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  1. #1

    Default Fragrance formulation sheets and beginning.

    I have been looking through this subject with interest. I came across this page whilst browsing for more information. May be useful to some of you.

    http://www.perfumemirror.com/2009/11...ormula-sheets/

    I understood EO, absolute, and FO/ synthetic but didn't know what concrete meant.

    I'm not quite sure where to start, but I suppose seeing what essential oils I already have is a good one. Then get a base oil and start mixing some simple blends to see what happens.

    What fun. If nothing works I can just bung it all in the bath and have a lazy soak. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Fragrance formulation sheets and beginning.

    I use a custom spreadsheet that will tell me exactly what percentage of the total any given amount is. Or, it allows me to do it in reverse and let me specify that I want ingredient X to be 2.75% of the total, and it will tell me the amount needed (I just have to enter in the total amount of the blend and dilution that I want).

    I think it's very very important to see what percentage of the concentrate any given component is. To me, seeing something like 25 drops of bergamot (well, I work in uL as drops is not very accurate, either, but that's another topic) in blend tells me nothing without calculating how many drops are in the total blend and what percentage those 25 drops would be. 25 drops in one blend may be 10%, in another it may be 3%, and yet in another it may be 25%.

    Only by observing the various percentages of ingredients, and how those ingredients work together at that given percentage, do you really learn anything useful.
    ***For sale:

    Iris Pallida 50ml

    Ungaro I 75ml

    and more!
    - http://www.basenotes.net/threads/301...n-Man-and-more

  3. #3

    Default Re: Fragrance formulation sheets and beginning.

    Something i am interested in is the impact of one essential oil on another, and also I was reading of the influencing of a particular note by chemical means, something like benzyl butyrate. I can see there is buckets to learn first.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Fragrance formulation sheets and beginning.

    Tons and tons and tons to learn. You could easily spend a year just getting acquainted with the various natural essential oils, and then another year or two learning all of the aroma chemicals, and then a lifetime learning how they all interact!

    I've had to cut back on it as it was taking up too much time. The blending itself takes a fair bit of time, but then analyzing the fragrance requires at minimum sniffing it repeatedly over the course of many hours on a test strip, or better yet, on your skin.

    I've only ever worked with all-naturals. In some regards I think working with the synthetics should be easier/quicker to learn as they don't really evolve in the same way naturals do, and each aroma chemical is far "simpler" an aroma than an essential oil which is often composed of hundreds of chemicals, but then that relative simplicity is offset by the thousands of aroma chemicals available.
    ***For sale:

    Iris Pallida 50ml

    Ungaro I 75ml

    and more!
    - http://www.basenotes.net/threads/301...n-Man-and-more

  5. #5

    Default Re: Fragrance formulation sheets and beginning.

    Hours and hours and hours of fun. I am familiar with many of the essential oils, but I've only blended them for their aromatherapy values. Perfume perfection must begin with the first step. I'll be back with some questions no doubt with the first wrong pong.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Fragrance formulation sheets and beginning.

    A concrete is the substance that is used to make an absolute from. Concretes are rarely used as is in perfumery.

    One of the most important things of making perfumes is writing down exactly what you added to your perfume mix, otherwise you never can make that perfect perfume again. If this for helps you I would use it. I usualy make a draft and work it out afterwards in a spreadsheet program.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Fragrance formulation sheets and beginning.

    If you are making a new fragrance, what sort of end result quantities are we talking about to begin with? Presumably the larger the quantity made initially, then the greater the chance of reproducing it accurately. I'm talking loosely here as in enough to make half an ounce or a much larger amount.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Fragrance formulation sheets and beginning.

    I use prediluted solutions, everything at 20% (keep in mind i'm using all naturals. If i were using synthetics i'd surely dilute them down WAY further, and still may dilute some of my stronger naturals down further to make them easier to work with. The nice thing about everything being at 20% is that I know my final blend is always a 20% concentration), and assorted micropipettes (0.25ul, 1ul, 5ul, 10ul, 20ul, 100ul). Most of my initial stage blends are less than 1ml in size, and often less than 0.5ml even. This allows me to use expensive absolutes at high percentages of a blend if I so choose, without wasting a ton of money on every failed experiment. Further, I can buy 1ml of an absolute (a 'sample size'), dilute it to 5ml at 20%, and be set for a long, long time. Even so, it will easily cost into the thousands to have a fully stocked organ with 200+ oils/absolutes/c02 extractions, etc.
    Last edited by SculptureOfSoul; 8th February 2010 at 08:01 PM.
    ***For sale:

    Iris Pallida 50ml

    Ungaro I 75ml

    and more!
    - http://www.basenotes.net/threads/301...n-Man-and-more

  9. #9

    Default Re: Fragrance formulation sheets and beginning.

