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  1. #1
    Yvan
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    Default Homemade fragrance hits and misses

    Here's a thread where we can post on homemade fragrances that we either think were a success, a "miss," or somewhere in between. *Even if you combine only a few oils, let's hear about it. *It'll help the rest of us know either what to do or what not to do. *I'll start with a 1 oz. blend I created a few months ago.

    Top: lemon 15 drops; petitgrain 15; bergamot 15; basil 8; spearmint 2; rosemary 2

    Heart: anise 15; nutmeg 10; clove 8; tuberose 7; rose geranium 5; ylang ylang 3

    Base: sandalwood 13; cedarwood 10; cistus labdanum 10; patchouli 5; vanilla 5; benzoin 4; vetiver 3

    Okay, let me preface by saying this was part of only my second batch ever, and I've been under the impression that more is better, in terms of how many oils you mix; I've recently come to believe that this isn't necessarily so. *And for my third batch, which is "curing" now, I've blended oils that are more harmonious, as I found not all of the above oils were really good together, or at least in the quantities I added--in other words, I've stopped using some and added others in their place.

    I think of the above product as "somewhere in between" a hit and a miss. *I don't wear it much because, for about the first hour, the whole scent is fairly raw--but after that, it gets smoother and a lot nicer. *I've heard that EO blends can smell raw (as opposed to designer scents, which don't, as a rule, probably because of the synthetics). *But I suspect part of the rawness may be due to my using too much petitgrain, which seems to give it a slightly "twiggy" citrus smell, and too much cistus labnamum. *

    Also, I should've used more lemon and bergamot up top (smoother citrus); it could use more vanilla and/or benzoin for sweetening; and I might've used only one drop of spearmint instead of two, because a little goes a long way. *I've learned a lot from my first two batches, and hopefully those lessons will result in my third batch being better.

    So, feel free to tell me what you think I should've done differently with the above blend--or, better still, let's hear about your blends, even if it's just two or three oils. *Which ones that you've mixed do you like? *Or what didn't you like about them?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Homemade fragrance hits and misses

    Carnation would be a note you may enjoy experimenting with in a blend like this. And just a (small) amount of Jasmine or Ylang Ylang helps to smooth out the composition of citrus and woods as well as the herbaceous notes like rosemary.

  3. #3
    Allen-on-Holiday's Avatar
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    Default Re: Homemade fragrance hits and misses

    I might've used only one drop of spearmint instead of two, because a little goes a long way
    * It certainly does. I have discovered that a couple of drops of spearmint makes my entire fragrance smell like spearmint gum! But I have a recipe I just started working on: so far, there are only 3 oils... but I can make it more complex later.
    * Here it is: Ylang-ylang: 5 drops, Wintergreen: 3 drops, and Anise: 8 drops. (I noticed you also have these oils--minus the wintergreen--- in your fragrance. The ylang-ylang and the anise seem to "fit together" for some reason. And the wintergreen makes it smell "fresh". Like I said, I can make it more complex later, but for now I am thrilled to find oils that, so far, SEEM to work together. When I get some more black pepper oil, I think it will make it better. (My favorite cologne scents have pepper in them.)
    Licorice candy for breakfast, and another dab of Black Vines by Kerosene. And a spritz of Plum Japonais for Sunday.

    I like what I like what I like what I like what I like what I like what I like what I like what I like

  4. #4

    Default Re: Homemade fragrance hits and misses

    The measurement is in drops. *I let about half a drop of clove come out of the bottle (euro-dropper) and touched it to the side of the mixing bottle. *Clove is very strong and will overwhealm everything else easily if you use too much (like the wintergreen). *I put these into a bottle (5ml euro-dropper) and filled the rest with jojoba oil. *I like it being oil-based, it lets you smell it in the bottle without smelling alcohol.

    3 bergamot
    2 cypress
    1 sage
    2 ylang-ylang
    10 sandalwood
    2 lime
    1 neroli
    1 vetiver
    0.5 clove

    The top note is a bit too soapy, but the middle and base notes are pretty nice. *I'd say I like it a lot better than most commercial ones (which I think suck), but I wouldn't say it's good, either. *I'm very particular.

  5. #5
    Yvan
    Guest

    Default Re: Homemade fragrance hits and misses

    FlyingMoose, that looks like a really nice blend!

  6. #6

    Default Re: Homemade fragrance hits and misses

    Quote Originally Posted by FlyingMoose

    The top note is a bit too soapy, but the middle and base notes are pretty nice. I'd say I like it a lot better than most commercial ones (which I think suck), but I wouldn't say it's good, either. I'm very particular.
    I'm sort of curious about the soapy note. I'm trying to create that note actually - you know, clean and soapy. Where do you think the soapy note is coming from?

