My idea for a perfume is actually based on two other fragrances that I enjoy layering together, but alas, "something" is always missing from it. There is some sort of "lack" that I can't quite put my finger on. Layering Creed's Cuir de Russie with Czech & Speake's Frankincense & Myrrh is a combination that triggers in me an imagining of how wonderful an incense and leather scent would be. To wit, I love the dry (very dry) and almost woody nature of the Frankincense & Myrrh, and I like the ocean-like leather of Cuir de Russie.
Yet I wish for a scent that is fuller, curvier, and more strong-willed. Like, you know how when you hear a song on AM radio, and it's good, but you know you'd enjoy it so much more if you could hear the song in full-on surround sound stereo? I want to smell a perfume with an expanded bandwidth like that. I do not wish for it to be sweet or sentimental smelling - I wish for something that has strength and reserved power. I am unsure what else it would need to achieve that end. Perhaps in addition to the dark edginess of dry frankincense tears, myrrh tears, and saline softened leather, there could be ... Woody notes? Benzoin? Spice? I really don't know. And this is something I hope you, as a perfumer who is far, far wiser than I am, can understand and know how to approach.
The concept I keep coming back to for the name is via the word "auxetic." Auxetic materials, unlike most common materials that become thinner when stretched laterally, actually expand in cross-section when stretched. The effect is demonstrated very coolly here in this short video from Auxnet. The Greek root of "auxetic" is "Auxeos," meaning "that which can expand." My thinking is this - I like the idea that when we stretch ourselves, we too expand and grow. And I like the idea that with perfume, it has one type of smell, but it's upon application and wear that the smell grows and becomes bigger than when it remains unworn in the bottle or on a paper strip. Plus, I just like the sound of "Auxeos" when I roll it around in my mouth.
Thank you so much for agreeing to make this perfume dream come true for me! I cannot properly express how grateful and happy I am that you are creating it, so all I am left with is "thank you." I'm on the edge of my seat just waiting to see what you will come up with.
Yours in delighted anticipation,
Before I begin my proposal, I wanted to thank you in advance for agreeing to create my very own perfume. I cannot describe how exciting it is for me to have this opportunity to work with you. I promise to try not to be a very difficult client.
I want my scent to be spicy. I adore cardamom and saffron, and would love my scent to be centered on these two notes. These would be soft, velvety spices, as opposed to “red hot” and “dry”. To achieve that kind of softness, to balance the spices, I believe that iris, with its delicate, smooth, rooty quality, might be a great ingredient to use. I think that a little (and I really mean just a little) vanilla might also be necessary in order to achieve the kind of velvety softness I have in mind for this scent. I also would like the fragrance to have a certain sensual depth, that is why I also imagine musk as one of the notes. Again, this would be a soft, understated note, simply serving as a background for the spices. Finally, to complete and further balance the composition, the drydown would have notes of sandalwood and perhaps cedar.
To sum it up, the notes in the scent would be: cardamom, saffron, iris, vanilla, musk, sandalwood, cedar. It might also include cinnamon and amber for added spiciness and “fuller body” as well as violet to enhance the iris note. But in this case, I would rely on your judgment whether these extra notes or any other notes might be needed.
Velvety, warm, spicy, sensual are the descriptions that I would like for my scent to evoke. This would be a golden, candlelit perfume, enveloping the wearer in the smoothest embrace. I would love for this scent to be sensual and romantic, and, yes, sexy, but I also want it to be easy so wear, in other words I would like it not to be too heady, too heavy, too overwhelming ... too demanding.
I am undoubtedly drawing inspiration from some of my favorite perfumes. I want a fragrance that would be sensually-musky like Musc Ravageur by Frederic Malle, sweetly spicy like Safran Troublant by L’Artisan, exquisitely floral like Attrape-Coeur by Guerlain, and velvety-woody like Bois des Iles by Chanel…all the most wonderful qualities of my favorite fragrances, combined in one glorious scent, my Holy Grail…
And that brings me to the question of the name…I am a member of a wonderful site called Makeupalley.com. It is a place where perfume addicts like me meet and chat about perfumes and write reviews. On that site, a perfume that one considers to be the most favorite and/or the best of its kind is called a “Holy Grail”. For example, one would say something like, “Bois des Iles is my Holy Grail scent”. Or, “Musc Ravageur is my Holy Grail musk perfume”. Or, “Hermes Hiris is my Holy Grail iris”. So…I thought of naming my scent just that, Holy Grail.
