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  1. #1

    Default How many ingredients on average are you using?

    This is a general question. On the tutorials on the Perfumers apprentice there are approximate ingredient lists of some of the master perfumes. I have used these often to try and train myself to smell the mixtures to see what goes with what. If you haven't already found them then they are an invaluable tool for learning with.

    The thing is, there are loads per perfume, and when I'm making mine I'm not using even half that amount. Also on the ingredient lists in the fragrance directory there are not that many things in them.

    I would guess my mixes contain between 7 and up to 20 ingredients but most are at the lower end.

    I would love to know what are you all doing in this respect for curiosities sake.

  2. #2

    Default Re: How many ingredients on average are you using?

    When working with all natural perfumes, I find that I use about 5-10 core ingredients, and up to another 10 or 20 modifiers. The modifiers are usually in very small amounts - anywhere from 0.05% of the blend up to maybe 5%, with most averaging around 1 or 2 percent.

    The key is to form the primary composition from a few notes/accords, and then use trace amounts of other materials to 'shade' those accords (soften, smooth, sharpen, bitter, whatever is called for).
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  3. #3

    Default Re: How many ingredients on average are you using?

    Thank you very much for that info. I shall have another go with that in mind. I just went out and tried on Hermes Terre and adored it, It smelt like the zest straight from an orange. I will have a go at something along those lines.

    Without spoiling it yet by peeking at the ingredient list, I had in mind to use - bergamot, bitter orange, and there is something basing it like Vetiver with a softer touch there, maybe real sandalwood?

    Now I shall peek!

    No list, but basenotes reviews mentioning:- Cedar and citrus, neon Cedar, synthetic orange, woods and grapefruit, non synthetic citrus, super green

    'Now smell this' says:- by Perfumer Jean Claude Ellena, 'The vegetable and mineral juice, made without animal by-products or musk, sparkles with orange (specifically formulated for Hermès by Albert Vieille) and grapefruit that blends with flint for a mineral note, and combines with pepper, bay rose, geranium, patchouli, benzoin and vetiver around the central note of Atlas cedar to enhance its Earthly tones. (via cosmeticnews)'
    and 'So my description of the scent itself is sort of superfluous: it starts with citrus, sparkling and mildly sweet, and nothing like so sharp or high-pitched as Jardin Sur Le Nil. Then comes a whole rush of notes all at once: pepper (lots), cedar (ditto) and patchouli (thankfully subdued). Over the next hour, everything blends and softens and gets more indistinct. There is warm earth, and warm rocks, and wood, and a brief hint of greenery. After an hour or so, there is the suggestion of smoky-dusty gunpowder.'

    Something quite fun as a masters challenge with not too many ingredients, although I bet a zillion times better quality than anything I possess .... We'll see!

  4. #4

    Default Re: How many ingredients on average are you using?

    I use about 8-20 ingredients per blend.

  5. #5

    Default Re: How many ingredients on average are you using?

    It depends on what you mean by "ingredients". If it's an essential oil or a synthetic accord, it already contains many different substances. My recollection is that the formulas on Perfumers Apprentice are for accords, not complete perfumes. You would then use an accord composed of many individual aroma chemicals (e.g., linalool, aldehyde C-14) as a single "ingredient" (e.g., apple, gardenia) in a finished perfume formula.
    Blog: www.perfumenw.blogspot.com
    Website: Olympic Orchids Artisan Perfumes http://orchidscents.com.

  6. #6

    Default Re: How many ingredients on average are you using?

    Here is one I mean for example:- (Credit to perfumers apprentice, this is straight from their site)

    Mitsouko (Guerlain 1919) (Louis Appell)

    The purpose of this formula is for education and practice, and is a close approximation, but is not the production formula. For best results, use a gram scale of accuracy to .01. You can divide the formula by 100, which will produce approx. 10ml of concentrate, which could then be diluted in alcohol to 12% for cologne, 15-20% for parfum.

    You can purchase a kit with the components needed for this blend.
    Click here for Mitsouko Kit

    Sweet orange - 10
    Lemon - 20
    Elemi - 2
    Celery seed - 5
    Chamomile, 10% - 5
    Bergamot - 130
    Tarragon 10% - 35
    Coriander - 10
    Lavender - 10
    benzyl acetate - 50
    linalyl acetate - 20
    geranium oil - 10
    Ylang Ylang - 10
    Citral - 5
    Jasmine absolute - 10
    phenyl propyl alcohol - 5
    Oak Moss - 70
    Clove 30
    Dimethyl Anthranilate - 2
    Anisyl Acetate - 3
    Benzoin 50% - 20
    Castoreum tincture 10% - 5
    Civet tincture 10% - 10
    Labdanum resin - 10
    Peru Balsam resin - 5
    Rose absolute - 20
    Methyl Ionone - 40
    Costus 10% - 20
    Ethyl Cinnamate - 10
    patchouli - 10
    vetiveryl - 20
    coumarin - 50
    hydroxy citronellal - 25
    aldehyde C-14 10% - 20 Musk Xylene (or substitute with another musk) - 50 Vanillin - 20
    DEP or IPM or DPG 200

    That's 34/35 ingredients!

