Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Cinquieme Sens school II. Almost all the secrets…

One more course in the perfume school and now I can almost professionally smell passers-by and almost professionally suffer from mediocre perfume used by the majority. Synthetic musks which in a shop hide at the very bottom of a perfume bottle break free on the street. It seems these rancid detergent like musks is the most common sillage left by a woman under 40 passing by. Mature ladies prefer an ambery drydown (vanilla, benzoin, tolu). Try smell yourself…

This time in Cinquieme Sens we studied the whole perfume palette: woody, floral, fruity, fresh, citrus, base, spicy and other notes. That’s almost everything they put in fragrance bottles nowadays and even some stuff they do not put anymore. Natural iris for instance… no, not even Lutens. Maybe Chanel and Guerlain still some of the natural stuff.

Another part of the course - comparison of natural materials and their synthetic equivalent(s). For example, the vanilla aroma we all have in mind is that of the synthetic vanillin. Natural vanilla smells unusually and even unpleasantly smoky at the start and then develops into a velvety vanilla heavens and is infinitely more complex than vanillin.  

Finally – formulation. I tired to make Chanel №5 and Angel. These are very useful exercises for understanding of perfume structure and component interaction. Like Chanel №5 is not just a big dollop of aldehydes but aldehydes with ylang-ylang plus rose and iris.

I still have to study the kits with samples I got from the school but definitely I recognize a lot in a perfume now and my sense of smell has become more acute in general. I sort of know now what is going on around me without turning my head: who passed by, how old, what income, etc. For example, young girl, office worker, reads fashion magazines and hasn’t got much imagination – Parisienne (YSL) and so on.

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