Supplies for Basic Perfumery Course

Materials Needed for the Basic Course

 Before the start of the online course, the student must have the following supplies in their studio: 

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Supplies and Instruments

  • Aromatics Study Kit #1 for Module 1 – The kit comes with 24 4ml bottles of aromatics, mini pipettes, and 100 scent strips. You may purchase it from the course website, or, if you have similar aromatics, use them in place of the kit.
  • Aromatic Study Kit #2 for Module 2 – 1- and 2-milliliter samples of approximately sixty (60) essences from the various aromatic groups will be available as a supplemental sample kit from Eden Botanicals specifically for the students of this They are available for purchase on the course website. Eden Botanicals does not sell them directly to students, as they are made to order. These samples are needed for Module 2.  If you have enough samples of aromatics of your own, you can use those.  However, you must confirm that you have acceptable aromatics by sending a list of your stock to the instructor at least two weeks before you begin Module 2, so that you have time to purchase any additional aromatics that you will need.
  • One quart 190-proof alcohol – Some states sell Everclear (ethanol) in this strength, or they may be able to order it for you. Many natural perfumers prefer to use organic grain alcohol, and if that is available to you, please consider purchasing However, it may only be available in gallon sizes, and that can cost over $100 (US currency). Everclear is about $16/quart, plus shipping.  You can read about alcohol procurement in other countries besides the USA on the course Web site, along with former students’ tips on how to obtain it in Canada, Taiwan, Australia, Ireland, and the UK.

This supplier sells to many states in the USA, but not all: There is a list of suppliers of alcohol from worldwide sources that is accessible to students.

  • Several hundred scent strips – You can purchase these online from various Alternatively, you can make your own scent strips from watercolor paper. The pre-made scent strips are usually about $6 for a pack of 100.  I recommend the “paddle” design with a narrow tip for dipping into the bottle, and a broader top where you can write the information about the aromatic that you are studying.
  • Scent Strip holder – This may be as simple as a clip that holds a photo or memo upright on your table. You can use anything that will allow you to anchor the strips in place so that you don’t have to hold them.
  • One gross (144) 1 dram (4 ml)  – These are used for making modifications and for blending You will not use all 144 of these during the course, but they are standard items for the perfumer’s workspace, and the prices are best when you buy in bulk.


  • One gross (144) ¼ dram “shortie” bottles – These are the preferred bottles for sending perfume samples and the modifications that you’ll submit for your You will not use all of these during the course, but they are standard items for the perfumer’s bench.

Note: Again, I find these at True Essence

Please check with True Essence, as the following information may be outdated: The bottles are item # B-2 in the online The B-2 is incorrectly labeled as 2ml on the Web site, but this item is actually one-half that size (¼ dram, which is slightly less than 1ml).

Note: For all of the bottles mentioned on this list, including dilution/dropper bottles, if you can find a supplier closer to where you live, purchase from them in order to save on shipping. If you need to purchase the bottles online, I recommend purchasing these from for the best prices, with fast and economical shipping. List of other bottle suppliers accessible to enrolled students.

  • One gross (144) half-ounce (15 ml) dropper bottles – These are used for dilutions of the essences in Module 1. You will only use a few in the course, but they are standard for the perfumer’s You will only use a few in the course, but they are standard for the perfumer’s bench. You will pour the already-diluted kit aromatics into these bottles.
  • Monprene dropper tops for the 15ml dropper bottles – These white or black (your choice) dropper bulbs are laboratory quality and will prevent evaporation of your aromatics, which typical rubber bulbs allow. They will also not degrade over time. You can google sources. As of this writing, True Essence does not carry them, you will have to purchase them separately. A google search will provide suppliers.
  • Three dozen (36) (minimum) glass test tubes and a test-tube rack to hold several dozen at a time – (optional) Measurements are typically given in millimeters (mm). Test tubes can be less than 6 inches (150mm) long, and about 13mm (½ inch) Purchase caps for the test tubes at the same time, and from the same supplier, in order to make certain that they fit properly. These items are easy to find on eBay, or at a laboratory supply house.
  • 1/2″ round labels for bottle tops – These are available from Online Labels . You may order just 10 There are 154 per sheet, so this amount will suffice you for some time. You can use these for your modifications, and on any little bottles you have in your perfumer’s organ. You can code them with two or three letters for quick identification.
  • 10 sheets of suitable size waterproof labels for your various bottles – These are for your laser or inkjet printer. I recommend that you order them from Online Labels at These will last you a long time.

Note: Always purchase waterproof labels, and ask the supplier if you can write on them with waterproof pens.  This is very important when you’re working with liquids. Some companies will send you a few pages as samples, and that may be enough for this course.

