WWDIS Blog - Page 104

Laurent’s answer to Anya

Back in August, during my vacation, Anya left a question to Laurent at Laurent’s video interview. You can find her question here. I’m finally posting Laurent’s answer to the question. The reason for this time lag is due to my lack of communication with the perfumers. My apology. Nobi

Dear Anya,

We perfumers definitely feel roundness and scratchiness. When we say that a fragrance is round it means nothing is sticking out, all ingredients or notes are well balanced, not even one note will take over the others. And usually a fragrance that is round smells almost the same from the start to finish.

A fragrance which is scratchy tells something is sticking out, and it is usually not pleasant, it’s almost like having something in your throat.

Going back to your question, I do not use shape as an inspiration.

Thanks,

Laurent

Tuesday, October 17, 2006, 3:35pm.

rain.jpg

It’s soggy in New York City today. I was with Laurent and Clement a few hours ago for an interview. After the interview we spoke about this blog and have agreed on both perfumers to be a little more involved in the blog besides working on Katie’s and Marina’s perfumes. So, there may be some posts, quizzes from the two perfumers… or you can help us with your suggestions.

By the way, we haven’t forgotten about Anya’s question to Laurent and a prize for Kuri. We will respond to them here soon. [by Nobi]

On the Phone: My Chat with Laurent for Round 3

As Nobi noted in the previous post, I had the opportunity to talk on the phone with Laurent regarding the next phase of development for our project.

It felt rather surreal, to say the least. Well, let me explain that: I was wearing my grubby jeans with the hole in the knee and faded varnish stains, and a worn out t-shirt that long ago has turned the corner into rag territory but I won’t throw it out since it’s oh-so-comfy. I’d just finished shoving half my body under the kitchen sink counter to clean out stank goop from the plumbing trap, pulling out gobs of unspeakable ickiness. And this, just so I could do the dishes without pinching my nose shut. Yeah, my life is simply one glamorous event after the next. Chatting about “my” perfume contrasted wildly with the rest of my day. (Or more accurately, with my life in general.)

We talked a bit about the email and my feelings about the previous mods, just to clarify things. The worst part is, I keep getting the letters mixed up unless I have my notes or scent strips with the letters written down right front of me. Perhaps I ought to consider giving them goofy nicknames from now on, so I can better remember which is which. It’s kind of like when companies use numbers instead of names for their lipsticks – unless I bring the old used-up tube with me to replace it, I’m lost, y’all.

The way leather shall be used was one big topic of conversation. I mentioned how much I liked the animalic growl of leather as used in older fragrances. One such example I cited was the growl smoothly contained in vintage Chantilly (as opposed to the triviality it has now become.) But Laurent pointed out that of course, those older fragrances were animalic because they WERE animal. He mentioned that we could go ahead and try natural animal ingredients, but I feel like it would be for the best if we avoided that. He then pointed out the limitations, if not impossibility, of sythetics mimicking that quality so deeply. However, as much as I enjoy those old perfumes, I’m a vegetarian, and wearing them calls up a whole ethical conundrum as it is. Hopefully in this modern day fragrance we can spare others that same conundrum, by continuing use of non-animal ingredients to imbue a lovely leathery expression.

We also discussed other choices for notes, one such being use of a honey note. I found Laurent’s suggestion very interesting, but as I said on the phone, I find honey too cloying usually. What’s crummy is that sometimes honey notes are able to convey a sense of feral wilderness to a scent, but I know I’m not alone in finding my skin turns honey notes into something approximating the aroma of sweet, sugary cat pee. Eeek. Those of us who can’t carry off honey well pretty much despise and envy those of you who can, heh heh.

The overtly soapy smelling character that some of the mods exhibited was also discussed. While I do like it in some small measure, I don’t want it to be anything that predominates our final product. There’s already too many “clean/soapy” fragrances out there, and it was the one thing that my guinea pigs specifically cited as something they didn’t like so much. Laurent explained that when certain ingredients are used in combination, this quality can come out. So, we shall see what he can devise to lessen the effect. He did say what the likely cause was, but I forgot it almost instantly, since that sort of information kind of sails right over my head. Perhaps the reason all us perfume-nuts remember metaphor- and adjective-based descriptions is because, for many of us, the technical details are simply too far removed from our everyday life to be mentally recorded.

