Poesie Perfume

Eclectic and charming adventures in fragrance

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Some thoughts on designing your fragrance...

We suggest choosing three main notes and 2 - 5 accent notes. Generally speaking selecting notes from more than one category will make for a less linear fragrance with a more interesting arch from the initial application to the drydown. Fragrances without top notes (those notes you smell first and are quickest to fade) can be heavy, linear, and sit close to the skin. Fragrances without base notes (those that linger longest on the skin and come to the forefront with the other notes have evaporated) will not last as long. We've listed the categories in order from the lightest (citrus) to the heaviest (musk/leather) to make it easier.

You can also start with any of our current fragrances and add your own spin, combine existing fragrances, or both. Your imagination is the only limit!

It may help to have a pen and paper handy (or a Google spreadsheet if that's how you roll). You'll select your notes and percentages on the next page.


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Citrus

  • Bergamot - sweet, balanced citrus popular in perfumery and used in Earl Grey tea
  • Fresh Citrus - our blend of lemon, lime, and orange designed to last longer than a typical citrus top note
  • Grapefruit, Ruby Red - fresh and sweet citrus with a hint of bitterness
  • Grapefruit, White - crisp, dry grapefruit with a hint of bitterness
  • Kaffir Lime Leaf - unique aromatic citrus different than that of lime peel, sweet and green
  • Lemon - bright, fresh odor of lemon peel
  • Lemongrass - fresh, citrus note with elements of green
  • Lime - zesty scent of lime peel
  • Orange, Bitter - zesty, sharp note with a dry citrus aroma
  • Orange, Blood - juicy sweet citrus with hints of berry
  • Orange, Sweet - sweet scent of fresh orange juice
  • Tangerine - sweet-tart and zesty citrus aroma
  • Yellow Mandarin - fresh, sweet, tangy, and slightly floral citrus aroma
  • Yuzu - citrus note with hint of bitter sharpness similar to grapefruit

Citrus notes are somewhat fleeting notes in perfumery, so keep that in mind when designing your fragrance. They add a lovely opening to any perfume.

 

We recommend using a limited amount of herbal/spicy notes as they can easily take over a blend. As accent notes, they can add freshness, warmth, and depth to a blend.

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Herbal/Spicy

  • Allspice - warm spicy note with hints of clove and cinnamon
  • Anise - herbal licorice note with hints of green
  • Basil - green, herbaceous note with hints of licorice
  • Bay Rum - spicy-sweet note with nuances of clove
  • Cardamom - warm, aromatic note reminiscent of ginger
  • Cinnamon - spicy-sweet, warm note with a hint of powderiness 
  • Clary Sage - fresh, herbaceous note with a hint of bitterness; tenacious
  • Clove - rich, warm, spicy scent with elements of fruitiness
  • Coriander - sweet and woody spice, with a hint of citrus
  • Cumin - dry and somewhat peppery spice note
  • Eucalyptus - aromatic green note with a camphorous aspect
  • Ginger - warm, spicy slightly woody note with a lively zing
  • Nutmeg - woody spice note that adds warmth
  • Pepper, Black - spicy and dry, somewhat woody note
  • Peppercorn, Pink - dry, warm and slightly sweet spice note with a hint of citrus
  • Peppermint - cooling, green herbaceous note
  • Rosemary - herbaceous green woody note reminiscent of pine
  • Thyme - fresh, herbaceous note with some sweetness and a hint of pepper
  • White Sage - green, herbal, somewhat camphorous aromatic note

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Fruit

  • Apple - sweet and juicy, slightly starchy apple
  • Apricot - soft, sweet fruit with hints of honey and leather
  • Banana - barely ripe banana
  • Blackberry - rich, slightly sour, somewhat musky berry
  • Blueberry - tart realistic berry note
  • Cherry - sweet-tart berry with hints of almond
  • Fig - fresh fruit with hints of green and a milky component
  • Green Pear - sweet, juicy, realistic pear
  • Lychee - watery, fresh tropical fruit note with hints of rose
  • Mango - deep, sweet and succulent tropical fruit note
  • Peach Skin - realistic sweet and nectarous peach
  • Pineapple - sweet, fresh and true to life tropical fruit
  • Plum - juicy fruit note with a succulent sweetness
  • Raspberry - ripe almost floral berry note
  • Red Fruit - a crisp, juicy blend of red apple, pomegranate, and berries
  • Starfruit - tropical, slightly sour fruit note
  • Strawberry - fresh and sweet, realistic berry
  • Watermelon - fresh and aqueous melon

Fruit notes blend easily with most other elements and typically function as top and mid-notes of a fragrance. They are especially lovely with florals and gourmand notes, but use your imagination!

