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Getting Started - How To Make Perfumes

There are 3 types of components that can be used to make hand blended perfumes, essential oils, fragrance oils and aroma chemicals.  Manufactured perfumes use "aroma chemicals" which are the broken down constituents of fragrance oils and synthesized constituents of natural essential oils (they have names such as amyl acetate, ambroxan and limonene).  There are a few sources of these aroma chemicals online, if you choose to go that route.   But this book does not cover that type of blending.  What we cover here is the use of essential oils and readily available fragrance oils for designing and blending your perfumes.

Whether you choose to use essential oils or compounds, or both, is a personal decision. 

What are essential oils?

Essential oils are the volatile essences extracted from various parts of living plants.  They are said to be the "life force" of the plant.  Of the thousands of plants in the world, only 200 produce essential oils that are used in the art of perfumery.

Essential oils are very intense and must be diluted when using to make perfumes.   Some essential oils are readily soluble in oil, some are only soluble in alcohol. 

Because essential oils are highly concentrated they can not be used directly on the skin.    perfume bottles perfumery supplies

A 1-5% dilution of your essential oil blend to your base (oil or alcohol) is standard.   

When I blend perfume using natural essences, I have them already preblended in a base.  For example, my ylang ylang oil is already diluted in a base, 3% ylang ylang in oil.  Blending scents in an undiluted state for me makes for an intense session with lots of headaches.   Diluting the oils before hand, allows me the freedom to continue working unhindered and smell the oils the way they were intended to be in the final perfume.

Other components used in natural perfumery include absolutes, concretes, C02 extractions...and probably
some things I'm forgetting....Also tinctures and infusions which one can do on one's own…

What are fragrance oils?

Fragrance oils are synthetic oils and are much cheaper to manufacturer than many essential oils, therefore less expensive.  Most of you will prefer to work with fragrance oils as they are available in a much wider range of scents.  And because they are not derived from specific plants, a fragrance oil can be made to imitate the scent of virtually anything on earth!   Your creativity is unlimited with fragrance oils.

Make sure the fragrance oils you use are cosmetic grade. 

Fantastic sources of top quality fragrance compounds are available on the net.  But the best sources are difficult to discern because there are so many suppliers online.   My ebook The Sweet Smell of Success has a comprehensive Resource Guide of quality fragrance oil, perfume oil and perfumery suppliers that I have used over the years.

Fragrance Blending

Blending your own perfumes is not difficult if you follow a few basic steps.   

Your first goal should be to try to collect as many oils as your budget will allow.  The more oils you have, the more experimenting you can do and the more creative you can be.

Creating Your Scent Library> >

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