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Should You Make Your Own Perfume or Hire a Perfumer?

Today I want to share something that happened at the Artisan Perfumery Weekend which will hopefully give you the encouragement to get going and create your own fragrances. Sometimes we think we don’t know enough and it stops us from moving forward with confidence.

One of the students on the weekend class (who is also a private consulting client) had brought along some samples of fragrances for her body product line that she had been sent by a couple of fairly large fragrance houses. We had a bit of time after the class and as Nick & Liz were also there I thought it would be a great opportunity to get all of our noses on the evaluation.

As a bit of background, this student had been on a course in Grasse and although she loved every minute of it, they spent most of the time smelling materials (which is a hugely important part of perfumery training) and she left not really feeling she had the knowledge to make perfume.  She then attended my 1 day natural perfumery class and said what she learned in that one day pulled it all together for her – learning to create accords was the key.

So why did she look at outsourcing to a fragrance house rather than creating her own? Well, she realised that the learning curve for creating fragrances for commercial purposes is quite steep and wanted to get going with her product launches quickly. She decided to concentrate on making the base products herself and get the fragrance brief out to a few well known fragrance companies. She didn’t feel she yet had the skills to do it herself.

As we started smelling through the samples I was quite surprised at the simplicity of the fragrances. There was nothing there that, with the knowledge she had and some good quality materials, she couldn’t create herself. We all agreed it best to outsource the candle fragrances at this stage as they were slightly more complex but the all natural body product fragrances could be created by her with ease. The fragrance submissions from the perfume houses were really not that complex and not quite on brief. Not only could she do them herself but she could create them exactly how she wanted them without going back and forth to a fragrance house.

After the class she sent me a message to say “I’m feeling totally inspired with a new found confidence”

It was actually a great exercise to see that when it comes to naturals YOU CAN compete with the big guys. Here is what you need to do:

  1. Study your raw materials
  2. Learn how to create accords
  3. Learn how to put them together to create a finished fragrance
  4. Keep blending, making mistakes and tweaking until you get it right

If you want to create fragrances for your own business, the best and fastest option to get from complete beginner to creator is with my 14 week online training programme HERE

Karen x

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