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Natural Selection…the story of a failed perfume project

October 19, 2012 0 Comments

It’s a hard thing to admit when you’ve failed.

I’ve had my mind and heart set on creating a beautiful, uplifting citrus scent for the past 3  months, and, although that is not a long time in terms of perfume development, I thought I could do it. After all, it’s a citrus – how complicated can it be, right?

clementines – image from

For the most part, the fragrances I’ve created are either a 6-month on-and-off project, or a first-shot wonder (sometimes with an an extra little tweak or two). But this jolly citrus scent is evading me. I’ve spend numerous hours trialling, researching, creating and testing samples and I thought I was near the mark. So I got together my posse for a trial night to decide on the winner. And there was none.

Natalie Portman’s disappointed face –

Sure, there were a couple of vials which had some high ratings by the reviewers, but there was no one or even two clear favourites. Most of them ranked about a 6 or 7 overall. Blah. Take it or leave it. Smells nice but wouldn’t buy it. And that to me says I’ve failed on this one.

My review team did a fantastic job of giving me feedback and assessing each modification for its merits and downfalls, picking notes, detecting nuances, and scoring each vial. But, at the end of the day, I want a polarising scent. One that some people absolutely MUST have, and others say, um, no thanks. That would be a winner to me. (I used the same method for choosing our Devotion scent, and it has a huge following (and it’s detesters!) ).

‘Devotion’ by One Seed


So what I’ve ended up with is 5 finalists in this beauty pageant that have a pretty good figure, and a cute face, but no personality, and no real attraction. So no winner.

beauty pageant – image from

But it’s OK. I’m not actually too sad about it. It just means that the scent I was promising to launch in November needs to find a launch date in its own time. I think I need a whole new assessment of the project, and a re-evaluation of what my clients want.

Want to help me? I thought you would.:)

What do you look for in a citrusy or fresh fragrance? What notes do you love? Got any favourite citrus-based scents? I want to, no, NEED to, hear all about it….



 You can read more about natural perfumes here!

 natural perfumes