  7. #7

    Default Re: Homemade fragrance hits and misses

    Here are a few suggestions for anyone starting out in natural perfumery:

    1) Familiarize yourself with the concepts of volatility, diffusiveness and measure.
    a) Volatility means how quickly ( or not ) an oil "dries out." Tenacity is opposite of volatility For example, lavender EO has an herbal phenolic top note which dries out within a few minutes, and a floral herbal woody middle note that, depending on the grade of EO you're using and how tight or broad its odor profile is, can last fifteen minutes or longer. In contrast, pure vetiver EO has a fairly linear profile and outstading tenacity, meaning it lasts quite long ( one month or more on a blotter! ) and doesn't change as it dries out.
    b) Diffusiveness means the individual concentrations of fragrance components you are using, and this is quite important because most every natural component ( EO, absolute or S/CO2 ) manifests different odor profiles at different concentrations. Understanding this concept is absolutely crucial when creating natural perfumes! I see most of you are measuring your components by the drop? That's actually very wasteful: the concentrations are waaaay too strong - you're missing the subtleties of the oils you're using. The best dilutant for hobbyists is, as has been suggested in the postetd preamble to this group, Everclear. It's 90% grain alcohol with almost no sugars, whereas lower proof vodkas or "triple distilled" grain alcohols have a surprising level of sucrose ( table sugar ) in them. If you're not comfortable using Everclear, use jojoba oil. Jojoba won't go rancid like cooking oils. Never use rubbing alcohol: methyl alcohol is poisonous and your kidneys transform it into formaldehye!

    c) Measure is important, too. I suggest you keep a journal of how the oils smell to you at different concentrations. Better yet, dilute all your oils to begin with. Keep your EO sources at full strength ( naturally,) taking maybe ten drops or so to dilute into whatever medium you choose. Then keep your dilutions separate from your source oils. Once you start using dilutions ( some people call them tinctures ) instead of straight oils, you begin to understand the subtleties of natural EO's. If you're using EO's at full strength, you might as well be using cheap fragrance oils. To illustrate measure, a blend using vetiver, atlas, geranium, ylang, cumin, bergamot and lemongrass would have the following proportions ( per drop of diffusion: )
    vetiver: 2 drops
    atlas: 9
    geranium: 3
    ylang: 5
    cumin: 1
    bergamot: 15

    Thus, the more components you use, the higher their individual concentraions will be, but their diffusiveness will always be the same from formula to formula. It's a hard point to get at first, but it is an inescapable truth in perfumery. At some point, you may choose to stop using drops as a measure at all. Depending on how viscous an oil is, one drop of Vetiver EO is almost twice the mass of a drop of lavender. The point here is, if you don't use reproducible techniques to create your fragrances, you'll never get them quite right. If you're comfortable with adding titch here and a dash there, wonderful - but all your effort is wasted if you can reproduce exactly the arrangements you create.

    Jeez, I just realized this post is getting rather longish. If you're skeptical of my suggestions, try this: dab a blotter strip ( use coffee filters cut in long thin rectangle if you don't have 20# bleached white paper ) in straight Patchouli ( an oft-abused, overused and important component ) and let the small amount of oil soak into the strip. Then, do the same with your patchouli dilution. Let's assume you have 5 drops patchouli to 50 drops Everclear or 30 drops jojoba and have let your dliution sit out for a few days ( never use a dilution until the EO has "married" the carrier medium, usually after three days to as long as a week.) Let both strips cure for about a minute before you put your nose in them. When ready, hold one strip about five inches away from a nostril and take a long, studious inhale. Put the strip down. Clear your olfactory palate with the aroma of some fresh ground coffee beans. Yes, I'm quite serious. Then do the other strip. Notice that in order to really study the full strength strip you have to hold it much farther away. By contrast, you've already spread out the odor profile in your dilution, so you can actually pick out its defining characteristics much more easily and accurately. And I promise you will enjoy natural perfumery much more this way.

    If anyone is interested, I'm currently writing a book on - what else? - natural perfumery. Notice I did NOT say aromatherapy. You don't NEED a chemistry degree to be a perfumer, but you MUST use a more scientific methodology in your fragrance creation than "patchouli is an earth note, cassie is a fire note, clary sage a water note," etc.

    Please let me know if this has been at all helpful. Any encouragement I can get while finishing this book up will go a long way.

    Thanks!

    TM

  8. #8

    Default Re: Homemade fragrance hits and misses

    Nice post. I do have a couple of comments.

    Never use rubbing alcohol: methyl alcohol is poisonous and your kidneys transform it into formaldehye!
    I am not aware of any rubbing alcohol that contains methanol. Rubbing alcohol is generally 70% isopropanol/ 30% water.

    c) Measure is important, too.
    ...
    Depending on how viscous an oil is, one drop of Vetiver EO is almost twice the mass of a drop of lavender. The point here is, if you don't use reproducible techniques to create your fragrances, you'll never get them quite right. If you're comfortable with adding titch here and a dash there, wonderful - but all your effort is wasted if you can reproduce exactly the arrangements you create.
    Yes, but if a drop of Vetiver were always twice the mass of a drop of lavendar then the measurement by drops would be reproducible. The problem is that the viscosity of different batches of the same EO, say vetiver, may vary which would produce inconsistency in the mass of a drop. Dissolving the EOs in alcohol though will tend to greatly lessen any variability in viscosity between batches of the same EO.
    All these moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Homemade fragrance hits and misses

    Excellent post Elaibund!! Be great if you could post a recipe or two to elucidate your point on diffusions or dilutions better.Tres interesante.Thanks Roland.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Homemade fragrance hits and misses

    To Flathorn: The soapy quality may be from sage. I ate some dressing in Indiana and my immediate reaction was "this tastes like soap". I realized they had spilled the sage in it. (Well, maybe not; they seem to like sage-y dressing in those parts.)

    I'm new here; I wasn't sure how to reply to a specific post...

