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.

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