Daniel Krasofski has a nose for scent unlike most people. He is a student of perfumery, an Ayurvedic healer, a champion gymnast and all around most interesting man and no he’s not pitching Dos Equis. He’s both a judge and presenter for the “Artisan Perfumer” and “Independent Perfumer” categories for the “Art + Olfaction Awards”. In fact his nose is so good, he was asked to put it to work to create perfumes for the female lead actresses in the CW TV series “Reign”, HBO’s The Leftovers (Amy Brenneman), CSI’s Original Vegas (Elizabeth Shue). He also has an impressive, top secret list of celebrity clientele that he sometimes creates aromatherapeutic scents for. And when he’s not teaching or traveling, he’s consulting some of the worlds finest spa resorts (among others Canyon Ranch, Four Seasons, Ritz Carlton and Fairmont Hotels). Yah, his nose is that bad ass.
Story By: Christian Burkholder
Images By: Ferrvor Staff, Daniel Krasofski
He believes that the right scented cologne “has a powerful impact on our mood and confidence; that the right perfume can change the way you look at life, bring back memories of the past, as well as create memories for a lifetime.” We would have to agree. On that note, we paid him a visit and got a whiff of his world.
It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon in Los Angeles when I met up with Daniel to have a chat, learn a little about perfumes and colognes, the differences between the two and to experience some of his masterfully crafted exclusive scents first hand.
When I first arrived at the coffee shop that Daniel suggested, near Lankershim Ave in North Hollywood, it was as I expected, charming, quaint and somewhat hidden. He was already there when I arrived with an assortment of mini-bottles of various liquids of some of his most sacred concoctions, that I was to learn later, were made up of various notes and chords all in an ancient looking wooden case that resembled a mini-treasure chest. I felt like I was in a secret world, getting ready to smell something, perhaps illegal?
As I would learn, Perfume like scents have been around for nearly 4,000 years and used for therapeutic, aesthetic and religious purposes. According to Daniel, the term “Perfume” is derived from the Latin word “parfumare” meaning “through smoke”, has only been used for the last couple hundred years with the development of the modern / French Perfume Industry.
Daniel, good to see you, how did you get to be a perfumer?
Technically, I call myself a Scent Artist due to the title of “Perfumer” is a difficult title to earn. I am making perfumes yet the industry is so small, old world and secretive, there is much respect given to the title Perfumer. It’s only been in the last few years that the perfume making knowledge has been made available to the common person, possibly due to the internet. Right now is a very exciting time for the self taught artisan and independent Scent Artists.
How old were you when you first discovered perfumery?
I was first introduced to perfumery as a child of five years old while on vacation in Bermuda. We visited a perfumery and got to see an extraction technique called enfleurage, extracting the scent from delicate plumerias. This memory is very vivid.
Sounds exciting. You got started young? I know you use natural oils in your scents, tell me when were you introduced to natural perfumes?
I began collecting commercially available perfumes in junior high, yet it was in college in the early 1990’s that I was introduced to the concept of Natural Perfumery while working at the company AVEDA. This was a very important and formative time for my career. For 20 years I exclusively used fresh plant derived essential oils for all the products I used and made for the spa industry. My first commercially available scent, “Lotus” was sold in 2002. And then starting in 2010 I began my study in the technical aspects of professional perfumery.
On that note, I’d like to ask you a little detail about scents for some of our readers. Can you name at least five scents or smells that would enhance confidence in what we call our Ferrvor man – someone who’s successful minded, charismatic, outgoing, charming etc.?
1- If a man is confident, he can wear any scent, even if it is marketed to woman. Generally my advice is to wear what you like and wear it with confidence.(Only the marketing companies profit from the men / women nonsense.)
2- A classic Sandalwood is ideal for any man.
3- Oud is globally popular right now and is said to be very grounding and centering. Earthy, dirty and a little naughty.
4- A citrus is great for hot weather and stressful situations.
5- Embracing the the english country side can deliver confidence and reduce stress. Anything in the realm of a nicely blended lavender and herbs.
As far as the Spring season 2016, what scent family’s can we expect to smell this year?
Weed. The big trend in niche perfumery right now and for the next year or so will be scents using marijuana extracts to create some interesting “green” accords. As spring approaches, choose a fresh scent like citrus or white woods.
What’s a Romantic scent for a guy?
Traditionally, roses are giving for romantic situations, try to find a perfume that has the depth that says masculine, but attempt to embrace the florals like rose and jasmine. For over 3,000 years men used rose perfumes, unfortunately the marketing machine of the 1950’s successfully changed that. When used correctly a floral scent on a mans skin can make for a very romantic chemistry. In the other extreme, woody and root based scents can help set the mood for romance.
Where should cologne be applied to best emanate?
A cologne as opposed to a perfume, can be used anywhere and everywhere. A true cologne (Eau de Cologne) is generally light in scent and is intended to be used liberally all over the body. When dealing with a stronger EDT (Eau De Toilette) or EDP (Eau De Perfum) the chest, back of neck and wrists are ideal application sites.
How about a famous scent that reflects a tougher and more sporty vibe?
The classic Polo seems to reflect a tougher scent, where as CKone captures the more sporty vibe.
What makes a cologne expensive?
Any commercially available perfume is expensive for many reasons.
1- Research and Development. It can take years for a scent to make it to production.
2- The raw materials can be extremely expensive. There are two main sources for perfumery materials: fresh plant material and petroleum (very old plant material).
