Today’s picture: a detail from a quick self portrait that I did yesterday night, using my newly acquired water colors, on a postcard sized 100% cotton paper, 300 g/m2. The full picture is a bit less pleasing, but I am learning. One reason: The left eye is a touch too large, and the right eye is too dark and “over colored”. Water colors are cruel in the sense that mistakes are hard to correct. At least harder than mistakes in oil based colors. But water colors are more forgiving, too. I have the feeling that part of the trick is: Letting go and follow the water.
This is exactly what I try to do when creating perfumes, the longer the more. Follow the composition where it brings you. Just follow it. It knows where to lead you. Trust it. The other day, when proudly presenting a couple of experimental scents and the upcoming Gardenia from Sotto la Luna ® (sorry: I need to do that ®-thing…), I got a comment from a business partner that made my day and made me think. It was a compliment and like most human beings I am flattered by compliments.
Here’s a piece of advice, in brackets, how to deal with most bosses: Make them a compliment. You may even compliment them for something (like an idea) that they did not do/had. A sentence like “ah, by the way, I so love your idea to consider expanding towards the xyz markets next year; I wish I had it. …” can do wonders.
So I got this compliment where I was told: “I love it (the fragrance); you know, compared to your earlier fragrances, you changed”. – “In what sense”, I asked.-
“Your compositions got more balance, they got a bit more finesse. They reflect a change, probably a creator maturing”.
I agreed. Yes, I think I moved. As a creator you are always on the move. Forward, backward.
I kept thinking about it. I realized that maturing is also a translation for getting older; a fact that is true, like it or not. Maturing, for me, translated also into a subtle reminder of the end point, the end of me creating scents. Not today, not tomorrow, but the day after tomorrow.
In that sense, Sotto la Luna is a point of inflexion. The journey is not over, but looking down from the top of the hill, I take a deep breath, enjoying the view, I see the path on the ridge down there that I walked. Whatever happens now: I managed to walk along this ridge. The next hill is waiting, new challenges, but for a moment, there is peace.
Today’s tasks: Learn to hold the water color brush properly :-), transport some stuff into and out of the factory, and put into words what makes Sotto la Luna special, and why, from my limited perspective as creator, it is important in my perfume creating world. Why it does not compare. And why it compares.