Ask the Perfumer Sunday Forum on How To Make Your Own Perfume

Sunday - 8 June 2014

The Ask the Perfumer Forum is open for questions on how to make your own perfume today. I’ve been spending so much time on the Facebook page for my upcoming book Perfume From Your Garden, answering scent extraction questions, I felt a need to open up perfume making discussions here. I’ll be here until 10 PM tonight, ET USA, June 8, 2014, so please place your questions to me in that timeframe.

Working with, or wearing natural essences is a healthy choice. Want to study this healthful art? http://PerfumeClasses.com

Working with, or wearing natural essences is a healthy choice. Want to study this healthful art? http://PerfumeClasses.com

A little about my background as a perfumery instructor: In 2007, I developed a community based, professional natural perfumery course for those who cannot travel to study.  This was the first course of its kind, and I pioneered many techniques for students, including making dilutions for initial study, using scales, organoleptic evaluations and many more. I wanted this to be the best course available to those who cannot travel to study, perhaps due to finances, job and family commitments, or maybe health reasons. If any of these factors apply, this course is for you, especially if you’re looking for an instructor who has decades of perfumery experience. A few students have told me they took the course because they’re very reserved and didn’t want to be immersed in a real-life classroom setting where they would have to participate.  I understand this personality type, and I have found many natural perfumers to be reserved or shy, and I nurture them, as I have for eleven years on the Yahoo Natural Perfumery group I started and host, and in my Ask the Perfumer Sunday forum.

After studying perfumery on my own, from classic texts since 1976, I launched the first USA-based natural perfumery line in 1991, and since then have won dozens of awards for my perfumes.  What the bloggers who gave these awards didn’t know is that behind the scenes, I developed the first textbook for natural perfumery.  Not a handbook or manual, a fully-realized, illustrated, full-color, professionally-edited textbook.  It is copyrighted and is in the Library of Congress.

Textbook cover for the Natural Perfumery Institute basic course

So what do the students enjoy besides my expertise and wonderful textbook?  Well, there are two options, the value-priced $500 textbook Home Study, or the $2600 Online Interactive option.  The Online Interactive is for the student who feels they need one-on-one guidance and the ability to consult with me on an perfumery question, exercise or assignment.  Both options provide dozens of professional forms, charts and illustrations to make perfumery understandable and organized.  Both options also allow the student to be a part of the discussion forum – for life.  Adjunct faculty, students and myself take part in the forum.

You'll need to know specific gravity to make quantities of perfume.  The NPI is the only NP course that teachs SG

The convenience of distance learning is valuable for all the reasons stated above, and the companionship of the worldwide network of others in the forum is a treasure that will allow you to develop you skills.

Please visit http://PerfumeClasses.com and consider the premier online distance learning course for natural perfumery. Don’t forget to check out the testimonials, a tiny sampling of the many I receive for the course.

Anya McCoy

Founder and Head Instructor

19 thoughts on “Ask the Perfumer Sunday Forum on How To Make Your Own Perfume

  1. Anna

    Hi Anya, I read that book “Perfumes, Splashes, and Colognes” by Nancy M. booth and it had some recipes, but she used alcohol. How do you replace the alcohol with oil in your perfume recipes?

    Reply
    1. Anya Post author

      Hi Anna Maria:

      I don’t make oil perfumes, and all my formulas (I don’t call them recipes) are original. That book is great for the hobbyist, it’ll get you involved with the process. For an oil perfume, I can recommend that you have to overdose the top notes, in particular. The lighter molecule notes tend to be “dampened” by oil,and some of the lighter middle notes may, also. Maybe try double the amount recommended, to begin. Alcohol opens essences up, oil dampens them down a bit.

      HTH,
      Anya

      Reply
      1. Joni Evans

        Hi Anya! I am a student of Jeanne Rose, and I have really taken to perfume making! I am definitely going to buy your book, and I want it signed, please. I already have one of your books, and I love it. One thing I have difficulty with when making my perfumes is Vanilla. It won’t dissolve for me! It obstinately stays in little clumps whether I have it in oil or alcohol. Got any suggestions? I would love to include Vanilla in my next perfume!
        Joni

        Reply
        1. Anya Post author

          Hi Joni:

          Are you sure you’re using vanilla absolute, and not vanilla oleoresin? The oleoresin tends to form clumps, but if you are patient, and shake the bottle frequently while it’s maturing, it will diffuse the scent into the alcohol or oil. Some absolutes do have some waxes left in them, in fact the one I like to use the most does, but it doesn’t form clumps, that sounds like oleoresin. Mine leaves a little dark film on the bottom of the dilution bottle. I filter the perfume it’s in, and it’s fine.

