Translate iPigeon.institute in to your native language 💱

Wednesday, July 14

The At-Home Parfumerie - How to mix like a semi-pro.

 After procuring a shelf-rack, or so, of fragrance ingredients of your choice and specialty, it’s time to employ “interval-mixing” in to the creative and manufacturing process.

Jay Ammon’s Summer 2021 Fragrance ingredients collection.
The iPigeon.institute slight return shelf rack of perfumer’s ingredients, essential oils, and aroma molecules.


Making a simple “natural” smelling fragrance is not difficult - just purchase expensive and high-quality ingredients. But, in order to attain the scent profile of a higher-end cologne for men, for example, it requires some ingenuity in the logistics of “what’s going on | in” the fragrance. 

Jay Ammon’s latest workflow setup in fragrance-making (July 14th, 2021).
My mixing palette | my working process. I tried out what I would call “interval mixing,” which capitalizes on the notions of the deeper underlying chemistry behind the individual ingredients.

On one hand, the fragrance ought never quite completely fall out, from the bottom, itself, in to a poor-smelling thing. If you’d done this, don’t dump it - it’s largely against the law, internationally, and it’s poor morals. Instead, just save the fragmented artifact of manufacture, as a token partial that could be returned to, that might slightly fulfill some future need, even it it’s just drops of the stuff.

On my most current excursion and creation, however, I managed to deftly control the flow of creating a fragrance, with a collection number of ingredients totaling about 100, or so, give or take, without having created a poor-smelling product, which had been how many of my attempts to create a distinctly masculine-smelling fragrance product had turned out. I’d been getting some tips, through nightly searches about the facets and characteristics of ingredients, their expected percentage fill, of the entirety of a composition (fragrance or parfum base - which, in and of itself, take up perhaps 15-30% of the bottle, and the rest is water and alcohol (40-50%) and perhaps the rest of the fill is made up of quick notes, nuances, clean-ups, and touch-ups with essential oils, terpenes, crystals, musks, colors, etc.).

I wanted to do a men’s fragrance that was light-feeling, syrupy sweet, yet rich in savory background, such as that it would entice the olfactory sense’s relationship with the visceral and primal urges of hunger, upon encountering it. Easily gourmand, yet imagining a rich and eloquent debouter of enterprise and establishment to follow - picture a starving population, for example; yet many people refuse to eat, when offered food, or when found asking for charity. What could spark and inspire their neglected self-care better than a timely happenstance passersby encounter, on the street? What better disposition could there be, alongside the context being well-fed, in the American way? (or French, in nature, as I sometimes refer to). 


The secret to my creative process, in this instance, was to come up with a decent enough floral base - I chose Narcissus, in this instance, with 3-4 or so full and generous squirts from the dropper, although just 1, to begin with, in a pool of perfumer’s alcohol, in the bottle. 

Then I started to work my way around the fragrance’s underlying inspiration, which would be a light, crisp, and refreshing citrus assertion, for which I used some terpene ingredients, such as Limonene D. There was kumquat oil, as well. After this stage, I went back to tradition and rounded off the composition, as it was, with Lavandin Grosso. Then I grabbed my powders and crystals, to musky up the scent, and ground it, with concentrated force. I employed Ambroxan to ground out this first stage. 

The next phase I went in to was to add the primary natural characteristics that would shape the quality facets and natural appeal factor of the fragrance, using primarily essential oils, at this stage. I used Ginger CO2 (don’t ever get a ginger that’s not at least a CO2 extraction - my lesson learned), myrrh oil, tonka bean absolute (lots), jasmine tea perfume extract, citron oil, ylang ylang, cedarwood (atlas), and teak (just a little). Here, in this stage, I found that I wasn’t ruining the fragrance, by this point, so I decided to test out employing my crystals, which smell good, in and of themselves, but I’d read up on their common usage recommendations in a fragrance composition, and it’s typically at the 1%, or 0.1% or less. I have Exaltone, by Firmenich, and Ambrocenide, by Symrise, which I used, in this stage. 

