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  1. #1

    Default Am I doing something wrong?

    Today I went out and bought several EOs from a health food store.

    I bought the following: Sage, Texas Cedarwood, Nutmeg, Ginger, Neroli, Roman Chamomile, Lime, Lemon, Sweet Orange, Tangerine, and Rosewood

    I already had vetiver, patchouli, lavender, myrhh, frankincense plus the perfumers world basic kit which includes linalool, some spice accords, some florals, woods, etc.

    Man, aside from one fragrance I made a few weeks ago that was a decent iris scent, I find I'm unable to make anything decent out of this shit.

    I'm not incredibly surprised--I previously figured that to make anything good and modern, I'd definitely need to get my hands on some cutting edge synthetics. But I wonder if maybe I'm just doing it wrong. Given what I have, should i be able to make something really nice and high quality? Or is everything damned to smell like a rough, dense, herbal hodgepodge? Seriously, could an able-bodied perfumer (not me, but a pro) be able to make something every bit as good as a L'Artisan out of what I have? or is it just that the stuff I have is all wrong or completely insufficient for what I'm trying to do?

    For example... I bought this ginger oil. I like the ginger notes in stuff like Bulgari Blu and Miller et Bertaux #2 Spiritus/Land. But man, this ginger oil smells like the flatulence of a person who ate too much Chinese food! I cannot in any way make a palatable ginger note out of this stuff--not matter HOW much I dilute it! Is this normal, or is it just because I'm still a green hack? I mean, mixing these oils and diluting them... still, they are incredibly dense and have no sense of "space" in them. I know i need more experience in learning tenacity and how quickly notes will appear in a composition etc... But I need some advice.

    And also, for those of you who do use alot of synthetics, where do you get them? Do you get samples from places like IFF? And if so, how does that work?

    Thanks!

  2. #2

    Default Re: Am I doing something wrong?

    I have almost no experience in making scents, except some experiments I did lots of years ago mixing aromatic bath oils. But from what I remember maybe you need some aldehydes: this synthetic components that have signed the birth of modern perfumery, are still nowaday used not only to fix a fragrance, but also for blurring/melting together the basic notes of a scent. Take No. 5, the epithome of aldehydic perfumes, it smells like an abstract flower as, due to high aldehydes C10 and C11 percentage, single floral notes in it (may rose, jasmine, etc) are completely blurred together obtaining an imaginary and undefined floral smell. I guess you should do quite the same with your ginger note melted with some others to obtain that spatial dymension you look for. I cannot help you about where to buy aldehydes though; maybe lookin' on the web...

  3. #3

    Default Re: Am I doing something wrong?

    Quote Originally Posted by Indie_Guy
    Today I went out and bought several EOs from a health food store.

    I bought the following: Sage, Texas Cedarwood, Nutmeg, Ginger, Neroli, Roman Chamomile, Lime, Lemon, Sweet Orange, Tangerine, and Rosewood

    I already had vetiver, patchouli, lavender, myrhh, frankincense plus the perfumers world basic kit which includes linalool, some spice accords, some florals, woods, etc.

    Man, aside from one fragrance I made a few weeks ago that was a decent iris scent, I find I'm unable to make anything decent out of this shit.

    I'm not incredibly surprised--I previously figured that to make anything good and modern, I'd definitely need to get my hands on some cutting edge synthetics. But I wonder if maybe I'm just doing it wrong. Given what I have, should i be able to make something really nice and high quality? Or is everything damned to smell like a rough, dense, herbal hodgepodge? Seriously, could an able-bodied perfumer (not me, but a pro) be able to make something every bit as good as a L'Artisan out of what I have? or is it just that the stuff I have is all wrong or completely insufficient for what I'm trying to do?

    For example... I bought this ginger oil. I like the ginger notes in stuff like Bulgari Blu and Miller et Bertaux #2 Spiritus/Land. But man, this ginger oil smells like the flatulence of a person who ate too much Chinese food! I cannot in any way make a palatable ginger note out of this stuff--not matter HOW much I dilute it! Is this normal, or is it just because I'm still a green hack? I mean, mixing these oils and diluting them... still, they are incredibly dense and have no sense of "space" in them. I know i need more experience in learning tenacity and how quickly notes will appear in a composition etc... But I need some advice.

    And also, for those of you who do use alot of synthetics, where do you get them? Do you get samples from places like IFF? And if so, how does that work?

    Thanks!
    no, its just cuz u dont know how to make perfume, its a very hard idea to deal with. trust me. it'll take years... im only beginning to realize that... i use to think synthetics would cure all my problems.. but really.. thats just a defense mechanism hehe

    keep working at it, you get better with time, ive created a few frags that could possibly be called "reasonable" at this point (3 years in)

    some oils are just plain crap tho, really depends on the supplier.. sometimes theyre crap to the point that they will produce off results when you blend them. I had that happen with some chinese bergamot and some crappy coriander oil i bought from a local store.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Am I doing something wrong?

