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Monthly Archives: May 2012

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  • confirmations and labels

    there we go again: A quick pictures of what sits next to the keyboard and is soon on its way to the factory: Labels. The Mandarines ambrées soap lot labels, and Dark Passage lot labels and the labels that go onto the Dark Passage purse spray.  (Dark Passage is the fragrance that I made for the kickstarter campaign, supporting Only Child, the newest movie by Brian Pera, and it is/was only available through kickstarter (click here to learn more ). Thus, today is another soap day and a purse spray filling day. Yes! I am very much looking forward to this. I love this fragrance. One reason might be that it is brand new and sort of limited and I have never really immersed deeply. This morning, I have, while filtering the brown reddish juice.

    What you also can see on today's picture: A confirmation e-mail. I got my flight to Helsinki, for mid August. I got the last ticket that was available for a good price. August 17, in the evening, I will meet and greet perfume lovers of the area and I am very, very much looking forward to this perfume centered gathering. I will talk a bit about my scents and I will learn a bit about Finland, perfume lovers there and maybe some differences how perfumes are appreciated up north. I am curious. I think I was never up there, in Finland, and look very much forward to it.

    I wish you a lovely day.

  • rose today and mirror watching

    Today, I am continuing with the Loretta Tuberos soaps (50 more to go) and start pouring and packing Rose scented soaps. Tomorrow sees me pouring the last Mandarines ambrées soaps and then the soapy business will be done for a while and I will start pouring those purse spray DARK PASSAGE fragrances. Hmm. I can't wait to get these done. Last minute as I am these days: We get the stickers in the next two days from Germany.

    This digital printing company is actually super organized, located in Germany, with streamlined processes that work, and you can get laminated labels (with a protecting layer that makes it more resistant to ethanol and other harsh ingredients in a perfume) starting with 1 label. For a reasonable price. For low volume production like 100 or 200 labels, technology has really changed a lot. These days you can get labels produced in a quality and volume that was unthinkable a few years ago. For a price that is very much ok. Thus, bye bye to having to get a minimal number of 5000 labels printed at once.

    While pouring these soaps, I will continue thinking about facebook: But not about the share price you pay these days on Nasdaq. That's a different topic. Lately, keeping my facebook page clean  has become a daily job. The longer the more others are putting links to my pages, independent of whether I might want a link or not, or are sharing pictures on my site (very troublesome, quite often for copyright issues) and I have to remove them. Worst: Others putting me into some groups without asking. Very annoying and again troublesome. In my personal experience and in the experience of many friends: facebook becomes very annoying, and boring.

    The medium is the message. With facebook, this message becomes a thumbs up or a two words comment and an endless circle of relinking content that is already there somewhere. I think facebook is less about true sharing but it is about distraction and mirror watching. Transforming a quote from Neil Postman: We are mirror watching ourselves to death.

     

  • Working on kickstarter goodies

    This week will see me working on the goodies that I promised to produce for the kickstarter campaign of Only Child. If this campaign and the exciting  film project of Brian Pera is new to you: Here is the link to the kickstarter campaign page.

    Thus, I will start pouring those Loretta Tuberose soaps today, more rose scented soaps and mandarines ambrées soaps will follow, together with purse sprays of Dark Passage, and purse sprays of the fragrance Loretta. Just in case you are wondering: No, none of these are available on my shop and Loretta, the second fragrance in Tableau de Parfums will launch in September/October this year if all goes according to the plan. Perfume lovers who pledged for Loretta get a chance to smell it before everybody else, though.

    I order to be ready today, I started working on the Loretta Tuberose soap over the long weekend: Doing the allergen calculations, getting the soap wrapping paper ready, and mixing the soap fragrance and documenting the lot numbers of all ingredients used. The fragrance for the soaps does not really need to mature, thus I can work sort of last minute there.

    So I mixed the tuberose scent for this kickstarter soap and smelled the mixed scent again, and remembered that I actually love, love, love tuberose. And that it is about time to move on there, and on the gardenia, too. I have a scent strip next to me, dipped into the soap fragrance and it is quite rich, indeed. I think one reason why I need to get on with the tuberoses: It is a scent that goes wonderful with my skin. This is something I discussed and learned in the US the other day.

    But first things first: soaps. And then Loretta. There is already pretty much of a tuberose in there.

  • the most fascinating Iris

    Today's picture is a sketch of an iris that I did in Portland, the helping drawing lines removed. I started with a triangle and built the flower sort of inside it and around it. This is a technique I use sometimes: Try to find a simple geometrical form and build the illustration within. The reason why you might want to brake a complex flower like Iris with its twisted and delicate petals into a simple form: It helps to get the proportions right. Then follows, at least in my hand, a simple outline of the main forms that I see, a few lines of where I see shapes forming and ending and then a few colors, to give it some depth.

