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  1. #211
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    Default Re: Primer on How to Make Perfume (Version 1.0)

    Hello everyone,
    I really enjoyed reading this thread, the information given is very helpful to a beginner fragrance mixer. I do have a question though if anyone could assist me. i am only working on tester samples now, just playing around with different mixtures and seeing what oils go best with each other to target the over scent i am trying to get for my future fragrance line. i just cant seem to get the ration of essential oil to alcohol right. how many drops of the overall sent should there be, and how much alcohol for just a sample size? if i originally started with 1 essential oil 12 drops, and the next 4 drops, etc. should i be doubling each essential oil to make more of the solution? i hope my question was clear.

    Thank you,
    Mai

  2. #212
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    Default Re: Primer on How to Make Perfume (Version 1.0)

    Fantastic, thanks, bshell!

    Quote Originally Posted by bshell View Post
    eternalreturn: Any question you could ask is probably answered in the Sticky at the top of this group, including your ones about equipment and beginners kit: http://www.basenotes.net/threads/393...ead-this-first Please check it out and follow all the links and read everything there.

  3. #213

    Default Re: Primer on How to Make Perfume (Version 1.0)

    Quote Originally Posted by Mai Sabr View Post
    Hello everyone,
    I really enjoyed reading this thread, the information given is very helpful to a beginner fragrance mixer. I do have a question though if anyone could assist me. i am only working on tester samples now, just playing around with different mixtures and seeing what oils go best with each other to target the over scent i am trying to get for my future fragrance line. i just cant seem to get the ration of essential oil to alcohol right. how many drops of the overall sent should there be, and how much alcohol for just a sample size? if i originally started with 1 essential oil 12 drops, and the next 4 drops, etc. should i be doubling each essential oil to make more of the solution? i hope my question was clear.

    Thank you,
    Mai
    Dear Mai: A finished perfume typically contains anywhere from 10% - 30% "pure scent" and the rest is alcohol. There is no strict rule that you have to follow. So let's just say you want your final perfume to be 20% scent and 80% alcohol. Then you could have 2 drops of scent and 8 drops of alcohol. That is the same as 20%. This is just simple math. To figure this out each time, just ask a friend who is good at math. It is a simple ratio calculation.

    For another example let's say in one fragrance attempt in total you had 12 drops of one oil, 4 of another, 6 of another and 3 of another. Then the total would be 25 drops. Right? Now if you add 75 drops of alcohol to this, you will have 25/75, which is about 25% scent in 75% alcohol. If it seems too strong at this concentration you can always add more alcohol drops. If it is too weak, next time don't add so much alcohol.

    To be honest, real perfumers DON'T DO IT THIS WAY, but it's OK for beginners and for experimenting. In reality everything is done by weight. So you would have a scale that can measure weight down to 0.01 gram. You add a bit of this and that, making sure to weigh every little drop so you know the exact amount of each item BY WEIGHT. Then you add alcohol by weight to reach the desired dilution percentage.

    The other thing is: I am assuming that all the oils you are adding are pure and not diluted with anything such as alcohol or carrier oils. If they are not pure, then there are other considerations.

    Hope that helped a bit. But it probably just made things more confusing.

  4. #214
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    Default Re: Primer on How to Make Perfume (Version 1.0)

    bshell, thanks, this is interesting. So, professional perfumers measure by weight, not volume?

    Also your post reminds me of a couple of questions I'd had when seeing that some materials (such as absolutes that are solid when undiluted at room temp) are sold in solution at, e.g., 10%. First, let's say you'd like to make a perfume at 20% concentration. Is it possible to amp up the concentration of the ingredient that is already at 10%?

    My second question relates to materials of different strength. Occasionally I will see a warning to "use such-and-such at no more than 1%" because the material in question is so powerful. Does that mean "less than 1%" dilution in alcohol? Does it mean "less than 1%" of the fragrance concentrate (which itself may then be a certain percentage in the final perfume)? If it refers to the concentration in alcohol, does 99 alcohol + 1 (material) = 1 unit (e.g. one "drop" or gram, whatever one is using) within the fragrance concentrate?

    Sorry if I'm repeating questions discussed elsewhere. I'm thinking to print out that thread you pointed me to and make it into a manual....

