Dana El Masri wasn’t born into the world of perfumery, but she was born into a fragrant world. Growing up in the Middle East, she was surrounded by scent and the strong position perfumery holds in Middle Eastern cultures. But when she decided to follow her passion and make perfume her career, she drew inspiration from another cultural pillar: popular music. She studied in Grasse, founded Jazmin Saraï, and—fascinated with the concept of synesthesia—began crafting scents based on the tunes of Led Zeppelin, Otis Redding, and Simon and Garfunkel. When we spoke with Dana, she told us about Neon Graffiti, the scent she based on an M.I.A. song. We loved it so much that we included it in our Inspiration is...
Perfume can be a work of art, and like any product of creative expression, it is born of inspiration. From where? From anywhere. A person, a place, a painting. An experience, an emotion, a texture. The spark of inspiration can come from unlikely sources, calling your attention to a piece of the universe that you never noticed.
How do you describe a scent when you don’t know what’s in it? Even when you know the notes, what if your nose can't identify them? The language of scent is not easy to master (and what is mastery when the subject matter is so subjective?). Start with this: color and texture.
One of our favorite aspects of American perfumery is that there's no one path to becoming a perfumer. You can attend school in Grasse. You can follow a deep curiosity and start experimenting in your basement. Or you can take the path of Danielle Fleming of Note Fragrances.