Soul Talk

Grassy Perfume Fields

I have just completed my third year of study and I am still not quite sure about what my future holds. There are so many dreams and goals to fulfil but I just do not know how I could plan and take each small step towards my dream and how fate or random luck could help me to inch forward, moving much closer into realising my ultimate dream. Steve Job is right. I need to trust that the dots will connect.

My dream job is to be a perfumer   

My ultimate dream is to become a perfumer. I guess I was first enchanted by perfumes when I discovered this elegant perfume bottle with a distinct red cap that was placed on my mother’s dressing table. I remembered I was only 6 years old then when I was drawn towards the beautiful perfume bottles displayed on the dressing table. There have been countless times when I would sneak into her room just to dab some perfume ( Paris by Yves Saint Laurent) on my wrist. The scent was strong, yet feminine. I was so attracted to this perfume because the scent of roses and jasmine in the perfume could lift my spirits in an instant.

My love for perfumes

Today, the scent of the perfume reminded me of my mother and how I used to perform a “scent experiment” with her perfumes. Before my body is sent to the graveyard, I would like to experience the life and story of a true perfumer even if it is just for one day. Being surrounded with a beautiful and well-crafted scent of fragrance composed with notes of Bulgaria rose, patchouli, ylang-ylang and grapefruit is like soaking yourself in a bathtub full of “happiness”.

Walking the down the aisle along the perfume counters and sniffing perfumes which wafted in the air was so much more exhilarating than shopping or watching a live football match.  

My love for nature

The best thing about being a perfumer is being able to stay in touch with mother nature, exploring the Earth elements. As a Taurean, I enjoy living in nature and love being surrounded by natural flora and fauna. To be able to stand before the vast lavender fields and exploring the natural perfume ingredients which mother nature has provided us is such a wonderful thing which I earnestly yearn for.  

Differentiating the top, middle and base notes of the perfume and extracting the natural essence from amber, lavender and rose are skills which perfumers must be equipped with before beginning to concoct a sensuous, unique and pleasant fragrance. I could imagine myself spending most of the time in the laboratory, using techniques such as maceration, distillation and enfleurage to obtain the aromatic compounds.

A trip to Grasse

At NUS, I learnt briefly about such perfume techniques when I took module PR2201:Perfume and cosmetics. However, we merely learnt and read about the theories behind the art of perfumery. Essentially, in order for me to truly understand and witness the process of perfume making, I knew I had to make a trip to Grasse.                      

This summer I am on a mission in the quest to discover the makings of the perfume. To travel to the city of Les ParfumsGrasse is part of my list of “Things-to-do-before-you-die“. The world most famous perfume industry is in the city of Grasse, France which is also recognised as one of the perfume capitals in the world. Grasse, located along the coast of French Riviera, is a small, quaint town dotted with several perfume factories like Galimard. This summer I will be able to place a check next to this item in the list. It is indeed a dream come true for someone who loves the art of perfumery.    

Not an easy path to take

The road to this perfume trail comes with several humps and bumps. After all, the wall or barrier are erected to prevent people from obtaining things they do not really want. Following Randy Pausch’s life principles, if I really want this, I need to knock down the bricks.

Travelling to Grasse is akin to be paying a huge, handsome amount of money for a ransom. I could envision myself stuffing loaves of baguette, licking off the bread crumbs off my fingers and sipping nothing else but cheap wine (Wine is cheaper than water in France).

With a big hole in my pocket, I knew I wasn’t able to buy back a bottle of voluptuous perfume.  

This will be an adventure of my own and a tough journey which I will have to embark upon without another voice, opinion and presence of someone which I could share my experiences with. It will be great to have a travel mate. Then life would be like a bed of soft roses with a tinge of ……

A travel and lifestyle blogger based in Singapore.

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