My Own Perfumer’s Journey….
As a child, the world of scent was always a leading force in my life. I recognized the scent of people’s homes and I instinctively associated it with that person. Whenever I thought of them, that scent would always be present in my mind, as if the two went together, inseparable. When I was around four, I used to cross the street to have tea at a neighbour’s home. I still remember the smell of ‘old paper rose,’ the scent of the wooden floors, and old world charm. Even the towering grandfather clock had a scent for me. To this day, grandfather clocks remind me of that scent and the neighbour’s home.
Because of my sensitive sense of smell, perfumes would always play a big part in my daily life. I still remember back in 1988 while briefly living in Philadelphia, a friend of mine, knowing how keen my sense of smell was, had a surprise for me. “I have a store for you to visit,” he said. I was not told where we were going, but we soon approached a store that looked like it was out of Victorian England. As soon as we walked in, I felt like I had gone back in time. Gorgeous wooden fixtures, old world products, and beautiful scent everywhere. The store was Crabtree & Evelyn. It would remain my favourite to this day, although much has changed in the products they offered with some of the old world charm lost.
Perfumes of all kinds have always been a passion for me, and I have always had a good amount of perfume bottles on my dresser and any given time, from vintage to modern. Learning how to make these perfumes myself became an amazing journey.
Because of my deep my sense of smell, it is not a surprise that I would follow the path of perfumery, although my professional work has always been in the arts. My perfumery journey started with aromatherapy, a bit over 25 years ago. Essential Oils opened a door to a world of health and beauty. Years later, I was asked to teach Aromatherapy courses for a while, which I did, though being an introvert, teaching was never something I enjoyed doing. Meanwhile, as much as I loved working with essential oils, I learned early on that creating perfumes with all natural oils was limited and short lived. So, Perfumery would be waiting for me a few years down the line. In the meantime, unbeknownst to me, I was preparing my sense of smell for it. The years working with essential oils was a training of sorts for it. I would later discover a whole new dimension to essential oils when I started training myself in perfumery….
Always with perfumery in mind, a few years ago I finally walked through the threshold and entered a whole new world. A wonderful, exciting, daunting new world. Perfumery. It started with my trying when looking to recreate a perfume my mother had always loved, called Zibeline, by Weil. The perfume had been discontinued years ago, although she still had some for me to sample. Items I knew this perfume contained, such as castoreum and civet, were definitely not on my essential oil shelves. The search had begun. It led me to forums, aroma-chemical providers, books, more books, websites and meeting perfumers…all the way to Grasse, France, the cradle of perfumery! But, in the beginning, I found knowledge limited, the perfumery industry being a tight-kept cloister. Everything I learned I had to learn slowly and by searching, reading where I could, experimenting and asking questions when there was someone to ask, which was not often. And I rolled my many years of work with essential oils into perfumery.
This brings me to why I created this site and blog. I wanted to help others who also have a passion for perfumery and want to seriously learn how to make perfume. What is on this site is what has worked for me, which may be different from what has worked for someone else. However, there are some things that work the same way for everyone, and my aim is to help you avoid some pitfalls (though one learns that some mistakes are helpful).
I hope your perfumery journey is as magical and joyous as mine. You never know where this new bend on the road may lead……..