Monday, 5 November 2007

Male perfume, tips for conquest

Men usually prefer woody or spicy or “grassy” accords, while flowery ones are considered to be feminine scents.
My experience with perfume customers has shown me that there is a clear division between men and women scents, but many women prefer men’s perfumes while only a minority of men prefer flowery soft and romantic scents to wear. Continue....

Sunday, 14 October 2007

Spirituality of the sense of smell

Love for perfumes and spirituality go together, at least in the tradition of Islam.

Very much unlike the idea of Serge Luthens for whom perfume is an expression of decadence and sensuality, the prophetic traditions of the three monotheistic religions, in their ritual as well as in their mystics, have given to us many clues about the direct relation that exists between the spiritual reality of men and their olfactory capacity.
Starting with the Hebrew mysticism, because it springs from the prophet Abraham who is not only the spiritual but also the biological forefather of Moses, Jesus and Mohammad, the sense of smell is described as the only one giving pleasure to the soul, while all other senses give pleasure to the body. Continue ...

Wednesday, 10 October 2007


It is not easy to buy Ambergris even for one who knows it well.

The business is in the hand of very few people who are ready to throw millions of dollars for really big lots. They control the prices and are very fast in travelling to the finding places with the cash payment.
It is a matter of “grab and run”, that often occurs in luxury hotel rooms.
It is certainly dangerous to go around with such big amounts of money, and the life of an Ambergris hunter is surely adventurous and romantic. Continue ...

Monday, 8 October 2007

Selling perfumes

In Amman, 1990

We were looking at the yachts and sailing boats from the high, it was near Palermo in Sicily.
My small daughter told me: “Papi, I want to buy a boat when I am grown up”.
“It is easy” I replied, “you just have to sell perfumes to the people, and do you know why it is easy? because everybody likes good smells”.

Baba Farid, one of the greatest saints of the subcontinent, ended up his life in a small village of Punjab, Pakpattan.
That was his mission. Other saints were in Dehli or Lahore, two great cities of all times, seats of power and civilization, they had thousands of disciples, and they advised kings and viziers.
He taught, fed and cured backward village folks all his life. Continue ...

Sunday, 7 October 2007


A perfumer who looks for inspiration inside himself is not only necessarily very limited, but he also risks to end up into an ego trip completely incompatible with true inspiration, as by definition inspiration transcends the person who receives it.
I heard Guerlain in an interview saying: “I never “created” a perfume that was not for a woman who really existed and preferably who had a significant importance in my life”.

A real perfume is made for real persons. Continue ...

Friday, 5 October 2007

Mystic of Perfume Making

There are different ways to initiate the composing of a new fragrance, but the spirit of it should always be one; “Kodo” the Zen of perfume.
In the Hebrew mystic it is taught that all senses give pleasure to the body while the sense of smell gives pleasure to the soul.
In the Sufi Way, each “state” is associated with a scent, and in the Semitic language the word “fragrant” is synonym to the word “good”, as if every good perfume necessarily comes from a good thing , and every good thing necessarily emanates a good perfume. As a conclusion of this we have the tradition of the “perfume of holiness” that emanates from pious people whose actions are virtuous (good). Continue ...

Thursday, 4 October 2007

Perfumer's pervertion

I just received from South Africa a new essence that is not yet available on the international market of raw material for perfumers.
The bottle had leaked a bit and the wrapping of the parcel was perfumed.
The power of this essential oil is incredible.
Since 2 days my work place and the next room have been invaded by the fragrance of this strange mix of bubble gum and cat’s pee, although I have cleaned everything and thrown out far away the empty package and the inside wrapping.
Do you have present when you enter a room and say: I can smell a mouse?
This is the smell of the pheromone that these animals leave with their urine. It is very parent to the smell of cats urine as well.
The only essence of the perfumer’s palette which has a similar note is a good and real Black current absolute, although much more fruity in body. Continue ...

Wednesday, 3 October 2007

Mechanism of olfactory memory

Psycho-Aromatherapy is by Robert Tisserand

The perfumer invites people to smell perfumes, this can be a daily routine.I have a customer who smells the raw materials for his fragrance. I have it tried out by the barman next to my office, I diffuse scents during my didactic conferences. My pockets are always full of perfumes, I do not miss an occasion to spray them on other people's hands, I leave behind me a sillage that stuns people who do not know me.

A perfumer never has to ask to someone what he thinks of the perfume he has just smelt it is enough for him to observe and read the faces.Facial expressions are infinite, liking, repulsion, appeals to me but I wouldn't wear it, doubtful, skeptical, intrigued, reminds me of something long ago but I do not know what, reminds me of something that I don’t like.
At the end the expressions are only of two categories: smiling and negative. Continue ...

Tuesday, 2 October 2007

The Perfume and the Medias

We tend to believe that it is sufficient for a company to appear on a major magazine to pick up customers.

My long time experience matured with the press has shown me that this is not at all the case.
The funniest example is the last one in date, the review of a national Italian mode magazine, “Velvet” of La Repubblica.

This magazine was so kind as to send one of its reporters to one of my Natural Perfumery courses in order to unveil the mysteries of perfume “creation”. In this case I was to compose the “Velvet Perfume” together with their journalist. Continue ...

Monday, 1 October 2007

Tridimentional Perfumery

My search for the real muskdeer scent has carried me in some of the farthest spots of the Hindu Kush but at last I found it from its fount.

I fully understand the need of all perfumers for a sustainable musk scent substitute, but the point maybe is rather about the use of an animal note in our botanical scents, such as Ambergris, Civet, Hyraceum or Castoreum, in order to obtain a perfume with a third dimension.

Like the small machines resembling binoculars through which you look in order to watch 3 dimensional photographs, there are only 2 images in the machine but the vision is truly tridimentional. Continue ...

Olfactory education

There is a clear parallel between music and perfumery, between olfactory and musical melodies, and we shall use this likeness in order to understand better the “why” and the “how” of olfactory education.
Just like music, perfumery is an art and even a major art, being entirely dedicated to one of our senses of perception, the sense of smell.Why is perfumery not taught at school just like music or drawing?Is perchance our sense of smell a minor sense of little importance?Do we perhaps love perfumes less than other civilizations?
School programs offer to all the basis of musical education, teaching the seven notes of our musical scale.
Olfactory education is no less important and to be able to name the scents of lavender and rose is no less important than to be able to name the blue and the red of the color spectrum.
The program that we deisigned is very simple and can be reassumed in one phrase: "how to become a perfumer in 4 moves". Continue ...