This morning, for no particular reason besides the aspect that I was thinking about it for quite a while, I woke up with an idea. That's nice. An idea for a scent, or better said, a scent for an idea. Thus, first thing after the coffee: Opening up my excel file where I store all my formulas. There, in the excel file, I have more or less a sheet for every idea. Sometimes I have two three themes in one sheet. Sometimes there are just a few formulas in the sheet, sometimes douzens. Sometimes an idea was tried once and I gave up immediately.
That's always the first step when composing a new scent/trial/liquid waste: Fill in the excel. I have columns how much should go in there, theoretically, and how much I actually put in there when mixing with the balance. The excel does a calculation step: I write down imaginary units, that sum up to 1000 unit for a complete trial, and the excel calculates how many milligrams this corresponds to. Like 80 units are 1000 mgr. Thus, my final trial will be 12500 milligram.
If you want to say so: The creative part happens before or while working in this excel sheet, where I start with fleeting top notes and end the list with the heavy basenotes, trying to group some themes. Grouping themes like writing the citrus notes one after the other, the herbaceous lavender and rosemary next to each other. The geranium, rose, citronellol and other rose notes in one block, the iris notes in one block, the vanilla/benzoin theme in one block, ending with ambergris/musk/cashmeran and stuff. It is a matter of personal taste, I think, but to me this is very helpful when rethinking about a formula: It is sort of easier to interpret and understand.
Sometimes, I do truncated trials, too where I test a theme, a contrast, an overdosing. Just to see what happens. Overdosing is always exciting and usually a complete failure, but you never know....
To be honest, mostly we all are pretty clueless.