Friday, December 14, 2012

Honey Lips Kiss Macaron Au Cassis -- Who Can Make Perfume?

Honey Lips Kiss Macaron Au Cassis is a perfume by Melina Ehrsam. You can read about it on Victoria's Bois de Jasmine blog. The fragrance is not commercially available (it could be a best seller if it was!) but I scored a bottle and thus I'm sniffing it while writing this.

The creation of this fragrance was a high school project. Melina was tutored by Philip Kraft, a research chemist at Givaudan, Switzerland, who, at times, composes his own perfumes. Because it was a research project -- and is not commercially available -- the formula has been posted online (in a jpg file) and you can easily find it with a Google search.

If you are interested in formulas, it is well worth studying alongside Vicky's commentary on it. While the ingredient list may make your head spin (some ingredients are common, some are exotic), Vicky explains the structure and why, for example, Melina made use of multiple musks in a fragrance that is NOT "musky."

A question came to mind in reading the responses to Vicky's blog posting. One responder after another said, "I would love to create..." and then described a desired scent BUT --

Ignoring their lack of strong desire TO create perfume, the "excuses" tended to be "I wish they had that when I was in high school" or "if only I had someone like Philip Kraft guiding me..."

But the fact is -- TODAY -- if CREATING PERFUME is something you really want to do, you CAN do it. And you CAN create, in scent, that romantic setting you have imagined. I say this having worked for a number of years now with Steve Dowthwaite and PerfumersWorld and Steve's home study Foundation Course in perfumery which can teach you how to really make the fragrances that you want.

Yes, your first creation won't be as refined as Melina's final version of Honey Lips Kiss Macaron Au Cassis, but she didn't do this overnight. I think, if you asked her, she would tell you that a lot of learning -- hours of it -- and a lot of trials -- took place before the final version ended up in a bottle.

That's what perfumery is about. Sensing, imagining, studying, and lots and lots of carefully documented, hands-on experiments.

People who really WANT to make perfume CAN make perfume. And most of them are doing it right now.

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