Surely Ideas Love You, Monsieur Maurice Roucel – An Extract from "KyotEau: Bottled Memories".

The French master perfumer Maurice Roucel says, “Though it is never clear where ideas exactly come from and how they announce themselves is unpredictable, I get ideas from everywhere, all the time. I can’t go through life anymore without allowing myself to be constantly inspired by anything. Just walking around can be enough – being open to different things, people and surroundings…” To Monsieur Roucel, what appears to be a spontaneous thought may well have been a long time cooking in the unconscious, just like a baby learns to walk and an adult learns to drive. As John Cage declared, “I have nothing to say and I am saying it.”

However, when it comes down to how creativity operates, Monsieur Roucel believes that a designer sketches in order to create the beautiful shape of perfume bottle; a musician writes musical notations to compose the greatest piece of harmonious music; a perfumer formulates ingredients to create the most memorable fragrances. For when it’s all said and done, Monsieur Roucel sees that ideas can sometimes be conjured up with practice, intuition, and new prospective.

Andy Warhol once explained: "I just paint things I always thought were beautiful - things you use every day and never think about." Ideas are subversive and they come in various guises. If you pay attention to them, they come to you. The angel of inspiration seems to favor those who have a promiscuous curiosity and enthusiasm.


The Life of the Perfumer Christophe Laudamiel – An Extract from "KyotEau: Bottled Memories".

How about the work life of a perfumer? The confidentiality of perfume formulas pulls a blanket of mystery over the perfume industry. However, Christophe Laudamiel is willing to shed a bit of light.

In his words:

“Half of his life is spent writing fragrance formulas to surprise and to create all kinds of envies and wonderful sensations for the happy few: clients, friends, and family.
Another half of his life is spent filling up trashcans with rejected fragrances from people who cannot smell or cannot judge but who think they belong to the happy few! The other half of the trashcans is what it takes to create a magic fragrance: a lot of expertise and a lot of trials and errors because not even perfumers can predict a scent in their minds just by looking at its formula.
A further half of his life is spent running around the lab looking for the suitable material in a jungle of 2,000 bottles or so to determine the correct next ingredient for his recipe of more than 80 ingredients.
Half of his life is spent thinking of how he can be more clever than nature by trying to tame ingredients and making them smell like what they don’t want to smell like.
Half of his life is spent thinking of how he should be shrewder than certain people sitting across a meeting table with different agendas.
Half of his life is spent thinking of how he can translate into a scent what someone cannot describe with words, but only with faces and emphatic gestures.
Half of his life is spent traveling either across Manhattan or across oceans, because the ingredients, the scent palettes, the fragrance collections and atmospheres won’t travel in the Internet in a zip file.
Indeed, there are many halves in a perfumer’s job, but they constitute the many facets to create the magic formula.”


The Life of A Graphic Designer – An Extract From "KyotEau: Bottled Memories"

To explain, I'm paraphrasing an entry from my diary, written on a day of frustration with our daily grind:

A graphic designer is a person who has to show up at countless meetings to listen to everyone’s critique of her work. She sketches first with pen and paper, then uses a Mac to design a digital representation of the initial ideas, and the design ends up as a two-dimensional print (such as a poster or advertisement), or a three-dimensional shape (such as a perfume bottle or package).

While she designs, she may drink green tea or soy lattes, or do some deep breathing, trying to stay calm while waiting for the computer to reboot, or the always-delayed meeting to start. From time to time she raises her head from the monitor to see if any of her co-workers are still around, even though it is 8:30 pm already, and if she is lucky, she doesn’t have to work on the weekends to meet the ever-tighter deadline. Nevertheless, she sometimes manages to step out for lunch and enjoy a quiet moment by herself on the eternally-crowded Fifth Avenue.

She continues to explore the spirit of design in its many guises, hoping that at least one of her clients or readers may understand her passion for and dedication to art and design. And what keeps her going is the thrill of seeing, some day in the future, shelves full of her perfume bottles, all identical and aligned like soldiers.


Eeny — Meeny — Miney — Mo 意尼 — 咪尼 — 蜜尼 — 眸

A happy hum from a Sami hunter.

意尼 — 咪尼 — 蜜尼 — 眸*


Going With The Flow 順其自然

On the rainy day I do nothing but watch the rain.




Being beautiful is more important than being meaningful.


I Am Not Deaf Yet. 我可還沒聾呢。

In Finnish Lakeland

I kept shouting:

Be quite, Mosquitoes!

I am not deaf yet.






The Yellow Humor 黃色的幽默

In Gjesver, a tiny fishing village in Norwegian Lapland,
I was walking down the pebbled path
and smelling the crisp clean air of the Arctic.

When my eye was caught and held by the yellow toilette,
an odd decoration object to the entrance of the yellow cabin,
I was tremendously amused by its humorous message.

An idea, no matter good or bad, is supposed to be fun!