Photographing fragrances in a small home studio.


Lockdown in the UK has been a pretty bleak time if your primary focus is portrait photography. Things seem to be moving in a promising direction now though, so fingers crossed for a return to some degree of normality soon.

I thought I’d dust off the camera and lighting gear yesterday and have a go at photographing one of my other favourite subjects…………..fragrances.

I don’t have a macro lens anymore so I shot this with my trusty Sigma 70-200 f2.8

For the black background I used two pieces of foamcore board fashioned into a 90 degree ‘L’ shape. If I remember correctly they cost about £4 each from Hobbycraft (they’re also really useful to flag lights in a small home studio).

Here’s an image with the exposure cranked up intentionally to illustrate the set.


Lighting set up was a gridded 60cm softbox at either side, angled back towards the bottle at 45 degrees. Kind of a standard edge light setup.

As far as editing goes it was mostly a case of tidying up lots of small dust specs visible on the bottle. Some localised darkening using the Radial Filter in Lightroom. Extra contrast added using Nik Pro Contrast and Topaz Clarity via Photoshop.

Hopefully you like the image.

Now a few words on the fragrance itself…………

Ultra male by Jean Paul Gaulthier is one of my absolute favourites. It’s very sweet and has been described as a clubbing fragrance. The original Le Male (see below) was one of


the first fragrances I owned as a young adult. It’s since been reformulated unfortunately, but that original formulation still evokes vivid memories of great nights out from days gone by.

If  you wish to hear more about Ultra Male or are just interested in fragrance and fragrance reviews, then there is a great ‘frag’ community on YouTube.

Here are links to some of my favourite channels……………

Jeremy Fragrance



Also a fantastic weekly podcast………….

The Scent Geeks

Hope you like the links……..and be sure to let me know if you find them useful.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: