I've moved onto module 4 now. This module so far seems to be lots of reading also. The information contained within this module is vital for me should I wish to take further steps into marketing and actually producing my own perfumes.
I've started reading about legislation and restrictions when it comes to allergens etc and the forms and tests I'll need to perform in order to get products out on to the market.
It's quite heavy, but I'm trying to take in as much as possible!
In the meantime and in between reading I am still continuing moving towards the end of module 2.
I'm currently mid experiment with the nature ID oils.
I have had to do two experiments which I'm really enjoying and attending to as and when I can.
What they involve is this.
Using 4 nature ID oils of my choice and building up a blend slowly to really get a feel for them and to see how they behave.
Choosing another four ID oils to work with but adding in an essential oil or absolute of my choice.
This is how it's going so far.
For both experiments I have chosen 5mls of alcohol as the carrier. I went straight in with 5mls of carrier as I know that just one drop of a nature ID oil can be enough in a carrier of that amount so, I started slowly.
The four oils I chose to put in (1 drop each) are.
Phenlyethylacetate - (Honey, Rose)
Phenyl Proprionate - (Green, Fatty)
Linalool - (Floral)
Acetic Acid - (Raspberry Prune)
The result on first sniff was interesting. I really could smell all four oils quite equally. The overall odour of the blend was quite sharp. The acetic acid I have discovered really gives a crisp fruitiness to things. It smells like a sharp floral with tinges of green and rose. Not THE most pleasant thing in the world but, it's only the first go!
So, the first alteration I made a few days later what to increase everything by two drops apart from the Linalool which I increased to 5 drops.
I wanted the entire thing to be stronger, and also more floral overall. I will report back on mu findings with this one.
This one seems MUCH more successful and I'm not sure if it's the magic of having Nature ID oils together with an essential oil so they can work together but this one has a much more definite result. It may just be the oils I chose. So. . . I chose to use my vanilla macerate that has now been aging a year. I have not yet used it at all.
I also wanted this one to be completely different from the other blend so I purposefully chose things I thought would blend well with vanilla to create something softer and more. . . . . Fun?
Vanilla Macerat - 10 drops
Then 1 drop each of the following.
Phenyethylacetate - (Honey, Rose)
Aldehyde C14 - (Peach, waxy, Fruity)
Benzaldehyde - (Almond)
Ionine - (Iris, Powder)
I wanted to see if I could make something pretty and sweet and fruity and guess what? I LOVE the way it smelled when I first put it on the tester strip a few days later.
It smelled like a peachy vanilla, very smooth and powdery and when it dried I could really smell a dry woodiness and something smelled like fuzzy peach pips.
While I liked it already, I wanted to take it to the next level so, I increased everything by 3. So it's now 30 drops of vanilla..3 drops of everything else. This was to make it stronger.
I also altered the composition by increasing the Phenylethylacetate. I want it to be more floral so, there is now 5 drops of this oil in there. Baby steps, I don't want to ruin it!
I'll also report back on this one but so far, I love it.
The nature ID oils are certainly really fun to work with as they seem a bit unpredictable but at the same time...easier to work with somehow.
Anyway, I'll update soon! Better get back to reading module 4.
I can now move on to module 4.
Module three involved a lot of reading, a lot of very interesting reading and lots that I will go back over also. Very interesting content about perfume throughout history, different practices and ways people used perfumes. I really enjoyed reading about Napolean who, loved perfume so much he had a special bottle designed that could slide into his boot during battle. It resonated with me as I ALWAYS have a bottle of perfume with me at all times in all situations haha.
For now though, there are still lots of things to do in module two.
I have made two blends up according to instruction. They are currently macerating. I'm going to leave them and do a proper sniff test and document my impressions. I've been shaking them everyday and leaving them in the fridge.
One of them is an Oriental and the other is a Fougere.
I still have MANY sniff tests to do as I have expanded my perfumers kit quite a lot.
