Back to the drawing board, er, I mean, The Perfumarium...!

    Back to the drawing board, er, I mean, The Perfumarium...!

    post #1 of 35
    Thread Starter 

    My submission was rejected for a brief for a Newer Fragrance House...

     

    Not Iconic enough.  Doesn't match the brief.  Not Elegant, Daring, or Sexy enough.

     

    But they did think it was Creed, which is maybe good, I guess...  They did say it was elegant, but not enough...

     

    They still liked it, all of the panel, some even wear it nicely, but it didn't match the brief.

     

    This is all so completely subjective, esp the brief and it's interpretation...  

    I can't say the brief's concept...  

     

     

    hmmm...

     

    So now I have to work out daring, sexy, iconic and elegant...

     

    Hmmm...

     

    rumination  - rumination...  rumination...

     

    :lipsrsealed:

    post #2 of 35

    Sorry to hear that, Paul, but from what I gather, that is pretty much what happens to perfumers 4/5 of the time or so.  Casting call for a new perfume - most go home without the job.

     

    On the plus side, comparison to Creed is very interesting.  There was a great interview with Olivier Creed recently, and you really get the sense that he's a guy who likes to make stuff that HE likes, and that his customers like and appreciate, no matter what anybody else thinks about it (there is little love between Creed and Turin, for example).

     

    Why do you have to make something that fits somebody else's brief?  Is that your long-term goal?  Meeting another person's brief is more the calling of the paid professional perfumer-for-hire - NOT somebody with their own line.

     

    I just know that some people do their best work when it is dictated to them from an arbitrary client or patron, others do their best work when they follow their own direction, and some people work best with one colleague or two, or maybe a single director.  To each his own, I say!

     

    PS - Sorry - I didn't mean to come off as critical, and hope it didn't seem that way.  I am just worried that somebody else's ideas of what is right may distract you.  As long as it's a good growth experience, no problem.

     

    In Burr's book, Jean-Claude Ellena talked about not wanting his daughter Celine to be subjected to the disheartening aspects of professional perfumery, and I can kinda see that.

    post #3 of 35
    Thread Starter 
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Redneck Perfumisto View Post
     

    Why do you have to make something that fits somebody else's brief?  Is that your long-term goal?  Meeting another person's brief is more the calling of the paid professional perfumer-for-hire - NOT somebody with their own line.

     

     

    Well, I still have to feed my family and buy new shoes for growing boys...   And PK Perfumes isn't making any money yet...  So I thought I'd try out selling something for some cash...

    They've already been to what apparently is all of the big Perfume houses with the brief, and not been pleased with anything that was sent to them, nothing met their criteria.  So I threw my hat into the ring with a fragrance that they even said was original, elegant, and the beginnings of a very marketable fragrance.

     

    But the brief is actually very brief, just a couple of sentences and supposed to be characterized and personified by two classy Men that we all know and appreciate, that I can't mention.  :-)

     

    I'm wondering if the brief can even be met...?  Some of the concepts seem to be diametrically opposed... Hmmm... Still thinking, and have started another one to work it out...

    post #4 of 35
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by pkiler View Post
     
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Redneck Perfumisto View Post
     

    Why do you have to make something that fits somebody else's brief?  Is that your long-term goal?  Meeting another person's brief is more the calling of the paid professional perfumer-for-hire - NOT somebody with their own line.

     

     

    Well, I still have to feed my family and buy new shoes for growing boys...   And PK Perfumes isn't making any money yet...  So I thought I'd try out selling something for some cash...

    They've already been to what apparently is all of the big Perfume houses with the brief, and not been pleased with anything that was sent to them, nothing met their criteria.  So I threw my hat into the ring with a fragrance that they even said was original, elegant, and the beginnings of a very marketable fragrance.

     

    But the brief is actually very brief, just a couple of sentences and supposed to be characterized and personified by two classy Men that we all know and appreciate, that I can't mention.  :-)

     

    I'm wondering if the brief can even be met...?  Some of the concepts seem to be diametrically opposed... Hmmm... Still thinking, and have started another one to work it out...

     

    Well, that does sound like a good idea, then.  If the opportunity arises, then why not?  It does sound like you got some very positive feedback.  Hope you get some more chances, then, because ultimately it is something of a numbers game.

    post #5 of 35

    Sorry Paul, never a good thing to lose the deal.  I have long experience with the process of bidding to a brief in my former life and it's tough: even the very best companies in commodity markets can expect to win no more than one in three that they bid for and for most it's much less than that.  In this kind of creative market I'd guess those numbers look worse, though my own experience is limited.

     

    As to why we do it, for me it's not just about a means to make some money, it's a very different experience to try to build something to meet someone else's concept than it is to build from your own concept.  Both are a creative challenge that can be very rewarding.  

