Ask the Perfumer - Sunday, December 18, 2011 - until 10 PM EST

What are your favorite holiday smells?  Christmas tree? Brisket? Mulled apples and spices?  Well, except for the brisket, the others are easily made from essential oils.  You can make a room spray to perfume your nest this time of year.  Any perfumery questions today? I'll be here until 10 PM.


  1. In perfume classes do you learn how to tell what's in a perfume even if it is not a natural perfume? My sister has a perfume she likes but it's supposedly not made any longer and I was hoping I might eventually be able to replicate it to some degree using natural ingredients.

  2. Hi

    It takes years of experimentation, creating your scent memory, taking meticulous notes to aid in the process, before honing the ability to discern *all* of the notes - and even then 100% is elusive. There are websites with replicates of discontinued perfumes, and they might be your best option, although of course, they will not be using all-natural aromatics.

    Oh, and the short answer to your question about whether you learn in a perfumery class to tell what's in a perfume? No.


  3. Hi Anya,
    Going back to the UV light and sterilization.Can
    those tiny little vials also be sterilized in
    the same way as bigger bottles? I have lots of them so I wondered. And also the dropper.

  4. Hi Again,
    I made it sound like the vials have droppers,which they don't. Just droppers in general.

  5. I'm having a problem with percentages...when you need to make for example 6 bottles of 9 ml spray perfume, do you make your perfume recipe 6 times or multiply the ingredients x 6?

  6. Hi Denise

    UV light is the proper sterilization for the bottles, vials, droppers. All outside surfaces of the droppers are sterilized, but don't confuse sterilization with cleaning, i.e., you have used the dropper already for some purpose. They cannot be reused/sterilized/cleaned.

    HTH, xoxo

  7. Hi Sororia:

    Sorry for the delay getting back to you, I'm having a bit of a headache, but I'll answer you now. If I understand you correctly, you need 6 bottles and they all hold 9 mls. Well, I'd make up a uniform mixture for uniformity of scent. Here's the tricky part: without knowing weight and specific gravity of the aromatics, you'll be working with drops, which can be very variable.

    Using drops for making modifications of a perfume you're working on works well, but translating that into larger quantities and expecting the same effect can be tricky.

    Let's take the most optimistic attitude and say your droppers are uniform, you apply identical pressure to each drop, and that you don't' get interrupted mid-count ;-)

    You will make just one bottle of juice, multiplying the "formula" (not recipe) 6 times, including alcohol, that is a total of 54 mls, then, after aging and filtering, pour them into the 6 bottles.

    I hope I answered this sufficiently. It's not the way I work, I use weight for accuracy, in case an aromatic "grows" if the proportions are changed from a single mod or bottle, when the ante is upped, in this case, to 6 bottles.



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