Making your own perfume, my experience.


Perfume has been a big part of my world for many many years. I remember the first time I bought a fragrance when I was fifteen, Calvin Klein "Crave".




Over the years learning about tailoring and style, perfumes have almost come into the forefront of my work. Here is why.




When we go through the transformation of style, it is a visual change, and this grabs the eye of others. But when they step closer to you, this is the smell sensors come into play.




Imagine, seeing a well-dressed person, approaching them and smell body odour or some horrible perfume.




Perfumes and fragrances can manipulate the mind (in both good and bad ways), a memory of a loved one, a holiday, a moment in time or even coerce you into making a decision.









A friend of mine Lu from By Luis invited me into her world of perfumery to create a scent.




Lu likes to set the tone for the creative session with a 15-minute yoga session. Although different, it has a purpose in calming the body and mind before diving into a world of smells.




As many may know when smelling perfumes, too many can easily overpower your sensors and even become a headache.




Through the yoga session, you are relaxed into a setting for your perfume creation, what are you feeling? What are you thinking? This way you have a connection to the perfume you are making.




Once the yoga session is over, Lu takes you through the base notes of the perfume. These are the foundations, the notes that stay the longest in your scent.









Many base notes are woods and resins like oud, sandalwood, vanilla and musk.




The heart or middle of the perfume is what brings the fragrance together — mixing the top/head notes to the base notes.




After this stage things can start to get complicated, researching this topic I have come to realise that some notes blend across the levels, some even modify the scent, some are what they call fixatives, that stay longer throughout the smell.




Middle notes consist of herbs, spices, floral and green elements. For the top notes, these are the first notes you smell in your perfume.




They are also the first to disappear; these notes include citrus, fruit, spices, herbs and some floral notes. Depending on the strength of the essential oils, places the note into categories., thus seeing the crossovers




Once you have chosen your base, middle and top notes, they are formulated drop by drop to create the right balance and scent.




From my experimental projects with perfume, leaving the mix of oils for 48 hours can help blend the scent. If you are happy, you can mix the alcohol into the oil.









Now comes the painful part, the wait! Your perfume has to mature; otherwise, the strength and longevity won't be there. I put mine in the fridge, covered if in a light plastic or glass bottle for a week — Equivalating to 2 weeks outside the refrigerator. Then I smell and test, adjust if needed, then leave for a further 2 - 4 weeks.




From my experience with Lu and on my own, the hardest part when making your perfume is the formula. Many high-end perfumes use "Aroma chemicals" which make the fragrance more potent and last forever. Using essential oils and natural alcohol comes down to formulating enough oil to alcohol ratio.









Start at the drop by drop method, then learn weight mixing for the ultimate final product!




If you enjoyed this post or you would love to know more about perfume, comment below!