We are Alessio and Paolo De Dominicis, a couple of brothers who collectively have been in the perfume business for over a decade and spend 99.99% of our day thinking about beautiful fragrances. All scents, both good to bad, have been an intrinsic part of our lives, and most of our decisions and feelings, have been determined by smell. It is said that the last sense we forget is the sense of smell, and we really believe this to be true. Even though it is hard to remember the exact features of our grandfather’s face or the pitch of his voice, the smell of pine shavings immediately transports us to his workroom, where as a carpenter, he would make miniature furniture for us to play with. We loved him very much and to this day the resinous smell of pine stirs within us warm feelings for our nonno. Likewise our grandmothers, who perhaps we loved even more, smelled of peppery basil, black coffee, cherries steeped in grappa and the iris notes present in the face powder they both wore.
What is being highlighted here is that even though we are in the perfume business and this blog is dedicated to discussing fine fragrances, as humans our sense of smell is integral to our emotions and opinions. Smells make us feel and think the way we do about people, places and situations. Smells influence, if not control, our actions. They can make us feel happy, anxious and relaxed; they can even make us spend money. Our sense of smell is underrated and is infinitely more intricate than people give it credit for. Whether we pay attention to the way smells affect us, or take it completely for granted is irrelevant, just know that it forms a major part of your life! The proof of this is our attraction to perfumes. We want to smell appealing to ourselves and to others. We want to communicate something about ourselves to others by the way we smell. It’s often more complex than just wanting to smell “nice”. Some of the time we want to smell sexy to seduce others. Some of the time we want to smell sophisticated and wealthy, communicating to others that we are successful. Some men want to smell very manly and strong; while some women want to smell very feminine and delicate. Whatever our motivation, conscious or unconscious, we use smells to send out messages to those around us. So when people ask us “which is your favourite perfume?” or “what is your signature perfume?” it is often impossible to answer as this depends on one’s mood, current life situation, time of year, past experiences and whims. This is great news for all of us as it opens us up to new and different fragrances all the time and perfumers are encouraged to formulate new works of olfactory art.
Even though, fragrances are predominantly subjective products, the purpose of a blog is not only for us to discuss them subjectively, but also objectively, as in this field one cannot be made more important than the other. One cannot deny that there are some facts to be taken into consideration like a scent’s molecular structure. For example it is a fact that citrus notes have small molecules and do not last long while woody molecules are large and last the whole day. It is for this reason that a fragrance made up of these two molecules will evolve on the skin as the day goes by, starting off as a very citrusy fragrance and ending up with more of a woody smell. In this blog we will discuss the notes (which are the ingredients giving off their individual smells) of a particular fragrance (and how they work together) and then give you our feelings and opinions regarding the fragrance. Our submissions will often be in the form of discussions with each other and you about particular fragrances, their rivals and/or peers. Even though we often have very similar tastes, sometimes we disagree! And it is our disagreements that make for excellent discussions/heated arguments… especially after a few Lagavulin whiskies.