Drop the Gender, Find Your Own Story
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Co-Founder, creator and artist of A Dozen Roses, Sandy Cataldo, signing bottles
Fragrance has been introduced to me as a science and an art form.
My own vision is that the future of fragrance should be genderless. Perfume is about ﬁnding your own story. I have had the greatest luck to study with a great master perfumer who made me aware that perfume is a creative language that can tell a story - a story that anyone can wear, as long as you like it.
While I do understand that all cultures have their own ideas in terms of whatʼs feminine and whatʼs masculine, I think that this can be argued. In the ﬁrst place, gender can vary according to the experience of a speciﬁc culture. A ﬂoral scent that is considered feminine in one culture can be worn by men in another. Secondly, letʼs remember that, despite our gender, we all have a feminine and a masculine side and a very unique, personal, experience of life. Essential oils have different properties that we can use to balance our emotions, and why not, our “gender” connotations.
Quite simply, the time is now right to push the boundaries of gender in our ﬁeld. There has been growing interest in perfume, and people are becoming more and more exposed to it. Consider the booming of (mainly genderless) niche brands, the proliﬁc online perfume debate, or the fact that now there is a department of Olfactory Art at the Museum of Art and Design in New York City. What does all of that mean? It means that people are starting to explore and experience - to become more educated buyers.
In life, I work on the experience of perfume: I create sensory perfume workshops, scented meditations and events where people can explore this medium and ﬁnd their own story with perfume. This is my own personal establishment within this world.
I found myself starting from a story which “smelled” in words: a poem. That story, through creative development and laboratory experiments, became an odor. Now in a bottle, itʼs a walk throughout the joy of life, that is loved by men and women, alike.
One year later I was sent to America to work at a fragrance house, working in the perfumer's department, next to another master perfumer. There, I was given 13 accords - 13 bottles with no direction except to create a story. Which is what happened. In my story there were men and there were women.
But, first... there were emotions.
I am glad that I have been given the opportunity to write for The Perfume Magazine. I decided to use the language I started from: poetry.
I chose 4 perfume ingredients that are commonly, but not exclusively used in masculine compositions: bergamot, vetiver, patchouli and jasmine, and with these raw materials in mind, I composed an haiku (Japanese short-verse poetry) for each one of them. These ingredients helped me to extract the story that I wanted to tell.
Vetiver, Patchouli, Jasmine, Bergamot
Which one is which?
Africa is a
butter dance with woman earth.
Purple is their rhythm.
Deep under the ground
a volcanic pleasure is
about to erupt.
Air sparkles in the
winter joy. Effervescent
sea, you are my friend.
Your beauty is the
legend that can comfort troubled
hearts. Eternal oil.
NICOLA POZZANI | Contributor
Nicola Pozzani, Synesthetic Provocateur, is the founder of S Sense, The Senses of Perfume, sensory perfume training in London. He has studied Perfume Science with Jean-Claude Ellena and worked both for the perfume industry and as a teacher.
Editor's Note: I feel so fortunate to have recently been introduced to Nicola Pozzani from London. I love connecting with people who are truly looking at the Art of Perfumery from a subjective and academic standpoint; realizing where it has been and where its destiny may lie. Global Fragrance Expert, Marian Bendeth said "Nicola Pozzani is a fragrance aesthete who broaches the subject of perfumery from it's fundamental structures, bypassing the commercial intent at every turn."
In his debut piece for The Perfume Magazine, Nicola tackles the question of gender-identity in the Fragrance Industry.