Sunday, February 27, 2011

Ask the Perfumer - Sunday, February 27, 2011 - until 10 PM EST

Ask the Perfumer forum is open for Sunday, Feb. 27, 2011.  I'm happy to assist you with your perfumery questions and as usual, I will be in and out all day, so if it's not answered immediately, be assured it will be by tonight.


  1. Hi Anya!

    I have some accords I put away to age some time ago, taken from Mandy's book. I do have to say I LOVE weighing the aromatics the way I'm learning in your course, because counting out 120 drops was just insane. I'm not that OCD!!! Anyway, can you explain, since this is outside of the course, so I'm asking you here, why did people ever use drops? Are professional perfumers still using drops? Did you ever use drops?

  2. Ms. Anya Greetings:

    Can you please tell me where to find best sandalwood oil?

    Thank you,

  3. Hi Anya,

    I will dilute small quantities of all of my essences for experimenting, and was wondering if you had any recommendations regarding what kind of bottles to buy (dropper bottles or small vials?) and what dilution (20%,10%, 5%?).

    Thanks in advance,


  4. Anya,
    I purchased boronia a few months back, and do not want to waste one precious drop. Can you suggest a good basenote to go with the boronia? I know the boronia could easily get lost it's odor is so delicate.
    Thanks so much.

  5. Hi Margaret:

    People have used drops since the beginning of time! Well, the ancient Egyptians used weights, for sure, but remember most of their aromatics were unguents (aromatics infused into fats), seeds, resins, etc. Avicenna (pro-science, anti-alchemy) and the alchemists probably used a combination of drops and weights.

    I started using drops, because that was all I knew back in the 70s. Milliliter measurement was unknown to me, as was the concept of weight.

    Aromatherapists also seemed to use the drop method, but also using the "recipes" that called for 5mls of this, 10 mls of that, measured by pipette. I had access to beakers and pipettes, so I started using that method for my first perfume line, Anya's Tropical Essences (1991).

    I use drops to create mods, and you are learning that method, too. You are also learning to weigh the drops as you create.

    If you follow the path of professional perfumery, especially if you wish to be able to perhaps study further in France or some university setting, you will need to know weight, and that means converting the drops to weight via specific gravity, which you learn about in Module 5, more about in the Intermediate level of study.

    This year I'll launch the Excel blending program I had developed by an engineer. You'll be able to convert drops to mls, diluted or undiluted, from a scale of 1ml up to well, the scale is endless, up to say, 55gallons for conversation purposes.

  6. Hello Abdul:

    I can recommend any of the Natural Perfumers Guild suppliers for sandalwood, without reservation:

  7. Hi Poppy:

    I dilute all my aromatics to 10% (with some exceptions) for creating mods. Others like to dilute 50%, 20%, 1%. It's all dependent upon the intensity of the aromatic.

    I store my undiluted aromatics in plain screw-top bottles, and all my dilution bottles for mods have dropper tops.

  8. Hi Judi:

    How is frozen Colorado? :-)

    Sandalwood, amyris, tonka, frankincense and vanilla are subtle basenotes. If you are going to consider an accessory note like patchouli, please dilute it way down, ratio-wise.

    Ambergris, a modifer/mid note, can work as a fixative for boronia, too.


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