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Making my own fragrances

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
For a while now, I have been experimenting with making my own fragrances.


It's harder than I thought it would be.

My initial experiments were all failures. Either the stuff smelled bad, or it didn't last, or it started out smelling good, and then began to smell bad or clash as it dried down, or as it dried down it became a boring mono-scent, or various combinations of the above.

After a fair amount of reading (purchased several perfume chemistry treatises and other materials, and did lots of internet research) my efforts became more successful, but still not very good. I could never make anything that was as appealing to me as commercially available fragrances I like.

I suppose that this is not really surprising, as good commercial fragrances are created by highly skilled experts with collective experience orders of magnitude beyond mine.

However, after a great deal of trial and error, and incorporating things I have learned from my reading, I have finally created my first fragrance that I actually like. It's not likely something that would become a popular cologne loved my millions, and I don't love it as much as I love some of my favorite commercial fragrances, but I do enjoy it. Most importantly, it seems to hang together over time, and doesn't devolve into something nasty or boring, or just disappear altogether as so many of my other experiments have.

It's got basenotes of bay and various woods, with top and middle notes of leather and citrus.

I'm wearing it today.

Most importantly, I think I have learned some lessons with this particular recipe that will likely be applicable across some of my future attempts at fragrance alchemy.

Currently, I'm working on trying to create a masculine floral scent. Having a difficult time with it, but also having a lot of fun trying.
post #2 of 12
Awesome, Kai. I can only imagine how much time and effort and learning went into this. Again, awesome.
post #3 of 12
Good job! Keep us updated! smile.gif
post #4 of 12
About 8 years ago I had the pleasure of working on a project with Aveda in MN on attempting to do an extraction on a plant that had natural anti viral properties. At that time, I was introduced to their head perfumer, he was an elderly Japanese man who had the most amazing room of essential oils and rare/precious scents. He was like a wizard and watching him create was something to behold.
It really is an art and a science-an artists craft.

Good luck! I cant wait to see what you come up with.
post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
The strange thing is how certain ingredients that smell awful can sometimes help the overall mixture smell better.

I've been experimenting with some nasty scents like birch tar and hay absolute. By themselves, they're pretty foul. When added in small amounts to some mixtures, they can occasionally create an interesting complexity to the whole that was completely absent without the nasty scent. The nastiness of the rogue scent is subsumed in the mix, but its effect is positive, no longer just nasty.

I haven't been brave enough to experiment with civet yet, but am working up to it.
post #6 of 12
I'm genuinely intrigued. Out of curiosity where do you go to get all these chemicals to put together in the first place?
post #7 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by harvey_birdman View Post

I'm genuinely intrigued. Out of curiosity where do you go to get all these chemicals to put together in the first place?
For example:
Budget version
http://shop.perfumersapprentice.com/p-6631-perfumery-notes-kit.aspx
(as well as other beginner kits: http://shop.perfumersapprentice.com/c-188-educational-kits.aspx )

Baller version (about 500$)
http://store.lelabofragrances.com/en/C44/theolfactionary.html
post #8 of 12
Please post your reactions to civet when you get some. I've heard a few interesting comments.
post #9 of 12
Goddamnit I'm going to start spending money on some new obsession now.
post #10 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by harvey_birdman View Post

Goddamnit I'm going to start spending money on some new obsession now.
Do you have a good amount of knowledge and experience with fragrances? (never seen you in the fragrance thread, but that doesn't mean that you don't) In case you do not, I think it would be wise to first get used to many different fragrances and types of fragrances to get a better understanding of the interplay of notes.
post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by harvey_birdman View Post

I'm genuinely intrigued. Out of curiosity where do you go to get all these chemicals to put together in the first place?

There's a lot of places on line.

Just google enfleurage, absolute, essential oils, Iso E Super, ambergris, etc.

Prices are all over the map for these fragrances. I try to buy quality, but I've found that high price doesn't always equal high quality. I'm continually doing searches for new scents or variations on scents I already own. I've set up shop in a spare bedroom in my house. It's full of bottles, vials, and other apparatus. I actually ordered some distillation equipment to distill my own essences, but my wife made me return it, as she was pretty sure I was going to burn the house down.
post #12 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kai View Post

I haven't been brave enough to experiment with civet yet, but am working up to it.

I think that the most manly way to experiment with civet would be to remove the glands yourself, bare handed.
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