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  1. #1

    Cool Just bough a kit, any tips?

    Hey there!

    So I just bought a starter kit off of Perfumers Apprentice and I'm very excited for it to come in the mail!
    My question is for your guys, though: Any tips on just starting out? Any advice?

    I've been looking into starting to make perfume for a little while now, but never actually bought something until just now. I have a LOT to learn, but I'm excited!


  2. #2

    Default Re: Just bough a kit, any tips?

    Start off slowly and simply. Start by trying to learn your materials. Start by smelling them over time, and follow how they develop and change over time. Does the material disappear in a matter of minutes or is it still to be smelled the next day, or even the next week? Does the material's odour change over time, or does it stay the same? How does it change? Does it just get weaker, or does the odour change. I don't know if you have any smelling strips, but if not get some. Always label them so you know what you are smelling. Try to describe what you smell. No matter how daft it sounds if that is what it smells like to you, then it is right for you. Many people first starting perfumery want to create a fragrance without knowing their raw materials. It won't work and you will find it to be very frustrating. Without a thorough understanding of each raw material you will never get the best out of your kit. Note the strength of each material. Does it remind you of anything? Can you imagine that smell going with anything else you may have. Note whether the material is top, middle or base note (basically how long it lasts on the smelling strip). You should be able to recognise each material when you smell it blind (when someone hands you a smelling strip you should be able to guess what the material is).

    Once you have done that, start mixing a couple of things together, in a variety of ratios. See how one material affects another. Try to get a blend where neither material is dominant. See if, by mixing two smells you can achieve something greater than the two.

    It is a slow process, but if done right it will stand you in good stead for a lifetime.

    And above all else, enjoy the wonderful, fabulous world of smells. Our sense of smell is too little used, and is a source of great pleasure.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Just bough a kit, any tips?

    There is a Do It Yourself section of the forum which has lots of good information. Good Luck and Welcome!

  4. #4

    Default Re: Just bough a kit, any tips?

    Thank you both for the tips/link!
    I totally will take time smelling before I start mixing. I have a question though; How do I know how much to blend? Like how many drops, ect? Is everyone opinion different in that factor?

    Thanks again!

    - - - Updated - - -

    And also, safety tips? Gloves? Goggles? What do you do?

  5. #5

    Default Re: Just bough a kit, any tips?

    Absolutely. There are no rules in Perfumery, although you will rapidly learn when you have used too much of any one material. It really depends on the type of fragrance you want to create, and how strong the individual materials are. You will learn the relative strengths of your various items when you start to smell them. As to the volume of fragrance you make, that depends on how accurate you re and howw much of each material you have to hand.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Just bough a kit, any tips?

    Huh, strange. On the FAQ page, it says people are using their 'tinctures' for electric cigarettes (E-cigs). Second question down on "inhalation safety". Makes sense, as they use PG (propylene Glycol) as a base. Which is one of the bases for E-liquid, along with Vegetable Glycerin).

    I'm going to order some stuff from them to play around.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Just bough a kit, any tips?

    Thanks so much David!

    Interesting, Awilson529.
    So I wonder what kind of "base" my kit came with? I might have to go buy my own natural base then, and I heard that maybe more of a natural base is better than perfumery alcohol? Is this true?

    - - - Updated - - -

    I don't want to "smoke" them by any means!! haha. I'm just wondering about inhaling them safely to gain more knowledge for a scent, I heard you shouldn't just stick your nose to the bottle.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Just bough a kit, any tips?

    I have no clue as to the answer of your question. I just found it interesting as I'm quitting smoking and using an E-Cigarette. It's actually helping; I was a 2 pack a day smoker. In the 4 days I've had my 'vaporizer', I've only had a few cigarettes.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Just bough a kit, any tips?

    Caution: Perfumer's Apprentice also sells flavoring materials through its The Flavor Apprentice area of its website. You don't want to confuse these materials.

    Now, I just love PA and Linda is great.

    In addition to the good recommendations above... use the resources provided by PA in the Perfumer's Corner area of the site. In particular, when I first started goofing around, I found the documents and methodology of Jean Carles quite useful:

    And I'll echo it, go slow, take your time. I was so chompin the bit to get going that I did not take it slow enough and made some real messes. But it was a victimless crime :>
    Simplex Sigillum Veri

  10. #10

    Default Re: Just bough a kit, any tips?

    shelby, not sure what you mean by "a natural base" rather than alcohol. Do you mean a solvent? Solvents are used to dissolve solid materials to make them easier to use, and to dilute extremely strong materials so that they can be used without swamping the rest of the mix. If you do mean a solvent then PG (Propylene Glycol) is not really the best one to use. It attracts water and not every perfumery material is soluble in it. Neither is it "natural". DPG (diPropylene Glycol) is a far better solvent for perfumery.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Just bough a kit, any tips?

