Building an organic chemistry website with aesthetic appeal

Website for Maxiamo –

The client – Earthgro Fine Fragrances

South African company Maxiamo Perfumes® produces in-house perfumes as well as commercial perfumes for large fashion retailers. The perfumes are designed and manufactured by the company’s Earthgro Fine Fragrances division.

The Maxiamo website had existed for four years, and was completely static. This 2017 update or reinvention was necessitated by the fact that the operations side of the client’s business, Earthgro Fine Fragrances, had expanded significantly. Three more perfumes had gone into production (bear in mind that to bring one perfume into production can take up to a year) and were selling well, and the company’s in-house brand name, Maxiamo Perfumes®, became a registered trademark in South Africa. Most importantly, the client engagement process was formalized so that the “perfume briefs”, the technical/chemical description of the components of the perfumes, were available. These perfume briefs describe the top, middle and base notes of perfumes, in the same way that wine can be described. The briefs formed the basis for all the text and imagery (videos and photos) of the perfumes on the new website.

Unique Selling Proposition (USP)

The business has its own ready-made USP – Max Millies, the owner and perfumer, is one of very few people in South Africa who professionally creates fragrances, from the concepts to the bottles on the shelves of major retailers. He not only designs the perfumes to complement his clients’ brands, he also designs the bottles and packaging to their specifications, and his company produces the perfumes – a highly specialized, delicate process in a super-hygienic environment. He has been involved in the perfume industry, and growing the plants from which he extracts the oils to give the perfumes that special, South African something, for more than ten years. His track record has shown that Max has a most excellent “nose”.

Scope of services

  • New website template and customization – selection to showcase individual products and have maximum focus on visuals rather than text
  • Sourcing of free/non-copyrighted images and video – to match the qualities and attributes of each perfume
  • Recreation and changing of images and videos to fit the perfumes (about 90 images, 6 videos)
    • Photoshopping images, taking new photos, using existing photo library
    • Cutting, editing, adding images, changing the sound tracks, etc. of the videos to create mini “fragrance profiles” of each perfume, each video being between 40 and 60 seconds long.
  • Creation of website icon (below) in website template format (very small) 
  • Creation of new “Maxiamo” logo with registered trademark symbol in various formats
  • Creation of website headers for pages and posts
  • Creation of product still images – 10 total, 2 each for each of the 5 developed products – involving taking existing product images or taking new photos of the products, and photoshopping them in specific settings
  • Creation of website page text including full video and image attributions:
    • Perfume – The Art and Science of Bottling Memories — Front Page
    • Composing a perfumet
    • Contact details, legal info. and image attribution
    • Everyone has a favourite scent
    • Media and attributions – Photos
    • Media and attributions – Videos
    • Organic Compounds and the Perfumer’s Palette
    • Research and manufacturing
    • Signature fragrances by design
    • The client engagement process
    • The Fragrance Wheel
    • Portfolio – perfumes 1 – 5:  descriptions, images, videos, descriptions of certain components, where to buy the perfumes

Project Execution

To create the new website, firstly, I had to learn about the perfume industry, organic chemistry, the history of perfumes, and the basic terminology that gets used. Secondly, I had to use all my creative abilities with art and music to “give shape to” or “reify” the fragrances that are the products of Earthgro Fine Fragrances, the division of Maxiamo Perfumes® where the perfumes are designed and manufactured. A picture of a pretty bottle is relatively easy, but how does one describe what is in the bottle? I used words that describe tastes, smells, colours and textures, and images, both of the compounds that make up the top, middle and base notes of the perfumes, and the overall sensation and connotations that the combined ingredients would conjure up.

Sample video: Unrestricted Woman fragrance profile video

Video credits:

Author: Carlos Vieira, Author webpage:, Licence: ATTRIBUTION LICENSE 3.0 (, Downloaded at
Still images: M.F. O’Brien, with permission

Client’s comment

Max Millies, the “nose” of Maxiamo Perfumes and owner of Earthgro Fine Fragrances.

He had only one word: “Brilliant”. That would suffice, in my opinion.


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