Brrr– it’s cold in Miami today so I’m staying inside today working on uploading fresh versions of my perfumery lecture for the Natural Perfumery Institute. Since 2007, I’ve been the only perfumery instructor to offer extra help with the course in a series of explanatory lectures. The recordings are available to the Online Interactive Option students as a supplemental bonus for their expanded educational materials that includes videos and much more, including my detailed feedback on their assignments and exercises.
I’ll be here all day to answer anyone’s questions about natural perfumery topics, and maybe you’ll see something in the list of lectures, below, that will give you an idea for a question.
As I beginner in natural perfuming, I often feel overwhelmed by the many variables and options available to Natural Perfumers. I do not mind learning through experimentation, or by trial and error method, but where I do not want to experiment is in the area of health & safety. I seem to find many discrepancies when it comes to what EOs or plant materials are safe to use topically. I recently came across an online outline, from a respected supplier, that stated that many EOs that I believed to be safe, and are often used in natural perfumery, should never be used topically. I am very confused! Is there a good, RELIABLE resource or reference that I can use that outlines the safety considerations of perfuming materials. Many thanks!
There are some oils that are phototoxic, eg., bergamot and others that are believed to be cancer-causing, e.g., calamus that hasn’t had the asarone removed. You owe it to yourself and your future customers to educate yourself on the oils. Robert Tisserand will have a new edition of his Essential Oils Safety book out in September, I believe. I have an extensive section on safety in my textbook, with many link, cautions and advisements, and any good course would cover this in depth.
Other sources of information, such as IFRA, go too far in the direction of EO safety, using bad science and ‘nanny state’ mentality to overregulate oils if they believe they might cause a rash. Well, if something gives you a rash, discontinue use.
You’ve raised a very complex issue, far beyond the scope of this forum. I suggest you join the NP group i host and search the archives there. http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/NaturalPerfumery/ You can also ask questions there and get a dialogue going.
Thank you so much, Anya, for your response. Yes, I agree that this seems like a very complex issue and that is why, as a beginner, I am confused. I have not accumulated enough experience or knowledge to provide me a comfort level with what I am doing. (Cinnamon for example – used in one of my favorite natural perfumes yet I know it can be irritating if used topically…and I just read to NEVER use topically, but does that mean undiluted…or neat? and, if can be used diluted, then at what ratio? And how do I know which reference to really trust?) These are my typical questions, so I appreciate your suggested references. I look forward to Robert Tisserand’s book, and I will definitely look into buying your text, if available for purchase. I did submit a request yesterday to join your NP group, and I look forward to being accepted! Thank you for inspiring me, Anya! -Lori
Yes, you can use cinnamon, diluted very low around 0.2% according to IFRA. Cinnamon is a sensitizer. Many turn to cinnamon leaf or clove leaf, you can research them further.
I have blogged about alternatives – use the perfume in your hair, on clothing, or in perfume jewelry: http://anyasgarden.blogspot.com/2011/12/when-you-love-perfume-but-your-skin.html There’s always a solution, or alternative!
We approved all the folks who applied to the NP group recently, so you should have received welcoming emails.
You can check out my textbook for home study or my online interactive option at http://PerfumeClasses.com
Best wishes for safe, beautiful perfumes!