A La Carte Los Angeles – Daniel Krasofski – Ep 9 pt 3

In this episode, part 3, we interview Daniel Krasofski, artist, perfumer, internationally renowned educator of Ayurveda, Aromatherapy, Bodywork and Perfumery. Locally he can be found working privately with his celebrity clientele as well as with the Institute for Art and Olfaction (IAO) in the Chinatown district of Los Angeles. In part one we discuss the art of perfume making and introduce the Institute for Art and Olfaction, a community based, non-profit organization which educates and supports global artists using scent as a creative medium. Join us for this savory conversation and education in the art of scent.

In this episode:

The process of making drinking alcohol vs making perfume.
Using sense of smell for actors.
The history of purfumery.
Smell-o-vision (tv and scent).
Catherine de’ Medici connection with perfume.
Art of making alcoholic beverages.

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Welcome to A La Carte Los Angeles

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with Daniel Krasofski, for the
second part of the interview

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now we are at his place and Daniel

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we’re going to talk about what you’re
doing, what your projects are

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and first of all I know you do also
make liquor

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we’re going to come to come to liqour at the end of the interview

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but I want to know right
now for the people

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what’s the difference between making alcohol and making perfume

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So alcohol, there’s a lot of similarities and a lot of differences. The biggest similarity

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between the alcohol that we drink and
perfume is it’s made the exact same way

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so a high-alcohol ethyl alcohol, like a vodka, is exactly what we use for

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perfumery. There a little bit of
subtle differences but they’re almost

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exactly the same

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and when making liqueurs, it is like a
recipe, it is a formula just like making

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a perfume

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so the perfume that we made today with a
little drop of this and a little drop of

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that is exactly the way that I create
the liqueurs by adding different fruits and flavorings.

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If we drink of perfume, the taste is terrible

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so what would make
the difference between

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the drinkable part and undrinkable part?

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so if you are using, say a patchouli, or a rose as flavoring agent, if you dilute that
that essence or that flower extract in

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some small dilutions it actually tastes
good

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Snapple, Coca-Cola.. uses essential oils
in their formulas. So almost everything

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that you consume has some essential oil
or flavoring agent, so its all about the quantity

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Lets talk about more your project
now

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you working on different things, your making perfume but your also
making scents,

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since that smell, that put people in moods

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Well I got my start, within this, with
using scent and using essential oils

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and creating perfumery, at the Aveda
corporation when I worked for Aveda in

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Minneapolis, that was in the mid-nineties,
the nineteen nineties, and so while

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working with Aveda and working in the
spa industry

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Id use essential oils essentially for
classical aromatherapy

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so Id create scents that the client
could either use for after sports that

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was therapeutic for the skin or use
jasmine and rose to send somebody into a

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relaxed state or something like vetiver

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if somebody needed to be knocked out, we’d use vetiver to really get them relaxed

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so for 20 years my primary focus was
using scent or aroma therapy to help get

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people to a state of either relaxation
or invigorated or some emotionally balanced

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so for 20 years that’s the way
I approach the use of scent

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while living here in Los Angeles, I started
using scent at a spa that I was

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the director of called Ona and I created
their entire product line that had

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everything from deep relaxation to
help soothing the skin

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to invigorating

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I have since changed that into helping
actors use the sense of smell

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to move into a specific state as a tool for their character

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so I’m currently doing a lot of work
with people in the film industry

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to help their characters, develop even deeper

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You give special scent before he goes on stage

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or hows that works?

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so my process for working with actors and using scent is i usually get a hold of the script

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and I’m working directly with the director

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so I usually get the script even before
something is cast, I’ll read through it

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I will look at some of the different.. I’m doing a lot of work with Shakespeare.

