Category Archives: Fragrances

Fragrance Blending and Perfumery 101, Day 2

SmellMemorySo what did you think of yesterday’s blend? I think it was a fun start to our blending week! Did you notice the inspiration came from two things, a photograph and written memory? We can find inspiration from photographs or memories. You may be asking, how can we find fragrance experiences and inspiration in our memories? It is much easier than you realize because you already have a vast collection of fragrance experiences!

Smell is very important to us and our memories are often linked to scents. Think about it for a minute! Can you recall a memory that flowers, grandma’s house, romantic events, holidays, childhood summers or something else that also has a scent tied to it? I can! I can remember visiting my great-grandma and the smell of her perfume as it mixed with the scent of mandarin oranges and Little Debbie brownies that we would snack on as we chatted.

Yet, these scents and our memories are not single faceted things. There are many dimensions to scent as no scent is flat and one-dimensional. You may be asking “There has to be something that is one-dimensional. Surely roses are one-dimensional.”

Nope! You can smell any number of roses or rose scents and definitively say “That smells like a rose.” But, can you describe the different notes? Does the rose have a stronger musk, vanilla or citrus note? Are you smelling a cut flower? If so, are you in the grocery store or at your office or at home? Are you smelling a rose that is still on the bush? If so, was the garden recently watered? Is someone mowing a lawn nearby? Everything around you influences and contributes to the scent you are smelling.

Summer Flowers
Summer Flowers

When you are blending, don’t eliminate any fragrances immediately. Especially if you are smelling straight from the bottle. I’ll show you why today!

The photo to the right is of Black Eyed Susan, Purple Coneflowers, and White Swan Coneflowers. When you look at this picture, what do you smell or imagine?

  • Sunshine?
  • Flowers?
  • Earth?
  • Greenery?

Take a minute and write down things that you smell. I’ll give you some time to think about it, but come back here because I have some cool things I want to show you!

(hums Jeopardy! theme song)

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Fragrance Blending and Perfumery 101, Day 1

The world of fragrance blending often seems like a mystical world we can’t reach and we find ourselves too intimidated to even try entering. I’m going to bring you on a week-long adventure and I hope to inspire you to try something new. Step through the wardrobe with me and let’s go on adventure in a new world! (Just remember we have to pass the lamp post to be in Narnia.)

A perfume organ in Grasse. Photo credit to Taco Ekkel, https://www.flickr.com/photos/33118864@N00/2771616756
A perfume organ in Grasse. Photo credit to Taco Ekkel, https://www.flickr.com/photos/33118864@N00/2771616756

The picture to the right is of a perfume organ in Grasse*. What is a perfume organ? It is a place where a perfumer sits and blends scents together. An experienced perfumer can blend 16, 30 or even 60 scents together to make a fragrance or perfume. Knowing that little tidbit, a perfume organ looks very intimidating, right? Absolutely! So … How do we stop being intimidated by a perfume organ and fragrance blending? We start small and begin building our fragrance blending experiences.

*This picture was taken by Taco Ekkel and is available under the Creative Commons License.

When I begin fragrance blending, I do three things.

  1. I intentionally limit the number of scents that I work with. I will limit a blend to no more than 4 components.
  2. I often have a picture that is inspiration for me. I love using pictures that don’t have people and are of gardens, foods or landscapes.
  3. I use a note book to write down my ideas and blend experiments.
Pie photo inspiration.
Pie photo inspiration.

Today, let’s start with a fun and simple blend. My inspiration today is the holiday of Thanksgiving and specifically the day before when we make pies. The staples of my childhood are pumpkin, pecan and apple pies. When all of these pies are baked the day before, the comforting aroma of spices, fruit and sugar wafts through the house.

Continue reading Fragrance Blending and Perfumery 101, Day 1

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Creative Fixes and Ideas – Day 3

I love perfumes. I have since I was a little girl. I remember the beautiful bottles that lined up like little dancers that both of my grandmothers had. One had her bottles lined up in the bathroom, where their crystalline bodies reflected in the mirror. My other grandmother had hers on her dresser, clustered atop  a lacy doily.

I remember sniffing at each bottle and wishing I were old enough to have just one beautiful bottle of my own. Fast forward to today. I have several bottles of perfume on my vanity. While they do not sit on a lace doily, their classic beauty charms me.

So what do you do when you have purchased, made or been gifted a perfume that you absolutely adore but it is too powerful for an elevator compartment? If it is in a bottle that has a stopper or applicator wand, it is much easier to control how much you apply. What if it is in an atomizer or spray bottle? How do you apply a 1/4 (or less) of a spray?

