What's your creative process like?


Super Member
Sep 7, 2022
Hope it's okay to post a question like this in the DIY forum.

Perfumery should be treated as a science, and one that requires research, knowledge, and thorough lab safety. But it's also an art, and it's the art side that drew us all into this hobby in the first place, right?

So I'm curious: hobbyist perfumers, what is your creative process like? What inspires you? What drives you to create what you do? Why did you get into DIY perfumery in the first place?

I've only played with very basic DIY perfumery myself, combining some naturals and getting to know a range of materials. I'm planning to go all in this summer once I move to a larger place that can accommodate a sensible lab setup. But that doesn't stop me from jotting down ideas all day long for things I know I'm years of learning away from finishing myself. Sometimes it's things around me in my day-to-day life: unusual combinations of smells, underutilized materials, particular emotions and states I'd like to capture.

But what really gets me going is storytelling. My favorite ideas, the ones I research and whittle into lists of materials to buy, are inevitably connected to stories. Books I've read, songs I've heard, that sort of thing. I had an idea yesterday based on a folk song that was stuck in my head and now it's ballooned into a list of 50+ materials, split up into ten different individual accords I'd like to someday build, learning from each along the way.

I'm not really a perfumer (yet) and don't want to dominate the conversation with my dreaming and inexperience. But I'm curious. Seasoned perfumers, what is the creative side of this hobby like for you?
Oct 11, 2022
I get my sparks of inspiration during solitary moments. It could happen when I'm taking a walk in the forest, washing dishes, cooking a meal or even while cleaning the chicken coop. It can happen anytime, anywhere, but usually when I'm alone deep with my thoughts.
Then I sketch out rough proportions to manifest my idea. I make a few trials of a simple accord that can convey my idea.
I work on this accord until my proportions are correct. Then I add things slowly at each trial, always making sure I'm not getting lost.
It can take me a while but this approach works for me and I end up with a good perfume without wasting too much materials.

When I get asked to create a specific perfume or to try to replicate something a customer likes, then my approach is a little more cautious.
I study the different versions of the said perfume. Sometimes the customer only has an old bottle from the 80's to show for, and I have to figure out what the top notes were, it has made me read a lot of reviews on Frangantica ! Some perfume houses drastically change the compositions because of IFRA or cost-cutting.
I enjoy these requests, it's like going on a hunt, I have such a different approach. I buy decants and study them, I also study the family of perfume it's from. When I know what direction I'm taking, I buy the materials that I'm missing and I get to work slow and steady.
Without a GC/MS, I can never replicate something with good fidelity, but most of the time, I end up with something that pleases my customer.

My approach has always been to have fun while doing it, so it doesn't feel like work to me.
I also forgot to mention that sometimes I get great inspiration from my accords library.
There are things I could not properly appreciate when I had my face into it.
Time passes, the nose gets refreshed, the molecules evolve and there are literally treasures of inspiration hiding in the drawers of my desk...


Basenotes Member
Sep 15, 2020
When i random walking, or going through the park, imagining things start happen, everything i see in that moment, my brain recept it and use it as a refference to create images, some like a photoshoot.
Some photoshoot when i see, it gives me a note.
I always have earpods in my ear everywhere i go, and listening to a particular music, i can assimilate it with some AC.
For example:
This i can assimilate with Ylang-Ylang, and Dimethyl Hydroquinone.

When i want to start a new project, i listen to all kind of music, and explore pinterest to find photoshoots that it give me impression of a note.
After i finish to search enough photos, i use objects as a refference for a specific AC or EO.
For example Dark leaves it gives me an impression of vetiver haiti EO, and pollenal ii.
Green apricot give me impression of agrumea.


Basenotes Junkie
Oct 26, 2021
I am not very poetic, often for me all start from a random idea or particular nuance to achieve, but nothing like a big story to tell. Simply i think to create something that reflect an idea of smell that I have in that moment, that step after step can also change and also become more vivid.
Sometimes for more reason, i dont reach to make precisely what i want, and I change work in progress, or also abandon.
Smelling perfumes that I love also give me new ideas of what I like, and for particular facets to learn.

Latest News

Whatever your taste in perfume, we've got you covered...

catalogue your collection, keep track of your perfume wish-list, log your daily fragrance wears, review your latest finds, seek out long-lost scented loves, keep track of the latest perfume news, find your new favourite fragrance, and discuss perfume with like-minded people from all over the world...