  11. #11

    Default Re: Homemade fragrance hits and misses

    Here's a "recipie" of sorts for those who like Armani Pour Homme. Armani is a light, crisp, aromatic citrus/herbal/amber fragrance with a zesty lemon/sage top note, a heart of expensive florals and rare woods and a base of, among others, ambergris and vetiver.

    Since this is a layered fragrance, meaning it has a definite drydown from top to mid to bottom, it's necessary to compose each layer's central accord before blending. Layering and blending are important concepts to understand. You stand little chance of creating a perfume you could actually wear in public (without people asking you what overpowering smells is) if you don't master layering and blending. It's at this point a lot of people find out they just don't have the olfactory acumen necessary to pick apart a "professional" fragrance, reverse engineer it and recreate it reasonably well. It better to realize this now than waste potentially hundreds of dollars on discrete single-note components in the years to come.

    If you haven't started, you should use diluted natural essential oils. Everclear ( very strong vodka or 95% grain alcohol ) makes a satisfactory base, although if you need perfumers alcohol I know a guy who knows a guy. For every 4ml of base you can add 6-8 drops of the heavy oils like patchouli and vetiver and 9-10 drops for the more mobile oils like petitgrain and sage. The idea here is that you want each component (essential oil) diffuse enough as to actually be able to appreciate the oil's entire odor profile. And they mix waaaay better this way. All of the oils that follow have been diluted beforehand in this manner.

    Base note: Ambergris, Vetiver, Patchouli

    There IS a very broad accord here between the patchouli and vetiver, even though to most people it just smells "woodsy," that supports the rest of the fragrance from the bottom up. Uncut pogostemon cablin oil (patchouli) is very dark and viscous, but when it's diluted you begin to see what a beautiful component it really is. It has an ambery, woody, leafy, fecal character that marries very nicely to the grassy/herbal aspects of the diluted vetiver.

    Patchouli : Vetiver - 5 : 1 (in drops)
    This "blend" then becomes its own note in the rest of the fragrance. These natural oils are very warm and complex, so I recommend letting this blend sit for about a week before you try to introduce it into your creation. It doesn't matter how well you "shake" or "mix" or otherwise blend two components together: important chemical reactions occur over the course of several days that change the odor profile of your blend. A note here: it's a good idea in hindsight to "name" each of your blends. For example, I call this particular blend of dark patchouli and Haitian vetiver "Silverwood." Don't ask me why. After about a week, however, I decided the resulting blend was too "dry." I wanted to bring out the ambery notes of the patchouli more without accentuating the harsher elements. I have several blends maturing at any one time, so it's not like I'm just waiting on the one batch. In this case, I knew from previous research that the guaiacol in fine guaiacwood oil would blend Silverwood more tightly while adding a slightly ambery, balsamic character I though was lacking in this particular blend as compared to the original. I made a "sub" tincture of guaiacwood and copaiba oils 3:2 in ratio and tried it out on a blotter against a blotter of Silverwood. I have found this following method indispensible in matching a difficult accord. Take both blotter strips and hold them about three inches away from your nose. Never put any fragrance component, blend, tincture or whatever, right next to your nose! With the blotters extended thus, I kept the Silverwood accord at three inches below my nose and put the guaiac tincture ( which I named "Golden" for this exercise ) about a foot below that. Then I moved the strip of Golden up towards the other blotter strip, noting how close together the strips must be before 1) the Golden made any impact on the Silverwood, and 2) at what distance from the Silverwood the Golden cancelled out the elements of the Silverwood I wanted to keep. Just play around with it. To three different vials of Silverwood ( mere drops ) I added the Golden in different ratios until I found the one that came closest to duplicating the woody/amber aspect of Armani I wanted to recreate. In this case it came out to 17 parts Silverwood and 5 parts Golden. Immediately I new it was perfect. By this time I had already started work on the heart and head layers, so when the "Goldenwood" as I called this quadruple blend was perfect I knew I only had to add a tiny portion of ambergris to the base to make it symmetrical with the other layers. I'm about 90% sure the nose at Armani used ambrettolide instead of a true ambergris substitute. Real ambergris is too scare and expensive to use in perfumery ( unless you're a Hilton or Onassis. ) I don't like ambrettolide. It's fragrant only at a very, very high diffusion in a base, and to me it screams "synthetic!" Even in the actual Armani fragrance. Here's an instance where a "natural" perfumer's creation actually smells BETTER than the real deal! I acquired some synthetic ambergris oil, and it is absolutely heavenly. Very warm and organic with a rainbow of ambery notes that as a base note really creates that professional touch. To finish off the base note I made several test blends, tried them out on blotters against the Goldenwood, and determined I only needed 1 part ambergris to 7 parts Goldenwood. The resulting blend I simply called "Armani Completed Base."

    I also learned what ratios of certain oils in dilution created specific effects or accords. This is important because I will definitely be using this knowledge on future personal fragrance creations. So, my Silverwood, Golden, et. al., have become part of my perfumers repertoire or pallette.

    I'm afraid if I go into the heart layer or Armani in this post some readers will find this "recipie" too verbose. If anyone wants me to continue, please post your feedback. Be harsh. Be honest. If I deserve it, praise is a great motivator, too.

    TM

  12. #12

    Default Re: Homemade fragrance hits and misses

    Eliabund: *Wow. *Yours is exactly the type of PRACTICAL narrative I hoped to find on this forum. *We're both new here (you have 2 posts, I have 6?) but you are obviously NOT new to fragrance blending (as I am)! *Your post is delightful.