  5. #215

    Default Re: Primer on How to Make Perfume (Version 1.0)

    Please see answers below after questions.

    Quote Originally Posted by eternalreturn View Post
    bshell, thanks, this is interesting. So, professional perfumers measure by weight, not volume?

    Also your post reminds me of a couple of questions I'd had when seeing that some materials (such as absolutes that are solid when undiluted at room temp) are sold in solution at, e.g., 10%. First, let's say you'd like to make a perfume at 20% concentration. Is it possible to amp up the concentration of the ingredient that is already at 10%?

    My second question relates to materials of different strength. Occasionally I will see a warning to "use such-and-such at no more than 1%" because the material in question is so powerful. Does that mean "less than 1%" dilution in alcohol? Does it mean "less than 1%" of the fragrance concentrate (which itself may then be a certain percentage in the final perfume)? If it refers to the concentration in alcohol, does 99 alcohol + 1 (material) = 1 unit (e.g. one "drop" or gram, whatever one is using) within the fragrance concentrate?

    Sorry if I'm repeating questions discussed elsewhere. I'm thinking to print out that thread you pointed me to and make it into a manual....
    1. YES. Absolutely. If you look on the Sticky thread at the top of this DIY section of Basenotes you will see a whole section on buying scales for weighing.

    2. NO. It is not possible to "amp up" the concentration of something once it is diluted. So if you have an ingredient that is already at 10% dilution you can't really have it at 20% in the final product. However, you COULD change it to 5% by adding more alcohol. For instance, if you had 10ml of something at 10% and you add 10ml of alcohol to it, then it will be at 5%. The other consideration is to ask: WHAT is the stuff diluted with? if it's not alcohol this adds more complexity to the situation, but for that maybe take a course or something.

    3. YES. It means any amount less than 1% with a maximum of 1% and YES, by that they mean in dilution. It can be in alcohol or whatever carrier you are using such as body oil or shampoo, soap, etc. And it typically relates to the percentage IN THE FINAL PRODUCT. It does not relate to the fragrance concentrate, but to the final product. YES 99 of one thing and 1 of another is the same as saying 1%. Note that grams and drops are different. Typically there are about 20 - 30 drops in one gram depending on the size of the dropper and the kind of liquid in the drops. The reason we go by weight is that there are many different sizes of drops, so it's not a good thing to measure by. You get no consistency.

    I suggest taking a brush up high-school mathematics course for adults. That will help you a lot for most of your questions. Try this for starters: http://www.mathplanet.com/education/...-to-solve-them

  6. #216
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    Default Re: Primer on How to Make Perfume (Version 1.0)

    Thanks again, bshell. Very helpful!

    Indeed, I couldn't a think of a way that concentration could be (easily) increased, but I thought, who knows if there is some kind of technique that is able to precipitate fragrance out of solution in alcohol, or a contraption that can somehow distill it. Apparently there isn't, at least not one that is practical for amateur perfumers, so that is useful information.

    I've actually got a pretty good handle on the math. It's the referents, specifically the denominators in those ratios, that were not clear to me, as they go without saying for experienced folks. (I.e., "1%" of what?) But I appreciate the link.

    Thanks again for your quick responses and thorough explanations!

  7. #217
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    Default Re: Primer on How to Make Perfume (Version 1.0)

    -----

    How do I create a "mix"?
    Always blend the fragrance oils without diluting to create the mix that pleases you. Dilution comes later. The simplest explanation of the terms "top", "middle" and "base" notes is how tenaciously each aroma lingers. Blending a small amount of a middle note will make a top note last longer. Rounding the blend off with just a single drop or so of a base note anchors it still more. Generally speaking, the lower notes will dominate a blend, if used in equal amounts. Thus, for a rough start, try blending three drops of your chosen top note, two drops of a middle note, and a single drop of a base note.

    Don't forget to write down your mix formulas! Virtually every perfumer has created at least one scent they could not exactly duplicate because they forgot to write the formula down.

    -----


    How long should I let a mix sit?
    At least a few days! The oils will change after mixing.
    While you are almost certinaly not going to be able to wait, you should let a new undiluted mix sit a at least a few days in order to get an idea of what the scent will really be.