    Here you see the drawing with the triangle still there.

    Iris,

     

    I took this picture during my morning jog in Portland. Yep, I know, it sounds kind of freaky and geeky and so: I was jogging every morning, with my ipad, doing some exercises and sketching if I was in the mood and found a nice motive. This iris was right next to me when I did the back training and its perfume was absolutely stunning.

    Suddenly it was there, a whiff of a fragrance that made me want to draw the flower. Funny enough, while sketching it for 20 minutes or so, I kept on thinking that actually, the scent was a lot like orange blossom, not indolic, but clean, slightly pungent. I continued thinking that it contained a lot of irones. And I thought that there was a vanilla, gourmand side to it, too.

    In my head, I ended up with a triangle of methyl- 2- naphtyl ketone (aka oranger crystals, orange blossom, IFRA restricted), Irone alpha, Ethyl vanillin (strong, flowery vanilla).

    I guess drawing a picture and creating a scent is similar. It is all about proportions, contrasts, light and colors and patterns. I guess I will follow this triangle a bit in the coming weeks. But first things first: getting back into rhythm, getting orders out, and filling those air du désert marocain bottles. Yehaw!

     

  • structures

    Another gardenia picture today: With almost zero color, a bit on the underexposed side, thus highlighting structures. It is a little bit like squinting one's eyes, which is a trick when painting and looking for the right hues and shapes. Squint your eyes and you see underlying structures that help understand and illustrate, for instance a tree that is otherwise just many leaves.

    When creating perfumes, arranging notes in order to create a  new fragrance with a certain form and structure, you do the same thing. You squint your nose, and reduce the idea you have in your mind to a few structural components. Having arranged these central lines or structures, and having arranged them properly, with the right dimensions and proportions, you move on and arrange the details, focusing increasingly on details.

    But the key is that the first few lines are right. If not, the entire composition will be false.

    I will leave for a week abroad in a few minutes and will get back and blog and talk in a week. I leave a little illustration of a gardenia flower, that highlights again structures and shapes. Enjoy!

     

  • weekend greetings

    I wish you a lovely weekend. Here, we are under grey skies, with heavy rain outside, admiring Ms gardenia inside, all aspects actually, its shape, its scent and its colors.

    Enjoy!

     

  • gardenia again

    So the gardenia sits in the living room, close to the window, facing south-southwest. Funny enough, it smelled like a vanilla pudding with pepper yesterday. As you can see in today's picture, the flower is at the end of its blooming period and by tomorrow or Sunday we will see fresh flowers opening. Today, another flower opened and it started with a scent that is more on the green-fresh-jasmine-sweet side but without indolic aspects. Thus, a head space analysis of a flower does probably not always render the same results. This leaves room for fantasy.

    I must revisit tonight, and see what happens over night. I bet it smells even more intense, as actually the flower's perfume is not made for our nose but in order to attract pollinators, i.e. insects flying in the night. Competition for these seems to be tough or they might have to be lured in from a long distance.

    Smelling gardenia was one of the compensations yesterday. It was my home office day yesterday, fighting with certificates of analysis of tuberose, rose, orange blossom, and many, many more: I am getting Loretta, the second fragrance from the Tableau de Parfums, series ready for autumn launch. Most of the paperwork we have to do these days is for the European Union. If you ever wondered why there is little growth in Europe : Start a business and you will see.

    The EU is a gigantic regulations producing machine, whereby the regulations threaten to suffocate innovation and creativity.

    But then: I do not really care. And I do not want to offend EU lovers. As always, I try to look at the bright side of things, happy as I am an outsider, and in a sense rediscovering the formula of Loretta while taking care of the EU regulations. Tuberose, another white flower, plays a central role there. In a sense, gardenia and tuberose, are like brothers or sisters. In my imagination, the gardenia is the more behaved, more elegant, more modest, more timid of the two. Tuberose seems to be a bit more daring, more sexy.

  • lilac after the rain

    Today's picture shows you a lilac, dark violet variety, after the rain, seen yesterday in the Zurich Nord area, while doing a sequence of flower sniffing video shoots. This was part of an extended afternoon video interview session that will ultimately, hopefully, end up on Swissinfo.ch, the Swiss information web portal. The video interview was a joint chat with Vero Kern, founder and nose of Vero.Profumo, on a variety of perfume related aspects. Among other things, we talked about scent memories, how it is to be an artisanal perfumer, how and what might have changed in the industry in the last 20, 30 years, what inspires and why we do what we do.