    Thank you. That is a brilliant piece of advice for a beginner. I can take off 1ml of each of my essential oils, dilute that to 20% with a carrier oil to start with. Then I can play happily without wastage and can try them on straight away in early eagerness without much harm done. I may start like an amateur artist and 'copy' the masters first to see what happens and to 'train' my nose to recognise elements of a blend having prior knowledge of what is within. Basic perhaps, but probably as much as I need to learn to start with.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Fragrance formulation sheets and beginning.

    I got the micropipettes from a science company, along with some very very small glass capillary tubes (these are the 0.25ul and 1ul sizes). They are TINY and break easily and the 0.25 are so thin that some of the thicker oils just won't work with them at all at 20% dilution, but for the most part they do work and they allow me to add TINY amounts. 1 drop from a conventional pipette is about 10-15ul, so this 0.25ul size is 40 or more times smaller than a single drop!)

    I also use 5ml glass sample vials to mix in..they look like the small 1ml variety but have a wider diameter and are quite a bit taller. I can't seem to find them online anymore though.

    I also got a number of 5ml bottles to keep all of my pre-dilutions in. These I got from SKS bottle.

    If you'd like more information lemme know.
    ***For sale:

    Iris Pallida 50ml

    Ungaro I 75ml

    and more!
    - http://www.basenotes.net/threads/301...n-Man-and-more

  11. #11

    Default Re: Fragrance formulation sheets and beginning.

    Quote Originally Posted by SculptureOfSoul View Post
    I use prediluted solutions, everything at 20% (keep in mind i'm using all naturals. If i were using synthetics i'd surely dilute them down WAY further, and still may dilute some of my stronger naturals down further to make them easier to work with. The nice thing about everything being at 20% is that I know my final blend is always a 20% concentration), and assorted micropipettes (0.25ul, 1ul, 5ul, 10ul, 20ul, 100ul). Most of my initial stage blends are less than 1ml in size, and often less than 0.5ml even. This allows me to use expensive absolutes at high percentages of a blend if I so choose, without wasting a ton of money on every failed experiment. Further, I can buy 1ml of an absolute (a 'sample size'), dilute it to 5ml at 20%, and be set for a long, long time. Even so, it will easily cost into the thousands to have a fully stocked organ with 200+ oils/absolutes/c02 extractions, etc.
    This is also how I work. Although I don't use pipettes anymore but a precision (laboratory) scale that weights up to 0.0001 g. That is sure worth saving for.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Fragrance formulation sheets and beginning.

    Just some interest questions.
    What do you do with all your 'failed experiments'?
    Did you have many more of them at the beginning, or do you get more fussy as you go along?
    Are there some basic stock items you cannot do without?
    I hope you don't mind me grilling you like this....

  13. #13

    Default Re: Fragrance formulation sheets and beginning.

    Quote Originally Posted by mumsy View Post
    Just some interest questions.
    What do you do with all your 'failed experiments'?
    Did you have many more of them at the beginning, or do you get more fussy as you go along?
    Are there some basic stock items you cannot do without?
    I hope you don't mind me grilling you like this....
    I don't believe in failed experiments. I mostly let any blends just be and pick them up again months later. Something wonderful can emerge just given enough time. Or I scent candles or laundry/dish washer with them.

    My basic stock items are (I use these a lot)

    Naturals
    Orange
    Grapefruit
    Patchouli
    Labdanum
    Rose Geranium
    Mint
    Bergamot
    Vanilla absolute
    Cardamom
    Cinnamon
    Ginger
    Ylang Ylang
    Vetiver
    Lavender
    Olibanum
    Amyris
    Black pepper

    Do you want to hear aromachemicals as well?
    Last edited by Irina; 9th February 2010 at 12:25 PM. Reason: *typo edit

  14. #14

    Default Re: Fragrance formulation sheets and beginning.

    Yes please if you find you need them.

    I am a real beginner with perfumes. I only did aromatherapy mixes before for moods and healing reasons. The smell didn't concern me so much as the effect.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Fragrance formulation sheets and beginning.

    You've just sent me off in a flurry of excitement to dig out all my oils to see what I have already.

    Off your list I have:-

    Sweet Orange
    Patchouli
    Bergamot
    Cinnamon leaf
    Ylang ylang extra
    Lavender (drop or two left)
    Black pepper

    others I have:-

    Palmarosa
    Cypress
    Tea tree
    Benzoin
    Rosemary (drop left)
    Eucalyptus
    Thyme
    Citronella
    Lime
    Clary sage
    Niaouli
    Cedarwood

    Then two attar oils:-
    Ambergris (this really ponks)
    White musk

    and some jovan musk oil

    That isn't too bad. I must be able to make something out of those. Mine are a bit medicinal though.
    I've read that Benzoin and cedarwood are fixatives and lavendar is a bridge.
    I have a 250ml bottle of fractionated coconut oil, so I shall find myself a little corner or a tray and set up.

    Is it true that you need to smell coffee beans to 'cleanse the nose' after smelling lots of perfumes?

