How to create your signature perfume and stay fresh with Lights by TENA – or it’s free!

How to create your signature perfume and feel fresh with light by tena - motherhooddiaries

What does feeling fresh mean for you? Is it a fragrant bunch of flowers? That re-energising shower in the morning before you start your day? Or, is it the scent of your favourite perfume? For me, it’s the feeling of being clean after a workout. Get my sweat on and then wash it off! Maybe spritz on my favourite deodorant or perfume and then I’m good to go for the day. For 1 in 3 of us, it’s the comfort of staying dry, fresh and protected when we experience light bladder weakness. So, lights by TENA strive to make sure that we’re always ready to tackle whatever comes our way and prove that feeling fresh is relative to us all. Lights by TENA invited Motherhood Diaries and a group of other bloggers to attend a Perfume Masterclass at the Haymarket Hotel in London, to learn about lights by TENA’s four ultra-thin liners and lights by TENA ultra-towel. More surprisingly and excitingly, we also learned how to make our own signature perfume! The 2 ½ hour perfumery masterclass took us through the long, but very interesting process of creating a fragrance to suit our personality and desires (it’s not an easy process, believe me!), as well as enjoy some Prosecco, cake and chocolate covered strawberries in the process (could be worse). As I had given up alcohol for the month of January, I was on juice and water, but I had so much fun creating my perfume that it didn’t really matter to me that everyone was getting nice and merry and I wasn’t. So, here is a step-by-step process to creating your signature scent with the Experimental Perfume Club.

C'est la vie - Experimental Perfume club - lights by tena - motherhooddiaries

Beautiful flowers and notebook - haymarket hotel - lights by tena - experimental perfume club - motherhooddiaries

bloggers at haymarket hotel - lights by tena - motherhooddiaries

Breakfast with coffee - motherhooddiaries

The Experimental Perfume Club

Emmanuelle Moeglin - Experimental Perfume Club - motherhooddiaries

Founded by Emmanuelle Moeglin (Em), a professionally trained perfumer, the Experimental Perfume Club was born out of an observation that consumers can seem a little uneducated when it comes to their sense of smell and choosing their signature fragrance. I am one of those consumers who wouldn’t know her Tommy Hilfiger from her YSL. I certainly do, however, know the smell of my favourites, Angel and Hugo Boss for Men! (Yum!)


When a brand wants to launch a perfume, they don’t generally do this in-house. They outsource the creative process to perfumer houses, who are the same people that manufacture the ingredients in the perfume. They own farms around the world and a pool of perfumers and fragrance evaluators. The actual fragrance development stage can last between 6 months and 6 years, depending on the brand, and it is basically a triangular relationship with the brand, the fragrance evaluator, and the perfumer. At this masterclass, Em was the evaluator and us, the bloggers, were the perfumers. Em provided us with the creative and technical guidance so that we could achieve a perfume that was personal, yet well-balanced.

“I love creativity in all its forms. I believe experimenting with other passions makes my life richer and I want to share a skill with you that I hope will make you see (and smell) the world differently. Happy Experimenting.” Emmanuelle Moeglin, The Experimental Perfume Club

Scent is a story perfume - motherhooddiaries

How a perfume is built

A perfume is always built in layers, which is best described as a triangle. You have your Top Notes, your Heart Notes or Mid Notes and your Base Notes. The top note is the entry door to your fragrance. That’s the first whiff you receive when you spray the fragrance on your skin. These top note compounds stay on the skin for around 10 minutes and, intuitively, you will know which ones they are, i.e. your Eau de Colognes. They tend to be the citrus notes, aromatic notes, and freshest notes etc. Then you have your heart notes, which are the signature fragrance and they stay on the skin for a few hours. They can be your floral, aromatic or spicy notes. Finally, you have your base notes, i.e. the depth of the fragrance, which lingers on the skin for up to days after the first spritz and these can be your oriental, woody, and musky notes. Base notes are very heavy, with chemically very big molecules, which are much stronger, hence why they stay longer on the skin. The key is to balance each of these three notes to ensure that, on one end you don’t have a top noted fragrance that lasts only a few moments, or 100% of a base note that will turn heads for all the wrong reasons! These base note-heavy fragrances lack that entry door or intrigue that the top notes invite into a signature fragrance.