    Well, I guess, and Vero said so too: You need to be brave and a touch crazy to start a venture within this field.  Both of us are now a couple of years present in the markets. In a sense, we are already getting classics in this super fast evolving field. But without getting rusty! Vero.profumo is having its 5th birthday right now. There is a great 50 samples celebration give-away on the Campomarzio70 facebook site (starting May 14th) and you have the chance to win one of 50 samples of a great new scent that almost nobody had a chance to smell. I did and can tell you it is sure worth taking your chance to win.  It all starts on May 14 and thus, stay tuned and make sure you do not miss it.

    So that was a busy and intense day, yesterday. And in the evening, I basically just passed out, as this was the 3rd interview in a row this week. As much as it is fun talking into a camera about oneself, it is intense, and even if you forget the camera after a while, I remain in a state of high attention. But on my way home, I passed by my florist's shop and yes! I got my gardenia pot and look forward to flooding you with gardenia posts.

    The lilac, by the way, was heaven on earth. Almost too much.  Damp, sweet, and intense lilac after a heavy rain in the afternoon sun.

  • ocimene

    This morning is sort of grey, but I hope for sun later in the afternoon, especially as we need some sun when doing the video interview this afternoon. It is a more general interview on perfumery, inspiration, memories, by a  Swiss channel and I am really looking forward to look it. I was asked to bring some books on perfumes, or flowers, and I will probably bring my great perfume flacon collection book. It is by Barnard Gangler, called Parfums de Collection, Deux Siècles parfumés, with pictures taken by Brice Agnelli. In total the book contains something like a thousand pictures. Thus, this will be all exciting.

    Exciting like yesterday. I had a lovely chat on flowers, gardens, perfumes, and ... gardenia. When I was in Rome, next to the hotel, right around the block, there was a lovely flower shop and they had one gardenia pot after the other. Amazing! Thus, the chat yesterday afternoon made me double check again an article about research on gardenia's head space late last night. Some of the molecules I do not know, but ordered them from SIAL right now, as I am curious. Some of the head space molecule I know. And as always, it seems as if a very large part of the flower's unique character is due to minor components. Actually,  minuscule components far below 1 percent.

    Main components are farnesene, ocimene, linalool, methly benzoate, some tiglates, and some lactones.

    Natural head space, my nose, tells me: sweet spices, with a touch metallic green, the spices being a mixture of clove buds and peppery cinnamon, a powdery envelop, and a fruity sweetness that is creamy and reminds me of a banana - coconut combo with some vanilla. A combo that makes you go "hmmm!" when it hits your nose.

    As I was in some sort of gardenia mood, I ordered a plant from my local florist. I cannot wait. The picture today shows you one of the molecules identified by head space analysis: Ocimene. It is supposed to smell "green, metallic, citrus". We will see.

  • the essential culture

    As promised yesterday, I follow up on yesterday's post with a few comments on art. These are comments and reflections I made at Campomarzio at via Vittoria on Thursday night, and all this under Campomarzio 's claim "the essential culture" which I like a lot. Thus, I mused on how we see the world, during the presentation of Miriam, the fragrance, from the Tableau de Parfums series and Miriam, the movie that inspired its creation and that is an integral part of Woman's Picture, independent movie maker Brian Pera's oevre.

    I made in front of my public the three drawings, asking the public what they see. You see the drawing to the left. Quick: What is it?

    It is a bird. A tree. The sun.

    This is code. This is the way one part of our brain sees the world. In abstract forms, simplified patterns. This simplification, this abstraction allows us, our brains, to move through this world very effectively. We do not have to identify patterns of a tree, its form and shadows, its colors and patterns, its size and relative position to other objects for half an hour in order to get the information right: Yes, it is a tree. We have learned to simplify by abstraction. We need to.

    We live in our world of abstraction, every day and even in the world of scents we use these abstractions.

    This is why I can ask "what is this" and get the answer "it is a bird". I did, however, not ask "what does this look like", because the code never looks like the real thing.

    This abstraction does not show us how the world looks like, and it misses its beauty and the contrasts where light and shadow meet, where colors explode, where shapes and forms create new impressions, where scents recreate pictures of the past, bringing back memories.

    It is the artists task and privilege, it is the art's mission to know about these abstractions, to use them, break them, transform them and to show the world around us without  code and abstraction. Art allows us to the the world differently.Art can show us the beauty of the world and how the world presents itself. This is true for any form of art, for painting, for music, for movie making, for writing or for perfumery.

    This is why art is important. It allows us to see the world differently and opens our  minds.

     

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