How Fragrances are Made

Fragrance is the heart of ILLUME and it starts with product development. Our in-house designers and experts look to fragrance trends and inspirations around the world as a guide.

For every new fragrance request or inspiration, a mood board is created since visual inspiration helps start the process of conveying the personality and story of a fragrance. Once the visual story is created, a fragrance wheel is used to determine the scent’s category. The wheel consists of different scent families, and it helps create organized, well-rounded collections with offerings in a wide range of scent categories.

After the visual story is in place, the formula for materials that make up top, middle and base notes -- the olfactory story -- is developed by our fragrance experts and “noses”, Gen and Greta.

Top note: Immediately noticeable notes of a fragrance, the subjective attractiveness of these notes help set the scene for the other notes to come.

Middle note: Also known as the heart note, it appears after the top notes have disappeared. Usually the softest and most pleasant part of the fragrance, they last longer than top notes and play with the base notes.

Base note: The foundation of the fragrance, the base note is the lasting impression of the fragrance. Together, the base notes and middle notes are the main identifiers of the fragrance.

After multiple rounds of revisions to perfect each “layer” of the intended scent, a new fragrance is ready to be put into further product development which includes the shape, material, look, and feel of the end product.

Every ILLUME fragrance has a story, and every story is sparked by real life inspirations. Explore the ILLUME fragrance collections at