making of

raw materials and mixing

Today is mixing day. And today’s picture to the left shows you the aluminum bottles from the fridge that I took out yesterday, allowing the contents to come to room temperature over night. This is important to avoid condensing water inside the bottles. I store all citrus oils, all flower absolutes, and a few specialties such as rose oil, neroli in the fridge.

I store the rest of my raw materials  in a storage room that is cool, but not cold. Part of the other material that goes into the mix you see below. The orange labels with the X mark raw materials that are dangerous for the environment if spilled in larger amounts; like natural sweet fennel oil.

Today, I will mix another batch of Miriam for use in late spring, as we start with Tableau de Parfums in Italy in spring. It is quite a rich formula and the most expensive fragrance I have in my collection. It is 25 ingredients, 14 of which are natural, including rose oil, violet leaves absolute, sandalwood, cistus oil and extract. Actually, this natural Cistus ladaniferus essential oil might be worth another post. For those of you new here: Miriam is the first fragrance of a series, called Tableau de Parfums. It is an ongoing collaboration with filmmaker Brian Pera. These scents are portraits inspired by the shorts of Brian’s ongoing film series, Woman’s Picture. Actually, these days Brian has published a series of interesting posts on Evelyn Avenue, looking back into the past year, the collaboration and some details on the movie making part. You find all this and more here, on Evelyn Avenue.

more bottles with fragrant raw materials. The white powder: Ambroxan.

And I will mix another batch of Incense rosé, lot number 007. For this I had to check all the papers, certificates for each ingredient, for compliance with the (internally defined) standards on EU allergens, appearance etc. The mixing itself is not such a big effort. You just want to make sure that you do not mess it all up as some of those ingredients like rose absolute (3500$/kg) or rose oil (12’000$/kg) are costly. The mix goes into a 12 liter aluminum can, and goes into the fridge, waiting there for 30 days, until it is going to be diluted with Ethanol and needs to wait another month.

During mixing, I need to write down all the ingredient’s lot numbers, too. These lot numbers are important for traceability; in a worst case scenario I can always pinpoint which lot of which raw material was used in what lot of what fragrance. I write it all down into a large excel and store it for 10 years on a save server online.