Olfactory Culture

The Nose at the center of Our Emotions

The nosein the middle of our face, our memories, our emotions. Through smell it captures the essence of things immediately, without going through the rational processing. To smell imprints in our psyche a memory that remains indelibly with us. Smells give us the ability to recognize things without seeing and touching them, but feeling their essence, the smell that emanates from them and that we do not forget the most. More than into a photo album, more than in the drawer of memories, our history is a memory of smells.

The scents are “impressions” that evoke emotions, accompany our spirit to wide horizons, are the first garment which is worn on the skin, they talk about us, allow us to interact with others, open the doors of knowledge, leaving an imprint which “smell about us” in time. The scent has a more convincing persuasive power of words, appearances, emotions and wills.

The “nose”: familiar term attributed to perfume-creators to descript an activity with high creative content, similar to art - made only in part of science - in the knowledge of store, select and then mix in a harmonious and ever new, raw materials, feeling their properties and evocative powers.

It's a very manifold job, a complex “composition” of technical, chemical and scientific basis, of an artistic knowledge acquired through the discovery of art and history and a heightened sensitivity, supported by a strong memory and a lot of willpower, that allows “noses” to transform life experiences into artistic creations.

The apprentice-perfumer must be passionate, methodical, tenacious, creative and also modest. Hisapprenticeship into the world of odors is a long journey. He have to repeatedly smell, every day, the same raw materials up to memorize not only the various odors, but also their properties and the possible combinations between them. This allows him to operate more easily in the selection of raw materials according to the perfume “construction”. The constitution of the personal repertoire of odors is an ongoing process that the nose increases throughout his career.

Young noses use to start their studies reproducing what nature has created: the smell of a rose covered with dew in the cool morning, the delicate scent of lily, the warm perfume of jasmine in the air. Next, they make up the scents they fixed in their memory, a childhood experience or a walk, and then try to feel and riproduzione the “classics” to understand the basic rules of their harmony and success, correcting tests until they reach the ”perfect harmony”. Only after going through these stages, they can compare with the ultimate goal: create a new perfume that everybody will appreciate.

The raw materials available to a perfumer-creator are about 3,000, divided into “facets” (grouping different kinds of raw materials depending on their origin and refining the definition of the “personality” of the perfume) and in “families” (the main sign recognition that allows us to classify each single perfume) .All facets and families are grouped in the olfactory pyramid with three levels that illustrate the temporal development of the fragrance: the top notes, heart notes and base notes.

The art and science of “nose” and our nose are jointed together with emotion and language of smells where “no one is wrong, no one is right."”.

Nothing can excite more than a perfume. And none knows how to be more ductile than a perfume, for the endless variations that we can mix.

If you want to find out how odors and scents are stored into our brain, have a read here...

By Courtesy of www.accademiadelprofumo.it.