I have also been told that "coconut" is now available as a co2 extraction which is great news as I was hoping to use it in my final perfume! Hooray!
I have moved away from my heart accords I was working on previously as I feel I need to move further on with module two. I can come back to them at some point. For now....I'm going on to the next thing which is...
Getting to Know the Nature ID Ingredients in my kit!
So far I feel like I've only really touched on this area. I have experimented a few times using them in blends but for now. I'm going to do lots of sniff tests on them all just so I get a better feel for them.
Wish me luck! I will document my impressions on this blog.
UPDATE!!!! So, firstly apologies for not blogging sooner. With the combination of summer and module 3 being nothing but reading there wasn't much to blog about course wise.
However here we are.
I have now handed in my final two assignments for module three and finished reading up all about the history of perfumery!
I am still working on the four perfumes I started but they are going to have to go on the back burner for now and I'm going to come back to them. They are not my final perfume project or an accredited piece of coursework so, I will revisit them once I move on.
I still have so many sniff tests to be getting on with also but they are going to have to wait for now.
I will say though, I didn't touch them for many weeks and when I returned from holiday what a difference I noticed. It's like each of them became much richer. The wonders of maceration! The transition from heart notes to base was much more obvious.
So for now I will be moving on to the next experiment in module 2 of the course "The Fougere Accord".
Will update soon!
From the title of the post I guess you can gather that the geranium in my perfume accords is giving me a headache. Not literally but it's the one note that is giving me problems.
I knew it would from the time I did my sniff tests because as I said before, it surpassed any other oil that I sniffed in terms of longevity and power. THIS is why I wanted to use it. Why not challenge myself? I'm learning so, I want to sometimes push the boundaries.
So, to update. I have my four accords and I have now added my amber accord and also cedarwood to each of them in equal amounts (for now).
It seems that geranium will prevail over Ylang-Ylang and stomp all over it. Even if the ration of geranium to Ylang is 4:1. So this is fun, and it's testing me out.
I've adjusted more today, I've increased the amount of amber accord double (bold move) only because I could hardly smell it on my sniff test.
I'm also already thinking ahead about the direction I want this perfume to go. Admittedly, I know every perfume should start with a vision however. As it's my first, I have an idea in my head of how it should smell so, it's just a case of it coming to life before my nose!!
I want to possibly add a bigger jolt of Labdanum to this to add a powerful smoothness to this. Again though, this could be dangerous as Labdanum could overtake. But I'll be wise as the amber accord already contains Labdanum!
I'm also considering adding Jasmine as the modifier note to bring out the Ylang-Ylang hopefully! It seems although Ylang is a stunning note and also very strong in itself, the geranium seems to cancel it out quite quickly so, this is the reason for my choice.
For now? I'm really happy with accord number four which strangely enough has the least amount of geranium in it.
Will update soon!
It's been a while since I've posted. I've learned very quickly that creating a perfume isn't as easy as 1, 2, 3! In fact, it's not even as easy as 10, 11, 12. It takes time, love, patience and a lot of care. Just like nurturing a flower into bloom
To update, I've moved on to module 3 which is all about the history of perfume. It's been really good fun to read about the ancient traditions of perfume in different in countries while waiting for my perfume to macerate and do it's jobs. It's a good thing to be reading up on history in the time that I can't really rush making a perfume. So this is my FIRST proper creation that I'm doing following some rules and not just complete whim (which is the exact opposite of what you should do)
So, the perfume I'm making isn't my final perfume project, but I wanted to do this before I make my final one just so I can make mistakes now and learn from them.
I'm going for a spicy floral. I'm also working on "Building from the heart". I feel comfortable with this method. I've spent quite a bit of time building a very strong spicy floral heart before doing anything.
These are the notes I've chosen for my heart.
