The Inside Scoop on Del Mar

by Michael Paul on Oct 23, 2023

On my sales pages, I try to keep fragrance descriptions to a minimum: the notes, the concentration, a quick description, and the price (and maybe a real customer quote or two). But for those who want to know a bit more about how the fragrance is built, and why, here is the “Inside scoop”.

The Inspiration:

Del Mar is a light, tropical freshie, inspired by a vacation I took years ago to Del Mar California. The AirBnB I was staying at was just a few steps from the shore, and along it’s white picket fence grew the most amazingly fragrant jasmine. As the air blew in from the ocean, across the warm sand, and through the jasmine, it became a sort of natural perfume, rivaling anything produced by the most expensive niche houses. It was incredible, and I would never forget the sensation of breathing it in.

When I set out to create a formula based on that experience, it was a purely selfish decision. I simply wanted a perfume for my own personal use that would remind me of that day in Del Mar, so that I could re-live that memory over and over. I did in fact, try out existing fragrances first, hoping to find something that fit the bill, but couldn’t quite find anything close. Not that the ones I tried weren’t good perfumes, but they didn’t capture that very specific moment. I’m happy to say that Del Mar accomplishes this quite nicely. Here is how it was done:

Putting Together The Formula

I started off with a couple basic guidelines. First, I’d need a fragrance that I could wear in high temperatures. I live in the obnoxious heat of Arizona, where summer days can push the thermometer over 120 degrees. A thick, sweet formula was completely off the table. I also wanted something that felt organic. There are a lot of fantastic aroma-chemicals out there that make up some great, people pleasing designer fragrances, but that’s not the direction I wanted to go. I wanted something just a bit more photo-realistic and natural.

I started in the base with the beach sand accord. By using a combination of ambers and musks, I was able to nail down the feeling of warm skin, and sweet sand. The coconut then comes along and smooths out the base, adding to the beach vibe, but staying quietly tucked in the background. Too much coconut starts to feel like suntan lotion to me, and that wasn’t part of the memory I was trying to recreate. However, when used subtlety, coconut can bring a milky, warm smoothness to a blend.

The Heart Notes:

In the heart, I crafted a very light, almost completely translucent white floral accord. As you wear Del Mar, you’ll notice that the florals don’t feel “close” to your nose as if you were putting your face in a bouquet of flowers. Instead, there’s a diffusive, airy-ness to the florals. They are less thick and indolic, and more ethereal. That transparency was important to me, because it helped me stay true to my inspiration, and as a bonus, meant that high heat wear wouldn’t be an issue.

In perfumery, we have a super fancy term for ingredients that cause more of a sensation than a scent (there’s more to it, but that’s the ballpark description). They’re called “chems with a low slope of psycho-physical function”. How’s that for nerd talk? I chose a blend of these ingredients for my mid that create the feeling of warmth, and sunshine. Sometimes you’ll see companies mention these ingredients in the notes breakdown as “solar notes”, but I always found that to be confusing. I mean; what does sunshine actually smell like?

In The Top Notes:

At the top, I decided on contrast with the creaminess of the amber and coconut in the base. More specifically, I wanted that really zesty, almost spicy fragrance of the lime peel. I started with organic distilled lime oil, and added touches of some special isolates to coax out that sweet, spicy, zest. Then, touches of mint were added to help elevate the lime and give it a fizziness, causing the opening to sparkle off the skin, and greet the wearer with a friendly brightness.

Those are the highlights of Del Mar to me. Is there more in there? Oh, definitely. But trust me; you wouldn’t want me to drone on about every subtle nuance… it would bore you to death. Instead, why not try some for yourself, and tell me how Del Mar makes you feel? I’d love to know what stands out to you :)


Would you like to check out a review of Del Mar on YouTube? Check it out HERE