18 April 2007


In our latest chapter of functional perfumery, we're designing a "lavender" scent for fabric softener. I put that in quotations because this is an interesting part of the fragrance industry: the perfume should not actually smell like real lavender, but instead like something that the general public deems acceptable for a clothing residue. What is appropriate for the market changes depending on the target population, country, and product. (For instance, an American "chocolate" smell contains a lot more vanilla than a French one.) So even though the process of making a functional perfume is academic, our interpretations of lavender are pretty flexible. Mine has a good amount of coumarine (vanilla-like, but with a stronger hay aspect) and some light cedar notes, in addition to synthetic lavender-like products.

The next is unrelated, but despite my ENORMOUS frustrations with the red tape that wraps around all of France, there are some really great things about this country (cliche or not!):
  • Paris in the springtime -- tulips and wisteria!
  • the lack of, and lack of appreciation for, multi-tasking skills (ahhhh)
  • accessible intellectual media: bookstores everywhere, philosophical debates on TV, loads of info about the current presidential candidates, great magazines like La Philosophie and L'Oeil (art)
  • everyday sensuality (watch the part in Amelie where she goes around touching, cracking, and burying her hands in things just because of the way they feel)
  • the amazing things they do with eggs: omelettes, crepes, etc. etc.
  • as a friend so aptly put it, the spirit that is 1/2 refined, 1/2 bohemian. (that may be the best description of France I've ever heard!)