Sunday, March 13, 2011

Ask the Perfumer - Sunday, March 13, 2011 - until 10 PM EST

It's a beautiful day here in Miami, and I'll be working on extracting the scent of hyacinths both by enfleurage and tincturing.  I hope you have a beautiful day, too, and if you have any perfumery questions, I'll be here until 10 PM.


  1. What's the best way to dilute essential/perfume oils to be sprayed from an atomizer like eau de toilettes?

  2. Hi

    You need to obtain 190-proof alcohol, such as Everclear. If it is not carried by liquor stores in your state, you can google Shoppers Vineyard in NJ and see if they ship to your state.

    I can only give you very broad guidelines here because much is dependent upon your EO or perfume oil. An EdT concentration is typically around 10%, so 10% fragrance 90% alcohol. If you do not have a graduated beaker or other device to measure this, you can use something like a stainless steel (non-reactive) measuring teaspoon.


  3. Hi Anya,

    I know creative people run into a "creative block" from time to time, but specific to perfumery has this happened to you and if so what did you do to pull yourself out of it?


  4. Hi Lisa:

    To me, a creative block is when you sit at the keyboard, or at an easel or drawing pad, and no thoughts come to mind.

    In perfumery, at least to me, that blankness doesn't exist. Problems with making iterations so, when accords or bridges don't work. Then, I reach across my palette of aromatics to find the answer, if it is to be found.

    Did I communicate the differences in procedures? Let me know.


  5. Hi Anya,

    Yes I understand what you're saying. Thanks!


  6. Hi Anya!

    I was curious if you have any favorite combinations of fragrant materials (not parts of your perfumes of course) that you would share. What materials do you love how they come together, or that come together in unexpected or exciting ways to you?

    Thanks so much!


  7. Hi Michael:

    I believe you're asking about accords, when two, three or more aromatics are blended in varying ratios to create a harmonious, beautiful new entity.

    It's a bit difficult to answer your question simply because the ratios do matter - 3 drops of A, and 3 drops of B with 1 drop of C might be necessary to give a concise answer.

    On a simpler note, well, jasmine grandi and rosa centifolia are gorgeous together ;-) and you can play with ratios yourself. Add a touch of ylang and you have a classic perfume heart.

    I adore ambergris, sandalwood and patchouli for a base accord, and it shows up in several of my perfumes.

    Then, of course what is beautiful to one person is "meh" to another, and I don't care how gorgeous the raw materials are, scent memory plays into it. In other words, Michael, I'm just encouraging you to experiment and find *your* favorite accords. That is at the heart of a perfumer, to fulfill their own aesthetic goal.


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