From mind to bottle or how we make our fragrances
Today we want to take you on a fragrance making journey. We will tell you how an idea is turned into a perfume.
When it comes to designing a perfume, one has to start with an inspiration. It can be anything - a special person, an event, a place. Alex Verier, our perfumer, developed six of our fragrances over the past four years with a particular occasion or person in mind; our perfumes are all very special to us as each one carries a story. Alex, who so far designed over 100 combinations, also makes bespoke fragrances for companies and individuals, and it always starts with a brief. When the brief comes, it can be very general or very detailed. Alex starts with an overall direction or feeling. He takes into consideration many things while looking for inspiration - the personality of the brand, the clientele, the location. For example, a home fragrance for a seaside cafe might contain the smell of ocean water while for a high-end hotel a leather note might be more suitable. Alex would look at the plants that naturally grow in the area and their scent too in his lookout for inspiration.
Developing an idea might take from a month to a year depending on the complexity (our fragrances are quite complex!). Alex sometimes comes back to undeveloped ideas and improves the formulas too. Once Alex roughly knows which notes he would like in the fragrance, he starts working on the formula. Foras perfumes are a blend of natural and synthetic notes. Although you might think that natural is always better, certain natural ingredients are actually quite harmful, such as musk which is a glandular secretion from animals such as the musk deer. We decided to use some synthetic notes because we want the fragrances to be vegan, animal friendly and friendly on the skin.
We also decided to use niche notes in our fragrances. From tomatoes to suede, there’s a world of unusual smells there. For instance, we created Oxidised Rose, a very modern take on the old rose with metal that cuts through the sweetness. Our latest perfume is called Mushroom Forest and has notes of mushrooms, earth and mossy woods.
Knowing which notes one wants to use is just step one. The next step is proportions. Which note do you want to be the strongest one? Which one should be the most subtle? That will depend on the proportions. They are also important because of the safety of the fragrance. Every perfume that we make is safety tested by an impartial third-party laboratory, in our case one which is part of the University of Oxford. They assess the proportions of the ingredients to make sure the design doesn’t go over safety levels. Once we know our fragrances are safe, we can start the production. We hand make our perfumes in small batches to make sure they aren’t stored for a long time which is the reality behind many high street brands. The essential oils are mixed with plant-based alcohol. Our perfumes have a high concentration of oils which means they are more long-lasting.
The last ingredient is the perfect packaging. As for us nature is important, we made our packaging with calming, natural colours and simple designs. It’s worth mentioning that we don’t use plastic in our packaging as we want to be planet-friendly.
We hope you enjoyed this post! Pop into the shop if you want to know more about (our) fragrances - we’re waiting for you at 11 Church Street in Folkestone.