It's funny the way certain points in your life, your career, your world as a whole, seem to line up rather serendipitously. Happy accidents that foster change for the better, without really planning it ahead of time, but fall into place because of one's own prior actions. If the situations and circumstances were all put into a timeline of personal history, it would appear to be a logical preordained sequence of events, and yet, the question remains, was it fate, or did you just step in shit? They say you make your own luck, and I say there's no such thing as a coincidence, but in either case, when it happens, when the stars just sort of align, there is an element of magic that really makes you wonder. So, it's no wonder that when I answered the phone, that fateful Inhouse morning, it was Jillian Friedman, the Marketing Manager from Robertet Fragrances in Oakland, New Jersey. "Hi, I got your letter, and I'd love for you to come in and discuss how we can work together," she said. Apparently, Jillian received my communication, and the beauty and fragrance half of my book inevitably proved to be invaluable. Jillian, her Project Manager, Liz Burke, and their Account Manager, Joan Marrinan, all took their time indoctrinating me into the world of perfumery from the supplier side of the business. The real beauty of this work was that it allowed for total creative freedom and fully utilized all of my skills, from advertising, graphics, packaging, photography, and copywriting. Everything we produced together never needed to be more than glorified concept development to support their fragrance creations in hopes of selling the "juice" itself to their customers. It was, to all intents and purposes, creative marketing, and doing the work never felt like work.
After more than four years of working together, my friends at Robertet saw the passion I had for the business and suggested I consider making it a full-time profession. They gave me a short 'best of' list of their industry competitors, including IFF and Firmenich, the latter being, as they put it, "The Rolls-Royce of the industry, and if you can work anywhere in this business, try to work there." Just as I had introduced myself to Robertet, I sent each of these company's VP's a personal letter and attached my now specialized "fragrance-driven" résumé - to absolutely no avail, but a valuable lesson nonetheless. Knocking on the proverbial door and asking for a project or two is one thing, but knocking on the door, unsolicitedly at that, and asking for a job that may or may not even exist, well, that's just an exercise in futility.