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  1. #1

    Default Fragrances are not made for "us" (basenoters)

    I think that mass fragrances are not made for "us".

    I am in my 8th month in the fragrance industry as a perfumery student (and that's just 8 months of all the years remaining in my career of endless learning), and I wanted to share some things. Hear me out for a couple minutes please. I was born and raised basenoter in the sense that basenotes changed every perception that I had about perfumery nearly five years ago as a lurker. I shed open the first layer, and I was no longer just a consumer influenced by bottles and marketing. I discovered niche perfumery here and it became my benchmark - I have come to also discover that there is a "good" niche and a "bad" niche. This type of perfumery became a main reason as to why I wanted to become a perfumer (personally, now I am open to and in love with every type of "perfumery"). I've grown up since my last bit of activity nearly a year ago, and matured a little bit more while living abroad in France. Now, I am shedding another layer while plucked away from the consumer world.

    The perfumery world is something really unimaginable a world of good and bad. Chandler Burr's writings shed a little light. As a new fledgling, I have only seen a little of the truth, but I think I have seen a little bit more because I was so passionate and motivated. Because I am so in love with perfumery, I have made a curious monkey's effort to knock on doors, ask questions, listen to stories, and take in everything that I have around me. I am not here to "divulge" anything, but to speak to those who were like me, who wanted a little bit more. Everything that I say now is just my fledging interpretation of the world (industry people, please do not blacklist me for this newbie industry post ).

    This occupation is hard and I have to say the humility that the perfumers have to stay in the shadows is exceptional against what they have to deal with. You have perfumers in big companies, small companies; perfumers doing fine fragrances or toiletries; perfumers in big companies answering a range of briefs and perfumers in small companies answering different types of briefs. Big or small, a perfumer is a perfumer and the client is always the same: "cheaper, better, faster, longer lasting."

    Perfumers face so many restrictions: price (given by the client), allergen restrictions (IFRA), time, etc (I find this thrilling for my creativity but it might not be the case after having to deal with this endlessly). I have had perfumers tell me that sometimes they do not have time to even smell what they have created (experience and expertise follows through most of the time). They ship the samples out to the client immediately after the formulas are weighed. Perfumers have told me that they were asked to do the impossible... to make something cheaper than what a formula filled with solvents would cost. At the same time, there are joys of winning a brief. The perfumers that I met love what they do. My friend and her father was sharing a round of sodas. She commented how she liked the smell of a mainstream French sunscreen sitting on her dinner table. Her father, sitting next to her, a perfumer, responded with a smirk, "I made the fragrance inside."

    The goal of a fragrance is to sell, and that is that. That's why I think that (mass) fragrances are not made for "us", "us" being the basenoters who were like myself, filled with questions. These fragrances are not made for people who make intensive analysis on the fragrances, who read reviews, who want the "best", who want things are different, who have benchmarks, who make connections, who are in turn picky... because we are people who eventually reject, reject, and reject. "Well, Cool Water smells exactly like Green Irish Tweed, but Green Irish Tweed smells so much better so no Cool Water for me." "I already have a bottle of Scent of Peace, so I guess it will be a waste to buy Light Blue." Fragrances are made for the typical consumer who will buy into the stories, the ads, the trends, etc.

    All these things about fragrances smelling the same all come down to not wanting to take risks because fragrance launches take so much money to get off. A flop is not acceptable for these fashion houses. Interesting, bizzare accords (to our tastes) rest in the labs. My marketing professor tells us that a consumer, in general, rejects a new odor because he has nothing to connect himself with the fragrance. She as an evaluator is able to find facets of existing fragrances in new releases. It all makes sense. Someone who worked closely with the Angel launch told our class that Thierry Mugler was such a small company that it had almost nothing to lose going against all his big competitors. Taking a risk at fragrance like Angel became one of the best moves in fragrance history. (The Secret Scent talks about the same thing on Jean Claude Ellena's tea accord). For all of this, I see new fragrances launches in a different light. I feel hope when I smell innovation in the new releases.

