Understanding your materials is the most fundamental part of perfumery.
IMAGE COURTESY OF VINCENT, PERFUMER @REMINISCENT_PARFUMS
The same way a designer must know their materials so a perfumer must be familiar with theirs.
Getting familiar with your raw materials (your oils) will enable you to identify them from smell alone. Practice smelling every single day, the same way a musician practises with their instrument.
You need to understand your materials, not just the smell but the way they interact with each other, what works well with what, and what doesn’t.
You can only achieve this with practice and creating small experiments. Certain oils will enhance specific aspects of another, and like a chef, you’ll be able to decide quickly what ingredients you’ll need to achieve a particular result.
Once you’ve gained sufficient experience, you will be able to make informed decisions about which oils to use, have more conviction in your approach to perfume making, and be confident enough to take the next step and start creating.
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