Friday, April 3, 2009

Do any perfumers smoke ?

I think for the most part, smoking is one of the stupidest things a perfumer can do - but since we're all still human I am wondering if some of them do ? I have been an on-off smoker most of my life since my teenage years (mostly off) and I had been off cigs for two years now but somehow I picked it back up again during my last visit to Toronto (its a great stress combatant!). Since then, I have found that it is horribly to the detriment of my ability to do anything perfume related! My sense of smell is much worse in general and not only that but I am no longer able to evaluate my work on my own hand (everything seems to have a mysterious "burnt tobacco accord" to it that I swear I never put in there :P). Today I am re-sniffing a chypre that I had put away for a few weeks to try and gain some inspiration for, but I find that I am not able to smell it the way I would like. I don't plan on quitting smoking until April 15th which is the deadline for another design competition that is taking its toll on my stress levels right now - so I guess I am going to have to live with it for the time being. I am guessing most modern perfumers don't smoke but did a larger percentage of them smoke in the 50's 60's or even 20's 30's ? I wonder if the nose just acclimates eventually as I know long term smokers don't smell the smell of stale smoke on themselves anymore. It'll be interesting to see if I can find out in another two weeks!


Leon said...

You are absolutely right Matt, smoking on a regular basis destroys smelling's most subtlest abilities forever. I smoked a lot, cigar, cagarettes, pipe tobacco, you name it. The only thing I stood away was chewing it, I found it very distasteful. I left it because an Asthma episode almost killed me in 2002. However, I always found offensive the staled tobacco odor and I still find pleasure in fresh tobacco aromas. This made me remember Tabac (by Wirtz?), it had nothing of tobacco altogether.

Parfum said...

Love Tabac (Maurer + Wirtz), and the fresh tobacco scent! As my father was a fan of Cuban cigars for many years its a scent I know very well and can conjure up in my memory anytime. I've quit smoking again just recently from the time of that post but I actually enjoyed a Montecristo with a few friends last night. Smoking, unfortunatley one of lifes pleasures that will eventually kill you ;) It is immensly helpful sometimes though... As a response to my original article, eventually I became more and more use to the smell of stale smoke and it didn't interfere with my perfume work as much, but its still not a wise thing to do when your job is primarily using your nose!

Anonymous said...

Interesting thought. I would like to think that perfumers dont smoke. I'm a smoker myself, I smoke a bit more than half a pack a day. My job is pretty stressful and smoking is as you said, a great way to relax. However, I do not smell the stale smoke note on myself, but I do on others. My sence of smell is probably not the best, which sucks cause I love perfume so much. Sometimes I get a bit paranoid and wonder how the perfume I'm wearing actually smell to others who doesnt smoke. I'll give it up someday but for now I'm just happy puffing away another cigarette. I've also noticed it totally kills your sence of taste. I love purple prunes when I'm off the cigarettes, but when I'm back on them I can't taste anything.