Ask the Perfumer - Sunday, October 16, 2011 - until 10 PM EST

Just harvested a bunch of pink lemons from my tree, and will be harvesting the leaves for a petitgrain distillation.  It's so much fun growing fragrant materials and transforming them into usable products for my natural perfumerie.  I hope you can do this, on some level.  Perhaps you can't grow plants because you live in an apartment, but you can buy freeze-dried raspberries or other fruits and tincture them!  Let's talk about natural perfume and feel free to ask any question on any subject.


  1. hi anya!

    so having come from a background where turnover for perfume was important (i.e., the time from formulation to on the shelves)... i thought it might be interesting to know how long a typical bottle of perfume takes... from your head to your hand? (oh, and i am coming for that petitgrain!! i had to wipe a little drool off my keyboard!)

    much light as always, einsof

  2. Hi Anya!
    I was wondering if there is some kind of physical perfumer's calculator or an online one to translate drops in a recipe to turn it into a larger amount of fragrance. Thanks for your help!

  3. Hi Einsof:

    The process of making a perfume can vary wildly. With Kewdra, I was on a very tight schedule for the Mystery of Musk project, and a natural isolate I wanted to use wasn't ready in time (a month before the launch), so I had to reformulate. What a rush that was, plus my personal life was in a bit of a frenzy, with my mother's condition deteriorating (needed surgery three days before the launch), and working day and night with my editor. I'm only sharing this because the emotional and real world day-to-day activities enter into the process.

    I worked on MoonDance for over a year and decided to go in a completely different direction, and it only took two months to create that - which is my favorite perfume.

    Some only take a few weeks. I have a process to quickly age the mods for evaluation, the ultrasonic used in a specific way. Then I can age the perfume quickly, after the final blend.

    Oh, the lemons from the tree are spectacular, too, and I might have to rasp/extract the oils from the rind. If you send my your mailing address privately, I'll send you a few of them and some leaves. The distillation might not be for several weeks, but the source material can dazzle you in the meantime.


  4. Hi Anon:

    Is this still Einsof? Somebody wrote me privately this week with the same question, but I haven't answered them yet, so maybe this can suffice? I'll point them here. It's practically impossible to do what you are asking. The variables in drops, the sheer number of drops you'd have to count(!) and any program you'd enter the basic data into, all would add up to a big, old, inaccurate final tally/blend.

    In my basic course the students blend by drops, but they're only going to make small amounts for their final perfume for certification. In their textbook, I touch upon the necessity to know the specific gravity of the aromatics, because you need to know that to calculate the WEIGHT of the materials to scale blends up. I have a dynamite Excel program for this, and I was going to release it this year, but it got put on the backburner. It calculates the conversion of drops to weight and even gives the pricing of the final product. Maybe next year. In the meantime, either hire someone who will know how to convert your drops to weight and give you the formula, or know that there's a big learning curve in perfumery, it doesn't happen overnight.


  5. Hi Anya,

    I was thinking of planting some scented plants bcoz i heard that mosquito doesnt like to go around a nice smelling place. I would like to know if its hard to maintain them.

    Ive been reading post in your blog for quite awhile.



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