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Simple Tools To Begin Making Perfume By Cher Lynn

Perfumers are always exploring exciting ways to work with raw materials in an effort to create a signature aroma or unique profile to the work. A few I often like to mention can be done with minimal equipment at home.

Tinctures are the most common method, in part because of simplicity. Alcohol and raw plant materials are combined in a ratio that the perfumer chooses. It can be one part raw to five parts alcohol or a variation in between.

Macerations can take as little as a few hours or as long as a few weeks in order to extract the aromatics. Multiple macerations will help infuse the tincture, and in fact, many of my tinctures are two years old or more, having raw material cycled several times through the growing season.

Ultrasonic cleaners are useful extraction tools that I was excited to discover had a secondary use. In my twenties, I was a professional jeweller, and while I haven't worked at my bench for some time, my tools and the ultrasonic cleaner have travelled with me from country to country. The cleaner helps use less solvent and significantly decreases the extraction time due to the strong vibration. I've read it is possible to do an extraction with water or low-proof alcohol, and while I haven't personally tried it, I highly recommend experimentation.

A simple extraction method is CO2, which can be done using a whipped cream dispenser. Plant material is placed in the canister with enough perfumer's alcohol added to cover the material and left to rest for a few minutes or up to an hour. The top is attached, and a cartridge is installed in the holder to release gas into the chamber. Once inverted, the infused alcohol can be dispensed. Besides the expense of CO2 cartridges, I find this a fantastic extraction method for delicate florals such as the fleeting scented tobacco blossoms I harvest from April to November here in California. I love to teach this method in class as it never ceases to dazzle students. I call it my splash of magic.

To learn more about Cher Lynn and her work, visit her website at

Read the full Article in the Perfume Special 2023 edition (10.3) E. available in the shop. 

Read the full Article in the Perfume Special 2023 edition (10.3) E. available in the shop.

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