Online Perfume Making Classes – Want to make fragrances at home but not sure how? Follow our easy “how to make perfume: a beginner’s guide”. So you want to go down the path of fragrance creation. That’s great! The task may seem a little daunting to some, but don’t worry, our step-by-step guide is here to get you started and help make your nose happy. Here we go…
Get your hands on a small scale – never use drops! Measuring ingredients in grams is much more accurate when you want to make and recreate your formula.
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Drops may look easier, but it is very difficult to get the same amount of ingredient in each drop. Before you know it, you can end up with a pretty interesting formula that will be quite difficult to match and difficult to recreate!
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For starters, you don’t need to invest in an expensive lab. A small precision scale of 0.01 grams will be enough to get you started, and later you can upgrade to a precision scale of 0.001 g. You’ll find plenty of mini scales online for £20-£40, but if your budget allows, you’ll find a professional scale at an entry-level price of around £400-500.
Get good ingredients: Industry standard perfume ingredients are hard to come by when purchased in small quantities, so this step will require a bit of research, especially if you want to make sure you’re getting the highest quality ingredients.
At EPC, our activity as perfumers allows us to source the best ingredients you can find, from reputable suppliers such as IFF-LMR, Symrise and Firmenich. We have collected several ingredient box sets that allow you to build your ingredient collection up to 60 of the most used perfumery raw materials. These ingredients are specially selected to get you started, and more importantly, they are already diluted in the perfumer’s alcohol, so you can ensure a more satisfactory result, even at the beginner level.
We have assembled ingredient kits including high-quality ingredients – natural and molecular – both sourced from Grass and around the world. This kit is designed to help you make your fragrance and will allow you to smell some key perfume ingredients before investing in larger quantities.
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If you are not a professional fragrance maker but are more advanced with blending techniques, you will be limited as to where to find reliable sources. Most suppliers of fragrance ingredients, such as those listed above, will only deal with companies, however, we found a very good company that sells to end consumers: Pellwall is an excellent source for pure raw materials.
Be careful though, if you’re not sure where to start, we advise against buying random ingredients as you may find yourself spending a lot of money with little satisfying results.
There’s a big focus on natural ingredients right now, but don’t forget to explore options for molecules as well as natural extracts (they’re essential to the perfumer’s organ!). If you can, keep your ingredients chilled in the refrigerator to ensure their longevity.
Our EPC Academy is open to students from all over the world! Join our online perfumery courses and learn these techniques by following our videos and tutorials guided by experienced perfumers
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Now comes the creative part. When you’re at this stage, really think about what you want to create, this is called a ‘brief’. What kind of fragrance do you want to make, is it floral or woody or a combination of both? Do you want to make a light, airy fragrance or a deep, sensual fragrance? Do you want your fragrance to have one or two single notes or more (ie: Rose or Cedarwood)? Think of all these things and more, or simply a creative story or memory you want to achieve.
Fragrance is a complex formula that can include dozens of ingredients, but we would recommend training with a combination of just a few (10 or less).
There is no formula book, perfumery is knowledge passed down from perfumers to perfumers and with a lot of effort and dedication.
Spend some time in this phase to be focused on your ultimate perfume goal. The formula is usually written from 100% (or from the total of 1,000 or 10,000 when you are more advanced). Keeping a clear, consistent amount allows you to understand the impact of each individual ingredient in the overall formula, as well as help when it comes to reworking your formulas.
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Top tip: Always write down your formula – you wouldn’t want to lose the formula that made you irresistible!
After measuring your first formula, shake it gently and score the result on a scent strip (the kind of paper you find in fragrance retailers). Scent strips come in all shapes and sizes: the most commonly used ones have square ends (good for smelling ingredients) or pointed ends (good for smelling perfumes). You can start with these standard scent strips. If you get spiked scent strips, dip your scent strip into the spiked end and smell it without touching your nose.
Once you’ve assessed what works and what doesn’t, you’re ready to rework your idea by tweaking the formula. And so on… Until you’re happy (sometimes it can take hundreds of tries to get it right, so be patient!).
You will also need to get some rubbing alcohol (solvent – this will differ depending on whether you want to make a candle or a room freshener). If you don’t have a liquor license (which is unlikely if you’re a casual grower), we find Mistral’s perfumer’s alcohol to be reliable and of high quality. For beginners, and in order to use less ingredients, we recommend diluting the ingredients to 10% beforehand to make things easier.
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Diluting it in alcohol is an essential step as it makes the smell of the fragrance much more approachable, whereas a blend of pure ingredients will feel overwhelming and compact.
But how do I dilute to 10%?! This involves some basic maths, but we know it’s not always as easy as it sounds… 10% in alcohol means you dilute 1g of your ingredient or composition (neat) and add 9g of alcohol (so the total is 10g ). If your ingredient is very potent, you may want to dilute it to 1% in alcohol. So basically that means you’re going to fill 0.1g of your ingredient with alcohol until you get to 10g.
Choose your creation set (a trio of your favorite scents) and experiment with mixing at home with our step-by-step illustrated guide
Get the full creation set collection (6 Essential Eau de Parfum) at home and get your online consultation with one of our perfumers for personalized guidance
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Last point: remember that maceration plays an important role! Leave your created scent for a day or so to allow it to settle and mature within you. Some creations may change color over time, but this is normal and will rarely affect your fragrance. Happy experimenting!
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Follow your nose into a new chapter in your herbal education – botanical perfumery! Many of our favorite aromatic herbs can be blended into natural plant-based perfumes that delight the senses without the toxicity of synthetic fragrances.
Blending your own botanical perfume is a wonderful, time-tested way to infuse both your home and your body with the spirit of the plants you relate to most. A true breath of fresh air, the Natural Perfumery Course will encourage you to form a new type of relationship with plants – one that allows the plants to speak for themselves in forest whispers, grassy harmonies and smoky secrets. As the conductor of this olfactory orchestra, you’ll mix, infuse, stir and spray your way to custom scent combinations
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