Most of the writings on creativity in perfumery have focused on the creative product: ther perfume. Little has been said about the creative process itself. In putting together this presentation, I've come to understand why this is so. The process involved in the creation of a fragrance are many, complex, and terribly abstract. I would like to share with you my notions about how a perfume is created, primarily from the vantage point of what goes on in the perfumer's head. What are the sources of inspiration to the perfumer? How does a fragrance develop from concept to finished creation?
To begin, let's establish a working definition of creativity as it applies to our field. We speak here of a form of thinking characterized by novelty and nonconformity and resulting in unusual solutions that don't follow the beaten path. The creative processes tap many levels of functioning. Inspiration, for example is a "gut" process, sharing many attributes of daydreams and fantasy. However, it is only by processing this material through our logical thinking that we are able to translate it into a creation.