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A passion for perfume.

Perfume is described as marking the most important times in life - birth, death, health and seduction. I suppose I think it has always been an interest for me - but recently I've decided to make it a hobby. Images of white coats and chemists beakers aside I've decided I'm going to order an 'organ' of base/middle/top notes and start to make my own scents. Even if I only achieve marginal success and manage to create a room or linen spray that doesn't make my nostrils burn I guess I'll be happy. I plan to get The Perfumery Training Kit K26.

Fragonard is a perfume factory that I visited while in the South of France, about 2 years ago. It is in Grasse. What a heady experience. It was great to be at the centre of perfume-making where the techniques were perfected and all the history of perfumery lies. Below image of Grasse.

I'm sure in another life I was destined to be a 'nose'. I have a keen, almost overdeveloped sense of smell (in this life) which seems to have been genetically handed down to me from my father - along with a particularly 'roman/retrousse' profile...

Isn't it amazing how strongly scent and memories are linked? Some of my favourite scents and scent memories inculde -

*Nine years old, my mothers perfume sprayed on a lace hankerchief. I kept it under my pillow in my little cold dormitary bed for comfort when I went off to boarding school for the first time.
*The chlorine clean bleach-blue smell of the school swimming pool - very institutional smell which conjoured up feelings of nervousness and even now is associated with competitiveness and butterflies in the stomach!
*The smell of freshly cut grass. Also a school association, usually accomanied by sharp bursts of whistles and running.
*My mothers baking. Comfort and saftey.
*Lavender 'Vinolia' soap and Colgate Apple shampoo - immediately transported to childhood.
*Wet dog, most likely one of the reasons why we don't have a pet.
*Wet swimming towels, damp smell usually equalling a scolding as they'd been left in a heap on the floor.
*Cedarwood. Vanilla essence. The lavender growing in our garden.
*Malibu - sunscreen and Hawaain pineapple cocktails.
*Laundry detergent and the smell of softener.
*The cloying heady smell of incense. Too strong.
*Dried roses - pot pourri - reminds me of Valentines days gone by and old ladies houses.
*Clothes and hair after being in a smoky pub/club. Yuck.
*New car: new anything actually - a new leather handbag - happy, happy.

What are your favourite scents or those linked to a strong memory?

I was given this book as a birthday present and was quite suprised when it was made into a movie. I thought the only way to sucessfully communicate all that had been described in this book would have been to release scent into movie theatres and make it a REAL sensory experience! Not a bad adaptation but as usual, I enjoyed the book more than the movie.
Still shot from the movie (below).

On to perfume:

CLEAN perfume - I think this company has been extaordinarily clever to replicate scents that we all love: warm cotton, clean laundry, shower fresh, the smell of a baby.

This book is on my list to purchase.

I know this was an extremely long post today, thanks for reading if you made it this far! : )

Comments for this entry

nunu pepe'

Hi Kat I have a book called The Emperor of Scent by Chandler Burr. I did not finish reading it as they lost me on all the perfume lingo. Maybe you will like it? If you can't find one in the bookstore I will send you my copy, was going to donate it to a school/library so no worries. Oh also there is a company called The Lavender company that work out of Midlands 033)234 4741 they make their on scents (candles, linen water etc.) Lovely owner might be able to steer you in the right direction. :)
I look forward


Ooh - thanks for your contacts and info. I'll follow up and let you know if I can't find the book. Very kind of you. I seem to have published this post half way through writing it (oops) so hope it made sense!

janine de waal

Thanks for the post - I must say the idea of making your ownb perfume sounds great! so think its something that I might try if the distant future! Thanks for awakening another sense!


Saw Perfume recently, well done in general, good character building, original cinematography... expresses a lot about human nature as well.


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