I've always been a perfumer in my heart and soul but I wasn't always a perfumer. In the not too distant past, I actually spent 22 years of my working adult life as a software engineer far away from fragrance.
Recently a new friend in the perfume industry who liked my latest collection very much asked me if I had always been a perfumer by profession. When I told him I was once a software engineer he replied, "Oh well that explains everything!" I think he was being ironic....
How and why was I a software engineer? I became a software engineer for two reasons:
I'm a geek/artist/scientist
I sold out my real passion to the societal pressures of a ''real" job, a roof over my head, and food other than macaroni and cheese (generic no less), for dinner practically every night.
All the while, my real passion was art. I love every form of artistic expression, painting, singing, dance, acting, fashion and most of all fragrance. I fell in love with my first fragrance when I was five years old, it was Chantilly and to this day the fragrance still transports me to childhood and fond memories.
Unfortunately, I got used to my nice life (sans macaroni and cheese), and also couldn't find a way easily to shed the "stuff" such as vehicles, house, mortgage, etc. that shackled me to the two decades career choice; That was until divorce and the 2001 economic crash changed my life. Luckily for me losing my 4 bedroom house, ex-husband, and software career was the blessing-in-disguise I needed to re-evaluate my life and get back on track.
From that point on, I pursued all avenues available to me to learn my vocation, which started online and lead to a lifetime adventure in Bangkok to study with veteran master perfumer Stephen Dowthwaite. I will devote separate postings to my Bangkok adventures in future posts.
When I was a little girl, I believed I could do anything I wanted, that the world was my oyster and all I had to do was think it into being and it would happen. Like most children I was made to stop believing in "fairy tales" and get on with the real work and duty that we all as adults were expected to embrace.
Little did I know as that young girl wanting to do nothing but make everything smell beautiful that there was a place for me as an adult to do exactly that as a perfumer. I sometimes lament the years that I lost. I regret believing in things that adults in my world told me I should do as a child instead of having enough trust in my own guiding intuition to find my place earlier in life.
But lamenting aside, I could not be happier having finally embarked in 2002 on my true authentic path and found my place in the world. As they say 'better late than never'.
I founded Roberta Andrade Fragrances and after much development launched the first seven fragrance collection Elemental Scents in June 2010 and the additional four fragrances of Collection Supreme in June 2013. I am quite happy with my creations so far and look forward to new inspirations that continue to flood my mind with every smell I experience each day.
The only thing that brings me more joy than making fragrances and being married to my wonderful husband Sheldon is when one of my creations takes on a personal meaning for a wearer making it a part of their own personal expression of life.
I love when a fragrance like an abstract painting takes on a meaning for the wearer and becomes a living breathing entity.
I hope that you all enjoy reading this and stay tuned for more great things I have in mind to share.
Warmest wishes, Roberta