Friday, July 9, 2010

Perfume Illuminated: Duets

"On hearing that sonata,
I could no longer tell whether I was breathing music or listening to scent.
~ Guy Maupassant

Perfume borrows much of its linguistics from music, the aromatic field blooms with words like accord/chord, note(s), orchestration, composing, organ, tone, harmony. Perfume is illuminated today by the concept of duets, another musical term. A duet is defined as a musical composition performed with two individuals or two instruments. For flavor and fragrance this translates into two individual ingredients paired together, like a good marriage, to form a whole greater than the sum of their parts.


Artists often look toward patterns and connections when creating a composition. In the creation of botanical, natural perfume there are specific notes that I have learned work well together. Many times when I am sitting at my drafting table, working out the details of a perfume, I will take into account what materials pair well together. Coupling together notes, often in groups of larger than two, is referred to as an accord or chord. I am rather abundant with generating chords. The best way to begin is by paring two notes that work well in unison, here are a few based on allied aromatics, I encourage you to discover others.

Jasmine + Ylang Ylang
Vanilla + Tolu Balsam
Patchouli + Rose
Vetiver + Clary Sage
Cabrueva + Sandalwood

Some essences are like social butterflies, they are very friendly and blend well with most. Others are curmudgeons and can be tricky or need a little coaxing.


Some flavor duets that immediately come to my mind are:

Salt + Pepper
Peanut Butter + Jelly
Cumin + Red Pepper Flakes
Basil + Tomato
Kalamata Olives + Feta Cheese
Chicken + Orange

I discovered this website which has a food pairing tool which is fun, some of the flavors they are putting together seem really unusual and worth exploring. Who would have ever thought of combining Mango with Peppermint?

Music, Heavenly Maid by Sir Edward John Poynter all other images Roxana Villa.


Princess Ellie said...

My illuminated duet is Rosa and Page 47 both in solid. They smell beautiful together!

Illuminated Perfume said...

Nice, I must give that a try!
I'm wearing a modified version of Page47 today, with extra orange blossom.