The composition of any perfume starts with base perfume oils, which are natural, animal or synthetic, and are then diluted with a solvent to make them light and applicable. Perfume oils in the purest form can cause damage to skin or an allergic reaction, so the adding of solvent is necessary to make them less potent. The most prevalent solvent used in the manufacturing of perfumes is Ethanol.
Plants are the oldest source for obtaining fragrant oil compounds from flowers and blossoms parts. Other plant parts, such as leaves, twigs, roots, rhizomes, bulbs, seeds, fruit, wood, bark and lichens are also considered for use in perfume making.
Perfumes made using animal sources are normally made from Musk, which is obtained from either the Asian Musk Deer or Civets (known as Civet Musk), as well as Ambergis (a fatty compound). Some perfume makers may also use either Castoreum or Honeycomb in the production of their perfumes.
A perfume composition will either be used to augment other products, or patented and sold as a perfume after it has been allowed to age for one year.
Unfortunately, fragrance compounds will, after time, begin to deteriorate and lose strength if stored incorrectly. It is therefore important when making your own perfume that you store them in tightly sealed containers and keep them out of light and away from heat, as well as away from oxygen and other organic substances. For best results, store containers in a fridge at a temperature of between 33 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you carry out a search on the internet on making perfume, you will find there is a wealth of knowledge on the many processes. You will find different recipes to experiment with, but the most important thing you should consider is what sort of perfumes you would like as your finished product.
First, you need to consider what sort of perfume you would like to make? Would it be an eau de cologne, perfume concentrate or even an aftershave?
Second, you need to decide what it should smell like? Do you want it to be soft or strong, sweet or manly or unisex? Does it have to be long lasting?
After answering these questions as to what kind of perfume you would like to make, you need to start making a list of the ingredients that you need. When making the list, think about the characteristics of the various ingredients you want to include in your recipe.
When making perfume it is important that you experiment as much as you can. It should be remembered that perfume making is an art, and imagination and a great sense of smell will help you to overcome any lack of knowledge or experience.
The next most important thing in relation to perfume making is that there are 4 key ingredients you will need to produce perfume:
1. Essential Oils (these have been extracted from various plants (organic or non-organic) and when combined give the smell of the perfume you are trying to produce. The three different categories of oils include: Base notes, Middle notes, and Top notes. Each note ultimately influences the scent of your perfume over time. Perfume is seldom made with just one fragrance. Theyâ€™re usually a blend of up to three or more fragrances. This will be discussed in more detail as we get further into the course.
2. Pure Grain Alcohol
If you plan to resell your perfume to the public, then you will need to use Perfumer’s Alcohol (which can be hard to find locally, but available online) because the Department of Tobacco, Alcohol and Firearms does not allow selling products with Vodka in them. However, if you are only making your perfume for personal use, you can substitute 100-Proof Vodka in most recipes calling for Perfumers Alcohol or Grain Alcohol.
Be sure to do a skin patch test to make sure you are not allergic to any of your ingredients by placing a drop on your skin and watching to see if a rash or irritation occurs. If so, discontinue use immediately.
Fixatives are used with the other ingredients in order to lower the rate of evaporation of the fragrance or essential oils. The reason why a perfume may lose its fragrance faster than normal is because only a little amount of fixative was used when preparing the perfume.
In some cases, you may want to use a vegetable oil in addition to a carrier oil with the essential oils. This will make up 10 to 35 percent of the finished perfume. Many perfumers recommend using Jojoba oil, as it has a long shelf life and is healthy for the skin. For those that don’t know what Jojoba or a carrier oil is, it is to help dilute and blend your three fragrances together before they can be applied to your skin. Oils made be used in place of alcohol.