    I, for one, look forward to the "rest of the story...", even though I am "neither here nor there" about this particular scent. * Your capacity for "nosing out" a fragrance and reproducing it is admirable, and your detailed description of the process is captivating.

    Thank you for sharing!! *DO go on...

  13. #13

    Default Re: Homemade fragrance hits and misses


    For accuracy sake and to prevent cross contamination of ingredients try getting a range of pipettors with disposable tips from a laboratory supplies company. also, pure alcohol (though pricey) is often available from such suppliers. Will post some weblinks (suitable for UK customers) later.

    Incedentally, I have purchased animal scents (ambergris, civet, castoreum) from profumo, good but will go for tincture set in future. I also bought some other ingredients from them which all arrived dissolved in alcohol ina spray topped bottle- would have preferred pure oil to be sure of concentrations and a dropper to be sure of quantities, my own fault for not checking - though as I say they do smell great, and the quality is good.

    Merry Xmas

    Tony

  14. #14

  15. #15

    Default Re: Homemade fragrance hits and misses

    Hi Eliabund.I have been studying your text here for a couple of days.I would really love for you to continue with the middle notes.I think,in general,the basenotes are what are the most important as they last the longest.The basenotes here didn't seem too complex.
    I have to get some of the original Armani now that you have posted this recipe.I have never smelled it,however I have hear it is like Lorenzo Villoresi's Uomo.Thanks very much,Roland.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Homemade fragrance hits and misses

    I hope someone can help me figure this out. I am making a cologne for a friend who wants something woodsy, smoky and a bit spicy--we've been playing around with the formula. There is something in the formula that is faintly reminiscent of Viks vapor rub which I am trying to eliminate and I can't determine which oils/combination of oils is producing this almost menthol effect. This is what we used to create the fragrance:
    8 Sandalwood
    6 Madagascar Vanilla
    2 Blonde Tobacco
    9 Lavandin
    3 Guaicwood
    7 Rosewood
    3 Bergamot
    2 Black Pepper



  17. #17
    moondeva's Avatar
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    Default Re: Homemade fragrance hits and misses

    Quote Originally Posted by Sofia
    I hope someone can help me figure this out. *I am making a cologne for a friend who wants something woodsy, smoky and a bit spicy--we've been playing around with the formula. *There is something in the formula that is faintly reminiscent of Viks vapor rub which I am trying to eliminate and I can't determine which oils/combination of oils is producing this almost menthol effect. *This is what we used to create the fragrance:
    8 Sandalwood
    6 Madagascar Vanilla
    2 Blonde Tobacco
    9 Lavandin
    3 Guaicwood
    7 Rosewood
    3 Bergamot
    2 Black Pepper
    I think it may be the Lavandin / Rosewood combo which is causing the airy 'vicks vapour rub' smell. I find a similar effect in certain stages of Jicky and other herbaceous / 'green' woody 'fougeres' like Crown Fougere.

    HTH
    Favourite (Winter) Crazy Combos

    Tabu + Orange Blossom * Hermes Rouge + Bellodgia* Voleur du Roses+ Rose Ispahan * Rasa Extreme + Paris * Wood Coffee + Cafe Noir *

  18. #18

    Default Re: Homemade fragrance hits and misses

    Thank You! I'm back to the drawing board

  19. #19

    Default Re: Homemade fragrance hits and misses

    Hi! *I have been really impressed by the stuff I've been reading on this site. *Some of you guys seem to be incredibly creative and knowledgeable regarding perfumery. *Also, I didn't realise how important proportions can be. *I'm an aromatherapist, but no perfumerer, I only 'do' one home made scent consisting of a 'bit' of sandalwood, a 'splash' of peppermint and a really good 'slosh' of basil. *Rather surprisingly, it always smells really good :. *However, I realise that as a fragrance it's probably incomplete (sigh), being somewhat naive in its simplicity and lacking depth of character. *Maybe I should be more adventurous but once I've put in the sandalwood (expensive ), I'm always afraid of ending up with some poisonous brew. *Oh hang it, you lot have inspired me, I'm off to experiment with the vetiver!
    One hour later: *OK, to my basic concoction I've added some vetiver, benzoin, grapefruit, nutmeg, more vetiver, more grapefruit. *WOW! *Think I've created one of the truly great perfumes of the 21st century! *Once it's macerated a bit, it'll be unbelievable. *Now all I need is some amazing 'nose' to tell me the recipe! *
    Later on ........ *Toooooo much Vetiver! *I think I have aftershave!! *When I've regained my strength will have to add more of the other ingredients to tone it down a bit. *(Either that or give it to my husband for his birthday.) *Wonder how big this bottle of perfume is going to end up? *Might be a never-ending story .......................

  20. #20

    Default Re: Homemade fragrance hits and misses

    Quote Originally Posted by Sofia
    I am making a cologne for a friend who wants something woodsy, smoky and a bit spicy--we've been playing around with the formula. There is something in the formula that is faintly reminiscent of Viks vapor rub which I am trying to eliminate and I can't determine which oils/combination of oils is producing this almost menthol effect.
    I'd also suspect the lavandin. I don't have any myself, but I understand it's fairly camphoraceous.

