How a Carlson USA fragrance is created
First off, welcome to the Carlson USA Blog. Here you will find different articles that give insights into how our fragrances are created. The process is very intricate and time consuming, but these articles should sum up the key points in the process.
Choosing a theme
Every fragrance has to have a story, theme or some kind of background identity. Brands can choose nearly anything to use as inspiration for their new fragrance. Here at Carlson USA, we chose to base our fragrances off our family history, along with various other inspirational ideas.
For Anisio, we decided to use the ocean as its theme. The ocean being prevalent in the Carlson family history, and being located in Miami, FL, made it an obvious choice for our first fragrance. Our next step, is to make the fragrance itself.
Making the scent
As is stated above, Anisio has a theme built around the ocean. The idea was to have a fragrance that quietly exudes an essence of masculinity, but was mainly built around oceanic notes. A fragrance with nothing more than marine-like notes, though interesting, would not be very complex and lack real dimension. So one of the first test was to gather the oceanic/marine notes and blend them against a combination of other notes to find the right combination. Various aquatic notes were compared. Among them, some of the more popular aroma chemicals like Ultrazur, Aquamate (also known as Marine Formate), Adoxal and Seaweed extract.
For the notes to be paired with the ocean accord, the first note we prematurely identified as a possible candidate was Bergamot. Calabrian Bergamot, specifically, does wonders for a blend. However, after numerous test, we kept getting much more satisfying results when we substituted it with Pink Grapefruit (USA). It’s sweet and tangy facets paired perfectly with Star Anise. Anisio was originally to be named after the Star Anise, which was to be a major player in this fragrance. However, we noticed we got better and better results, when the Star Anise was less and less prevalent in the fragrance, and served as more of a supporting note. Regardless, the name Anisio forever linked to the scent.
When deciding on the base notes, the first note that came to mind was Cedarwood. In particular, Virginian Cedarwood has a rather smooth and intoxicating aroma. Many describe it as having the scent of pencil shaving. An aroma chemical added to further enhance the Cedarwood was Cedrol. A fairly faint, yet good at supporting a woody base, it fit perfectly in our concept. Patchouli nearly fills out the rest of the base. Materials like Kephalis and Patchoulol were added with a touch of the natural essential oil to give a distinct character.
Bottle design is a crucial part of fragrance design. It has been widely known, that the most potent selling tool for a fragrance, is the design of the bottle. A fragrances bottle should also match it’s audience. A bottle may be beautiful in design, but like the juice on the inside, the design needs to be tailored to the theme or gender it’s targeting. Generally, a bottle with a curvy design, tends to lend itself to feminine fragrances. While fragrances tailored to men, usually seem to have a geometrical design, often using little to no curves.
In the example of Anisio, we wanted a bottle that had a masculine feel. A complex design is not always needed to express the feel of a fragrance. And, as we were a start up brand at the time, we chose to make a bottle that was as close to our idea, and affordable as possible. Various sketches were made for our bottle design. Everything from bottle height, width and depth were adjusted and tweaked. Though these were not the last adjustments to be made, sketches make choosing the direction of a design much easier to decide on. Once a design was chosen, our next step was to build it in CAD software, and prepare various 3D prints to double check size, feel and practicality.
Prototype Bottles and 3D Printing
As stated above, the next step is to refine the design in CAD software. We use Fusion 360 by Autodesk. After the initial design is created in the software, further tweaks and changes are made. Adjustments are also made for the mold making processes. Plastic, metal and glass all have similar yet slightly different requirements when setting up for a mold. However, before those final touches are added, prototypes are made. Something may look perfect on paper and a computer screen, yet in the physical form the design may fall short. For this reason, prototypes are made. Checking dimensions, how a bottle feels and testing out different materials, are all questions that can be answered by prototype testing. Generally, glass and plastic components are made via a 3D printing process. However, should a component call for a metal finish, typically a machining process will be utilized.
Should the green light be given on the design, dimensions check out and no additional changes be made, this design, like the one for our Anisio bottle, will be sent out to different suppliers. In the example of Anisio, our components are only sent our to a glass bottle producer and a plastic injection molding supplier.
A fragrance has been brought to life
That is basically it. In truth, the process has really only begun. There are many, many steps in bringing a fragrance to life, and though there still would be many more left out of this article, we hope it has shed a little light on the process. Fragrance creation is a journey. Here at Carlson USA, it’s a journey that we want to share with our customers. We hope it inspires others and opens doors to new ideas. Thank you for taking the time to read this article, and always remember to keep dreaming.