  • Pouring trays – These will help to protect your table surface, and make it easier for you to recover aromatics from any Non-reactive materials such as enamel or stainless steel are best. Stainless steel dental trays are often available on eBay at reasonable prices.  The minimum size that I recommend is 10” x 12” or 25.4cm x 30.48cm.
  • A digital scale that measures up to at least 100 g and down to .01 g – You will use this to weigh all of the ingredients that you work with. We’ll start out with drops in the beginning blends, but then progress to the professional perfumers’ standard: I recommend that you purchase your scale from OldWillKnott on eBay. They have reasonable prices and great customer service.  Try to get a scale that comes with calibration weights so that you can keep your scale properly calibrated in order to maintain accurate operation.  If you see a scale that you like, go to places such as,, and to comparison shop for the best price. If you cannot afford a scale that measures down to .01, purchase one that measures to .1 and trade up later, when you can better afford to do so. The same is true if you can’t afford a scale that measures up to 100 g; buy one that goes up to 50 g in the interim.
  • Wax carving stainless steel tools – Finding these tools, which by dentists and jewelry designers use , was one of my favorite discoveries! These tools are indispensable for scooping thick, waxy substances out of bottles. Also, with the ones that I recommend, you can use them to “chop” up resins in the bottom of a bottle. You should also buy plain wooden toothpicks or bamboo skewers such as you find in Asian markets to use for stirring small blends and dilutions. I don’t use glass stirrers anymore since I discovered stainless steel ones, which never break or chip. Items: Stock # CVR-312.10 and Stock # CVR-312.55 If you can find them cheaper online, look for the type Knurled Handle Wax Carvers
  • Pyrex or borosilicate beakers – You’ll need several 15 ml to 20 ml, and 30-50 ml beakers with graduated markings on the side. These items are easy to find on eBay or at laboratory supply stores online. I recommend that you buy at least six of them.  You may also purchase larger sizes if you wish; you will use them later in your perfumery.
  • Pyrex or borosilicate graduated cylinders – At least one 10ml cylinder, and one 50ml cylinder, with graduated Purchase these from the same sources as the beakers listed above. Various sites on the Internet have tutorials or instructions on how to use and read graduated cylinders.
  • Bottle cleaning brushes – Use these for washing the test They are available at the same places where you find your glassware. Purchase the smallest amount that is offered; 5 or 6 should be enough. (Optional)
  • Electronic Calculator – This will aid you in your calculations for dilution and
  • Cloth or paper towels – Use these for general clean It’s preferable that you use lint-free lab cloths that you can buy at laboratory suppliers and even at some hardware stores.
  • Alcohol such as vodka – Use inexpensive vodka for cleaning tools and equipment rather than using rubbing alcohol, which leaves a lingering odor from the synthetic fragrance that it contains, and may pose health risks when used
  • Protective eyewear – Use either safety glasses, or goggles; whichever you prefer to wear.
  • Rubber, latex, or nitrile gloves – Recommended in order to protect your hands.
  • Timer or clock – Use one of these items when you’re performing your drydown experiments.
  • Bain-marie – This will be used to warm certain aromatics to render them more easily pourable, and can also be used to make certain tinctures and infusions.

Notation Materials

Note: Standardized sizing of 8.5” x 11” (or the EU equivalent) is recommended for all of the following materials:

  • Three-ring binders – You will use these for collating and storing your notes and course Purchase several that match for an orderly filing system. It’s best if you purchase binders that have a clear plastic sleeve on the front and the spine so that you can print labels for them and slip them into the sleeves to make it easier to keep them clean. I recommend a minimum of 1” thickness.
  • 1 – 3-ring binder for Organoleptic, Intensity/Impact and Drydown Evaluation Forms – 3” thickness
  • 1 – 3-ring binder for MSDS sheets – Material Safety Data Sheets – 3” thickness
  • 1 – 3-ring binder for Accord Evaluation Forms
  • 1 – 3-ring binder for Perfume Evaluation Forms
  • 1 – 3-ring binder for CoA – Certificate of Analysis sheets
  • 1 – 3-ring binder for GC/MS – Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry analysis sheets
  • 1 – 3-ring binder for vendor information
  • 1 – ream of 5” x 11” three (3)-hole paper – Use this paper in the 3-ring binders.
  • 1 – journal book – Use this journal whenever you wish to write notes and observations outside of the You can carry this with you when you visit gardens to smell flowers, earth, and other aromatics. You could also use a journal in the workspace, if you feel more comfortable writing in a journal rather than using a three-ring binder.
  • 1 – notebook – Use this to record formulas, records of modifications, and journaling that occurs outside the Notations should be transferred to a permanent in-studio binder and/or electronic file.

Electronic and/or Offsite Data Storage

  • Windows Excel spreadsheet program – If you do not have this program, we will attempt to find a work-around for Using a spreadsheet is not necessary until a month or more into the class. For students who do not have Excel, the following Web site offers a free program that you can use instead:
  • Computer backup – Offsite data backup, safe deposit box, friend or relative’s house or other secure storage place for storing extra copies of your formulas.

Workspace Furniture

  • Cabinet, closet, drawer, or case – This is for you to store your aromatics safely in the
  • Table or desk – This is your Be sure that it is large enough to provide adequate surface to accommodate all of your tools and equipment while you work.
  • Perfume organ – While this is not required, you will find it very helpful in your work. It may be a cabinet, closet, or case. In the beginning, a drawer or box with a lid will   It is likely that you will eventually get a perfumer’s organ as you continue to work with aromatics.
  • Comfortable chair – This should have a fully adjustable seat, back, and arm rests so that you can sit comfortably while you work.
  • Bookshelf – This is recommended so that you can store your perfume books and binders near your
  • Air purifying machine with a HEPA filter – This is not a required item, but it is highly An air purifier can keep the air in your studio cleaner so that your liver doesn’t have to work so hard when you’re handling aromatics.

Reference Materials

  • Books, articles, and professional journals about perfume and other related subjects – These will help you immensely in your studies and are downloadable to enrolled students.
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