Secret perfumery

Fragrance is a person’s intangible signature and a personal experience.

Published: 10th May 2022 06:48 AM  |   Last Updated: 10th May 2022 02:07 PM   |  A+A-

Rajesh Sharma

Express News Service

HYDERABAD: Fragrance is a person’s intangible signature and a personal experience. Therefore, one has to be doubly sure when choosing a scent.CE catches up with Rajesh Sharma, a secret perfumer in his alchemical lab in the Old City — experimenting with over 1,200 ingredients to make custom fragrances. This man from the city laboured in the streets of Grasse, France, to sniff out the minute nuances in any perfume, including Chanel N°5, to blend custom perfumes in accord with personal taste. 

Perfumes have strange effects on us. Perfumers say scents can retrieve memories faster than a sense of sight. In fact, with more vividity. They can make us feel an array of emotions. The best part is that a single perfume can have different effects on us. “Each perfume can redolent three ‘notes’ (denote scents which can be sensed about the time after the application of a perfume). We have a ‘top note’, that which we can smell instantly, we have a ‘heart note’ that remains the core of the scent, then there is the least volatile ‘base note’,” Rajesh says. 

Rajesh trained his nose to memorise thousands of scents while he was working in France. “Most of the perfumers, at perfumeries in Grasse, have their noses trained first, then happens scent memory training. Later one has to analyse the ingredients in their mind to understand which note is to emit what kind of fragrance — I am at this stage now, and it takes more than a lifetime to understand the scents,” the perfumer added.  

“There are some 5,000 ingredients — natural and synthetic that go into the making of perfumes. I have collected 1,200 ingredients from across the world, and with these, I can make a blend a wide variety of scents. Just make me sniff a scent for once, I will give you a nearly similar or custom essence within a few hours,” added he with a grin. “I can change notes if you don’t happen to like any of the notes. We can make them strong, or light, muskier, fruity or anything of customers’ accord.”  

Most of Rajesh’s perfumes are only custom made for his customers in Mumbai. He can replicate any scent, or twist it. He is, right now experimenting to come up with his own brand of perfume. “The trend of perfume changes like fashion. Around most of the globe, musky and citrus flavours are leading the way, I am trying to align ingredients keeping in mind these trending aromas,” Rajesh added. 

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