Perfumes

Perfumes

A perfume is a state of mind, an intimate universe, an alchemy of the senses, a connection with the deepest instincts. The olfactory description of a perfume requires the composition of metaphors.

The profession of perfumer was learned in the past after many years of apprenticeship with a master. Even today, this method is the best to learn the secrets of the trade. The composition of a single perfume includes from a few, to hundreds of different substances. The perfumer has thousands of synthetic substances and several hundred natural ingredients at his disposal.
Nowadays, natural raw materials are rare and expensive compared to those synthesized, but they are worth more for the harmony of a perfume, bringing complexity and a living synergy. Most modern perfumes are blends of natural and synthetic fragrances.

Natural raw materials come from all over the world and can be classified as such:

  • essential oils
  • absolutes and concretes
  • CO2 extracts
  • resins and balms
  • tinctures
  • isolated fractions of essential oils

Creating a perfume in old school workshops takes from a month to a few years. Guerlain stated: "to create a perfume, a good perfume, means to have a lot of patience".

An original perfume can be imitated, but a perfect copy is almost impossible, if the original formula and the origin of the ingredients are not known. It can be simulated with five, or hundreds of ingredients, but a refined nose will distinguish the surrogates.

 

Alcohol-based perfume compositions

They are easy to prepare as most essential oils, concretes or absolute oils and tinctures are soluble in alcohol, which is a liquid medium, rapidly volatile and which preserves the composition very well.

Fragrant compositions are divided into categories differentiated by the concentration of fragrant ingredients and their duration.

category concentration the duration of the scent
PARFUM 15-35% fragrances one or more days
EAU DE PARFUM 10-20% fragrances up to 24 hours
EAU DE TOILETTE 5-10% fragrances 2-3 hours
EAU DE COLOGNE < 7% fragrances 1-2 hours

The base of these fragrant compositions is alcohol of 90-96°. Pure grain alcohol can be found in grocery stores, and non-denatured 70° alcohol can sometimes be found in pharmacies. For cologne, since fewer essences are used, 60°-90° alcohol can be used. To obtain an alcohol of 60°, mix 100 ml of 96 ° alcohol with 53 ml of distilled water (or floral water).

The composition of the perfume:

  • it is preferably done in the morning, when the sense of smell is better and the nose is rested. The body and clothes must not be impregnated with any odor (detergent, creams, household odors)
  • the combination of fragrant ingredients is theoretically formulated taking into account the desired olfactory family and personal preferences; use a notebook

IN PRACTICE (easy method):

It is especially suitable for fragrant compositions that are made up of fewer essences.
  1. the fragrant ingredients are chosen and the samples are prepared: one drop is placed on a cardboard strip or on a cotton swab. The samples are swirled together under the nose to anticipate the smell of the combination. Double or triple the number of samples of the scents you want highlighted. Discard those samples that do not fit in the combination
  2. the sense of smell gets tired quickly, so between tests there will be a short break and you will smell your own clothes, in the crease of the elbow for example
  3. write down the most suitable combinations after testing the samples. Certainly, the perfume will have a more complex smell, and slightly different from the one initially tested once it matures, but through this procedure it will be possible to avoid unpleasant combinations.
  4. the percentages of the essences and the alcohol base are established
  5. the calculated amount of alcohol is transferred to a bottle with a lid, over which the chosen fragrant ingredients are added one by one
  6. shake the bottle vigorously
  7. the composition is left to rest for synergism in a tightly closed container, in a cool place and away from light, for at least a week (ideally 4 weeks), so the substances intertwine. Shake the container daily.
  8. depending on the composition, some waxy elements may deposit at the base of the container
  9. filtration must be preceded by decantation, for which the bottle is placed in the freezer in the evening, until the next morning
  10. it is followed by filtration (with a filter paper or a filter funnel), after which the perfume is transferred to the dedicated container

IN PRACTICE (classic method):

It involves the separate composition of accords: top, middle and base notes. Each is prepared in a dedicated bottle. Each note will consist of several essences.
  1. the fragrant ingredients are chosen for each accord. Mark 3 bottles with one label each.
  2. work separately for each note. Place one drop of each essence selected for that note in the bottle. Smell, then gradually add a drop of the various essences until you get the desired smell. The procedure also applies to the following notes
  3. the sense of smell gets tired quickly, so between tests there will be a short break and you will smell your own clothes, in the crease of the elbow for example
  4. write down the combinations made, for each note which essences and how many drops were used
  5. determine the ratio between base and essences (example: 80% alcohol + 20% essences)
  6. the final accord is made in a bottle, in which the three component notes are combined
  7. the calculated amount of alcohol is transferred to another bottle, over which the contents of the final accord are added. Shake the container vigorously.
  8. the composition is left to rest for synergism in a sealed bottle, in a cool place and away from light, for at least a week (ideally 4 weeks), so the elements intertwine. Shake the container daily.
  9. depending on the composition, some waxy elements may deposit at the base of the container
  10. filtration must be preceded by decantation, for which the bottle is placed in the freezer in the evening, until the next morning
  11. it is followed by filtration (with a filter paper or a filter funnel), after which the perfume is transferred to the dedicated container

Oil-based perfume compositions

Perfumes can be formulated in vegetable oils, for example in jojoba oil, or another oxidation-resistant oil can be chosen which has a neutral odor. An addition of 0.2-0.5% vitamin E is recommended to protect the composition against rancidity.

