Student Introductions

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    Michael Singels

      Greetings Natural Perfumery Institute Students,

      This is Michael Singels, joining you from Great Falls, Montana after the last many years in Colorado Springs, CO.

      I started natural perfumery back around 2010 I think, as a branch off of herbal medicine and aromatherapy.  I started with the Natural Perfumery group on Yahoo and was hooked!  I later studied with Anya formally, and have been playing with scent ever since.

      I also spent some time after my studies doing perfume reviews on CaFleureBon and enjoyed seeing other people’s talents and unique perspectives through their olfactive works.

      It was a sad loss as the Yahoo groups quieted down and were eventually archived, so I hope we can get a thriving and active community going here in the online classroom!

      Welcome to all, and please jump in and participate, start conversations, and feel free to share input or advice as to how we can improve the student experience for you!

      Best wishes and fragrant blessings!

      Michael Singels

      NPI Graduate, Adjunct Faculty

      Van Trinh

        I hope this forum will become more active soon.
        Glad to see you Michael!

        Michael Singels

          Me too!  Feel free to start some conversations!  Hopefully we can encourage others to join in!

          Megan Berkeley

            Hi there,

            My name is Megan Berkeley. I just registered today. I have lots of tinctures and jojoba infusions going and have even made a couple of very novice perfumes. I have studied under various teachers however I am lacking in basic skills that involve how to use an iBalance 101 Scale and how to make 10 % dilutions. I’m a visual learning. I’m wondering if there are any videos available for this site.

            Anya McCoy

              Hi Megan:

              I got an email saying Van replied to you, but I don’t see it here. I thank him to stepping in to help clarify things. As I explained, we had a thriving community chat on yahoo, and I’m searching for an easy-to-use similar one, since this format, in place since April, is not drawing students in. Neither is the Facebook group, and I’m looking for ways to encourage participation. I’m going to post on there today, reminding students how much fun it was with all the questions, cooperation, and community building there.


              Best wishes,


              PS there are many perfume-related videos you can access here, but none yet specific to the course. Since Covid hit in March, as we were finishing the website, the ability to create videos halted. We’re looking for ways to work through this.

              Michael Singels

                Greetings Megan and welcome to the Natural Perfumery Institute!

                At this time, there are not many video sections available for the modules, but the textbook walks through the steps very carefully.  We are hoping to expand to include some videos in the near future, as we have just migrated over to a new platform for the website.

                Working with scales can be a bit intimidating at the beginning, but once you learn the buttons and run through a few measurements, it will swiftly become second nature.  We have students using several different scales in the course, so we can’t give instructions for every scale out there, but the text does cover the basic buttons common to most scales to start you off with.  Your scale often will have a short operating manual to familiarize you with the specific buttons and features unique to it.  Did you get such a manual with the iBalance 101?  It looks like a nice scale!  If you didn’t get a manual with it, you can download it here:


                From what I am seeing, you have your power button to turn it on.  Use the units button to set it to measure in grams.  Your tare, or zero out, button is the Z.  With those, you should be able to do your dilutions.

                What size

                bottles are you using?  Have you read the module for creating your dilutions yet?

                If you let me know what specific questions you have, I can try to help further.

                Just a rough example for making 10 grams of a 10% diluted lavender essential oil-

                I would place my empty 15ml vial on my scale and turn it on.  It should read 0.00g

                I would use a pipette to add Lavender essential oil until my scale reads 1.0g.  This will be approximately 1 milliliter of essential oil, but can vary a bit due to the specific gravity of your individual oil.

                I would then tare my scale.  Mine has a button that says Tare.  Yours is the Z button.

                I would then add my 190 proof alcohol to the vial using a pipette until my scale reads 9.0g.

                Now seal your vial and label it.  Be sure to include the details on your label, the specific lavender you diluted, the percentage, the base if you are creating both oil and alcohol dilutions, etc.

                I hope this helps, and welcome to the course!

                Michael Singels

                Michael Singels

                  Welcome Megan!

                  It’s nice to have you at the Natural Perfumery Institute.  It sounds like you have some neat materials to work with from your experiences with tinctures and oil infusions.  I think you will find the information in the perfumery course a great way to build on that knowledge and learn the structure and methods to take your perfumery to a refined and reproducible art!

                  At this time, we do not have many videos to accompany the course material, though that is an area we are working on expanding.  In the meantime, the text book does lay the steps for the exercises down very nicely and I have found them easy to follow.  Any questions that do come up, please ask in the forums and we will gladly try to assist.

                  The iBalance 100 looks like a nice scale!  As there isn’t an assigned scale for the class, there aren’t specific instructions for a particular model scale.  Most of your scales will have similar buttons though, so the steps in the textbook should be easily adaptable to your scale.  Did your scale come with an instruction manual?  If not, you can find it online here:


                  It looks like you have your power button, your units button, and your tare button is labeled as Z.

                  In the course material, Anya references this video for the basic functions of a scale:

                  When I create my dilutions, I always use the weight/weight method.  I find it most accurate, and it seems to be the accepted standard in the industry.

                  Using the example in the textbook, if you are using the 1/4 oz (7.5ml) bottles for your dilutions, you will create a total of 6 grams of material.  Let’s say Lavender essential oil.

                  Turn on your scale and wait for it to display 0.00g.  If the units are not in grams, use the unit button to change the units to grams.

                  Place your empty vial without the dropper or cap on the scale.  It will read a weight for the container.  Press the tare button, or Z button on your scale, so it reads 0.00g.

                  Using a pipette, transfer 0.60g of lavender essential oil to your vial on the scale.

                  Tare the scale again to read 0.00g.

                  Now add 5.40g of your 190 proof alcohol to the vial on your scale.

                  Seal your vial and label it appropriately, with the name of the oil, the method used- weight/weight (W/W), and if you are going to do both oil and alcohol, I would indicate Alc on the label too.

                  Now you have your 10% dilution of Lavender Essential Oil to work with in your coursework and formulations.

                  I hope this helps.  If you have specific questions about the exercise or need further assistance, please reach out to us and we will see what we can do.

                  Again, welcome to the class and we look forward to studying with you!

                  Michael Singels

                  Adjunct Faculty/Former Student

                  Megan Berkeley

                    Hi Micheal and Anya,

                    Thank-you so much for such a warm welcome. Thank-you especially for your help with my question regarding my scale and making dilutions. I really appreciate it. I’m very much looking forward to contributing my own knowledge to the community and for the community to share their knowledge as well. I’m so passionate about natural perfumery that I am looking forward to developing some lasting friendships with those who share the same passion for natural perfumery as I do. I’m looking forward to learning as much as I can from this course.


                    Megan Berkeley

                    Erin Kirkpatrick


                      I’m Erin Kirkpatrick in Portland, Oregon. I first learned how to make tinctures from my husband. I have some absolutes I’ve made, some being made, and tested making an oriental lily enfleurage last summer which we grew, which I then made into an absolute. I love it, but haven’t tried making a perfume yet with it, as I’ve been too nervous to try. I’m looking forward to learning more!


                      Erin Kirkpatrick & Bradley Capron

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