Hi all,

I'm new here so I thought it polite to introduce myself and offer a bit of background about my fragrance journey so far.

As a lot of people are, I've always felt particularly affected by scents in the surrounding environment and I love smelling the progression of the seasons here in Melbourne, Australia - each one marked by a scent to fit that time in the year.

After becoming interested in essential oils for their scents around 2016 I've built a bit of a collection (about 50 oils), but I don't yet have many of the more exotic natural materials befitting of a proper perfume (jasmine, labdanum, tonka, ambergris etc.) - but that's something I intend to correct soon! I'd say at this point the nicer materials in my collection are the oakmoss absolute, Bulgarian Rose oil + absolute, Indonesian vetiver, Australian sandalwood and Hinoki. The rest of the oils are of course nice, but the majority of my collection are more suited to diffusing around the home in a "burner" or perhaps rounding out a perfume or adding to a hand/body wash, hand sanitiser, or soap - all of which I also dabble in.

Through blending the oils and diffusing them this way over the past few years, I believe it has given me a basic insight into the way these (limited) materials behave, interact and evaporate, and what works well with what. Always room to keep learning of course!

I have a $15 set of basic eBay scales (0.01g/500g at questionable accuracy!) and I've dabbled in blending my oils for perfumes using alcohol but have had limited success due to my limited palette (I only got the rose products last week) and I'm now ready to take the plunge into aromachemicals. I don't have anything against synthetics but I'm conscious of biodegradability.

Another hobby I dabbled in over the past year has been enfleurage of jasmine. I spent a month during jasmine season last year (early September here in Melbourne) gathering jasmine from bushes around the neighbourhood and was (quite easily) able to capture a small amount of the strong, heady aroma of jasmine (the flowers have a pinky/purple stem) in some shea butter, coconut oil and cocoa butter. I then steeped the fat in perfumer's alcohol (available here in Australia) for about 9 months while I figured out what to do next. When I finally got around to it, I found that straining the fat in the freezer worked well, as the fats don't pass through the paper. That's probably totally wrong or destructive, but I've ended up (after naturally evaporating the alcohol at room temp over a number of weeks) with some jasmine... "product". It seems to be miscible in alcohol but I fear there's water present. Anyway it was a fun and very time consuming experiment. I don't think I'll bother with it again unless I have a need to use the lightly scented alcohol in a room spray or something. Otherwise, I think a rotavap is essential to evaporate the alcohol properly.

My Mum loves the smell of jasmine so I'm trying to put together a jasmine/(Australian) sandalwood blend for her birthday.

I've also played with tincturing the christmas tree at the end of the season to give away to the family as a room spray for next season (some people like the smell but only have a plastic tree!)

So as you can see I'm an enthusiast for everything scented (I love each of my 30+ perfumes!) and I'm so eager to get into the more serious/scientific/hobbyist level of perfumery using aromachems.

I'll be gradually trying to read the old posts here on the forums and have been keeping up to date with all the new posts over the last couple of weeks. Colour me hooked!

Web development is my official day job and I work from home with my partner Craig in our small web design business "Medium Rare". My other pursuits include homebrew beer, bread baking, scented candle making, soundscape/nature field audio recording, and fitness.

Looking forward to getting to know you all and learning from each other

Cheers,
James