Fragrance talk & lab tour at FIT
During my trip to New York I attended the Fashion Institute of Technology. FIT is an internationally recognised college for design, fashion, art, communications, and business. NTU have a long lasting relationship with the college; I was interested to experience the connection that the two overseas Universities have.
FIT are known for their unique academic programming, experiential learning opportunities, academic and industry partnerships, and commitment to research, innovation, and entrepreneurship.
Whilst I was in the building, I recognised the institution’s commitment to their students to prepare them for professional excellence in design and business. There was definitely an air of creativity, a global perspective, and a commitment to sustainability.
The next project brief at university is based around perfume and therefore I booked on the talk in order to broaden my fragrance knowledge for the next module.
I didn’t realise how many perfumery raw materials there are - natural and synthetic. The talk also covered the technique of smelling and matching, as well as how to select great fragrances. I also found the section on scientific fundamentals of perfumery interesting; chemical reactions to perfumery and chemical structure of fragrance materials. The regulatory issues in perfumery was also covered and similarly fragrances for functional products.
A tutor at the collage, Virginia, gave the talk which was very engaging as she let us smell all of the scents, notes and branded perfumes that she was talking about in the presentation. She also gave us industry facts and figures and spoke about the latest perfume trends, including unisex fragrances and the extension of scents on the skin: increasing the duration throughout the day. I enjoyed listening about all of the different groups of fragrance, such as Floral, Oriental, Woods, Fresh. It made me wonder what notes and bases make up my preferred scents. The best one I smelt was a burnt rose scent or a fresh note, however, I wasn’t a huge fan of the Woody noted ones.
Virginia stated that there is now becoming a common thought that natural is better. This was the part I was most surprised about. She stated that this is not necessary true since the ingredients and combinations of these scents are hard to access and therefore would not be as sustainable.
My favourite part of the talk was when we were allowed to choose between two fragrances that were made in the lab at the institute. Once we had picked our favourite, we used a pipette to fill a small tube with the scent to take away with us. I thought that this was such a lovely way to remember the experience by. The tube even had a little spray at the top and so could act as a travel/handbag fragrance.
Even the room, the lab, we were in was interesting. We were surrounded by small bottles of liquid that are the ingredients to perfume and fragrance combinations. I am intrigued by all of the different processes and techniques that go into a single fragrance. I didn’t realise that perfume making was such a precise skill. I’m definitely going to be able to use some of these insights to inform the bases of my next project.