(over 100 million year old plant material). When dealing with fresh plant materials called essential oils and absolutes, the crops are harvested across the planet, usually extracting the essence very soon after harvesting. These extraction methods can be laborious and expensive, since it takes so much plant material to create the aromatic material to use in perfumery. For example, it takes about 60,000 roses to make one fluid ounce of rose essential oil. As well as when dealing with petroleum derived scents (synthetic), the cost of obtaining, transporting and refining the molecules is also very expensive. Some of the more obscure scents are manufactured in a laboratory so that R&D has to be factored into the cost of the raw materials.
3- Many materials used in modern perfumery has never been seen in nature, so these new scents are copyrighted and / or trademarked, making them expensive when sold from one corporation to another.
4- Marketing, packaging, commissions.
What’s the difference between an Eau De Toilette, Eau De Parfum and Eau De Cologne?
This is an excellent question, of which many people need to understand, it’s all about concentration of the raw materials and the strength of a perfume once applied to the skin. One perfume can have many versions- EdC, EdT, EdP, but it’s the scent artist that has to adjust the formulations to make them smell just right; a much longer discussion would be needed to explain the details of formulation.
-Splash has 1-3% aromatic material to 97-99% alcohol / water; considered the weakest of the scent categories. Can be used very liberally all over the body.
-Eau De Cologne (EdC) has between 3-5% aromatic material, 95-97% water and alcohol. EdC is generally considered the lowest strength of a perfume, it can be used liberally and applied multiple times in a day. The confusion comes in when someone is referring to a specific scent originally created in the town of Cologne Germany, which is a refreshing scent favored by European rulers during the 18th and 19th centuries.
– Eau De Toilette (EdT) has a concentration of 4-8% aromatic materials with the remainder alcohol and water. This is a popular concentration due to the fact that the perfume will have projection as well as lasting power, but will not be too over powering. At this strength, 1-3 sprays should be enough for 4-6 hours.
– Eau De Parfume (EdP) is using 8-15% aromatic material to the 85-90% alcohol/ water. These are usually stronger and longer lasting than EdC and EdT. 1-2 sprays are generally all that’s needed to give the desired effect.
– Parfume Extrait (Extrait) is 15-40% aromatic material in alcohol or oil bases. These are generally sold in small bottles and are considerably more expensive due to the amount to aromatics. To apply this type of perfume, you use your finger tip or the cap to apply a small amount to the wrist or neck area. This strength is often very potent and concentrated. There seems to be a growing trend for this extreme strength. (Some perfume houses are also labeling these “Intense”.)
When should you use a Eau De Toilette and Eau De Parfum?
EdT is a good strength to use during the day or when going to an office. It’s not a strong a will fade in a short time frame. EdP is ideal for a special occasion like a date, dinner or party. Keeping in mind you don’t need to use as much EdP due to it’s concentration of aromatics.
Can you tell our readers definitively, what exactly is the difference between a cologne and a perfume?
“Cologne” is a word that is mistakenly used to describe scent that is made for men, where “perfume” is mistakenly used to describe scent made for woman. This is an inaccurate use of the word and all scents made to be worn should be called Perfume, where cologne is a very specific scent family of perfumes attributed to Cologne, a town in Germany that produced a scent in the 17th/18th/19th century. This fresh, citrus, rosemary scent was used as an internal health tonic as well as an external scent. It is believed that Napoleon popularized this scent and is credited to why we still call it Cologne. Perfume is a term that literally means “through smoke” and was coined in the mid 19th century. A perfume is any type of aromatic substance that we scent our body with. It is neither masculine nor feminine. It was only in the 1940’s that the word perfume was directed toward women.
So we’ve been fooled all along and made to believe that men’s cologne is for men only. Glad we cleared that up. Gents surprise, it’s perfume that you’ve actually been proudly wearing all along. Speaking of and you’ve partially addressed this, but what’s the best ED’s to wear to be sure it’s long lasting?
All perfume is different based on the concentrations EdC, EdT, EdP, Extrait. If you want to have something that last a long time, make sure to get a strength that fits your needs. Many natural scents don’t last as long as synthetic molecules. Here is a general time frame:
Splash- up to 1.5 hours
EdC- up to 2 hours or so
EdT- between 3-5 hours
EdP- between 4-9 hours
Extrait- between 5-10 hours
There are many factors that determine the longevity of a perfume, including the type of materials, the scent family, base materials as well as a persons unique chemistry. If you want a scent to be around for a long time, getting a little bit of the perfume on fabric will guarantee it to be around for at least 10-72 hours. Often fabric can hold an aroma for upwards of 3-5 days. Do not go overboard with spraying on clothing, sometimes the perfume can damage your fabric.
Where do you think Men’s cologne industry will be in 5 years?
This is a hard question! The niche market is getting bigger yet it is also being consumed by the mega-corporations. If some of the niche brands survive, there could be an interesting and experimental developments in Men’s fragrances. If the mega-coroprations continue on the path of regulations and reformulations, it could result in a very bland future for men and women alike.
Fashion choices are different for day functions and evening functions. Does the same apply for cologne?
It comes down to concentration of Splash, EdC, EdT, EdP and Extrait. For daytime, especially in the office, try to layer the scents. Start off with a scented body wash in the shower and apply EdC and one spritz of an EdT; re-apply 1-2 spritz during the day if needed. In the evening, apply a higher concentration formula, generally called an EdP, Extrait or the “Intense” version of a scent.
Thanks for taking the time Daniel. What are some of your current and upcoming projects on the table?
Current projects include “collaboration with a San Francisco based artist to create scents used in an art installation opening in February 2016 at the Center For Contemporary Art Santa Fe” and “Judging the 2016 Art and Olfaction Awards.”
As I was about to leave the coffee shop, he said he had a little surprise. And wala, out came a secret scent he had made me based on what I had told him some of my favorite scents were. I have to say, his nose was spot on.