Hm. What else? I think I apologized over much to him about my amateur-hour knowledge. Excessive apology is just as rude as never apologizing for anything, so I hope he didn’t take too much offense. Part of that was due to my feeling that ultimately I wanted to make sure that he felt like the various mods were solid concepts and balanced. While it’s my imagination that spaked the creation, when it comes down to it, the entire project should be credited to his work and his creativity. I have this terrible fear that if I try to insert myself too much into his own ideas, Auxeos will meet some laughable Wile E. Coyote end. No one wants to smell the aromatic equivalent of a “splat!” as the end result of this process; Letting me get ahold of the Acme catalog to order up item-specific failure is not an option. I feel more strongly than ever that my input should be kept to general descriptions, rather than me trying to specify in details, when obviously I am not as intimately familiar with them as Laurent. Attempts at interfering too deeply with his own wisdom and judgement seems to me like a destructive action. It’d be like telling Picasso “too much blue!” or Donizetti “no minor keys!” In other words, it would be downright silly. Consequently, my input as far as notes go is more along the lines of vague preferences, rather than anything even close to resembling a strict edict.

It’s so funny to me that Nobi created a “roadmap” for Made by Blog. That’s precisely what this project feels like. The whole process seems to me like an open-ended road trip. We have the vehicle; we have a general destination. But how we get there, and all the little stops and detours we make along the way are up to us, to be decided on the fly. I might express a desire to head north, but it rightly should be up to the driver, meaning Laurent, to decide if we take the scenic route or the freeway to get there.

100% LOVE

what’s up?

It seems not much is happening lately, but both Clement and Laurent are working hard for Marina’s and Katie’s next rounds. Actually, Laurent and Katie had a phone conversation recently, and Katie’s post on the conversation will be up soon.

In the meanwhile I am going to willfully invade this blog to write about my new ideas…

#1
As some of you may know, I sell perfumes called S-Perfume, S-ex and so on. Perfumer Christophe Laudamiel is the author of S-Perfume (he remixed Alberto Morillas’s original scent) and S-ex. Christophe is always willing to show his formulas if his clients are OK with it. But of course… no company will want to talk about their secret formula, and he hasn’t been able to do it. So, maybe we should at least make it happen with S-Perfume and S-ex. The formula will be written all over the bottle, I like this idea visually.

#2
There are raw materials which will be banned by future regulations (don’t think they are only synthetics). These materials are the endangered species, and some are critical for creating certain notes. I’d like to make a list of seven most critical and fatal raw materials and called them The Seven Deadly Scents. They will also be available in precious packaging and be accompanied with a list of well known perfumes which include these materials. Maybe this is a bad idea…

#3
There is a company selling Iso E Super (by IFF) as a perfume. OK, that’s unusual. But there are more interestingly smelling molecules, like Galaxolide or Muscenone for instance. How about making some of these molecules available in safe level of alcohol solutions. To make this more interesting, I would ask perfumers like Sophia Grojsman or Dominique Ropion to choose one molecule and one natural to create a “super short formula.” The composition will be so simple that the perfumer wouldn’t mind sharing the formula. Now, I think this is a good idea. [by Nobi]

クリストフ君、おめでとう!

