Viewing 7 posts - 16 through 22 (of 22 total)
  • Author
  • #49975

    Ciao Salaam
    no fixatives with a tune that one can’t stop humming…. but like a perfume a song has to have good structure and most of all a good hook line along with a recognisable melody which is pleasing on the ear or ‘catchy’…

    when listening to a commercial song you will notice that more often than not the chorus or hook lines are repeated…. which often is the title of the song itself…a bit like an accord that rides through a perfume….
    thanks I will look at the guy robert…


    it is true that a perfume is like a song and that it is build on accords like music.

    AbdesSalaam Attar
    Compositore Profumiere


    chords of music are complex like perfume and it is in counterpoint of melody and the juxtapostitioning of this that help create orchestral majesty….. the multi layering of musical notes or floral woods resins animal in a complex blend of instrumentation and solo notes or botanical instruments are parallel.


    Guy Robert created Madame Rochas, Caleche, Equipage, Gucci Parfum and Dioressence.
    This is a transcirpt of his lecture at the British Society of Perfumers.
    The musical part will make much more sense to you as a musicist than it does to me;

    Our method could be compared to the Art of Cooking, a sort of “rule of thumb”
    (empiricism), and I agree this is not looking very serious! I am convinced that a few rules comparable to what is called in music :
    “harmony” or “counterpoint”, should actually exist in perfumery, but nobody
    succeeded in defining them. Many fascinating other theories, among them this idea : for every perfume note there are several levels, like what the musicians call
    “octaves”. (example : Damascones, Rose Oxydes, Otto of Rose, Geranium, Rose Absolute, Rhodinol, Geraniol, Phenyl Ethyl Alcohol …) It is also possible, by comparing perfumery to painting, to imagine an “inter
    communication of tones” like what is happening between the colours. That theory is probably the most advanced one and the best : Like a painter, a perfumer, consciously or not, built his “palette” which is
    the “catalog” of his preferite tones or products. And like a painter, if he accumulates too many elements he is going to get a
    sometimes awful confusion of grey and sad tones. Lasting power is not easy to reach, nobody knows how and why this is
    happening. I hate and find stupid that theory of “fixateurs”. We all know these many little songs we are hearing anywhere and forgetting
    almost immediately, but, from time to time, one of these songs sticks to our
    ear and we go on whistling it the whole day … I can assure you the author of these successful songs do not use any
    “fixatives ingredients” to get that result …

    AbdesSalaam Attar
    Compositore Profumiere


    A wonderful read on this Easter Morning … thank you for posting it.

    Colour to me is essential….. the shadings and differentiations that can occur from one single colour can be infinate. It is this build up of shading of similar tones (music) or colour (Art) that help breathe life…. otherwise it would just be a flat tone or colour.

    Just so in perfume similarities of plants tonal layering……. contrasting notes ..counterpoint and colour contrast, harmonies….. plants that give each other support and enhance their own perfume..colour harmony that vibrate…

    ah this circle of life….



    Guy Robert’s observations about musical/harmonic analogies in perfumery hit me right where I live. I have long wanted to draw an articulate comparison between what in music is called the “harmonic series” (// and the layers, overtones and “lead notes” of scent.

    How often have I mistaken one thing for another when using my nose as the 1st sense because I was getting the very leading edge of a scent, which would soon reveal its full identity as the “lower harmonics” came into the mix. Distance, time and air act to pull scent apart into constituent and often surprisingly deceptive components!

    Are these analogous to harmonic “overtones”?

    If, on my guitar, I pluck the open A string, there lives inside that seemingly single note a series of overtones that climb in an orderly mathematical way up several octaves, presumably eventually out of hearing range. I can illustrate this by lightly touching the string at 1/2 its length to play the 1st octave above the string’s native frequency. Then I go up another 5th, then a 4th to the second octave, then up an increasingly narrowing series of steps that become quickly unplayable, but which have sonic equivalents in the unfretted original note. It is a fascinating thing to ponder. If you are ever able to hear an electronically generated note that is stripped of its overtones, you will instantly understand this phenomenon: it will sound creepily “dead”, mechanical and ugly.

    Often times if I turn my head to a certain angle against a note thus played, I will hear the octave or the fifth, not the note being played! Just as a scent carried far enough away from its origin might reveal a whiff of a constituent odor — often surprising in its “counterpoint” to the whole fragrance.

    I find there are many analogues amongst nature and high art. I find the parallels between music and perfumery especially compelling.

    Many thanks for this forum!



    Guy Robert “Our art is so mysterious, most of the perfumers cannot explain the proceedings they use to build a perfume.
    Our method could be compared to the Art of Cooking, a sort of “rule of thumb” (empiricism), and I agree this is not looking very serious!”
    It is not possible to compose a symphony without knowing all the rules of music, but it appears that it is possible to compose perfumes without the help of any strict mathematical rules such as those that regulate musical harmonies.

    AbdesSalaam Attar
    Compositore Profumiere

Viewing 7 posts - 16 through 22 (of 22 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.