Big-name fragrances insist upon themselves. A well-formulated scent is worth paying for, yet it’s hard to pinpoint the qualities that enable designers to charge hundreds of dollars for one bottle. One of the few easily identifiable attributes of a high-end perfume is that it doesn’t “turn” on the skin; cheap perfumes take on a bitter alcohol note when they mix with the skin’s chemistry. There is also value in the way a designer scent evolves throughout the day, revealing new layers within the same formulation.
Obviously perfume is a luxury. Clothing and makeup can be seen by everyone in the vicinity of the person wearing them. Perfume is only detected by those within a few feet of the wearer. Fragrance is largely worn to make the wearer feel a certain way. She likely enjoys feeling like the sort of wealthy person who can indulge in all arenas of her life. A spritz of perfume makes her feel confident and accomplished. After all, good taste in perfume is a hallmark of an adult with worldly, cultivated tastes.
Essential oils are the building blocks of perfumes. They are drawn out of their source materials and mixed together with carrier substances that preserve the scents and make them feel nice on the skin. If you want to cut out the middle man and try creating your own signature scents, you should explore the world of essential oils. In their purest form, these oils still need to be mixed with other ingredients before they can be applied to the skin. Many stores sell fragrance oils that are already blended with carrier oils so they can be worn right away. These pre-blended oils are a great starting point if you want to see if these types of scents are for you.
Essential oils are one-note fragrances. If you want a more well-rounded scent, you need to mix multiple oils together. Patchouli essential oils are popular choices for adding richness and texture to simple oil blends. Sandalwood, amber and vanilla also help to round out scents that are on the sharper or sweeter side. As you develop your signature fragrance, be aware of how different notes complement or compete with each other. Notes that are too similar may create olfactory friction, while scents on opposite ends of spectrum work to balance each other. Think about what you want your perfume to say before you start mixing. With luck and practice, you’ll come up with a combination that makes a statement.