Where and how do you keep your scents contained?

    Where and how do you keep your scents contained?

    post #1 of 22
    Thread Starter 

    I'm looking for advice on storage, scent containment and work flow.
    I've been buying some new essential oils and setting up my work space.  My collection of oils is so aromatic that the collective smell of them all fills the room even with bottles tightly capped and inside of a cardboard box.  It is dawning on me that this collective smell being so strong will effect how I smell fragrances when I want to isolate a single note, accords, etc - it will confuse what I'm smelling and effect my ability to blend.  How does anyone isolate a smell with a full perfumers organ on their work bench?  I'm considering storing the oils in lidded plastic boxes such as these on my work space, this will allow me to label the boxes and have ready access http://www.officemax.com/office-furniture/storage/general-storage-bins-totes/product-prod3490252#top  I've also been considering an air tight cabinet with stepped shelving inside or I can store the boxes in there too.  Is there an SOP for storing scents and isolating?  I'm wanting to organize my collection, keep the smells contained while having ready/easy access while I'm creating.  I know that I will have the oils I'm currently working with on my bench but I don't want to smell the rest of them when I'm working on a particular blend.  

    post #2 of 22

    The best advices:

    - make sure your bottles/caps are airtight and closed

    - keep your bottles clean

    - make your workspace cleanable (easy to wipe surfaces) and keep it clean

    - ventillate well

     

    Then: when someone enters our warehouse for the first time they always mention the strong fragrance. We don't smell it anymore, so you probably get used of a certain back ground fragrance.

    post #3 of 22
    Thread Starter 

    Well, I do all of those things but the last part you mentioned about someone entering your warehouse, that's the part I'm talking about.  Is it possible that because you get used to the pervasive collection of smells that it might bias or "color" your senses in a way so that you blend differently or less effectively?  

    post #4 of 22

    I know sense Janmeut speaking about and agree absolutely. When I with friends work with substances - ten or twelve  people in one room, with 40 or more scented blotters each and with beakers with different blends, lingering cloud of smells don't disturb as; because it has become a routine for us. When we work with smells, works not only nose, but brain too, first of all. You can (and it is always good decision) go away and check smell in another space - in another room, or even outdoor. But when surrounding smell will become regular to you, it should not greatly interfere with the work. We smell and work with differences. Of course, if you are worry, you can take blotters and work in another room. I think, plastic containers don't completely eliminated problem. It should be air-tight boxes; but smells not like sand, when you open box, smell run away anyway... This is just my opinion and experience.
     

    post #5 of 22
    Thread Starter 

    Thanks Ramute,
    I'm considering ways to construct my studio so that I don't have to go into another room.  I guess I'll just use a mixture of fans, ventilation and airtight storage.

    post #6 of 22

    The advice already given here is excellent so I'll just add a ten tips I've found helpful:

     

    1) Everyone in the business uses a lot of scent-strips, blotters or whatever you prefer to call them.  Once I'm done with them, they go into a bin with a lid on it to minimise the smells.

     

    2) I never spray fragrances in my workroom.

     

    3) The workroom has a large patio door and I open it often when I'm working - even when it's cold outside!

     

    4) I find a glass sheet over the work-surface is the only thing that I can get completely clean - plastic and melamine surfaces are easy to clean but retain scent.

     

    5) Despite all of the above I never evaluate a fragrance or blend that I've created in the workroom: I take the strip somewhere else.

     

    6) Take lots of short breaks in the fresh air to refresh your sense of smell whenever you are performing an evaluation.

     

    7) When I'm blending a new fragrance I don't smell as I go - at first it's very hard to resist the temptation - but now I only smell twice, once after all the base notes are in and again when it is complete (an exceptionally complex blend I might check after the heart-notes as well).

     

    8) Whenever I evaluate a blend I get a second opinion from someone else

     

    9) Then I smell it again myself in a different environment

     

    10) I don't wear any fragrance when I'm working (blending work that is).

     

    Hope that helps

    post #7 of 22

    Chris makes great points...

     

    Same for me, I don't spray anything onto a strip, I always dip it.

     

    Chris said:

    7) When I'm blending a new fragrance I don't smell as I go - at first it's very hard to resist the temptation - but now I only smell twice, once after all the base notes are in and again when it is complete (an exceptionally complex blend I might check after the heart-notes as well).

     

    My work often has 65-90 ingredients, so smelling it before it is done would be fruitless, because it's not DONE YET!  :-)

    post #8 of 22
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JEBeasley View Post

    Well, I do all of those things but the last part you mentioned about someone entering your warehouse, that's the part I'm talking about.  Is it possible that because you get used to the pervasive collection of smells that it might bias or "color" your senses in a way so that you blend differently or less effectively?  


