Monika Ghurde has a particular set of skills that have to do with the sense of smell. Being the country’s top fragrance expert, she helps create the smells we use everyday as an extension of our personality. In town to conduct a workshop called The Invisible You, she talks to us about how it all began.
“I didn’t decide to become a perfumer; it just happened. I had trained to become a photographer and used to click portraits, among other things. I had also always been obsessed with anything that smelled good like essential oils and perfumes.
An incident got me in touch with someone well-known in the fragrance industry, who analysed me and found out that I had an extremely sensitive sense of smell and had taught myself about fragrances. Subsequently, I got formally trained and that’s how I forayed into this industry,” says Monika.
She goes on to add, “I was fortunate enough to get into this industry later on in life but my education began since I was a kid. I have always been a very keen observer and that helped. To be a part of the fragrance industry, one needs to really love what they do because they will be sniffing different smells constantly — there is no break. Secondly, you need a lot of commitment since perfumery has a lot of ingredients, and technology that keeps changing. It is a combination of art, science, technology and experimentation.”
Talking about her workshop, she says, “The Invisible You is a workshop in which I will be educating people on the sense of smell and how it affects [a person]. It remains one of the senses that hasn’t been fully understood.” She adds, “Scents are related to one’s personality and personal choices. It’s like a style statement. Everyone has favourite colours and similarly enjoy different scents. All they need is some understanding of it.” And what can people attending the workshop expect? “I would love it if I leave the people excited by the world and the capacity of their sense of smell. They will be more aware and enjoy life more. It’s the same as how, if you have a sense of vision and can’t process art — it’s no fun,” she laughs.
(The workshop will be held at Phoenix MarketCity in two slots — 11 am to 1 pm and 4 pm to 6 pm on June 16)...