数年前、パトリック・ジュースキントの小説「香水 – ある人殺しの物語」の映画化が発表された時、香水を手掛けている大手化粧品会社は、こぞって映画に便乗した新しい香水の企画話を映画製作陣に持ち掛けたが、どの企画もトム・ティクヴァ監督ににべもなく断られた。

ところがつい先頃、ティクヴァ監督の出身地ドイツにて、映画「パフューム – ある人殺しの物語」が先行公開されると、ティエリー・ミュグレー/ル・パルファム・コフレなる、豪華な香水のセットが映画と合わせて発表された。このコフレの登場は、欧米の香水ファン間で大きな話題を呼ぶと同時に、クリストフ・ロダミエル/Christophe LaudamielというIFF社の(米国最大の香料会社)若手調香師の存在を一躍世に知らしめた。というのも実はこのコフレが、ティエリー ミュグレー パルファムスの発案によって誕生したのものではなく、クリストフ・ロダミエルがパトリック・ジュースキントの小説に取り憑かれる様にして、6年の間にこつこつと創ってきた香りのコレクションだったからだ。つまりこの映画が作られたおかげで、ロダミエル作の「香水 – ある人殺しの物語」のストーリにまつわる香り達が、まさに期を熟して日の目を見るかたちなったわけだ。

ジュースキントの小説の映画化が発表されると、クリストフ・ロダミエルは、真っ先にティエリー・ミュグレー パルファムスの社長、ヴェラ・ストゥルビ女史と会うことにした。時流やマーケティング ストラテジーに決して惑わされることなく、革新的な傑作を創ることで世界的に評価の高いストゥルビ女史は、ロダミエルの抱えてきたいくつもの香りを全て嗅ぎ終わると、即座に彼のアイデアを具体化することに全面的な協力をすること決めた。ミュグレー社のバックアップを取り付けたロダミエルは、彼の恋人であるドイツ人のクリストフ・ホーネッツの助けを得て、トム・ティクヴァ監督に香水の企画をドイツ語でプレゼンしたところ、今まで全ての映画関連商品の企画を断ってきたティクヴァ監督から、賞賛を受けるという幸運に恵まれて、この企画が実現することになった。

僕が初めてロダミエルと出会ったのは、3、4年前のことになるが、当時彼が夜遅くまでIFFの研究室に籠って、自分個人のプロジェクトに没頭していた頃のことを思い出す。海のものとも山のものともつかない様々なアイデアを、何時間にも渡り熱っぽく語ってくれたが、その中の一つがこうして作品として世に発表されるのを見るのは、友人として誇らしい気持ちだ。

Auxeos. Another Round. Katie’s Review and Letter about Mods E, F, & G

This concludes Katie’s Round 2 with mods R2/E, R2/F, and R2/G.

Dear Laurent,

It’s taken me more than a while to wend my way through the three new mods. The differences between them are comparatively more subtle than those in the previous two mods.

I’ve tried writing up a review of the three several times, and each time ended up crumpling my notepaper up due to a lack of any coherence. I’m flummoxed over what sort of feedback to give you, nor am I at all sure where we should go from here. Eeeek! Help! What do you think would be some interesting and better approaches? I’m sure you’ve got strong opinions on the subject, and certainly yours would be comprehensive and informed. Is there something I’m missing? Ach, of course there is.

I do want to keep the slight crusty saltiness that I liked so much in the earlier mods, specifically “C,” I know that for sure now. It’s like a good hook, or a tasty guitar riff. And the darker corners on “G”s drydown were intriguing. Outside of that, I’m feeling weirdly indecisive.

I feel like “E” more closely stems off the earlier mod “C” in a way. Perhaps consequently, it was this one that nearly all my guinea pigs preferred the best out of these three. I liked it, well enough also. But after smelling “E” off and on during all this time, I feel like an asshat now. Mostly because I can’t help but compare it directly to the “C” mod you created. It’s hard not to wonder if perhaps “C” was superior, and thus didn’t need me trying to stick my spoon in the soup before it was served. “E” is darker than “C,” but what it gains in edginess, it kind of loses some of “C”s brittleness.

I like the drydown of “F,” but overall I wonder if the opening is not too citursy, and if it’s not too soapy overall. I tried it out on folks at a party, and the general reaction to it was “whoa.” I would like our fragrance to give folks a nice jolt, but I don’t want to scare anyone with it, heh. “F” demonstrates decisive phases of devolopment the best of the three, bearing more distinct phrasing when it dries. Which is nice. I like the way the notes come tumbling down slowly.

