Thursday 27 January 2022

Heartwood Make Your Own Perfume Bar and Perfumes.


In 2019 I was contacted by Alex, who was opening a new store in Cottesloe in Perth called Heartwood. The store was to have a range of luxury natural skincare and beauty products and would have treatment rooms as well. Her family own the worlds largest sustainable Sandalwood plantation, and she asked me to help her with the perfume side of the business. Her idea was to have a Make Your Own Perfume Bar and a range of perfumes, all natural and with her families Sandalwood at its heart. 

The opportunity to work with such beautiful Sandalwood was too good to pass up, and Alex is such a lovely person with a clear vision so it was a real pleasure to work on this project.

I started by designing the concept of the Create Your Own Perfume Bar. I had already envisaged something like this for a project of my own so I had a clear understanding of what was needed. I created six accords that could be worn on their own and blended together to create a more complex perfume. I created basic blends myself, I do not pretend to have the skill and experience of a classically trained perfumer, but the basic blends were a pretty good starting point for the perfumer to work from. 


The Accords. All Natural.

Finding a perfumer that would work with a limited pallet of naturals only was a bit tricky. My long term perfume house won't entertain the idea of creating a natural only perfume, we both believe that there is a place for naturals and synthetics in the perfume world, and wish there isn't so much misinformation about synthetics out there. Another perfume house I work with on occasion were willing to take on the project, so the perfumer refined the accords and added in the Heartwood Sandalwood. We tested them individually and then I created a range of blends that the customer would make in store.

While we were working on the accords, I was also sourcing all the equipment such as aspirator bottles, beakers, crimper, bottles, label printer, beakers etc. I am a bit of  lab equipment nerd, so this is fun for me. I particularly love aspirator bottles. At the same time, Alex had been working with my packaging supplier on some beautiful boxes

As the last mods of the fragrance were being prepared, I came down with a terrible flu and lost my sense of smell. Alex was literally waiting for the perfume bar to be ready to open the store and I couldn't approve the mods because I couldn't smell them.So frustrating.

When I was finally able to smell and approve the mods, Alex was happy with them so we were on our way! All the equipment had been ordered and was on its way to Heartwood. I was able to go over to set up the bar and to train the staff. Guests are given an apron to wear and are guided through the process of picking a scent and blending it. There are quite a few different formulas to chose from, once you have selected your fragrance, you are given beakers and a formula. The formula is then placed into a bottle and the spray crimped on. You can personalise your label, so it is a wonderful gift for some special or a beautiful treat for yourself.


Alex had also wanted to  launch with three different perfumes, but creating stand alone perfumes takes more time so we didn't have them ready for the store launch but continued to work on them. We finally arrived at two mods we were both in love with and they were launched as Lago and Touchwood. Touchwood was actually an earlier mod that had matured beautifully, and Lago was two formulas combined.  Due to Covid, I was not able to attend the launch party. There is nothing I love more than a launch party, the champagne, watching people sniff the perfume and seeing their reactions, so I was really disappointed!


Image Credit. Heartwood

 Both fragrances and the Make Your Own Perfume Bar have been really well received with some great press.  You can visit the store at 35a Napoleon St, Cottesloe, Perth WA or check out their site here

If you would like The Powder Room to create a fragrance for your business, you can contact me via email