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 Luv ParfumBlog Home : 2011 : November

Vintage Scents

Posted on 3-Nov-2011

Starting a library of scents

The best way for someone new to perfume making to know what scent combinations are possible, is to actually smell the different existing compositions as a point of reference.

This was my approach. I starting collecting old perfume bottles, which had remnants of old perfumes. I decanted samples of the perfumes into 1/2 oz vials, labeled them and stored them away in a cedar box. Eventually I filled box after box, as the years of collecting when on.

When working at my perfume bar, with new ingredients I would research other perfumes that used those ingredients. And then I would go to my scent library and smell the perfumes which had ingredients that matched. This way, I can bypass lots of experimenting, as I know what other perfumers have done with the same notes.

What made me think of all this, is that this morning I opened that first cedar box I had created, and went through those old perfume samples. I hadn't smelled any of these in 7 years. I closed my eyes and smelled them and made a list in my mind of the ingredients in each. This was a good exercise, which I recommend doing to improve your scent identification skills.

If you haven't done this yet, do. Start collecting old perfumes, as they can be picked up relatively cheaply on ebay. Expecially if there is only a drop or two of perfume left. If the perfume is dark and thick, and the alcohol has evaporated, just add a few drops of perfumer's alcohol to lift it back up to where it was before the alcohol evaporated. It won't have all the top notes as it had when it was created, so keep that in mind.

Perfume Making Tips

Posted on 19-Nov-2011

Working with Attars

I started making perfume years ago with absolutes and essential oils. I had a few resins I worked with, but since I was using alcohol as my carrier for blending, I stayed away from oils. Oils and some essential oils cloud up a mixture. But a year ago I discovered Benzyl Alcohol, and everything changed for me. What a wonderous substance to work with. Just a few drops will clear up a blend instantly. I love to watch it go to work. It has a very nice smell, and does not interfer with a blend, but actually adds some heart notes to it.

Another great substance is Glucam P-20. It helps blend oil with alcohol. I use the two together frequently, and my oils and attars and alcohol all blend together to produce a crystal clear perfume.

Another great substance is Iso-E Super. But it gives off an ozone scent and can be overdone very easily. But it helps in blending as well.

Some powders, crystals and resins have to be heated. I know some people use a microwave or warm water to heat the substances in order to measure out what they need, but I don't. I scrape out what I can into a small beaker which I then heat on a small burner stand. I have a pipe lighter I use to heat it up. It looks and sounds dangerous, but I have been doing it for so long now, I know how long I can heat the substance. It continues to heat when you remove the flame, so keep that in mind and pull the heat away before it all melts completely. I then add a few drops of alochol and swish it around. The alcohol keeps it from solidifying again.



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