4. Have my own signature fragrance made for me

perfume-making 1

To be honest, this ‘brave’ activity has caused some consternation amongst those who know me. I have long been known to actively dislike fragrance… The last time I wore perfume myself, I was probably 21; I wear unperfumed deodorant; I have never wanted my man to wear aftershave; I run through the perfumeries of department stores daring the assistants to come near me… You get the picture. However, more recently I have begun to enjoy aromatherapy based scents, which led me to decide that maybe it was time to put to bed my anti-perfume stance and try to find a fragrance that suited me. And what better way to do that than to have one made uniquely for myself?

I have known Kerry Voke (www.perfumology.co.uk) for some years – she is a fragrance stylist, so making my fragrance with her seemed like a pretty good idea. Through serendipity or otherwise, just a couple of weeks later I found myself at a charity auction to which Kerry had donated a 1-on-1 perfume-making experience. I bid, I won, and I booked… and today we did the deed!

Kerry arrived and began to set up her perfume kitchen, whilst I disclosed my long-standing dislike of perfume, air fresheners etc etc. Even in the full knowledge of the mountainous task ahead, she kept smiling. We sat at my dining room table and Kerry explained about how fragrances were put together (middle, base and top notes) and how we were going to make mine. Then we started to ‘scent-test’, each different note on the end of a small cardboard stick. My instructions were to ‘go with my gut’ and put each stick perfume-making 4into a definite yes / definite no / not sure pile.  If the scents became overwhelming, I had a small bag of coffee-beans to smell, which would serve to ground my olfactory system. As I smelled each scent, Kerry explained what I may be
able to detect – spices, florals, fruit, grass, musk – what associations may come from the scent, and what commercial scents it was most akin to. This was more technical than I thought!

Once we had compiled a selection of notes that I liked, we then began to play with the combinations and proportions. We added extra of some, halved others, wafted the sticks under my nose. And then we had a cup of tea…. a welcome breather to let my nose and brain settle before making my final choice! One confirmatory waft of the selected sticks, and I was certain that I was happy with my blend. I would describe it as a spicy, exotic fragrance… and the information card which Kerry carried suggested I had chosen scents which convey sensuality, fun, ease, boldness, warmth.

So, Kerry began the calculations and the mixing into my perfume bottle. Carefully measured pipettes of fragrance were added and then shaken to blend, and I was presented with my gorgeous black spray bottle with diamante lid. My own signature fragrance… and I love it. perfume-making 3


Thank you, Kerry for a fabulous afternoon. I’m looking forward to enjoying my new fragrance.




[four down, 46 to go]


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