Sunday, August 15, 2010

Ask the Perfumer - Sunday, August 15, 2010 - 10 a.m. to 10 PM EST

Hi Everyone:

Ask the Perfumer is waiting for questions on this hot, humid mid-August day.  Wear some refreshing cologne and post your queries and I'll answer up to 10PM tonight.


  1. Hi Anya,

    Think I must have left it too late last week but my question related to the process of "fining" a blend. Once you're happy with a particular blend and have added it to alcohol, how do you fine it so that it is not cloudy. I've heard of adding water to the blend and then adding fullers earth and refrigerating it. Is this something you have done?


  2. Hi Anya,

    Thank you for answering my question about tinctures last week!

    Before I shop online, I like to see if the products I want are available locally. The store I purchase essential oils from has great selection, but some of the EO they sell are only in 10% dilution in jojoba.

    Does this mean that if I need six drop of frankincense, I need to use 60 of the diluted? Should I just try to find it undiluted instead?

    Thanks again for sharing your expertise.

  3. Hi Kay:

    I don't use the process of fining with my perfumes, as I don't find it necessary.

    I just chill the juice, and pour the clear juice through a filter. If there is a lot of sediment in the bottom, I'll filter that separately, to see if I get some clear juice.

    It's good to wet the filter with alcohol first to avoid having too much of the precious perfume absorbed into it.

  4. Hi JoanElaine:

    I advise you to never buy pre-diluted aromatics. To progress as a perfumer, you have to become intimately aware of the undiluted essences. That way you will know if the quality is good when you sample.

  5. Hi Anya,

    Thank you so much for your response! It makes complete sense!

  6. Hi!! How are you?
    I listen your advice and diluted eo's. I am very satisfy! Thanks!

    What concerns me is althought my blends goes up to 25% fragrance, I feel alchohol to much. I use 96% alcohol. I don't feel alcohol in brand perfumes that I have.

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  8. My question wasn't related to mention dilution. I made scent, 25% of fragrance inside but when i spray it - I feel/smell alcohol a lot. Like I put only 5% of fragrance and rest is alcohol. I don't smell that amount of alcohol in someone else's perfums.

  9. Hi Anya,
    I have become increasingly interested in using ambergris and have two questions for you. What grade/color/strength (3% tincture?) do you recommend a newbie trying if I can only afford one?
    On one website I read that it is recommended perfumers use about 60% alcohol to 40% ambergris tincture. This blows me away! I calculated that if I were creating a professional batch of perfume using ambergris with this ratio it would cost $7,000 in just ambergris! Please tell me the magical effects of ambergris I've been reading about can be obtained using less? Could you recommend an amount or ratio?
    Thanks Anya!

  10. Bellatrix, sorry for my not understanding your original question, so I removed my long answer ;-)

    Not sure I understand it again, but I'll try!

    First you say you made a scent with 25% fragrance, but then you say 5%. Can you clarify? If you are using 5%, that is a low percentage, a cologne, and they have water added, which dilutes the alcohol smell.

    Also, remember not to sniff right out of the bottle, you often get a strong alcohol scent that way.

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  12. I am writing throught mobile phone so I my comments are to short. I meant that my 25% smells like 5%. Concentration of 25 is pretty high and still, it smells almost like alcohol only.

  13. Anya,
    Thank you so very much for your answer to my question. You gave me the detailed information that I was looking for. I really appreciate you sharing your percentages as well. It steers me in the right ballpark which I'm grateful for! I'm so glad you do "Ask the Perfumer" Sundays. Thank you for sharing your knowledge with us.

  14. Hi Anya,

    I don't know if I'm too late to ask my question this week as I'm in Australia...

    I have a lovely Daphne Odora bush in bloom and would love to extract the perfume from the flowers. Is there a way that you know of that would work. The scent is really heavenly!


  15. HI Anya,
    Don't know if I'm too late, I'm in Australia.

    My Daphne Odora is in bloom, what a heavenly fragrance. Is there a way to extract it from the flowers?


  16. Hi Lilac:

    Don't tincture or otherwise extract the Daphne - it's very poisonous.

  17. Thanks Anya,

    Is it poisonous on the skin, internally or both?


  18. Hi Lilac

    Here's where I encourage you to conduct your own research. That's always the best way to learn. I'm glad I was able to point you in the right direction before you tinctured or otherwise used the Daphne. ;-)

  19. Bellatrix, now I understand, but I don't know what to tell you. Is your alcohol exceedingly harsh? Some alcohols benefit from filtration before use. You can put them through a water filter such as found in the "pitcher" type of countertop water filters. Others use activated charcoal and steep the alcohol in it for a day or so and then pour off the clear part.

    Are you giving the perfume about 10 seconds or so to allow the alcohol to waft off your wrist before sniffing the scent?


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