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Thread: Total newbie

  1. #1

    Default Total newbie

    So I decided to get into this to add to my plethora of hobbies, why not? I bought a handful of oils that seem to be popular in fragrance making: sandalwood, cedarwood, bergamot, vetiver, patchouli, many more.

    When they first came in, I obviously opened each one and gave it a little sniff. They are very powerful, and somehow they all smell the same. Maybe not the same odor but the same bite, I don't know.

    I made 4 mixes that I thought would work well together, again, just strong. I think I learned quickly that it's the final diluted product that will smell extremely different(and better) than the concentrated oils. It is through the maturing process where they start to work together to get their final odor.

    It seems that we need to have enough foresight(or forescent I guess) to estimate what the final product will smell like. I can say that I'm not really pleased with how it is right now.

    Like I said, I have no idea what I'm doing, and think that, like everyone else, I'm just going to learn through experimentation. I'm a little worried that I'm doing this all wrong at the same time. Can someone pat me on the back and tell me everything is going to be okay? haha Can someone explain what happens during the maturing process and what I or any other newbie would need to know?

    Cheers,
    Dan

  2. #2

    Red face Re: Total newbie

    My words of advice are practice, practice, and practice some more. It is like learning to play the piano...It takes time..Get to know your ingredients, learn the strength of the oils, some will take over and others are faint....After they sit and mature ...in 1 month maybe you will smell mostly one base note. Learn from that. Some of the top notes will have faded and you won't smell them.......Note that in a book. Keep records.

    I have been making aromatherapy blends and natural perfumes for 15 years....I don't know everything....Some combinations don't work for me....just have fun and experiment..

    Rome wasn't built in a day...

    Just play with the oils and see what works for you....

    JoAnne
    JoAnne Bassett, Perfumer
    http://www.JoAnneBassett.com

  3. #3

    Default Re: Total newbie

    Quote Originally Posted by JoAnne View Post
    My words of advice are practice, practice, and practice some more. It is like learning to play the piano...It takes time..Get to know your ingredients, learn the strength of the oils, some will take over and others are faint....After they sit and mature ...in 1 month maybe you will smell mostly one base note. Learn from that. Some of the top notes will have faded and you won't smell them.......Note that in a book. Keep records.

    I have been making aromatherapy blends and natural perfumes for 15 years....I don't know everything....Some combinations don't work for me....just have fun and experiment..

    Rome wasn't built in a day...

    Just play with the oils and see what works for you....

    JoAnne
    Thanks for the reply.

    Oh I know about practice, I play 4 instruments

    I guess my question is, how close should the final product smell(after a month) to the mixture I have now? Many of the scents are very sharp smelling, which I hope will fade and be a little more subtle later. Should I expect a huge chance or only very small?

  4. #4

    Default Re: Total newbie

    Because I don't know your exact formula I will just say that vetiver and patchouli are very strong and can really take over a blend...esp patch...

    In 4 weeks it will mellow....If you used too much patchouli...good luck...it will need to be diluted way down. The mixture should be much more rounded and it will not smell much like what you have now. The oils "marry" and it becomes something greater than the individual parts. That is the great thing......it is a mystery until you open it and smell it in a month.....

    Make several experiments on the same theme just tweaking the formula a little...

    JoAnne
    JoAnne Bassett, Perfumer
    http://www.JoAnneBassett.com

  5. #5

    Default Re: Total newbie

    Quote Originally Posted by JoAnne View Post
    Because I don't know your exact formula I will just say that vetiver and patchouli are very strong and can really take over a blend...esp patch...

    In 4 weeks it will mellow....If you used too much patchouli...good luck...it will need to be diluted way down. The mixture should be much more rounded and it will not smell much like what you have now. The oils "marry" and it becomes something greater than the individual parts. That is the great thing......it is a mystery until you open it and smell it in a month.....

    Make several experiments on the same theme just tweaking the formula a little...

    JoAnne
    Well like I said, I put together several blind mixtures(really blind).

    Here's one
    14 drops of Bergamot
    2 drops of vanilla
    3 drops of sandalwood
    3 drops of cedarwood

    two:
    10 drops of lime
    8 drops of lavender
    3 drops of lemongrass

    three:
    3 drops of bergamot
    2 drops of frankincense
    3 drops of cedarwood

    four:
    3 drops of sandalwood
    2 drops of cedarwood
    5 drops of sage
    2 drops of veviter
    10 drops of bergamot
    3 drops of patchouli
    6 drops of ginger

    I don't know what I was going for with that last one hah..

  6. #6

    Red face Re: Total newbie

    Four has lots of base notes...have you read any books or taken any classes on making perfume or aromatherapy blends?