    Niche perfumery was made for us, the outliers, until we evolve into another level. Some of these interesting accords from above are given to us. All the complaints that we have heard here, I doubt that the fashion houses will respond to them and I do not expect one second that they would because we are so few in the grand scheme of things. But at the same time I take it back: notice how prestige brands have created or expanded their private collections to combat the growth of traditional niche perfumery. Donna Karan did a little revival recently maybe because of us... just a little?

    Anyway, my fellow basenoters, I encourage you to keep learning and keep smelling and keep asking those questions. I know that it might be discouraging to not understand the decisions made, but keep enjoying what exists and is to come.

    As a future perfumer (fingers crossed), I commit myself to strive for innovation while meeting the needs of the company, clients, and consumers that I work for. I will make myself a "technician" with the goal to reach as many people as I can with my creations (unless I one day open my own lab and go "niche"). But I'll make sure to allow my artistic side to give some good twists in my formulas for you guys!

    That's all I really want to say, "divulge". Over and out,

    - Alex

    PS. Thank you basenotes for changing my life. Having a foundation of education around niche perfumery (as my perfumery teacher would say... something along the lines of "classical perfumery") and a community that provided me so much learning has been really important in my walk, putting me farther ahead as a budding perfumery student.
    Last edited by scentophile; 13th April 2009 at 07:44 AM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Fragrances are not made for "us" (basenoters)

    Your story is what I've more or less believed, based upon what I've read, and it's why I can't imagine wanting to be a perfumer, under any circumstances (unless someone wanted to throw a million dollars at me and there was no pressure on me to actually produce anything). That said, I wonder how much more it matters, since once you've sampled a ton of different frags, do you really need to smell something slightly different? For me, the enjoyment comes from the rotation of what I already have, and also getting some "super deals" on ebay, from yard sales, etc.

    The thought of spending a hundred dollars or more on a fragrance makes me laugh. The most I've spent on a full size bottle is about $20, and I've only done that a few times, sometimes as a result of a trade, and so when shipping was factored in, it brought the cost up of the traded item to $20. So at least for me, I can wait for the fragrances to "come to me," rather than worry about what the perfume companies are trying to do to the "ignorant masses." I'd suggest you just view perfumery as a job that is at least a bit better than almost all others, despite the BS you have to tolerate.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Fragrances are not made for "us" (basenoters)

    I recently met up with an old college friend, who for many years was a "Creative Director" at two well known, mid to lower-end fragrance companies. She left because she became disillusioned at the speed of the launches of endlessly similar things, only a small percentage of which - if any - would become classics. The expectation was that products would behave like shooting stars, making all the money they were likely to make within 3 years, then be culled. In the end she couldn't see the point of this May fly-like life cycle and packed it all in.

    So the very best of luck to you Alex, and keep the faith for the rest of us out here! Or "bon courage", as you are probably doing all this in French over there!

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Fragrances are not made for "us" (basenoters)

    Alex,

    Thank you for sharing your experience and insight.

    It does substantiate things that I've suspected. But, given the modern world of commerce, aren't really unexpected.

    I'm starting to delve into the world of the small perfumers: small places where they're doing it because they love perfume, only offer what they can produce themselves, scents you won't find in any store, and what's available often rotates depending on available ingredients, etc.

    Good luck in your continued enterprise. I hope you can avoid becoming jaded by the reality of the business vs. the artistry of perfume.
    Brent

    Catherine Deneuve: "You should put scent where you like to be kissed."


  5. #5

    Default Re: Fragrances are not made for "us" (basenoters)

    Alex, thanks so much for posting your thoughts and experience. Very interesting!

