Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Perfumery tips to make life easier for the artisan perfumer



Sometimes it's difficult to find items for the work we do. Scent strip holders are nearly impossible to find, and the ones coming out of France, which are usually given away at trade shows, are ugly, in my opinion. I corresponded last year with the *only* firm in France that produces them (at least that's what I was told) and I just gave up. I am wanting to have some made with the Natural Perfumers Guild logo on them, either in steel or wood. I either had to contract for a minimum of 1000 or buy their squat, off-the-shelf ones. Sometimes photo or memo holders can do the job, like the Sputnik photo clip contraption found at Target and other stores.

Diane Rowles, a student in my class, deserves a round of applause for discovering that antique wire "frogs", used to hold flowers in place in a vase, fit the bill. You can just push the scent strip in with one hand (a real advantage over the "clip" models,) and they're small and don't take up much room on the table. Better yet, they're inexpensive. Diane got a load of them, and she'll be selling them to her classmates and will also offer them on the Natural Perfumery group on Yahoo soon. The pic above is shows three frogs with the kit of aromatics box she received at class enrollment, and she's place a few of the aromatics in the picture, too. Very cute!


This one is just so evocative of the Grasse perfume industry. What that room of roses must have smelled like! Again, the three frogs could hold top, middle and base notes, or accords of them, to assist in your evaluation studies.

Dara, from the Natural Perfumery group, just helped us all tremendously by informing us that there are inexpensive enameled trays available from art supply stores that can fill in for the pricier stainless steel baking trays I've been recommending to students and group members. A spill is inevitable when working with the aromatics. Even drops, not a full spill, on a table top can destroy the surface, or, worse to our "noses", "pollute" the air of the studio with the lingering scent. We want our studios to be as scent-free as possible to enable us to clearly evaluate the materials as we're working with them. When I wrote recommending the stainless steel tray in the NP group the other day, Dara told us to check out "Butcher's Trays" aka "Palette Trays" from the art supply stores. Very affordable - most under $12, good size, and with the small lip necessary (a big lip, or edge, is awkward.) The trays have a slightly convex form, which would allow spills to drain to the edges, but not enough of a bulge to interfere with sitting a bottle down. Very nice! Dara is now our official "Save the Spill Maven". You'll remember her name and this equipment tip if you ever spill or dribble either a pricey or very strong aromatic, believe me.


If you spill, just have some cotton balls at hand, and sop it up and put it in a bottle and cover with alcohol. At least you'll have a nice dilution, and have saved the aromatic. You can also pour (if the spill is really large) into a bottle, or use a pipette to gather it up.

Just some helpful, fun stuff I wanted to share with all the site visitors. Happy perfuming!

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