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Gourmand/Boozy

  • Absinthe - aromatic and herbal note with hints of anise
  • Almond - soft, bittersweet note with hints of floralcy
  • Black Tea (Darjeeling) - floral and slightly spicy black tea note
  • Brown Sugar - sweet sugar note with hints of molasses
  • Butter - creamy and sweet note
  • Champagne - sparkling note with hints of champagne grapes and citrus
  • Chocolate - bittersweet and somewhat fruity chocolate with hints of dusty cocoa
  • Coffee - very dark, bitter coffee bean with a hint of fruitiness
  • Cotton Candy - light, sweet sugar note
  • Cream - sweet, lactonic note
  • Dulce de Leche - sweet caramel and cream accord
  • Earl Grey Tea - light black tea with bergamot
  • Gin - aromatic, bracing note of juniper berry
  • Gingerbread - dark and sticky sweet, spicy gingerbread with notes of honey
  • Green Tea - light, refreshing accord evocative of green tea with hints of grassiness
  • Hazelnut - nutty and slightly wood and sweet note
  • Horchata - milky and lightly sweet blend of almonds and rice with cinnamon and vanilla
  • Marshmallow Buttercream - sweet and slightly powdery marshmallow with decadent notes of butter
  • Pecan Praline - toasted pecans wrapped in buttery, sweet candy
  • Pink Marshmallow - our marshmallow accord with hints of red berries
  • Pistachio - sweet nut with hints of bitter and green
  • Pumpkin Pie - sweet, creamy cooked pumpkin blended with warm fall spices
  • Rum - sweet boozy accord with notes of molasses
  • Salted Caramel - sensual, buttery-sweet note with hints of salt
  • Toasted Coconut - tropical sweet, nutty note
  • Vanilla Bean - sweet, slightly dry vanilla
  • Vanilla Cake - soft, tender cake accord with notes of butter and vanilla
  • Vanilla Custard - gourmand vanilla with notes of cream
  • Vanille - non-foody, gourmand vanilla reminiscent of vanilla extract
  • White Cake - sweet cake note with hints of vanilla and almond
  • Wildflower Honey - sweet, true to life, vegan honey accord with hints of floralcy

Floral

  • Blue Poppy - fantasy floral note; powdery vanilla with hints of earthiness
  • Carnation - spicy floral with hints of clove
  • Frangipani - tropical, sweet and slightly fruity white floral (also called plumeria)
  • Freesia - green and slightly peppery fresh floral
  • Gardenia - lush, narcotic white floral with hints of green
  • Geranium - fresh and rosy floral with hints of green
  • Heather - unusually herbaceous, aromatic and fresh floral
  • Honeysuckle - sweet floral with hints of fruit and honey
  • Iris - powdery, starchy floral
  • Jamaica Rosewater - fresh and tart melange of jamaica flower and rosewater
  • Jasmine - narcotic white floral with hints of fruitiness
  • Lavender - fresh, aromatic but sweet floral note
  • Lily of the Valley - green, fresh, sweet delicate floral also called muguet
  • Neroli - fruity-sweet and slightly woody floral with hints of honey and orange
  • Orange Blossom - fresh, sweet white floral with a hint of citrus fruit
  • Peony - light, fresh floral
  • Rose, Pink - sweet floral with hints of green and metallic notes
  • Rose, Tea - slightly fruity, sweet rose
  • Rose, Red - fresh cut red rose with notes of green stem
  • Stargazer Lily - true to life, spicy sweet floral with hints of creamy fruitiness
  • Violet, Candied - sweet, slightly powdery floral
  • Violet, Woody - earthier, less sweet take on the violet note
  • Ylang Ylang - pungent tropical white floral with hints jasmine, green, and banana

Florals work well in virtually any blend and can add roundness and a natural element to a fragrance. Even you're not a big fan of straight up floral scents, consider adding a floral note as an accent to your main accords.

 

Gourmands can work together to make a delectable edible-smelling scent or blend with contrasting accords like florals and woods for something more daring. Vanilla notes in particular work beautifully with almost anything to add depth and extend the fragrance. 