One thing you can do is hang your clothes up and spray them from a distance of 12 inches or greater. It is hard to do when wearing your clothes but it is great because your clothes will release their subtle scent throughout the day. Your clothes will release more scent the more you move and the warmer your body is. This method is great if you are looking for your perfume to last all day.

You can also spritz a cotton ball with your favorite perfume and then apply it to skin. This method is great because it keeps the fragrance close to the skin. This is my favorite method for applying perfume when attending weddings, dinners and other social events. It keeps me smelling nice without a cloud of my perfume announcing my arrival.

Try spraying your legs rather than your decolletage. It gives your nose, and the nose of others, a little bit of space from the fragrance. (This is a great way to keep your perfume from being overwhelming when hugs are going ’round.) With this method the fragrance softly and slowly wafts up throughout the day. I prefer this method when I am in a dress or skirt and will be spending most of my time outside. Family picnics are a great time to try this method.

Another option is to spray your hair brush then run it through your hair. Hair holds on the fragrances very well. (Have you ever noticed you can smell your hair detangler long after your perfume has faded?) By spraying your hair brush, you avoid an overwhelming amount of perfume while still smelling great! This is my favorite method on date nights.

The last method is to take a cotton ball or even a sachet card and spritz the card. Extend your packet of sachet cards by cutting them into small pieces. You can now tuck a few pieces into your pants pocket or even into your bra. This provides subtle yet constant scent all day long, perfect for on the go or rushed mornings!

What other methods do you use for intensely scented perfumes? I want to hear!

Taylor

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New Lemoncello Fragrance Oil!

LemoncelloI have always dreamed of traveling to the Mediterranean and visiting Greece and Italy. While I still haven’t arranged a trip to go there, our new Lemoncello Fragrance Oil is the next best thing!

Lemoncello is an Italian liqueur that is made by infusing lemon zest into distilled grain alcohol.  The zest is later strained off and the liqueur is mixed with simple syrup. This gives the alcohol a slight cloudy appearance. Lemoncello is popular because of the fresh, lemony flavor without being tart or bitter.

Soap made with our Lemoncello Fragrance Oil
Soap made with our Lemoncello Fragrance Oil

Once our Research and Development Department announced that we would have a Lemoncello Fragrance Oil, I did a lot of reading about it. There are some amazing articles out there ranging from the origin and history of lemoncello to how to make it yourself. Did you know that while in the U.S. Lemoncello is often used as a flavoring agent in cocktails, in Italy it is served in small chilled glasses after a meal? This is also known as a digestivo. How cool is that?

When I got my first sniff of our Lemoncello Fragrance Oil, I was struck by how smooth and fresh it smelled. There are no bitter or sour notes that I normally associate with things like lemonade. It smelled more like a citrus grove or a box of freshly picked lemons. Wow! I am in love.

I have already made my Silky Smooth Hair Detangler and a batch of soap using the Lemoncello Fragrance Oil. I can’t wait to make lotions, bath salts and room sprays. Yummy!

Taylor

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New Lighthouse Fragrance Oil!

Lighthouse scented Lotion Jars
Lighthouse scented Lotion Jars

I love new products, particularly fragrance oils. I love when I open a bottle and am whisked off to fields of milk and honey, flower shops bursting with blooms or even to the fairgrounds with cotton candy galore. I never know where our development team will take me next!

Head to Toe Cream Base
Head to Toe Cream Base

This time our team really outdid themselves when they created Lighthouse. Lighthouse Fragrance Oil is a blend of the salty breeze, crisp grass and green moss. It truly makes you imagine a picturesque lighthouse, rocky cliffs, wooded areas and fields of wildflowers. Just amazing.

Ready to add Lighthouse Fragrance and color
Ready to add Lighthouse Fragrance and color

We have had so much fun with this new fragrance, Shayla and I teamed up to create some fun labels and lots of samples for the shipping department. Come join us in making an awesome cream that will have your friends and family begging for more!

Ingredients
Head to Toe Cream
Lighthouse Fragrance Oil
Equipment
Spoons
Pipettes
Plastic Piping Bag
Containers

 

Recipe:
1 gallon Head to Toe Cream
1 fl oz Lighthouse Fragrance Oil

 

Adding Lighthouse Fragrance Oil and Lemon Yellow Color
Adding Lighthouse Fragrance Oil and Lemon Yellow Color

Pour 1 oz of fragrance into the gallon bucket of Head to Toe Cream. Stir well. I added a little of our Lemon Yellow colorant to make a soft yellow cream.

