Before we dive into the single notes that make up our perfumes everything should be at the more or less the same strength because some notes have molecules that are too big for the olfactory sense to perceive. Not only this but having each ingredient at the same dilution puts them all on the same level for mixing so one doesn’t over-power another and everything’s at the same viscosity for easy pouring.
One of the guys that does a great job at explain perfume basics in general is Chris Bartlett of Pell Wall Perfumes. For extra reading check out his tips on diluting and of course check out Basenotes DIY Perfume forum for loads of info.
Below the pics you’ll find step by step directions. Here’s what you’ll need:
Digital scale accurate to 0.01gr – get into the habit of measuring with a scale right away and not relying on drops (other than when testing) or measuring by volume because every essential oil has a different mass, one drop of ylang ylang will not weigh the same as a drop of mastic oil for example.
Squeeze bottle for easy dispensing of the alcohol so you don’t end up over pouring
Plastic pipettes for disposability. I ordered a box of 500/1ml droppers but also keep some 3ml droppers on hand too
Wooden, disposable spatula for getting stubborn absolutes that come in a paste out of the bottle like Oakmoss or Beeswax absolute
Glass stirring rod
Glass beaker to hold the spatulas, pipettes, smelling strips and glass rods for easy access
30ml or 50ml and 100ml brown glass bottles to hold the dilutions, I like the 100ml for synthetics and the 50ml for the essential oils. I got aluminium caps and not dropper caps because over time the alcohol fumes will erode the rubber
Digital labeller for naming the bottles
Adhesive labels I use to write a quick olfactive description of the note and whether it’s a Top, Middle or Base not
96% proof ethyl alcohol which should not be denatured meaning it has been rendered undrinkable by adding additives
Fuller’s Earth clay for filtering those concretes or absolutes that leave sediments. The Encyclopaedia Brittanica says the following about Fuller’s Earth: “any fine-grained, naturally occurring earthy substance that has a substantial ability to adsorb impurities or colouring bodies from fats, grease, or oils. Its name originated with the textile industry, in which textile workers (or fullers) cleaned raw wool by kneading it in a mixture of water and fine earth that adsorbed oil, dirt, and other contaminants from the fibres.” I learned about creating a crystal clear dilution from a video by the late perfumer Alec Lawless of Essentially Me who explains filtering and fining very well in this YouTube video – time well spent.
Glass beakers of various sizes for pre-mixing before putting into your bottles so you can see if they may need filtering
And…since this post has turned out to be longer than expected I’ll do an example of a dilution tomorrow.
Have a fabulous day! – M