Thursday, December 13, 2018

Creating perfume involves transformation

    There are lots of lovely smells you can surround yourself with. Think of the many people who enjoy a dab of their favorite essential oil from time to time. The oil is just itself, unchanged from what the extraction process produced. Perfume, for me, is something quite different. Perfume involves transformation.
    Perfume, for me, is taking aroma materials and combining them in such a way that the result is a fragrance different from that of any of the individual ingredients. This is not a say that the trained nose (or even some untrained noses) might be able to identify one or more of the materials that were used but when comparing each ingredient to the result, no match will be found.
    Perfumery is the art of creating new smells, smells that previously did not exist. This does not mean that a perfume must have such a radical small that it is overwhelmingly conspicuous. A perfume might just be a subtle modification of the familiar. For the perfumer, the prize is not won by the degree of change but by the harmony and beauty the change has wrought.

    This is the challenge for anyone setting out to create a perfume. The "trap" is that there are so many aroma materials available which themselves have beautiful aromas, just like favorite essential oils. Why mess with these beautiful substances? Why change what can seem to be so perfect? Why? Because that is what perfumery is all about -- taking that which is and transforming it, through mixing and balancing with other materials, some of which may not smell so nice.

    Why do it? For pleasure. That is the only answer. Perfume exists to please. Giving new pleasures to the nose is the guiding principal in perfumery and, for the layman, perfumes are ONLY judged by the pleasure they give, whether they are simple or complex, brilliant creations or rough, cheap or expensive. It all comes down to the pleasure they give, and this "giving" comes from taking that which already is -- the raw aroma materials -- and, through art, using them to create something new, a transformation.

    It is a lovely art.

    By the way, we have some books I've written at our website. You might find one or more of them interesting.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Will anyone know my formula is so simple?

    I started live testing it yesterday. My wife asked "does it get more mellow after a while?" Today, after a while, she pronounced it mellow. This fragrance, after a little testing and tweaking, will become the third member of my "alternative" fragrance collection -- Xotic (formerly 'Toxic' until I sold the name), Blackberry, and this new fragrance that has a name I'm not yet ready to reveal but I think is really, really good.

    The "bones" of this fragrance came together in less than an hour. I was reading something that inspired me, something about perfume, and it just came to me that I should try mixing "this and that" to see what might happen and, with minimal adjustments, it "happened." I've never had a fragrance come together like that before.

    So I've started to wear it. And I've thought about both making slight adjustments to the proportions and, possibly, "decorating" it a bit with teensy weensy bits of several other materials. This is the time to experiment, before the formula is finalized.

    The final question is, what will I do with it once I've got the formula nailed down? Yes, I'll mix up a batch and bottle it and offer it for sale at my PGLIghtyears website. I'm not expecting it to set the world on fire but I will be pointing to that web page with several blog posts and emails explaining my marketing strategy -- and what others can learn from what I'm doing.