  21. #21

    Default Re: Homemade fragrance hits and misses

    Quote Originally Posted by Hoppity
    OK, to my basic concoction I've added some vetiver, benzoin, grapefruit, nutmeg, more vetiver, more grapefruit. WOW! Think I've created one of the truly great perfumes of the 21st century! Once it's macerated a bit, it'll be unbelievable. Now all I need is some amazing 'nose' to tell me the recipe!
    Later on ........ Toooooo much Vetiver! I think I have aftershave!! When I've regained my strength will have to add more of the other ingredients to tone it down a bit.
    Careful with the vetiver! It's strong stuff, as you've noticed...

    Also, while grapefruit smells great in blends, it can go funky on skin, so watch out for that.

  22. #22
    Allen-on-Holiday's Avatar
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    Default Re: Homemade fragrance hits and misses

    I am really into essential oils right now: I've decided that, since I haven't yet found my Signature Scent, I will create my own. *8-) * I am working on a few ideas right now: I don't really want a "fresh" scent, but I am wondering if there's a good way to blend wintergreen so that it doesn't overpower, and yet, enhances a scent. I just got some more black pepper (the place I usually buy it stopped selling it), so now I can add that to my creations: yum. I want to keep it simple, and I wouldn't mind wearing pepper and basil to work. (Sounds good, doesn't it?) But of course, I will probably eventually expand all my ideas. *:P *I would also still like to hear what blends well with anise, if anyone knows. *
    Licorice candy for breakfast, and another dab of Black Vines by Kerosene. And a spritz of Plum Japonais for Sunday.

    I like what I like what I like what I like what I like what I like what I like what I like what I like

  23. #23
    mastorer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Homemade fragrance hits and misses

    Wintergreen can be used to advantage in frags. Make sure you dilute it downt to at strongest 10% (in alcohol, IMP=isopropyl myristate, or DPG=dipropylene glycol) and just use a trace. The effect is to sweeten-up a scent without smelling like a back liniment. The odorant in wintergreen is methyl salicylate. There is a whole family of salicylates which are useful smellers. Isoamyl salicylate has a keen orchid smell and is used alot.

    Mike, perfumer in Los Angeles.
    MICHAEL STORER fine niche perfumery for the individualist
    www.michaelstorer.com

  24. #24

    Default Re: this one works _ aveda love blend...

    attempt at aveda's love blend (no. drops in 100 ml of jojoba and almond oil)

    frankincense 17
    myrhh 1
    sandalwood 7

    rose 6
    jasmine 10
    ylang ylang 6


    escents - calm blend_orange + frankenscense 16
    escents dream blend_sandalwood + ylang ylang 4

    http://www.escentsaromatherapy.com/
    www.aveda.com

    these are perfect aromatherapy shops to shop in as you can smell many different blends to compare...

  25. #25

    Default Re: Homemade fragrance hits and misses

    wow you are amazing thanks so much..i do appreciate your knowledge so much please write more! or even if you have a personal website that would be great...

    loved your post it clarifies alot!
    I am the sweet fragrance in the earth. I am the heat in the fire, the life in all living beings, and the austerity in the ascetics. -bhaghavad-gita

    fave scents: le feu d'issey, missoni by missoni, armani prive bois d'encens, prive ambre soie, calvin klein truth, liz claiborne curve for men, estee lauder youth dew amber nude, any escada ibiza hippie, etc, gucci rush for men, paco rabanne...
    sandalwood, frankincense, myrhh, cinnamon, clove, amber, peppery, woody, smoky scents...

  26. #26

    Default Re: Homemade fragrance hits and misses

    Quote Originally Posted by Eliabund
    Here's a "recipie" of sorts for those who like Armani Pour Homme. Armani is a light, crisp, aromatic citrus/herbal/amber fragrance with a zesty lemon/sage top note, a heart of expensive florals and rare woods and a base of, among others, ambergris and vetiver.

    Since this is a layered fragrance, meaning it has a definite drydown from top to mid to bottom, it's necessary to compose each layer's central accord before blending. Layering and blending are important concepts to understand. You stand little chance of creating a perfume you could actually wear in public (without people asking you what overpowering smells is) if you don't master layering and blending. It's at this point a lot of people find out they just don't have the olfactory acumen necessary to pick apart a "professional" fragrance, reverse engineer it and recreate it reasonably well. It better to realize this now than waste potentially hundreds of dollars on discrete single-note components in the years to come.

    If you haven't started, you should use diluted natural essential oils. Everclear ( very strong vodka or 95% grain alcohol ) makes a satisfactory base, although if you need perfumers alcohol I know a guy who knows a guy. For every 4ml of base you can add 6-8 drops of the heavy oils like patchouli and vetiver and 9-10 drops for the more mobile oils like petitgrain and sage. The idea here is that you want each component (essential oil) diffuse enough as to actually be able to appreciate the oil's entire odor profile. And they mix waaaay better this way. All of the oils that follow have been diluted beforehand in this manner.

    Base note: Ambergris, Vetiver, Patchouli

    There IS a very broad accord here between the patchouli and vetiver, even though to most people it just smells "woodsy," that supports the rest of the fragrance from the bottom up. Uncut pogostemon cablin oil (patchouli) is very dark and viscous, but when it's diluted you begin to see what a beautiful component it really is. It has an ambery, woody, leafy, fecal character that marries very nicely to the grassy/herbal aspects of the diluted vetiver.