“The beauty of fragrance is that it’s an art with logic at its heart, so it’s possible for everyone to get a basic knowledge and grow their obsession from there.” The Experimental Perfume Club

The Olfactory Notes

Raw materials can be grouped into clearly distinct types of smells, known as olfactory notes. These are:

Citrus: fresh, zesty, clean

Green: leafy and fresh

Fruity: fresh or sweet

Floral: feminine, rich or fresh

Aromatic: fresh, green, herbaceous

Spicy: peppery, aromatic, earthy

Aqueous: fresh sea-breeze, marine

Oriental: warm, vanillic, powdery

Edible: Sweet, cakey

Woody: dry or warm, opulent

Musky: delicate, creamy and clean

Leather: dry, smoky, warm

You can literally go up to 10,000 ingredients and classify a minimum of 2,000 ingredients into these 15 families!

The Sniff Test

In order to create our own signature scent, we got to sniff 15 raw materials and rate each smell out of 10 to keep tabs on the scents we wanted to use for our signature fragrance. These were:

Raw MaterialTop, Heart or BaseRating out of 10Olfactory NoteFirst impressions
Orange OilTop Note9CitrusVery sweet and citrusy. The smell of mandarin or orange flavoured Cointreau.
Bergamont OilTop Note6CitrusLight and musky, lemon, verbena, not bad, a little clinical
Cassis/BlackcurrantTop Note4GreenLeaf of the cassis, Fresh, woody, a little masculine, oceanic and breezy.

Used in candles

Five Spices/JuniperMid Note5SpicyLike Gin, pepper, cardamom, sweet, leathery, warm
Marine/CaloneMid Note3AqueousSweet, Watermelon, cucumber, fruity, very oceanic, breezy, airy, masculine, juicy, fruity, breezy, sea, mineral, salty, green, parsley

Used in Acqua di Geo and Kenzo

Hedione/TeaMid Note6FloralClean smell, lemony, white tea, green tea, Abstract, subtle

Used in CK1

JasmineMid Note7FloralVery strong, woody, Lillies, heady, aromatic, like bananas, like jasmine tea

Used in teas and is from the family of white flowers

Rose DamasceniaMid Note10FloralRose, Citronelle, lemon, mint grass, blackberries, cherry, lychee, violet, amber, lemongrass.

Rose is made up of 315 – 400 compounds.

My absolute favourite

Fresh & Clean (DHM)Mid Note4AromaticFresh, lemony, citrusy, misty like spring, lavender

Only compound out of the 15 that tends to be a bit masculine, like lavender. Try not to use too much of this.

Dry Wood (Iso E Super)Base Note6WoodyPeppery, round, soft, subtle, like a sauna, mineral

Iconic molecule of perfumery, used in fabric softener

SandalwoodBase note7WoodyCreamy, soft, chamomile, warm, oriental

Also used in candles

VanillaBase Note10EdibleSweet, vanilla, creamy, round

Goes into everything flavoured, sweet and yummy!

Almond (Coumarine)Base Note10EdibleNutty, marzipan, almond, sweet grass, hay, Disaronno, Amaretto (tonkabin). Gorgeous, I want to drink it!
LeatherBase Note6LeatheryMusky, antique, intense, dry, woody, suede, velvety, smells grandeur, like royalty
MuskBase Note3MuskyVery subtle, powdery, fresh

Goes into baby products, and products from the Body Shop

“Use your instincts and push your boundaries. The aim is in the name – so tinker, play and concoct the future of fragrance today.” The Experimental Perfume Club

My Creation

After we had sniffed and studied the 15 scents, we had to work out which of the 15 we were going to include in our signature fragrance. We first had to think about what we wanted to create, either by designing, drawing or building some sort of impression, for example, recreate a holiday etc). Or, we could just technically explain how we wanted to build our scent, for example, something floral and green, with a fruity note etc. This mental idea of what we wanted to create would make up our framework and no perfumer works on a fragrance without knowing what they are working for, what they are doing, and what they want to achieve. We were encouraged to take our time and spend 5 to 15 minutes on the framework of our creation. I wanted something wholesome and feminine, yet sensual and elegant. So, I chose to embody the perfect mother (if there is such a woman), someone who is intelligent, dignified, elegant, caring and maternal – someone who I always aim and aspire to be. I hadn’t thought up of a name for my maternal fragrance yet, but I thought I’d wait until the name came to me as I was building my perfume.

