Thursday, 2 August 2012
Perfume Lab: Lessons learned in making oils
Lesson learned: cedarwood is way stronger than I think it is. I only added two drops to the mixture, but after a day of aging, it was all I could smell. No fruit scent at all. It actually worked quite well with the sweet rum, but it was less tropical and more "I spent a night in a dubious bar." So I gave it to Kyle.
I was still determined to get this castaway-tropic-shipwreck thing right though, so two days ago I tried again, without the cedarwood and watermelon. I upped the coconut and mango (which is a gorgeous smell all on its own) and cut the sweet rum down to two drops.
Lesson learned: sweet rum is also way stronger than I think. This version has been aging two days, and again there's no fruit scent at all. I'm going to leave it a week, but I think it'll be back to the drawing board on this one again.
My earliest batch of oils is currently ready for testing on skin, so I'm wearing one today - a black pepper, ylang ylang, sweet orange, and lily of the valley combo. It smells amazing in the bottle; the ylang ylang makes it really heady and sweet. But it smells of nothing on my skin.
Lesson learned: you can get away with not using proper base, middle, and top notes in solid perfumes, but not in liquid. With solid ones, I think they definitely last longer with a base/middle/top combo, but I guess the wax holds the scents together well enough that it isn't necessarily essential. If I'm wearing a solid perfume, I usually carry it around with me anyway to reapply and sniff like a freak every now and then, so it doesn't bother me if the scent fades after a couple of hours. But with the oils, I want to be able to apply it first thing, get all the joy of smelling it change throughout the day, and not need to carry a breakable bottle of mess around with me.
So, again because I have a really vivid idea of how this scent should smell, I'm going to remake it tonight with some base notes and a binder note to hold it all together and see what happens. I'm getting really impatient with my day job at the moment, because once I decide I want to do something, I want to do it right this second, and having to sit at a desk and pretend to work for several hours a day is really interferring with my actual life.
Anyway. This is my life at the moment - get home, clean up cat hair (Fergus's current favourite sleeping place is the dirty laundry pile in the bedroom), make perfume. I can't say I'm unhappy with it ^_^ Just need to work the writing back in there...