June 22, 2010

I don’t mind saying I am new to perfumery.  As luck would have it, I was chosen to be one of the forum evaluators for the Mystery of Musk Project.  You can read more about it here: http://anyasgarden.blogspot.com/2010/06/mystery-of-musk-natural-perfumers-guild.html

To begin with, I tend to be “a right brain person.” Meaning, I let my senses take me away to places where words seem unnecessary. Life can be stressful and my lovely culinary, olfactory, visual and intimate experiences are a time where I let myself flow to life affirming places… places that energize my soul and remind me that life is beautiful and precious and that none of this should be take for granted. In doing so, I float on the emotions of joy and pleasure being generated from these most miraculous sensory experiences.  At times, I even close my eyes; allowing myself to go into my own world of colors and sensations. Like I said, when I am in that place, words can seem so unnecessary.  It’s like... to take the time to find the words to describe the experience is such a distraction from the experience itself!

Unfortunately (or fortunately), for this Musk Project, I am required to find words to describe these most delicious fragrances that have begun arriving at my doorstep every few days.  I must find the words to convey abstractness... these hues of olfactory indulgence.  What an exciting challenge! It is such a rare opportunity and privilege.  It is one that I most willingly take on! 

Soooo, I said all of that to say this: Today, for the first time, I sat down at my work area to begin to attempt to put words to my impressions.  One-by-one, I applied a fragrance to a scent strip.  (I have received 7 samples so far.) Noting the time and name of each one on the strip.  For each fragrance, I did a little brainstorm, writing down the words as they popped into my head.  I didn't try to think too much.  I just wrote my first impressions... whatever they might be.

I continued on, sniffing each unique scent every few minutes... noting the time and my continuing impressions... trying not to let my initial impressions interfere with my current ones. (From what I understand, this is called "the dry down.")

That was step #1.  I plan to do this a few times more on a few different days and as the remainder of the artisian perfumers send out thier scents.  I will not look at my notes from the previous days.  It will be a fresh perspective. In the end, I want to see which impressions remain consistent.  From that point, I will (along with all the other bloggers and forum members) do a separate write up of each individual fragrance and post them here between July 1st and July 7th.

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage. ~Anais Nin


  1. Hi Chris,

    Nice blog. I like your new name Joie Botanicals as well. Will you be trying the musk samples on your skin? Natural perfumes change so much on the skin it would be nice to hear your personal reflections on how they smell on you, not just the scent strips :)
    Looking forward to reading more on your blog.
    Providence Perfume Co.

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  3. Hi Charna,

    Thanks for stopping by! Now that you mention it, I feel kind of silly for not thinking of the obvious!

    Absolutely, I will make my next go-around using my skin.... noting my impressions and comparing them. Thanks for the nudge!