Monday, 30 August 2010

Oh Coco

Lynn and I went to perfume school for a few hours to learn how to make Chanel No. 5 at the Institute of Perfumerie in Grasse, where all the amazing perfumes are made. It is the source.

Chanel No.5 is unique, Coco Chanel wanted to make a real perfume for women, a modern perfume, not just a simmple floral bouquet but something which would capture the spirit of modernity, something to reflect her love of the modern woman, of straight lines, of form, of freedom of Corbusier, Mondrian and her contemporaries. The nose,Ernest Beaux was hired and he stayed for a long time and in 1921 No. 5 was created. The story of No 5 is that he might have made a mistake and put too much fo the synthetic scent Aldehyde which at the time as controversial, but this is unlikely and rather it was intentional, to give it an edge, to be modern.

It's composition is complex, perfume, like a movie or a good essay is in 3 parts, there are three acts if you like. The first is that first impression the top note which in this case is sparkling. The body which is abudant with jasmine and rose de mai, a precious expensive rose. Coco said, if it is expensive, I want more of it, I want the most exquisite perfume ever. . .then the last base note, what is left on your clothes and silk scarf after days, that deep musky scent that often reminds you of certain memories - the base here is sandalwood.

We made our own scents based on No. 5, I knew that I like sandalwood, rose and jasmine . . .a las after an hour our own Eau de Parfums were made . . .Chomchom Eau de Parfum, it is what I use now, instead of NO. 5 ;) Making a perfume is not an easy task as a little drop changes it all. An art, a science, call it whatever but probably a complete and utter neccisty after all. The basenote is supposed to last, almost forever, that smell that is left lingering on your clothes that brings back memories even when those memories are buried somewhere too deep to fish out and they come back when triggered by scent, even if you try to refuse - souvenirs of past loves. Thanks Madame.

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