"For me, creating a scent is not just about making something "nice"; it's about telling the stories of our humanness, and connecting and coaxing our vulnerabilities and strengths, so what you smell you recognise and hold as your own story."
Liz Cook, founder & perfumer
In mid-2021, I started to come up for air after a painfully difficult few years in my personal life. I don't consider myself an artist, but recent reflections are suggesting perhaps I'm more of an artist than I suspected, if an artist is one who uses art to make meaning out of life and chaos and joy and struggle. Which exactly what I started to do at that time - reflect on all that had happened and was still happening, how I felt, how it impacted me, and what I was learning, and how I could express all of that in the ways that have most meaning for me.
My meaning-making is in prose, and in olfaction.
TIDES is a name that came to me somewhat ironically. It is a reflection of being tossed too and fro with little control over what happens, realising the only thing we have control over is our responses and attitudes, and how much we choose to learn and grow in the process.
But it's also a concept that has seen me lean into fear.
I have not been a lover of the open-ocean. It's safe to say I've had a deep fear of it for most of my life. But that last few years has seen me spend a lot of time near the ocean, and more recently learning to love being on and in it too as I choose to lean into my fear and discover what beauty lies beyond it.
So TIDES has become my emotional, spiritual and physical journey, as I have learned to lean in, let go, and allow myself to become more expansive, more compassionate, and float with the tides instead of fighting against them.
TRANSLATING EMOTION INTO OLFACTION
For me, my perfume creation process always involves words first. I love words - reading them, hearing them, expressing them. Once I have a concept and a name for a fragrance, and my thoughts about how this translates into feelings and emotion, then I allow my mind to think in scent.
What does it smell like to feel free in relation to the ocean or water movement? Ocean air - clean, salty, endless, restoring. How do I translate that into aroma? What molecules reflect those concepts? For TIDES it's reflected in traces of melonal (clean, fresh, watermelony), combined with green tea extract (light, bitter, clean, youthful).
Then I consider how to interpret the freedom that comes both from being on the beach and in the water with the freedom created by surrender. For me that feels like salty skin - a sense of connecting to our human vulnerability and strength - as well as the watery facets of a hint of the cleanest magnolia - angelic, aquatic, joyful, quiet, ethereal. Real and unreal at the same time.
The use of the deepest salty and skin notes - sage, ambrette, ambroxan and locally harvested seashell tincture - anchor us to the shore, while also reminding us that being human and vulnerable makes us beautiful.
I hope that as you learn about the story of TIDES, and experience the scent for yourself, you feel connected to your own story in a new way that allows you more grace for yourself and others, and gives a lightness to your step.
- Liz Cook
Founder & perfumer