Clients who wish to collaborate with perfumer, Darren Alan (that's me), to create for them a custom fragrance or perfume may add this option to their cart to begin the bespoke perfume-making process.
This fee includes:
- One 60-minute consultation (online or in person) for us to begin the process of creating your custom perfume
- Three 2.5mL Preliminary Approval Samples
- Two formula revisions based on your feedback on which of the Preliminary Approval Samples you decide to pursue
- One 10mL Final Approval Sample
- One 50mL hand blended bespoke perfume, supplied in a luxury Pochet glass bottle with spray atomizer & custom printed label (you choose the perfume's name)
This fee is for the above services & products using my standard palette of accords, essential oils, absolutes, resins & tinctures. If you desire to upgrade your perfume by the addition of premium materials, such as genuine Oud (Agarwood), real geo-tagged Mysore Sandalwood, etc...this can be done for an additional materials fee to cover the extra expense of those particular ingredients.
Additional approval samples, lab time and/or video consultations may be purchased for an added cost on a case-by-case basis.
Prior to our appointment, you will be sent a questionnaire and a fragrance test, as well as be required to supply a brief which describes the final fragrance to be created. I ask that you complete these forms and return them to me. This will help me get an idea of what you are looking for so that our time together will be more productive and I can get to know your fragrance likes and dislikes. This will make the process much more efficient & enjoyable for us both.
Working with a perfumer to create a custom fragrance is an interactive process that takes time...Time to create, time to test, time to revise, and time to allow the perfume samples to age & mature before moving forward with the final perfume. Bespoke perfumery is an ART that takes patience and time. If you are not a patient person and are expecting a custom perfume to be shipped 3 days after our consultation, then this type of endeavor is not for you. Perhaps sample a few of our hand-blended artisanal perfumes. They are very unique and are not mass-marketed. You will not smell like anybody else that you meet, I can almost guarantee that! You can expect the whole custom perfume creation process to take approximately 1-3 months (including mailing samples back & forth, formula revision, etc) all depending on the complexity & specificity of your requirements. If you have any questions in the meantime, please feel free to email and I will be happy to oblige.
Custom Perfume FAQs:
Q: Will my perfume really be custom? How do I know that you will not make my formula for someone else?
A: Your perfume will be 100% custom. That means that YOU choose the notes that go into it. YOU have the final say on how your perfume smells, and YOU alone have access to its formula. Your custom fragrance will never be worn by another person (not even to test as a sample of my work). Your custom perfume formula will be put into your client file for future refills & nobody will have access to it unless you decide otherwise.
Q: Do you have a list of notes (ingredients/smells) I can pick from? How do I know what materials would smell good together?
A: I literally have thousands of perfume ingredients in my lab. If you desire a particular note or ingredient to be in your perfume that I do not have, then I most likely can get it for you. If I cannot find a natural source for your desired ingredient, then I will create an accord to replicate that smell. Remember...we will be creating art together. You would not ask a painter for a list of what paints he has when commissioning a portrait. Do not worry about what smells go well together. That is my job. I take the framework of the idea that you give me and turn it into a glorious work of art. You can be as much (or little) involved in this process as you like. But I do ask that at the onset you work collaboratively with me until I have a clear understanding of where we are going with your fragrance. After all, YOU are the one who will be wearing it, so it should represent your personality.
Q: I have a favorite perfume that has been discontinued. Can you custom make me a replica of that perfume?
A: Yes I can, but I won't. I view perfumery as an art. You are coming to me to create something unique & original just for you. You would not go to an artist for a custom painting & then ask them to copy the Mona Lisa. I have done this type of replicating as part of my training, but I find it restrictive, boring & uninspiring. I am only interested in creating something new & unique. I have no interest in copying the work of others.
Q: Why are your perfumes only around 80% to 90% natural? Can you make it all-natural for me?
A: Yes and No. Let me explain...I typically create perfumes with around 80% to 90% natural materials, which is much higher than the commercial fragrances you might buy at the mall or at online perfume discounters. Commercial perfumes use typically only 1-5% natural materials. They mainly contain synthetic molecules. However, some effects in a perfume can only be obtained through the use of synthetic molecules. I try to use the minimal amount of synthetics as possible, but based on the notes you want in your perfume, their use may be unavoidable. Here's why:
- Some flowers & fruits do not produce an essential oil that can be distilled (like in the case of watermelon, or lilac). The scent molecules in some plants are so delicate that they cannot undergo the distillation process without breaking down & losing their aroma. In these cases, I will use my talent & training to create accords (or mixtures) of other ingredients that will end up smelling like the desired ingredient.
- Some natural perfume ingredients are banned for safety reasons (some of which can cause severe skin reactions). In these cases, I will use a synthetic version of that note which is skin-safe (unless directed otherwise by the client), or I will create an accord to duplicate the smell of that ingredient with materials that are safe.
