30 Jan

My first impression of the first iteration of Zeus is that its top section is too sharp; I added geranium and fir, which can be sharp. I removed them for the next iteration, and really tried to make the amber scent shine. I used jonquil, rosewood, and petitgrain for not-very-odoriferous body, to flesh out each section of the perfume. The base is a simple amber accord based on Mandy Aftel’s formula from Essence & Alchemy, benzoin, labdanum, a small amount of vanilla; I also used ambrette for body and Africa Stone for pheromones. Without sharp top notes, I’m sure Zeus will be much better. The hard part is letting the amber scent shine through while fleshing out the rest of the perfume; I have not had luck in the past making perfumes with no top section–it’s almost as if such “perfumes” are dead on the skin (so much so, if a perfume has no top section, I wouldn’t call it an actual perfume). So, you need each section; depending on your goal, it can be tough not to mess up the scent you’re going for, in this case, amber.

Jonquil. A not-very-odoriferous note to add body.

One thing I plan on (it’s sort of a novelty) is to make a blue perfume, with no color/dye. The main inspiration is blue cypress, which is the bluest I’ve ever encountered, true, deep, rich blue, almost neon in effect. Green cognac is also slightly blue green. The key is not to add any other highly-colored aromatics. It just so happens, aromatic vendors have been selling clear labdanum lately. This would be key to maintaining a blue color (labdanum is usually brown). I will think of other clear aromatics; sandalwood is an example, petitgrain is another, rosewood too. The goal is to make a unique perfume–that just so happens to be blue. I think green cognac, clear labdanum, sandalwood, clary sage, petitgrain, and blue cypress has the makings of something unique, and not just blue for the sake of being blue.

Spikenard. A delightful, wine-like heart note. I use it in Dionysus.

I need to be clear about something I touched on in the last installment: you’ve got distilled, expressed, and enfleurage-based aromatics, absolutes and essential oils. The CO2 versions of these often work better in solids (concretes de parfum) than regular absolutes work in alcohol. For example, vanilla CO2 works better in solids than regular vanilla absolute works in alcohol; vanilla absolute is very difficult in alcohol–it never really dissolves. Vanilla CO2 works perfectly in solids, no problems with dissolution. Each form of a given aromatic has its own best use. I haven’t yet used a concrete (yet another form, basically a solid/paste) of an aromatic; it seems to me very imprecise–it’s very difficult to reproduce a perfume exactly if you start with a concrete. I suppose you could weigh the aromatic in question to be precise. It seems to me to be a very messy prospect.


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