Adventures in Perfume Composition

I’ve taken a bit of a break from writing so thanks for checking back into my blog! Work has been very busy, the book business is booming which is encouraging, but I managed to sneak away for a bit and travel with some friends through France. We started our trip in Paris, strolling the streets where some of the most influential artists have lived and worked. There is so much inspiration in that city, I'm already looking forward to my next trip back.

     For the rest of our trip we headed to the French Riviera, making Nice our home base (not too shabby for a girl from Niagara). The train is one of the best ways to travel and we took full advantage of our location, stopping in Monaco for an evening where they were setting up for the Grand Prix and the medieval port town of Antibes to lounge on the beach. One of our most exciting days was heading to Grasse. My friend noted it was where many of the top fashion houses go to create many of their classic scents. Grasse has several well-known perfumeries and we decided to do a workshop at Molinard, one of the oldest perfumeries, to create our own perfect scents. It’s something that none of us had ever done and I was excited to see what everyone came up with. Spoiler alert! we each created totally different scents and I'm seriously considering changing careers.

     We arrived at Molinard, a stunning medieval building overlooking the water. The setting was perfect! We were ushered into a room with several brass tanks, we were told that they are used to create the different essences (scents) that we would use to create our perfume. 

     The woman leading our workshop explained what the next hour would look like and we got to work! We were tasked with choosing 9 different essences that would make up our perfume. The essences were divided into three categories, Top Notes (the first scent you smell of your perfume but the scent that fades the quickest), Heart Notes (these help build the base of your perfume and, while they last longer than the Top Notes, only last a few hours) and finally Base Notes (these are the scents that last the longest and truly are the foundation of your perfume). We were to pick two scents for our Top Notes, three for our Heart Notes, and four for our Base Notes. Then our workshop leader helped to create the actual formula of our perfume. We were creating a 50ml bottle of perfume, the Top and Heart Notes would each take up 12.5ml and the Base Notes would account for 25ml of our bottle (quick math 12.5 + 12.5 + 25 = 50ml). 

     The next part was a little trickier than just simply smelling and selecting our favourite essences. The woman leading our workshop sat with each of us and wrote out how many millilitres of each essence we would have to add to our bottle to create our perfect scent. We took an eye dropper, measured the appropriate amount and placed it into the bottle (it was important that we use a different eye dropper for each of the essences so as not to contaminate any of the purse essences). We worked slowly through this process, but it was worth the wait. All-in-all my brief time as a Nose (an expert in perfume composition) was a wonderful experience and I left with a new-found respect for the art of perfume. Creating a new scent that will appeal to many consumers must be a difficult task and being able to identify a scent simply by smelling the essence (something that all Noses must be able to do) is no small feat. Here are some photos of my Adventures in Perfume Composition ... 


Adventures in Logo Design

I’ve always been interested in logos and how they effectively represent a brand. As a designer, creating a strong brand is very important. It helps customers get an idea of what type of service you provide quickly.

I recently updated my portfolio website and decided an important addition would be to create a logo. I wanted to create a strong visual for people who were looking over my website and I was hopeful that this would help me create more of a ‘brand’.

I started to do some research and decided that the main component of my logo should be typographically based. This would help demonstrate my understanding of detailed typography.

I was inspired by the Victoria and Albert Museum’s logo, designed by Alan Fletcher. It’s simplicity effectively creates a strong visual for the V & A Museum. Fletcher created some intrigue, without compromising readability, and a unique design by playing with the placement of the ‘&’ and removing a portion of the ‘A’.

The challenge was to include my initials (‘S’ and ‘L’), my understanding of detailed typography, and my focus on book design. After some initial designs, I realized that the by playing with the angle of the ‘L’ I could create a small graphic detail (an open book) that would allude to my focus on book design.

Here are some of my initial sketches and some images of logos that helped inspire my final design:


Adventures in Furniture Design

I thought a good place to start this experiment would be ‘furniture design’ or, maybe more accurately, ‘furniture redesign’. I recently started a new job at a publishing house in Toronto and made the move from a small town in Niagara to the big city.

Settling into a new apartment meant buying my very first couch (guess I’m a real adult now, yikes!) and investing in a really good coffee maker (now that I’m a real adult, coffee is very important). And while I spent many hours in IKEA and HomeSense, I wasn’t able to find everything I wanted. I decided that this would be the perfect opportunity for me to repurpose some furniture and take a shot at being a furniture designer. Here are a some photos of my attempts. Enjoy!