    Patchouli : Vetiver - 5 : 1 (in drops)
    This "blend" then becomes its own note in the rest of the fragrance. These natural oils are very warm and complex, so I recommend letting this blend sit for about a week before you try to introduce it into your creation. It doesn't matter how well you "shake" or "mix" or otherwise blend two components together: important chemical reactions occur over the course of several days that change the odor profile of your blend. A note here: it's a good idea in hindsight to "name" each of your blends. For example, I call this particular blend of dark patchouli and Haitian vetiver "Silverwood." Don't ask me why. After about a week, however, I decided the resulting blend was too "dry." I wanted to bring out the ambery notes of the patchouli more without accentuating the harsher elements. I have several blends maturing at any one time, so it's not like I'm just waiting on the one batch. In this case, I knew from previous research that the guaiacol in fine guaiacwood oil would blend Silverwood more tightly while adding a slightly ambery, balsamic character I though was lacking in this particular blend as compared to the original. I made a "sub" tincture of guaiacwood and copaiba oils 3:2 in ratio and tried it out on a blotter against a blotter of Silverwood. I have found this following method indispensible in matching a difficult accord. Take both blotter strips and hold them about three inches away from your nose. Never put any fragrance component, blend, tincture or whatever, right next to your nose! With the blotters extended thus, I kept the Silverwood accord at three inches below my nose and put the guaiac tincture ( which I named "Golden" for this exercise ) about a foot below that. Then I moved the strip of Golden up towards the other blotter strip, noting how close together the strips must be before 1) the Golden made any impact on the Silverwood, and 2) at what distance from the Silverwood the Golden cancelled out the elements of the Silverwood I wanted to keep. Just play around with it. To three different vials of Silverwood ( mere drops ) I added the Golden in different ratios until I found the one that came closest to duplicating the woody/amber aspect of Armani I wanted to recreate. In this case it came out to 17 parts Silverwood and 5 parts Golden. Immediately I new it was perfect. By this time I had already started work on the heart and head layers, so when the "Goldenwood" as I called this quadruple blend was perfect I knew I only had to add a tiny portion of ambergris to the base to make it symmetrical with the other layers. I'm about 90% sure the nose at Armani used ambrettolide instead of a true ambergris substitute. Real ambergris is too scare and expensive to use in perfumery ( unless you're a Hilton or Onassis. ) I don't like ambrettolide. It's fragrant only at a very, very high diffusion in a base, and to me it screams "synthetic!" Even in the actual Armani fragrance. Here's an instance where a "natural" perfumer's creation actually smells BETTER than the real deal! I acquired some synthetic ambergris oil, and it is absolutely heavenly. Very warm and organic with a rainbow of ambery notes that as a base note really creates that professional touch. To finish off the base note I made several test blends, tried them out on blotters against the Goldenwood, and determined I only needed 1 part ambergris to 7 parts Goldenwood. The resulting blend I simply called "Armani Completed Base."

    I also learned what ratios of certain oils in dilution created specific effects or accords. This is important because I will definitely be using this knowledge on future personal fragrance creations. So, my Silverwood, Golden, et. al., have become part of my perfumers repertoire or pallette.

    I'm afraid if I go into the heart layer or Armani in this post some readers will find this "recipie" too verbose. If anyone wants me to continue, please post your feedback. Be harsh. Be honest. If I deserve it, praise is a great motivator, too.

    TM
    wow you are amazing thanks so much..i do appreciate your knowledge so much please write more! or even if you have a personal website that would be great...

    loved your post it clarifies alot!
    I am the sweet fragrance in the earth. I am the heat in the fire, the life in all living beings, and the austerity in the ascetics. -bhaghavad-gita

    fave scents: le feu d'issey, missoni by missoni, armani prive bois d'encens, prive ambre soie, calvin klein truth, liz claiborne curve for men, estee lauder youth dew amber nude, any escada ibiza hippie, etc, gucci rush for men, paco rabanne...
    sandalwood, frankincense, myrhh, cinnamon, clove, amber, peppery, woody, smoky scents...

  27. #27
    dirk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Homemade fragrance hits and misses

    Quote Originally Posted by Allen-at-home
    * It certainly does. I have discovered that a couple of drops of spearmint makes my entire fragrance smell like spearmint gum! But I have a recipe I just started working on: so far, there are only 3 oils... but I can make it more complex later.
    * Here it is: Ylang-ylang: 5 drops, Wintergreen: 3 drops, and Anise: 8 drops. (I noticed you also have these oils--minus the wintergreen--- in your fragrance. The ylang-ylang and the anise seem to "fit together" for some reason. And the wintergreen makes it smell "fresh". Like I said, I can make it more complex later, but for now I am thrilled to find oils that, so far, SEEM to work together. When I get some more black pepper oil, I think it will make it better. (My favorite cologne scents have pepper in them.)
    BE CAREFUL: even if anise is often mentioned in those perfume pyramids, it does not necessarily mean that it is the eo that went into that particular perfume! in your ylang-anise ratio, the ylang would be hit dead by the anise... be careful, thus...
    si doux, tout musc...

  28. #28
    dirk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Homemade fragrance hits and misses

    @ eliabund:

    hm... i've never heard the word layering/to layer in that context, but ok...

    i'm glad that you mention the importance of making solutions for the hobby-perfumer who unlikely would have access to a professional precision lab scale, which is all-important when someone wants to repeat results exactly.

    note that ambrettolide is a macrocyclic musk and NOT an ambergris-material! being one of the most expensive of synthetics, it occurs naturally in ambrette seed where it is the main smelling constituent as well as in angelica root oil, where it is responsible for the musky note. by no way is ambrettolide a harsh or synthetic smelling material, but one which is mostly used as a trace-ingredient in fine perfumery. its smell reminds one of bread or even more strongly st.john's bread. a not very perfumery smell on its own thus. For the understanding of early modern perfumery i'd like to add here, that the use of a tincture of ambrette seed was a highly esteemed single-note perfume in the 19th century.
    si doux, tout musc...

