Ask the Perfumer Sunday: More on making perfume

by | Sep 21, 2014 | Ask the Perfumer, raw materials of perfumery, study perfumery | 8 comments

The Ask the Perfumer forum is sporadic now, as I am caught up in so many projects, but I still love to assist others in making perfume, tinctures, enfleurage, etc. Feel free to post a question between now and 10 PM ET USA. For fun, a lovely photo of a Florida green orchard bee from photographer Mark Lenz.



  1. Ariel

    Hi Anya…I got a lot of Carissa grandiflora (NATAL PLUM) growing around my building and the surroundings ,it has such a great and lovely smell..I really would like to keep some of it in a bottle. can you lead me to the best way of doing anything with this flowers?
    BTW,,it has lovely fruits as well,which i intend to make into they do traditionally in Africa…
    Thanx in advance for any help…

  2. Helene

    Hi Anya,
    I recently received a bit of Ambergris & am wondering
    what is the best method to tincture Ambergris?
    Should it be ground to a fine powder or left as a solid chunk?
    Thank You for All the info you generously share!
    Bright Blessings 🙂

  3. Anya

    Hi Helene:

    Ambergris should always be made into a fine powder, either through using a microplane, as i do, or by using a mortar and pestle. You then weigh the ambergris and make a 3% tincture. For example, if you have three grams, tincture it in 97 grams of 190 proof alcohol. It needs at least six months to mature, and shake the bottle occasionally to allow more surface area of the ambergris to come in contact with the alcohol. I don’t filter the tincture, but many do, it’s your decision.


    • Helene

      Thank You!
      Blessings <3

  4. Anya

    Hi Ariel:

    This brings back memories of me doing midnight harvesting of the Carissa flowers at midnight from my next door neighbor’s side yard. I was accompanied by Bernie, my humanoid cat, pitch black himself, and faithfully staying by my side as I picked flowers by moonlight 🙂

    I advise you to tincture the flowers in 190 proof alcohol. Allow them to remain in the alcohol one day, remove them, and recharge. You may have to do dozens of recharges to obtain a strong scent, but it’s worth it. You may also enfleurage the flowers, again, with many recharges. You’ll then have a nice fatty scented pomade that you can use as-is, or “wash” with alcohol to obtain two products: a slightly-decreased scent pomade, and a slightly-scented alcohol to use in perfumes.

    Good luck!

    • Ariel

      Hi Anya..thanx for the reply..a small thing.. what will be the ratio flowers-alcohol in the tincture?

  5. Anya

    Ariel, no set ratio – just pack them in.

  6. Lora

    Good afternoon,

    What SDA alcohol is recommended for natural perfumery or perfumery use in general?

    Thank you!



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