    That would really help.........
    JoAnne
    JoAnne Bassett, Perfumer
    http://www.JoAnneBassett.com

  7. #7

    Talking Re: Total newbie

    Hi Dan and welcome. I also added this hobby to many and had the same experience with the sharpness of essential oils. So, if I may, I have some suggestions for you. Read up on everything about perfumery that you can. Take good detailed notes. Get some coffee filters and cut them in strips or get tester strips and test out every individual oil that you have, carefully noting changes in strength,longevity and scent profile. Even if you decide to get some of the same oils from another source, test them out. Do the same with your mixes. Don't sniff directly from the bottle. Use your hand to waft air past the opening toward your nose to get an idea as to what it will smell like if you don't want to do the strips thing. I know most of this has already been mentioned , but as you know repetition (read that practice) is the only real way to get better.

    Cheers,
    James

  8. #8

    Default Re: Total newbie

    I'm trying my hand at this stuff too. I haven't actually bought anything yet (just started reading online this week) - but hope to this weekend. JoAnne...you mentioned reading/educating yourself on this "art"...do you have any suggestions? I'd love to read anything I can!
    --------------------------------------
    I see you put the essential oils together - did you dilute your mixture with alcohol too? Or are you waiting to do that? If you did - how many drops of what did you put in there?
    Last edited by michellek75; 4th May 2007 at 01:47 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

  9. #9

    Default Re: Total newbie

    Quote Originally Posted by JoAnne View Post
    Four has lots of base notes...have you read any books or taken any classes on making perfume or aromatherapy blends?

    That would really help.........
    JoAnne
    You're probably right! It wasn't until later last night that I actually made a chart as to which oils matches with which kind of notes. I did it by looking at some existing pyramids on this site. Maybe I'm wrong...

    Top -
    Bergamot
    Lavender
    Lemongrass
    Lime peel
    Frankincense

    Middle -
    Ginger
    Sage
    Cedarwood

    Base -
    Patchouli
    Vetiver
    Sandalwood
    Vanilla


    Care to make any corrections? I couldn't find a solid list anywhere.
    --------------------------------------
    Quote Originally Posted by mstrocovie View Post
    Hi Dan and welcome. I also added this hobby to many and had the same experience with the sharpness of essential oils. So, if I may, I have some suggestions for you. Read up on everything about perfumery that you can. Take good detailed notes. Get some coffee filters and cut them in strips or get tester strips and test out every individual oil that you have, carefully noting changes in strength,longevity and scent profile. Even if you decide to get some of the same oils from another source, test them out. Do the same with your mixes. Don't sniff directly from the bottle. Use your hand to waft air past the opening toward your nose to get an idea as to what it will smell like if you don't want to do the strips thing. I know most of this has already been mentioned , but as you know repetition (read that practice) is the only real way to get better.

    Cheers,
    James
    Thanks! I did also purchase a pack of strips to try this stuff with.

    My way of learning is hands-on. Seeing(or smelling in this case) a difference between A and B, and knowing why. I'm fairly confident that the batches I put together above are going to be crap. I wish I had a few recipes that are known to be good that I could throw together to get started.

    I am trying to read up as much as I can. I typically learn everything on the Internet these days and haven't looked at any books. Do you have any suggestions? Are there any web pages that you frequent(other than this one) that seem to be informative?

    Dan
    --------------------------------------
    Quote Originally Posted by michellek75 View Post
    I'm trying my hand at this stuff too. I haven't actually bought anything yet (just started reading online this week) - but hope to this weekend. JoAnne...you mentioned reading/educating yourself on this "art"...do you have any suggestions? I'd love to read anything I can!
    --------------------------------------
    I see you put the essential oils together - did you dilute your mixture with alcohol too? Or are you waiting to do that? If you did - how many drops of what did you put in there?
    I did dilute very small samples. I'm probably way off, but I used 24 drops of alcohol, 8 drops of distilled water, for every drop of the mixed oils.
    Last edited by fragnewb; 4th May 2007 at 03:26 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

  10. #10

    Default Re: Total newbie

    Mandy Aftel- Essence and Alchemy

  11. #11

    Default Re: Total newbie

    Quote Originally Posted by mstrocovie View Post
    Mandy Aftel- Essence and Alchemy
    I forgot to say "thank you". Unfortunately, this book doesn't have enough pictures in it. (it's a joke). I'm almost done reading it, very informative! Thanks

  12. #12

    Default Re: Total newbie

    i suggest you dilute your oils in dpg first, make concentrations of 0.1, 0.05 and 0.01, this way its easy to use 17 parts this 25 parts that without emptying entire bottles of oil

  13. #13

    Default Re: Total newbie

    Quote Originally Posted by smellyliquid View Post
    i suggest you dilute your oils in dpg first, make concentrations of 0.1, 0.05 and 0.01, this way its easy to use 17 parts this 25 parts that without emptying entire bottles of oil
    I think it's true, also, that you can smell some oils more precisely when they are diluted as opposed to full streangth. Same goes for blending. I find that blending notes at EDT streangth gives me a better sense of what I can expect as an end product.

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