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?(...)

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Ténacité des parfums et pseudo-fixation

Roudnitska in his Le parfum (talking about fixation)

Les produits lourds, en freinant exagérément l’évaporation de la composition, nuisent à sa vigueur et l ’ »étouffent ». De sorte que le parfum paraîtra « plat » le premier jour, un peu moins le second et le troisième jour, c’est-à-dire trop tard, et il sera de toute façon trop « sourd », sans nervosité.

Literally translated : The heavy products, by slowing and breaking the evaporation of a composition too strong, damage its power (Andy Tauer: Probably he meant diffusive power) and take away its breath. In a way that the perfumer looks flat at the first day, a little bit less flat the second day and again less flat the third day, which means: Too late, and it will by all means just be silent, without nervousness .

Well, my translation isn’t that good, but I think the message comes over. What Roudnitska talks about here is the thin line that you must walk when using fixing base notes, heavy notes. Fixing and making a fragrance last, is simple per se as long as you do not care about its diffusive power and its character and aesthetic quality. Take a bottle of Ambroxan and dilute white magic powder with ethanol and the mix will last for ever on your skin. But, except you are a hard core Ambergris addict, that isn’t exactly what you –perfume lover or perfumer alike- aim at. Thus, adding depth to a composition of delicate lines and colours without changing the entire composition is a tough one. Roudnitska did not mention it, but the base notes are also the notes that interact most with our skin, thus complicating the game.

What’s the bottom line? Maybe it is: When dreaming a new perfume, do not just dream roses or Lillac, dream the base, too.

Or: Less is more.


Blogger Anya said...

I've seen the lament over and over again on my group, as perfumers wail "my base is too strong, it's made everything muddy." Basenotes are so necessary, so strong, so often mishandled. It takes a light hand to make a strong man, er, basenote ;-)

The joke is true, however, to me, at least. The base is the most masculine part of the perfume, no doubt about it. The heart and head may be feminine, or masculine, or transgendered, even, looking at the yin and yang natures of perfumes - strength, diffusivity, tenacity.

It takes me back to the design world -- the bones, the structure, the grand axes that must be laid out and observable before anything else is added to the design.

Bones, structure, strength, clarity = a good base, whether it's a landscape, building, or perfume.

11:06 AM  
Blogger andy said...

Truely so, Anya! And then grand axes are sometimes so lovely on paper and just do not work in reality....

11:54 AM  
Blogger Anya said...

Ah, but what would Paris, Washington D.C., and so many great public spaces be without them?

I only wish the book were available in English. Keep translating, please, when you get the time. We all need the words of the master. You can find a good bit in English in Kaufman's book Perfume. Both Roudnitska and Carles are featured in it.

5:03 PM  

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