Sunday, September 19, 2010

Ask the Perfumer - Sunday September 19, 2010

I'll be available to answer your perfumery questions until 10 PM EST.  I'm happy to help!


  1. Happy Sunday!
    Two questions please. First,how much,if any, of a solvent remains in the final product?

    My refrig seems to cold to store my essential oils,what is the best temp.?
    Thanks Anya,

  2. Hi Anya,
    Thanks for being available for questions.

    I'm wanting to start offering a classier perfume oil in dram bottles to my customers. Only select fragrances and blends that are not available in any of my other products. I currently offer tiny pocket misters of 2% FO in a base of FCO. But I'd like for these new ones to be more concentrated. More upscale. So my question is, what percentage of FO should I use to carrier oil? Can I safely go above 2%? And should I stick with FCO? Or is there another carrier oil that is better to carry the scent blend more efficiently without compromising it's integrity? I know that some use jojoba, sweet almond of apricot kernal.

    Thank you for your time and any advice you can offer.


  3. Hi Denise:

    Very, very little solvent remains in a well-made absolute. I have smelled some from India that were poorly made, and they had to be left uncovered for the solvent to evaporate off, but then, of course, you lose some scent molecules, too. A responsible, experienced person working at extracting the solvents after the process is over would leave perhaps ppm or ppb.

    You may store them in the fridge, just be very careful to replace them in the fridge asap after taking out the amount you need. Fluctuations in temperature are most damaging, so my advice to quickly replace them in the fridge.

  4. Hi Donna:

    I don't have any experience with FOs, as I work only with natural aromatics. Perhaps your supplier has recommendations on safe percentages? Sorry I can't be of more help there.

    FCO is a carrier oil, and a very good one. I would recommend you test how well the FCO/FO blend sprays. Some sprayers are very wrong for oil. They'll just squirt out a stream, not a "spray". Ask the suppliers about this. Sorry I couldn't help you more, but heck, I at least got you to get back the suppliers, they should be of help. ;-)

  5. Hi Anya,

    i have two questions.

    1) how to eliminate the cloudy effect on some parfums with Styrax?

    2) what is the max allowed percent for each EO´s. is there any standard list? I am looking for selling my products in some shops

    thanks in advance

  6. Hi Olivier:

    Are you chilling and filtering your perfumes?

    General safety guidelines re: safety of EOs and absolutes is on but many, including myself, challenge their findings. You can find more info at and in Robert Tisserand's book, Essential Oil Safety.

    You owe it to yourself and your customers to do basic research on phototoxicity, allergens, etc. and consider a warning label if you know you are using allergens/sensitizers above recommended usage limits.

  7. Hi,
    Where would you put hay absolute, butter co2, cacao, pink lotus absolute as a note? Top, middle, base?

  8. Hi again,
    Thanks for this opportunity to ask more questions.

    Do you have a preference, and if so
    why, in the type of tincture of ambergris? White,Grey,Gold or WhiteGold.

  9. Hi Anya,
    Just a comment this time. I am constantly suprised that in the process of learning about this ancient art of perfumery,I am required to learn more about it as a science. PPM,PPB, specific gravity, isolets--- I am so impressed.

  10. Ankica, there is a proverb: "Give a man a fish, and he'll eat for a day; teach him how to fish and he'll eat for life."

    That's what I need to do here so you can determine for yourself what place in the pyramid the scents fit in.

    Top notes: typically last on a scent strip for 5 to 30 minutes, max.

    Middle notes: typically last on a scent strip for 2 to 8 hours.

    Base notes: typically last on a scent strip for 6 to 24 hours and beyond.

    You learn to use scent strips, and carefully record your observations, and you'll be able to determine the top/middle/base notes for life ;-)

    That said, some notes are top/middle, or middle/base. What does that mean? They wiggle a little outside the carefully drawn timeline and extend into the lower, less evaporative designation.

    Do you have scent strips? I can post how to make them with watercolor paper from the art store.

  11. Denise, asking which ambergris I like the most would be like asking which child I like the most - I love them all the same, but I use them for different "chores" ;-)

    I suppose you've visited the Guild Supplier site You can find the descriptions of the specific scent profile for each type of ambergris there, and that may help you make your decision. You know there is a special discount for Guild members, don't you? It was posted in the Guild Yahoo group. If you can't find it, write Adrienne directly for it.

  12. Thanks Anya for answering back. Some of my blends are actually EO blends :-) But I will refer back to the suppliers as well.
    Take Care,


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