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Shakespeare mentions
scent alot in his work, so i’ll pick out

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where Shakespeare or another author
has mentioned a plant, a scent or if

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there’s a scent profile around a scene, I
will then put those together in usually

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about eight different scents. I’ll present
that to the director and get a yes or a no

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and then i’ll present, we’ll get the
entire cast together before major rehearsals begin

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I’ll go through and explain the whole
purpose of all of the different essences or the scents

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and then actors get to
choose what they would like to use for their character

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so yes if there’s murder involved uh

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for example I did Hamlet and I created
a scent called humanik, that is the

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essence of a human being or the the
scent of the skin

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the scent of human and the the actor
who’s playing the ghost chose the scent of being human

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because he was taken away from
humanity early, so he was using as a metaphor

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the scent of human for his character as
a ghost

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so another example is for Ophelia, who
also from Hamlet

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I created a scent called Ophelia’s grave
and it was used by a number of the actors

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who really loved and cared for Ophelia so it brought them to the space of

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smelling the earth and the grass of her
grave and it brought them to a place of

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either caring for her more or
recognizing her departure

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The last time I met you we went through some
interesting scents, like for example

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human scent, you made
me taste the smell a melting iron, something like that

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how do you make those actually

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So when we were at the ILO, you saw the the library, the student organ

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when I come up with an idea or a brief
for a perfume or for a scent

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for a character or for a scene

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I will break that down into the separate acords, so just as a musician

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if you are creating a song or composition you’d
break it down into the different notes

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and how you’d arrange those notes, so as a perfumer we do the same thing

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our notes just happened to be the
molecules, so I was working on a project

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and i had to come up with some
interesting accords

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one of one you mentioned was a metal
accord, so I went through and created my brief

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I then analyzed all of the
different molecules that we have within

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the student organ and my personal organ,
and all of the ones that had a sense of metal

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the smell of metal, I notated and then
began the composition process of putting

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those notes together so it’s a pretty
laborious task but it’s a lot of fun

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yeah it’s amazing the result was amazing
i remember smelling really melting iron

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.. when you’re using

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scent as art, it’s no longer just to smell
like lily, like flowers

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it’s really creating the scent of space
around you and that’s one of the reasons

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why i am i’m working with actors is
because if a scene calls for say iron

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or melting metal

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it’s very difficult for an actor to be
like oh there’s metal but when they

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can actually smell it, it’s a visceral
response, and when an actor has that type

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of visceral response the audience
actually gets it as well

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can you say in the future, are we going to be able to put smell in the audience?

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…actually we talked about this…

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It happen in the fifties right and how was it called? Smell-o-vision? What happened to this?

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Well Smell-o- vision was a
very interesting experiment it was a

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very costly experiment and it lasted for
a very short period of time

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when smell-o-vision was around was a 58 59 60
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equipped with the smell-o-vision had
tubes to every seat

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they have tubes to every seat so
whenever a scene would come on

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scent would be sent through this tube to
every seat

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what happened unfortunately was the
scent was so strong it was making people ill in the theaters

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because you couldn’t get the scent out
fast enough and so it became just this

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melage of everything and literally
people were getting ill and sick

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I see a future where it would be either
in a virtual reality or even in a

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scented smell-o-vision type of
experience where you might be wearing

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something that would be triggered by a
scene in the film or by a button up the box

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or in virtual reality as you
walk closer to something, it might

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trigger something that would give it
give you a smell

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So you mean you have a different
different

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little vials.. bottles like
this on your body, I mean on your chest

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and every time every time it does

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that would be a possibility

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I really do think that is a possibility

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technically its maybe
doable, technically

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I think technically something like that would be doable within the next two years, so very soon

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oh yeah, I know the not going to smell it but I would like

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to experience for you

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some of the scent that you
make, its pretty interesting

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well Ii do a number of different number
of different things everything from

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something that most beautiful like
flowers something that smells authentic

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to the 1500’s to avant-garde unusual stuff

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so we mentioned the metal and one of the
first ones that I will let you smell is

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something that I created called gray
metal

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the idea behind this is to create the
scent of iron in particular light like a

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raw iron so again you always want to
wait about 10 to 15 seconds for alcohol to

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evaporate little bunny snips

