Sunday, August 29, 2010

Ask the Perfumer - Sunday, August 29, 2010 - 10 a.m. to 10 PM EST

Can you believe the summer in the Northern Hemisphere is almost over? Perfume wardrobes will be changing for those in temperate climates. Ask the Perfumer is open, thinking of hemispheric differences and the perfumes that love them.

PS:  I've started a page for the Anya's Garden Natural Perfumery Institute on Facebook - you can click to join there.  I'll be updating that page frequently.


  1. Hi,

    I guess I am your regular admirer. Quick question about your blending methods. Do you always make accords? Do you always make perfume by creating base accord first than middle and than top or you sometimes add note by note regardless of their longetivity /base, middle, top\?

  2. Hi Ankica:

    Thanks for writing again, I'm always happy to help answer questions.

    I always make accords to evaluate how the aromatics interact with each other.

    I do not always blend by using the accords, however. Sometimes I'll use a vertical accord and then finesse it by using bits of other vertical accords and accessory notes for added interest and beauty.

    The use of horizontal accords is invaluable because it always gives you a reference point to start from. They're real timesavers.

    I am against using an accord over and over, as they are sometimes also called "bases" (don't confuse with base notes).
    The use of bases gives a sameness to perfumes, and I prefer for each of my perfumes to be individual and different from the others.

  3. Although it is time-saver - how about when accords that are within themselves great - turn out being incompatible with other accords? Not really time saving :) Or you can use existing one for some other?
    I do understand what you meant by using bases on and on.

    I like vertical accord making. I feel safer like that...

    So, you never add (lets say) vanilla, than basil, than rose, than orange... one by one (regardless of their longetivity) and see how it goes?

  4. Hi Ankica:

    I use accords for discovery when I have a specific perfume fragrance family and a perfume brief in mind. So, it's very focused. That's not to say I might use an accord in a future perfume - that's why I keep meticulous notes, and on Excel, so I can easily search!

    Yes, accords are often incompatible with other accords, so the game of "subtraction" may occur. Perfumery requires lots and lots of experimentation.

    As far as the last experiment you show, no, I don't create like that.

  5. I recently fell in love with one supplier's champaca absolute. When I placed an order from another supplier, I ordered some of their champaca CO2 extract and was amazed at the difference. The CO2 extract seemed much thinner, without the quality I fell in love with. Of course I'd love all CO2 extracts to be rich and delicious so I could avoid hexane residue, but are they typically less round and complex smelling? Or was that just an anomoly?

    Thanks again, Anya. --Laura

  6. Hi Laura:

    Most champaca absolutes - and concretes - are very strong with an intensity typical to what you describe in your first sample. CO2s can be milder, I have found. Some may prefer the milder version. You should sample before each purchase, even from the same supplier. What they carry in August may be very different from the new supply they get in November.

    Don't be afraid of hexane. It is mostly recovered in the end process, and also evaporates off the aromatic.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.