    After diluting, you need to let it sit for 4-6 weeks. Otherwise, all you will smell is alcohol if you're using that as the carrier agent



    When mixing, do i shake the oils? or jsut let them mature and mix on their own? i dont want to mess up the chemistry here. do i shake during dilution?

    also, is it certain that a perfume wont change scents 6 weeks after dilution? im wondering at what state i can confidently say "this is what the perfume will smell like from now on"

    thanks!

  8. #218
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    Default Re: Primer on How to Make Perfume (Version 1.0)

    Small question :
    how can I make floral heart note manlier ? for example heart note with lily of the valley, jasmine and geranium (top note: citrus, base note: woody, calone)

  9. #219

    Default Re: Primer on How to Make Perfume (Version 1.0)

    Explain what you mean by "manlier".

  10. #220
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    Default Re: Primer on How to Make Perfume (Version 1.0)

    Quote Originally Posted by David Ruskin View Post
    Explain what you mean by "manlier".
    less floral I think

  11. #221

    Default Re: Primer on How to Make Perfume (Version 1.0)

    What a wonderful post.
    Thanks for giving away such an informative piece.

    I have a small doubt if anyone could help me here.
    The doubt is that, if I take a 30, 40, 30 percent ratio of top mid and base note, and if I am using more than one fragrance for each of the note then is there a way to divide the ratio for each fragrance in a note too?

    I hope I am not making anyone confused here.

  12. #222

    Default Re: Primer on How to Make Perfume (Version 1.0)

    Quote Originally Posted by Srishti View Post
    What a wonderful post.
    Thanks for giving away such an informative piece.

    I have a small doubt if anyone could help me here.
    The doubt is that, if I take a 30, 40, 30 percent ratio of top mid and base note, and if I am using more than one fragrance for each of the note then is there a way to divide the ratio for each fragrance in a note too?

    I hope I am not making anyone confused here.
    You do not need to stick religiously to set ratios. You can put as much Top, Middle or Base notes into your fragrance as you like. What you do need to do is to thoroughly learn the characteristics of each ingredient you wish to use, and get a feel of how they work. You need to learn how to do what you want your ingredients to do.

    I do not know what ingredients you wish to use to create your fragrances. However, if you are using pre-bought fragrance oils, or simply mixing existing fragrances together, you will probably end up with a muddy mess no matter what ratios you think you want.

  13. #223

    Default Re: Primer on How to Make Perfume (Version 1.0)

    Glad that you replied to my query.
    I am learning how each ingredient smells.
    I am trying to categorize them into aromatic, aquatic, balsamic etc behaviors that they show in the first whiff. Of course this is like a big ocean and I have to explore much more.

    Thanks for the kind help.

  14. #224
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    Default Re: Primer on How to Make Perfume (Version 1.0)

    An excellent and informative thread for total newbies like me so thank you to everybody who takes the time to contribute their insights.

    I'm trying to wrap my head around the 1000 convention. Since I'm just starting out, I don't use weight yet, just drops. My blends are roughly 25 to 35 parts in total (base, mid, top), nothing too wild, I know. Do I then calculate the individual ingredients' proportions to fit the 1000 convention? If using weight later, do I calculate the portions to fit the 1000 convention also? I doubt that I should be just adding stuff until I reach 1000 parts since that would mess with the effect of the scent.

    Thanks for any input.

  15. #225
    Super Member aestheticindustrialist's Avatar
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    Default Re: Primer on How to Make Perfume (Version 1.0)

    Quote Originally Posted by sir.v View Post
    An excellent and informative thread for total newbies like me so thank you to everybody who takes the time to contribute their insights.

    I'm trying to wrap my head around the 1000 convention. Since I'm just starting out, I don't use weight yet, just drops. My blends are roughly 25 to 35 parts in total (base, mid, top), nothing too wild, I know. Do I then calculate the individual ingredients' proportions to fit the 1000 convention? If using weight later, do I calculate the portions to fit the 1000 convention also? I doubt that I should be just adding stuff until I reach 1000 parts since that would mess with the effect of the scent.

    Thanks for any input.
    You don't need to stick to a 1000 convention or any other arbitrary number for that matter; whatever works for you is fine.

