Modern manufacturing processes, combined with the knowledge and skills honed in the established perfume houses, are being used by a new generation of talented, perceptive and adventurous perfumiers, like Max Millies, to create unorthodox and unique fragrances.
Imagine a perfume made specially for you, that smells of your favourite things…leather and old books? Yes, it has been done. And those perfumiers have been able to recreate memories for the enjoyment of everyone.
“To be sure, composing a perfume with artistry is tantamount to assembling aromatic notes deliberately and consciously, thereby achieving unity, harmony and meaning for this assemblage, but the road to this achievement is paved with numerous failures.” – Edmond Roudnitska
Max, in particular, has created a range of perfumes, varying in characteristics from the smell of leaves in rain, and the memory-laden scent of old-school white roses growing in the city, to the zen-like subtle hint of green tea and warm human skin.
Trying to describe fragrances, smells, in words, is as difficult as trying to describe wine, or paintings, or music. Olfaction is the one sense that is fleeting, and like memories, are particularly valued when they can be captured. Who would not like to be instantly transported to the time, place or person they love, merely by opening a perfume bottle?
Most people’s reactions to the smells of food are similar and fairly simple: for instance, the “fresh green” smell of wasabi reminds most people of the sea, and most people associate the smell of lemons with cleanliness and “healthiness”. We mostly agree on what smells good and nice in food. But in perfume, a great number of specific chemicals are combined and balanced to create a perfume formula. A miniscule amount of the one or the other too much or too little, and the perfume doesn’t work – it evokes the wrong memories, or bad memories. Such a perfume can be described as “harsh”, “chemical”, “love it or hate it”, “flat”, “depressing”, “threatening” or just plain “stinky”.