Ylang-Ylang (Because I love it so)
Geranium (Which is often used in masculine blends but I love it's potency and rosy richness)
My first thought was to at least TRY and imagine what these four notes might smell like. In all honesty I haven't gone in to depth thinking about matching or counteracting aromatic compounds. I'm still in the early processes here. I will probably go into overdrive when I make my final perfume.
So, I had an idea of what this might smell like, a somewhat smooth but spicy heart. Ylang to me is smooth, cinnamon leaf also, and geranium is sharper but still has a smoothness to it. The black pepper was for the kick!!!
So, I set out four empty bottles and made a set of ratios for each (kind of following the Jean Carles Method). I took into consideration the power of geranium when doing this because, out of all of the oils I have smelled in my kit? Geranium is the biggest monster and can last into 48 hours from a few drops on paper.
Needless to say, even in the smallest quantities geranium seems to "lead" into where the base notes should be. After all four accords had dried down, and whatever they went through in the process, geranium always prevailed. So, I did a bit of research into what notes go well with geranium as this would be my leading note into the base and wanted to find something to fit.
CEDARWOOD seems to be the obvious choice so, after a few weeks of changing and adding drops here and there to my four heart accords, I have decided to add Cedarwood AND the beautiful amber accord I made much earlier in the course as my base. (It's also quite smooth smelling and i'm trying to go with a seamless perfume here). The amber will also add some longevity to the base (I hope)
I will probably add more notes in soon, but. . . this is where I am at the moment. I am also considering adding jasmine as an accessory note to enhance the Ylang Ylang in the heart and to add a touch of green to the blend but, it's still early days.
I am about to sniff all four accords with my new base notes added. I must say, it's exciting every time I do it. It's fun to see the results and make more decisions.
I'll update soon!!
The next experiment was a great one!
My tutor has very kindly allowed the students access to a formula she discovered that will recreate the odour of Muguet or Lily-Of-The-Valley as it is called in English.
I was very excited to see the results of this one as it's always fun to add things together to get a completely different smell than what is expected.
I will soon be doing a mini experiment on how to get the "Cola" note myself so, will be uploading the results in due course.
I won't put the exact formula here but some of the things this blend contained were
Rose De Mai
It was quite a complex blend (for me) and really fun to make. I'm glad I finally got to use Tuberose as it is one of my favourite flowers in perfumery.
Here's what I thought. . .
First impressions were great, it smelled very rich, strong, flowery to the extreme and slightly dry at the same time. I find Jasmine to have a dryness to it which I think added to this.
I tried to really smell it as a whole rather than dissect the components because after all, I'm supposed to be smelling something NOT like any of the ingredients in here.
I noticed how it didn't really smell like anything listed in the formula, it did have a slight similarity to "lily" for me. Oriental lilies are my favourite flower (to look at) and this had a similar dry quite pungent smell to it. It's very beautiful.
No sweetness detected either.
About an hour into drying, some of the full bodied richness disappeared. I did get wafts of green every now and then and something soapy. This smells like something you could put in a product or a soap.
When it was reaching the really dry stages, it seemed like the jasmine was holding on more that anything else, dare I say. . . "air fresherner". Sometimes this smells like an air freshener, but that's not a bad thing, I think it's just my association with lots of air fresheners having lily-of-the-valley as their fragrance.
Overall this is great. I think it will give a really nice beautiful rich floral tone to the heart of a perfume and may smell great when paired together with something a bit spicy!
I'm putting both of my new blends away for future experiments!
For now? I have a test to submit. Better get cracking!
These kind of experiments in the course are always some of my favourties. Following a set formula which produces a finished accord or perfume). Of course, making my own blends is the top! But it's always nice to do a sniff test on something that is right there in front of me.
So, the floral Boquet contains the following ingredients.
Vanilla (I used my extract that I made last year)
Aldehyde C14 (The Peachy One)
It's alwasy fun to make up blends and waiting for the results.
Mine has been macerating for a week because I didn't want to do the sniff test right away. I know to leave it as long as possible before sniffing so, these are my thoughts on the results.
