how to build your own scent twinkle apothecary

How to Build Your Own Scent

One thing I'm really looking forward to this year, as I move forward post-rebrand and turn the page on a fresh chapter in Twinkle Apothecary's story, is getting back to my roots and leaning into the aspects of this work that fill me with the most joy. 

Twinkle Apothecary was always meant to be a natural fragrance brand.

When I started crafting my products in 2015, the whole idea was scented body care with matching perfumes that could be mixed and matched to create your own unique, all-natural scent. While working in fashion production in LA I discovered the positive impact that natural fragrances had on my state of mind and emotional well-being, and I just wanted to share something beautiful, fun, and uplifting with the world. Along with an effective natural deodorant, of course! As a highly sensitive person, I felt like there was a need for more fragrances that comforted instead of overpowered. My intention was not to disrupt the mainstream perfume industry by converting everyone into natural fragrance lovers, but rather, to offer an option for the people out there like me who wanted something different. Something more connected. Something real.

Of course, it turned out that I also had a knack for crafting effective natural skincare, and thanks to Instagram, skincare nearly took over everything for a few years. As much as I want to help everyone live their best life, and as much as I do firmly believe that my products will help you feel more comfortable and happy in your skin, and as grateful as I am to have made crafting effective and delicious sustainable skincare my full-time job for the past 7 years, I also have to admit that I didn't start this business because I wanted to talk about eczema and perioral dermatitis all day every day. I'm not a dermatologist and I never wanted to play one on Instagram TV (remember that before reels? Lol) The whole pandemic-era social media-fueled skincare craze, which I can only hope is moving behind us, left me feeling extremely burned out and wondering if I even still wanted to do this work at all. 

So, I had to figure some things out.

I had to learn how to set boundaries around how and when I help with everyone's eczema and dermatitis. I had to figure out how to balance the practical aspects of my work (skincare and customer service, pandemic retail rollercoasters, and supply chain disruptions,) with the parts that are creatively fun and uplifting for me as a maker and artisan. Most importantly, I had to get the heck off of social media so I could figure out what and how I want to share instead of trying to keep up with whatever is trending or popular at the moment. I don't know how gracefully I navigated all of this. Having a small business doesn't mean I have any more answers than anyone else. I'm just trying to hang in there and maintain my balance, as we all are! 

Only time will tell if the changes I've made to my business model will lead to long-term success for Twinkle Apothecary in this volatile economic and socio-political climate, but I do finally feel like I'm back on track. 

And that, friends, was an extremely long-winded way of letting you know that we're going to be having more fun with fragrances from here on out. 

I'm SO excited to share this opportunity to create alongside you through my new build-your-own scent listing. 



Let's talk about how it works.  

Building your own scent is a way to use the twinkle apothecary single-note fragrances to create your unique scent. Of course, the single-note fragrances are still available to purchase separately if you enjoy the flexibility of layering them on individually, but perhaps you don't want to collect them all. Maybe you just want one bottle on your shelf. That's where building your scent comes in handy. 

Also, it's just fun. This is an opportunity for you to explore and get creative, and it's an opportunity for me to devote more time to doing the thing I love most - crafting new natural scent combinations for you. We both win! As do all of the people who are close enough to smell you! Wins for natural perfume lovers all around. 

If this sounds exciting to you - you probably don't even need to read more about how it works. You probably already have an idea of what you like, and if you love my other fragrances, hopefully, you know that you can trust me to make sure it turns out perfectly.  

If you're intrigued but not sure what you might like or how to go about making something new, don't worry. Keep reading and I'll tell you everything you need to know. 

First, it might be helpful for you to be familiar with my single-note scents, so I'd suggest ordering samples of the individual notes and experimenting with how they layer together before you design your scent. (Although, this isn't necessary if you trust my nose and understand that all sales are final.) :)  

(order single note samples here)

Once you know what you like and have an idea of what you want, we can put some scent combinations together! 

You can choose 3 different single-note accords - a top note, a middle note, and a base note. It sounds simple, but these single-note accords are actually quite complex, so even with just three notes, you'll be getting a very multifaceted fragrance. 

Top Notes

Top notes: this is typically the first thing you smell when you spray on your perfume. Top notes are also the lightest ingredients that fade away the most quickly, while the middle and base notes live on your skin longer. 

The options for top notes are Zest, Lavender, and Tea. Lavender and Tea can also function as middle notes, but I've included them in the top notes too, just to give you more options and scent combinations to choose from. 

So first, select your top note. If you don't want a top note and just want to design a simple two-note scent, you'll still have to pick a third option before you can add it to the cart, but you can leave a note with your order to let me know what you'd like to leave out. 

Middle Notes

Next, select your middle note. Middle notes are typically the main notes that make up the heart of the fragrance. The main feature, if you will. So whatever you select for your middle note will likely be the main/dominant ingredient that I will try to feature when blending your scent, unless you leave a note telling me otherwise. (Example: "I want mostly amber with just a suggestion of rose!") 

You'll notice there's ingredient overlap here too. I've included Cedar and Sandalwood as both middle and base note options, just to give you more choices.  As my single-note collection grows, this overlap will be replaced with new middle notes to choose from, but that's a very long-term, future update. For now, this is what we've got to work with, and it's plenty! 

Base Notes

Finally, choose a base note. These are the strongest, longest-wearing ingredients. The base note is what you will smell on your skin at the end of the day. In the right combinations and proportions, they can also help extend the wear time of the lighter top and middle notes of your scent. 

Choosing the right base note (something you enjoy and want to smell on your skin all day) is probably the most important part of building your scent.

That is of course unless you want to design a light two-note scent and forgo a base note altogether! (If that's the case you'll still have to choose something to add the scent to your cart, but you can leave a note telling me what you want. Example: "I just want zest and lavender, please leave out the cream!") Although I have to say, Zest + Lavender + Cream is going to be a) pretty and b) much longer wearing. But don't worry about my preferences. It's your scent, and you can do what you want! 

You can also say, "lots of lavender and zest but light on the cream!" And I will happily make that for you too. 

Also, yes, if you want more than one top, middle, or base note I will allow it!

I'll allow up to 4 choices total. You just have to leave a note to let me know because the website caps us at 3 choices. 

So this brings me to the next step: confirming your notes.

If you don't leave any additional notes with your order, I will craft something that smells balanced and wears well, to my standards. If you do leave notes, I'll likely reach out to confirm them, unless they're very explicit and make perfect sense to me. (Don't be afraid to tell me exactly what you want, but do remember that we're only creating a simple 2-4 note fragrance here - for a full custom fragrance experience you'll have to join my Patreon.)   

Now, blending. This is the magic part. 

Once you've selected your notes, it's up to me to blend them into something beautiful, just for you. 

Just so you know, I am not worried about things not going together - all of these ingredients can play well together if you know how to make it work - and I am fully confident that I do! 

So do you trust me? 

Are you ready to play and make something new, just for you?! 

I KNOW I AM. 

There are over ninety different 3-note combinations possible. Here are just a few ideas off the top of my head to get you started. 

Zest + rose + cream 

Tea + lavender + cedar 

Lavender + rose + sandalwood 

Tea + rose + amber 

Tea + lavender + earth 

Lavender + cedar + earth 

Zest + nectar + sandalwood 

Zest + tea + cream 

Lavender + cedar + amber 

I mean… I can keep going with this all day long, but hopefully, I've given you the information you need to get started thinking about building your own scent (or more than one!) for the new year. 

I can't wait to see what you come up with! 

Click here to get started.

- Stefanie -

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