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that’s amazing, It works

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it has a very visceral reaction and that’s

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one of the reasons why it’s been so
effective for actors is because when you

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smell something, you can feel it and
it’s those feelings emotions that

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come back with smell, that people
really react to

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this one is a white metal or iron or
melting metal

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this one, we did an exhibition a couple of months ago and

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strangely enough the white metal is
something that a lot of people really liked

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because its kind of softer than the green one and everyone

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thinks green is kind of a tree, young tree

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this one is super nice

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I’m actually incorporating some of these
into perfume compositions as well so

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this next one is, call this dry earth
and a couple of the, you smelt the indoles

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earlier today which were like
decomposing animal flesh and fecal matter

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oh haha but I actually included a lot in
this is called dry earth and it

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it was inspired by the dry earth of
a barn and of a farm

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it’s quite amazing

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that’s really close to
what you can smell in the

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countryside, it’s very interesting

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you want to smell one more? Yeah. Let’s see what you like you like this one

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earlier today so we smelt hexanol sis 3 earlier today which was the

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scent of one of the molecules it’s
giving off fresh cut grass so I created

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this composition, this is an accord has
about seven different aroma molecules as

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well as some naturals

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so theoretically there could be about
400 individual chemicals in this in this bottle

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I personally only added six

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so, this is a representation of

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green leaves. Oh yes. When you even when
you take the leaves and

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you put them in between your your
hand and you smell it is exactly what its smell

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yeah it’s like crushed greens,
its amazing

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and then lastly

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from this series this is a scent that is
reminiscent of

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there’s a coconut. Coconut yeah. Yeah so
you have top notes, middle notes and bass notes.

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so as these begin to dry down over the
next hour or two different sense will

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start to come out so you’ll smell the
coconut right away. Yeah very powerful.

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in an hour

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it’s gonna smell like salt water.
Actually coconut disappear a bit right now already

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that’s amazing

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it’s pretty right, I means really is
very interesting

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the coconuet would jump to my nose right away and now after after a few seconds

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already it went down a bit

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yeah

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yeah it’s a trip actually how how
the molecules disappeared so quickly

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Yeah. So how many different perfume you
can smell before you stop to have

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your nose refreshed, for example because
I’m sure if you sment 20 or 30 your nose is totally you missed up

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that’s a good question people who have
trained smelling for many years can

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actually smell pretty much non-stop yeah
there are there are sometimes you do

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need to get some fresh air, you need to
walk outside, I do a lot of work outside

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I do a lot of work outside because of
the fresh air

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but if people are trained you can keep
smelling and smelling and smelling

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most I have ever done in one day was, a
hundred and fifty different smells

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which is a lot and I did take a break periodically but once

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you’ve trained your nose to smell, you
can actually smell a lot of things

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the average person though it really can
take just a matter of minutes before they like I can’t smell anything

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yeah so now Daniel do you want to finish with some other smell that is interested

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yeah one of the Accords that
I created is called Earth and the idea

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behind this actually hearkens to another
project that I did where the actors had

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to spy on a number of people in the the
characters had to spy on people and one

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of the ways that they did it was by
crawling around in the earth so i

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created this scent that I call earth and
it’s based on a classical Fougère perfume

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which is a very popular scent in
modern perfumes

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so this is a combination of oak moss and
sandalwood it smells very similar to

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what a mens perfume or cologne would smell like

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oh yeah. So I created that one for, this one it’s okay moss, which is

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actually a banned ingredient these days
but that ingredient these days.

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a banned ingredient?

