Oh yes, that did just happen! 🙂
Organized again by Juraj of Bl’eauOG, we were in for a great talk made by Mr Monegal. In French! I really was very happy with the fact that I spent so many years learning it because I could follow what he was saying without any problems. And he had LOTS to say.
I’ll try and give you the highlights. One thing that I’m upset about though, when I had the chance to ask him questions, I couldn’t come up with a single thing. Now that I’m home writing this, I have a full head of questions I would really like to hear his answers to. Oh well…
Basically, what I believe is the most important thing he said and one that resonates through his perfumery and his approach to clients is that we all don’t know how to use our nose for anything that is not stomach related – e.g. food. And it’s a learned thing, conditioned by our culture as babies can smell their mothers but then, at some point, we all forget to use our nose for enjoyment and identification of the world around us (like animals do).
He said that one of the main reasons for using perfumes is communication and nowadays people don’t have an olfactory image (like we do with the clothes we wear). They are not even aware that something like that exists. Well, we obviously are, but there were many people present today for who I could tell he was saying new things. And for him, that is the main reason perfumers came out of their labs – to educate the public of the importance of knowing the terms and recognizing the olfactory image.
Mr Monegal also explained his idea of why a perfume is like a book – with the introduction, the main part and the end. And how different notes communicate different things. I really enjoyed the idea that he so obviously espouses about it all being about communication.
I learned a lot about some notes which I’m not going to repeat here. Just that I wasn’t aware it was so difficult working with iris as it doesn’t have much longevity (and what with how expensive it is, it’s good we even have iris perfumes). 😉
I’ll leave you with one gem I really liked. There is no good/bad perfume in his mind, it’s all about the olfactory image again and the fact that perfumes can be either well worn or not well worn (depending on what you want to express with them and how they fit you). I actually like that idea as I definitely know that I cannot wear some of the perfumes I own at any time I like (Serge Lutens’ I’m looking at you).
I got to try Dubai Next To Me and I like it a lot and I basically fell in love with Impossible Iris. 🙂 The name is a reference to how difficult it is to work with iris (the longevity issue again).