    Quote Originally Posted by scentophile View Post
    All the complaints that we have heard here, I doubt that the fashion houses will respond to them and I do not expect one second that they would because we are so few in the grand scheme of things. But at the same time I take it back: notice how prestige brands have created or expanded their private collections to combat the growth of traditional niche perfumery. Donna Karan did a little revival recently maybe because of us... just a little?
    I would think that the internet connection all over the world between perfumistas would some impact on the industry - if they were smart.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Fragrances are not made for "us" (basenoters)

    Interesting post, Scentophile. I can't say I'm surprised - my feeling is mainly one of resignation to the reality - which is basically that for most houses, profits trump all. Nothing wrong with that, I suppose, but it's frustrating to think of how many wonderful, possible frags could be out there if the focus was on a product that was unqiue and high quality. That said, it's not like I'm without huge, huge favourites, and am nowhere near to even scratching the surface of the perfume world, testing-wise.

    It reminds me of what's happening (happened?) to the US movie industry. Everything is focus-grouped and lowest-common-denominatored to death, often resulting in a bland, uninteresting product. I guess that's what happens if you put the execs/suits in charge (of any industry) and downgrade the power of the creative directors.

    On a related topic, I think it was Chandler Burr I read recently, commenting on how the perfume industry is still relatively 'closed' - he said with so many sons and daughters of perfumers now in the business it was the case that the incestuousness of the industry was harming it rather than helping it. Perfume creation is apparently not yet a meritocracy.
    "It's now very common to hear people say "I'm rather offended by that." As if that gives them certain rights. It's actually nothing more than a whine. 'I find that offensive.' It has no meaning; it has no purpose; it has no reason to be respected as a phrase. 'I am offended by that.' Well so fucking what." - Stephen Fry

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Fragrances are not made for "us" (basenoters)

    Thanks for the great post scentophile. Good luck with your studies.
    "One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple"

    -- Jack Kerouac

  8. #8

    Default Re: Fragrances are not made for "us" (basenoters)

    That was a thought-provoking post, Scentophile, and one that, I trust, was cathartic to write.

    Ultimately, we at Basenotes will always seek out and buy what we enjoy; what we think smells good on us or others, and what makes us feel or experience life in a certain way. These needs can be met by both the mass and niche markets, and in the top-end and lower-end segments thereof.

    Hence, you should be sure that there will always be room for your creativity in the profit-driven corporate world, just as your practical expertise and commercial acumen will surely be a boon to any small-scale, independent venture you may pursue.

    To straddle both camps does not suggest an identity crisis or 'selling out'. I hope you will enjoy the possibilities of inhabiting both worlds.

    I wish you the best of luck with your future career.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Fragrances are not made for "us" (basenoters)

    You're spot on with the whole "niche is for us", but I feel your drawing too much into the "mass Fragrances are not made for us"...Of course the forum members here are not the target audience, that's like a grocery store carrying bottles of wine that a snoody connoisseur would enjoy - In that affect what I'm trying to say is that it never was about us.

  10. #10


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    Default Re: Fragrances are not made for "us" (basenoters)

    Alex, very thoughtful post, please keep us posted as to your progress and keep fighting the good, yet stressful, fight!

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Fragrances are not made for "us" (basenoters)

    Yes, very interesting. I find that perfumery seems very much like computer programming, where a person behind the scenes is asked to balance an exasperatingly large set of conditions to make a single workable entity - and to then do it better, faster, cheaper, etc. There is pride in creation, but it's not easy to get there.

    I appreciate the honest insight into the business. Quite fascinating. Don't know if you've considered writing a book when you're done, but I'm sure it would be interesting reading.
    * * * *

  12. #12

    Default Re: Fragrances are not made for "us" (basenoters)

    Thank you guys for the support. This post was not to make a "we" vs "them", or that any perfumery is better statement. Neither am I here to fight the system or say that it is good or bad. I love where I am, and I love what I do and I have long accepted how everything is.

