Ask the Perfumer - Sunday, November 28, 2010 - 10 a.m. to 10 PM EST

Please post your questions, and forgive my slight delay in answering during the morning hours.  I will be available on a timely basis the rest of the day.


  1. HI Anya! :)

    Love reading about perfumes under new project! :)

    Last month I didn't blend anything. I am so busy with my job that I am seriously starting to think if it is possible to learn (plus I still don't have enough "nice" ingredients) and practice making natural perfumes with such a busy schedule and small experience (all together: a year)? Is there enough desire and inspiration after very busy and stressful day?
    There is so many things to learn and it is going so slowly... with this job - it is almost not moving at all...

    This is more thinking aloud, than a concrete question... but thanks for any comment.

  2. A natural perfumer wrote that she doesn't like to filter her perfumes because she thinks the bits floating about are pretty. You always say to filter. Why?


  3. Hi Ankica:

    I have had long stretches of other work that has taken me away from blending. Sometimes it was family health crisis, and when you're upset you can't blend.

    It shows you have the passion to write about it, which is what I do when I can't blend! You should never blend when you're too busy or stressed, so take your time.

    The Guild motto is "Slow Scent" and I tell my students "Slow Study" also. It takes YEARS to learn perfumery. Anybody who tells you otherwise is either ignorant or lying. Some people discover perfumery in March, and by June they put a perfume out. That is quite egotistical and they're only fooling themselves.

    It is a long road, with thousands of experiments necessary to produce a good perfumer.

    Just take your time and be patient.

  4. HI Rachel:

    That is the sign of an amateur, IMO, who will contribute to the demeaning of natural perfumery. I've seen, and smelled, some of these 'dirty' perfumes, and they're always amateurish.

    Natural perfumery is a high art, and as such, needs to be seen as a professional product. Floaters harken back to 2005, when Luca Turin and others blasted natural perfumes as being hippie shop concoctions. We need to protect our young art and encourage clear perfume, good bottling, professional labels, correct pricing and marketing and much more.

    No dirty perfumes!

  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  6. Hi Charna:

    First I have to ask - do you have experience with isolates? They are quite different in handling, etc., from EOs and abs.

    Secondly, the suppliers you list don't sell in small amounts. I wouldn't trust most of them, they sell synths.

    Thirdly, I'm just concerned when I first used isolates with MoonDance and StarFlower, and then in April I dropped a hint I'd be teaching a course,I may have unleashed a lust for them in the NP community, and then some jumped in to "teach", and now it's a "trend" and folks just don't know how to store or use them properly. My course will be taught in February, almost a year after I announced it, because I have several very well-educated folks helping me with it, and we know the dangers of putting half-assed info out there.

    So, I'm going to retreat for a bit talking about the isolates. The technology has outstripped the NP industry's ability to deal with them, IMHO, and it's scary.

    I hope you'll understand my reticence. I also fear that suppliers will be inundated for sample requests and that's not fair to them, either.

    Oy, what did I start? ;-)

  7. I removed Charna's post because it contained the URLs for the very suppliers who may either:

    1. sell synths and not tell you they're synths.
    2. get angry at many requests for samples when they're used to dealing with wholesale customers who go on to buy large quantities, which NP'ers don't do.


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