Mixed Cream
Mixed Cream

Transfer the mixed cream to a bag so you can pipe it into jars. Remember to cut a smaller hole. You can always cut a larger one if you need. You can’t go back and cut a smaller one. Cap, label and enjoy!

Taylor

 

Piping Cream into Jars
Piping Cream into Jars
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New Blackberry Iced Tea Fragrance Oil!

Finished Jars of Lotion
Finished Jars of Lotion

It is not very often I am struck speechless by a new fragrance. The other day I came in from the sweltering outdoors to the air-conditioned refuge of our building. Now I am the first to admit that heat makes me cranky. Some days I don’t even want to be with myself!

A jug of our Body Milk Base
A jug of our Body Milk Base

Andee, the sweet angel that she is, accosted me with a giant hug and a perfume strip. “Oh my gosh!” She gushed. “You have just got to smell this!” I remember taking a tentative sniff from the perfume test strip then grabbing her wrist to bring the strip back for another, deeper sniff. “What is that?” “That is our new Blackberry Iced Tea!” she laughed. Wow. I was Continue reading New Blackberry Iced Tea Fragrance Oil!

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Spa Fusion is Back!

SpaFusionI’m so excited to tell you that your favorite spa fragrance is back in the catalog! Spa Fusion is back in our catalog and ready for you to get a bottle for your stash today!

If you are asking, what does Spa Fusion smell like? I polled the warehouse and this is what they say. “Fresh and clean!” “Green yet fruity.” “Yum!” “This what I think shampoo should smell like! Green, fruity, fresh and luxurious!”

I have to agree with all their descriptive words! This is a green spa scent that is cheerful and luxurious smelling. Imagine an early summer morning with a light cool rain with the fusion of musk melons and a hint of ginger and you have the energizing scent of Spa Fusion!

Pick up a bottle today and tell us how you would describe Spa Fusion!

Andee

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Juicy Pear Room Spray with Spray Clear Emulsifier

Finished Room Spray
Finished Room Spray

I have a secret. I love to read. I love to read all kinds of books but that isn’t my secret. My secret is that I adore children’s romance/ fairy tales. There is a certain predictability in that the hero or heroine will win and I close the book with a happy sigh. The book I am currently reading is called Dealing with Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede. It is a delightful book about an unconventional princess who runs away from home to become a dragon’s princess. I have enjoyed this book so much that as soon as I have rushed through the house starting laundry, dishes and doing a quick pick up, I sit down in my over-sized arm chair and read.

Weighing Spray Clear Emulsifier
Weighing Spray Clear Emulsifier

I have found that there are some nights where you just need to do something deeply satisfying, something that feeds your soul. For me that means reading a book or making a bracelet or taking a bubble bath. One thing that I find is a powerful contributor to an evening of calm is scent. Today I wanted to share making a room spray using one of my favorite fragrance oils and our Spray Clear Emulsifier!

The spray we are making today in intend to be lightly scented. It is intended to create an aura of calm. You can always make a perfume or cologne but these products have higher usage rates of fragrance. These are wonderful products but I personally don’t think they are suitable to creating a zen area.  This room spray is soft and not in your face. I would be comfortable spraying this just before bedtime.

Ingredients
Juicy Pear Fragrance Oil
Spray Clear Emulsifier
Water
Equipment
Scale
Mixing Container
Spoons
Pipettes
2 oz Bottles
Spray Heads

Recipe:

Recipe in Grams
3.4 g Juicy Pear Fragrance Oil
6.8 g Spray Clear Emulsifier
340.0 g Water
Recipe in Ounces
0.12 oz Juicy Pear Fragrance Oil
0.24 oz Spray Clear Emulsifier
12 oz Water
Recipe in Percentages
1% Juicy Pear Fragrance Oil
2% Spray Clear Emulsifier
97% Water

 

Adding Juicy Pear Fragrance Oil
Adding Juicy Pear Fragrance Oil

Weigh the fragrance oil and Spray Clear Emulsifier into a container. Mix well and allow to sit for 5-15 minutes. Add room temperature water. (Hot water is more likely to create a cloudy spray.) Mix well. The product will be cloudy for a minute or two but it will clear out momentarily. If it does not clear out quickly, allow the mixture to sit for several days. The cloudy material will either sink to the bottom or rise to the surface. Decant the clear material and put into your spray bottle. Label and spritz!

