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Aromatic Perfumery

As you know, there are many ways of blending. When it comes to perfumery, the oldest and most common technique that is utilized is combining top, middle, and base note essential oils.

Top note is the first impression when inhaling a scent or blend. They are also the most volatile oils, dispersing and disappearing the fastest. Top notes can last in the bloodstream 2-4 hours typically act upon the human spirit. Effective top notes are delicate and light, usually sweet, fruity, or spicy. Essential oils like basil, lemon, orange, and clary sage are top notes.

Middle note unfolds the scent a few minutes after application. They are also called the bouquet or heart notes, weaving together the top and base notes, similar to creating a musical chord. Middle notes can last in the bloodstream 4-6 hours and typically act upon the emotions. Middle notes are generally flowers, leaves, twigs, and needles. Essential oils like black pepper, chamomile, geranium, lavender, palma rosa, rosemary, and howood are middle notes.

Base note acts as a foundation to the blend. Typically, only one base note is used in a therapeutic blend. A base note can stay in the bloodstream up to 72 hours. The base notes are earthy deep scents of resins, wood, bark, and roots that act on the physical body. Essential oils like benzoin, frankincense, myrrh, patchouli, sandalwood, and vanilla are base notes.

The two most popular techniques for diluting perfume blends are jojoba or alcohol.

The Jojoba Technique

Jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis) is an excellent carrier for perfume blends since it has a long shelf life. It has one significant advantage over using an alcohol base: you don't need to age the perfume before wearing it, although a week or two of aging will only improve it. The proportions you use depend on three things: how strong you want your perfume to be, how you plan to use it, and of course, basic essential oil safety.

Since these blends are a higher resolution, it is advised not to use more than eight drops of the blend at a time, or less than that if it includes essential oils that can irritate your skin. It is also not advised to use this high dilution product with children.

Essential oils can be grouped by their main scent, the most common are citrus, spicy, floral, woody, and earthy.

Citrus- top notes Bergamot, Grapefruit, Lemon, Lime, Orange, Petitgrain, and Tangerine (It is recommend using steam distilled citrus oils, so they are not phototoxic).

Floral- middle and base notes Chamomile, Geranium, Jasmine, Lavender, Neroli, Rose, and Ylang Ylang and all the flower absolutes can be used as accents.

Spicy- base notes Black Pepper, Cinnamon, Clove, Palo Santo, and Ginger

Woody- middle and base notes Cedarwood, Cypress, Howood, Juniper, Pine, and Sandalwood, and Vetiver

Earthy- base notes Davana, Frankincense, Nutmeg, Palo Santo, Patchouli.

Perfumes and colognes are also a perfect product to work with CO2’s and absolutes that provide a more in-depth and richer aroma.

Enjoy these sample formulations:

In a small glass bowl, mix the essential oils in a jojoba oil base, then use a funnel to fill a 10ml roller bottle.

#1 Perfume

8 drops Jasmine Sambac Absolute (Jasminum sambac)

6 drops Bitter Orange (Citrus x aurantium)

4 drops Cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum)

4 drops Osmanthus Absolute (Osmanthus fragrans) 2 drops Davana (Artemisia pallens)

#2 Men’s Cologne

8 drops Sandalwood (Santalum album) - use sustainable plantation grown

6 drops Bay Laurel (Laurus nobilis)

4 drops Oak Moss (Evernia prunastri)

4 drops Cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum)

4 drops Black Pepper (Piper nigrum)

Blends evolve in the bottle. A freshly made blend has a different aroma than when it has had a chance to age and mellow. Astonishing things can emerge if you leave a blend alone for a couple of hours, days, or weeks. Sometimes these changes are very lovely - all kinds of unexpected hidden aromas can emerge. One of the most critical aspects of the perfumer's art is the patience to discover how a blend evolves and unfolds over time.

Interested to create more amazing products? Check out our 50-hour Aromatherapy Product Formulating Course.


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