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How To Make Perfume

Beginning Perfumery Part 1

by Daphne Moss
   (Start Your Own Perfume here)

This 4 part Beginning Perfumery and how to make your own perfume article is a culmination of information that was originally meant to be an introduction-to-perfume blending workshop at my shop.  In the process of trying to record all that I know about blending perfumes in a fashion that could be taught verbally and reinforced with other literature and articles, I found myself with a file drawer filled with information that I felt would not only benefit my customers, but maybe other newbie perfumery enthusiasts as well.   I later intended to write an aromatic blending book/workbook of sorts, but for now this is it.                       

In these introduction-to-perfumery "notes" you will be getting the collection of all of my own notes, experiences and observations, perfumery practice principles, literature and articles, charts and reference sources.  The only thing left out are the hands on exercises that would have been done in class and in the workbook.   All of this information is not in any kind of order.   The information is not necessarily to be read like a book and my thoughts do not always come out in a linear fashion.  So things may not flow as in a textbook.  They are just that….notes!!   Just my perfume notes for now.

Also,  I do not profess to be an expert on perfumery.   There are most likely many of you reading these pages with way more experience than I or a different take all together on the process of perfume blending.  I am only sharing what has worked for me and what I have learned about blending perfumes in the operation of my perfume shop where I blended oils every day for over 8 years.  And if perfumery is anything like life, I am wiser by admitting that I do not know everything and will continue to learn as I go and hopefully become better in the process.   

Making Your Own Perfumes

Just a little observation about making your own perfume.  Some people think that just by reading a book that they will learn all there is about perfumery and blending perfumes, or by asking enough questions and picking the brains of a more experienced perfumer that through osmosis they will trollop off and start turning out phenomenal blends.  Well, this is the furthest from the truth you will ever get about perfume making. 

There are no "secrets" to blending perfumes or perfumery.  There are no "secrets" to making that perfect blend.  Even the best perfumers take years to create a composition brilliant enough to carry the name of the creator or designer. 

Anything that you learn from me on these perfumery pages about making your own perfume, will never equal what you will receive learning from experience.   When they say it can take 10 or more years to develop your nose for scents and components, it comes from truth.  That is if you dabble in it. 

If you are serious about perfume making and practice blending perfumes every day, you could cut that in half.  The first year or 2 will be spent just learning where and how to find quality materials for making perfumes.  And discerning what perfumery materials are worth working with and what is trash.   The main thing that stumps most people is where to find the components to make perfumes.   

  (Start Your Own Perfume here)

Newbie perfumers want direct access to the best perfumery supplies.  They want to be told everything up front to make it easy.  But going through the trash to get to the best, is part of the process.   Sometimes you have to experience trash, to know what "best" is.  So I am not making it easier for you on these perfume making pages to find the best compounds or ingredients to work with. 

Although I do mention a few perfumery suppliers along the way, it is really in your best interest to experiment with everything you can get your hands on.  (I'm not preaching here, just speaking from experience.)  I have worked with flavor extracts and ingredients from the grocery store in making perfumes.  I have bought fragrance oils from hobby stores to start my collection.  I have taken sample vials of perfumes from department stores and played with them to make up something new.  I have taken stinky oils and tried to make them smell better.   

One reason it is so very hard to find information on perfume making or making your own perfume is that it is very much an intuitive art, not just a science.  And neither intuition nor art can be taught.  It is up to you to have the experiences that will strengthen and fortify your creativity.  We all have it.  We just don't all nurture it. 

Let's get started with Part 1>>

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  (Start Your Own Perfume here)