    In fact niche perfumery and mass perfumery are not any different because the root of it is creation and it is creation. Truth be told, from a technical aspect, I find many formulas of mainstream fragrances (finding a good accord between synthetics and touches of naturals to generate sophistication and an illusion of richness) a touch more interesting than certain niche formulations (vs. just a bunch of good naturals mixed together). I think what inherently really pleases me about niche perfumery is that, in general, there are more naturals used and on a biological level, we are meant to smell naturals (nature). Even with that, I love and embrace the whole palette of synthetics that exist (sorry Naturals Guild).

    The system of a company approach a perfumery firm with a standard (brief) is most likely the same where the restrictions are still the same. I'd still like to think perfumers are given a bit more money to work with. The perfumers behind niche perfumes (I talk prestige niche) are not any different than those creating the topsellers today.

    Having studied psychology and business a bit before my studies is helping me understand the whole picture.

    Gotta go to school now! I will come back and edit this post.
    Last edited by scentophile; 10th September 2008 at 06:39 AM.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Fragrances are not made for "us" (basenoters)

    I've always been told that a mainstream fragrance (the juice) sold between 60 and 70 euros costs between 3 and 7 euros. The rest is for the bottle, package, marketing and profit ... In French we call it "le Nivellement par le bas".
    Big perfume houses like Guerlain and Caron are just killing themselves with that kind of behaviour. This is also why more and more people buy vintage bottles. I just don't understand how they can pretend making such profit onto such horrible juices. Consumers are anosmic or totally stupid.

    There will always be people who love good quality fragrances. In the long term, I'm sure there will have two types of perfumery.
    Last edited by Night; 10th September 2008 at 06:28 AM.
    L'amour fait songer, vivre et croire. Il a, pour réchauffer le coeur, un rayon de plus que la gloire; et ce rayon, c'est le bonheur. (Victor HUGO)

  14. #14

    Default Re: Fragrances are not made for "us" (basenoters)

    Have been watching and enjoying your fragrant journey. Thanks for posting your thoughts. and good luck in your every endeavor.

    Meantime, how do you see YOUR place, incorporating your Oriental/American origins and classical training, in the industry? New approaches to classical notes? New materials? Unexpected combinations?


  15. #15

    Default Re: Fragrances are not made for "us" (basenoters)

    Quote Originally Posted by Night View Post
    I've always been told that a mainstream fragrance (the juice) sold between 60 and 70 euros costs between 3 and 7 euros. The rest is for the bottle, package, marketing and profit ... In French we call it "le Nivellement par le bas".
    Big perfume houses like Guerlain and Caron are just killing themselves with that kind of behaviour. This is also why more and more people buy vintage bottles. I just don't understand how they can pretend making such profit onto such horrible juices. Consumers are anosmic or totally stupid.

    There will always be people who love good quality fragrances. In the long term, I'm sure there will have two types of perfumery.
    The cost to produce 100ml of a mainstream scent is probably closer to 1 euro, if even that much.
    Last edited by SculptureOfSoul; 10th September 2008 at 11:35 AM.
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  16. #16

    Default Re: Fragrances are not made for "us" (basenoters)

    Thanks for your really interesting and passionate post, Alex. So many insights there that I would love to hear more about. I really hope that you'll continue to write about your experiences and what you're learning. Have you thought about blogging? Is there sort of the sense that a lot of what you're learning should not be shared with people outside the industry?

  17. #17

    Default Re: Fragrances are not made for "us" (basenoters)

    Incredible ... Let's go on strike !
    L'amour fait songer, vivre et croire. Il a, pour réchauffer le coeur, un rayon de plus que la gloire; et ce rayon, c'est le bonheur. (Victor HUGO)

  18. #18

    Default Re: Fragrances are not made for "us" (basenoters)

    Quote Originally Posted by Twolf View Post
    Have been watching and enjoying your fragrant journey. Thanks for posting your thoughts. and good luck in your every endeavor.

    Meantime, how do you see YOUR place, incorporating your Oriental/American origins and classical training, in the industry? New approaches to classical notes? New materials? Unexpected combinations?

