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  1. #1

    Default What value ISIPCA??

    When it comes to the art of perfumery the end result speaks for itself; but when it comes to cash on the table for samples I have to admit I'm hesitant to try lines of self-professed 'tinkerers'.

    These are perfumers who say on their website "I've always loved the scent of flowers, etc; so I decided to go into perfumery,' or, the people who were working as whatever and learning perfume on the side.

    This is why I drag my feet for so long before dipping into lines like Sonoma Scent Studio (a new fave), and so many others. Over half of my wardrobe was created before 1970 (when some formal semblance of a training program was established), so a mute point, but in general I have to say I **prefer** to see a nose with credentials. Other points of view?
    Passionate supporter of parrot welfare www.thegabrielfoundation.org

  2. #2
    Hillaire
    Guest

    Default Re: What value ISIPCA??

    I have really reluctant to reply to this thread in too much detail, as what my "considerations" say about me are frankly embarrassing!

    After all, who am I to declare one fragrance-maker a 'tinkerer' or another a 'master'?
    (I, myself, am a woefully-inept, true"tinkerer" [and waster of money], whose perfume-making fantasies have led to numerous witless, 'hippie'-fair concoctions and more noxious throwaways.)

    However, I will confess, as a connoisseur, to being somewhat prejudiced in the matter of "the nose".
    I do believe that I prefer generally -- as well as discern more nuance and symphonic use of harmonious accords and notes in -- the perfumes I have smelled, which are either "old school" or nosed by more "classically-trained" noses, both mainstream and niche...new and old.

    I have even noticed I am far more impressed by the newer-- and totally forward-looking -- niche 'stylings' of a few new generation perfumers who happen to be the children of some of the ueber great perfumers of the past. I admit I attribute their prowess to their presumed more-classical underpinnings, which I romantically imagine their "super" parents methodically imparted over the course of their lifetimes.

    However....I also happen to be a fan of the more complex, old-fashioned styles of fragrances. And I therefore need to acknowledge another prejudice in action, which is my lack of sympathy for more linear fragrances, and that it might taint my opinions of newer, simpler fragrances' noses' "merit", too. Hope that made sense....

    Furthermore -- and this might surprise you --with regard to schooling and training and smaller "houses", I actually do hold out sincere hope for the break-out success of oddball, 'underdog' perfumers; I iconoclastically uphold the ideal that natural olfactive "talent" combined with totally novel types of "explorations" might arrive at something truly new and wonderful, unfettered by the confines of tradition. And I therefore, still find myself excited to try out more obscure offerings, often just to get into this other person's "nose", which was apparently passionate and driven enough to make their scents "happen" and get them "out there"!

    Finally, in my more risky sampling adventures, I have been, more frequently than not, disappointed, though. And, as I am rarely either really peeved by or 'in the dark' about the fragrances produced by the more 'trained' noses, I actually feel I have arrived at my predilection and evaluative preference for the works of more "schooled" perfumers, via honest and open-minded fair trial.

    In the end, though, I must liken perfumery to any other art form. And just as I must with my personal preference for super-trained, Dutch School realism as opposed folk art (for example), I remind myself to consider the impetus and "heart" of all modes of the expression of the creative experience. And I have to ultimately regard my own preferences only as such... my own.
    Last edited by Hillaire; 25th February 2010 at 04:40 AM.

  3. #3

    Default Re: What value ISIPCA??

    Thank you HIllaire, this is a very interesting comment you've left :-) I really enjoyed reading it and will come back again to make sure I didn't miss any of your points
    Passionate supporter of parrot welfare www.thegabrielfoundation.org

  4. #4

    Default Re: What value ISIPCA??

    What a fabulous post, Hillaire!

  5. #5

    Default Re: What value ISIPCA??

    Interesting!
    Speaking for myself only, I enjoy trying the creations of indie perfumers. I don't generally rate them at the same level as at-home tinkerers when they've gone to the extent of opening a business to sell their wares (I like to think that they aren't suffering from collective inflated egos and have some confidence in their product that's founded in actual fact), but I must admit that I have so far only actually paid for samples of indie perfumers who came highly recommended by word of mouth (i.e., BN).

    Quote Originally Posted by Hillaire View Post
    However....I also happen to be a fan of the more complex, old-fashioned styles of fragrances. And I therefore need to acknowledge another prejudice in action, which is my lack of sympathy for more linear fragrances, and that it might taint my opinions of newer, simpler fragrances' noses' "merit", too. Hope that made sense....
    It does! And it may actually be a very useful distinction. Me, I suppose I'm your evil fragrance twin: I generally prefer more transparent, modern, even linear/one-note compositions over the high-density classics and vintages. I don't know if that predisposes me to be more likely to appreciate indie perfumers' work, but we do have all of two data points that point to a correlation! (Please, noone tell bluesoul about my rather liberal approach of statistics)
    Then again, indie perfumers would have different taste and preferences for their creations/products, too, so maybe this isn't proving too much at all.

  6. #6

    Default Re: What value ISIPCA??

    ISIPCA training has good points and bad points.

    The good point is that when you undergo it, you learn to do a lot of things that it takes years for a self-taught perfumer to accomplish: in the case of the latter, the learning curve is so steep that it's a miracle if they come up with something novel, because it's already quite tough to come up with something good. ISIPCA gives you knowledge of the classics and good technique: it saves a lot of time.

