Thursday, November 15, 2012

Behind the Scents wtih Treazon

Treazon by Ayala Moriel
Treazon, a photo by Ayala Moriel on Flickr.
I kept the creative process of Treazon concealed from you for the most part. A little glimpse into the artistic direction have been published last year - at which point the formulation was actually ready!

Treazon perfume has been a raw concept for quite some time now. It all began as an impromptu study of tuberose, broken down into its many components - specific molecules, and raw materials that help coax the tuberosiness out of the rather subtle absolute.

Poucher's book played a big role in helping me discover aspects of tuberose I've never before thought would be so important and prevalent in creating a "big tuberose":
From that, I created a sketch that was very simple, yet powerful: tuberose, birch, vanilla, anise, cinnamon and cassis. I blended them up guided by my nose, and set them aside to oblivion with a random name "Treazon" sketched all over the formula and the lab bottle. That was back in October 2005!

This simple little perfume turned out to be crucial in creating the effect I desired so much years later, after experiencing the epiphany of Tubereuse Criminelle in Paris; yet being disappointed at the drydown (too similar to Fleur d'Oranger, in my humble opinion): the almost disturbing scent that takes over the room after dark after bringing home a stem or two of tuberose from the flower shop. It usually happens only in the summer time. And when I find them - I always feel particularly lucky. They are often hard to find, and even once you do find one or two - they tend to be either buried in a bouquet with a bunch of indolic lilies; or very unimpressive visually as they travel long and far and the edges of the petals are often browned and damaged.
 Yet non of this prevents the flower from taking up the entire house (I live and work in a two story apartment) and it makes the few days of living with a tuberose stem quite memorable. Across the street from my home there is a retirement home, and more often than never there are service cars that take folks to their last trip, which is rather sad to watch; but is also a constant reminder of the frailty and preciousness of life. I feel like we live in a very unhealthy segregated society where we separate ourselves from the threatening realities of illness, death and depleted youth; not to mention the "inconvenience" of chattering children, toddlers etc.

So imagine the evening coming down, the bone-flower  placed on my windowsill facing downwards on an ambulance across the street... And the scent of heady flowers coming off strong and potent, non apologetic, and invisibly takes over the scene. That was the inspiration for Treazon at its final stages, which helped me refine my vision for it and also develop a visual representation for the perfume - an aspect that is challenging for such a small establishment; yet sometimes very helpful not only for marketing but also for creating the right mood and being able to communicate my olfactory "story" to my audience. Which is what I'm trying to do now.

It's also a challenge to explain how or why I pick the names for my perfumes. You will notice, if you glance at my perfume collection, that there are some scents that are particularly bold and have big somewhat political names - Espionage, Schizm, Sabotage... These always have a healthy (I think) dose of humour in them but are tackling rather heavy political phenomenon that have caused mankind much pain and strife. I suppose it's just my way of dealing with the things that constantly cast a shadow over our lives and my particular life story (which thankfully is only "not-directly" affected by all the big wars that have been fought by my ancestors and all their resulting misery - displacement, wounding and so on and so forth).

Treason is perhaps the most unforgivable thing: betraying your own people for a very questionable and doubtful cause. Yet it is something we do on a daily basis without even noticing: we betray the people we love the most. We do that unknowingly by revealing something personal about them to someone else who wants to hurt them or gain from their loss. We say bad things about those who are near and dear to us and betray their secrets just because we are weak and need someone to listen to our troubles. And simply because we don't know any better. So you see, treason is not something that is only reserved for heroic wars and to great betrayers of countries, spies and defectors. It's something that we commit in times of truce - or peace - as well.

And to me, all those things associated with treason and treachery have that toxic, bittersweetness of seductive poison. Which is why I picked notes that are rather strange and unusual and controversial. The original sketch has all these components: birch, which is full of salicilates, feeling simultaneously medicinal (wintergreen, menthol and cough syrup) and candy-like (grape and cherry). Cassis is at the same time delicious and berry-like, yet also has what many refer to as "cat pee" smell.

And last but not least: tuberose itself is a flower that people tend to either love or detest. So I won't be in the least surprised if this is the reaction that Treazon will garner: people will either love it, or hate it, for what it is, what it smells like, what it represents - and the name (spelled with a "Z" to make it a little more fun and less literal; besides, I love the look of the letter "Z" and I've been traditionally substituting it for the "s" in many of my perfume names where it is slightly possible).

To the "basic" sketch of Treazon I gradually added other notes to fine tune it and create more complexity and sophistication. Massoia bark for extra milky lacontic goodness. Wintergreen to make it even more medicinal and grape-like. Yellow mandarin for intense floralcy. And that spectacular orange blossom from Egypt for it's particularly grape-like quality, only to intensity the tuberose effect. There is also a tea rose from China (a thing of a rarity), and orris butter and load of vanilla absolute - the dark, slightly woody, real stuff. And did I mention the African stone tincture yet? It brings forth the animalic quality and makes it just ever so slightly meaner - and deeper. And most importantly: a very salicylic tuberose from India, to balance the more buttery and slightly green one I had. All in all, there is 34% tuberose in the entire formula. And at $8,000 a kilo, this makes the final (aka retail) price of Treazon hardly a profitable affair. But I want you to enjoy it while I can make it - so please do!

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At November 15, 2012 11:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very interesting to get a peek into your process/inspiration behind Treazon, Ayala. It's an amazingly beautiful perfume. So glad you'll be releasing it soon!

At November 20, 2012 6:28 AM, Blogger Clara_ said...



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