    Hey twolf! Thanks for your "good luck". My style has been more American and European than anything else compared to the other true Asians students at my school. It is interesting because you smell the orient trend in their fragrances. I'm ultimately influenced by the smells around me since my birth in California. Being around heat, I have a natural affinity to transparent, cool, watery accords (using two raw materials called hedione and helional) along the lines of what Jean Claude Ellena is doing. But I only use dihydromyrcenol and calone (molecules used in the hygienic era) when I really have to, as I am more interested in creating new modern accords than anything else. I really like fruity notes and gourmand accords as well - apparently, this is very "American". It is now that I am forcing myself to work around woods and amber. At the same time, I am like playdoh, really flexible to try new concepts.

    Before starting my perfumery studies, I spent half a year learning French in Lyon, the capital of French food. I spent much time in the French perfumeries to understand what the French "style" is. All in all, I am inspired by the odors in this amazing gustatory capital and from my travels through Europe and Asia. Even though perfumery is done mostly by the French (and boy are they really good at perfumery) even in the Americas, I have to say what they create for America (Calvin Klein, Estee Lauder, Tommy Hilfiger, Ralph Lauren) and for Europe have their subtle differences for our tastes. As for future plans, I really want to spend some time working in the Asian-Pacific region, so that I could learn that spirit. All in all, I realized that my experiences in the three cultures give me this endless source of inspiration. My creations try to capture the French sophistication, the American innovation, and a touch of Asian exoticness.

    - Alex
    Last edited by scentophile; 10th September 2008 at 12:48 PM.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Fragrances are not made for "us" (basenoters)

    Quote Originally Posted by Strollyourlobster View Post
    Is there sort of the sense that a lot of what you're learning should not be shared with people outside the industry?
    Yes, and this is the limit to what I am going to write here. It is just that I am so in love with all of this and I believe that there are people who are just as passionate as I am for fragrances. I know that there are people dying to know a little more. I think a large group of consumers are ready to be educated. For that, I whisper just the few things that I know with great discretion (I have no intention to give away "trade secrets"). I'll soon disappear off into the shadows and continue learning.

    - Alex

  20. #20

    Default Re: Fragrances are not made for "us" (basenoters)

    Alex:

    I only wish that you would blog your initiation into and adventures in the French perfume world. You are a caring and artistic soul. Far from looking for an expose or tell-all, I would be more interested in reading about how you navigate the tension between your artistry and the demands of the market. Best of luck, my dear.

  21. #21

    Default Re: Fragrances are not made for "us" (basenoters)

    Thank you for the very interesting read.
    Best of luck.
    Looking for a sample of Gucci Envy Me.

  22. #22

    Default Re: Fragrances are not made for "us" (basenoters)

    Quote Originally Posted by scentophile View Post
    Before starting my perfumery studies, I spent half a year learning French in Lyon, the capital of French food. I spent much time in the French perfumeries to understand what the French "style" is. All in all, I am inspired by the odors in this amazing gustatory capital and from my travels through Europe and Asia. Even though perfumery is done mostly by the French (and boy are they really good at perfumery) even in the Americas, I have to say what they create for America (Calvin Klein, Estee Lauder, Tommy Hilfiger, Ralph Lauren) and for Europe have their subtle differences for our tastes. As for future plans, I really want to spend some time working in the Asian-Pacific region, so that I could learn that spirit. All in all, I realized that my experiences in the three cultures give me this endless source of inspiration. My creations try to capture the French sophistication, the American innovation, and a touch of Asian exoticness.

    - Alex
    It almost sounds like you're training to be a chef! That's so interesting! (Or maybe I'm just hungry because it's dinnertime in my side of the world.)

  23. #23

    Default Re: Fragrances are not made for "us" (basenoters)

    Would the industry even exist if it were made for us rather than profit? The whole mass market globalization of scents is something I totally don't mind as I feel it's allowed more people to discover and acquire scents thanks to lower prices and such. The explosion of certain scents in the mass market and how it affects the marketing and creation of future scents is something interesting (though at times annoying) to me as fragrances are so historically important and in terms of the fashion industry, global economy and sociological trends.

