I‘ve filtered and bottled release #2. Now I just need to affix the labels and prepare for shipment. You’ll all be smelling it soon :)
I’ve been occupied with finishing up Laboratory Series #1. Filtration, bottling, cutting labels - all done by hand. There are still few more things to take care of but I’ll be finishing everything up in the next couple of days and packages will ship within the coming week. Stay tuned!
Pictured is the batch of Laboratory Series #1. I think it’s important to let perfumes sit for a while before bottling them. A perfume formula can contain many hundreds of molecules that have suddenly all been mixed together. It simply takes time for them to sort themselves out and learn to live together; to somehow become one thing rather than many things. All kinds of little chemical reactions likely happening along the way. Sharp edges will soften and many materials will balance themselves, kind of like finishing the seams. The more complex the formula, the more it will probably benefit from some time to sit. Maturation is about nuances to me as I’ve found it uncommon for changes to be drastic. In other words, If something doesn’t smell good when freshly blended it’s probably not going to magically become great after sitting for six weeks. However, sometimes materials can become more pronounced in a blend over time too (hello oakmoss!). This can really slow down the process of developing a perfume since I have to wait a little while to fully evaluate the work.
My typical process for aging a new batch has two steps:
1 - Fully blend the perfume concentrate (this means all of the pure, undiluted materials) and allow to sit for two weeks (often much longer if I have the time). The more complex the formula, the more it will benefit from maturation.
2 - Add perfumers alcohol to the matured perfume compound to bring it to desired concentration and mix well. Then the fully diluted perfume sits for another ~two weeks (or longer) to allow it to blend with the addition of alcohol before filtration and bottling.
The first Laboratory Series perfume is now fully blended and maturing. I’m very happy with how this one has come along, it smells great and should only get better with age. There was not a name or rigid concept chosen beforehand for this one so I’m brainstorming for the naming, presentation, official note list etc. Above are some color associations I get from this cozy and rich perfume (tap or click to scroll).
Over the past week I’ve been working intensely on finishing up the formula for the first perfume in the 2019 series. I wanted to do something kind of warm and cozy for January/February.
I started the perfume a few weeks ago by playing with a couple of spice oils that I hadn’t used much before - nutmeg and cardamom. I love the creamy, smooth woods dryout of nutmeg. Blending these was enough to get the wheels turning and I began pulling other materials that I thought would work to compliment and contrast. The fragrance I was imagining featured the nose tickling spices up top then a resinous, spiced fruit, slightly syrupy chai/mulled wine type of effect going into the body, and finally a smooth, warm dry down of woods and incense. I made a few sketches of the various accords and let them sit and macerate for about 10 days before evaluating, then last week I got everything back out and starting modifying and refining, trying to fuse the parts together nicely.
The workbench always gets a little chaotic when I’m working like this as you’ll see in the photos above. These days are my favorite part of the process, when time seems to glide. I tend to go a little too far with a formula before taking a step back into the sweet spot, but I’m pleased with how this one is turning out.
As of now the formula contains orange, opoponax, frankincense, sandalwood, cedarwood, fir balsam, tobacco, rose, benzoin & patchouli along with the nutmeg, cardamom and numerous aromachemicals.