 My Creation - Experimental Perfume Club - motherhooddiaries

Building the fragrance

“A fragrance is a composition of as little or as many raw materials that come together in harmony. The most important thing to remember is that this is your personal perfume, so you decide what works. These steps are just a guide.” The Experimental Perfume Club

Our next job was to get intuitive and pick around 8 to 12 ingredients that we liked from our sniff test and work out from our instincts whether they would go together. But, the tricky part was that, although the chance of getting the fragrance wrong and smelling bad was very slim, we had to ensure we picked at least seven so that our fragrance was faceted and something that we would genuinely wear. We also had to consider whether we wanted a light and breezy scent and therefore more top notes, or something heavy and rich, so more of a base note-heavy fragrance. As I was going for the perfect mother, who I’m sure isn’t light and breezy, I wanted to include more mid and base notes in my fragrance. Unfortunately, I could only pick six. These were:

1 – Orange – top note (citrus)

2 – Rose – mid note (floral)

3 – Jasmine – mid note (floral)

4 – Vanilla – base notes (edible)

5 – Almond – base note (edible)

6 – Sandalwood – base notes (woody)

The formula – The math part!

We were provided with a 10g bottle and so we had to calculate how much of each scent we were going to add out of 100%. I really had to put my middle school maths knowledge to good use here and this part definitely got the blood pumping in the brain. We were also provided with a simple excel spreadsheet with columns for ‘materials’, ‘grammage’ and ‘weight’. We had to split our top, mid and base note and proportion it into a 10g bottle, bearing in mind that my signature note wasn’t split equally between the 3. Generally, you divide a fragrance, more or less, into 30% (3g) top note, 40% (4g) mid note and 30% (3g) base note. Not that straightforward! I needed to try and shift the weight according to my intended fragrance. I struggled to add two extra fragrances, so I opted for Bergamont Oil as an additional top note, so as not to sway the overall scent of my favourite mid and base notes. I then worked out that the balance of the perfume out of 100% was going to be a bit like 20% top note, 30% mid note and 50% base note.

So, after some trial and error and using decimal points to build the scent, here is what I came up with:

Materials

Top note 30% (3g)

Heart note 40% (4g)

Base note 30% (3g)

1Orange oil (citrus)1.5g + 0.15g
2Jasmine (floral)1.0g + 0.15g
3Rose Damascena (floral)2.0g + 0.25g
4Sandalwood (woody)1.0g + 0.20g
5Vanilla (edible)1.0g + 0.25g
6Coumarine (edible)1.0g + 0.25g
7Bergamont oil (citrus)1.25g

I had just made it to 10g!

My signature perfume - Experimental Perfume Club - motherhooddiaries

The finished scent didn’t quite smell like the rose fragrance that I was dreaming of, but I absolutely loved the scent anyway. It encompassed everything that I wanted my creation to be; warm, sweet, wholesome and sensual. I decided to call my perfume ‘Maternal Elegance‘ because I felt like the name combined all of the adjectives perfectly. My mum fell in love with the scent and has now taken it to use for herself. Thankfully, Em offers refills at a modest £53 for an Eau de Parfum 50ml square or round bottle with spray. Unfortunately, we are not allowed to sell the bottle ourselves, which is a shame because I’m sure that my perfume would have gone down well with a few mums in the market. The scent is super delicious and lasts for ages, thanks to my mid and base note-heavy creation.

I can imagine doing my workout, having a refreshing shower, getting ready for an evening out and spritzing on some ‘Maternal Elegance’ to feel fresh as a daisy. This was precisely what the event was really about – to show that feeling fresh is personal and relative to that individual person. For me, it’s a shower after a workout (and a spritz of my perfume, if mum ever lets me use it again). But, for some, it’s the feeling of being protected by lights by TENA Feel fresh products when we experience those little oooops moments.

‘Feel Fresh or it’s Free’ with lights by TENA

lights by TENA promotional packs - Feel fresh or it's free! motherhooddiaries

Designed specifically for light bladder weakness, lights by TENA’s entire range features unique Feelfresh Technology™ that combines a quick-dry top sheet and innovative fluid distribution layers to effortlessly lock in moisture and odour and to keep you feeling fresh all day long. And, lights by TENA is so confident that you’ll feel fresh and dry all day wearing their products that if you don’t agree, they’ll give you your money back via a refund process. *

“Our innovative Feelfresh Technology™ makes lights by TENA the perfect solution for those unexpected leaks. We’re so confident that our products really do keep you feeling fresh all day that we’ve introduced the ‘Feel Fresh or it’s Free’ money back guarantee to give you the chance to try it for free, if you don’t agree.” Rachael Sumner, Brand Manager for lights by TENA.