    Alright, thank you so much!

    Now; where do you guys make your perfumes? Does this have to be in a dark place like when storing your oils?

  12. #12

    Default Re: Just bough a kit, any tips?

    You need to see what you are doing! Store in the dark but work in the light.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Just bough a kit, any tips?

    Haha, I thought so, just making sure. I'm new to this and want to do everything right!

    Now, do you guys use gloves, goggles, ect?

  14. #14

    Default Re: Just bough a kit, any tips?

    Quote Originally Posted by shelby16 View Post
    Haha, I thought so, just making sure. I'm new to this and want to do everything right!

    Now, do you guys use gloves, goggles, ect?
    Some basic advice and a couple of tips from an amateur:

    Try to use gloves. I buy latex gloves from a pharmacy, the kind they use in hospitals. A box of 100 costs around $6 in my country.

    Googles: as I am old, I use glasses for reading. I feel protected enough in case a drop jumps towards my eyes. Cheap clear sunglasses would do I guess.

    Work area. Better work on glass. Some products are abrasive to wood and (specially) synthetic surfaces. I use a rectangular piece of thick glass on my wood table.

    Basics: Paper wipes or towels, a bin for recycling, small bottles, plastic pipettes, labels. Have them handy.

    For a beginner, best solvent is alcohol. It is hard to get pure alcohol in the States, it seems. Strange in my view. Harder to get than a gun, which seems crazy this side of the world. Everclear is the next best choice for you American amateurs.

    My recommended procedure to start your journey is to dilute your samples in alcohol at 20% (4 parts alcohol, 1 part oil). Keep them in small labeled bottles. Most substances are hard to appreciate undiluted. Some of them smell awful in high concentrations. Do your smell tests with diluted oils. Also, diluted oils are easier to mix.

    Use drops as a measurement unit. It is not very precise; measuring by weight is better, but too troublesome in this stage.

    A useful advice from elsewhere in this forum. Donīt throw away failed experiments. Drop them in a large bottle. Over time you will find a surprisingly fine-smelling concoction.

    Be fearless. As the knowledgeable DuNezDeBuzier said above, any aberration you do will be a victimless crime. I donīt agree with him with the "go slow" part, though. You seem young, you donīt need to get bored with a slow proccess. It will take years to be good at this, but you can get rewarding results quite soon.

    Last, but not least. Write everything you do in detail. This way you will learn more and will be able to reproduce anything of value you might do.

    Good luck, and welcome!
    Last edited by Javiero; 14th September 2012 at 10:41 PM.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Just bough a kit, any tips?

    When I am filling small bottles with aromachemicals, essential oils etc. at work, I ALWAYS use nitril gloves. NOT latex for latex can be allergenic too. I rarely use safety goggles, probably because I work with other materials as well that are much more caustic than most fragrance materials, but it is of course better to wear glasses.

    When mixing fragrances I hardly ever wear gloves, probably because I don't spoil a lot when mixing, but again, it is of course better to wear them.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Just bough a kit, any tips?

    Good nitrile gloves cost twice as much as latex ones, and IMO donīt provide as good control or sensitivity to touch. Few surgeons use nitrile gloves

    Of course they are a great alternative if you are allergic to latex.

    And, certainly, this is also a matter of personal preferences.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Just bough a kit, any tips?

    Well thank you guys so much! Would a counter top work if I don't have just plain glass lying around? I was planning on making them on my marble kitchen counters.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Just bough a kit, any tips?

    I would not recommend working on marble. Acids damage it, and probably other oils do too. Some are also great at producing indelible stains. Also, keep in mind the risk of cross-contamination with foodstuff.

    Any shop that deals with glass (windows repair, picture framing) can cut a piece of glass of around 20x30 inches for you. Tell them to dull the borders to avoid cutting yourself when you handle it (or dull them yourself carefully with sandpaper). As a provisional alternative, you can get hold of a cheap large picture frame with glass and work on it (Iīm thinking IKEA). You can put this on your countertop, which is a fine place to work.

    As a last resort, use a tray that you donīt mind getting damaged. When I first started I used one of these laminated trays with a colourful print on them, and I was surprised to see how fast some oil spills could not only erase the print but dent the surface too.

    In short, essential oils and aromachemicales are powerful substances when undiluted. Donīt treat them as if they were spices.
    Last edited by Javiero; 16th September 2012 at 05:45 PM.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Just bough a kit, any tips?

    Wow, that's some great advice.
    You sound like you've been doing this for a really long time. I can't wait to get started and make this a hobby of my own.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Just bough a kit, any tips?

    Shelby, please keep us informed about your advances. Itīs always good to see someone new taking up this passion.


  21. #21

    Default Re: Just bough a kit, any tips?

    Will do

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