    On the other hand, because a chemistry diploma is required, ISIPCA filters out some of the creative types and brings in a lot of incurious, unimaginative students (this I got straight from a prominent perfumer who teaches there). Apart from this person, most teachers are not great perfumers, otherwise they wouldn't be there... Chanel's Jacques Polge once told me that he would've never been admitted to ISIPCA, because he was an English lit major.

    There are other ways of becoming a perfumer, some of which involve attending the in-house schools at the big labs -- Givaudan's is a prominent example -- or rising through the ranks by starting at the bottom and doing internships: this is the case of Jean-Claude Ellena and Bertrand Duchaufour (who was turned down by ISIPCA). But today, you don't stand much of a chance of getting a job in a lab without an ISIPCA diploma, and even the "sons and daughters of", such as Céline Ellena, have attended it.

    Like Hilaire, I admit I have a prejudice in favor of the more formally trained perfumers, because they have a solid basis upon which to progress in their art. I am seldom knocked over by the scents authored by people with less formal training, one exception being Vero Kern.

  7. #7

    Default Re: What value ISIPCA??

    Carmen, thank you for your response, you've stated everything so clearly, and have given me good points to think about. Very interesting to learn more about how this industry works (Oh, and I too like Vero Kern, but unfortunately her creations are rather $$$)
    Last edited by BayKAT; 26th February 2010 at 08:58 PM.
    Passionate supporter of parrot welfare www.thegabrielfoundation.org

  8. #8

    Default Re: What value ISIPCA??

    Quote Originally Posted by BayKAT View Post
    Carmen, thank you for your response, you've stated everything so clearly, and have given me good points to think about. Very interesting to learn more about how this industry works (Oh, and I too like Vero Kern, but unfortunately her creations are rather $$$)
    Baykat, Vero's perfumes are coming out soon in eau de parfum form. The formulas have been modified a little, but they reflect the original compositions very well, and make them more wearable. They'll be less costly too, and more widely available. Last I heard they'll go on sale sometime in March, and I know Luckyscent will stock them.

  9. #9

    Default Re: What value ISIPCA??

    Oooh!!!! 'm looking forward to it, thanks!!! (I"m a rubj fan)
    Passionate supporter of parrot welfare www.thegabrielfoundation.org

  10. #10

    Default Re: What value ISIPCA??

    Interesting posts by the lovely BNers as usual . I personally do not care about credentials. If the product is good, why does it matter how it came to be? Everyone starts somewhere and everyone deserves a chance. If the nose remained anonymous and you were told by a highly respected person in the perfume world that you might be in the presence of one of the greatest works of art in history, how would you react? Now you love the scent but 10 years later, you discover that the nose is a novice that stumbled upon such beauty during one of her past time fragrance concoctions. Do you now hate the scent?

    I am sure a lot of these "untrained" noses tried to become trained but 1) not everyone is blessed with prestigious connections in the world of perfumery and 2) even fewer are descendants of great perfumers and 3) as noted above, only very few get into ISIPCA and the other known schools (student/faculty ratio, etc) so what is an aspiring nose to do? Plus, how many established perfumery schools are out there? There are a lot more aspiring noses in the world than there are spaces in these institutions. Something to think about.

    The perfume world seems to be one of the toughest to break into and you have to give credit to these "untrained" noses for persisting against all odds, following their dreams, being self taught (boy is that tough!!) and managing to come up with some great creations. I am no snub when it comes to the background of a nose. If I like it, I like it. No offense to anyone but I have found that I like some scents by untrained noses more than similar scents done by trained noses. It comes down to the individual fragrance/scent family/mood/style and personal taste. I am not going to change my mind on a scent and pick the one beside it because I learn that one was done by a legendary nose. If I fall for a scent by an obscure nose, best believe I am sticking to my choice like glue .

  11. #11

    Default Re: What value ISIPCA??

    I have been collecting and wearing vintage perfumes for more years than I care to mention. Due in part, to many recommendations on here, I have been and still am, trying newer creations of supposedly untrained noses. Having done a great deal of both, I still veer towards the formal training to be able to really create a 'great master' type fragrance of any worth. That isn't to say that this would be impossible without it. Just that the training really shows up in the final product IMO.

    I think I have a developed enough nose to be able to differentiate in the main. The pure interest is what has led me to learn for myself. I have been studying quite seriously now, using proper manuals from established perfumers of yore and studying many ancient documents. I would dearly love to go on a course, but as yet the price is too prohibitive for my circumstance.

    I sit therefore right between the two camps. I respect the classics and admire the new attempts by newer 'perfumers'.
    BUT
    there is one very important point, which having self-trained now for two and a half years, I think i would be well qualified to say and that is this vital point...

    It is very easy to make a 'nice' smell, but extraordinarily difficult to make a good composition with a story to tell.

    Many newer perfumes are relying on the marketing and the publicity image rather than the scent itself. The market is now a minefield of pure choice and it suffers from the syndrome as a result. It is harder to find a quality item in amongst the dross.

    Like any industry, newer apprentices think they know it all after doing a short course and finding the rest out on the internet. I know this because I have looked up the very same stuff myself. I think the value of a proper course with experienced tutors and experienced 'noses' should not be underestimated. These awards would not be highly prized within the industry for no good reason other than they are challenging, difficult, and produce the top quality perfumers on a repeat basis with different individuals. There is little that can replace this unless the individual perfumer is a genius by a mixture of default, long hard study, and happy accident. My opinion only...
    Last edited by mumsy; 10th July 2012 at 10:37 AM.

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