Sunday, 13 June 2010

Double Bonded

The clock keeps ticking and it won't be long before I'll have to put the essential oils away again and devote several weeks' worth of evenings to the day job, if you see what I mean. It's a shame that perfumery isn't like riding a bike. If you stay away from the raw materials for too long, your nose is seriously out of tune the next time you try to tell the difference between one orange-like top note and another.

Never mind. Instead of complaining, I should be grateful that the last fortnight provided a couple of opportunities to sit down with my tester strips and glass vials. I've mostly been working on an old formula, which attempts to strike a balance between vetivert, castoreum and an incredibly tenacious synthetic sandalwood. So far, the latter keeps stealing the show, but I'm not beaten yet. I'm sure a happy medium can be found between the three of them. I've also given some more thought to the 'guest room cologne' mentioned in a previous post, but I'm still not clear in my head about where I'd like the scent to go after the familiar neroli/lemon scents have bubbled away.

Despite the shortage of time, my collection of samples and - more importantly - perfumery books seems to have had no trouble growing. I'm sure I'll never manage to get through all the little bottles I seem to attract to myself each time I go into town (my last foray into Debenham's yielded about sixteen different samples!) and as for the books... well, some of them require a degree in chemistry before they can be fully understood.

But by far the most exciting development of the last few days was this: someone I know who runs a local hairdressing salon said he'd love to have an exclusive scent which he could use to perfume his workplace and which he could then sell to clients. What's more important is that he said he'd like me to create the scent. Not to put too fine a point on it, I've (sort of...?) been commissioned to create a perfume. So now all I need to do is make sure the day job doesn't kill me between next week and the end of July...


  1. 16 Samples from Debenhams. That's pretty good. When I lived in London I really struggled to obtain samples from some of the big dept stores. Perhaps I wasn't as practiced as I am now!

  2. I think I was pretty lucky today :-) AND it was a Sunday, which meant things were a bit quiet and the sales assistant had a bit more time to chat AND I was buying something anyway... But yes, generally speaking, British shops tend to be quite mean with samples.

    Not long ago I was in Cambridge and I asked the person at the Chanel counter in John Lewis if they had any samples, and she smiled ruefully, shook her head and told me they hadn't been given any samples whatsoever since summer 2009. Wonder if she was telling the truth...?

  3. how cool that you have been commissioned!!! yay!!

  4. Thanks Frida. The whole venture is still in its embryonic stages - and it'll have to be at least Aug/Sep before I can devote some serious time to it - but it is exciting nonetheless. Rest assured, I'll post updates whenever there are any developments.


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