My initial impression of this blend was. . .whoa..this is VERY soft. The Sandalwood and Rose working together to give a very powdery feel.
I also wrote down that this almost smelled like a candied rose. The vanilla in this is really adding to the natural sweetness of the rose.
The sandalwood is there the whole time but it's in the background, there were occasions during the drying process that it became more apparent and gave a buttery tone to the blend, it's was a little bit unusual.
When the blend was very dry, some of the powderyness has dissapeared but it still remained a very pretty, soft sweet rose smell.
This blend stayed so much more linear than my experiment with the actual linear accord.
I've decided that I'm going to amp this up a bit and add some geranium, I'd like to see where it takes the blend. This is very beautiful, but I want to give it a bit of bite!! Geranium is sure to really bring out the rosyness of this dainty little concoction.
Overall, I like the result!
OK, On the to Muguet Accord next! Will update late.
Since my perfumer's kit has been expanding recently, it's time to go back to doing some proper sniff tests to try and cement my new ingredients in my olfactory memory.
This time I sniffed
I must admit, I do find citrus sniff tests some of the most difficult. Only because they are so familiar already and it can be hard to expand on something you know inside out.
Anyway..here are my thoughts and discoveries.
Admittedly I've always been fascinated with the smell of lemongrass. It's kind of like my catnip. Strangely enough I cannot stand it when it's in food but, the smell? Gorgeous!
It has a lovely tea like tone to it, with a grassy earthy lemon. I wrote down that it smells like dampened citrus. As if all of the "bite" of a normal citrus smell has been taken out and replaced with something very organic.
It's is very beautiful and I was surprised actually at how tenacious the oil was. It completely outlived orange and lime. Duly noted!
In my mind I can imagine this blending well with Clary Sage. It just feels like it would be a good marriage.
This one was tough. Only because. . . what do I write down about a smell that is distinctly. . . well. . . orangey.
I tried to sniff deep and really focus on what I could pick out. What I really smelled was the limonene, that very "rind like" smell which is present in a lot of citrus oils.
The drier stages saw this oil go through smelling exactly like fresh orange juice, then fading quite quickly and smelling like "pith" the white stuff you get inside the rind. I always think it smells like a watered down version of orange and when this was drying, it had pithy tones.
Again, this was a toughie. Of course many of us know what limes smell like. I did discover that when I thought about orange and lime in their raw oil form, that I much prefer the smell of limes. So much sharper and more bite.
The oil smelled fizzy to me, almost effervescent. Very nice wake up for the senses!
This oil also didn't last too long at all. Just a bit longer than orange but no where near as long as lemongrass.
I have many more oils to sniff! And more on the way too so, updates coming soon.
This was an experiment I was quite excited about. I have decided to make my solid perfume at a later date because quite frankly, that experiment scares me a little bit and takes a lot of planning. I now have all of the ingredients so, I'll be doing it soon.
For now creating the linear floral accord was an exercise to show me how to create an accord that does not change or develop over time.
The first thing is, taking away any top notes you may have so you go right from the heart notes.
This blend included a few things, mainly Ylang-Ylang, Rose, Patchouli and Sandalwood.
I also had to use a few new ingredients such as rose water, glycerine and distilled water.
It was extremely fun making this however, I have found that the results are a little bit peculiar.
Firstly, the mixture itself keeps separating and will not blend.
I think this is because of the distilled water. The oil is floating to the top so I have to keep shaking it.
This in turn makes me feel like I'm not getting the proper result.
The overall result I have is not a linear floral smell, it is mainly Ylang-Ylang which DOES develop after about 10 minutes into a soft sandalwood. I can smell that the patchouli is working and the ylang is very soft from the sandalwood, but, I thought it was supposed to be a linear floral and stay the same.
I may have to do a bit of research or ask some questions when it comes to this one.
Overall, I had a great time making it and I have added some extra geranium to make it more rosy. It has give some body to the overall feel of the blend.
More experiments coming up!