Wednesday, June 15, 2016
F12016-CH Part Deux, or Trois?
It has finally turned the corner in terms of maturation.
In all honesty, this almost got poured down the toilet. There were a few weeks there where I thought it wasn't going well -- at all. For example, when I first returned from the road trip, I had expected it to have changed considerably in those 9 days, but to my disappointment, it hadn't changed a bit. So I've left it alone, continuing to harbor ill-will toward it until this morning when I tested it again (skin) and discovered something different. The opening kills me every time I smell it, and the relationship I was building with this perfume was on very shaky ground because of this. It opens as piercingly berryish with a distinctive violet wash, which under normal circumstances would thrill me, but it seemed this was all there was to the perfume for a long time. Things changed during the weeks it sat unmolested. It turns sweet and almost candied, like someone shook a marshmallow under the nose for, like, 1/10th of a second; then it becomes powdery and almost ambery, and has this amazing Mitsouko-like tonality (just a wisp), and then it begins to settle into delicate mossiness with lots and lots of ribbons of bright leafy greens and soft, powdery violets, and sweet, juicy berries. As it continues to burn off, the mossy aspects show more, and a slight musky, primal note appears. It's all very subtle and sweet, and surprising as hell! It has this lovely vintage feeling to it, which is part of the perfume I love the most.
I'm sure given a few more months, this formulation will improve, as they usually do.
And, sure, this is alchemy too, mostly because what you begin with is not at all what you end with. Remember that, students of natural perfumery. A few months of ageing is often all it takes to make something screechy and full of pointy spines into something soft and warm. What I have discovered about myself and natural perfume 'building' is this: when I feel a formulation isn't doing what I've designed it to do, I lose hope of ever becoming a better perfumer. However, when the formulation turns a corner, like this one has, and I see that all my efforts have paid off (to some extent), I realize that I am learning more about my craft, I am improving, and my instincts and intuition aren't really as fuzzy and as blurred as I had imagined. Crisis of confidence averted.