Thank you again! I would love to hear your opinion about all and any aspects of my dream fragrance.
I’ve loved perfume ever since age 5, when I was forced to go work in the perfume mines of eastern South Dakota. I was raised by two perfectly respectable people who taught me about goodwill, kindness, and the beauty of fried foods smothered in cheese.
My mother had a small collection of Avon bottles with which I was fascinated. Some looked like little animals, little toys, and some I thought to be impossibly beautiful and grown-up. I longed for the day when my mom would say I was “old enough” and consent to let me wear them. But by the time I was old enough, I had fallen deeply under the spell of Magie Noire, a fragrance I’ve yet to recover from.
My family eventually moved from Midwest to the Pacific Northwest, where I learned the difference between neo-hippies and actual hippies, discovering that while the latter are affable, the former are regrettable. As an adult, my background is not in perfumery at all, but rather in picture framing: I stretched canvases, mounted tapestry, prints, and photos, built frames, and learned to loathe other peoples’ taste in art because I had to stare at the same things over and over all too frequently.
I am married to a man I secretly suspect to be insane, which is okay since I am also secretly insane. Currently I am raising our two very sweet twins. They seem to tolerate their parents well enough.
Blogging is a terribly fun, albeit self-indulgent, exercise in writing for me. I began my perfume blog, Scentzilla, after realizing that I was gaining a whole lot of “information,” but I had nothing I was doing with it. I figured it’d be more fun to share my impressions of what I smelled with others, and indeed, it IS fun.
I am so excited to be part of the Made by Blog project. It seems almost too good to be true. I really cannot believe my good luck. My own fragrance. Wow. My mind? Is effectively blown. It will be so interesting to discover how this process works, and what the inner workings of perfume creation look like closer up. I cannot wait to find out what the perfumer, Laurent, has in store!
Cliché as it is to look for the roots of one’s interests and obsessions in childhood and to hold one’s parents responsible for the good, the bad, and the ugly traits of one’s character, my fascination with perfume has indeed started when I was a small child enthralled by mother’s fragrances displayed on her vanity table and absolutely forbidden for me to touch. This was during the Soviet times; the Western perfumes were extremely hard to find, and I really cannot imagine where my mother unearthed her beautiful bottles. If I close my eyes, I can see some of them now…Madame Rochas in its exquisite box ornamented with golden lace. Magie Noire in the black, mysterious flacon. The light, feminine bottle of Anais Anais…They looked so chic, so “French”; when I surreptitiously applied the fragrances to my wrists, they transported me to the glamorous, thrilling world so unlike my mundane everyday existence.
Ever since I have been interested in perfume. When a couple of years ago I discovered various fragrance forums and perfume blogs, the interest has blossomed into an obsession, an addiction. Before I knew it, I had a perfume blog of my own, Perfume Smellin’ Things. It was my own little corner of the Internet, where I could indulge in talking about perfume, only perfume and nothing but perfume. Nothing pleases me more then finding and reviewing an interesting, evocative scent that touches something in my soul, that stirs a memory, that takes me to the faraway lands. I love it when a scent makes me think of a painting, a book, a song, a poem (I am prone to quoting Baudelaire and Neruda at any given opportunity and at great length in my blog).
In my non-blogging life I am a mother of a sweet little girl and a wife of a man who is thankfully very tolerant towards my perfume “hobby.” My education and professional experience lie in the field of sociology and social anthropology; neither my studies nor my work has ever been perfume-related in any way. So if you asked me what qualifications I have for writing about fragrances, my honest answer would be that I have none. My only qualification is my undying love for perfume.
I am incredibly thrilled to be a part of this project. I have always dreamed about a perfume created just for me, just the way I wanted it to be. However I am also looking forward to learning more about the process of perfume creation, to getting a peek into an exciting, mysterious world of perfumers.