    Yes it will, and idealy you make your surroundings as fragrance less as possible for instance with the 10 points Chris mentioned. Then again: for most work it is not a big problem if there is some fragrance from your skin, your room, your apple blossom tree. In case you are for instance analysing a fragrance and there is this faint odour that you try to sniff out, but there is to much fragrance around you simply go outside, or to another room, with other fragrances, ususaly that is enough.

    post #9 of 22

    Pkiler and Chris - you are Masters, you perfectly know yours materials  and you can don't smell before blend are ready. I don't know, how experienced are JEBeasey. If he are new and unfamiliar, he not learn the lessons, if don't check smell after adding each new ingredient, are you agree? May be very difficult find errors in unsuccessful blend from 30, or more, or less,  materials. I'm just learning and sniff after each drop. From the natural substances sense of smell is not tired so quickly. From synthetic dull faster, with them I smell less often and work more slowly.

     


    Edited by Ramute - 8/12/13 at 1:20pm
    post #10 of 22
    Thread Starter 

    Thank you Chris,

    I had not thought of the glass work surface, garbage can being full of blotter and overspray issues. Those things would have been a minor source of frustration if nobody had informed me of those considerations.  I was previously planning on buying a stainless steel table or covering the work surface with plastic laminate but now that you mention it those materials do hold smells better than glass.  Stainless might be a bit better than laminate but it is usually a brushed surface and metal is porous.  Having changed enough diapers in my time to know it seems like a diaper pail would be the perfect garbage can for a perfume studio; some of them have unique lid designs that hold smells very well.  As for the ventilation issue I have a small window in the room that opens but I will probably make a vent hood that pulls air out of the room with a flick of a switch.  I found an inexpensive model spray booth with a built-in fan that seems like it might suffice or maybe even an inexpensive oven vent hood over the work surface that vents outside.

    I know that when you have reached a certain point of proficiency in any discipline it is easy to assume that these very simple things are common sense when they are not.  There is always a gap between what the beginner knows and what the master thinks everyone should already know.  A good teacher recognizes the gap is there and helps to close it.  I'm obsessive in my endeavors and have been told that I have a tendency to "over think" issues sometimes.  While this might be true I would rather over think and obsess than learn the hard, long and expensive way.  I'm a firm believer in the sayings "An ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure" & "Measure twice, cut once" and I see nothing wrong with "reinventing the wheel" so to speak as long as it IS an improvement - Airless tires would be pure awesome, lol!

    post #11 of 22

    Why do I keep imagining Walter and Jesse doing this?

    post #12 of 22
    Thread Starter 

    Ramute,
    I will have to smell after every drop.
    I am no more than a very enthusiastic perfumery student at this point and I can't see myself smelling only twice to completion (not that it really matters but I'm a man btw, lol).  I'm methodical and I enjoy the creative process and smelling the natural materials I'll be starting out with, no problem there.  I'll take the fatigue aspect into consideration with regards to synthetics as I have not worked with them yet.  I assumed that I would base everything off of natural compositions as much as possible and when I become more proficient I'll start filling in the gaps and playing around with synthetics and fractionals, etc as my journey necessitates.  

    My previous occupational incarnations include bench carpentry (cabinetry, scenic, frame, antique restoration), fine arts (oil painting, guitar) and computers (graphics, multimedia, scripting, etc) so I have a long history of production and creative studio work.  I'm familiar with materials and I like to set up my work space so as to facilitate methodical progress, reproducabillity, experimentation and creativity.  My wife is a pharmacist, we are in the beginning stages of building a cosmeceutical business where one of the many hats I wear will be as the perfumer for our product line.   So, I guess I'm saying that I'm definitely a beginning perfumer but I'm not new to learning, producing or creating.

    I have ordered a few books but as I've found from my past learning experiences there isn't much you can learn from a book with regards to the practical and process oriented parts of any creative discipline because work flow and technique can sometimes vary from person to person.  Having worked in so many studios, work shops and labs of other kinds I already have certain preferences and methodologies with regards to the creative process but I like to dialog and get others perspective to see where my knowledge and thoughts fall deficient.
     

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ramute View Post

    Pkiler and Chris - you are Masters, you perfectly know yours materials  and you can don't smell before blend are ready. I don't know, how experienced are JEBeasey. If she are new and unfamiliar, she not learn the lessons, if don't check smell after adding each new ingredient, are you agree? May be very difficult find errors in unsuccessful blend from 30, or more, or less,  materials. I'm just learning and sniff after each drop. From the natural substances sense of smell is not tired so quickly. From synthetic dull faster, with them I smell less often and work more slowly.

     

    post #13 of 22
    Thread Starter 

    Doing what?
     

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AdamOhio View Post

    Why do I keep imagining Walter and Jesse doing this?

    post #14 of 22

    I'm sorry for "she"... :)

    post #15 of 22
    Thread Starter 

    No worries Ramute,
    I was not offended :)

     

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ramute View Post

    I'm sorry for "she"... :)

    post #16 of 22
    Thread Starter