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Thoughts from Timbuktu – fixatives

Timbuktu photography - Thoughts from Timbuktu - fixatives

Our customs change as generations pass but the words of our language remain, some of them taking a different meaning or even becoming misleading.

A century ago perfumes were largely used on handkerchiefs, scarves and gloves rather than on the skin as they are today.
There is a big difference between thinking about “the perfume is my dress” and “the perfume is myself”.
“The perfume that is myself” is worn on the skin and becomes part of one’s body, while “the perfume that dresses me” is worn on the clothes that dress us.

The animal pheromones originally used in perfumery are designed by nature to be long lasting. They are territorial sexual pheromones that male animals leaves on a territory in order to draw a boundary for other males and at the same time seduce females of their specie. Read more

Human sweat and perfumery pheromones

domestic zibet - Human sweat and perfumery pheromones

Civet easily becomes a pet, but keep your nose away from its behind part

Whoever smelled pure Civet for the first time has wondered how such an odor could enter into a perfume bottle. My first impression was the smell of rotten tooth.
It takes some training to be able to understand Civet perfume, one has to overcome the social olfactory programming that make us classify straight away this odor among stenches.

An infinitesimal dose of Civet can double the longevity of short lived perfumes, and although being in amount so little as to be subliminal, it also add to fragrances a different olfactory dimension, the animal one, and our instinct recognizes it immediately.
This is the reason why the public often prefers the scents that contains civet or other perfumery pheromones over scents who do not.

Human sweat can be a very fascinating smell to a perfumer. A professional  perfumer must approach smells with an unprejudiced nose, or must at least be able to recognize the origin of his liking or not certain smells, and thus be able to evaluate them with an objectivity not given to the general public.
Moreover, a perfumer is always very attentive to the reactions of people to smells, because his aim is to build scents that people will like (and buy). Read more

Tri-dimensional Perfumery

muskdeer pods - Tri-dimensional Perfumery

My search for the real musk deer scent has carried me in some of the farthest spots of the Hindu Kush but at last I found it from its fount.

I fully understand the need of all perfumers for a sustainable musk scent substitute, but the point maybe is rather about the use of an animal note in our botanical scents, such as Ambergris, Civet, Hyraceum or Castoreum, in order to obtain a perfume with a third dimension.

Like the small machines resembling binoculars through which you look in order to watch 3 dimensional photographs, there are only 2 images in the machine but the vision is truly tri-dimensional.

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