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We were talking earlier about IFRA, the
International Fragrance Regulatory Association

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They have banned a number of ingredients because it

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can potentially cause allergens and one
of these ingredients in here

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in here can cause an allergen. I created
that particular formula for an actress

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named Amy Brenneman who’s on a
television show an HBO show called “The Leftovers”

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and I created a whole set of
these, her character did

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not have any dialogue for the first
season and so, which is a very

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unusual thing, but for the character
I read the book, and the character had a

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lot of internal dialogue so wanted to
create scents for the actress, so that she

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could have a visceral reaction even
though she had no dialogue

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so I was inspired by her, I gave
these to her to use one of the

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one of the ingredients was, one of the
formulas was the earth formula but also

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created another scent called white flower
that represented the mmm how do you say

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the religious aspect of her
character and that is this

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she was also cast in another television
show.. and this one, that’s

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actually turned into a very popular
one white flower, it’s very narcotic

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yeah. That inspired another set
of fragrances that I created

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specifically for her and another project
she was working on called “Reign” which is

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on the CW network

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yeah and the show is about Catherine
de Medici and her court when Mary Queen

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of Scots comes in and moves into her
castle, into her court

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to then wed her, to wed
Catherine’s son

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and eventually become Queen of France,
which didn’t quite work out that way

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for Mary Queen of Scots. When you look
at the history of perfume a lot of it

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comes back to Catherine de Medici
herself

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She bring that from Italy, I guess from Florance, where she come from

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exactly, so when Catherine moved
from Italy to France

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she brought her perfumer, alchemist,
poison-maker and confidant with her which

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happen to be all one person, her
perfumer. I forgot his name but

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he was very famous. Rene Le Florentin.
And so she brought him with her at

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and thus bringing a lot of the
Renaissance

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mmm

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ethos, the Renaissance aesthetic, to
France and so we owe a lot of

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the modern perfume world

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to Catherine de Medici. So Katherine
brought scent to Paris and she mandated

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that all of her leather goods be scented
because leather was. Strong smell.

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Naturally has a very strong smell

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so she required all of her leather be
scented so as a mandate from the

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Queen you’ve got to do what you’ve got
to do and it just so happened that in

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Grasse, France, that terrain is very
good for making leather, lots of fresh

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water for cleaning, but it was also very
very good for growing plans

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so the leather industry eventually
turned into the perfume manufacturing

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industry which still today, four hundred
years later, Grasse is

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still considered the the mecca of modern
perfume

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so for the actors I created a whole
series of different scents that were

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infused in leather as well as can be
used on the skin or on paper

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Catherine wanted all of her her leather goods to scented

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so she mandated that the

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leather makers learn how to make perfume

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this was her favorite perfume which was
orange blossoms and musk and this is

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presented on leather so it would be very
authentic to what she would have smelled

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it’s a piece of leather that
you give me

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I created these specifically
for the actresses so that they would

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understand, have a deeper understanding
of what their characters actually smelt

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in the fifteen hundreds

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the characters Catherine de Medici and Mary Queen of Scots

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and on leather the scents change

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it’s not like when you smell the paper, on leather its a bid different

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yeah fragrance smells very different on
human skin because of our own chemistry

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but also on leather because the leather
itself has a chemistry to it

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so in the fifteen hundreds, their
leather was infused with aroma’s so that

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it would act as a perfume and kind of
control their funk

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so the modern perfume industry was
started in France and it’s still

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considered the mecca of modern perfume
is in France

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one of the things that I have done,
using sent to affect emotions is still

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infusing scent into leather

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but specifically for actors, so this is
what I use for actors when were, I put

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scented leather and here and then
present this to the actor so that it

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will be infused and the scent lasts
much longer when it’s on leather

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Now I wanted to move to another part
of your skills

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which is a making liquor

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So what are you doing?

