I was going to entitle this piece “Everything I learned about writing I learned from Perfumery” but that wouldn’t be true. I have recently taken up perfumery as a hobby, and while it’s hard to imagine a less macho addition to the hobbies and interests column of job applications, it is an absorbing and useful pastime.
But I have never in fact encountered a more solid and silent wall of indifference than I have when I said to friends and family “Oh, I’ve been making scented room diffusers”. It’s like I’m suddenly generating this crazy negative attention force field. In fact . . . it’s like being a beginning writer all over again.
When you start out being a writer you get VERY excited. You’ve discovered something you are really into, almost maniacally so, and you want to tell the world. You are also secretly hoping they will be impressed with your new status as “author”. You proudly proclaim to your family and friends that you are a writer, and wait for the applause and appreciation to rain down on you . . . but it doesn’t come.
They simply say, oh that’s nice dear and you know, move on, pass the mustard, shame about the weather . . . it’s crushing. But it teaches you a valuable lessons.
1. people have other things on their mind
2. people don’t care about your writing
3. people think they’ve heard it all before.
In order to break as a writer you have to impress them. Okay at first you have to get it through their heads they want to actually READ your stuff, but once you get past that you have to impress them. You must grab their attention, you must keep it, and you must reward them for that attention.
Same goes for art, music, sculpture, writing and YES perfumery: people won’t give you attention, so most of the time you have to take it. But don’t just demand it, don’t be that guy or gal. They won’t give it to you if you ask. Grab their attention with something unexpected, keep their attention with something interesting, then let them go with a sense of satisfaction.
So I am about to apply this technique with perfume. A top note of blue cheese to grab the attention, middle notes of where’s that garbage? . . . and a base note of Febreze to finish. Think I might be onto something.
Of course I am compelled by my blood contract with the league of awesome to remind you that if you enjoy this blog you must comment and subscribe. Lord knows what they will do if they discover you didn’t.