     

    I think the depressing aspect of the modern industry that JCE and others have talked about has more to do with the process by which it happens in the big houses: first there is an idea, then there is a marketing plan, then the bottle designer is selected and somewhere along the line someone hands a brief to a perfumer (or several) who work away divorced from the rest of the creative process to produce something, which is then subjected to a thousand revisions resulting from marketing opinions, focus groups and the client's secretary's third cousin who didn't like it . . . so that what emerges has had any trace of originality relentlessly squeezed out of it in a bid to ensure no one will hate it.  A perfumer who can sneak a work of art past all those filters driving towards mediocrity is both skilled and lucky.

    post #6 of 35

    A perfumer who creates a work of art any more is a master lawyer, never mind lucky, IMO. The EU cosmetics legislation updates from 2013 July might mean we can just about wear some water. Excepting of course, the very dangerous health and safety aspect that we cannot be trusted not to drink it. Lol.

     

    Sometimes PK, a rejection produces a better challenge and a mightier result. Good luck.

    post #7 of 35
    Thread Starter 

    I talked for about half an hour by phone today with the client.  This whole brief:  "We want a men's fragrance that embodies the style, elegance, sexy-ness and clean of these two male celebrities, and oh, it has to make women swoon over the wearer if they get into an elevator, and the fragrance has to be original, and Iconic..."

     

    There's not exactly a real target there to aim at.  And it's like they're asking for the Michelangelo carrara marble statue of David in a bottle.

     

    It's terribly subjective and relative, and hard to even start to figure out what to do.

     

    They want a masterpiece.  And they haven't gotten it yet from all of the other perfumers that have tried before me...

     

    Can it be done?  That's my question...

     

    They gave mine high marks, but yet still not good enough for their carrara marble ideal.

     

     

    hmmm... back to the perfumarium to work again...

     

    I chatted today with my 9 year old Santa Fe about this conundrum, and he said, "Well, it should be equal parts of Red Leather, and Ere, with just a drop of Carissa."

     

    :happy:

     

    he's probably not too far from the truth...


    Edited by pkiler - 9/18/13 at 11:35pm
    post #8 of 35

    "We want a men's fragrance that embodies the style, elegance, sexy-ness and clean of these two male celebrities, and oh, it has to make women swoon over the wearer if they get into an elevator, and the fragrance has to be original, and Iconic..."

     

    So, they want something like Acqua di Gio then? lol.

    post #9 of 35
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by pkiler View Post

    ...

     

    I chatted today with my 9 year old Santa Fe about this conundrum, and he said, "Well, it should be equal parts of Red Leather, and Ere, with just a drop of Carissa."

     

    :happy:

     

    he's probably not too far from the truth...

     

    Always trust kids on stuff like that!  They're kinda like G_d's focus group.

     

    Not that you would want to do a simple mash-up, but that could be a real sense of the the path to the desired style.

     

    Best wishes to you! :beer:

    post #10 of 35
    Thread Starter 

    The First scent I sent in is/was a clean/green violet leaf vintage fahrenheit spicy musky leathery..., really, rather nice, and will be developed much more fully.  I wore it for just short of a month trying it out, and had become rather pleased with it's style and progress.  What I sent is only the first iteration and modification number 6, which isn't too far down the development trail.  Even so, it was pretty good in that state.  It is kind of a milder Red Leather blended with Fahrenheit and greens and musk.

     

    I've started another submission today, but am stumbling a bit on a direction...

    And I'll develop in tandem another submission that is like Santa Fe's suggestion...

    Maybe, if I get inspired, I'll do another.

     

    This is ALL PERFUME ART, I tell ya...

     

     

     

    :-)

    post #11 of 35
    I would suggest going left field altogether. When stuck on a design brief that is what I do. Go right back to the brainstorming stage.

    Here is my suggestion for what it's worth. Clean the desk and mind of all previous thought. Pin up a photo of your subjects and have another read about them. Write random words on squares of paper as they pop into your mind. Take each word of your brief again written on more squares of paper, muddle them up and allocate each word an aroma, written in the other side. Then arrange these smell thoughts again on the table. It might trigger another route.

    Just an idea.
    post #12 of 35

    That brief sounds a bit sophomoric to me. Who's the target audience? The two celebrities or elevator operators?

    post #13 of 35

    Sounds like someone who doesn't really know what they want until they smell it. Just completely ignore the brief and make what you think. Then you stay true to yourself and your own art.

    post #14 of 35
    Forget the brief Paul. What they want is something sexy so it can appeal to a greater number of buyers. Focus on woody and spicy for a male perfume. Try to add a freshness aspect as well if you are dealing with Americans (which I suspect you do).
    Don't think too much. Use your instict. When you'll have the right smell accomplished you'll have no doubts. You'll just know it.
    post #15 of 35

    Just don't fall into the same trap as an artist of my acquaintance many years ago - he found his rejected designs in a certain top fashion magazine after a while....

    post #16 of 35