Taylor

Starting to mix fragrance and emulsifier
Starting to mix fragrance and emulsifier

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mixture after sitting for 15 minutes
Mixture after sitting for 15 minutes

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adding Water
Adding Water

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mixing in water
Mixing in water

 

 

 

 

 

 

Room Spray clearing out
Room Spray clearing out

 

 

 

 

 

Filling Bottles
Filling Bottles

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Icy Water Roll-On Perfume

Finished Icy Water Perfume
Finished Icy Water Perfume

I love perfumes. I think they are my favorite thing to make and use. I mean you should see my vanity. I have a huge collection of perfumes, colognes and body splashes. I love it because I can choose what what I want to wear and it can change on a daily basis. I love that I can change what I wear on a daily basis.

Making your own perfumes is so easy and a delight. I love sitting down with a group of friends, smelling fragrances, creating blends then diluting into the chosen carrier oil and bottling. Today I wanted to share making a perfume using two fixed oils. Today I will be using a blend of Sunflower Oil and Castor Oil.

Weighing Castor Oil
Weighing Castor Oil

Castor Oil is a thick, viscous oil that helps slow the rate of how quickly the fragrance oil evaporates. This means that the fragrance “sticks” to your skin longer. The downside to use just straight Castor Oil is that is heavy and sticky feeling. Not exactly the most appealing feeling in the world. To combat that feeling, I mixed in some Sunflower Oil. I love the feeling of Sunflower Oil. It is light and smooth in texture. It is a favorite among massage therapists.

 

Ingredients
Castor Oil
Sunflower Oil
Icy Water Fragrance Oil
Equipment
Scale
Mixing Container
Spoons
Pipettes

Recipe:

Recipe in Grams
240 grams Castor Oil
240 grams Sunflower Oil
20 grams Icy Water Fragrance Oil
Recipe in Ounces
8.46 oz Castor Oil
8.46 oz Sunflower Oil
0.71 oz Icy Water Fragrance Oil
Recipe in Percentages
48% Castor Oil
48% Sunflower Oil
4% Icy Water Fragrance Oil

 

Weighing Sunflower Oil
Weighing Sunflower Oil

Weigh the Castor Oil and Sunflower Oil into a container. Add the fragrance oil. Mix well. Using a transfer pipette fill the roller bottles. Place the roller ball insert into the opening of the bottle and push until it is fully in place. Screw on the cap, label and enjoy!

Taylor

Adding Icy Water Fragrance Oil
Adding Icy Water Fragrance Oil

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stirring Perfume
Stirring Perfume

 

 

 

 

 

 

Filling Roller Bottles
Filling Roller Bottles
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Coming Up: Fragrance Blending and Perfumery 101

fragranceI had so much fun at the Central Soapers Workshop a few weeks ago and in the time that I’ve been back I’ve been asked lots of questions about fragrance blending. Since I gave a presentation on the subject I just have to share how easy fragrance blending and perfumery can be!

I’m giving you a heads up about this series so you can do some homework. Some of this may not seem very fun, but I promise it will be worthwhile!

Homework:

  • Create a master list: You will want to make a list of all fragrances and essential oils you have on hand right now. You don’t have to add anything to your stash, – yet! You probably already have some fantastic oils to blend and you may not have thought about blending yet.
  • Find a picture: You will want a picture (or several) that inspire you. Look for pictures that depict luxurious places, unique views, fascinating plants, delightful foods, and/or captivating towns. I find inspiration in magazines like Architectural Digest, National Geographic, Travel + Leisure, and more. Try to avoid pictures that have people as I don’t want you to feel overwhelmed by people yet. If you find a picture that does have people in it, go ahead and cut them out.
  • Look elsewhere: If you have inspiration in the form of descriptions in books, music lyrics or movie references, you can use those too!

Recommended Equipment (aka) tools:

  • Notebook: I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve blended something and found that I forgot to take notes! For the sake of your sanity, and mine, use a notebook of any type to keep your blending notes. I like using a 3 ring binder because I will also store sample vials with my notes for future reference. This will cause pages to become bulky quickly!
  • Pipettes: I love using transfer pipettes for fragrance blending. Since we now carry the Micro Pipettes, I love using these for creating blends because it like I’m using “special” equipment for blending and helps set my brain on the right path.
  • Sachet Cards: These cards are invaluable for fragrance blending. This paper is not simply card stock, but a specialty paper designed for holding fragrances. My favorite size is the small 4.75 by 3 inch cards. The 100 pack of these cards will get you started and keep you busy for a little while!
  • Perfume Vials: I like using the Perfume Vials or the Glass Dram Vials for blending small amounts to see if I like a scent after it ages. These vials often are bagged and then taped to my notes in my notebook for reference at a later time.

Now that I’ve given you homework and the recommended tools list, I’ll be back next week with everything you ever wanted to know about fragrance blending and more!

If you have any questions about fragrance blending that you would like to have me address, just leave a comment or send us a message here.

Andee

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