Perfumery Goals

May 30 / Melanie Jane
The core to creating your own perfume is having an objective.

Don’t haphazardly blend a selection of nice smelling scents and hope for the best.

Think of it this way. You start driving your car with no destination in mind. You might just end up somewhere incredible… or you may end up driving off a cliff or, less dramatically…. getting seriously lost. The same holds true when making a perfume.
Have a goal in mind and decide what you are trying to create. Too often, it’s easy to get carried away with all the excitement of launching a product, which often results in losing sight of what you are creating.

Imagine you’re making an apple pie, you know you’re going to use pastry, but which kind of pastry? If you’ve done it before, then you’ll have the experience to know perhaps short crust pastry works better than puff. Now, which type of apples will you use? Cooking apples or eating apples? Maybe a mixture of both? Then what about the spices? You may know that cinnamon and nutmeg work really well with apple pie, but what about clove? Perhaps clove will enhance the sweetness of the apple but put too much and you’ve killed it. Or maybe it doesn’t work at all. Too much sugar and it’s too sweet, not enough, and it’s too sour. Try to be like Goldilocks and get it just right, for your taste or your customer.

Use this same analogy when making perfume. When you know your materials, and you know what you want to achieve, you need the right ingredients, at the right quantity, then add that ‘Je ne sais quois’ to give it your own signature.

On my journey of creating Drama Queen, I wanted to create a perfume that was therapeutic and casual enough to be worn daily yet appreciated by others as a feel-good fragrance. My starting point was knowing what I wanted to achieve.
So how did I achieve the scent of Drama Queen?
I found that putting my ideas into words and pictures helped keep me focused.
By writing out a story, I could remain focused on my objective. I used a mood board to clarify ideas that reflected the feelings I hoped to inspire with my fragrance. Mind-mapping is another way of expressing your goals. Both methods are excellent for brainstorming with yourself or others.

Sometimes simply writing a brief can help you find the scent you are seeking. Without a clear aim and plan, it’s all too easy to get lost on your creative journey.
If you don’t know, you’ll lose sight of your goal.

Remember, what do you want to achieve? And what will it take to get there?

If you want a spicy floral perfume, you need to use florals and spices! If you want a sexy perfume, you’ll need oils that contain indole and a high content of pheromones like white florals and animalic notes. When you think about it like that, it becomes much clearer.

If at any point you feel it just isn’t working, take a step back. Sit down and look back at your inspirations and your mood boards, briefs, and other materials. Remind yourself of what you want to accomplish. This will guide you back towards your objective.

At every step, consciously recall why you’re adding your chosen oils to your creation. What are they bringing to the party?

A single sentence brief to their perfumer created the classic perfume ‘J’adore.’
“Create a perfume as sexy as a pair of Stilettos
and as comfortable as a pair of Tod’s.”
Don’t put all your ideas into a single scent. Just as a designer can’t put all their ideas into a single dress!

Keep an editing eye on your creations. If you have some fabulous ideas, make notes and keep them for another time and another perfume.
Concentrate on one perfume at a time and start with minimal ingredients, that match your objective.

You can always add, you cannot take away.

If it’s a complete disaster, then start again. At least you’ll have discovered what didn’t work!
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