Sunday, August 08, 2010

Ask The Perfumer - Sunday, August 8, 2010

I apologize for launching the "Ask the Perfumer" forum so late today. I slept late and then went to the hospital where my mother is for a long visit, went shopping, - and just plain forgot until now!  I'll answer your queries until late tonight, so ask away.


  1. Hi Anya,

    Been thinking about you and your Mom.

    I wonder if you can help me with a chocolate scent I'm working on. I made a simple chocolate scent. And decided to make something a bit more complex.

    I wanted to use Hazelnut CO2 in my blend, and I used about 20 drops, in a mixture of others. It's just not really showing up.

    My question is, do you need to use more of a CO2 especially when using some heavy hitters, such as cocoa abs?


  2. Hello Anya,

    I'm new to the world of natural perfumes and just discovered your blog last week. It's great!

    My question is about tinctures. I understand many natural perfumers make them, but I don't understand how they are used. Are they used in drops like essential oils and absolutes?

    Thank you very much!

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  4. Hi EA:

    Cocoa is a very strong note, and you could try to use it in tiny amounts to highlight the Hazelnut. Think of the chocolate as an accessory, not the main player. It will still be noticed, and not overwhelm the others.

    I can't make a generalization about CO2s because, like the absolutes, EOs, etc., they all vary in aromatic strength.

  5. Hi JoanElaine:

    Some tinctures are very , very strong, like my michelia alba flower tincture, and can be used just as you'd use an absolute or EO. Others are weaker in strength, and that's not bad, as they can be used as what I term a "sheer" background note. It's up to you to determine the strength of your tincture and how to best use it. With practice, it'll become second nature, like "hmm...this rose centifolia would be great mixed 1:3 with my alcohol as a rose base."

  6. Hi Anya. I hope your mother is not terribly ill. And I'm glad you got out for some retail therapy.

    My question is about solid perfumes. When you're calculating your concentration percentage, do you figure in the beeswax, or just the carrier oil in your calculation? What a newbie question, I know. Thanks, as always.


  7. Hi Anya,
    My best to your Mom.

    When you add water to a blend is it distilled.

    Don't stay up to late.

  8. Hello Anya,
    I am making a lip balm and I would like to source a raspberry scent or flavour that is natural!There is something called raspberry extract but I'm finding it difficult to find out if this is a flavouring or just a botanical extract to add to body products.
    Is there a natural raspberry scent/ flavour for lip balms???
    Many thanks Maxine

  9. Hi Laura

    If I understand your question correctly, it's about the concentration of essential oils you're adding to the beeswax/fixed oil combo?

    Short answer: you figure in the beeswax and fixed oils together. HTH.

  10. Hi Denise:

    The water *must* be distilled to avoid microbial contamination. You can also add, for additional scent, sterile hydrosols, such as orange flower and rose.

  11. Maxine, there are natural fruit flavors, including raspberry, for lip balms. In fact, it's easier to get them for non-alcohol (perfume) purposes, much to the chagrin of perfumers. I don't use them, because I don't make lip balms, but I think you're a member of the big NP yahoo group, right? You can ask for sources there.

    Years ago I did play with them, and I remember, boy, are they concentrated! I don't know the amounts to use in a mix, but I'm sure others on the NP group, or the supplier, could give you the percentages.

  12. Thanks again, Anya. Yes, that answered my question perfectly. It's funny how the simplest things are confusing when you're learning by yourself.

  13. Many thanks for your help Anya.I will look forward to any response I get !!

  14. Hi Anya,

    Last week I left a question about composition. What I really meant I guess is, after coming up with a blend that you're happy with, what is the process that you personally use to blend the oils etc with tinctures and alcohol, then to "fine" it and then the process used to finish up with a clear perfume. I've heard of several types of methods and wondered what method you use.
    Thanks :)


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