The first mistake of art is to assume that it's serious.
- Lester Bangs
As a perfumer, I think about this a fair amount, probably more than I should; is making perfume Art? After 30 years, I have concluded that perfume design is an art form. A great perfumer manipulates materials to tell a story; some are shorter stories than others, but the dry down of a great, classic, complex fragrance is an unrushed, unfolding story. I have no doubt such a design is art, not merely craft.
But I have never quite been able to figure out why it can't be simple and art. When it comes to fragrance, however, it seems everyone wants to make high art; complex fragrances with distinctive dry downs and changes. To me, art comes in all kinds of forms. Today we study the functional arts of a civilization or culture; their clothing and fashion, flatware, architecture, all for insight into the soul of how people live everyday.
So is it art if I design a fragrance that just makes you smile, or reminds you of the birthday cake at your 8th birthday party? I guess I would rather let more serious people decide that, and just keep making fragrances that make people smile.
Simple. Subtle. Singular Scents. Each Day. Everywhere.