making 10% dilutions


I know, pretty boring stuff, but necessary to the perfume making process to ensure that every note has the same odour intensity, so I’m going to do a very quick run through of how to do a 10% dilution.

1. First turn on your scale, then place the empty bottle on it and tare it so that it reads 0

2. This is important: say you’re using a 30ml bottle don’t plan to fill it right to 30ml, leave room for the alcohol to breathe. So plan to fill to 25ml, therefore, measure 2.5gr of your synthetic or natural with a pipette

3. Then top up with alcohol until you get 25gr

è voilà your 10% dilution!  So, before beginning to formulate all of your ingredients should be diluted.

At this point I would label it and then write a brief description of the note on a sticker and label it. You can include things like odour description, supplier, date of purchase and the CAS or FEMA number for easy re-ordering.

Happy June!                                                                                                          – M




birthday buzz


Tomorrow we’re having a birthday party for LV.  Actually he celebrated his birthday a couple weeks ago but the weather was terrible so we decided to move it to this weekend.  Turns out it’s going to be one of the coldest freaking days in 200 years! So things are going to be a bit busy around here for the next 24 hours.  I’ve got school (for a couple months out of the year I prepare high school kids for the PET and the FCE exams) and my regular private English lessons that I teach on Saturdays, therefore I won’t be posting.  Actually I had decided not to post over the weekend anyway as that’s time to focus on me, life and just continuing to open myself to new experiences in a more conscious way.

Today I made the payment to the package forwarding company, Bongo, to get the essential oils for the Chemistry of Essential Oils Home Study Course and a few other things I ordered sent to me from the US to here in Italy. Their service saves me a ton of money, time and headaches and I just love their service! Estimated time is next Thursday, yeah!

Also, gotta share!  I’ve decided, that I’m going to buy a Wacom Bamboo tablet.  One of my passions is calligraphy and of course as a consequence pens and typography and since starting this blog I’ve really been paying attention to photos and type together. Love it! I’ve been really inspired by the way handwriting, one’s own handwriting, can be put on a photo and how it just seems to warm up a photo and give the whole thing personality.  This of course with my next paycheque in June.

So, after I set aside my bit for savings – I’ve given myself a monthly budget of 300 euro to spend how I want – next paycheque will be going to that and the following essential oils from Proxisanté in France: Africa Stone absolute, Cocao absolute, Castoreum, Patchouli Coeur, Osmanthus and Carrot.

I figured, since it’s his birthday, I should get myself something as well — just to help him celebrate.

Have a wonderful weekend.



creative tension


creative tension in artI’m 47 now and in musing over what it is that I really want to do with my life energies in the next, say 10 years, I’ve allowed myself to be led by, more than push, mold or orchestrate, a dream.  This new way of approaching the “white space” in my life, those moments in our lives when we go through whole chunks of time not knowing what to do with ourselves, led me to something that has always defined the muted outlines of my family growing up – smelling good!  For most people their first memories of scent are linked to their mothers, and although every one of the six members of my family love perfume, it was my father’s interpretation of scent that I remember most.  You couldn’t go into his car, pick up one of his shirts, sit in his chair, or enter his musical lair without being hit by his olfactive signature.  In scent my father was everywhere and this desire to make our mark through scent has touched each one of us — right down to my daughter.

And so in this “white space” the desire “I want to create great smelling stuff” came through.

I’ve already got a name and a domain name and in between working on new formulations I pull up Illustrator and doodle at designing a label and other marketing bits (ass backwards, I now, but I am motivated by the whole and not just the parts).

For over a year now I’ve been researching the umteen pages of forums like Basenotes, sniffing out other blogs and other niche perfumers’ sites trying to get an insight into how to go about developing a nose for this craft.

So why are you writing a blog instead of making perfumes? Simple.

Right now a fair chunk of my change goes into sourcing good raw materials, both natural and synthetic, bottles for my tinctures and dilutions, alcohol, scale etc. and I’m fine with that, but I got to a point where the pressure was building, impatience really, it was a familiar tension that I’ve lived with for most of my creative life but now I am learning to channel it better, master it, because I’ve learned that that kind of impatience doesn’t help but hinders my process.

Sitting down one day in absolute frustration over the fact that my flow was somehow obstructed — the bottles hadn’t arrived yet, my next paycheque to purchase more EOs and bottles was 3 weeks away — whatever the reason the endless waiting was creating mounting frustration and I thought I’d explode that day when it struck me. The problem here isn’t a lack of funds or not having supplies, the problem is outflow.

How can I outflow, this creative energy, while still learning and building? Because that is the naked truth: I’m still very much a beginner.  Yes, with a passion and motivation, but a beginner.

The answer: write!

Write about the process – my unique creative process – my feelings about going through the process, the bumps and hurdles (especially living in Italy where regulations are stiff and the amount of red tape makes you want to give it all up), the baby steps, triumphs and absolute failures, it’s all important and it’s all part of creating.  Actually, I feel mighty lucky to have writing as a form of expression that I feel quite adept at while I’m still learning a new craft; I can channel that anxiousness into something like this blog that allows me to instantly manifest.

We get inundated with so many stories about artists that have already arrived (where we want to be, that is, we all know there’s no such place), have already built the successful business, created a line of 12 perfumes, studied at the school or alongside perfume (insert here whichever art you’re pursuing) masters of our dreams, developed the fantastic e-commerce website and given spectacular interviews left and right, it can all seem so defeating, like, why even try?!

We try for the simple, very basic need to create, express our unique essence in the world.

The creative tension created by the struggle between our desire, vision, and the current reality, how things truly are is absolutely essential to creation.  Or should I say the ability to master creative tension is essential to any artistic endeavour.

And so I blog.