Wednesday, January 26, 2022

It's not a pyramid. It's not "one of each." You have to know what to leave out.

When you've got it right, stop. Forget what your formula looks like. Your goal is not to match some academic standard of perfumery. Don't try to match your formula against the classic pyramid of top note, middle note, and base. Don't try to include aroma materials from each of these categories in your perfume to make it "right." If you've nailed the scent, that's it. Stop. I'm telling you this out of current personal experience.

If you've been following my messages you'll know that I've been working to reformat a fragrance called Rough Day. It had no personality. I was

determined to give it one, a personality that would harmonize with the vision behind it. Have you ever had a rough day? Would you like to come home at the end of that day and find a scent that commiserates with you? A scent that tells you that, really,l everything is all right? In my case I found the scent I was looking for but it didn't match any template for fragrance design. It was just "right."

Perfume is about the nose, about emotion. The worst sin you can commit with perfume is to overwork it, to go beyond the point where it's giving you all that you wanted but you feel compelled to keep tinkering and tinkering until you've killed its heart and its personality is lost. What could have been great is now nothing. No one will notice it and soon you will not notice it either.

You can get tricked. I almost got tricked. I had something I liked but couldn't believe this was really it. It seemed too simple. It must need more (I foolishly reasoned.) and so I tinkered and tinkered, adding and taking away this and that. But each time I tinkered I lost the heart, the personality, the individuality. Only after several weeks of small trials and adjustments did I come to the conclusion: "leave it alone." Stick with what worked and forget trying to make it more complex because someone made up a rule.

So I've stopped. In a few days I'll go into production and produce a small batch. I'm a little nervous. What will happen when I test it with a little alcohol and perhaps some water? But these will be small tests, to see what combination of fragrance oil, alcohol and water will be, in my eyes, the most pleasing. Likely none of these combinations will be "bad" but hopefully one will stand out as being the best.

One more point that I want to discuss with you: cost. But I'll share that conversation in my next message.

No comments:

Post a Comment