Saturday, February 23, 2013

Formulas and line extensions

    When a new perfume is a hit (an event less common than you might imagine) the marketer wants to cash in on this success and commonly does so by creating brand extensions -- accessory fragrance products such as soaps, shampoos, and spa products. Then later, different versions of the original -- "XYZ Blue," "XYZ Summer," "XYZ 2013," and whatever. Each time trying to squeeze more profit out of the sometimes unexpected success.

    As the market expands and the product range becomes broader, adjustments must be made to the original formula. The aroma chemistry that works for a fine fragrance may not be suitable for a shampoo or body wash. Chemical conflicts are resolved by reformulating the scent to maintain the odor while eliminating the chemical conflicts.

    I've done some "line extensions" with several of my own fragrances and I'm working at going through my whole fragrance lineup, scent by scent. But I haven't gone into soap, or shampoo, or body wash, or massage oil. I've simply begun to create solid perfume samplers from my original fragrances.

    Why? Shipping simplicity is one reason. But sampling is a larger reason. Since (some) people are reluctant to buy a perfume they've never smelled from a website they don't know much about, from a person who is equally unknown to them ... I decided to make life simple. Samples that anyone can afford on an impulse buy along with shipping that is cheap and simple. But let's talk a little about formulas -- how closely do the formulas of these solid perfumes match the formulas of their originals?

From alcohol and water
to beeswax and jojoba

    My fine fragrances are made from alcohol, (sometimes) water, and fragrance. (I won't get into the "natural" vs "synthetic" argument here as my views on this topic are well known.)

    The fragrance oil in most cases (even the men's fragrances!) is 20 percent by volume of the finished fragrance, meaning the fragrance oil has been diluted so that 4 parts out of 5 are alcohol, or alcohol and water.

    But to make solid perfume I use beeswax and jojoba (which looks like an oil but really isn't.)

    In the solid perfume I'm currently using about 9 percent fragrance compound to 91 percent beeswax and jojoba. Nine percent seems (to me) to be plenty strong, although I'm still experimenting with proportions.

    But the fragrance oil being used in the solids is EXACTLY the same fragrance oil being used in the fine fragrances. There has been no change in the formula.

But, in a different medium, what do you get?

    Ethyl alcohol is used as a solvent in perfumery due to its lack of a conspicuous odor. Jojoba shares this quality.

    But beeswax -- straight from the hive (which is what I've been using) -- carries with it a slight aroma of ... honey!

    So when you use "straight from the hive" beeswax to make solid perfume, beeswax as "natural" as beeswax can get, you bring along with it a slight aroma of honey which now blends with your fragrance, changing it slightly, enhancing it perhaps, certainly not spoiling it, but creating something somewhat "different" than the original fine fragrance scent.


    The solid perfumes I've done come out very close in scent to my fine fragrance originals and so I'm happy to offer them just as they are. Currently I have solids in three scents. Soon there will be more. You can find them at if you're interested. They are quite affordable.

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