creating scents

on things that work and others that don't

Creating scents, fragrances, is sometimes not easy. Especially if you do not want to follow the highway route to success: Bases, combined with “standard” molecules that you find in every scent these days, like cashmeran. Nothing against cashmeran. It is a fine molecule. It is just a bit “overused”. But maybe this is slippery territory. Let’s stick to the “bases”, pre-formulated mixtures that smell great, but unfortunately they smell the same, if perfumer X is using them or perfumer Y, every day, every year, independent of weather before the harvest, especially if combined with nothingness, bases are very tricky, I think. And, when using a base from a company, you become dependent from this particular company and their base, and availability and itsquality. Not that you would not be dependent from -as example- rose absolute when using the real thing, but still…. there is a difference. One difference is, of course, complexity. A rose absolue is, if you want, a base, but far more complex than industry’s bases

Anyhow: Let’s say we are all being dependent on all the various raw materials. But sticking to pre-formulated building blocks may be limiting your creativity, increasing the danger of walking into “smells all the same” territory. And you know: it is not so often that you read this (“smells all the same”) in the blogosphere, but when visiting perfumeries with friends you hear it on a constant basis. “Smells all the same”. Of course, it doesn’t really smell the same, but …it seems all very similar, and familiar.

So yes: It’s the bases, stupid!

So, yes, I don’t use bases from industry.

But actually, I wanted to get to another point: Creating scents is sometimes not easy. And sometimes, it is. Don’t ask me why. I cannot really tell you why the vetiver trial turned out great, swiftly without much hassle of formulating forth and back. I mentioned it a while ago; I wanted to combine my Vetiver MD (hmmmmm, so elegant, so gentle, so not dirty, together with a great Petitgrain Combava (that’s a special petitgrain), and a few other things… And yes, it turned out quite lovely. The rose trials (rose de Kandahar) on the other hand. I did so many trials already and…. well, I don’t know, I don’t know.

But the vetiver is nice. Maybe it is due to the great quality of the vetiver oil used in high concentration. Maybe it is just because the time for vetiver is right and not for the rose. Maybe I am easier pleased by vetiver. Vetiver MD is like a polished vetiver in itself. I love it. Talking polished: I really wonder about the trend of dirt related scents. But that’s another post, I guess. Here just this: Me thinks, that perfumes should not really play conceptionally with body fluids, dirt and other bähh! stuff. Of course, a lot of wonderful perfumes have this hidden chord of rotten fruits, stinky cheese, animalic lines, a trace of “dirt”, hiding, performing an almost magic act,  and rendering the fragrance-skin interplay more interesting and fascinating.

But it is not about dirt. The perfume market becomes “Stark vulgarisiert”, as you might say in German. Strongly vulgarized. It is something that worries me deeply. It is like a mold, eating what we love from within.