Today, I welcome Linda Song to the podcast. She’s a female nose at the storied fragrance and flavour house of Givaudan, and lifts the lid on the rarefied and secretive world of creating perfume. What’s a nose, you may ask? It’s a term used to describe a perfume artist if you will, a creator of moods, memories, and scene-setting. Put simply, scent is pretty much everything; it somehow wraps up the entirety of our human experience. It’s not a stretch to say that how we consume fragrance, says a lot about our society, and where that’s leading us. It’s also not a stretch to say that we all want a smell that’s going to hit us in the face (in the best sense) like an adventure. Ideally, if that’s wrapped up in a millennia’s worth of whispers, say on a hot dirt track if that’s your jam, then even better!
I met Linda in the summer, and it was like falling in platonic fragrant love, which is always a thrill. Linda joins me to talk about the world of a nose, what goes on behind the scenes, the constant push for exploration, why gender is irrelevant in modern perfumery and memories of her beloved sister’s first fragrance. She also talks about the challenging nature of personal desire in creating for big brands and the misnomer of “natural” in the perfume world. Fun fact: Brazilians don’t like coconut in their fragrances, but Americans do! Another fun fact: supposedly there are more astronauts than noses in the whole entire world. Mind-boggling.
Thank you for coming on Scent & the Mind, Linda: you are fascinating and lovely!
Musc Ravageur by Maurice Roucel: https://www.fredericmalle.com/product/19566/50126/perfumes/musc-ravageur/by-maurice-roucelgclsrc=aw.ds&&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIr6qOh7jy5QIVoRx9Ch12LQUNEAAYASAAEgJZdfD_BwE
Helmut Lang Eau de Parfum: https://www.helmutlang.com/parfum/E07HF003.html?cgid=fragrance?dwvar_E07HF003_color=100#start=1
Vetiver by Guerlain: https://www.guerlain.com/int/en-int/fragrance/mens-fragrances/vetiver/vetiver-eau-de-toilette-spray-0
Amarige by Givenchy: https://www.macys.com/shop/product/givenchy-amarige-eau-de-toilette-fragrance-collection?ID=16390
Caron Pour Un Homme: https://www.lessenteurs.com/products/pour-un-homme
L’eau de Issey: https://www.isseymiyakeparfums.com/womens-fragrances/l-eau-d-issey