    I do believe like you however that if it weren't for certain dedicated perfume addicts and online-communities such as basenotes, the market wouldn't be as varied, be as adventurous and have as many successful niches as they do today. Good luck with your education and do please consider writing a blog about your experience! We need a book someday written by a true insider... kind of like the fragrance industry equivalent of Anthony Bourdain and his "Kitchen Confidential."
    Last edited by masuerte; 11th September 2008 at 01:40 AM.

  24. #24

    Default Re: Fragrances are not made for "us" (basenoters)

    Nice to hear from you, scentophile!
    I am very glad it all worked out fine in the end! And your article is great .
    I would love to see this in the BN Articles section!
    'Il mondo dei profumi è un universo senza limiti: una fraganza puo rievocare sensazioni, luoghi, persone o ancora condurre in uno spazio di nuove dimensioni emozionali' L. V.

  25. #25

    Default Re: Fragrances are not made for "us" (basenoters)

    Wonderful to hear from you again. A wholehearted thanks for sharing your insights and vulnerabilities over the years. Your courage is huge and very inspiring.

    The internet can be a shadowy place of half hidden truths and people projecting images of what they wish were true. You show the other side, that it can shine bright light on places and experiences which would never otherwise be seen at all, that people of integrity can reach out through the murk of everyday disillusion.

    With your eagerness to learn, humility and willingness to put everything into your journey, I am left looking forward to the day I can smell your work.
    "Don’t try to be original. Be simple. Be good technically, and if there is something in you, it will come out. ” - Henri Matisse.

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  26. #26

    Default Re: Fragrances are not made for "us" (basenoters)

    Wonderful post Alex, I read it with much interest. I remember seeing a couple of perfumery students at ISIPCA earlier this year, they were so... young! You've come a long way, and it's great to see you pursue your dreams with such determination.

    Good luck with your studies,
    Marcello
    Last edited by Marcello; 12th September 2008 at 06:49 AM.
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  27. #27

    Default Re: Fragrances are not made for "us" (basenoters)

    Well thank you so much, scentophile/Alex. You've shared wonderful insights and given us all food for thought. Best wishes in your studies.
    I wonder if the perfume industry will develop as the wine industry is doing. Namely, each was once the domain of exclusive houses largely serving aristocrats and the noveau-riche. The wealthy demanded quality but didn't want to fuss with details; the producers catered to them. Other consumers got what was left over. But there has been a democratization of the wine industry, propelled largely by increased consumer knowledge of the details and a corresponding demand for a higher quality-to-price ration in middle-range price points. Does anyone see that happening in the fragrance industry?
    On a separate issue... I note your studies in Lyon in the Rhone. If I may bring a favorite term from the Provençe region -- garigue. This is kind of an obsession with me. A nice aspect in wines, and I think also in my favorite sort of scent. Any reactions? I'll paste in my usual blurb, apologies to those who've seen it before. Cheers!

    Garigue: the smells on wind blowing through wild resinous herbs (e.g., thyme, lavender, rosemary) growing in hot baked earth. Many Provençal wines are described as having a garigue aroma and flavor. Garigue is the term for a thicket or bunch of low bushes.

    -----
    from the blog perfume smellin’ things:
    Q: What are your favorite summer fragrances? What are the characteristics of your ideal summer scent?
    A” “The summer brings so many intense and deep scents, especially in the South of France where I chose to live, for me it's a pure felicity, to smell again and again each year: in the market, the fresh basil, the ripe melon, the velvety peaches, the green tomato leaves... in the "garigue", the warm pine needles, the aromatic dried earth, the strong fig leaves, the wild fennel... and when the lukewarm breeze transports the lavender fields smell, I feel elated! But also the sunny sprays of seawater... And above all, the jasmine fragrance when the warm starry night comes...” Mona di Orio
    odysseusm

    "The force that through the green fuse drives the flower // drives my green age..." Dylan Thomas

  28. #28

    Default Re: Fragrances are not made for "us" (basenoters)

    lovely post. when are you going to make us a bassnotes custom blend? also kudos for trying to find a balence between the natch & the syn, there is no reason as artists we shouldn't use every product we can get our hands on to make a little world of our own.

