After two fragrance-free (!) flu weeks I made a proper comeback today. In some ways I think this involuntary two-week preparation was positive because I stepped into the perfume making session as an (at least mentally) olfactory tabula rasa prepared for new discoveries and willing to re-evaluate preferences.
This was my first time. The entire thing lasted maybe two hours (not exactly the time-frame that a professional nose has at his or her disposal) but it felt like an eternity. In a good way. In the same way that a first kiss can feel like a lifetime of life. Experiencing note by note, slowly, is magic. I was sometimes surprised by what I liked and disliked - and that I disliked so much. How that made me feel. There was an oakmoss thing that was like having the essence of bad mood right in my nose. Why is that? I mean, I realize that someone else would inhale the same thing and be transported to excitement and desire. There was another little paper with perfume oil that reminded me of the horror of entering tax-free shops on airports where people are spraying hundreds of perfumes in all directions. In fact, the note I had under my nose at that moment was a floral one and I am just not a floral fragrance woman. However many women are. Many… And it seems, my guess is at least, that you can find these women in lavish quantities in tax-free shops at airports. Florals sell well at airports. That's why someone like me waits for the boarding call at the coffee bar.
Back to perfume lab.
It is fascinating how notes appear one by one, two by two or together in an ensemble. Makes me contemplate... Are people like that as well? Am I? I suppose the obvious answer is yes, but in that case, what is the relationship equivalent of musk that brings out the best in other scents? What or rather who takes away the aggressive, tense, acid, coarseness in you? How much vanilla and fullness do I really want to soften my world before I suffocate in velvet hues?
Conclusion. We need a little bit of everything. Otherwise it gets flat, uninteresting. There has to be a twist, a certain undefinable surprise element, friction and continuous discovery. In perfume, in ourselves, in relationships, in life.
The search for what feels like a result when creating a fragrance is exciting, interesting, frustrating. You have almost perfect, add a bit of this remove a bit of that… “Yes? No? Maybe… Kind of yes but what is that thing that is quarreling with the other notes? This one? No…that one? Maybe. But alone it is so…nice? Add a bit of this remove a bit of that. Amber? Is amber what’s wrong? Impossible - I love amber! Ok…goodbye amber…. Floral? No, no way, I hate floral. Ok, lets try five kinds of floral note… maybe, no lets remove ALMOST all of that one but not all…”
What was I looking for? Was I trying to define myself? How I think I should smell, or how I think I want to smell or what I think others will like? Which "others"? Was I trying to create someone I want to be? Or was it not about me at all. For a moment I realized I kept making this outstanding…. male fragrance. For who? Was I creating someone from my past? Or the smell of a potential desired partner? I don’t know. But I now that I really loved that fragrance. However, I also realized I would not wear it as it was a bit too much a fragrance that I would want on a man with me rather than a fragrance I would want on my skin. So I removed the hairy chest notes… And added some vanilla.
I will not reveal to you what ingredients created the fragrance that I now own. This is my secret, and I think, in fact relevant information only for me. I do however recommend that you take the opportunity if you have it to do this kind of thing. For the fun of it - and if you want to - for the self-discovery part of it.