Eau de Parfum

A back-lit photograph of a hand-made glass perfume bottle.

Of all the stupid ideas for pastimes and hobbies I’ve come up with, the notion that I might dabble in perfumery must be up there with the most ridiculous of them. I had read a few fascinating books on the subject and didn’t see why I couldn’t try it for myself. Never mind letting a total lack of experience & ability stand in my way. Nor did I pause to reflect that, if anything, my olfactory acuity has tended to be below average.

I must have spent several hundred pounds stocking up on dozens of essential oils and essences, plus assorted bases & accessories; then going on to measure, mix, blend and sniff away for a month or two until an onslaught of migraines and the onset of new allergy symptoms pushed home the point that perhaps it wasn’t going to work out. Before giving up the ghost, I had managed to come up with a few concoctions I felt were worthwhile, the best of them an eau de perfum I made for my wife. Poured into a handmade bottle (ordered from a glassblower called Malcolm Sutcliffe, now seemingly retired), it formed part of a birthday present.

She was delighted with the gift, and, even if the fragrance might not have been something she’d otherwise have chosen for herself, she did enjoy wearing it from time to time. The bottle, with a small amount of the perfume left inside, ultimately became more of an ornament. Taking brightly backlit photographs of it brought out the beautiful detail within the glass that was less evident under normal illumination. The image above is a digital one taken with a Nikon D80, where the original frame was cropped and then subjected to a little more light photoshoppery.