  29. #29

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    Default Re: Fragrances are not made for "us" (basenoters)

    Quote Originally Posted by Therese View Post
    Alex:

    I only wish that you would blog your initiation into and adventures in the French perfume world. You are a caring and artistic soul. Far from looking for an expose or tell-all, I would be more interested in reading about how you navigate the tension between your artistry and the demands of the market. Best of luck, my dear.
    This seems like SUCH a good idea!!

    I am thrilled by your passion and grateful to you for having begun this thread, Alex. Streams of positive energy are beaming to Grasse!!
    "The world is ruled by letting things take their course. It cannot be ruled by interfering." Lao Tze

  30. #30

    Default Re: Fragrances are not made for "us" (basenoters)

    Marvellous post. I think you have the right attitude which will keep you from becoming either a frustrated (drug addicted) artiste or a cynical corporate labcoat. Our market society is built on mediocrity, not excellence. People eat bad food, wear terrible clothes and spritz bad perfume because they are too busy making shoddy things for other consumers to care or too poor. But in any field there will be a percentage of people who do care and will produce/consume well-crafted goods - bake traditional bread, produce great organic poultry, tailor wonderful suits, make fine perfume, etc. pp. Keep it real, but don't give up the ethic of craft pride, and maybe one day you'll be runnin your own Malle line.
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  31. #31

    Default Re: Fragrances are not made for "us" (basenoters)

    Very interesting are these few insights in the industry. They are the top of the iceberg.
    There is a solution to this situation; as the Nike advertisement was saying "problems are general, solutions are individual".
    I would like very much to meet you. We are only a few hours distance, if you come to Italy, be my guest.
    AbdesSalaam Attar

  32. #32

    Default Re: Fragrances are not made for "us" (basenoters)

    Just read this thread. Great stuff, Alex. Keep us posted on your adventures. . and misadventures. . . i sit in my corporate office 13 hours/day wondering what the hell its all for, but you have followed your passion and i salute the hell out of you for doing so.

    Regardless of what you experience that upsets you or disappoints you the key thiing to remember is that you are learning, and more importantly, always remember that you are not disappointing yourself because you are following your dreams.

    How many can say that?

    Keep us posted. I'd love to hear more about everything!

  33. #33

    Default Re: Fragrances are not made for "us" (basenoters)

    Thank you for reviving this thread; I hadn't read it before.

    Alex, you know already from the PM we once exchanged that I wish you the best of luck - though today, I read your post very differently to how I would have read it even a few weeks ago.

    I'm now also a trainee perfumer (and it's such a fresh development that I probably say it and write it more for myself, just so I'll start believing it). But unlike your official perfumery school, I'm being trained in-house with two independent family perfumers (and I will also study on an IFEAT diploma course alongside).

    Initially they've asked me to learn about the quality control side, costings, compounding and rumours of adulteration of natural oils by suppliers. I will also be going on some buying trips, to test the quality at source. It's an incredible opportunity - and in a way, though I may never grow to be considered a "proper perfumer" by the industry, in my job, I realise I am lucky. The guys I work for buy more essential oils than almost anyone in the world (beaten only by Chanel), and unlike traditional constraints of trying to get the juice down to horribly restrictive budgets, in this company, I'll be allowed to experiment beyond that. I'll be lucky if I ever get to a point where I can work on finished perfume, but even being exposed to this way of working feels like a lotto win.

  34. #34

    Default Re: Fragrances are not made for "us" (basenoters)

    Great post Alex. agree, agree, agree... Well, If you happen to create your own perfumes, jut toss em to basenoters and see what they say on yours...

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