The ‘Feel Fresh or it’s Free’ promotion will be available across the following packs:

  • lights by TENA Light Liners
  • lights by TENA Liners
  • lights by TENA Liner Single Wrapped
  • lights by TENA Long Liner
  • lights by TENA Ultra Towel
  • lights by TENA Liner Duo Pack (48)
  • lights by TENA Liner Duo Pack (40)

The promotion period lasts from 12 December 2016 to 30 June 2017 and is only valid on promotional packs of lights by TENA products which are purchased during this time.

Some light bladder weakness tips from Dr Hilary Jones

Experiencing light bladder weakness is so much more common than we think, so to help us say c’est la vie to these unexpected oooops moments, Dr Hilary Jones has put together some top lifestyle tips for you to follow:

  • Try to increase your time between toilet trips, to strengthen the bladder and increase its capacity. But, don’t leave it too long, otherwise, it may lead to a bladder infection (ouch!)
  • Utilise lights by TENA’s free ‘My Pelvic Floor’ fitness app to strengthen your pelvic floor and reduce those little leaks. 52% of us forget to do our pelvic floor exercises, so my pff allows you to set reminders so you’ll never forget again!
  • Alcohol can stimulate the bladder, making you need to go to the loo more. Drinking in moderation and diluting your alcohol intake with water, will keep yourself and your bladder hydrated
  • Not drinking enough water can lead to a shrinking bladder, which means you’ll need to go more often. So, please keep hydrated.
  • Smoking can put a strain on your pelvic floor muscles and affect your bladder. If you need support to stop smoking, NHS offer brilliant ‘Smokefree’ support here.

light bladder weakness tips from Dr Hilary Jones - lights by TENA - motherhooddiaries

So, whether you are showering and rejuvenating after a sweaty workout, enjoying a luxuriously long bath, spritzing yourself with your signature scent or feeling protected and secure with one of` lights by TENA’s Feelfresh products, take each day with renewed confidence and without a second thought to those little leaks – c’est la vie to those oooops moments!

For more information about lights by TENA’s entire range or to get your free sample, visit www.lightsbytena.co.uk

If you’d like to try The Experimental Perfume Club and create your own signature scent, email contact@experimentalperfumeclub.com or visit www.experimentalperfumeclub for more information. Make sure to mention that you heard about The Experimental Perfume Club from Motherhood Diaries, so you can receive 20% off your first masterclass!

Thank you to lights by TENA, Myriad PR and The Experimental Perfume Club for a truly great day and an amazing free perfumery class, with lots of delicious edible and lights by TENA goodies to take home with us. All opinions in this post have been 100% my own.

* See www.lightsbytena.co.uk/free for the full claims process

Subscribe here to be updated with new posts. Don’t forget to tailor your preferences, so you just get the posts you want and need!
If you’d like to share your wealth of experience and knowledge with our community, then you can apply to become a Motherhood Diaries’ Contributor here. Don’t forget to read our Ad Policy.
Leyla Preston (470 Posts)

Leyla Preston is the owner and Editor of Motherhood Diaries global magazine for parents. Leyla is a busy mother of two even busier boys; Aron, 5, and Aidan, 4. When Leyla isn’t feeding, managing a gazillion tasks or cleaning the infinite mess at home, she is busy working on this magazine and a new cooking channel coming very soon – no rest for the wicked!

You can follow Leyla on Twitter (@M_Diaries) or join the busy Motherhood Diaries Facebook group where all mums get together and share stories and solutions with one another: https://www.facebook.com//groups/motherhooddiaries/


  • Ah you’ve gone in to so much detail! It was great to meet you at this event! 🙂

  • I absolutely love your blog posts. You’re so thorough in everything you do, you’re a joy to be around Missy! xxxxx

  • Wow guys, thank you so much! It was lovely to meet you too, Kayleigh. 🙂 Emma, you’re also so much fun to be around too! 🙂

    Can’t wait for our next meet up! xxxx

Did you enjoy your MD experience? Please share the love :-)