Ask the Perfumer Feb 24, 2013 – The paper will be published this week!

by | Feb 24, 2013 | Natural Perfumers Guild, Natural Perfumery Institute, raw materials of perfumery, study perfumery | 12 comments

On Feb. 1st, I posted a teaser titled “Perfumer, you don’t know what you’re missing until you get it” and said that a white paper on a technique to improve and protect your tinctures and perfumes would be released shortly.  Then the editor who was polishing up the paper became ill.  I thought she’d be OK in a week or two, since I’m an optimist, but reality set in and after speaking with her on Friday, I realized she’ll be out of commission for some time.  I received several requests about the paper this past week, here on the blog, on the Yahoo groups, on Facebook, and I know anticipation is high.

A beautiful virtual azalea gift for dear Andrine

A beautiful virtual azalea gift for my dear editor, with “get well” wishes included

So, this week, as soon as I get a chance to go over her notes, I’ll polish up the paper as best I can.  I’m going to call it version 1.0, and it will have all the basic information and directions for the process we’ll be sharing with the perfume community.  Version 2.0, which will wait for her recovery, will have more background information, more details of specific aromatics and whatever she, in her incredible editing wisdom, includes. We’ll publish the paper this week, and it’ll be available for download from both the Natural Perfumers Guild website and the Natural Perfumery Institute website.

In the meantime today, as usual, I’ll be here to answer your perfumery questions until 10 PM ET USA.

 

12 Comments

  1. Suzy

    How do you know precisely when an aromatic has switched from being a top note to a middle note and then to the dryout note? Is it just when the scent changes slightly? Maybe I’m making the analysis of certain aromatics harder than it needs to be. Also, some aromatics can be listed as top notes but then exist perhaps into the next day. How can it then be called a top note still? Thanks Anya.

    Reply
    • Anya

      Hi Suzy:

      Let’s break this down into two parts:

      1. Each aromatic does have different levels of a scent profile as it is evaluated as it drys down (drydown time observations as outlined in my textbook and other sources). Rose, a middle note aromatic is a good example. It’s overall rosy, of course, but notes of lemon and wood and other aromatics are observed during the drydown.

      2. Each aromatic still needs to be classified according to its drydown time. All top notes (e.g., lemon) disappear after an hour, middle notes may be up to eight hours, base notes eight hours and beyond.

      There are few exceptions to this rule. Pandanus is one. it has such distinctive stages of scent changes in its evolution during drydown, which can last 24 hours or more, I call it a sustained note. Its top note characteristic is a radishy, sharp note, then honied wood, then honied rose/wood.

      Don’t over-analyze, which you hinted you may be doing. Treat each top/middle/base first of all by its drydown timing. Of course, pay attention to the scent variations as they occur, but don’t think that a top note like lemon or juniper berry is a middle or base note, they aren’t.

      HTH,
      Anya

      Reply
      • Suzy

        Thanks for the clarification Anya. Best wishes to you,
        Suzy

        Reply
  2. Blue

    Hi Anya,
    I hope you friend gets better soon! Do you have suggestions for working with oil as a base? I’m have had some trouble getting some essences to blend with fractionated coconut oil, especially absolutes. I’m pretty new at natural perfumery; i’ve only been working on it for a year or so on the side of my job and other artistic pursuits. I hopehave to takeyou your classmom one day as it sounds amazing! Thanks for your time, Blue

    Reply
    • Anya

      Dear Blue:

      Thanks for your kind wishes for her, I’m very concerned and only want her to regain good health.

      My first perfume line was oil-based, in almond oil. I haven’t worked with FCO, but I have read many posts on the big NP group (are you a member?) about blending with FCO. Many of the posts repeat my experience: a lot of absolutes tend to settle on the bottom. Just shake the bottle frequently for a few weeks as it ages, and then decant off the clear portion. The scent of the absolute will have transferred to the oil as much as it can.

      Also, top notes are very dampened by the oil, you have to use a much higher percentage to get the aromatics to be noticeable.

      HTH,
      Anya

      Reply
      • Blue

        I did join the NP group a few months ago. The knowledge and generosity of the group always amazes me! Thanks for youe response Anya!

        Reply
  3. Eileen

    Hi Suzy
    According to my Panda’s book page 41 under the title Classification of Odours talks about relative volatiy. It states that Poucher subdivided his oils in to coefficients ranging from 1-14 Top Notes, 15-60 Middle Notes, and 61-100 Basic notes or Fixers. Then under the Jean card composition talks about the divisions top, middle and base notes. Now Jean Claude Elena on his book Perfume, he goes into the creative art and he said to forget about it since some of the oils radiates for longer time. I came to the conclution that I need a standard, or a key since I am learning. So I need the stay with the basics, what is read, yellow and blue. Then combine them blue plus yellow is green. Then when I am designing will will know what kind of green I will paint the pine tree. So I like the paint by numbers aproach before I became an scent artist. This art is invisible.
    I hope this helps, but that is why we have a teacher. Lets see what Anya saids.

    Reply
    • Eileen

      sorry for mispelling , i can’ t see that well, I meant to say RED and we will.

      Reply
    • Suzy

      Thanks so much for commenting. I will meditate on your response.
      Sincerely,
      Suzy

      Reply
  4. Anya

    Dear Eileen:

    First I would say maybe disregard Ellena because even though I’m not 100% certain, I believe he relies heavily on synthetics, and many of them have linear evolution.

    Different authors you cite have different terms for basically the same phenomena. All define the drydown times of an aromatic. Others refer to molecular weight, vapor pressure and such. I ask my students to concentrate on one naming system, that of top/middle/base, because it is the most common industry term, and also, most perfumer buyers recognize it. Mention coefficient and you’ll get a blank look, right?

    I have the Panda book somewhere, and I regard it as a hodgepodge, so I rarely refer to it. Please don’t let it confuse you, as it’s not teaching, it’s tossing everything into the “bottle” and we all know that can result in a muddy blend!

    Going forward with you color analogy, you can see why I term the hodge podge method in that book as muddy? Mix red, blue and yellow and you get mud 🙂

    Learn one method thoroughly, get if firm in your consciousness, and then yes, you can springboard to read other authors and make the right connection.

    Great question!

    xoxo,
    Anya

    Reply
    • Suzy

      Thanks for the feedback on the Panda book. I had just gone to Amazon thinking I might want to pick it up but at $127 it was out of the question for now. I don’t need “mud” right now when I’m going back to the basics to hopefully clarify and streamline my perfuming process. Be well, Suzy

      Reply
    • Eileen Jackson

      Thanks Anya that is why I got your course because of all the confusion. I forgot the synthetics perfumery but it is good to learn about the linear dry time. So Poucher probably is correct since probably at that time there was not much synthetics. So we will use the evaluation forms pretty much as our maps to determine the dry time. It is very important to keep good records since the essential oils varies over time and watch out for adulteration since it could affect the drydown time.

      Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

BECOME A NATURAL PERFUMER

ENROLL TODAY

error: Copyright Content