Sunday, April 24, 2011

Ask the Perfumer - Sunday, April 24, 2011 - until 10 PM EST

Happy Easter everyone. I hope you have a chance to have a relaxing day, and I hope you will enjoy beautiful weather this lovely Spring day.  I'll be online on and off today, and I'm happy to check in for your perfumery questions. There were quite a few comments that were added to last Sunday's "Ask the Perfumer" during the week, so if you were following a topic there, you may wish to visit the comments thread again.


  1. Hi Anya,

    I've asked you this question before, but we never managed to 'connect'. I was wanting to know what the classic, typical, rule-of-thumb ratios are for the base (and also middle and top?) for chypres.

    (Please note this is not to imply that I plan on following the formula slavishly, so I don't require 'permission' to experiment).

    Thanks for all your help and for the service you provide!

  2. Hi and Happy Easter. I wonder where you personally put your ingredients? I was reading the rules from FDA and am designing a logo, label, etc. Not many perfume bottles of any kind have contents on the bottles. I was thinking of attaching a card w/logo and when it is opened the name and ingredients will be there. Also is it wise to include citris as so many are allergic, but then so many can be allergic to anything.

    To join the NP GUILD does one have their perfumes analyzed or 'juried' as I, as a painter would say. And what are the benefits aside from name and information being posted there? I don't plan on having a website for a while.
    Thanks ahead of time for answering 2 questions.
    Best, Stefanie Kihm

  3. Hi Felicia:

    We read in all the books that there are ratios for t/m/b notes. The ratios vary slightly, and so we can just regard them as 'rule of thumb'.

    With chypres, many of the base notes are very intense, and very longlasting. In that case, I would dose them lightly, otherwise, if you listen to somebody's t/m/b ratio, and use, say 55% you will create an obnoxious perfume, IMO.

    Perfume is all about the balance: the middle notes can last a very long time, so sometimes you may balance out the base notes with a good dose of middle notes and create a beautiful perfume.

    Top notes, of course, being the most short-lived, demand a certain ratio that makes them noticable and appropriate for the perfume being created. Sometimes you can find a middle note, say lemon myrtle, that can extend the top note lemon for several hours.



  4. Hi Stefanie:

    I recognize you from the big NP yahoo group. My ingredients are on a card that accompanies the bottles. Others put them on the box, others who have large bottles may put them on a label on the back or bottom of the bottle. The box and accompanying card suffice.

    You do not have to post the citrus in the USA, but it is a good idea. There are specific allergens according to the EU. If you are in the EU, you need to look into the law there.

    All perfumes are reviewed by a Guild committee. We also look at packaging and brochures, etc. For more information on Guild requirements and benefits, you can go to and review the membership page, and others, including the code and guidelines page.



  5. Hi Anya,

    Thank you for that information. I have a follow up question.

    You say "we read in all the books...". Would you be willing to give me the name and author of one (or more) of these books? Meaning, specifically, the books that contain formulae/suggestions for ratios for t/m/b notes.

    Name and author.


  6. If you go to the Files section in the big NP group, you'll find a document that lists lots and lots of perfumery books. It would take me all afternoon to list them all.

    Plus, you can just google it and get ratios. You'll get more variations on the ratios that I could ever supply by just listing the books, even. However, I think you're still concentrating on the 'hard and fast' rule a little too much. You must have some perfumery books already, right? Don't they list any? Some will say 55/30/15, others 50/30/20. Remember what I wrote earlier - the intensity of the aromatics you use will wind up dictating the ratios. Some of my perfumes are 56% middle notes. So there you go ;-)



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