  29. #29

    Default Re: Homemade fragrance hits and misses

    Quote Originally Posted by Eliabund
    ... If anyone wants me to continue, please post your feedback. Be harsh. Be honest. If I deserve it, praise is a great motivator, too.

    TM

    TM,

    If these extracts represents the type of material that you intend to publish, you can rest assured that I will will be in line to purchase a copy.

    Are you planning on digitial publishing (PDF) or are you planning to appeal to publishing houses with manuscript drafts (traditional)?




    Wonder, wonderful posts, by the way; I've throughly enjoyed reading them.

    I would like to respectively ask that you continue to give current commercial fragrances as comparison guides along with your recipes. For those of us who are interested in making our own colognes, these give us a frame of reference without necessarily committing to purchasing the all of the required essential oils to try it ourselves.

    I kindly ask that you continue your posts; they are inspiring to read and learn from.

    -joedy

  30. #30

    Default Re: Homemade fragrance hits and misses

    me too ill buy anything!

  31. #31

    Default Re: Homemade fragrance hits and misses

    Quote Originally Posted by Eliabund
    If anyone wants me to continue, please post your feedback. Be harsh. Be honest. If I deserve it, praise is a great motivator, too.
    TM
    Excellent post, please do continue!

  32. #32

    Default Re: Homemade fragrance hits and misses

    Yes, but if a drop of Vetiver were always twice the mass of a drop of lavendar then the measurement by drops would be reproducible. The problem is that the viscosity of different batches of the same EO, say vetiver, may vary which would produce inconsistency in the mass of a drop. Dissolving the EOs in alcohol though will tend to greatly lessen any variability in viscosity between batches of the same EO.[/QUOTE]

    I found indispensable to have a balance which weights the thousandth of gram.
    When I have ultimated a composition by drops, I reproduce it multiplicating the drops by ten times and mesuring the weicht of each component.
    In this way I do have a pretty precise formula that I can reproduce by weight in any quantity.

  33. #33

    Default Re: Homemade fragrance hits and misses

    Quote Originally Posted by Eliabund
    ...and have let your dliution sit out for a few days (never use a dilution until the EO has married; the carrier medium, usually after three days to as long as a week.)....


    Please let me know if this has been at all helpful. Any encouragement I can get while finishing this book up will go a long way.

    Thanks!

    TM
    TM,

    Could you provide a brief commentary concerning why the oils need to marry to the carrier medium?

    Are we talking a chemical or a mechanical bond between the molecular molecules?

    Does daily or repeated agitation of the carrier mixture beneficial or harmful and does agitation help the carrier mixture ready faster?



    I've already read your posts about a dozen times and continue to learn more, but I thirst for even more yet!

    I do encourage you along and I hope to hear from you regarding the status of any work currently in progress.



    I know that this question is not germane to the topic directly, but what technique would you recommend for making an aftershave balm with the following ingredients: aloe vera gel, witch hazel, peppermint EO and rosehip EO (or perhaps rose hydrosol)?

    Please do continue your posts!

    -joedy

  34. #34

    Default Re: Homemade fragrance hits and misses

    Here is a Hit i made after a million tries:
    it's called GRIMOIRE
    and here are the notes:

    top: green lemons, bergamot.
    middle: ylang-ylang, rose absolute (bulgaria), lilac, "wild flowers" bouquet.
    base: red musk, vanilla, vetiver, sandalwood.

    and here is the picture:


    cheers!

  35. #35

    Default Re: Homemade fragrance hits and misses

    Quote Originally Posted by castorpollux
    Here is a Hit i made after a million tries:
    it's called GRIMOIRE
    and here are the notes:

    top: green lemons, bergamot.
    middle: ylang-ylang, rose absolute (bulgaria), lilac, "wild flowers" bouquet.
    base: red musk, vanilla, vetiver, sandalwood.

    and here is the picture:


    cheers!
    formula? hehe

  36. #36

    Default Re: Homemade fragrance hits and misses

    I know that this question is not germane to the topic directly, but what technique would you recommend for making an aftershave balm with the following ingredients: aloe vera gel, witch hazel, peppermint EO and rosehip EO (or perhaps rose hydrosol)?
    In this case you can choose between the use of floral waters only (hydrolates of witch hazel, peppermint and rose), or the use of a solubiliser like PEG-40 hydrogenated castor oil.

    Besides that you need a gum or gelling agent to make it a balm. Don't forget to preserve your balmon.

  37. #37

    Default Re: Homemade fragrance hits and misses

    Quote Originally Posted by Yvan
    Here's a thread where we can post on homemade fragrances that we either think were a success, a "miss," or somewhere in between. Even if you combine only a few oils, let's hear about it. It'll help the rest of us know either what to do or what not to do. I'll start with a 1 oz. blend I created a few months ago.

