I've "made" a number of custom perfumes over the last couple of years - for all the perfume oils that I own, sometimes I find myself dreaming of a scent that doesn't exist - but could. There are a handful of places that will do custom perfumes, with varying processes and prices, including Alchimia Apothecary, Black Violet, sixteen92, Epically Epic, and Haus of Gloi. For those of us who want to play with notes and have our own creations realized, this service keeps us from having to store dozens of fragrance oils and bottles and pipettes and gloves and so on. My partner and I share a 531 square foot one bedroom apartment. I think he would murder me if I decided perfume making was something I wanted to do.
So this time around, I went with Haus of Gloi. I've only made customs with Alchimia Apothecary and Haus of Gloi in the past, though Epically Epic looks to be my next one (seriously, the price and range of notes makes it a low-risk investment). I've learned a lot about my taste in the past year or so, since I first tried out making a custom perfume, and so I was feeling pretty confident about this one.
Haus of Gloi's Perfume Made for You option is $20USD, and you can choose up four notes. There's quite the lengthy list of notes, and they provide a guide for you to figure out what top, middle, and base notes are, though there are some notes available that aren't on the description list. You can also e-mail and ask for the percentages of the notes to be tweaked; the default for each is 25%.
Haus of Gloi packages their customs in these little boxes with the notes on them. I usually just slap a label on the bottle lid with the notes and store the box separately.
I decided that I wanted something fruity (no one is surprised - if rubbing yourself with fruit was socially acceptable to get perfume and didn't make you sticky and sad, I probably would) and light for summer. I thought about this perfume for a few months, and finally settled on four notes: sweet cream, pomegranate, yuzu, and peach skin. If you're familiar with the "white" scents that Haus of Gloi usually puts out in the summer, the sweet cream note is the "white" part. I kept them at equal percentages. I didn't expect this one to last a great deal of time on my skin, because I didn't pick any base notes at all.
Like all good custom makers, I let this rest for a month before trying it out. Since the perfume is blended, then shipped almost immediately, it needs time to settle, meld, and blend. Custom perfumes are not for the impatient, let's put it that way. I'm not usually but I think my love of scent has finally overridden my grabby hands.
In the bottle, it smells fruity and tangy. The yuzu is most dominant at first, making it smell kind of like a grapefruit creamsicle. Since I don't like orange creamsicles, this was an improvement. On my skin, the sourness of the yuzu is cut by the peach and pomegranate, making it a sweeter, cooler scent. With the sweet cream note, this smells kind of like a fancy summer smoothie. As the wear time progresses, the yuzu slips away, but the pomegranate still has a tangy scent, so it remains on that line of sweet and tangy. It's a pretty linear scent, no real surprises here. It's also nice and light, just like I wanted. The real surprise, to me, was the fact that this lasted about seven hours on my skin, despite its lack of base. So that was a nice, happy surprise. It also had pretty good sillage, on the high-moderate range. I also discovered that sometimes, I just want to smell a smoothie.
I'm pretty happy with this custom. It's always a little bit of a crapshoot. Giving over the control of scent making, when you have a specific idea may not be for some people, but most owners who have custom scent options do welcome e-mail questions and will offer guidance if you need it. Since I like living on the edge, I just dive in head first, but I know other people who have had good experiences talking things over with owners. It's also nice to have a hand in designing something just for you. It most definitely appeals to my hipster side.
Are there any custom perfumes that you have in mind?