Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Basics of the Fragrance Wheel

Perfumer Michael Edwards developed the fragrance wheel in 1983 to help simplify the relationship of each fragrance category.

(click on picture to enlarge for better viewing)

Scent like color has its categories. The fragrance wheel above shows the four main categories and with their sub-categories, along with a center place called Fougere.

Familiarize yourself with the categories Fresh, Woody, Oriental, Floral, & Fougere and their position with each other on the wheel. Of this five, Fougere is the only one that is not sub-divided; it has more of a universal appeal & generally blends well in any group. Lavender and Oakmoss fall in this category, along with the marine notes.

Basic blending rules-

Side by side fragrances on the chart blend well.
Selecting opposites on the wheel are complimentary.
Selecting 3 fragrances that will create a triangle while looking at the wheel will generally compliment each other.

This guide becomes very useful to me when I find myself with little dibs and dabs of fragrance oil or one that just didn’t meet expectations once it was used. It also gives you a chance to have a unique fragrance blend.

Recently I blended 3 different fragrance oils that had just a little left in each bottle. There was about an ounce of Pearberry, two ounces of Ripen Raspberry, and two ounces of one called Fruit & Nuts. The Pearberry and the Raspberry both fell into the floral; the Fruit & Nuts had more woody notes with maybe a floral note. Woody being across from the floral on the wheel, they should compliment.

Since the amounts I had were working out to a 1 part for the Pearberry, and 2 parts with each of the Rasberry and Fruit & Nuts; that’s what was tried first. I dipped one end of a Q-Tip in the Pearberry and put it in a baggie. Using a new Q-Tip I dipped each end in the Raspberry, and did the same with another new Q-Tip with the Fruit & Nuts. Placed them all in the same baggie, and let them set for a little while so the scents would blend. After awhile was able to sniff inside the baggie, and it turned out to be a lovely blend. Carried through very well in a batch of soap, had a very nice berry fragrance with floral notes -perfect for springtime. It may even be one that I will keep blending.


Anonymous said...

That sounds lovely.Pearberry is one of my favs..

Hidden Brook Farm said...

My daughter just loves that scent too.

Jennifer said...

Thanks for the good information. This is why I love your blog. :)

Hidden Brook Farm said...

Thanks Jennifer-I find perfumery very info tense & wish I had the time to get into blending more-play around with the EO's I have, but so many & much to learn & not a cheap investment either.