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  1. #1
    bonni's Avatar
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    Default Taking suggestions for a new blend

    Okay. I've got a blend that I like, and while it's very pleasant (has a nice roselike accord in the heart and very nice woody-sweet base), it's lacking something. I thought I'd ask for input on what I might try.

    Top: Blood Orange, Pink Grapefruit

    Middle: Rose Geranium, Palmarosa, Rosewood (lingers into the base), Lavender, Spikenard (lingers into the base)

    Base: Patchouli, Australian Sandalwood, Benzoin Styrax

    In general, it's a nice fragrance, floral and slightly sweet, definitely wearable, but here are the things I find need work:

    The top notes don't last very long AT ALL. I know this is typical with citrus oils, but they're so fleeting as to be unremarkable. Is there some way to "support" the top notes so they have a little more oomph? I'm happy to add some other floral or even something green (I'm a fan of pettigraine, for example) to round out the top a little more, but at the moment I'm not experienced enough as a perfumer to have many ideas in this area.

    The middle is very pleasant, smooth, but pretty ordinary as these things go. I really like Rose Geranium, so that's fine, but it feels like it could have something extra in there to give it some punch. I was thinking maybe Black Pepper? Again, I'm open to suggestions, but I really like the roselike accord there and I don't want to sweeten it up or green it up too much, which is why I thought pepper might work.

    The base is very nice, don't really have any complaints there. It's woody and slightly sweet, which is what I was going for.

    So. Thoughts, suggestions, ideas, if you have some, throw them my way.
    "Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other."
    -Karl, age 5

  2. #2

    Default Re: Taking suggestions for a new blend

    Hi, I was thinking of Carrot seed or Galbanum.

    I just went up there and just for a bit of fun, tried to mix an approximation with what I had.

    T - 2 sweet orange, 2 bergamot
    M - 2 geranium bourbon, 2 palmarosa, 2 rosewood, 2 lavender fine, 2 oakmoss
    B - 2 patchouli, 2 sandalwood spic, 2 benzoin

    Mine came out like a rosy medicine!!! So I added

    4 elemi to calm the lavendery medicine down
    1 carrot seed to beef up the whole thing
    2 galbanum to leaf up
    1 ylang ylang extra to flower up

    Mine's a bit wierd actually as I wasn't paying any attention to the proper quantities of base to top and i haven't used the right ingredients either.... I'm really not sure that has helped you at all.... but I enjoyed doing it.

    Maybe I should have asked about the proportions first ...

  3. #3
    bonni's Avatar
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    Default Re: Taking suggestions for a new blend

    Quote Originally Posted by mumsy View Post
    I was thinking of Carrot seed or Galbanum.
    I have Galbanum on hand, and I've been looking for a reason to get some Carrot. Thanks for that.

    Quote Originally Posted by mumsy View Post
    Mine came out like a rosy medicine!!!
    Heh. The mental image... errr.... olifactory image of that is amusing for some reason.

    Quote Originally Posted by mumsy View Post
    I'm really not sure that has helped you at all.... but I enjoyed doing it.
    I'm glad you did, and it did help.
    "Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other."
    -Karl, age 5

  4. #4

    Default Re: Taking suggestions for a new blend

    Carrot is quite stinky and surprisingly nutty. Have a peek at the single note reviews. I find it needs a very light hand.

  5. #5
    bonni's Avatar
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    Default Re: Taking suggestions for a new blend

    Quote Originally Posted by mumsy View Post
    Carrot is quite stinky and surprisingly nutty. Have a peek at the single note reviews. I find it needs a very light hand.
    Good to know. Where would I find the single note reviews? (Been a member here for ages, but wasn't around for a while, and I never found the single-note reviews in all this time!)
    "Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other."
    -Karl, age 5

  6. #6

    Default Re: Taking suggestions for a new blend

    Go back to the forum under the first heading fragrance discussion and don't go to DIY, go to the bottom and you will find

    Note Pad: Single Note Exploration

    That will tell you everything. I'm always up for 1ml sampler swaps too.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Taking suggestions for a new blend

    Would you believe I cannot see carrot seed there after all that! I shall have to go and sniff it with more intent and add it.

  8. #8

  9. #9
    rogalal's Avatar
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    Default Re: Taking suggestions for a new blend

    I'm no perfumer, but I'm finding this so fascinating!

    Maybe some orange blossom would extend the citrus into the heart. Or neroli, which seems to have way more lasting power than orange or grapefruit but still has that citric brightness? These, as well as the petitgrain you mentioned already, seem to be the tricks I smell all the time in citrus frags.

    But Mumsy may just be a mad genius with that carrot seed! And I can imagine the galbanum she mentioned really melding with the greenness of the geranium and giving some continuity there, too.

    Please keep posting - I need to know what you do and how it turns out!
    Has everyone checked out my Top 100 Blog??

  10. #10

    Default Re: Taking suggestions for a new blend

    Quote Originally Posted by rogalal View Post
    But Mumsy may just be a mad genius with that carrot seed!
    I like you already!!!

    Mad yes... genius...well I'm working on that bit to make my version of Chanel no 5, but some of the ghastly things I create couldn't qualify. Maybe next time.....

