Sunday, August 07, 2011

Ask the Perfumer - Sunday, August 7, 2011 - until 10 PM EST

I had blender's block really bad last week. Just one comment from a perfume editor (Michelyn Camen of Cafleurebon) that wasn't even related to my block, since I hadn't told her about it, turned me around, and the new mods I created are gorgeous!!! Have you ever had blender's block? My problem was I let my ego get ahold of me. You can't fit a square peg into a round hole, and you can't make an aromatic be diffusive if the other aromatics are dampening it. Any blending problems? Let my bruised, yet happy, ego be your guide.


  1. Hi Anya!

    I'm following the distilling thread on the group with great interest. I'm afraid that I'm hesitant to distill because it is so complicated. Can you give me some tips? Thanks so much, love ya!


  2. Glad to hear you stopped letting your ego get ahold of you Anya, back to normal now!

  3. Greetings Anya,

    I have also been following the distilling thread. As someone new to the world of distilling....I wonder, how does one decide which plants to hydro-distill and which to steam-distill? I tried steam distilling roses last week and I was very disapointed. I have steam distilled lavender with good results and today I am going hydro-distill some more lavender just to compare results.
    All good things,

  4. Hi Roberta:

    I recommend you get a distilling buddy, even if they aren't into distilling per se, maybe just a good friend who can go over the instructions and double check everything. I found when I first distilled, that a dozen little items were needed, and I had to keep running into the house while the friend minded the still in the backyard.

    If you go to Guild member HeartMagic's website, there are great instructions you can print out. Your still may vary a bit in components, but the practice is the same. HTH


  5. Hi Fallah:

    I don't know why I kept ignoring the dampening effect, I was really being silly. I was sure I could make it work with 15 mods behind me, no, I know I couldn't make it work. My new perfume mods are sublime, so I am very, very happy.


  6. Sheree, roses are traditionally hydro-distilled because otherwise they "pack down" and the steam can't pass through them. I recommend Guenther's Vol. 1 that I just uploaded for a breakdown on the different methods needed for different plant materials. on p. 113 "Some plant materials (e.g.,
    powdered almonds, rose petals, and orange blossoms) must be distilled while
    fully immersed and moving freely in boiling water, because on distillation
    with injected live steam (direct steam distillation) these materials agglutinate
    and form large compact lumps, through which the steam cannot

    Once you get that part down, you have to pay attention, experiment, or find previous distillation results that signify what pressure and how hot and how long the materials need to be distilled.

    PS I love searchable .pdfs, don't you? ;-)

    Smelling like a rose,

    PS: yes, really, musk rose from Zambia.

  7. Thanks Anya!

    Musk rose? I love anything musk. I bet it smells wonderful!

    Have a blessed day,

  8. Hi Sheree:

    My Amberess perfume contains both the musk rose otto and absolute for the full, rich effect. Very yummy.

    Thanks for stopping by,


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