Thursday, December 29, 2011

Scent Categorization

... we each must figure out how we categorize smells
and even categorize
how our interpretations can fluctuate and be influenced.

- Lura Astor click here

The following is from
the long awaited book
Perfume: The Alchemy of Scent
by Jean-Claude Ellena
Perfumer at Herm├Ęs 

"In order to judge perfumes that have outlasted time I use today's nose, whereas for new perfumes I use yesterday's nose. 

And I realize that memory works in such a way that perfumes, which are not experienced with excitement and passion, which are not linked with a personal story or, in our business, with the training of the nose, are devoid of meaning and leave no trace in the memory. I thus conclude that evaluation by categories, by classification, is not enough for me. This perception of perfume is too analytical, too distanced, to move me. In order to discover a perfume, I have to enter into it and grasp it from the inside. Once it is separated from its external apparel, I can appraise, judge and decide.

I also notice that my perception, my understanding, and my judgements of perfumes have evolved with the ideas, the values, the customs, and the tastes of society, and that the mental picture I have of perfumes has constantly altered and become richer. This means that I am constantly reinventing my representation of the past - the past that builds my future creations."

Illustration: Heart of the Matter Lura Astor