  11. #11

    Default Re: Taking suggestions for a new blend

    If you are interested in using aromachemicals rather than all naturals, some suggestions include adding mandarine aldehyde and methyl pamplemousse to augment the grapefruit and aurantiol and raspberry ketone the blood orange (the raspberry to enhance that extra note missing from other citrus and tie into the heart)

    If you want long-lasting natural citrus litsea cubeba and citronell last into heart notes but are more lemon than grapefruit or orange, and bergamot ties in well to lavender and rosewood due to sharing linalool and linalyl acetate as common ingredients as does coriander seed. As for the heart, linalool seems to play a large part in the lavender, rosewood. I like using dihydromyrcenol and hedione to boost this type of heart note, and damascenones/damascones to give a plummy darkness/tobacco facet without sweetening and would consider ylang or damascus rose as naturals that pair well with your oriental base. The spikenard is a great addition by the way.

    For the base, perhaps vanilla molecules like vanillin, ethyl vanillin, or coumarin/tonka bean molecules, as well as oakmoss or substitutes may make for a punchier fragrance. If you decide to go the carrot seed route, consider violet fragrance molecules like irones/ionones or the natural equivalent orris root, for a powderier and cooler effect that marries well with the patchouli and vanilla/benzoin molecules.

    Hope this was helpful and good luck.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Taking suggestions for a new blend

    Wow Roy, you've got some good aromachemical knowledge there. Is it your real job?

  13. #13
    bonni's Avatar
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    Default Re: Taking suggestions for a new blend

    Well, I did end up getting some carrot seed. It's pretty interesting. Herbal, very slight carroty smell. I understand the CO2 has a different character, though (I got essential oil).

    I didn't put it in this blend, though. I ended up putting in some more petitgrain, and a little bit of green pepper. The overall effect is pretty nice. It's not all totally wow or anything, but it's wearable, and very pleasant, and I learned a lot, so I'm not unhappy with it.

    Thanks for all the suggestions, folks. I'm taking notes.

    Oh, and here's the forum Mumsy recommended: http://www.basenotes.net/forums/107-...te-Exploration (just in case anyone else is as thick as I am and can't find it )
    "Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other."
    -Karl, age 5

  14. #14

    Default Re: Taking suggestions for a new blend

    I'd utilize some vetiver in the base - I think a haitian variety would be best. It's earthy pungency can help extend the grapefruit note quite well. If you want to enhance the green elements and add an interesting aromatic kick to the opening, utilize a touch (maybe 1% of the total blend) of parsley seed oil. This stuff smells fantastic - it is green and minty and later dries out into something rosy. It goes perfectly with grapefruit and would enhance the rosey aspect of the heart while adding a deeper, rich, smooth green note, too.

    I think a combination of ginger and rose, along with the pepper you've already added, can help extend the grapefruit note further into the heart. If you replace the spikenard with vetiver, or at least add some vetiver, it will continue the citrus feel even further.

    Hope that helps.
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  15. #15

    Default Re: Taking suggestions for a new blend

    I had good results extending grapefruit with Ambergis-Neroli combination which is straight forward fixer+citrus flower and the most surprising extender for me was Frangipani in combination with Rosemary. I suspect Palmarosa might be useful too.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Taking suggestions for a new blend

    Quote Originally Posted by mumsy View Post
    Wow Roy, you've got some good aromachemical knowledge there. Is it your real job?
    Nope, just been at the hobby for about ten years. Started with essential oils, then with websites like perfumersworld and perfumer's apprentice, moved into aromachemicals and kept chipping away. Everything said and done, it's a great method of artistic expression and I'm glad to see so many people enjoying it as well.

  17. #17
    bonni's Avatar
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    Default Re: Taking suggestions for a new blend

    Quote Originally Posted by Roy View Post
    Everything said and done, it's a great method of artistic expression
    Yes, that's how I see/experience it, as well. I'm very creative and artistic, and working with fragrance is an extraordinary way to express that. I'm still learning the very basics, of course, but in time, who knows.

    The blend I ended up with is pretty okay as these things go, and I learned a LOT (and have a LOT of notes to refer to now! ), so that's a good thing. Another reason I enjoy perfumery is because I enjoy the mental challenge of learning something new.
    "Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other."
    -Karl, age 5

  18. #18

    Default Re: Taking suggestions for a new blend

    perhaps the use of Yuzu will help the other citrus top notes to cling longer? that citrusy note is notoriously strong!

  19. #19

    Default Re: Taking suggestions for a new blend

    Every time when I make scent - it is always too medicine like
    Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it. ~Confucius

  20. #20
    bonni's Avatar
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    Default Re: Taking suggestions for a new blend

    This has come out pretty well after a bit of aging. I did end up adding a little bit of vetiver (as suggested in this thread), and it was a fantastic addition.

    Overall, the fragrance is bright and floral, with a very roselike heart, which is what I was trying to do (without using any actual roses), and a softly woody and slightly herbal base. A very good attempt, and I learned a great deal, and the fragrance is absolutely wearable, with decent staying power.

    After the aging (so far, anyway), these are the notes most worth mentioning:

    Top: Blood Orange, Petitgrain, Lavender
    Middle: Rose Geranium, Palmarosa
    Base: Balsam Torchwood (aka West Indian Sandalwood), Australian Sandalwood, Cedarwood Atlas, Spikenard, Patchouli

    Overall, a pretty impressive early attempt, if I do say so myself. Thank you to everyone who contributed to this thread. I've copied and pasted all the wonderful suggestions and hints to my perfumery notes. Much appreciated.
    "Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other."
    -Karl, age 5

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