“Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.” Pablo Picasso
The core to creating your own perfume is having an objective. Don’t just haphazardly mix together a selection of scents and hope for the best.
Just think about it. It's like sitting behind the wheel of your car intending to drive somewhere but you have no clue where you're going or how to get there.
If you don't have a destination in mind and a route to get you there, you might — just might — end up somewhere incredible… or, more likely, you may just end up driving off a cliff.
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, and why. Even worse, you may end up trying to release a cobbled together scent without a story. Sound familiar?
On my own journey creating Drama Queen, I wanted to create a perfume that would be therapeutic and stop my mood swings, that was 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 it?
I found that putting my ideas into words helped keep me grounded. By writing out a story, I could remain focused on my objective. I used a mood board with visuals to clarify my ideas, and that reflected the feelings I hoped to inspire with my final product. Even colours helped determine the scents I was looking for.
Mind-mapping is another way of expressing your goals. Look at this website or check out some videos about mind-mapping by Tony Buzan. You can also get some fantastic ideas by creating mood boards. Both methods are great for brainstorming.
Sometimes writing yourself a brief can help you find the scent you are seeking. The classic perfume ‘J’adore’ was created by a simple single sentence brief;
"Create me a perfume that is as sexy as a pair of Stilettos but as comfortable as a pair of Tod’s"
Without a clear objective and plan, it is all too easy to get lost on your creative journey.
At every step, consciously recall why you are adding your chosen oils to your creation. Otherwise, you could find yourself adding a drop of this and a drop of that, and losing sight of your path.
Remember— what do you want to achieve, and where do you want to go?
If at any point you feel that the way you are going 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, because this will guide you back towards your objective.
Back to the creation of Drama Queen…
Once I knew what I wanted to create, I knew what oils were required to have the desired effect.
But more than that, I was now inspired to go beyond a ‘basic’ aroma remedy to make something truly special. Rather than using only one kind of rose, I wanted to think about using rare varieties to achieve my goal of luxury and uniqueness.
I believe fragrance is a luxury, and I wanted to bring back the opulence to organic scents — the way it used to be.
Once I found a list of possibilities, I had to rely on my perfumer’s nose to consider combinations that would be aesthetically pleasing. Remember, when you smell good, you feel good!
My expensive ingredients were a reflection of this. Once I had this vision and objective I knew exactly what oils I needed to include. The rest was creativity and instinct.
I achieved my goal. It took longer than I anticipated, but the result turned out better than I ever dreamed it could. Plus the view along the way was incredible!
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