Then, my inner animal 🦔 perhaps, started to perk up, and I thought about the ingredients, and their place in fragrance-making, which is largely based on descriptions of the properties, chemical name, and organoleptic properties of the material. I thought about ketones, which I’d read, are sometimes characterizable as metabolite products of the body. (Wikipedia). Oh, yeah. And just prior, I’d put some stuff in to the mix, like anisaldehyde and oud base, one of which had been touted as “the smell of the bathroom, toilet included” sort of thing. I figured, “well, these things have some basis in how they are created, as by-products of microbial, fungal, or plant life (even animals, in the past mostly), 

but, continuing forward, though, given that the ingredients had an appeal, on top of that I was creating this composition, as my main aspiration, and meanwhile, the fragrance base hadn’t turned bad on me, just yet, I figured that it was time for me to try and encapsulate the essence as it was, in this stage, so I added some musk ketone powder, for the sake of the fact that it (ketones) affect biological processes; I imagined that the oud base, or the dimethyl anthranilate, or pyralone (it was all of these, perhaps, in the end, to be honest; a modest amount of each of them) - these components, and the bacterial sorts of processes of interaction, reaction, or metabolism, of the energy products available, based on the richness of the ingredients, in and of themselves, much different, and more natural-smelling, since I was employing essential oils, mostly, at this stage, (some farnesol, also), and I’d formerly tried to employ these ingredients, of the [toilette] - means to an end (like, eau de toilette), and the mixture would end up getting worse and worse, the more I added to it, from here. 

Now, I didn’t actually add orange flower absolute, but I did do an ad-hoc Schiffs base, although I added the hydroxycitronellol in an equal amount to the iso butyl quinoline (pyralone), because I wanted to emphasize the citrusy character of the composition, and because the source and main composition was so rich in material, to begin with. All in all, at this phase, I threw in a small (mini) scoop spoon’s worth of musk ketone, in to the mix, because I figured that the ketone element, added in to the composition, would detract any ongoing (and eventual) free-radical occurrences from proliferating, and, in turn, I end up with a garbage composition. The musk ketones would keep the developing energetic processes distracted, and meanwhile, I have the buffer of these expensive crystals as the basis of what the mixture [could] eventually smell like, if needed; although it still hadn’t turned bad on me, which is important. 

Then I threw in some Iso E Super, after gently gyroscope-rotating the mixture around, and making sure that the crystals became well-incorporated in to the existing mix - 

Oh yeah! I forgot, at first, I started out with some very primary facet components of many to any type of fragrance composition - rose petals, jasmine sambac absolute, neroli oil, from Morocco, (at some point, in the composition; perhaps later on), and santalol, in modest amounts, each of them, yet somewhat only at the time being, of how small my beginnings were, in creating this mixture, and these ingredients, for having been expensive. (They still are expensive, for that matter, yet they’re quite essential in a fragrance composition, for how the smell’s purpose and character become modulated in to a new olfactory experience, at the command of the hand of the perfumer.

Some small vials of expensive essential oils and rich absolutes.
Having taken on this new, and progressively (intervals-bounded) methodology in manufacturing a fragrance composition, which I’d found somewhat difficult to do, for men’s sorts of fragrances, in the past, I now felt more at ease, in applying more ingredients, such as gurjun balsam, rhodinol, lauryl acetate C-12, para cresyl isobutyrate, nectaryl (to peach sweeten things up), beeswax absolute (for even more, and long-lasting sweetness), as well as two scoops of ethyl vanillin (with the small flat scoop).

Every invested gourmand would understand, as well, the fascinating combination and compelling novel effect (which I called “mooshy-moo”) that black pepper oil has upon a richly-established vanilla, as the “latest thing.” It’s a quite comforting and warming sensory experience. 

I didn’t want to leave any trails unmapped, so to speak. In intervals, I had planned to do the dump of crystals, such as Nerolin bromelia, as last-stand additions to the mix, yet I ended up tossing some in, a bit before I finished, since the perfumer’s alcohol works fast, yet I gyroscope-rotate the mixture, at this stage, to speed the musk ketone reactions up.

Then I thought, 

Hey, I have some celery ketone, as well! How about that, for the gourmand floral fragrant citrus (petitgrain got it’s own intervallic development ketone-assisted cycle in on it).

That’s about all, for now. 

Except for the onion skeet skeet - just 4 drops, (not of pure onion oil - significantly diluted, a few drops to 2 or so fl. oz.) - for the acrylates (thanks, Calvin Klein, for that tip off [context]).

Oh, yeah, there was Cetalox, as well. Benzyl Benzoate, and I topped off the composition, once I was fairly satisfied with it, with benzyl alcohol, to have a solvent base to incorporate the insoluble oils and water (also added at the end) together in to a miscible solution. I put some Yellow (Lake) and Basic Fuschia (2 drops), for color. There was trans-2 decanol, a tiny bit of humulene, and several drops of cinnamon bark oil. I put a drop of Geosmin into it, as well.






Latest post.

Pigeon-watching hotspots to see around town #5: The USC Dumpster Pigeons.

  This flock of pigeons hadn't always lived here, which is curious, because I could trace back to days of pigeon-feeding that I'd do...

iPigeon.institute’s most popular recent blog articles and posts