  16. #16

    Default Re: Fragrance formulation sheets and beginning.

    oops forgot one

    and Labdanum (tiny bottle)

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Fragrance formulation sheets and beginning.

    Mumsy, I also suggest saving those "failed experiments." These are important data in your learning about how individual smells combine to make new smells. Even if it's not what you want today, next time you think about, say, combining 50% Lavender, 30% Ylang-ylang and 20% Lilac, you can just smell your old sample.

    I suggest not only keeping records but keeping them in a bound notebook. Everything in one place makes it easy to find last year's experiment that might be relevant to today's idea.

    I also work at 10% dilution. I've never tried working with less than about 30 microliters of any one component. I want enough of each mix that I can smell it in the bottle, on paper and maybe - if I like it - on my skin.

    Don't forget to have fun.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Fragrance formulation sheets and beginning.

    1 cannot have too much naturals There are endless possibilities and all can be valuable to your blends.

    As for aromachems, you could try the $95 kit from Linda:
    http://store.perfumersapprentice.com/beginnerskits.html

    Or you could buy the smallest quantities at Jan:
    http://www.hekserij.nl/en/Internatio...20Hekserij.PDF

    Good starters are, imo:
    Benzyl acetate: jasmine/white flowers
    Benzyl alcohol: floral vanilla, good builder
    Benzyl salicylate: light vanilla, good base for florals
    Citronellol: geranium & rose
    Coumarin: tonka bean
    Ethyl brassylate: musk T
    Ethyl vanillin: vanilla
    Geraniol: rose
    Hedione: good floral builer, jasmine/white flowers
    Hydroxycitronellal: lily of valley
    Iso E super: woody amber
    Linalool: lavender/herbs/bergamot, good floral and herbal builder
    Lyral: lily
    Metyl anthranylate: neroli
    Methyl ionone: violet
    Musk ketone: old fashioned musk
    Phenyl ethyl alcohol: rose
    Terpineol alpha: lilac
    Trepanol: rose

    Jan also carries some wonderful naturals (Oakmoss & mimosa absolute!) at very resonable prices.

    Have fun shopping and blending
    Last edited by Irina; 10th February 2010 at 09:20 AM. Reason: Linda link added

  19. #19

    Default Re: Fragrance formulation sheets and beginning.

    Quote Originally Posted by mumsy View Post
    If you are making a new fragrance, what sort of end result quantities are we talking about to begin with?
    It depends. I typical use about 30 different ingredients to start with and make about 5 gram that is around 200-250 drops. Sometimes I can use less ingredients, making only 2 gram or less.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Fragrance formulation sheets and beginning.

    Quote Originally Posted by mumsy View Post
    Just some interest questions.
    What do you do with all your 'failed experiments'?
    Did you have many more of them at the beginning, or do you get more fussy as you go along?
    Are there some basic stock items you cannot do without?
    I hope you don't mind me grilling you like this....
    Every now and then I discard the items I don't like or use. I don't think you should be to quick with deciding that an experiment is a failure, sometimes the perfume changes radical in a few weeks - months time.
    I never had much real failing experiments, start simple, in that case only little can go wrong.

    For "basic stock" the most important items are the solvents / mediums you use. For me the most important are:
    - Pure alcohol 96%
    - Perfumers alcohol ("Cosmetisch haarwater")
    - DPG
    - DEP
    - BB

    Important naturals for me are:
    - Bergamot EO
    - Lavender EO
    - Cedar virginia EO
    - Geranium china EO
    - Labdanum resinoid
    - Oakmoss absolute
    - Patchouli EO
    - Clary sage EO
    - Vetiver EO
    - Ylang ylang III EO
    - Benzoin Siam resinoid

    Important synthetics for me:
    - Benzyl acetate
    - Benzyl salicylate
    - Citronellol
    - Civet Hx (any civet replacer will do)
    - Ethylene brassylate
    - Eugenol
    - Phenyl ethyl alcohol
    - Galaxolide
    - Geraniol
    - Hedione
    - Iso E Super
    - Linalool
    - Linalyl acetate
    - Methyl ionone
    - Ionone alpha
    - Lyral
    - Terpineol alpha
    - Vanillin
    - Omegapenta decalactone (Exaltolide)

    But it is of course a start, my perfume organ contains over 300 substances, from which the above ar used the most I think.

  21. #21

    Default Re: Fragrance formulation sheets and beginning.

    Thank you. You are all being really kind and patient. I certainly have a good place to start now. I think the next thing to do is get a pretty notebook or file, a permanent corner that is out of the kiddy trail, and to start mixing in a nice organised fashion.

    I will begin with some simple mixes, then I may try and copy the ingredients of some perfumes I have, or know the smell of, out of the basenote directory, and see if I can smell what is happening in the difference between mine and theirs.

    This really is fun, and at least the product will be useful for gifts (hopefully), so not quite a self indulgent waste of money.

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