Photo Credit: Alan Berner
I love perfume. No, I am obsessed with it. Not just any perfumes either; I am obsessed with Artisan Perfumes. Artisan perfumes are made by small companies where the "Nose" of the company is usually the one still painstakingly blending and bottling all of their products/bottles. Artisan perfumes are unique, weird, real, multi-dimensional and many times, natural or use lots of real essences in the final perfume.
I realized my obsession about 7 years ago when I had gotten pretty comfortable with being a candle maker, but realized that my candle making methods were just like making a perfume. I spent hours and hours online looking for other companies like mine and found a lot of amazing perfumers in the process.
Some of the very first folks I came across are still who I aspire to be: Mandy Aftel, Laurie Stern, Ayala Sender, Andy Tauer and many others. All of these folks have one big thing in common: Fierce style. I love how you can smell one of their perfumes and go "Yeah, that's their perfume". Just like seeing a Dior dress or Monolo Blahnik shoes; you know when you see them!
So, when I started making perfume, I knew I wanted to tell my story and have my style. When I teach classes, I teach my students to not follow the rules. You have to create your style and do things that you want to do. Composition and finesse will come with time and practice.
This is the best part of teaching. To see students come up with ideas they thought they couldn't use in perfumes is so fun.
So, if you are a budding perfumer, start playing around and do things your way. Learn from some greats like Ayala or Mandy, or buy some materials and play around for years like I did.
If you are in Seattle, feel free to inquire about our perfume classes too. We would love to have you!