Monday, April 27, 2009

Cybelesays Special Report: Custom Fragrance With Melange Apothecary

The subject of scents and fragrances has always eluded me to the point that I am easily overwhelmed by the choices. What works with my skin or chemistry? How do you pick out a scent for yourself? How do you know if one is not working for you? Am I the only one with these questions? It seemed that way so I mustered up the courage and headed over to the MELANGE APOTHECARY in Sherman Oaks, CA to meet with Owner/Founder Denise Estrada. Denise has quite a beauty background. Starting esthetician, she would blend different botanicals depending on her clients’ skin needs and this lead her to the world of perfumes over 20 years ago. 



One silly thought that has always been in the back of my mind is this - Since different scents mix differently on different people, is one ever wrong? Denise assured me that if it smells good to your nose then it will smell good on your skin. Phew! She gave me some great tips on choosing a scent if you go the Sephora or Macy’s way:

  • Go Alone – your nose is your nose, not your girlfriends so you are each going to have different tastes
  • Visit early in the day when your nose will be in peak form and there is less in the air to distract you
  • Don’t wear any scent that day. This seems so obvious but I have done this before!

If you want to delve deeper and really learn something about how perfume works and want to get your own personal fragrance, perhaps having a scent custom blended at a place like Mélange Apothecary, would be more up your alley. Now this may sound more expensive than you think, but it’s not. Basically, you sniff many different notes and pick out the ones you like and someone like Denise will put them together for you in a scent you can take with you. Here’s how it worked:

I started with top notes – Green and Aqueous, then moved on to typical middle notes which are in the Citrus & Fruits category and then to the third group, which was floral and lastly, the bases. After sniffing about 100 different ones, I picked about 30 and then paired down from there.



A few more tips from Denise – the frig doesn’t really keep scents any longer. She recommended cooler areas in the house (not the bathroom) and a place that gets very little light as that can also spoil a scent.

So instead of going out to dinner with the girls for the Girl’s Night Out, how about doing something totally different like arranging a "Blending Event" at an perfume apothecary? Denise does quite a few of these and again, it’s not as expensive as you would think. It’s about $50 a person and is redeemable in product. And the whole thing only takes about 2 hours.   


So which scents did I go home with? A Perfume Roll-On (this is pure oils remember!) that is Lin & Paperwhite and one of Pikaki & Melati. Denise also blends up body lotions, body oils, shower gels and my favorite, body scrubs! The sugar scrub I got is a Sugar Scrub with Honey and Shea in the Sweet Pea & Green Tea scent. Can’t wait to use this one!!



So go in and see Denise if you are in the SoCal area or visit her site @ and tell her Cybelesays sent you!




This sounds like such a great time!
What a great place :)
I actually made a list in the past year of the notes I tend to like in fragrances so that I have some idea of where to start when I'm fragrance shopping.


Hi Phyrra - it was. i was able to ask all my burning-questions-but-were-afraid-to-ask, quesitons."


Great post. Sounds like a fun bridal shower type activity too.


I would love to do that!

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