It seems pretty simple in theory: create a smell, put it in some glass, put some paper around the glass, some cellophane around the paper and then sell it. Right? Well, kind of.
Getting to the grail of “finished product” was something I pursued from two directions – the start and the end. I remember from my writing days that the ending was always tough and you were pleased if you knew what that was going to be early on. But, even if you did, at some point you sat at the word processor and had to type the equivalent of “once upon a time”.
Finding harmony in all the competing parts had its challenges. Some days it was like one of those photos of someone mindfully seated in a yoga pose on a tropical beach; other days it reminded me of the first time I saw Disney’s “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice”.
As already noted, finding the right companies and people within them is so important. By the time I started meeting people face to face (my preference) to talk about bottles or boxes, I had a well fleshed out idea about the modernist 50ml and modernist fragrance. I found I was naturally passionate when discussing it. What in my previous life would have been “a pitch” just became a story I enjoyed telling because it was authentic.
I’ve seen and read a lot of things about the “loneliness” of the entrepreneur and I’d always scoffed at it a bit. Now I knew what it meant. When you’re bursting with enthusiasm and excitement for something and you’re the only one involved, it is a peculiar frustration.There’s only so excited your husband can get about types of cellophane or the way silk smells like blood to you.
Meeting with the partners who supply your moving parts is one of the ways to externalise the energy – and at times they’ve had to show me out to accommodate their next meeting while I’m (still) enthusing!
The ending, for me, of course, is the fragrance itself. Whenever it got really frustrating or tough or dispiriting, I just used to smell my arm and remind myself why this was still fun.