As a child, Kristen Schuhmann combined drops of dish soap and flavored extracts to see what kinds of scents resulted. This childhood game grew into a lifetime interest that she shares in her sprightly, informative guide, All-Natural Perfume Making.
Clear and unfussy, the text takes beginners from zero knowledge to a finished, fragrant vial. It begins with a short list of easy-to-find equipment before discussing scent and the many forms it takes, including those of essential oils, waters, and extracts. By combining scent materials and playing with the proportions, Schuhmann says, new scent profiles are born; mixed with unscented carriers like oils, alcohol, or beeswax, these can be tailored to individual needs.
Schuhmann shows that even slight variations of ingredients and proportions can produce an infinite variety of perfumes. The book describes basic fragrance profiles and shows how specific scents combine to create complex results. A perfume with floral top notes, Schuhmann says, can have citrus middle notes and woodsy bottom notes. And what are notes? The book explains that as well, with a chart showing how they work in proportion to each other.
Because scent affects the mood and body as well as the nose, there are also recipes for blends that calm and relax, lift the spirits, relieve headaches, and promote health. Helpful tips for choosing oils to work with, and allowing blends to age, are also given. Schuhmann’s use of shaded boxes, lists, and bullet points makes her information easy to remember, while colorful photographs of flowers and graceful perfume bottles make her pages pop.
All-Natural Perfume Making is a knowledgeable introduction to making perfumes and balms, with a wealth of lush, colorful images to invite audiences into the world of handcrafted perfumes.
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