Dear Profumo,
I find the scents I have purchased from you to be the most enchanting and magical I have ever experienced.
Everywhere I go people respond to the subtlety and beauty of them when in my proximity.
I have recently been given the part of, “Carmen” by a small opera company in London, and I am curious to know if you are familiar with the opera and if so what scent do you think typifies the personality/aura of “Carmen”.
I await your response,

Dear Scheherazade,
thank you for your kind words about the Scents of the Soul. Your request is very interesting as I never had the occasion to construct a “character Perfume” for opera, and I am honored to start with such a famous character as Carmen.

Dear Profumo,
Carmen is anything but plain! In the opera:
She is a free spirit, a true gipsy. She sleeps under the stars. She loves whom she will as she will.
Like a wild creature, she will not be tamed. In her veins runs the blood of Moors, Roman, Basque and Spain. Sex is her means of communication. Her hot temper and gutter pride her only defence. Ultimately vulnerable because she has never really loved and doesn’t understand the sentiment in others. Any man who loves her more than she loves him is a burden to her and an obstacle to her “freedom”.
Superstitious she believes “Fate” inescapable and faces it with mock courage and defiance.
Her sultry grace and smouldering eyes are legendary. Her passionate singing and sensuous dancing are irresistible.
She is a slow tempestuous desert wind heading for a precipice by the very power of her sex.
Anything but plain, flawed she may be, exotic, wild, untamed, selfish, yet vulnerable – I find a lot of her in me (as I must).
I have included this description of the Carmen character from The Opera Classics library, as you see it pretty much mirrors my own interpretation of her (Carmen).

I do hope this helps,

Dear Sheherazade,
Carmen’s perfume is nearly finished.
As I understand Carmen, her love of gipsy freedom and her women pride are only excuses for not abandoning herself to the sentiment of love.
I imagine that as a young passionate girl, she has been wounded in her first love story, being used and abandoned by a man to whom she had given all her heart.
For a gipsy girl, being strong is a necessary quality for surviving, and discovering how love made her fragile and vulnerable, bittered to have been cheated in her sentiments and offended that the gift of her pure love had been discarded as a thing of small value, she swore not to love anymore and to use men as she had been used.
When she meets true love in the love of José, love starts growing in her and also the fear of loving. In this battle of hidden emotions, her fear wins over, and death at the hand of her beloved becomes a logical outcome to her, accepting in this way not to belong anymore to any other one.
The Heart of Carmen is the explanation of her actions. The wounded heart of a child girl at her first love. For this reason, I started the perfume with a composition of roses. Rose is the perfume of the heart and of the purest love. Rose is the very archetype of flowers in the olfactory language, and flowers are the symbol of the beauty, delicacy and fragility of women’s nature.
The rest of the composition came while I was listening to the song of Carmen.
Patchouli and styrax for the orientality, Lavender for the simpleness, Night Blossom and Tuberose for the provocative sensuality. These are the main ingredients. The few other ones have a harmonizing function.
The perfume is now resting for a few days.
I shall then send to you a small bottle for you to try during the stage proofs.

Dear Profumo,
The Carmen of the novel is obviously very different from the Carmen of the OPERA, which is whom I am interested in. Please do not send me such a “wimpy” scent as I am not interested in weakness but more her animal qualities, her vibrancy, her mystery! Carmen does not “love” per se’ Love for her is sex. And by the end of the opera, she is about to be united with the one who would be her true love, Escamillo, the Toreador before tragedy strikes. Don Jose was never meant for her. The perfume you have described is more suited to Michaela, Don Joses fiance, in the OPERA. There are many DVDs and Videos that may be rented from libraries, etc. that contain the OPERATIC Carmen. Might I suggest the one by Francesco Rosi. The Carmen in this film is closest to my IDEAL of her. She is portrayed by Julia Migenes, Placido Domingo is Don Jose.

Dear Profumo,
I must thank you for your patience and understanding of my prima donna attitude to the Carmen perfume I wished you to make.
This role is very important to me.
I have received the scent and have been trying it in different situations to gauge the effects.
There are two distinct effects: the first being to myself. I feel when immersed in this subtle yet mysteriously spicy scent very feminine, languid, sensual, and confident.
The second effect seems to be to those around me. Being subtle the people have to be in close proximity to me to react. And what a reaction!
Women are as attracted to the scent as men!
Women ask me overtly what the scent I’m wearing is, they are fascinated!
Men seem rather silly around it, smiling at me a lot and being overly solicitous. Rather than asking me about my perfume they want my attention!
I will be wearing this scent to my rehearsals to see the effects and will continue to send you reports of my progress.
Again I thank you for this most marvellous scent!

Dear Profumo,
I have been using the “Carmen” perfume while at rehearsals. I use it lightly and sparingly as the rehearsal room at this time is small and I fear I will overwhelm my comrades. There was no need of this fear as I find people get close and lean into me to speak and seem warmer and friendly and attentive. Are there pheromones in this scent? Or perhaps does it stimulate them?
The effect is distinctly noticeable!
I myself enjoy the scent and like placing a lightly sprayed cotton ball in my bra so the perfume intensifies with my own temperature during the rehearsal increasing the “Carmen” atmosphere.
I will continue sending reports as we go along, I am meeting Don Jose at the next rehearsal!

Dear Sheherazade,
I am glad that you like your perfume, yes there are animal pheromones in it. Let me know when you want me to prepare your bottle.



Dear D. Dubrana,
Yes please do make the bottle. Also, I would like to say that as I continue to “become” Carmen and learn more of her personality I must rethink her scent to a certain degree.
I think you were right to suggest softer nuances of fragile femininity as was your first impression of “Carmen”.
I find that she is as vulnerable to her own impulses as are the men around her.
My singing is strong and inspired by the lovely scent you have produced for me but if it is different from your first ideas, which I foolishly shunned, I would be honored if you would send me a sample of the original scent you had in mind.
With warmest regards,

Dear Sheherazade, thank you for your mail.
After your comment, I have changed the perfume only with some drops of Civet and a few more of Patchouli to make it more physically sensual. The fragility and softness of the character is in the rose which is the principal ingredient but this secret heart is hidden behind voluptuous and provocative fragrances such as tuberose and patchouli.
The smell did not change with adding of ingredients but the effect of the perfume on others does, particularly on men and on the person who wears it.
I had gone through the text of the opera before composing the perfume. My work is all about psychology and I took the Carmen character as if it were a real person. I accept that a real person can be as extreme as Carmen (not just that there can be something of Carmen in many persons) but there must be some human reason for a person to become so extreme.
I have been interested more in discovering the soul of a person that could be Carmen in real life than making the scent of the Carmen character.
The perfume has been inspired by the music of the opera, I started and finished composing the fragrance while listening to it.
I did not have read the original novel because when it arrived by post the perfume was already done.
I am glad to have succeeded in winning your consent, making this perfume has been a stimulating challenge.
You should not apologize too much for your first refusal, probably I have not been able to convey my view with enough diplomacy to you. I had also read online the comment of The Opera Classics library but it just did not convince me.
Probably who wrote it never had to enter into the character. Yours is not an easy art because you have to be an actor as well as a singer. There is much more in opera than catches the eye (I never went to opera). If you invite me sometimes to the Carmen performance I may just catch a plane.

Best regards


Gipsy Queen – The perfume

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