  7. #7

    Default Re: How many ingredients on average are you using?

    I only have about 30 essential oils and so far only made 19 mixes. The minimum ingredients I used was 9, maximum was 20 but most no more than 15.

    My strategy is to pick one oil to highlight and find one to three oils that would make the main accord and adjust with additional oils. Examples:
    Neroli-Santal
    Vetiver-Lavender
    Lavender-Oakmoss
    Grapefruit-Frankincense
    Rose-Helichrysum
    Sandalwood (Mysore)-Pink Lotus-Saffron
    Mandarin-wood (mix)

  8. #8

    Default Re: How many ingredients on average are you using?

    i remember treading in 'the guide' about vent vert: calice becker was summoned to do a reformulation of this perfume by germaine cellier, who had used several now extinct base. she broke it down, and the count was over an eleven hundred ingredients! can you believe that? then, just as amazingly, calice becker proceeded to make a new formula with thirty-odd ingredients. (and its smell is pretty close).
    i guess 30 ingredients is normal in today's industry. then again, the formula of shiseido's violet base was posted the other day in the yahoo perfume making group, and that alone counted for 22 ingredients.
    but i'm sure it was not always more, more, more in the past. i can think of some perfumes from roughly a century old, that seem to be far more simple than the usual procedure today. (simple does not necessarily translates as low ingredients count, though).
    on a personal note, i don't mind how many (or little) ingredients i am going to need, it's just what suits the shape that i have in mind best.

    best,
    guido.

  9. #9

    Default Re: How many ingredients on average are you using?

    When I was decanting loads of perfumes for a fete, I put all the pipettes in a pot of water and the smell after decanting tons of them was completely amazing. Apparently I had made a mille fleur fragrance by default. Maybe I should try one drop of everything I have in one brew just to see what happens. Could be disgusting or fantastic....

  10. #10

    Default Re: How many ingredients on average are you using?

    hahah. go easy on the ones that are extremely powerful, though. civet, aldehydes, and so on..

  11. #11

    Default Re: How many ingredients on average are you using?

    My average is about 70 different botanical and/or man made materials, with a minimum around 30 and a max around 200. I do use lots of handmade botanical tinctures some that contain a dozen different plant species. If you would have to break those down to single aromatic materials, yes, I would believe that 1000 is not so far off.
    I do work by combining my proprietary accords to form a top, middle and base fragrance skeleton.
    Customized consultancy on olfactory branding, design & research
    I also offer individual online personalised advice on perfume making to anyone eager to learn how to smell and design like a pro
    www.irinatudor.nl

    Social platform & network on all things smelly
    www.somethingsmelly.com


    The facts on IFRA restrictions & EU regulations

  12. #12

    Default Re: How many ingredients on average are you using?

    hello irina,

    would you care to please explain a little about the thought behind making tinctures with a dozen different plant species? do you follow recipes for this, why not use them separately?

    best,
    guido.

  13. #13

    Default Re: How many ingredients on average are you using?

    Hi Guido
    It's a traditional herbalist thing I learned from Gran, some plants tend to enhance each other's scent (basically you get more of a particular aroma single substance in the mix). And something else is the differences in crop and weather: I might not have enough of 1 plant to spare each season in order to make a strong enough tincture.
    HTH
    Customized consultancy on olfactory branding, design & research
    I also offer individual online personalised advice on perfume making to anyone eager to learn how to smell and design like a pro
    www.irinatudor.nl

    Social platform & network on all things smelly
    www.somethingsmelly.com


    The facts on IFRA restrictions & EU regulations

  14. #14

    Default Re: How many ingredients on average are you using?

    I love that Irena. I love the passing down of traditions and skills. Are you willing to share one example?

  15. #15

    Default Re: How many ingredients on average are you using?

    You could take a look at my fragrances (see my siggy) for an idea
    Customized consultancy on olfactory branding, design & research
    I also offer individual online personalised advice on perfume making to anyone eager to learn how to smell and design like a pro
    www.irinatudor.nl

    Social platform & network on all things smelly
    www.somethingsmelly.com


    The facts on IFRA restrictions & EU regulations

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