Dear Reader, it is actually quite an eye opening experience to create your own fragrance. The Berlin based avant-garde perfume house AER Scents lately offers everyone who’s interested a workshop on how to do it yourself. Last week, I was invited to work with Ted and Stefan, to create the first B’SPOQUE scent and discovered, that it’s not as easy as it may seem… 

It’s was a incredibly warm pre-summer day and we started with a glass of wine at the Mitte Office, which has this stunning view over the Rosenthaler Platz, before we headed downstairs, into a bigger room with a school alike setting and many small bottles, testers, a bunch of cookers and other tools, I only remembered from chemistry class. Ted Young-Ing announces, that we won’t start before we inhale the history and the basics of perfuming.

After a thirty minutes presentation, including some digging into our given paperwork, we were asked to select a pre-curated box with diverse categories and classics, such as „Fougère“, „Oriental“, „Citrus“, „Wood & Leather“ or „Flowers“. I worked with the first category, always admiring the special composition of mossy and flowery notes, not knowing, how complex the right measurement would be. With some guidance, my partner Polina and I figured out, how to mix and blend the various notes on testers, before we continued with the actual process and the highly expensive oils. 

Stefan explained how each of us had to start with the mixing and the proportions of the heart note. He furthermore explained, that each ingredient has a certain time span, lasting on the skin or its vaporization into the air. The more we got into the scientific aspects, the less complicated it was to find the right notes. My heart notes circulated around a very salty and airy oregano oil, which reminded me on my days at the beach, paired with lavender and Atlas cedar. After a failed attempt, I got my thoughts together and found the right balance for my „Eau de Parfum“.  

Little things seem nothing, but they give peace, like those meadow flowers which individually seem odorless but all together perfume the air.

Georges Bernanos

The base note was a bit trickier, but Ted suggested some oils from his collection: he changed the vetiver and offered a greener, lighter version from Haiti which we paired with tonka bean, earthy patchouli and benzoin. Finished this, we matched compatibility of the base with the heart note on testers and put the cookers aside, covered with paper to avoid the immediate vaporization. The last task was to create a fresh and flowery top note, as a sort of entrance for the previously established „rooms“ as Stefan has visualized the essential structure of perfumes before. Again, with a little input from Stefan, I combined grapefruit, ginger, basil (another special suggestion) and tarragon to fully round up the creation and in this case close my little excursion with the art of perfume making. Before we blended all notes together and experienced the scent in its full glory for the first time, some more testing was required to get the right balance. 

The very last and most thrilling step for me was the labeling, after we filled our 15 ml bottles. Completing the whole process after almost three hours of exciting work, continuously testing, balancing out notes and oils, it was how we experienced every scent with mind and body, which was impressing me the most.

Clouds of unique compositions were wandering around the room, while all workshop members were excited and curious about the different variations from the others. After everyone presented their results, we sat down and had one or two more glasses of wine, chatting, while the evening slowly faded away. △

#AERSCENTS

More details and dates about the workshop on: aerscents

Alexandre Renaldy
Posted by:Alexandre Renaldy

Editor in Chief, Work: The Corner Berlin, flair magazine, H.O.M.E.; Signature Places, Vestiaire Collective, EVE images, B'SPOQUE magazine etc.