There was at least a three day period during which I seriously considered becoming a professional perfumer. “Le Nez” would be my nickname and everyone would pay exorbitant amounts of money to smell like me. I’ve always had an excellent sense of smell and instead of scoffing at foul odors, this seemed a more glamorous direction to divert my talents. I researched perfumeries in France and realized I would first have to become fluent in french before I could even be denied entry into one of these elite universities.
Three years later I found myself at Fragonard le grand perfumer de Grasse. They let me make my own perfume in a controlled setting with other paying students. They gave me several bad scents to mix and forced me to add sandalwood. If you aren’t familiar with sandalwood it smells like old women and dense wet wood mixed together and aged. I refused to follow the recipe and added the least amount possible without my instructor noticing. The perfume turned out awful, but not as awful as the others in the class. I left it on a train, on my way to Nice. The big lesson here is that sandalwood isn’t good in any dose.