- 3rd April
- 27th March
“On hearing that sonata, I could no longer tell whether I was breathing music or listening to scent. For the sounds, colours and smells do not answer one another in nature only, but in ourselves they are blended at time into a profound unity, drawing different responses from different organs.”
Guy de Maupassant (read in Mandy Aftel’s Essence & Alchemy)
- 23rd September
- 18th August
- 2nd August
You know how sometimes you feel like you’re stuck in a rut, then something comes to you, just at the right time, exactly when you need it? Well…
I was lucky enough to go to the annual Osheaga Music Festival in Montreal on Saturday. I wasn’t even planning on going because of ticket prices and whatnot, then I got a call from one of my best friends telling me to get ready to leave in an hour. Bonus points for spontaneity!
I try to go every year, for the mere fact that it feels so good to be in the midst of live music. It changes you. The surrounding environment is invigorating, and totally random (this year, it was a dude in a zebra jumpsuit, last year it was another dude in a fluorescent yellow thong over his pants…whyyyy!?)
There’s usually an emphasis on good music, a large selection of bands (all kinds) coming together to play for the masses, everyone is there for the same reason. To bask in the glory that is music. People decked out in their best hippie chic outfits, just being young and having a good time.
The highlight for me was probably Sia. If you haven’t heard of her, please lend her your ears! She oozes soul, it’s like it needs to escape from her body somehow. She played a couple of songs that were so dear to my heart Soon We’ll Be Found and Breathe Me (check the videos out, they’re both fantastic.) I knew that there was a reason I was there. AND I was with one of my favourite people no less. That’s another +1! on my list for feeling better. On top of that, she was amazing live, just as good as in her recordings, that says something, especially in a world filled with auto-tune.
Then there was Lupe Fiasco, I’m not that big of a fan. But guess what? This guy can pull it off live! And I am now converted.
What struck me most about him is what he said towards the end of his set. He had mentioned how countries have no borders. Reminding us that we are all equals, and that we’re all here for the same reason. And it put some things into perspective for me. What he said was reassuring to a degree, because we all feel like we’re out in this world alone sometimes, and every now and then, we need that outside voice to remind us that we’re not.
Meanwhile, during this whole experience, the smells and sounds of the park seemed to merge as one. It was aware of my surroundings entirely, and believe me, it didn’t smell pretty!
So If I could describe Osheaga in terms of scent, the festival would be a blend of patchouli (and LOTS of it), some orris concrete, black pepper, some random dirty aldehydes like C7 and C11 Lenic, a bunch of Iso E Super, Helional and some white flowers like maybe a hint of Jasmine (Indol and Cumin Seed Oil for B.O) and Lily of the Valley. Oh and pee (ick)..ooh ooh and maybe some Lentisque for that, again, dirty, sort of green cigarette touch. Total stank, but the good kind!
All in all, a successful day, wish I could have been there for more. I urge you to go to concerts in your cities, there’s nothing like some live music to help you feel better. It’s totally therapeutic. Oh and if you’re ever lucky enough to go to one of ODO7’s concerts, then you’ll get to experience both scent and sound, which is just pure awesomeness.
- 20th July
The perfumer is the last romantic of our time. Still able to communicate love, desire, audacity or temptation in a scent
- Arcadi Boix Camps
- 14th July
- 23rd June
My momma bought me some authentic Turkish Rose oil from this spice shop in Istanbul! #sohappy
- 3rd June
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
- 2nd June
- 2nd June
“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
- 30th May
- 25th May
I’ve been sorta MIA lately, having a hard time figuring out what to write about. The mighty internet is inundated with perfume blogs, so many excellent ones. I wonder every day if what I have to say is different, and if there’s something I can mention that other bloggers haven’t already talked about.
Then I spoke to a friend of mine. She lives in New York and did the same course with me in Grasse. We talked about our love of perfume and how difficult it is to just have the opportunity to learn in the perfume world. She told me I should think about the creative process in perfumery and it reminded me of something I had read in Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez’ book “Perfumes: The Guide”.
Mr. Turin was talking about how people have the “same data, different filters” referring to the way people perceive scent. He also mentioned perfumers, people who invest their time and passionate energy into learning about materials foreign to them. They are quickly rewarded when they realize that life is brighter when one is more aware of what is around. He mentioned how “having a ‘nose’ really means having both a nose and a mind.” And that got me thinking..
Until last last June, I was convinced that it was impossible to become a perfumer. I was in Canada, I wasn’t French, nor male, and there were no perfumers in my family. It happened so randomly and so quickly that I decided to take the plunge either way. What was waiting for me was an atmosphere of great learning. Not a day went by without the acquiring of a new fact and a new skill.
I had never been so creatively challenged in my life. Working with perfume makes you think, you have to be able to come up with ideas very quickly and execute them effectively. You have to find a way of making something new without straying too far from what people will like, while still staying true to yourself and the integrity of the creation. On top of that, you have to challenge yourself (which is remarkably exciting), raw material combinations can be endless, and you have to have great imagination and undeniable restraint to get an image, a moment and a great scent across.
The best advice given to me was to take a step back from my work. At times, I would be overwhelmed with how much I wanted to do in one sitting. I wanted to make all kinds of stuff; it’s important to try to remake classical accords at first, in order to learn. I wanted to make everything I’d ever dreamed of making, and I would get all trigger happy with the pipettes, doing different variations of florals, or random perfumes like one inspired by Morocco, a place I’d never even been to (I can safely say I was happy with the outcome)
I think that advice pertains to most things, when you’re in something for too long, it’s hard to see the nuances. Too much of one thing is never good. For a perfumer, the best thing is to leave your work, even if it’s only for an hour, go outside, take in what you see, and more importantly, what you smell.
The wonderful thing about perfumery is that there is inspiration everywhere. It doesn’t matter where you are, there will always be something to push your creative buttons. Something to remind you of something else; a place in the city you live in that has made a lasting impression on you or the vibrant colour of tulips as you walk home (it’s tulip season in Montreal, and I love it)
So I hope I look at these words closely in the future, and often, to remember that even though I feel like I don’t always have much to say; my mind and my nose are working in tandem to create experiences for me, ones that will hopefully give me the ability to further create.
- 25th May
- 29th April
There is a light seed grain inside
you fill it with yourself or it dies