“G” was the mod I ended up gravitating the most towards personally. I really, really enjoyed the darker shadowy feel to it. I do wonder if it would be less satisfying to others compared to “C” or “E,” and not just amongst my random collection of willing victims (aka friends and family.) My guinea pigs were saying it was “nice,” but didn’t particularly seem to find it as interesting to wear as did I. It strikes me as a slightly linear composition, especially compared to “F” and “C.” But… urgh… there’s something quite enjoyable in “G”s drydown that would be wonderful to use, if possible. I gave turns off and on to all the mods, but it was the base on “G” that turned out to be the most deeply addictive.

All three mods were described as “soapy” at various times, and I too feel perhaps they were a bit TOO soapy. Which is my fault, I am sure. Did I just send us off on a wild goose chase for this round? I hope not.

In short, I don’t really know what to say. I’m… at a loss. Lost, lost, lost. What shall we do next?

Katie

Holy Grail. Mod 3. Marina’s Review

This concludes Marina’s Round 3 with mod R3/H.
I have received my third Mod, Holy Grail R3/H, and these are my impressions…Actually, I have received it several weeks ago, it just took me this long to make up my mind about it. The more I tested it the more I liked it and I am happy to say that I feel like we are on the right track now. It has spice, it has warm, slightly animalic musk and it even has a strong leather note in the drydown.

What I would love to happen next is …I can’t believe I am saying this…I want the spicy note (which, on my skin, is mostly saffron) to become subdued. Right now, the note is very prominent; it overshadows other ingredients and makes the scent feel almost like saffron “soliflore”. In fact, perhaps we could try it without any saffron at all, just to see what it would be like? I know I asked for saffron in my proposal, and I am sorry to change my mind, but somehow the note just isn’t working for me, it is too strong, too persistent. I am over saffron. Perhaps, we could even have two mods next time, one without any spice, one with a different spice, for example cardamom?

In general, I would love for the scent to become a little softer, even warmer, sort of “rounder” in feel, perhaps even a little sweeter. I was wondering if adding more vanilla wouldn’t achieve that comforting, soft effect? I know I am asking too much, but I’d love for Holy Grail be to simultaneously intense and soft. Right now it is a little sharp, and I would like it to lose that spicy edge a little. So this time I am not asking for more “skank” and more “darkness”, I am asking for more “comfort”.

High Performance and Exotic

slr.jpgThe unusual looking rear of the car in front of us caught Veronique’s attention when we were driving back from Marseille to Toulouse a few weeks ago. I couldn’t figure out what kind of car it was till she said “It has a Mercedes emblem and is written McLaren.” Not to say that I’m too unfashionable to recognize an exotic car, but I haven’t cared about cars since I left my enthusiasm for them behind in Tokyo a long time ago.

McLaren is a racing team based in England, best known as a Formula One constructor. The name brought back memories of the time when Honda engines had completely dominated the F1 scene season after season. I then realized that McLaren had now been using Mercedes engines for some time, and the stunning car in front of us was the byproduct of F1 Grands Prix. As the glorious rear end moved further away from us I was guessing the price – to be around 350 thousand dollars (the actual price is almost half a million!).

After we had lost sight of the glamorous car with a Swiss license plate I asked Veronique an idle question. “Is there a perfume you can compare to that car or Ferrari F40?” I just had in my mind a perfume like a prestigious car with daring style and performance that had combined the most advanced technologies and materials. Veronique’s reply was instant, “No, I don’t think so.” Since there wasn’t anything for me to do in the passenger seat I kept thinking about it… maybe it was an irrelevant comparison… what has a perfume got to do with the word performance if it’s not about higher sales figures with lower manufacturing costs?

I guess we would have to wait for something revolutionary to happen in the fragrance industry before we could catch a sniff of the Mercedes SLR McLaren of perfume, and that’s only going to happen if one of the major fragrance houses starts to “Think Different.”

I hope it will happen one day.