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  1. #1

    Question Steps to making my first fragrance

    Hi Everyone,

    I have been browsing the forums for a good few months now absorbing as much info as possible (there is a lot). Of course, instead of just learning the theory (albeit fascinating and complex), the idea is to actually get down to it and start creating. As many of you state, making mistakes (and often) will be key to learning what works and what doesn't and over time I can hopefully learn to limit them. Before I begin, order the raw materials and make my first fragrance, I wanted to make a run down + get a sense check (if you would be so kind) of my understanding of what goes into the process. I would also like to ask some questions. Here goes:


    There are a myriad of raw materials, some essential, some not so much. From my understanding here is what I will need:

    - Disposable pipettes - So not to contaminate any raw materials
    - Digital scales - accuracy of 0.001g (nice to have, but not absolutely necessary, but will improve accuracy of concentrations)
    - Measuring beakers - various sizes
    - Amber glass bottles - various sizes for the dilution of raw materials to % of choosing
    - Essential Oils - Varying types/scents dependent on the fragrance I would like to create
    - Synthetic - substitutes for EOs
    - Diluting agent - I will be using IPM as I will be making oil based fragrances (I live in the UAE and alcohol is legally challenging)
    - Carrier - oil based carrier of choosing (either Jojoba or fractionated coconut oil)
    - Roll on perfume bottle - to store and deliver the final fragrance


    Am I missing anything?


    I will need to dilute some of the raw materials at a % of choosing. I will most likely plumb fo 10% or substantially less if the relative impact of the raw material warrants. The reasons for dilution are:

    - Cost savings
    - Nose training
    - To reduce the relative impact of some raw materials
    - To allow me to make mistakes and it not cost the earth
    - To work at a scale which doesn't take several hundred drops of raw materials to balance the fragrance

    I must take the dilution of the raw materials into consideration when calculating the total strength of the perfume. In other words: diluent + carrier = total diluents used


    - Am I correct in saying IPM is the best diluent for oil based fragrances?

    Relative Impact

    It is my understanding that each raw material has a different relative impact and staying power (hrs) comparative to each raw material used. Based on the impact of a raw material and the desired fragrance in the headspace it must be balanced in accordance with the other raw materials used either through dilution or overall total volume of ingredients used.


    - Would a well balanced mix of raw materials across accords yield a better scent, or could I purposely boost the impact of one raw material to make it more dominant in the scent?
    - Of course, I know I can do this practically, but is this merely creative licence or a no no?


    There are no specific ratios or rules to be followed.


    - I Can opt for all top, no heart, minimal base or any %/configuration of either?
    - Can I also utilise as many raw materials as I choose?


    I can blend/mix the accords separately to gauge the scent of each accord better, then combine. Or, I can blend all in one beaker to get a stronger sense of how the fragrance is developing. This should be done at the desired perfume strength (offsetting for diluents) and then topped off with the carrier.


    - Best approach for mixing accords as a newbie?
    - One beaker approach or accords mixed separately and then combined?


    Allow the raw materials to rest for a period of time before full dilution with the carrier (filter as required).


    - How long should I allow the raw materials to marry before fully diluting and bottling?
    - What light and temp conditions should I allow this rest/marry to take place under?

    Raw material choice

    I can choose whichever synthetics or EOs I would like, but should probably stick to a select few until I gain confidence and ability.


    - I have seen there is a great list of starting ingredients in another sticky, many of which (I believe) are synthetics. Unfortunately, this list tells me nothing of the scent profile of the these synthetics. Is there a resource to tell me what synthetics smell like what? i.e what EO are they trying to mimic?
    - Could someone point me in the right direction?
    - Any advice on must have would be great?

    I think that is all I have for now, and would love some feedback on whether my basic understanding of the materials required and the theory make sense? Of course, I need to actually go ahead order the materials, and start creating, and I intend to do that in earnest. I just had a lot of info muling around in my brain and wanted some advice, feedback and answers to some of the questions I couldn't quite track the answers down for.

    Your help and support is greatly appreciated!


  2. #2
    Basenotes Institution
    sjg3839's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012

    Default Re: Steps to making my first fragrance

    You may want to post your question in the DIY section.
    <div class="bnsotd"><b>Currently wearing:</b> <a href="ID26148387.html"><img src=""> Carven L'Eau Intense by Carven</a></div>

  3. #3
    Basenotes Member Blain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2017

    Default Re: Steps to making my first fragrance

    My most handy items are 2dram vials, scale to .001, .5ml pipettes and a note book for recording mixes.
    Always label your mixes and notes for them. I clean the outside of vials apply some scotch tape and label with a fine tip sharpie.
    A rack to hold vials is also very useful.

    Allow your blends to mature as long as you can. Months of aging will allow you to smell a finished scent.

  4. #4
    Basenotes Plus
    pkiler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Southern California

    Default Re: Steps to making my first fragrance

    You need to learn your material's attributes, by researching each on the TGSC database, which can be searched via

    Not every material is soluble in IPM, some are only soluble in alcohol, Solubility can also be researched on TGSC.
    Many of the absolutes and CO2 products may have difficulty in IPM and carrier oils. You will need to try each, and experiment.

    I usually mix my accords seperately, in 15ml capped bottles. I hardly ever compose in a beaker, unless I am making a lot of stock, as in kilos of raw concentrate. nearly all else I make is composed in a bottle. I use only black phenolic caps with a plastic cone liner.

    Each experiment that you make heeds to be of sufficient size, so that 1 drop does not equal 1% of your experiment.
    I generally try to make my experiments at least 10g per trial. I again use the same 15ml bottles for a 10 gram trial.
    The reason for 10 grams, is also to allow yourself the growing ability to think of composition in percentages, and 10 grams is a good round number for referencing for % information, wherever possible.
    Paul Kiler
    PK Perfumes
    In addition to Our own PK line, we make Custom Bespoke Perfumes, perfumes for Entrepreneurs needing scents for perfumes or products, Custom Wedding Perfumes, and even Special Event Perfumes.

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