As daunting as the study of perfumery can be, it is even more so finding resources and knowing where to look. This page will hopefully help make this task easier.
Feel free to jump to a specific topic by clicking the titles below.
- Aroma-Chemical and Essential Oils Suppliers
- Supplier of Bases, Perfume Bottles and Containers
- Perfume Classes and Workshops
- Books and Reference Materials
- Internet Reference and Education
Aroma-Chemical and Essential Oils Suppliers
This list features US based suppliers only. I am adding one UK supplier to help you out if you’re not in the US, and you can then go from there. I have bought from these US suppliers for years. They are reputable, always friendly and quick to help you if you need it. It is a group effort and none of us could do this without them!
The Perfumer’s Apprentice – Supplier of fine Aroma-Chemicals and Essential oils, as well as flavour ingredients. They are located in Scotts Valley, California.
Creating Perfume – Run by Susan Lemmon, it is also a fine supplier of Aroma-Chemicals and Essential Oils. Creating Perfume also offers perfumer’s alcohol in various sizes. Also located in California.
Perfumer Supply House – Supplier of Aroma-Chemicals and Essential Oils, some which are difficult to find and not offered by the other two suppliers. Run by perfumer Christine Daley and located in Connecticut.
Eden Botanicals – Supplier of a large catalog of well priced, good quality essential oils and absolutes. They offer perfumery specific, high quality essential oils. Located in California.
Liberty Natural Products – Wholesaler of well priced essential oils, with a minium order of $50. They are located in Washington State. They sell to individuals.
Artisan Aromatics – Good quality, difficult to find essential oils, especially true enfleurage oils such as Honeysuckle and Gardenia. A bit expensive but well worth it. They are located in North Carolina, USA.
Aftelier – Founded by award winning, natural perfumer Mandy Aftel, her site offers her own creations, but also some essential oils and aroma-chemicals that are difficult to find. She concentrates mainly on natural perfumery.
New Directions Aromatics – Wholesale supplier of Essential Oils and bases such as unscented shower gels, lotions and other customization products. Minimum order is $100. Located in Canada and New York, USA, with other world locations. They sell to individuals.
Consolidated Chemicals & Solvents – Supplier of chemicals, some hard to find, like Musk Xylene. They also sell on Amazon.
Pell Wall – Provider of a large selection of aroma-chemicals and essential oils
Suppliers of Bases, Perfume Bottles and Containers
New Directions Aromatics – As stated above, they supply bases such as unscented lotions and shower gel as well as carrier oils, cosmetic bases and raw materials.
Lotion Crafter – Supplier of cosmetic raw materials such as DPG, clays, shampoos, thickeners, etc., supporting non-animal testing ingredients. Located in Washington State, US. Wholesale seller to individuals.
Bramble Berry – While this supplier specializes on fragrances that as a perfumer one does not use, they also sell professional colorants, which you can use in your bases such as shower gels and even perfumes.
SKS Bottle & Packaging, Inc. – Supplier of all kinds of containers such as amber bottles, shower gel and spray bottles, etc. Located in Nevada and New York, US.
Packaging Options Direct – Another supplier of containers such as amber bottles, tins, cans, sprayers, etc. They are located in St. Louis, Missouri, USA.
Best Bottles – A wide range of unique perfume glass bottles and atomizers. Located in California.
Scentsational Shoppe – A large selection of perfume bottles and other related items.
Nemat International – Another company with a large selection of perfume bottles, including decorative and antique. They also go by Best Bottles. Located in Freemont, California.
Note: Generally, you will find all of the companies that sell glass perfume bottles carry pretty much the same stock. For extra fancy bottles you’d be dealing with companies that sell in bulk, with minimum orders of 10,000 plus. This is not useful (or affordable) for the non-professional perfumer.
On-line Perfume Classes and Workshops
Karen Gilbert – Professional perfumer in the UK who teaches on-line perfume creation courses.
Scenthusiasm (by subscription). Hosted by perfumer Sarah McCartney. Site description: “For everyone keen to learn more about artisan perfumery, and to start making fragrances of their own, I’ll be giving information about materials and sharing simple, safe formulas to explore how they work together.”