    A few resources for you:

    A yahoo group of self-taught/hobby perfumers with an emphasis on learning to work with synthetics, led by Jenny, a member here:

    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/perfumemaking/

    One of my favorite sources for quality natural materials in small quantities (I would never buy EOs at a health food store after experiencing the difference!)

    http://www.edenbotanicals.com/

    For sample-size quantities of naturals and synthetics at reasonable prices:

    http://www.perfumersapprentice.com/

    An excellent book to study (available at public libraries, too)

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/047...lance&n=283155

  5. #5

    Default Re: Am I doing something wrong?

    hmmm, im a newbie too..and having the same problems...

    i have friends who are really into healthy living and essential oils in general and i could never understand it, most oils smell just terrible! i even have a friend who wears just patchouli and i think it reeks... ugh..

    however, i was in aveda a few years ago, and smelled their aveda love purefume...its just amazing, this heavy oil that smells like ylang ylang and sandalwood...

    determined to recreate it, i shopped at an aromatherapy store which we have in canada called escents... the girl working there helped me to recreate the scent... keep trying and be really subtle about it, one drop at a time and start with a scent that you know about, and just keep trying... drop by drop...just one drop of the wrong oil can end up making the WHOLE batch smell like that oil! some are much more overpowerign than others..

    hope that helps im such a newbie and don't really know much about perfume... darn it, im probably the equivalent of being tone deaf to music sometimes i think perfumes smell great even though others hate them! like estee lauders new youth dew...

    they only allow you to add about 40-70 drops of essential oil to about 100 ml of a jojoba and almond massage oil base which is unscented... they also had a number of their blended oil concoctions in the store...

    we made a mixture experimenting with various other oils that i knew were in the aveda LOVE blend... sandalwood, myrhh, (sorry bad speling its really late now) frankenscence, rose, jasmine and ylang ylang... the mixture was a bit heavy and she suggested adding some citrus to it to liven it up... we ended up adding alot more of one of the blends they were already marketing with frankencense and mandarin which almost smelled like love...

    what we produced was just amazing! about 70 drops of oils in it, and it was just a wonderful blend... i love it more than the aveda mix!! it doesnt have much staying power, the top notes disappear as soon as you put it on almost and all you can smell is sandalwood! it smells totally different in the bottle!

    and im not sure how to correct this... should i add grapeseed oil or some sort of fixative? the blend now is actually strong enough for me, i was hoping to make more of a facial oil as my skin is so dry and the only thing that helps is coconut oil... so i usually mix a part of this blend with coconut oil to dilute the fragrance and use as a moisturizer... it would be nice as a perfume but i figure if im using it on my skin all day, its probably strong enough...

    next task is to recreate issey miyake's le feu dissey which has been discontinued! this has rose, coriander, pepper, golden lily, gauic wood, and amber.. ill probably try to substitute somethign for the gauic wood like rose wood....

  6. #6
    Allen-on-Holiday's Avatar
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    Default Re: Am I doing something wrong?

    "But man, this ginger oil smells like the flatulence of a person who ate too much Chinese food!"

    I know what you mean: when I smelled the tester of ginger essential oil, I thought it stunk! But of course, when blended with other oils, it smells good.

    "i even have a friend who wears just patchouli and i think it reeks... ugh.."

    I tried patchouli today: I pulled out the tester thing, and put a little on the back of my hand, and it doesn't smell BAD to me, but when I smell it, I am in the lumber aisle at Home Depot. To me, it smells EXACTLY like lumber: nothing special. And since it's not bad, but nothing special, I can't justify paying $11.00 for it, although it would probably be PERFECT for blending my black pepper and orange oil. Okay, okay, if I really want it, I will buy it. But I don't want to create a scent that has already been created... but of course, creating an absolutely original fragrance is close to impossible nowadays, since there are so many out there that have already been created, ha. So what do you think of patchouli, pepper, and orange (or mandarin) oil together? And speaking of mandarin, where I buy it, the mandarin is almost TWICE the price of orange, but I can't really smell any difference: is there any?
    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

  7. #7

    Default Re: Am I doing something wrong?

