Great tips and tricks on perfume making

Missing materials or replacing materials
You will probably encounter demo formulations with some ingredients used, which you don't happen to have at hand. That's not a problem like trying to bake a cake without flour. Some ingredients can be left out entirely without doing to much damage to the concept. Or can be replaced with other "smell alike" ingredients.

Always remember: small dosages won't necessarily mean less impact. Where leaving out 1 drop off huge-impact materials like ambrocenide or civet at 1% can have an enormous impact, while leaving out the full amount of benzyl alcohol can have little impact. And look-a-likes won't necessarily act or blend the same way. Substituting sugar in a cake with a mixture of honey and corn syrup seems like replacing "sweet" for "sweet", but the taste of the cake will be rather different.

It's undoable to define replacements for all materials and often one needs to construct a replacement from many other ingredients. My starting point is always The Good Scents Company, they have an excellent odour search engine and odour profiles and molecular weight of thousands of ingredients. For example, looking for something that replaces "fresh green" can be found this way. Clicking on, for example, Galbanum, gives a tremendous amount of information, especially under the tabs organoleptics, properties and last but not least blenders!

Maturing and aging, the blending of AC, PO and EO materials, smooths out quicker and better in the fridge. After 6 weeks of storage in the fridge, shaken every other day or two, it will assure a nice blend of the ingredients used. Most perfume formulas seem to gain some extra profit if diluted after the aging process, to (Soie de) Perfume, EDP, EDT or EDC strength! If you are in a hurry, try to be patience for at least 4 days, before judging or applying your new perfume composition ;-) 

I really like to finally dilute my perfumes to perfume strength of at least 25%. That is: 25% of the perfume composition in 75% alcohol.
You can safely experiment with other dilution ratios though. 
To give you an estimate on ratios used in industry: 
  • 15% - 30% : Perfume, also named Soie de Parfum at 15% - 20% 
  • 10% - 15% : Eau de parfum (EDP)
  • 7% - 10% : Eau de toilette (EDT)
  • 2% - 7% : Eau de cologne (EDC)
Final touch
If you are looking for that final touch, that extra sparkle, that converts a nice scent into a real perfume, try adding one of the following ingredients in 1% dilution (one drop at a time!). They are strong, real strong, so start with really small amounts, like one drop of 1% dilution on 20 drops of other combined ingredients in 100% dilution (a 1 : 2.000 ratio):
  • The Aldehydes, preferably C10, C12 NMA and C12 Laurel
  • Ambrocenide, (also an excellent fixative for your citrus notes)
  • Cosmone, (excellent volume lifter, although it will introduce some Musk to the composition)
  • Civet can do wonders, especially in combination with the flowers
  • Ultrazur, can definitely bring some lift, volume and diffusitivity
  • Okoumal, will bring a twinkle to the woods
  • Ambergris tincture (yes, it's expensive but worth every penny)
  • Try Oudh / Agarwood as a fixative in your wood and oriental blends!
Best tip of all: register for my free newsletter, and be the first to know about new tips, tricks and formulations. You can register here
The base DIY forum is an excellent place to start.