    Top: lemon 15 drops; petitgrain 15; bergamot 15; basil 8; spearmint 2; rosemary 2

    Heart: anise 15; nutmeg 10; clove 8; tuberose 7; rose geranium 5; ylang ylang 3

    Base: sandalwood 13; cedarwood 10; cistus labdanum 10; patchouli 5; vanilla 5; benzoin 4; vetiver 3

    Okay, let me preface by saying this was part of only my second batch ever, and I've been under the impression that more is better, in terms of how many oils you mix; I've recently come to believe that this isn't necessarily so. And for my third batch, which is "curing" now, I've blended oils that are more harmonious, as I found not all of the above oils were really good together, or at least in the quantities I added--in other words, I've stopped using some and added others in their place.

    I think of the above product as "somewhere in between" a hit and a miss. I don't wear it much because, for about the first hour, the whole scent is fairly raw--but after that, it gets smoother and a lot nicer. I've heard that EO blends can smell raw (as opposed to designer scents, which don't, as a rule, probably because of the synthetics). But I suspect part of the rawness may be due to my using too much petitgrain, which seems to give it a slightly "twiggy" citrus smell, and too much cistus labnamum.

    Also, I should've used more lemon and bergamot up top (smoother citrus); it could use more vanilla and/or benzoin for sweetening; and I might've used only one drop of spearmint instead of two, because a little goes a long way. I've learned a lot from my first two batches, and hopefully those lessons will result in my third batch being better.

    So, feel free to tell me what you think I should've done differently with the above blend--or, better still, let's hear about your blends, even if it's just two or three oils. Which ones that you've mixed do you like? Or what didn't you like about them?
    sorry i havent tried it but... it seems like it would smell most like lemon and sandalwood? can u describe what commerical fragrance it smelled like? sorry i have like no experience and have made just one or two batches myself...i find that vetiver really sticks around a long time as a base note, using just a few drops... cypress and sandalwood you need alot of to make an effect... the most overwhelming and strong oils are cassia bark, lemon, vetiver, myrhh is very strong one drop in 100mls makes the whole thing smell like pine or fir i think.. my favourite oils are frankincence, sandalwood, and balsam fir...

    also i find that using too many oils just makes an olfactory mess... my best blends have been one or two oils, isn't that the rule of thumb for the most classic fragrances? very simple...
    I am the sweet fragrance in the earth. I am the heat in the fire, the life in all living beings, and the austerity in the ascetics. -bhaghavad-gita

    fave scents: le feu d'issey, missoni by missoni, armani prive bois d'encens, prive ambre soie, calvin klein truth, liz claiborne curve for men, estee lauder youth dew amber nude, any escada ibiza hippie, etc, gucci rush for men, paco rabanne...
    sandalwood, frankincense, myrhh, cinnamon, clove, amber, peppery, woody, smoky scents...

  38. #38

    Default Re: Homemade fragrance hits and misses

    Quote Originally Posted by Allen-at-home
    I am really into essential oils right now: I've decided that, since I haven't yet found my Signature Scent, I will create my own. 8-) I am working on a few ideas right now: I don't really want a "fresh" scent, but I am wondering if there's a good way to blend wintergreen so that it doesn't overpower, and yet, enhances a scent. I just got some more black pepper (the place I usually buy it stopped selling it), so now I can add that to my creations: yum. I want to keep it simple, and I wouldn't mind wearing pepper and basil to work. (Sounds good, doesn't it?) But of course, I will probably eventually expand all my ideas. :P I would also still like to hear what blends well with anise, if anyone knows.
    i smelled a terrific blend at escents.com... of anise and orange, wow it smelled like creamsicle wonderful, i want to try to recreate it! honestly try it i don't know why it smelled so milky with the anise!
    I am the sweet fragrance in the earth. I am the heat in the fire, the life in all living beings, and the austerity in the ascetics. -bhaghavad-gita

    fave scents: le feu d'issey, missoni by missoni, armani prive bois d'encens, prive ambre soie, calvin klein truth, liz claiborne curve for men, estee lauder youth dew amber nude, any escada ibiza hippie, etc, gucci rush for men, paco rabanne...
    sandalwood, frankincense, myrhh, cinnamon, clove, amber, peppery, woody, smoky scents...

  39. #39

    Default Re: Homemade fragrance hits and misses

    Quote Originally Posted by ire
    also i find that using too many oils just makes an olfactory mess... my best blends have been one or two oils, isn't that the rule of thumb for the most classic fragrances? very simple...
    most "classic fragrances" use between 100 and 300 notes.

  40. #40

    Default Re: Homemade fragrance hits and misses

    [quote]most "classic fragrances" use between 100 and 300 notes.[quote]

    I think you mean between 100 and 300 ingredients?

    A Bergamot note may be composed of bergamot eo, some rosewood eo, aldehyde C11, linalyl acetate, lemon eo etc. so you sometimes use a lot of materials to compose only one note.

  41. #41
    Dimitrios's Avatar
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    Default Re: Homemade fragrance hits and misses

    What a fantastic informative thread ,, to important to be languishing forgotten for ober 12 months ,,
    I have some Edt's that I don't like and I will be modifying them ,, The first one will be Grey Flannel ,, Im gonna begin experimenting as soon as my decanting kit arrives ,, Any suggestions in adding some thicker basenotes appreciated ,, cheers .

    SALES
    JANUARY 2013 ..http://community.basenotes.net/showthread.php?t=232133

    *** SPECIAL - LUI ROCHAS , 3.3oz Sealed ***

    FLACON .. Updating Soon flacon.ambaric.net/viewtopic.php?t=43

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