    I've been playing with this for a few months and I have a few (hopefully helpful) comments.
    The EOs are everything. Eden Botanicals is fabulous. The best. I also like many from Liberty Natural Products and Leaves and Roots has some nice ones, also. Liberty and Eden give you a lot of data on the species, method of extraction, etc.. that is very helpful. For example, frankincense can come from several species, that smell completely different. Same with cedar, sandalwood, etc.. Try before you buy! Sample vials are a good idea if an oil is more expensive. Second, natural perfumes just smell different. I really like them, but they are a different world from commercial perfumes. Third, it seems best (for me) to try out different combos of just 2 oils at a time and make notes on which go well and which don't. You'll get a lot of surprises. I still can't find a match for ginger lily. Then choose one note you'd like to build a fragrance around (my son and I tried chocolate/orange first). Since I'm a newbie, I don't use more than 7 or 8 oils all together, sometimes just 4 or 5. I also try them as solids for a different effect. My son and I have come up with 3 so far that we really like, and he's got a really weird one brewing for his signature scent! We've tossed about 10 concoctions, after making notes on why they were, um, yucky. Lots of lots of notes. This is a hobby that obviously takes many years, and that's why it really intrigues me.

  8. #8
    Allen-on-Holiday's Avatar
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    Default Re: Am I doing something wrong?

    "Since I'm a newbie, I don't use more than 7 or 8 oils all together, sometimes just 4 or 5."

    Yes, me, too: if it doesn't start to smell good with a few oils, I certainly don't want to put MORE oils in the mix. Actually, I have noticed all the mixes I have tried so far have a sour-ish smell... Could it be the vegetable glycerin base I'm using? I hope not because, as I recall, it was quite cheap. I am probably not mixing the "right" ingredients together. Oh, well: it takes time to create a wonderful fragrance.
    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

  9. #9

    Default Re: Am I doing something wrong?

    I use jojoba oil as a base because I have no access to Everclear here, and the available vodka is only 40% alcohol, which works, but it's a cloudy mixture not attractive. I've heard fractionated coconut oil can work, too, and is cheaper.

  10. #10
    Allen-on-Holiday's Avatar
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    Default Re: Am I doing something wrong?

    "I use jojoba oil as a base because I have no access to Everclear here"

    I just bought some jojoba oil too: it certainly mixes better with essential oils than the vegetable glycerin I was using.
    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

  11. #11

    Red face Re: Am I doing something wrong?

    It might help if you look at each oil separately first, get to know it really well. Ginger is very powerful and can be unpleasant. There are different gingers out there and it's a good idea to get your hands a few. Just start with baby steps, one oil at a time and move on from there.
    Try some absolutes and concretes as well not just essential oils. Good Luck!
    Last edited by RuRu; 14th September 2007 at 03:43 PM. Reason: typo

  12. #12

    Default Re: Am I doing something wrong?

    My general guess would be that an essential oil should smell somewhat like the plant that it's derived from (I know this is not true of all essential oils). Ginger, being a rather familiar note to me, I would be suspicious of any essential oil that smelled more like a ginger fart than the ginger itself. I say this with my nose not bearing down on the openning of the vessel containing the essence, but a few inches away. Giving the oil some room to "breath" before it hits my sinuses.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Am I doing something wrong?

    You may find a ginger lily CO2 or ginger CO2, or even galangal EO, more pleasant to work with than ginger EO.

    As others have said, less is more when working only with naturals, since each natural is so complex in itself. I'd be specially wary of combining too many things at comparable levels in your perfume ... in other words, let only a *very few* notes be dominant, and let the others play a minor supporting role.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Am I doing something wrong?

    Quote Originally Posted by caribou55313 View Post
    You may find a ginger lily CO2 or ginger CO2, or even galangal EO, more pleasant to work with than ginger EO.

    As others have said, less is more when working only with naturals, since each natural is so complex in itself. I'd be specially wary of combining too many things at comparable levels in your perfume ... in other words, let only a *very few* notes be dominant, and let the others play a minor supporting role.
    Yeah, it's been a LONG time since I started this thread. I had no idea what I was doing back then, but nowadays I do. I had to learn things the hard way. And Caribou, you are definitely correct about what you just said. It's a big lesson to learn, but you feel good when you finally figure it out!

    And on the subject of ginger, I'm going to try out some of these other materials-- because the ginger EO smells like rotten Asian food/pet vitamins no matter how much I dilute it. YUCK!

  15. #15

    Default Re: Am I doing something wrong?

    Indie Guy, I'm at the point you were when you posted that message way back. There's lots of good info in this thread, but what are your personal tips for a newbie?

  16. #16

    Default Re: Am I doing something wrong?

    Quote Originally Posted by Indie_Guy View Post
    And on the subject of ginger, I'm going to try out some of these other materials-- because the ginger EO smells like rotten Asian food/pet vitamins no matter how much I dilute it. YUCK!
    Get Eden's ginger CO2. Very nice.

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