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when I, some of the processes of
making perfumes and extracting the scents

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of either citrus or resins you have to
do a lot of different processes using

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alcohol, so I realized that I could
actually infuse alcohol for consumption

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and create liqueurs

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so I’ve created a whole line of the
liqueurs. So now we have some sample of

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of what you do, of liquor you make basically so

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So I like to use pure plant
ingredients and pure fruit, pure

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flowers, as opposed to any kind of
synthetic flavoring materials

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so we can try a couple

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so we’re at the IAO earlier today and
for our award, for the competition, we have

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a golden pear as the statue for the
awards, so I created this liqueurs

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called golden pear and it’s a
combination of pear apple apricot

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frankincense almond and vanilla

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yeah

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mmm

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no bad at all

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we’ve served that at our
awards ceremony, this is just a little

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distilled water to clear out

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and how would you drink that?
like that or on ice or

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So the golden pear can be added to
champagne

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it could be actually be added even to a
white wine or seltzer water

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it’s a nice mixer or you can drink it on
its own

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this next one is usually mixed with a
little bit of water

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this one of my one of my favorite things
to do is work with local growers and

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Rose is one of my favorite plants

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so this is a rose liqueur that I
made from a local farmer and mixed

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either with seltzer water, distilled
water or even with champagne is rather lovely

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oh yeah, can taste the rose

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yeah that is a strong strong strong
strong

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this is a little bit less diluted if I
were actually selling this particular one

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it would be added to another or
slightly diluted.

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And how much percentage of alcohol we talking about?

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you’re getting,
these are about 70 proof

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that’s why we’re only having a
small amount

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I do have a background in ayurvedic medicine which
is a traditional medicine from India

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00:26:35,370 –> 00:26:37,559
that dates back about four thousand
years

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so one of the things that I found is
that alcohol as a medium is great for

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creating perfume

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it’s quite lovely to drink but it has
from the therapeutic perspective a way

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of penetrating an herbal extract
further or deeper into our tissues

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per ayurvedic philosophy

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with the alcohol you mean?
yeah so when you infuse something into alcohol

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it goes directly into our bloodstream so
if you have say turmeric or ginger or

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cardamom, which is a therapeutic herb,
that itself can be brought into the

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bloodstream faster

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00:27:14,039 –> 00:27:23,549
this infusion is a traditional Indian
tea formula using licorice root, turmeric

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00:27:23,549 –> 00:27:30,690
cardamom and ginger. Only good produce?
Can be bad for you! To your health

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this is a medicine one huh

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00:27:39,030 –> 00:27:43,200
funny that remind me of a French alcohol

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yeah it does, doesn’t it, its close

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00:27:48,360 –> 00:27:52,800
it’s got the licorice root. So earlier

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00:27:52,800 –> 00:27:55,140
today you had mentioned Patchouli

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would you like to taste some
Patchouli?

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00:27:58,230 –> 00:28:04,560
Well this is a we may
have made a dilution of the patchouli

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because having a full drop of Patchouli
would blow you away

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so this is at a point zero one percent
solution

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00:28:13,710 –> 00:28:21,090
so it’s a very very low dilution and
we’re just, one drop and that’s

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more than enough. I already I can smell it

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00:28:23,190 –> 00:28:31,560
yep and this one will stick in the
palette for a while so you will you will

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be noticing that for a while and you can
just take a little sip of that you don’t

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00:28:34,860 –> 00:28:37,860
need the whole thing

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00:28:38,700 –> 00:28:41,700
it’s strong isn’t it

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it could be very strong if you abuse
much that would be not very good

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so in a very small quantity you can add
that as a flavoring agent and create your own liquier.

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00:29:02,160 –> 00:29:04,600
Nice thank you very much Daniel.
Thank you!

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00:29:04,600 –> 00:29:07,720
I think we cover everything, pretty
much everything you wanted to talk about

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00:29:08,889 –> 00:29:12,869
Thank you for having us, It was a very
interesting to day

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and I hope all the people from A la carte Los Angeles will enjoy it also

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00:29:17,280 –> 00:29:20,000
Thank you very much for watching the show A la carte Los Angeles

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00:29:20,000 –> 00:29:22,820
see you next time for another episode

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00:29:22,820 –> 00:29:25,820
thank you and good night

The Institute for Art and Olfaction • Perfume Education website:
artandolfaction.com

Daniel Krasofski website:
http://www.labdk.com

The Art and Olfaction Awards website:
artandolfactionawards.com

Subscribe to our podcast:
http://www.youtube.com/alacartelatv/