SUBLIMINAL DOSE

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My last fragrance “Milano Caffé” illustrates very well the “subliminal dose” concept

In a perfume, the ingredients that are not smelled are more important than the ones that are smelled.

I once had a customer who loved my perfumes but he could not stand any fragrance containing Rose. Even in those where it was present in such a small proportion that no one could smell it, he would say “there is rose”.

I think that he had been traumatized during childhood, either by a nasty aunt wearing rose perfume of by a painful experience in a rose garden.

The important discover for me however was to see that our nose was working as an emotional gas chromatography instrument.
The nose perceives the emotions associated to the single essences although they are blended in such a way and in such small quantities that they are not recognizable by smell. The nose can say “there is rose” by the emotion that rose triggers in the soul.

It is a mode parallel to the theory defended by Luca Turin, that our nose perceives aromatic molecules their vibration, not through their material shape.
In this case the vibration of the smells is the emotion that they produce.

In a natural perfume the ingredients that are not smelled are more important than the ones smelled.
That is because they are the context in which main accords are perceived.
In olfactory psychology, the psychological effect of an odour depends in great part from the context in which it is smelled.
The subliminal ingredients that you will use in composing perfumes are the ones that will describe the background of the story, they will give the feeling in which your main accord is perceived.
Composing a perfume with natural ingredients is like writing a novel with the olfactory memories of people.
Subliminal ingredients are perceived as well as the main ones, even though in an unconscious manner.
Writing the same human story but setting it up in the ancient Greece or in New York in the twenties would make you perceive the story in totally different ways.

AbdesSalaam Attar
Perfumer Composer

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1 reply
  1. Feis Bu
    Feis Bu says:

    so true! once i fell in love in such a way that the smell of earth and air and the seasons had the freshness and the notes that i’ve never smelled again since my childhood.. ma sha` Allah

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