From the early times patronage of the arts was an important element in art history. Patronage the support, privilege or financial aid that an individual bestows to another. What would be the artists of italian Renaissance without the Medici family?
During the past 5 years my blog explored the history of perfumes and I shared online a small part of my knowledge and personal research in this field. It took me more than 10 years of collecting, reading and exploring the history and the present of modern perfumery. Today newspapers offer less free content or have increased the space of online advertising. This does not fit very well my convictions about perfume because I cherish very much the idea of freedom. Freedom of speech because I do not like to be the instrument of a brand and I do not have a Pierre Bergé behind me.
One of the reasons I've been blacklisted by several brands this year in Paris is the fact that I cannot be seduced to favor a perfume that I consider of a low quality.
In a century when "taste" is considered obsolete one might ask what allows me to decide that a fragrance is good or bad. I have smelled more than 10 000 perfumes in the last decade - modern and historic, European, american, soviet and asian - everything that is sold somewhere was once under my nose. Add to that everything a perfumer should know - thousands of raw materials and their combinations. This is pure joy, but also hard job and above all a costly one because I have to trace and go after each scent. When somebody questions my reasons I usually ask "what do you consider a masterpiece in the 8th art?" and "how many fragrances do you think you know?".
The most precious thing you earn while writing is the passion of your readers but this passion cannot pay the bottle of a vintage perfume you see on eBay and you know it's a masterpiece very few are aware of.
I want to give you an idea about the basic costs of historic research.
Analytic budget for a fragrance history maniac living in Paris
1,6 EUR - I take the subway in Paris and discover the latest launches at Galleries Lafayette and Séphora Champs Elysées
3,7 EUR - I take the train to Versailles
6,5 EUR - I visit a museum in Paris
15 EUR - I register for a conference at the Osmotheque in Versailles
30 EUR - I order a set of fragrance samples
34 EUR - I have internet and I can publish my reviews
35 EUR - I have my annual card at the National Library of France
80 EUR - I can start thinking to buy several old fragrance books I did not find in Paris libraries
50 -100 EUR - I buy a vintage perfume from EBay
109 EUR - I take the train to Grasse hoping that the Museum of Perfumery is open
135 EUR - I take the train to Berlin for the annual Perfume Collectors Convention
210 USD - I subscribe for one year to the Perfumer & Flavorist magazine
250 USD - I buy a very rare Lubin perfume on eBay
500 EUR - I have a starting budget for the famous annual fragrance auctions in Paris at Hôtel Drouot
1200 EUR - I can buy the entire collection of fragrance reports (books pre 1930) from a famous manufacturer that I discovered in a bookshop in Paris 5 years ago (and I'm happy it's still there, nobody knows about that)
1600 EUR - I can register for the World Perfumery Congress, every 2 years in France
Did you know that the archives of a famous fragrance manufacturer (fragrance books, data, marketing analysis from the past) where simply thrown away several years ago? Did you known that in many cases old formulae and product information do not exist anymore despite the longevity of the house? Today we are between the secrecy of the past (that kept information inside) and the lack of interest today. Fragrance history is volatile like the perfume.
You can support my blog via a small donation that would allow me to fight the difficulties I met while searching in several archives around the world. Did you know that many early American books or magazines are not available at all in French libraries? I have an entire list of documents from the beginning of XXth century that I should read in London, New York and other list in Germany. Nobody did that before because few know where and what to search. Private donations go far in helping my blog so I can share the experience and knowledge I have.
Fragrance is the 8th ART
Fragrance is the 8th ART
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Fragrance is the 8th Art - Octavian Coifan - Le Parfum est le 8ème Art