Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Got Sarcasm?

Do indie *slash* niche *slash* artisan *slash* independents who now make perfume count their experience in dog years, or what?

I've been playing this game for a bit now. I recognize names; those others who are playing and the companies they play in, from 'way back' ~ ten years, maybe?

So how is it that these new age perfumers suddenly have 15 or 20 or even 30 years experience 'blending perfumes', as they put it, when they weren't making that claim, or selling their perfumes, five years ago? Or even two years ago?

I've been blending essential oils for ten years and not once thought to call, or claim, what I was making perfume. I'm not schooled in aromatherapy and I wasn't reaching for that effect, either. I was just trying to make something that smelled good and wouldn't burn the flesh off a body.

When did these nouveau parfumeurs begin their perfume making careers? Some claim they officially became a perfumer when they plucked a dandelion from their front lawn when they were 9 months old, and 'have been immersed in the world of aromatics' ever since. I've even said things like that, but I've never labeled myself 'perfumer' because I stepped in dog shit and found the indoles interesting, or because I spilled a gallon jug of Tabu on my shoes at Sears when I was three-years-old (and was immersed in the world of aromatics ever since). Appreciating scent in general from an early age doesn't necessarily make you a 'nose'. Makes you a pretentious faux experienced asshole pushing as many marketing buttons as you can get your chubby, be-ringed pointing finger on, but it doesn't make you an expert. (Y'know, they're laughing at you over there at GIP).

Yeah, yeah, I know, I was one of those kids who got off smelling the dirt under the geranium bushes too, but the idea that my life's goal was to create perfumes didn't come to me as I huddled in the weeds while a slug inched its way up my arm unnoticed. I liked the way things smelled. I liked the way different things smelled mushed up together. I didn't feel like a perfumer then ~ I don't feel like one now.

My perfume career begins . . . tomorrow. I am officially minus one day a perfumer -- now smell my finger.


  1. Amen to that sistahh:-D
    Not to mention how some comes out as knows-it-all and real experts on all various angles on the history, the art and the vocabulary - without one single minute of training in a "real" perfumery school?

    I did write about it way back, but I think that calling yourself a professional perfumer without being through the "10 years to learn, 20 to master it" (or was it 30??) proffesional training, is to belittle these people who haver struggled and fought their way through. It would be like calling yourself a surgeon without even being to med school...

    Aggghhh, of my perfume box and back to some creative (???) work. It's minus 14C here today and I have to go outside - buhu.

  2. Bottom line: all this blubbering on about years of experience is a sermon to the choir ~ these adoring singers are already listening, and looking up (on the pedestal these time bandits have placed themselves), unquestioningly. Customers don't give a crap about all this posturing, though. They just want something that smells good, at a reasonable price, and they really don't give a rat's patoot in outer space if you're the reincarnated spirit of Jean Carles or some hack from Fresno! Stay warm, lovie.

  3. Hey!!!!! Don't you oppress me and invalidate the epiphany I had at the tender age of 8 months, when my grandmama picked me up out of the crib and I could smell her White Shoulders eau de toilette!

    I've been a perfumer for 30 yrs, dammit. I've been blending scents since I buried Cheerios in my mom's tomato plants, and got the yellow tomato schmutz on my finger and sniffed it and gagged!

    Geniuses are BORN, dahling, NOT taught!

    I've been a perfume since I smelled my uncle's dog from waaay up in the highchair, the day he rolled in catpoo and got skunked. Phew!! Indoles and skatoles, baby. Indoles and skatoles. It was like the time mommy dropped me on my head, but in a smelly way!

  4. I'm so sorry. As consolation for my horrid behavior, would you consider accepting a 4000 year old vial of King Tut's frankincense perfume that was handed down to me by my gypsy (joker) ancestors, coveted and protected by my Catholic green witch grandmother until it was passed to me, the genius perfumer? Or perhaps you'd consider accepting a drop of Turkish rose otto stolen by Vlad Tepes from the ancient coffret of the King of Tashkani in 1452? Yeah, my gypsy (joker) ancestors managed to get their hands on that, too. Right after they started the vampire wars.


  5. Well that depends.... is the 4000 year old vial of King Tut's frankincense perfume that was handed down to you by your gypsy (joker) ancestors, coveted and protected by your Catholic green witch grandmother until it was passed to you, the genius perfumer, ORGANIC?

    Dangit, your lineage is more impressive than my lineage.

    I bow to your superior posturing...



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