Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Master’s Perfume Wheel©

A perfume wheel is as critical a tool to the perfumer as a color wheel is to a painter.
But when a perfume wheel is constructed illogically, it is for the most part useless.
I’ve never yet found one that made really good sense or that was as helpful as it could be.

I have the common sense to understand the old maxim, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.
But for me, existing perfume wheels are all  based on an old broken model.  And my common sense is going to nag at me until I fix this thing.

I get out my paper, pencil, ruler, watercolors and brushes while considering the requirements of a logical, useful perfume wheel.

A good perfume wheel will
     • Serve as an educational tool for all levels of understanding
     • Spark independent creativity for the perfumer
     • Represent the logic of classic perfume construction
     • Represent both classic as well as contemproary perfume
     • Reflect the nuance and gradation between perfume families
        that occurs from the most classic to the most contemporary
        great perfumes
My simple prototype starts where it should, in the middle with the basenotes, the largest molecules that anchor every perfume family. It travels outward towards the macro families. Its clockwise voyage progresses from family to family and includes the most modern ones. It presents logical blending ideas within the families. It serves to educate all levels.

It ain’t glossy. Definitely not the work of a graphic artist.  But technically, it’s spot on.

Now that I’ve corrected this annoyance, I return to making perfume.

Shelley Waddington
April 21, 2010

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Lab Technician For the Senses

A glimse into the office and the process of a perfumer...

When asked, "What do you do for a living"?, I sometimes jokingly answer, "I play with molecules".

But not all molecules have a fragrance.  As a perfumer, I work only with fragrance molecules.  A typical perfumer's organ contains  single molecules produced in the laboratory as well as complex materials of natural origin.  My personal organ contains a quantity of materials from both categories.

These performance molecules come in many sizes, shapes, and families. Their function is to impart specific fragrance qualitites that can be sculpted into perfume.

I keenly enjoy the challenge of balancing  the scientific  aspects of  botany, phsysiology, chemistry and toxicology with  the history and the art of sculpting with air.

Shelley Waddington
April 10, 2010