Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Making Perfume - The New Phase

Crazy, I know, but hear me out.  This is how it all started:

We're at B-man's class reunion in September and I'm talking to Mary, the wife of one of his classmates.  Mary is animated, smart and funny.  She tells me about her garden of herbs and flowers and her need to begin a new interest in her life.  I ask, 'have you ever considered making perfume?'  She looks at me for a moment and says, 'no, I haven't.'  This lapse in judgement - where I forget everyone isn't a smelling geek - is followed by an explanation of my perfume addiction and a tongue lashing by Inner Critic.

On the plane coming home, I wonder why I made that suggestion to Mary, a woman who has no interest in perfume whatsoever.  Especially when I am too cowardly to consider making perfume myself.  Right then and there, I decide to take the leap for reasons I just then realized.

Like the fact that I am bored, bored, bored with ordering more samples and more bottles of other people's perfume.  For what?  To sit on my shelf or collect dust with the hundreds of other perfume samples I will never try again?

And why not spend money on perfume supplies instead?  Even if my experiment is a total bust, I will have invested no more in supplies monthly than I was previously spending on perfume.

Finally, it seems like a natural progression that I must play out, no matter the outcome.  Because I love to smell stuff and now I get to be a mad scientist.

Well, I am humbled to say the least.  Never have I felt so stupid as I did when going from being a well informed perfume lover to a perfume blending newbie.  I have read books and researched online, but I'm shooting from the hip and leaning heavily on my instincts.  Seeking more formal training would be amazing, but I haven't quite worked out when and where.

But, hey, it's not like I haven't had any success at all.  A couple of my formulations are really quite pleasant.  And several days ago, I managed to create a perfume that smells exactly like...ass.

For all you know, I meant to do that.

image from


  1. So... are you planning to sell the butt-fume?

    And if not, why mention it? C'mon. Friends don't hold back from friends. Send us some samples, we'll review it.


    I myself just purchased a few fragrance oils the other day, wanting to pursue an idea. We'll see how it comes out, because I doubt very much that I have natural skills.

  2. Hey Muse, good to hear from you! Thanks for your offer to lend your nose for sampling...that time will come.

    Good luck with your own fragrance oils!

  3. Bellatrix, thanks! Please let me know if you have any brilliant suggestions...

  4. Lovely item. I too have tried to make perfumes for some years and had no real success. dabbling though is fun and there is always the idea that one day I will hit on the perfect one. enjoy

  5. Don’t feel bad if it didn’t go well. It can happen to everyone. But then, I suggest that you make a sample scent first by dabbing two or more scented oils on your palm and smell the fragrance that was formed before you go on to your scent-periment. That way, those samples that you invested won’t be wasted.

    Rob Feckler

  6. When I smell my first creations, I am a little overwhelmed...not in a good way. But you gotta begin somewhere, right? It takes a couple of years for most DIYers to start really understanding what they are doing, and a couple years after that to make something intentionally that turns out the way we want it to. But it does happen, and it's a ton of fun along the way.
    My favorite DIY anecdote is, while I was making a new perfume in my basement lab (bwahhaha)my youngest son answers the phone. I hear, "No, she can't come to the phone right now. She's down in her lab, sniffing stuff."



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