Lonestar Memories: Colombina on Perfumesmellingthings. (...)Lonestar Memories makes me want to escape the mundane confines of my everyday world(...)

Lonestar Memories: Katie on Scentzilla. (...) Lonestar Memories smells of the examined life. Inside there is joy, and there is tiny heartbreak, e xisting only in reverie. The scent unravels into the consideration of past experiences, and pinings for future joys and heartbreaks(...)

Lonestar Memories: Marlen Harrison's review on PerfumeCritic.com (...) If you're a lover of leather or richer wood fragrances, this is gonna be a holy grail scent and in that case, better get two bottles.(...)

Lonestar Memories: Cait Shortell's review on Legerdenez. (...) Do you appreciate scent because you identify with the scent and its image? Does a scent have the ability to create a memory outside one’s own experience?(...)

Thursday, December 01, 2005

First things first

Let me talk about a composition challenge today: Setting the olfactory point of entry and exit for a particular note.
It is like making a movie. You are the director and have a wonderful plot at your hand, for instance the return of the Alien monster in 2005 by a time machine accident in 2413. Lucky you, you managed to convince some influent youngsters in Hollywood to finance this venture and there you are: Sitting on your director chair, giving last instructions for the light and….action! Unfortunately, you are faced with actors that are free spirits, dominant in a way, spoiled by many Oscars and rather autonomously acting their way through the plot. And as they are very beautiful and used to get what they want, they start changing the plot, making sure that from the first cut to the last they are present in all scenes. In our Alien movie, the hero would suddenly appear in the first scene where you intended to introduce the time machine. Then, the Alien hunter would find her way into the nice scene that you have planed to make the movie more Hollywood like, where the waitress of a coffee shop falls in love with the police guy. Mrs. Alien killer super star would want to be filmed swimming with the dolphins in the scene where you’ve foreseen to outline the Alien’s pleasures of taking a salt water bath with a little snack on the side and finally your star will dominate the last scene where the waitress is killed and the police men finds comfort in watching saved children playing innocently their children games of hunting the monster….. For several reasons this movie would flop.

In perfumery, we –directors setting the light and scenes- are faced with the same challenge of handling superstars, especially when working with naturals. Take Cistus, steam distilled treasure of the mediterranean region. I want to place it in the middle where its warm, woody, vibrant, powdery and very present accents are perfect. Yet, it is a powerful fragrance, with a sharp, somewhat smoky start that tries to dominate the head note, too. The trick is to find the right setting that allows it to show off in the middle and be silent in the head. How to reach this? Tricky. The key is to set it next to an accord in the head that surrounds it and encapsulates it until time has come to act. For instance by introducing Clary sage, which supports the woody warm middle chord in Cistus, also underlining the ambra-touches, but brings in crispiness, sweetness, green touches that then allow you to further introduce citrus accents in the head or spices without them being spoiled by Cistus side effects. This is one of the heavy challenges in composition; to find the right partners that support each other and bring out exactly the scent quality you want at the right time.

In my next life I might become movie director…


Blogger Tania said...

Andy, I find the details of your creative process so fascinating. I have just finished writing a novel, and it is much the same thing! Headstrong characters, more complex than you planned for them to be, running off with your story. Thank you for sharing!

8:16 AM  
Blogger katiedid said...

I've no basis for comparison but for painting. The horror and challenge is to try to force your hand to cooperate with the image you see in your head. And as I am a less than skilled painter, my hand never ever fully cooperates. Never. Sigh. But one of the quirks of painting is that sometimes I make a mistake or accidentally diverge from my original plan, and as it turns out, sometimes the mistake/diversion leads me to something much more interesting than what I had originally set out to do in the first place. And sometimes it's but a regrettable mistake, and I rue my rudimentary skills. I wonder if perhaps the process of scent creation sometimes works that way as well?

2:14 PM  

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