“I keep challenging my motivation as a perfumer.”Gia
I know since the beginning that I love smelling perfumes simply because it makes me happy. My mother was the first person who influences me to like perfumes because she always wears perfume even to bed, and I love her scent. Lady Blue and Samsara were her perfumes that are attached to my memories the most. At that time, those perfumes were popular, so every time people passed me by, I could tell right away, “This is Lady Blue” or “This is Samsara.” My mom used to have this small cabinet full of perfumes. The bottles are gorgeous, and to my eyes, the juices are sparkling. I was drawn to them instantly.
My educations taught me both perfumes and raw materials evaluations. I knew I love smelling perfumes, but raw materials were more intriguing for me. It was harder to memorize all those raw materials, for sure, and I did not score the best in the blind test. However, I enjoy discovering their characters and use them to create something beautiful. It is a very creative process, and I love it.
I dreamt of becoming a perfumer. The question is, am I living my dream now? After several years spent in training and working on projects, do I still love it?
I know I’m still in the very early phase of my perfumer career. But I don’t deny that along the way, I keep coming back and questioning those questions above. As a hobby, perfumery is beautiful. But as a job, it is a different story. I have to fulfill all of my clients’ requests. Sometimes I have to create something I don’t like. Naturally, those questions consistently appear.
Many times I feel guilty of having them. I remember during my interview to get into the perfumery training program, I was told that passion alone is not enough to survive this career because passion fades away. That day I was so sure that what I feel towards perfumery is more than passion; it is love. I was so motivated that I will do whatever it takes to become a great perfumer.
At first, my goal was to get into the perfumery training program, which I did. The training was fun and knowledgeable. I was dying to jump into the real battlefield. However, once I got my own projects, I felt like the job starts getting monotone. Everyday doing the same: looking at similar formulation, using the same raw materials repeatedly, and fulfilling similar clients’-requests.
I was lost.
Last night I discussed this matter with my husband. I came to know that even him, who is in my eyes a very passionate person in his field, feel the same way sometimes. The discussion went on, and I realized that what I was feeling is normal. My feelings are valid. I also realized that challenging my motivation is not equal to losing my love for perfumery.
Love is a journey. It is something that evolves as we grow, just like two people in a relationship. Life changes, we go through things, and we get more mature. Difficulties are there, we question things, and we self-reflect.
When I ask myself, am I still happy smelling those raw materials? Am I still thrilled to discover new accords? Does smelling new creations still put a smile on my face? I can certainly say, I am.
Now I have answers to my questions. First, I haven’t lived my dream yet because I haven’t reached my career goals, but I am going there. Second, yes, I do love creating perfumes even today.
I am so motivated to share my bits of knowledge in perfumery through this website. For some people, scents might be something confusing. I hope my writings can lead them to understand, thus enjoy and appreciate scents, not only those in the bottle but everything around us.
I am also challenged to actively studying fragrance accords, smelling more raw materials, and deliver excellent creations that all of us can enjoy.
Finally, I start thinking maybe challenging my motivation is not that bad. Perhaps it is actually something I need to do regularly to keep me going forward.