Josh Meyer on Decisions, Decisions — a perfume for perfumers.
We always love talking to the delightful perfumer, Josh Meyer, of Imaginary Authors. This time we checked in to find out more about his new limited edition tuberose scent, Decisions Decisions.
Q. What inspired you to launch a limited-edition fragrance at this moment, and what can you tell us about Decisions, Decisions (the name is definitely intriguing)?
A. We've had this fragrance in the works for over a year and half! It started as a project to use up a kilo of Tuberose Absolute I bought for an (undisclosed) extraordinary amount of money... and realized I wasn't going to be able to use the material in a heavy handed way for a perfume in the regular line up as I imagined...
I've been tinkering with the formula ever since and it's a really fun one ...It is very unique... I'm not quite sure how to describe it other than a perfume for perfumers.
Q. You have a very distinct style, which weaves throughout the entire Imaginary Authors collection. Are there specific materials you tend to use frequently and, if so, what are your favorites?
A. I agree that there is a DNA of sorts to the IA line - but, it's wild to think about how that comes together since I'm using so many different ingredients in each of the perfumes. I think of the DNA more as a textural experience rather than a particular blend of ingredients. Meaning, I love the dusty, foggy, cloudy textural components so much... which Decisions really has in spades.
Q. Many of our customers collect your fragrances. Was collectability an intention behind the literary-inspired look and theme of your brand?
A. I think Ashod, my business partner and designer of all the labels, knew there would be a collectability to them... I didn't think about it at all. I was trying to make the line wide ranging and really attempting to create unique experiences for particular seasons of time.
Q. You’ve told us that you design your perfumes before their stories are written. Does the story for a specific perfume start to come to you as you’re creating the formula or when a scent is completely finished?
A. Typically, I'll make a perfume and then we will work on the name, label colors and imagery and story last... In the case of Decisions, Decisions, I had the Tuberose and the sarsaparilla idea and concept and then Ashod surprised me with the label design with the wishbone that I loved! We've never done this order before and I don't think we'll ever do it again.
Q. Speaking of the stories, which is more fun, coming up with the formulas or the
A. The formulas!
Q. Imaginary Authors has really grown over the past several years. How has the way you work changed, and which parts of the business do you still do yourself?
A. I don't ship as many packages personally, but the process for scent creation and branding is just like it was when I started making fragrances in my basement. The craft of making perfume is a really exciting creative process, I hope it never changes and that I'm able to do it for the rest of my life.
Q. You’ve always done a great job of connecting with your customers, especially at the bigger maker events (a lot of people found our store after meeting you in person, thanks!). How are you connecting with your customers now?
A. I really miss in-person events! The idea for the Decisions launch was a tour to 8 - 10 different cities having it available only during the events - of course, this is all pre-pandemic planning which is how long this fragrance has been in the works.
I hope we can get back to it in some form ASAP!
Q. Key words of wisdom for other indie perfumers looking to grow their brands?
A. I love talking about perfume, creation, and branding... it's really a fun business to be in - but, it's pretty unique in a lot of ways. From my perspective the name, bottle design, story, note list and branding will help customers find you and help get the initial engagement or spritz, but the scent is the most important part. It's the part that they will wear over and over again and hopefully over time garner repeat sales. In other words; work on the juice that you want to wear.
Q. Will you continue to extend your brand in terms of the types of products you make, as you have with soaps and candles?
A. I'm thrilled with our soaps and candles! If you haven't tried our soaps... get after them! These mediums are really fun to work with - and I hope to grow them slowly as I'm able to make them as interesting and unique as possible.
Q. Anything new for Imaginary Authors in 2021 that you’d like to tell us about?
A. "Decisions, Decisions" is a Limited Edition fragrance primarily because of the tuberose absolute... and I'm working on it's 'follow up' which will have a few of the same components... Labdanum, which is one of my favorite notes and ingredients since I started this crazy journey.