5 Steps to Make Your Own Perfume

Have you ever dreamed about your perfect scent? Now you can make that dream come true! My dear Alivia and I visited GN Perfume Studio in Bangbae-dong, Seoul, in quest of our signature scents. Here are five steps to concocting essential oils to create a DIY perfume that you’ll cherish for life.

1. Dream about your signature scent

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Before the DIY perfume session, Alivia and I talked about what fragrances we wanted to create. Alivia wanted a well-balanced woody floral scent. She was looking to replace her signature scent, a discontinued Vivienne Westwood perfume called Naughty Alice. Since it was winter, I wanted to work with woody scents, warm vanilla and perhaps a touch of lavender.
2. Pick the base note

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First step to making your own perfume is choosing the base note or dominant scent. GN Perfumery’s Ki Young gave us 7 options: floral, fruity, chocolatey, cool floral, aftershave-like, citrus-like and woody. Both Alivia and I picked agarwood.
3. Choose the additives

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After picking out the base note, it’s time to work on the additives.
We smelled over 50 scents in groups of citrus, fruits, herbs, woods, and flowers to choose five to nine additives. Here are some pointers: A few drops of citrus oil will lift up the scent. Lemon and lime are the top two citrus choices. The former is zestier and more feminine, and the latter is cooler and more masculine. White musk, even a drop of it, will help your perfume last a long time.
4. Quantify the additives

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Ki Young brought us each a 50ml perfume bottle that was approximately 40ml filled with the woody base note. He asked us to put 40 drops of the additives we had picked. We were to decide how many drops of each additive to include in the perfume.

Keep in mind that top notes evaporate first and base notes last. Since we already had the woody base note, I divided the six additives into top and middle notes, and portioned them accordingly. That is, I put more drops of my middle notes (vanilla, amber and fig) than my top notes (rosewood, white musk and tobacco).

5. Tweak and tinker

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Do not freak if the first blend of scents doesn’t turn out well. Mine smelled disorganized or unbalanced, but after adding more of the middle notes (vanilla and amber), it smelled much better. Remember, you can always add more drops, but can’t take out what’s already in there.

When you’re done, name your scent. I named mine firewood, which is what the perfume smells like. And voilà! Enjoy your perfume!

GN Perfume Studio (website): 19 Bangbae-ro 42-gil, Bangbae-dong. Other locations in Myungdong and Itaewon; 070-4521-7737. $35 for 30ml, $50 for 50ml bottle.

What’s your favorite scent? Comment below!

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