Scent of a Woman is a well-known film by Al Pacino. While it has nothing to do with perfumes, it definitely has something to do with the sensory element of smell. In fact, fragrance, many a time, is the signature of a person. So, it is elementary to make sure one wears the right scent.
Rajesh Sharma happens to be a secret perfumer in his alchemical lab in the old city, who experiments with over 1200 ingredients to make custom fragrances. At one time, he labored in the streets of Grasse, France, to learn to sniff the minute nuances of perfume, including the Chanel No 5, to blend custom perfumes that suit personal tastes.
Perfumers say scents can retrieve memories faster than a sense of sight, more vividly. In fact, the perfumes carry various notes that make for an exciting study. Rajesh shares that each perfume has three redolent or three notes that can be sensed after the application of a perfume. There is a ‘top note’ which one smells instantly, a heart note remains the core of the scent, and then there is the least volatile ‘base note.’
Like all perfumers in the business, Rajesh trained his nose to memorize thousands of scents while working in France. “It’s imperative to analyze the ingredients in their mind to understand which note is to emit which kind of fragrance. I am at that stage now, though it takes more than a lifetime to understand the scents,” says he candidly.
Rajesh now has a collection of over 1200 ingredients from across the world and is now into making customized perfumes for his customers in Mumbai. He is also experimenting with coming up with his own brand of perfume. Wrapping up, he shares that musky and citrus notes are the season's fragrances.