LPR: Amanda, you've been receiving a lot of positive press lately. How does it feel to be one of the up and coming superstars of NBP?
AF: Well, it's weird in some ways because this isn't something I ever considered as a "career" growing up. In fact, it wasn't even on the radar in the slightest. Perfume was just something I "wore" to create a mood with myself. On the other hand, it fits in quite nicely with wanting to be a world famous opera singer, in the manner of Beverly Sills. I say that if people enjoy wearing the perfume as much as I enjoy making it, then I have succeeded in what I set out to do. I think John Lennon Said it best, "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans."
LPR: We've discussed this privately but I wanted you to share with our readers how being a classically trained singer has helped you to understand the process of perfume formulation.
AF: It has been a vital part of my ability to formulate perfumes. As a music major, I was required to take music theory, composition, counterpoint (which has horrendously strict rules), piano, orchestration, history, art history, etc. These helped build an immense base of knowledge that I can now draw upon to make perfumes. In composition, for example, you have to have balanced chords, your composition must start some place, go somewhere, and end "properly". Meaning, you always resolve the chord to a tonic or 1.
"Don't leave people hanging on a 7!"
In counterpoint, like music of Bach in the baroque, you have very rigid parameters, and you cannot go outside of them otherwise you aren't composing counterpoint, you're "in league with the Devil". LOL! All of this has given me a head start in some ways. It's fascinating the way music and perfume composition are so similar. I think my parents are thrilled that I am finally using my college degree for something other than raising children :D
LPR: Let's play a game. Let's assume for a moment that you are not a perfumer but an avid NBP aficionado, what would be your top 5 favorite Natural Botanical Perfumes?
AF: Let's see . . . I've smelled Mandy Aftel's, Justine Crane's, JoAnne Bassett's, Lisa Fong's, Dabney Rose's, Shelley Waddington's and Monic Skye Miller's. I recently won a sample of Ayala Sender's Jasmine Pho, which I am awaiting with bated breath. I like to sniff other NBP's creations because it is a peek into their souls. It's like getting the privilege of looking inside the most private thoughts of a person. So in that respect, I love them all.
~ it's a game we like to play here at LPR. Just a short sentence in response to each word ~
Love ~ Jasmine
Hate ~ Choya (roasted seashells)
Beauty ~ Souling
Desire ~ Botanicals
LPR: Of all the perfumes you've ever smelled, which do you wish you had created?
AF: Sun Moon and Stars by Karl Lagerfield. It was my absolute favorite growing up. It was the first “upscale” perfume I had. I just loved the way it smelled. I’ve contemplated recreating it with botanicals, just to see if I could :D