It’s almost midnight here.
I just finished writing one post for this blog, did my online Sunday service, took a shower, worked on my other business, and now I’m sitting on my bed, thinking.
I got a strange question last week. This question was quite a bomb to me, and it got me thinking.
“Have you ever created a perfume that you like? For yourself?”
It was a moment of silence for a while. My mind was processing the question and trying hard to find excuses. Yes, excuses. Because the answer to that question is no, I have not.
I am bad at making excuses, so the only thing that came to my mind was, “Nope. I am not confident.” Thank God he didn’t ask further.
But I do.
That conversation keeps playing in my head, and even now, I’m not done thinking about it. Therefore, I decided to write this journal. Maybe by writing, I can organize my thoughts and finally find an answer.
Many of you might think that being a perfumer means creating perfumes for brands like Dior, Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, etc. Some of you might expect that perfumers have our own brand. Fewer people know that behind our creams, shower gels, shampoos, dishwashing liquids, detergents, fabric softeners, and candles, many perfumers are working really hard.
These perfumers, including me, work with strict frameworks: high project turnover, short deadlines, low prices, but high performance, international and internal regulations, stability tests, and so on. We don’t get the liberty to let our minds run wild and create something new, magnificent, unique, etc.
Although I’m working in the fine fragrance (mass) category, I still have to work within those frameworks. There are boundaries. In short, I need to be creative in using my ingredients to deliver low price fragrances with excellent performance. Because that’s good for our clients’ business. And we want to please them.
Anyway, I don’t mind doing this job. Many times I feel it is an exciting process, and I am somehow proud to be able to deliver cheap but high-performance fragrances. It challenges my creativity too.
On the other side, working in this part of the perfumery industry means I don’t have the liberty to do what I want. Most clients follow the market closely. When they come, they say, “Hey, I want this to be…… Please make it……”. I just need to deliver what they desire. Often they want something mass pleasing.
Creation is something that I rarely do. I understand raw materials, and I do know how to use them. But to make my own creation for my personal liking, it’s huge. It needs another level of creativity. Indeed, I am not confident that I can even meet my standard.
I get jealous sometimes, seeing many perfumers are self-taught but have successfully built their own brands. They don’t have to go through this long training process and keep the title of “junior perfumer” for how long? Ten years more?
Wait, wait. Here I am playing victim!!!! I need to break free from this mindset. This thinking will not give me peace and might lead me into a bad, bad path in the future.
I always thought that I could not make a nice, high-quality fragrance because I was not trained to do so. The truth is, I actually have all the tools in my hands! I just need a blank page, start writing my ideas, use all my crazy imaginations, and then translate it into a formula—even this simple step I haven’t done before.
Wow. Journaling does help me to solve problems. I’ve been reading about the advantages of writing a journal. Now I experience it myself. If you read this, try to consider starting your own journal as well. It helps.
Finally, I can sleep well tonight.
Tomorrow I’ll push myself to be brave and start writing a formula for that one scent I truly desire.
Wish me luck?