It is so true... Selling your one-of-a-kind pieces is not an easy task. And shopping for them is a whole other experience altogether - nothing like shopping at the mall, or even in a fancy boutique. My friend Noriko always has a mixed-feelings look on her face when she parts with her one of a kind jewelry pieces: she's sad to part with them, but happy to see them worn and loved by someone who really appreciates it. This is why, probably most artists who make their living now from selling one of a kind pieces began their journey by making them for friends and family - people with whom they share a unique bond.
I began my perfumery career by making custom perfumes for my friends and my family. Thankfully, I have no less than 7 siblings, so I had a lot of practice before I ventured into doing this professionally. Custom perfumes, however, are quite different than one-of-a-kind: these are creations that were intended from the start for a particular person. And having that person in mind (and especially when they are someone the artist knows and loves) makes the parting part a piece of cake, and the giving part give your heart a long happy dance as you see someone you love enjoy your creation so much!
One of a kind though, are usually creations that were created with the artists' most original ideas and unusual materials. They often take inspiration from something that is one of a kind to begin with - a vintage button, a found object, a family heirloom piece - or in the perfumer's case: a rare essence that will be only available for a limited time or only one season. These restrictions make the development of the scent all the more challenging: you only have so much material to experiment with, it is usually extremely costly, and you better get it right the first or second trial at the most!
Other one of a kind pieces are perfumes that were created as a studying purposes - exploring a particular material. They will only appeal to a very particular taste, and it's better to make them in a very small run, if not just one bottle...
This winter I will be featuring my one-of-a-kind perfumes for the first time at the Vancouver One Of A Kind Show and Sale (December 9-12). Over the course of the next few weeks leading to the show, I will tell you about some of them - the stories behind them, the rare materials they are made of, and my passion about creating these little fragrant gems, locking them in bottles to be only unleashed by the person that meant to adopt them as their own signature scent.