While it's usually the marketing concept and the models that are glamorous perfumers are becoming recognized, dare I say even famous now, and rightfully so. I devour articles and interviews with perfumers, noting the snapshots of their stark white laboratories or immense perfume organs. I enjoy reading about their inspirations, the elaborate stories of connections to royalty or the rich and famous, the exotic premise behind the creation of million dollar perfumes. I control my eye rolling as these articles often include the requisite quote from a starlet describing how "involved" she was with the creation of their new signature fragrance. Ha!
There's obviously a large difference between creating commercial perfumes for say Chanel, and creating perfumes for your own small niche perfumery--no doubt. But I have a sneaking suspicion, if we were to lift the curtain behind all the marketing madness and money some basic things remain the same. The actual art of blending and creating a perfume. Yes, commercial perfumes use synthetic chemicals and I do not, however the very basic art of creating a scent, blending, noting nuance, creating modifications remains somewhat the same. What does not remain the same, is the number of hats worn. The roles one must play. Commercial large scale perfumers are the nose. Small scale perfumers and business owners have a few more balls to juggle.
I am a perfumer, director of marketing, IT advisor, web designer, PR agent, publisher, shipping and packing coordinator, creative director, industrial designer, social media expert and occasional blogger. Whew. The only things I don't do are photography and graphic design. I know where my weaknesses lie. I leave that to my extraordinarily talented friend Daniel Gagnon. I cannot recommend him highly enough. He has designed my labels, and photographed my perfume which is no small job. He even photographed me--which I hate more than anything in the world--and through his careful positioning made me look much better than I really do. Here is a photographer that is used to working with the aforementioned 14 year old fashion models, that patiently took photo after photo while I wailed, "I'm so uncomfortable! You're not putting my body in the pictures are you?" etc. ad naseum. He also took beautiful photos of my perfumes and listened to me carefully when designing my logo and labels. Muchas Gracias Dan! If interested in Daniel's services, here is his website with contact info www.danielgagnonphoto.com
These other hats we wear as small business owners are decidedly less glamorous. Personally I find nothing glamorous about blending perfume, at best it could be science nerd chic, but others seem to disagree. Publications coo over a photo of me in a low cut sweater and pearls (!) mock casually sniffing perfume strips. Farcical! In no way is the photo of me a realistic representation of how I work. It is a (hopefully) glamorized version of my chosen profession. No hippie oils here folks! We have pearls. Normally you'd find me in jeans, a scowl and bedhead.