- Some natural ingredients are not used for ethical reasons (like certain animal musks that require for the animal to be illegally killed or harmed to retrieve the musk). In these cases, again, I either use synthetic representations or botanical accords that approximate their smell & functionality in the perfume. I do have access to ethically sourced animal musks which can be used if the client desires them, but I typically do not use these materials unless requested to do so by the client.
I have made 100% natural perfumes before & although they were lovely, naturals inflate the price of the final perfume dramatically & are much softer and often not as long-lasting as perfumes that use a blend of natural & synthetic ingredients. A 100% natural perfume is delicate & intimate, but typically does not project very well and does not display the same level of longevity as synthetic aroma molecules.
Q: I get what you're saying, but I don't want to put chemicals on my skin. How do I know the perfume you create will be safe?
A: Good question! First let me address the term "chemicals". Everything on this planet is made from chemicals. Water is a chemical. Lavender essential oil is made up of chemicals. Just because something is "natural" doesn't make it safe (poison ivy essential oil anyone?), and just because a perfumery ingredient is made synthetically doesn't make it unsafe. Synthetic perfume molecules are often MORE SAFE than their natural counterparts. That's one of the reasons that large corporations use them (in addition to keeping the cost realistic). I just prefer to use natural ingredients whenever possible. I feel that it gives my work a dimension of nuance & realism that cannot be obtained by the use of synthetic molecules alone. I spend hours doing formula calculations & running my formulas through formulation software to make sure that all of the ingredients I put into the final perfume are used in percentages that are safe & comply with IFRA safety standards. If a perfume does not comply with IFRA standards (as in the case with a few of my historic perfume recreations), then I make that fact very clear in the product description.
Q: What if I don't like the perfume we create, even after I receive the final approval sample?
A: I will work with you. My goal is for you to ADORE your bespoke perfume. I can honestly say that in the decades I have done this work, I have never failed to astound a client with their custom fragrance. I realize that this is a luxury & I will do everything I can along the way to keep the project on track. Communication between us is key to a successful final product. I will ask you LOTS of questions if I feel you are unsure of what you want. And we will not move forward until we are both satisfied with the samples. I will evaluate the request for additional changes to the formula or additional samples on a case-by-case basis. But please be aware that although I may choose to provide an additional sample or formula change, I will ALWAYS charge for my time. Time I am working on your project is time that I cannot devote to another job. This work is very time consuming & my time is valuable, as is yours.
Q: Is there some way for me to reorder a refill of my perfume once I run out? Do I need to pay for the consultation, development & samples again in the future if there are no changes to the original formula?
A: Another good question! The consultation fee, development & testing fees & sample fees are included in the original price of the package. Once your formula is finalized, it is stored in your client file. If you want to reorder the same fragrance again in the future, you will only be charged the actual cost of the final perfume. This price varies based on the cost & availability of the raw materials in your perfume. But you will not be charged for consultation & development fees, etc. if I am merely following the same formula to make you a refill.
Q: Do I need to mail my empty bottle back to you in order to be refilled?
A: No. The crimp bottles we use are permanently sealed to avoid leakage & evaporation. We will not really "refill" your bottle....we will ship you a new bottle of perfume when you re-order in the future.
Q: Can I request that my perfume come in a special style or shape bottle?
A: Perhaps....I have stock 50mL luxury glass bottles from Pochet France that I use for my fragrances. They are heavy glass with a fantastic atomizer and are the highest quality bottles I could find. Bottle manufacturers do not sell single bottles to perfumers...we must buy them by the case. I do have sources for some specialty hand cut crystal perfume bottles & connections who can procure vintage/antique perfume bottles, but these options are costly & some of the antique bottles may out-cost the price of the perfume. They also may not provide an air-tight seal for the perfume. These are specialty add-ons that are available but not the choice of most clients. I am happy to discuss custom packaging options with you...but please be aware that I am not an antique perfume bottle dealer, or a packaging designer. I am trained as a perfumer & my talent lies with making the magic happen INSIDE the bottle.
Q: My question wasn't asked or answered here. Now what?
A: Please send an email to us using the contact link & I will be happy to answer any questions about creating your custom perfume.
2 Reviews Hide Reviews Show Reviews
After discussing my tastes in fragrances a perfume was developed and it truly is magic in a bottle. It is so uniquely me. It smells gorgeous, it lasts all day and you can tell it is a high end product. When I wear this perfume I feel so special and it is SEXY!!! My Boyfriend LOVES it!!! Everyone that has smelled it on me asks what it is! Truly a talented perfumer!
PSF re-made a favorite discontinued perfume of mine - even better! Something special just for me. Thank you!