My momma bought me some authentic Turkish Rose oil from this spice shop in Istanbul! #sohappy
I came across one of my old articles where I had mentioned time, and since the idea intrigues me still, I thought I’d share it again. I’ve been feeling nostalgic. Looking back on the time spent over there; I’ve realized that it was one of the most enriching chapters of my life thus far.
I wanted to give you a more specific example of scent branding. Only to show how powerful it is, also, to showcase a wonderful boutique hotel in Northern Egypt.
During my 11 month intensive course at the Grasse Institute of Perfumery, our class was given a brief (a term used in the fragrance industry to describe a project of sorts.) This brief was given to us by our sponsor for the year, Expressions Parfumées. We had to find the best way to capture luxury in scent. We were put into three groups of 4, had to choose an ingredient and a brand. Our group decided to go with the ever-growing concept of scent-branding (where I worked with some extraordinarily talented people.)
Why? Well we figured that creating something for a boutique hotel, in this case Adrère Amellal, would be wise since it was one of a kind, hard to come by, and as authentic as they come. It described luxury perfectly.
On top of that, the hotel stands alone, in the middle of the desert, where taking time to yourself is key. Therefore the ultimate luxury is time. In a world filled with hello’s and goodbye’s, where it’s hard to catch a moment to yourself, sometimes the only thing you need is to just stop and enjoy your life.
Although the perfume we created wasn’t used for the hotel, it introduced us to the world of scent branding and the hotel itself (this place is amazing, no electricity, lit with beeswax candles, close to the Siwa Oasis…incredible.) The fact that it is situated in Egypt is very dear to me, since I’m half-Egyptian. So we created Seshen, (ancient Egyptian for Blue Lotus, which signifies eternity and rebirth.) A perfume that is humble in it’s origins, just like the hotel. There was an emphasis on appreciating the simpler things in life, living off what you have and being proud of your heritage. Using ingredients found in Ancient Egypt and so filled with love.
So check it out, if you’re a traveler, this place is out of this world. And if you love perfume, ask me for a sample! Seshen has notes of cardamom, dates, lotus leaves, Egyptian Jasmine absolute, papyrus, beeswax absolute (our chosen ingredient) and precious woods, among others.
Time is a strange thing. We feel trapped by it when we are too aware of its passage and it goes by too quickly when we are not.
Time is a fragrance’s friend and its foe. The moment a scent bursts into the air is fleeting. It’s there one minute and gone the next, but for many of us, that moment also becomes still, the scent is all that matters. That’s so remarkable, how can something be temporarily static and moving all at once?
You must be wondering, ‘well that’s strange, why would anyone want to devote so much energy into something that doesn’t last?’ I guess I see it as existential in a way. I’m the type of person who seems to dwell on the past, generally, because it’s hard to let go of things, but also because I wouldn’t be who I am today without them.
Ironically enough, I’ve chosen a path that requires me to live in the moment. Every day. Excuse the pun, but I actually stop and smell the roses! If my nose catches a scent, I archive it. This is a moment to cherish, one to put in your memory bank. On top of that, I have been taught to create something that can transport someone to another realm. So I have to be on my game, an active imagination always needs a good dose of reality plus a pinch of razzle dazzle to spark it up.
It’s reality 2.0- enhanced, appreciated and preserved. Perfect for dreamers.
Ohhh if only you could smell something over the internet so people could share the love, but the only way to smell something and truly understand it, is in person. Either way, perfume should be worn for you, by you, here’s a chance to live in the moment and in doing so, you learn about yourself.
Fragrance is a lot like love in that it has a similar lesson: Saying goodbye always hurts but the only way to heal (even though some of us hate to admit it) is to love again. Even though it is bittersweet, and you want that goodness to stay, whether it be smelly or otherwise, we just have to remember that with every goodbye there will be another hello. So enjoy the moment, and find more. Keep listening to others’ stories and keep telling your own, cuz that’s just the way it goesss.
time warp clock photo via http://fasteddie.wordpress.com
“The fact is that this stuff is worth loving…It decorates the day. It makes you feel as if the colors of the air have changed. It’s a substitute for having an orchestra follow you about playing the theme song of your choice. Think of what the functional fragrance industry calls the ‘magic moment’, when the smell of the fabric softener billows out of your dryer and you can’t help but feel great. Perfume is wonderful. And it’s simply not true, as some people believe, that thinking about our pleasures ruins them.”
Perfumes: The Guide by Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez - ‘Introduction to Perfume Criticism