- Perfumer’s Apprentice – Natural and synthetic educational kits. Also supply a kit to accompany Mandy Aftel’s book, Essence & Alchemy.
- Pell Wall Perfumes – Chris Bartlett offers starter kits and great advice about which materials to begin with.
- Creating Perfumes – Aroma study kits.
Raw Materials – Naturals
- Aftelier* – Quirky selection of unusual perfumers botanicals. Fast shipping. No minimum.
- Aqua Oleum – Excellent UK source for essential oils from Julia Lawless.
- Aromatics International – Expensive oils connected with the Aromahead Institute. Site has excellent information.
- Eden Botanicals* – EOs, CO2s, Absolutes. Excellent quality, wide selection, no minimum purchase.
- Enfleurage – Aromatics from the natural world. Specialize in Frankincense. Also offer hydrosols and more.
- Liberty Natural Products* – Amazing selection. Includes isolates and more. $50 minimum.
- Mountain Rose Herbs – Wide selection. Somewhat expensive shipping. (Mentioned more often by home aromatherapists than perfumers. Never tried.)
- Nature’s Gift – Just tried them for the first time for more aromatherapy-type oils. Also have wide selection of hydrosols, carrier oils, waxes and butters. Well researched and reasonable prices.
- White Lotus Aromatics* – Gorgeous, superior quality naturals personally sourced from around the world. $100 minimum.
*Companies with an astrix * are the ones I order from most frequently. Eden Botanicals is my “go to” supplier.
Also helpful: Providence Perfume offers a useful review of some of the best/worst essential oils she’s ever purchased.
Raw Materials – Synthetics
- Perfumer’s Apprentice – Synthetics, naturals, and a few basic supplies. Easy to use. No minimum.
- The Good Scents Company – Cumbersome ordering process, but good products. Amazing database with info on any aroma chemical.
- Creating Perfume – Good supplies at reasonable prices.
- Advice on selecting beeswax.
- Glory Bee – Organic beeswax.
- Mountain Rose Herbs – High-quality beeswax.
Carrier oils are for making oil-based perfumes, solid perfumes, or other body products. Do not add them to alcohol-based perfumes (they will separate and make a mess). Some carrier oils will go rancid fairly quickly. Fractionated coconut oil and Jojoba oil are two of the longest-lasting.
For alcohol-based perfume, use perfumer’s alcohol a.k.a specially denatured (SD) alcohol, which is 95% ethanol that has been denatured with an additive. The denaturing is done for regulatory reasons to prevent consumption. When purchasing perfumer’s alcohol in the United States, use 40b, which is denatured with t-butyl alcohol & Bitrex. Do not use 39c, because it contains diethyl phthalate (DEP), a.k.a. phthalates for which there are serious health concerns. For natural perfumers, there are also organic alcohols that have been denatured with natural materials. If you are not planning to sell your perfume, you can also use Everclear / Pure Grain Alcohol instead of Perfumer’s Alcohol. It should be 190 proof (95% alcohol) ethanol. In the USA, PGA is available for purchase in some states but not all. Some natural perfumers will also use Vodka for perfume, but it’s not as desirable as Everclear/PGA due to the lower alcohol content. For cleaning, you can use Isopropyl alcohol, Vodka, or PGA.
- Creating Perfume – Good prices for small quantities of 40b perfumers alcohol. USA.
- Mistral – Perfumer’s alcohol in the UK.
- Alchemical Solutions – Organic alcohol. USA. Corn, wheat, grape, or cane. Grain alcohol has the most neutral smell. Cane is cheapest, but will have a slight malty odor. This can be minimized with the addition of dipropylene glycol (DPG). You can also buy all-natural denatured alcohol from them, but only in very large quantities.
Dipropylene Glycol (DPG)
DPG is an odorless, colorless synthetic carrier oil that is perfect for diluting fragrances to 10% or 1% to be used for sniff tests / educating your nose. It is oil-based, but water and alcohol soluble.
Bottles and Packaging
- Best Bottles (Nemat) – Nice selection of classic perfume bottles, apothecary bottles, and more. No minimum.
- Specialty Bottle – Boston rounds, vials, tin containers, and more. Great bulk prices. Fast shipping. No minimum.
- SKS Bottle & Packaging – Good bulk options for cases of bottles.
- Online Labels – nice selection and good bulk prices. Expensive for individual sheets.
- Brother Label Printer