After meeting with many of the traditional fragrance houses in the UK and not having them understand our unique point of view, we were very happy to finally have met Ruth Mastenbroek who instantly understood our story and our idea, what a delight! Unlike any other perfumer we met, Ruth asked us to map our noses, because she said she needed to understand what we mean when we say sweet and what we meant when we said floral, that way she could understand our language and noses better, I thought this was a genius way, since scent is such a subjective experience and it is very difficult to put the notes you smell in words most of the time.
Sheikha Fatima Al Sabah at the factorySince all the development happened in London, we started mapping our noses in the iconic department stores of London, We already had an idea of what each colour should smell like so we would just start from there, and for the Rose fragrance we would smell as many rose fragrances as we could find and rate them as good, bad or maybe.
And then we would collect the good ones and by process of elimination remove the ones that weren’t as relevant, After that we would see what note is missing from our favourite fragrance and mix another one to compensate and voila! we would have our Rose fragrance mapped out for Ruth to unravel.
Sheikha Fatima Al Sabah
We sat in the shops for hours sniffing away and surprisingly our noses didn’t tire as quickly as we would have imagined, We would buy our winning fragrance combinations and then take them home to test on our friends, family and colleagues to see if they would get the same colour when smelling rose, questions we asked were “is this a pink rose, or a red rose, or a white rose?” and everyone would always say definitely Pink!
That is when we know that it would be the one we are going with, After everyone agrees, we would then buy the fragrances and send them to Ruth with our notes on how we feel the fragrance should smell, She would work her magic and in a few weeks we would test and adjust as needed.
The experience of mapping our noses was such an exciting part of the journey of developing and making Prismologie a reality and we have many fond memories of laughing as our noses would give up after 3 hours of trying hundreds of fragrances.
One of the main things I learned from all of this is how subjective our experience of smelling something truly is, I would call it floral, my friend would call it fresh, another would call it clean, but we all agreed it was a white smell, I would encourage everyone to always try and map their noses it is truly and enriching experience especially if you do it as part of a team or group of people.