I had many people asking me about our “the perfumist” logo: how it was made, what it represents and who made it. Obviously, many people who have an interest in the fine art of perfumery also have an interest in design and history. Here I will tell you the story of how this logo was made. Some of you may not believe me, but here are the sketches, so you don’t have to take my word for it. Before I start telling you how this logo was made, I need to say that in my life I have worked in many jobs and many places under many employers, but I have never seen a level of dedication or perfection like the one I have seen in the House of the Perfumist.
So, Mr. Ali (my boss) told me that we were doing a logo, and he had the whole thing in mind. He tasked me to find an authentic Arabic calligraphy master, one with special qualifications, like being one of the top 10 in what he does, and doing this work for over 30 years. I thought that made sense and we were just doing an Arabic calligraphy logo design - I soon realized we were not!
So, after I submitted the name and the samples of work (which wasn’t easy), a choice was made. I thought we were done, but we hadn’t even started yet.
Then he asked me to find a sketcher who is not Arabic but western and had the same qualifications as the first person. I did, and one person was chosen.
Then my boss told me, “now we will start on the logo.” He said that none of his grandfathers had any logo and he is carrying the responsibility of making a symbol for a 300-year-old legacy that was exclusive to very few people. I can’t even tell you how serious he was about this.
He said that his great-grandfather was a very devoted man, and when he was young he was a whirling dervish and he said that when he used to dance that way he would get lost and go beyond to somewhere full of beautiful thoughts and smells. So, we had to include a whirling dervish in the logo.
Then he said that the first distillation his great-grandfather and almost every single one of his sons did, including my boss himself, was a rose distillation. He said that the rose gives the simplest, most familiar, yet most powerful smell. It’s unique and temporary, it’s limited; one day it’s here, the next day it’s not.
So we had to include a rose in our logo. Then he said there is so much in common between the whirling dervish and the rose: they both turn in circles to open a new meaning for beauty, they both represent love, and both are silent and let their essence express them rather than mere talk - just like how perfumes should be. They can only be experienced by the essence of the self. You can be the best linguistic and reviewer but still can’t put the smell of the perfume into words; it can only be experienced when it is smelled. Just one silent sniff does what a thousand words cannot.
Then the rose will mix with the whirling dervish to make a combination that represents both man and nature coming together through love and passion, turning around and opening the beauty to the world. Honestly, I was surprised and speechless when I heard this. The person that was doing the sketch for us was so touched by this he said that this is one of the best logo Ideas he had seen in his entire life.
So, to make a long story short after making over a dozen sketches and many hours of work, my boss was satisfied, he said, “now we’ve finished the first step.” I was like, so we are done?
He said, “no, this is just the sketch now we will send it to the calligraphy master, so he draws those lines in a way that represent the art of the letter, so he will draw the lines in the same way he would write the word “Etir” or perfume in Arabic.” So, we got the master calligrapher to write the word “Etir” in Arabic. This is a specific style of old calligraphy. Then we write the whole logo based on the style of the word.
By now my boss explained to me that since his work and clients are not strictly Arabs anymore and he is being recognized internationally, he wanted to combine the art of the east and the west in the logo by having a western person doing the sketch and an eastern man lining the style of that sketch, thus mixing the old complicated Arabic art of calligraphy with simple design and style.
After we got the final logo I was thinking there is nothing else that could be done - I mean we had 2 masters working on the logo for so many houses that it’s nothing short of perfection. That’s when I realized that no matter how sure you are you can always be wrong.
I told my boss the final copy of the logo was submitted, and it looks great. He said, “not very great, not yet.” He said that his grandfather was a mathematician that was one of the reasons he became a very successful perfumist, he understood numbers. So, we need to make the logo look really perfect. I said, “and how we do that?” He said, “by finding a good mathematician.” I promise you at that point I didn’t know if he was serious anymore or just making fun of me. I said, “a mathematician for what?” He said, “to adjust the logo dimensions in a golden ratio fully aligned with the writing.” He was so serious about it he said he should also send me the proof of the full dimensions and measurements of the work after he is done. Anyway, we found many people to do it but only one was willing to do it and send the full diagram of dimensions and measurements. The final result was almost identical to the logo before the changes, so I asked my boss if he could guess which one is the final one that we modified based on the golden ratio in the most OCD style that I have ever heard of. And sure enough, he picked the right one and said, “that’s it now it’s perfect.” This whole process took 6 months, and I’m not a logo maker or designer, but I highly doubt that there is any company or business in the world that spends that much time, effort and work to make a logo. But again, as they say, it’s the little things that matter the most, and between the ordinary and the extraordinary, there is just a little extra! I think this will give you an idea of the work and dedication we put in our oils and perfumes. Also, it supports my thesis that I need a raise!
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And always have a lovely day full of passion and love and perfumes.