The largest amount of real estate in the brain is dedicated to the sense of smell. And yet, we have the smallest vocabulary. Think about it. Describe a smell. We describe the way things smell by color, taste, texture, sense of place: "it reminds me of.....".
Helen Keller said, "Smell is a potent wizard. It transports you across thousands of miles and all of the lives you have lived". And it's true. You can be transported to your child-hood or into a fantasy. When I created Mei Uke, I wanted it to evoke a misty morning in a fresh garden - uplifting and full of possibility.
Welcome to the Blending Bar:
Take a moment to really smell the essences that are offered. It's possible you're familiar with Lavender. But what about Opoponax? Peru Balsam? Try to smell without judgement.
Then using past experiences (real or imagined), evoke a mood or sense of place. How do you want this scent to make you FEEL? Now begin to think along that path. What can we smell first? What are we left with?
Beautiful complex perfumes can be created by using the Blending Bar worksheet as a guideline. And I won't leave you stranded. I have some tricks -- and a cabinet of wonders.
Certain essences are chosen because they help create a 'bridge'. Bergamot does this really well. Partly because the scent plays well with so many others. And, I think, because it is from citrus, but has floral overtones; lightly tea-like. So the bergamot helps meld spicy with sweet, or herbaceous with woodsy.
And other absolutes, essential oils and CO2 extractions help affix the scent to the skin. Peru Balsm and myrrh on their own will help; but by combining Peru Balsm, sweet myrrh (opoponax), tobacco flower, and benzoin -- you can get a lovely classic powder dry-out that 'sticks' to the skin.
It's all plants in there. The fougere, chypre, amber base, citrus accords and heart notes are all created months in advance.
Dandelion, for example started with an amber base of 12 essences including benzoin, rosewood, cardamom, true geranium, patchouli and ambrette). The perfume has a spicy floral top which brings to mind early summer. With bergamot,chamomile (Roman and Wild), hay, lime, jasmine and black pepper. Inhale with your eyes closed and it smells 'yellow' with that mash of tang back behind your ears. Bright and clean and tenacious. Like a Dandelion.
monique herzig, alchemist, aesthetician