I had tried so vividly as if it was real. (Ana dreamed the name of the perfume, but unfortunately couldn’t quite remember it this morning…) The process of creating a perfume must be based on a muse- a story, something that inspires and can be told olfactively. Perfumers are the witnesses of the times. We look at the world around us and interpret what we see into a portrait of scent symbols. It’s poetry really except the words are the raw materials woven together to parallel emotion and even particular events. Perfume as a medium has endless possibilities and is ultimately challenging and personal. I’m learning to tap deeply into my own imagination (and others’) to experience and access the energy I need to create; as in any art form. The psychology of creation is so interesting….and a great feeling. A large part of it means focusing on  smelling. Walking down the little narrow streets here in the old city, scents of all kinds are trapped and held is a virtual world of symbols and emotion. I practice all the time now, smelling, analyzing, dissecting, and testing myself- what is that perfume? What are the notes? Who is wearing it? What are they trying to say about themselves? How would I recreate that? Also, I practice smelling the notes I don’t like; trying to be impartial, but analytical of the smells like cat and dog urine and faeces that cloud the corners of the inner city. After all, not all perfumery materials smell good on their own. (the chemical indol occurs in faeces and jasmine both…) Fascinating stuff…

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