If you are studying raw materials, evaluating fragrances or learning how to make perfume then the type of smelling strips you need will be slightly different to the blotters you find at the perfume counter.
Some smelling strips have a wide paddle shaped end which is better for spraying fragrance, but for raw materials I prefer the ones in the picture on the left. The wide square end is great for writing on and the narrow point is the perfect size for dipping into narrow necked vials.
Which Smelling Strips to Choose?
- Pointed End Strips – Great for dipping into small containers and evaluating small amounts of raw materials.
- Square End Strips – Can be branded and look great but awkward to dip. These often come in tear out booklets.
- Paddle Ended Strips – Wider surface area is better for spraying from an atomiser and narrow end for dipping into a bottle.
How to Smell Using a Smelling Strip
- Always write on the strip before dipping so that you can go back and evaluate later.
- When evaluating raw materials take care not to over dip the smelling strip. You only need the smallest amount of material on the tip so as not to make the strip too wet.
- If you do not have a smelling strip holder then simply bend the dipped end at a right angle so that the material does not touch the surface of the table.
- Take care not to touch the strip on the end of your nose when smelling!
- Take very small short sniffs of a raw material on the strip, do not smell for too long or your nose will quickly tire.
- Make lots of notes & smell each material over a period of minutes or hours to notice the change over time.