          HTH,
          Anya

          Reply
  2. Stephanie Pierre

    Hi Anya, I’m so grateful for this opportunity to ask of your expertise as well as your brilliant timing on the invitation! I have been working with a Lily enfleurage which I adore but I am having trouble blending it with other notes as it seems to really lose it’s “identity.” I’m thinking of trying sandalwood and neroli so as not overwhelm the lily’s delicate aroma. What do you you think? Thank you again.

    Much love,
    Stephanie

    Reply
    1. Anya Post author

      Hi Stephanie

      First, have you made a number of recharges of the flowers, which is needed to get a strong pomade? If not, that’s my first suggestion. I’m enfleuraging Stargazer lilies, and on my fifth or sixth recharge.

      Then, it sound like you’re mixing sandalwood and neroli essential oils with the pomade, and they’re MANY times the strength concentration of the pomade. Experiment with a drop or two, mix thoroughly, cover, let sit, evaluate.

      HTH,
      Anya

      Reply
  3. Cindi

    Hi, Anya.

    I’ve read your blogs about bee goo. Wondering what one would ask the apiarist for, and how would we make that tincture? Just thinking it would be interesting to get a swap of these so we could sample them from around the World. Just a fun second thought there.

    Cindi

    Reply
    1. Anya Post author

      Cindy, just show them the photo of the bee goo and tell them it’s the stuff scraped off the bottom of the hive, plus maybe some bits of end cap.

      HTH,
      Anya

      Reply
  4. Tiffany

    Hi Anya,
    I really enjoy reading about your journey to write “Perfume from Your Garden”!
    My question is do you know a good source for agar wood essential oil or CO2? Also, do you dilute yours? If so, to what percent?
    Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Anya Post author

      Hi Stephanie

      First, have you made a number of recharges of the flowers, which is needed to get a strong pomade? If not, that’s my first suggestion. I’m enfleuraging Stargazer lilies, and on my fifth or sixth recharge.

      Then, it sound like you’re mixing sandalwood and neroli essential oils with the pomade, and they’re MANY times the strength concentration of the pomade. Experiment with a drop or two, mix thoroughly, cover, let sit, evaluate.

      HTH,
      Anya

      Reply
    2. Anya Post author

      Hi Tiffany:
      I use the Laotian oud from Enfleurage.com in my Temple perfume, and Eden supplies CO2 for my student kits. I’m not sure what you mean by diluting: I dilute all my oils for my perfume organ, that’s how I do my mods. When the oil, any oil, is put into a perfume, the ratio percentage that it was in the mod of the total perfume base is what I add.

      HTH,
      Anya

      Reply
  5. Erik

    Hi Anya,
    I have 25-30 samples (~1.5 ml each) of some expensive absolutes (genet, narcissus, tuberose, jonquil, rose, white and blue lotus, etc) and want to make sure I do the dilutions right. What dilution percentage do you recommend? I am thinking 20%, so that if I want or need, I can dilute the final perfume formula with more alcohol. But, since (for now), I will not have any more of these essences once I dilute them, I am hesitant to make the dilution too weak because I will not be able to strengthen any of the dilutions with more raw material. Thank you!

    Reply
    1. Anya Post author

      Hi Erik:

      I see you just signed up for my course. Welcome aboard! You will receive detailed instructions on how to create the dilutions in your textbook. We typically use 10%. You will have to purchase more aromatics in the future, in quantity, if you wish to create perfumes, there is no way around that.

      HTH,
      Anya

      Reply
      1. Erik

        Hi Anya,
        Thanks for the welcome and for the information!
        Yes, I understand that I will have to purchase more aromatic material in the future to continue making perfumes. I just want to make sure that I make the most of what I have to get started.
        I am very excited to get rolling…
        Erik

        Reply
  6. shay

    HI ANYA,
    due to s.gravity of different materials what is than, the better way to work with?
    E.O, or absolutes diluted to 10% for example? or by weight?
    thanks,
    shay

    Reply
    1. Anya Post author

      Hi Shay:

      All materials can be diluted to any percentage you wish, using a scale to record the aromatic/alcohol weights. That is the way to work with making mods. Then, knowing the S.G. of the aromatic, transform the # of drops to a weight in grams.

      HTH,
      Anya

      Reply
  7. Suzanne

    Hi Anya,
    Can you please tell me if the textbook course includes your oils?? Also am I able to purchase you oils if I am not ready to take this course??? If I may purchase your oils I am having difficulty finding where this is on your page. I plan on taking the course within the year hopefully. I am dealing with horrible back issues and have been in chronic pain – after I speak to my surgeon I will have a better idea of when and if I have surgery I will be able to take your course . Thank you so much and I look foward to your reply!!! Peace, Suzanne

    Reply
  8. Angela Coller

    I tried to make perfume using Cetalox crystals, EverClear Alcohol and Coconut Oil. Heated over a water bath until crystals dissolved (roughly 200 degree F). Poured in perfume bottles. Once it cooled down, everything turned to a white solid! HELP!! What did I do wrong?

    Reply

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