I smell Bvlgari

I recently attended a perfume making vocational course this month. It was interesting, more of a hands on experience than anything else. The lecturer was well informed and knew a lot about soapmaking and perfumery. There was a bit of confusion with the formulas we were given though since grams and mL were used interchangeably during the discussions. For home makers its not such a big issue since we don’t need to meet regulatory standards.

Turkish natural soaps in Hatay Province

Image via Wikipedia

Another disappointment was that when I asked about organic options she couldn’t give me any. There is no organic body care line in the Philippines, other than soap.  This is because there are no local suppliers for several of the compounds necessary.The photo isn’t from the Philippines, but I hope it gives you an idea of the kind of soap I mean. And I question whether the soaps are actually 100% organic like they claim since well… they are basic melt and pour soaps, and lye is not organic. Though in a really old book I came across (Handy Helps, 1904) mentioned that you can make it out of soda and quicklime. The USDA doesn’t regulate ‘organic’ body care products. Their definition in so far as the industry goes is “derived from agricultural products”. Which may or may not be a GMO. The point is that synthetics are far easier to come by and far more cost effective. Though at what price?

The making of lily perfume. Limestone, fragmen...

Image via Wikipedia

I’m taking this as an opportunity to do some research in something I can see myself actually doing as a long haul thing. Right now I’m looking into aromatherapy and natural perfumery. A research project – which I love to do. And a new hobby to look into – which I collect. So I’m quite delighted.

As promised:

DSC_1051 copy

Concentrated perfume or Essence of perfume:

  • 20mL fine fragrance
  • 80mL ethyl alcohol (or verbac)
  • 0.2 grams fixative
  • 1-2 drops of water based colorant (optional)
  • 100mL or 5x20mL glass perfume bottle/s
  1. Sterilize your equipment (glass mixing rod, beaker or glass, syringes or graduated cylinder, a spoon for the muscol).
  2. Mix fragrance and fixative in one direction.
  3. Gradually add ethyl alcohol while mixing in one direction.
  4. Add colorant if any. In the photo above the bottle with a purple cap has no added colorant, and the one with a pink cap has a drop of red in it. As you can see, a little goes a long way and you don’t want to stain your clothes! Natural color will vary on the fragrance you use.
  5. If using ethyl alcohol, let cure for 24 hours in an amber bottle at a cool temperature. If you are using verbac or deodorized ethyl alcohol you do not need to cure your perfume and can skip this step.
  6. Filter and pour into perfume spray bottle. If you use a plastic bottle for this the fragrance will evaporate so your perfume will end up smelling like alcohol.
Eau de toilette, and Eau de cologne are diluted variants with the latter having the most water. Perfume creme is kind of the same thing except done on a cream base with more chemicals. There are certain proportions for the chemical additives and components, so don’t try it at home unless you have a stable formula like whats above. After looking into aromatherapy, I believe in using diluted essential oils more.
Either way achievement unlocked: Chemical fragrances demystified =D
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