We had a sun-shower yesterday.
It was the most glorious, delicate sprinkling of rain I’ve ever experienced. A beautiful, warm twenty-five degrees (Celsius), sun shining brightly, when out of nowhere came a drop of rain on my foot, then on my nose, and before I knew it, thousands of delicate droplets, glistening in the sun, falling like the softest of snowflakes. It was as if I was standing under a blossoming almond tree, the petals floating down around me, and all the world like it was breathing in the softest, sweetest harmony. I’ve really never seen a sun-shower like it before.
Yesterday I officially began work on a new fragrance; one to represent summer and freshness and new beginnings. But as I sat there in my studio surrounded by bottles of single notes all vying for my attention, I didn’t feel like a perfumer at all. The thought crossed my mind (and hovered there for some time), maybe I don’t know how to do this anymore.
It’s been nearly eighteen months since we launched (or worked on) a new fragrance, and, if you’ve been following our adventures, you would recall that I have since been through a period of burnout. During that time, I simply could not find my creativity, and I decided that I would wait, heal, recover and come back when I was good and ready. So it’s almost a rebirth for me. And I well and truly felt like a baby yesterday.
I spent a few hours in the studio, not getting anywhere at all. Then suddenly it occurred to me -I work best as an intellectual perfumer; I need to research, to write, to make lists, to group and ungroup on paper before I even enter the studio. It’s the innate research-driven side of me and it’s how I seem to do everything these days. I feel the need to get down the basest details and understand completely before I put things into practice, and that is now the case even in the perfumery.
And that’s OK.
I used to feel uncomfortable with people calling me ‘arty’ or ‘creative’ and now I know why. I don’t feel like an artist. I feel like a researcher. And I feel like my research culminates in a burst of creativity at the end. It’s as if I’ve found a story, located the characters, understood the scene, the context, the motivations and the emotions behind the story, and then been able to put the story together in scent.
So today I came to the studio armed with hours of research from last night, and, guess what?
The magic happened…