There are two factors to consider when blending fragrances. One is aesthetic and the other technical. To achieve professional results these need to be in balance – they are the two wings of the flower fairy and she needs both to fly. The aesthetic is about beauty whilst technical is about function, structure, tenacity and cost. If you have been seduced by the wicked flower fairy then beauty will principally be in the eye of the creator. The way to free ourselves from this wicked bitch is to get technical as nothing cheeses her off more. Too much bias the other way and a fragrance may tick all the boxes but is dull and uninspiring.
Aesthetic in relation to fragrance needs cultivation and that means olfaction must be consciously cultivated to achieve intimate familiarity with our palette of raw materials. In order to do this we need to learn in a disciplined way the olfactive equivalent of musical scales and eventually be able to play in any key.
An aromatic vocabulary builds a bridge between our rational mind and the silent part which listens to aromas. Intuition is fed by knowledge and experience so without both these we get stuck playing the same three chords.
Maybe boredom sometimes leads to inspiration. I am of course thinking about using stuff from a cat’s bum.
Today's photo: African Civet, Natural History Museum, London.