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My name is Eric, and I am a bit obsessed with fragrances


New member
Jan 10, 2021
Hi everyone,

I have been occasionally stalking around Basenotes for about a year now looking for hints on fragrance blending. I figured it is about time to join in a bit. I am a 60 ish year old recently retired scientist living in Jamaica Plain (part of Boston). Until about two years ago I had no interest in fragrances whatsoever. It's kind of like I never crossed paths with fragrances in a way that captured my attention until two years ago as we all started sitting inside a lot to avoid Covid. For some reason that I forget, I decided to buy an essential oil diffuser and some oils. I was struck by how wonderful and vivid the oils smelled, so I started buying a bunch of them, like rose, jasmine, frankincense, sandalwood etc. They were incredible! Then of course I started to mix them up a bit.

After a few months, I realized that perfume is where the action is when it comes to fragrance. I almost felt like I had been deaf and now could hear. I became fairly obsessed. For example, as soon as you look up "Jasmin" , you find that there are various types and sources and fragrances presenting them etc. And then I discovered Fragrantica and it was all over! I was down the rabbit hole!

I think I might have given up on fragrances if I had not happened upon the work of Teone Reinthal quite early on. That was pure luck. I thought "natural" was interesting and started trying her fragrances. Now, after sampling hundreds of fragrances and blending on my own for the past year, I know just how amazingly good Teone is at creating perfumes. I've sampled almost all of her work and I own about 20 of them. Here are a few that I love very much: Arjuna, D'Aguiar, Irises, Pagan Oud, Kodama, and Aguru. I continue to follow her work very closely. She is my touchstone.

I spent a lot of my career working in labs being "creative" at a bench. I also brewed beer as a hobby for about 30 years. I am used to working to create things on my own. Naturally, I thought I should make my own perfume! How hard could it be! Well, I now know that it is nearly impossible for the average human like me to make real perfume. If fact, after as year or more of dabbling away and collecting ingredients, I have not made anything that I would give to a stranger and say "try my perfume". My family is a different matter... Fortunately, I enjoy the activity and the ingredients themselves enough to stay interested and excited. And I still feel like it should be possible. We'll see!

I think I know that part of the reason my blending is average is that I have not had the patience to slow down and do the work of understanding how different parts behave and interact in a careful way. I'm starting to do that now. Which brings me to Basenotes. This group reminds me of the way hobby beer brewers shared information. Brewing really good beer is also quite challenging, if somewhat low brow in comparison. It was more that 10 years before I brewed excellent beer. Interestingly, the reason I pushed on was my enjoyment of the aroma of the hops, grains and yeast!

It has become clear to me recently that I need a specific blending focus as a project to take it to the next level. I've decided to try to create my idea of what Chanel No 19 might have once been like. Even though I don't know! I like green fragrances and I like fragrances with a bite to them- something sharp or bitter (example: Gardener's Glove by St. Clair Scents). The historical context of #19 is also interesting to me, as is the "treasure hunt" feel of the pursuit. This may sound very ambitious, but I am already on my way with enough positive feedback that I am encouraged.

By the way, though I love the depth and richness of natural materials , I am also using synthetic aroma chemicals. After all, even the original Chanel No 19 featured hedione very prominently.

Thank you all for sharing the way that you do! I may start a thread on my Chanel No 19 project once I get a little further.

Eric from Boston

The first fragrance I bought with my own money was... Diorissimo for my wife about 40 years ago. And no fragrances since then until recently. We still own that bottle from the 1980s and it still smells fantastic!

My favorite fragrances is.... Arjuna by Teone Retinal. She and her husband hand tinctured Murraya paniculata blossoms to make it. It is a white floral with a sharp opening with a progression to a smooth sandalwood dry down. I've tried to make something like it and I get creamsicle every time. Help!

😋 Your favourite food... Pizza, I am originally from a suburb of New York

😎 Has anyone ever told you that you look like someone famous? When I was younger- Jim Carrey. Not some much now, which is probably a good thing!

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