Green/Woody/Earthy

  • Balsam Fir - balsamic, sweet green note with hints of jam
  • Cedarwood - clean, dry, woody note with some sweetness
  • Clover - sweet, balsamic green note with hints of hay
  • Cypress Leaf - fresh, green coniferous note with slight lemony edge 
  • Damp Earth - slightly sweet earthy accord like freshly overturned humus
  • Dried Leaves - sweet but dry accord with a hint of hay and honey
  • Forest - balsamic, green conifers and an underlying note of earth
  • Fresh Cut Grass - sweet, fresh, and green note
  • Galbanum - bitter and earthy green note (small amount recommended)
  • Ivy Leaf - green note with a hint of spiciness, like a freshly crushed ivy leaf
  • Mahogany - dry wood accord with a slightly spicy note
  • Oakmoss - bitter, green and slightly powdery note
  • Oud - musky, slightly nutty and sweet wood accord
  • Patchouli - earthy and sweet note with hints of balsam and wood
  • Petrichor - the sweet fresh scent of earth dampened by rain
  • Silver Fir - dry and refreshing, coniferous note
  • Vetiver - earthy, green woody note with elements of smoke
  • Violet Leaf - fresh, green note that is slightly watery and adds a metallic edge
  • White Sandalwood - rich, sweet wood note with something of a milky aspect

 

 

 

 

 

Most earthy and woody notes act as a base and help your fragrance last longer. They can fit perfectly into almost any style of fragrance, whether it's sandalwood with a nutty sweet gourmand or vetiver with a dark smoky, unisex blend.

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Atmospheric

  • Blood - the salty iron tang of blood
  • Ink - true to life ink accord based on the smell of Japanese ink
  • Metallic - the cold, clean, and dry scent of metal
  • Old Book - the slightly sweet smell of aged pages and leathery covers
  • Pipe Tobacco - rich, sweet, slightly spicy accord with hints of dried fruit, leather, and vanilla
  • Seaside - salty ocean water and fresh sea air
  • Summer Rainstorm - rainwater, petrichor, ozone, and damp foliage
  • Sun-dried Cotton - clean, fresh accord with crisp notes of ozone
  • Thurible - church incense accord featuring frankincense, myrrh, sandalwood and spice
  • Woodsmoke  -- the smell of a wood fire

 

Atmospherics include some of our most unique notes. They range in longevity but whichever one you choose, it will add a special twist to your bespoke fragrance.

 

Balsamic and resinous notes are some of the most ancient perfumes and can work with any category of fragrance.

 

Warm Balsamic/Resin/Aldehyde

  • Aldehyde - a vivid, classic topnote used most notably in Chanel No. 5
  • Amber, Sweet - classic perfume ingredient that adds a warm, rich note
  • Amber, White - a drier version of amber with addition of an incense note
  • Benzoin - a slightly sweet balsamic note with a hint of vanilla
  • Dragon’s Blood - warm, spicy incense blend inspired by the natural resin
  • Elemi - lemony, peppery resin which adds a fresh note
  • Frankincense - resin with notes of citrus, pepper, and conifers
  • Labdanum - warm, spicy-sweet animalic note used in amber
  • Mellis Accord - our recreation of the historic perfume accord commonly used in oriental fragrances; best described as a barely sweetened floral/hay note with hints of green and spice
  • Mousse de Saxe Accord - our recreation of the historic perfume accord featuring geranium, licorice, and leather notes; best described as sweet and mossy with hints of anise, bitter green and leather
  • Myrrh - natural resin note with a warm, earthy aroma and slight spiciness

Musk/Leather

  • Ambergris - a sensual musky, salty-sweet note that adds depth 
  • Black Musk - a dirty, animalic musk with notes of fruit, leather, and smoke
  • Cashmere Musk - slightly woody-spicy musk note with a fuzzy feel
  • Clean Musk - white musk accord with a somewhat soapy feel
  • Dry Vanilla Musk - clean skin musk accord with notes of dry vanilla and wood
  • Fruity Musk - fresh musk with hints of fruit
  • Leather Jacket - deep, somewhat bitter, leather accord
  • Red Musk - musk accord with notes of spicy, warm incense
  • Skin Musk - salty-sweet and slightly animalic musk
  • Suede - soft, warm leather accord
  • Velvet Musk - soft, somewhat powdery musk accord
  • White Musk - radiant white musk with hints of berry and florals

 

Musks are the foundation of almost every scent and help make it last. Don't be afraid to use a high percentage of musk -- pick one that has notes related to your other notes and the musk will support them without overpowering.