Creating a perfume involves combining fragrances according to rules of composition that are based on the experience of its creator and revisited in his imagination.
The hundreds of smells that comprise the palette of the composer are similar
to all odours in that they stimulate the many receptors that the sensory cells of the olfactory mucosa carry on their cilia. They do so by briefly connecting with those receptors that recognize them, for the amount of time it takes to activate them. The olfactory cells then transmit signals to the brain.
In this way a number of activated neurones are combined in an olfactory configuration that encodes the quality and identity of the perfume. Once fully constructed and balanced, the structure of the fragrance will be perceived as a harmonious whole in which the individual elements can barely be detected. The perfumer’s skill lies in ensuring that this be so.
The scent- structure moves through the olfactory tract from the primary olfactory bulb to the cortex, while fully developing its hedonic aspects and power to stimulate pleasure, probably in the orbital cortex of the frontal lobe in the front of the brain.
The neural route taken is the same whether stimulated by the smell of a flower or undergrowth.
There is something more in the creation of perfume because the olfactory scent-form that is created is part of a cultural history of great perfumes that provide role models as well as scope for new and better perfumes. The work of perfume-making goes beyond its sensory reality; it engages memory pathways in order to amplify the intensity of pleasure that it offers to those who know how
to appreciate it.