My brief yet effective encounter with Shaw TV's Urban Rush hosts Mike and Fiona is an example for how different creating custom perfume for different people can be. Among custom-perfume seekers, I think there are two main kinds of people: There is the fragrance connoisseur (knowingly or unknowingly) that indulges in every moment of the process without necessarily knowing what they want the perfume to smell in the end; and than there is the very determined, goal-oriented person who know exactly what they want to achieve by the end of the process.
Fiona knew exactly what she wanted: a perfume to replace her favourite of 11 years, now sadly discontinued. She researched the notes, and came up with top notes of citron, rosewood and cardamom, heart notes of jasmine and lily of the valley, and a base of musk, vanilla and amber. And sure enough, a fan containing these notes (except for the lily of the valley, which does not yield its scent successfully to any form of distillation) brought back some of the spicy floriental characteristics of her signature scent. Sweet yet spicy and bold and delicious.
Mike, on the other hand, always goes au naturelle and seemed to be generally unaware of having any particular interest in fragrance (unless someone else is wearing it). From lack of a better word, he guessed he likes “musky” scents. But we quickly found out that he really “clicked” with my archetypal masculine scents ArbitRary and l’Herbe Rouge, and fell in love instantly with juniper, key lime, Seville and Kashmir lavender and liatrix. Even though there was hay and oakmoss and patchouli in both ArbitRary and l’Herbe Rouge he did not enjoy the notes on their own. Just before we run out of time, I decided to pull out a little unusual note - seaweed essential oil. To everyone’s surprise, this was an immediate love, and added an incredible lightness of sea breeze to the other herbaceous and woody notes.
There is never a right way or a wrong way in making your own custom scent. But each way is different, and walking a different path or following a different approach will definitely create a completely different scent in the end. The result depends on the person's sense of adventure and willingness to take olfactory risks; and ultimately - on the perfumer's listening abilities and attention to detail as well as intuition. I'm very curious to see how these two perfumes might turn out!
Now to the “contest”: Guess Fiona’s lost perfume correctly and you’ll be entered to win a bottle of hand-painted Magnolia Petal 30ml spray bottle.
* Enter the contest simply by adding a comment to this post. Contest closes March 21st.