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Viewing single post of blog Perfume as Practice

2017 has seen me conduct no less than 12 perfume making workshops around the UK. And, as the last one of the year concluded on Saturday I thought it an appropriate time to document and appraise what I’ve learnt about my perfume making workshops over the last 12 months:

  1. It’s bloody difficult to get men engaged in the perfume making process. But when they are, they’re fully immersed and tend to create wonderful fragrances. At one point during the year I toyed with the idea of framing the workshops differently, presenting them as almost as science experiments in order to attract more men to them. I decided not to as I didn’t want to sell them on a falsehood. Still, questions around how to get more men interested in the possibilities of fragrance remain.
  2. I’m getting better at describing how scents smell. This is a surprisingly useful tool when trying to explain what happens to the aromatic compositions of oils when they combine. I’m by no means an expert in fragrance (and I don’t pretend to be) but using a wider and more informed vocabulary when describing scents helps reinforce my credentials as a fine art perfumer.
  3. I’m still learning all the time. And that’s fine as my attendees are always informed of the fact that I’m approaching perfumery differently; from the point of view of an artist. Indeed sometimes my attendees know more than me about the qualities of some of the oils. And that’s fine too; it makes workshops feel more like an exchange of knowledge, which is always welcomed.
  4. The process is actually quite performative. Which is good because once again it reinforces my position; I’m an artist, not a perfumer, and a bit of performance directly indicates this.
  5. As I now feel much more assured as a fine art perfumer compared to a year ago I think it’s time to improve the quality of my workshop materials. I feel as though the depth and value of the knowledge I impart is of a higher quality compared to last year, but the materials I use don’t reflect this. Maybe I’m being overly critical but it’s certainly something I’m thinking about.

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