The advantage of these compositions is that they are well tolerated by the skin and do not volatilize so quickly, but they cannot be applied to clothes. The disadvantage would be that not all perfume essences are soluble in oil, therefore they cannot be used.

In practice, follow the steps listed above for the formulation of alcohol-based perfumes. The composition is left to cure for as long as possible. Decantation and filtration are only required in certain cases.

category concentration the duration of the scent
PULSE PERFUME 15-35% fragrances one or more days
PERFUMING OIL 5-15% fragrances a few hours

 

Solid fragrance compositions

They are based on wax (soy wax is generally recommended but beeswax is also good) and vegetable butters/oils. The concentration of fragrant ingredients can be between 5 and 35%.

To formulate the essence, follow the steps indicated for the preparation of alcohol-based perfumes. The base is prepared by placing the wax and the chosen butter/oil in a heat-resistant container and melting in a water bath. In the melted and slightly cooled base, add the combination of essences, mix vigorously, then pour into the dedicated container (usually a small glass jar). Seal tightly and leave to cure. No decantation or filtration is required.

 

Classification of essential oils according to PERFUME NOTES

These notes are not categorized with mathematical precision, so some essences can be classified in multiple categories.

TOP NOTES MIDDLE NOTES BASE NOTES
Bergamot, Cajeput, Clementine, Eucalyptus, Grapefruit, Lemon, Lime, Litsea, Red mandarin, Orange, Niaouli, Ravensara, Verbena Anise, Laurel, Cardamom, Jasmine, Carrot, Chamomile, Cypress, Sweet Fennel, Geranium, Cedarwood virginia, Lemongrass, Magnolia, Green mandarin, Myrtle, Neroli, Clove leaf, Nutmeg, Oregano, Osmanthus, Palmarosa, Black pepper, Peppermint, Petitgrain, Scotch pine, Rosemary, Lavender, Rosewood, Nard, Thyme, Tuberose, Violet, Sage, Rosa alba, Damascus rose, Tea tree, Ylang-ylang Ambrette, Benzoin, Peru Balsam, Cassia, Cedarwood atlas, Frangipani, Daffodils, Cinnamon, Frankincense, Ginger, Guaiacwood, Labdanum, Patchouli, Vetiver, Sandalwood, Amyris, Myrrh, Tonka, Vanilla

FIXATIVES

These are essences with base notes that also play a role of fixing the aroma: Vetiver, Patchouli, Guaiacwood, Orris root powder, Cedarwood Atlas

OLFACTORY FAMILIES

  • Floral (lavender, rhododendron, rose, jasmine, tuberose, violets, lilac, neroli, magnolia, daffodil). Variants: soliflore, bouquet, woody floral, fruity floral, green floral. It means: romantic, delicate, tender, feminine.
  • Amber or oriental (ambrette, frankincense, benzoin, peru balm, myrrh, sandalwood, opoponax). Variants: floral amber, sweet amber, citrus amber, woody amber. It means: exotic, sensual, warm, deep, voluptuous.
  • Woody (sandalwood, cedar, vetiver). Variants: coniferous woody, aromatic woody, spicy woody, marine woody, fruity woody. It means: vigorous, stimulating, attractive.
  • Citrus (lemon, mandarin, bergamot, petitgrain, orange). Variants: floral citrus, spicy citrus, woody citrus, aromatic citrus. It means: fresh, light, lively, youthful, tonic.
  • Chypre (bergamot, patchouli, labdanum, lichens). Variants: floral chypre, fruity chypre, aldehyde chypre, green chypre, leathery chypre. It means: sophisticated, distinguished, vibrant, persistent
  • Fougère (nard, lichen, coumarin, vetiver). Variant: amber fougère, spicy fougère, aromatic fougère, fruity fougère
  • Other families: Gourmet, Aquatic, Tobacco (tonka) or Leather, Aldehyde, Green, Ozonic ....

Perfumes feel different depending on the type and chemistry of the skin. Tastes and preferences differ so much, that any perfume with wonderful and pleasant aromas for some people, can cause repulsion in others.

To create your own perfumes you need inspiration, a lot of patience and a little luck.

 

References and recommendations:
La technique moderne les formulas de la parfumerie, Fouquet Henri, Paris, 1951
Les sens du parfum, Robert Guy , Paris, 2000
Perfumes: The Guide, Luca Turin, Tania Sanchez, 2008
Perfumery: practice and principles. Calkin, Robert R. & Jellinek, J. Stephen 1994
Perfume Legends: French Feminine Fragrances, Edwards, Michael 1997
1000 de Parfumuri, Octavian Sever Coifan, Curtea Veche Publishing House 2003
www.basenotes .com

This formula was developed by Elemental's qualified staff. The recipes are intended to exemplify the use of products marketed by Elemental and are believed to be accurate, however, Elemental assumes no liability or risk associated with the use of its products for the preparation and evaluation of the recipe as the conditions of preparation and use are beyond its control. The Elemental customer must ensure that the reproduction of the formulation does not infringe any intellectual property rights and that it complies with the specific rules and regulations in force. The person who prepares the recipe must refer to the safety data sheets to ensure the safe handling of all raw materials and bears full responsibility for ensuring the safe and correct use and storage of all materials procured and used. Assessments of the safety, stability, regulatory compliance and suitability of this recipe, methods and the finished product are the sole responsibility of the user and/or the legal entity placing the product on the market. Elemental is not liable for any damages resulting from the use of this information, and assumes no responsibility for misuse of selected materials, formula or method, in whole or in part.

Posted on 07/20/2015 Tutorials

Menu

Settings