Alex Wilson, Founder of Heartwood Co

Founder and director of Heartwood Co, Alex Wilson | Source: Heartwood Co

The Power of Perfume and Finding A Signature Scent

Owning a rare, or better yet, entirely unique and bespoke piece is the ultimate luxury. But in the world of fragrance, it can be virtually impossible to find a signature scent nobody else seems to know about. Of course, there’s no shame in enjoying popular perfumes, however, if you’re looking to indulge in a fragrance that’s uniquely yours and totally tailored to your olfactory preferences it can be hard to find the signature scent for you.

That’s where Heartwood Co come in.

Based in Cottesloe, Heartwood Co is a multi-brand wellbeing and natural beauty retailer poised at the forefront of bespoke perfumery in Australia. Founded and directed by Alex Wilson, the wellness and fragrance mecca’s origins lie in sustainable Indian Sandalwood. Sourced from Alex’s family farms in Kununurra in Western Australia, as well as across Northern Queensland, Indian Sandalwood remains at the core of Heartwood’s fragrance and beauty offerings.

“Our hero is sandalwood, but we’ve had about seven accords designed by a French perfumer based in Melbourne,” Alex told me.

“Essentially, what we wanted to do with the ‘make your own parfum’ was to create an opportunity for people to develop something completely bespoke including the scent, the label, and the whole experience. And with that in mind, we wanted to create something that was extremely high quality… to my knowledge, I don’t know that anything on this scale of what we do is available anywhere else in Australia.”

According to accords and notes

Taking you through the top, heart and base notes, Heartwood creates a signature scent based on the accords you’re drawn to and the delicate science that is perfumery.

“Top notes are really quite uplifting because they have the smallest molecules, you smell them first and they evaporate the quickest,” Alex told me.

So, something like citrus is always positioned as a daytime, morning, crisp, fresh fragrance that makes you feel motivated and uplifted, whereas, as you get down towards the base notes, they become a lot more sensual, wintery and grounding.

Nostalgia-inducing scents

Connected with the same part of our brain that processes emotions and memories, our sense of smell has the power to shape the way we feel while also transporting us back to certain times in our lives.

“You can kind of bookmark people or memories or places in your life by scent and I think that people are really drawn to that nostalgia and familiarity when they come in,” Alex said, citing Heartwood’s natural ingredients as the cause of its nostalgia-inducing scents.

“So, when people smell, for example, the green accord that we have at Heartwood, they’ll often say, ‘Wow this reminds me of my holiday in Denmark’ or ‘This reminds me of walking through a bush trail’.”

Less is more

Ever felt like your daily perfume was losing its projection and staying power? Chances are your nose was no longer detecting the fragrance as strongly due to your body recognising the perfume as a “safe” scent.

With that said, diversifying your perfume collection is a good way to continue enjoying your favourite fragrances.

I highly recommend having four key fragrances in your fragrance wardrobe and mixing them up based on how you’re feeling.

Alex Wilson

Taking a less is more approach is also key. Rather than dousing yourself in a fragrance, Alex recommends applying your fragrance of choice to the warmest parts of your body: behind your neck, in the nooks of your elbows as opposed to your wrists, and on your tummy.

Heartwood Co’s ‘make your own parfum’ experience is priced at A$210 per person and includes your own 50ml perfume, custom label and box.

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