How are Niche Perfumes made?
Posted on May 29 2016
How are niche perfumes made?
Here at Scent City, we believe that perfumes aren’t constructed – they are created. Perfumes are deeply personal substances, designed to complement or contrast with our personalities. The perfect perfume consists of a series of harmonious notes: top, middle, and base. The music metaphors speak for themselves – the creation of a perfume is an art form in itself. Of course, mass-produced designer and celebrity perfumes may lack a little of this charm – particularly if you stop to consider the processes behind their conception. While big-name designers rely on massive marketing budgets to appeal to consumers, niche perfumes have a quieter voice. Scent City stocks only the finest niche and luxury fragrances, and each has a story behind its creation. While this story is different for every fragrance, the processes behind the manufacture of niche perfumes are similar from case-to-case. We take a look at some of the most important processes in the closely guarded creation of niche perfumes.
How are niche perfumes made?
We all have our favourite scents, but in order for them to be bottled they first need to be extracted. Extraction processes vary depending on the raw materials involved (not to mention the scale of the operation). Most of us will be familiar with pressing (or expression), wherein the plant or fruit is pressed until all the oils are removed. Solvent extraction is perhaps the most common method of oil extraction used in today’s perfume industry, where benzene or petroleum ether are added to the flowers in rotating drums. The result is a thick, waxy substance. Alcohol is added, and the oils rise to the top. Once the alcohol is evaporated, the oils are ready to use. Other methods include steam distillation, effleurage and maceration. Different techniques are effective at capturing oils from different substances. Delicate materials such as jasmine require extraction methods that operate at low temperatures, for example.
Finding the perfect blend
The extraction process provides perfumers with the oils required to start creating the fragrance itself. While celebrity perfumes may simply seek to mimic an established, popular fragrance, niche perfumers use rather more imagination. Expert ‘noses’ study and refine scent combinations to create the ultimate perfume. It’s tricky to describe the process in writing, but we’re assured it takes some time, and no little skill.
The finishing touches
The blend then needs to be combined with alcohol and a small amount of water. The alcohol reduces the potency of the scent. Eau de parfum has a higher concentration of oils, while Eau de toilette contains a greater proportion of alcohol. After this stage, the perfume is ready for the market – but what’s a niche perfume without an equally impressive bottle? The perfumery will team up with a marketing team or designer to craft the perfect bottle for their fragrance. Once all these stages are complete, you’ll find the niche perfume on the high street, or you could buy your niche fragrances online. Lets take Histoires de Parfums for example, a niche perfume brand that tells stories of famous characters, raw materials and mystical years through scent. One of their most iconic fragrance is 1725 Casanova, the story of an Italian adventurer best known for his philandering ways with women.