    But say your composition is:

    A 5
    B 7
    C 13
    D 20
    E 65

    Total: 100

    To convert, simply divide the number to which you wish to adjust by your total: 1000/100 = 10
    Then use your result as the factor with which to multiply each ingredient, in order to sum to that adjusted total.


    Say you have two ingredients:

    A 15
    B 25

    Total: 40

    1000/40 = 25

    A 15 x 25 = 375
    B 25 x 25 = 625

    Total: 1000

    Proportions or percentages are flexible in this way.

    If your total is something uncommon like 59, it won't factor into a common number like 1000 so easily.

    Instead, divide each ingredient by your total and convert to percentages (4 decimal places will suffice), which will always equal to just about 100, and then multiply each by 10 to have it in the conventional 1000. (You will require some minor rounding to actually achieve 1000.)

    Either route you chose, the result is essentially the same.

    Most of us use an Excel spreadsheet to calculate or convert everything for us.
    Last edited by aestheticindustrialist; 20th August 2017 at 10:20 PM.
    Currently wearing: Cap Néroli by Nicolaï

  16. #226
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    Default Re: Primer on How to Make Perfume (Version 1.0)

    Get it, aestheticindustrialist. Thank you for taking the time to reply.

  17. #227
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    Default Re: Primer on How to Make Perfume (Version 1.0)

    So far used random containers for my experiments, but it's time to get a bit more systematic.

    Do test tubes seem like a good idea?
    If so, plastic or pyrex? Seeing as I won't need to heat it, cheaper and break-proof plastic would do, but perhaps the plastic might react to the alcohol? And which material for caps? My local supplier offers rubber caps, while the far east suppliers seem to go for plastic. I worry that rubber could affect the smell?
    And lastly, which size test tubes do you guys use?

  18. #228

    Default Re: Primer on How to Make Perfume (Version 1.0)

    Is there a source for simple perfume formulas using (maybe not only, but also) aromachemicals?

  19. #229
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    Default Re: Primer on How to Make Perfume (Version 1.0)

    Quote Originally Posted by tarata View Post
    Is there a source for simple perfume formulas using (maybe not only, but also) aromachemicals?
    Yes! Perfume.sparla.com ;-)
    Please visit my blog for a listing of all my free formulas

  20. #230

    Default Re: Primer on How to Make Perfume (Version 1.0)

    This is a great summary.
    I have been blending 2 or 3 eo's for many years as my signature scent. I decided to play around with making a "real" parfum. Very exciting and SO much to learn. Alcohol no alcohol...and other additives. And carrier oil or no oil.so much

  21. #231

    Default Re: Primer on How to Make Perfume (Version 1.0)

    Thank you for this thread! I've just started trying to blend essential oils and even if I begin with great smelling rose, sandalwood and benzoin I end up with a 'head shop' indistinct aroma. My proportions are obviously out of whack ! I'll definitely go back to the primers to get more of a feel for how to put these natural frags together

  22. #232

    Default Re: Primer on How to Make Perfume (Version 1.0)

    Also, if you have three ingredients only, then they must average about 33% of formula. If any are much below this, one or more must be even higher.

    One will never, ever find Rose, Sandalwood, or Benzoin at anything like 33% of formula in a perfume.

    Inherently, such efforts will never smell like perfume. They are a completely different category of fragrance mixture, by their nature. A perfume (as commonly meant) cannot result from such combinations.

    Typically, in my experience as I did essentially the same when starting out, one ends up with at best perhaps a muddied-up sort of one of the materials, here probably Rose, or a well-that's-sort-of-nice that isn't distinctly anything, or at worst apparently soap or a garbage-like smell.

    The brain does not know how to interpret such mixes -- overdoses of a small number of natural ingredients of differing categories -- and may assign any of these apparent odors to them. Somehow it has a way with perfume-type formulations, but commonly not with these.

  23. #233

    Default Re: Primer on How to Make Perfume (Version 1.0)

    Thank you Bill, I get the same effects when I try to combine greater numbers of essential oils as well, as you say a muddying of the separate fragrances rather than the layers of fragrance I had hoped for I will start to work through the primers - they look a great place to begin

  24. #234

    Default Re: Primer on How to Make Perfume (Version 1.0)

    You're very welcome!




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