I often get asked what materials to buy as a starter kit for beginning perfumery and although there are many companies who do kits I’d suggest that you don’t go all out and buy everything right away. Perfumery is an expensive business and I know only too well that you can buy lots of things you never use.
It’s really hard to know what something smells like until you get it and if you’re going to buy try to get the smallest amount possible or a sample before splashing out.
The best option is to come to a class where you can smell and experiment without buying huge amounts of materials but if you can’t get to a class right now or are doing the Online Perfumery Training then take a look at the tips below. For more info on how to make your own perfume join my FREE online Masterclass HERE
Start with learning the natural materials
Even if you decide you want to add aroma chemicals or synthetic materials to your perfume it is important to learn the naturals first. There are so many materials to choose from, delving into aroma chemicals right away will overwhelm you.
Get samples if possible or buy small quantities
It may seem like a bargain to buy bigger but unless you know you will use it lots, its a waste. Most companies sell in 10mls or 2mls and 5mls for more expensive naturals. Buy neat oils and absolutes rather than diluted in a carrier oil as you can’t then add these to alcohol.
Buy a few materials based on the odour category and function
What I mean by that is to buy a few examples of each odour family whilst making sure you have a few top notes, mid notes and base notes. This means that as well as studying them you will be able to create simple blends right away.
Here is an example starter list
Citrus: Bergamot (top), Lemon (top), Bitter Orange (top)
Spice: Black Pepper (top), Coriander (top)
Floral: Rose Absolute (mid), Jasmine Absolute (mid), Ylang Extra (mid), Geranium Bourbon (mid)
Aromatic: Lavender (top/mid)
Woody: Sandalwood (base), Cedarwood Virginian (top)
Balsamic: Benzoin (base), Vanilla Absolute (base), Labdanum (base)
Earthy: Patchouli (base), Vetiver (base)