As National Fragrance Week takes place between March 16th-22nd, it’s the perfect time for some fresh thinking about perfume not just as a product, but as a work of art.
This is the third time The Fragrance Foundation’s celebration of perfume has been extended to a full week, following the introduction of National Perfume Day as a one-day event back in 2016.
According to the organisation: “This initiative was designed by The Fragrance Foundation to help bring the magic back to an industry filled with history, artistry and passion.
“Our mission is to expand the appreciation, use and sale of fragrance amongst all people.”
With that in mind, what’s the case for perfume as an artform in its own right? Let’s consider some of the reasons why perfume is seen as a form of art.
They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder – or in the case of perfume, it’s in the nose. Everybody has their own ideas about what makes a particular perfume pleasant.
Already there are parallels with other artforms, as it’s always open to debate whether one artwork is better or worse than another.
Fragrance ingredients form their own ‘colour palette’ – literally as in the sense of green aroma ingredients that are associated with springtime, verdant fields and lush woodlands.
Trained perfumers commit hundreds of scents to memory. For example, at Givaudan’s prestigious Perfume School in Grasse, students have to memorize around 1,500 raw materials.
They then learn to build accords (fragrance notes that form the heart of a perfume) and then progress to perfume schemas (containing up to 12 materials). Perfumers return, time and time again, to certain complementary combinations as a base for future fragrances.
Changing tastes dictate what sells well in any medium, and perfume is no exception. In a recent presentation by The British Society of Perfumers regarding 2019 fragrance trends, they noted muskier and leathery scents for men and an uptake in aromatic accents over citrus ones. Women’s scents combined white florals with lingering amber and musk notes.
Aromatics were the rage, overtaking citrus, in the world of unisex fragrances. Woody fragrances were softened with flowers such as geranium, irises and jasmine to be used by men and women.
Perfume is an ever-changing landscape and it takes a true artist to see beyond that and create something spectacular, whether it’s uniquely for the tastes of its time, or an instant classic with enduring appeal.
The level of desire and demand for leading fragrances is proof in itself that they transcend their physical form – perfume is literally more than the sum of its parts.
But desire has an impact at every level of perfume-making, from individual aroma ingredients like Oud, right up to the big brand-name perfume houses whose fragrances are always in demand. Also, people are searching for transparency and eco-friendly products, giving rise to creative indie brands.
Perfumers are always exploring new ways to make fragrance ingredients – both natural and synthetic – as well as how to incorporate them into finished products.
Like any artform, perfume is continually pushing its own boundaries in search of something new with the ability to evoke deep and moving sentiments in each person who catches its scent.
If your business is interested in learning more about the essential oils and aroma ingredients we carry, please email Zanos at firstname.lastname@example.org or speak to our Sales Specialists on 01565 755899 and celebrate all things perfume with us this National Fragrance Week.