Frater Perfumes (by subscription). Jamie Frater shares his knowledge of perfume creation including many ongoing formulas.
Books and Reference Material
This list comprises some of the most important books available to the perfumery students. Most are expensive, but worth the investment.
The Formulation and Preparation of Cosmetics, Fragrances and Flavors, by Louis Appell. It is not an inexpensive book, but you will be using it daily and as ongoing reference. The only way to get this book at an affordable price is from Micelle Press in the UK, and they ship it to you to the US.
The Production, Manufacture and Application of Perfumes, Vol. 1 by W.A. Poucher. An indispensable volume and its companion, volume 2. If you have to choose, volume 2 will be of more use for you.
The Production, Manufacture and Application of Perfumes, Vol. 2 by W.A. Poucher. Indispensable like volume 1, but of more use to the beginner than the previous volume.
Perfume and Flavor Materials Of Natural Origin, by Steffen Arctander. First published in 1960, is the classic, authoritative reference for a vast array of natural products used in perfumes, scents, flavorings, foods, and medicine throughout the world. Amazingly, this volume was recently reprinted and is offered on Amazon for $22! Get it while you can.
Perfumes and Flavor Chemicals (originally two volumes, now reprinted as three), by Steffen Arctander. This exceptional 2 volume set is a must for your library. These books, originally released as a two volume set, have now been reprinted and sold on Amazon as three volumes.
Introduction to Perfumery, by Tony Curtis and David Williams. Another spectacular book offered by Micelle Press in the UK. I linked to Amazon, however, because they offer it at a good price as well. It is a thorough description of most used aroma-chemicals.
Perfumery, Practice and Principles, by Robert Calkin and J. Stephan Jellinek. A text/reference regarding the structure and function of components used in perfume development and the process of developing perfumes.
Scent and Chemistry: The Molecular World of Odors, by Günther Ohloff, Wilhelm Pickenhagen and Philip Kraft. The book details on the molecular basis of olfaction, olfactory characterization of perfumery materials, structure-odor relationships, the chemical synthesis of odorants, and the chemistry of essential oils and odorants from the animal kingdom
Perfume, The Alchemy Of Scent, by Jean-Claude Ellena. Ellena is one of the world’s top perfumers, having designed for various houses, including Hermès. Ellena provides an insider’s tour of the perfumery industry, guiding us from initial inspiration through the mixing of essences and synthetic elements, to the deluxe packaging and marketing in elegant boutiques worldwide, and even the increasingly complicated safety standards that are set in motion for each bottle of perfume that is manufactured.
Diary Of A Nose, by Jean-Claude Ellena. An intimate exploration of inspiration and creativity, from the “parfumeur exclusif” of the house of Hermès. A scent has incantatory powers, capable of transporting you to your past, of kindling fantasies, of creating a vivid mise en scène—literally out of thin air. In the hands of the truly great, perfume creation is a kind of alchemy.
The Perfect Scent: A Year Inside The Perfume Industry In Paris And New York, by Chandler Burr. Chandler Burr, the New York Times perfume critic, spent a year behind the scenes observing the creation of two major fragrances. Now, writing with wit and elegance, he juxtaposes the stories of the perfumes — one created by a Frenchman in Paris for an exclusive luxury-goods house, the other made in New York by actress Sarah Jessica Parker and Coty, Inc., a giant international corporation.
Internet Reference and Education
The Good Scents Company – This is an enormous database of aroma-chemicals and their suppliers, as well as offering an extensive collection of demo formulas. For the formulas, you have to do a detail search. This database will be your ongoing perfumery companion. I linked directly to their search page, but from there you can go to the home page if you so desire.
Basenotes DIY Forum – When you have questions about specific aroma-chemicals, accords, bases, perfume creation, you name it, someone has already asked before you. Find answers to many of your most pressing questions here, by simply asking in the search box of the forum.
Perfumer Shrine – A truly great resource and reference site.
Fragantica – A treasure trove of information about just about every perfume that has ever existed, with information about the many notes that makes each perfume. While they do not offer formulas, you can find the basics of what makes up your favorite perfume and get inspiration to create your own. This site also offers a thorough explanation of most perfume notes and fantasy ingredients, such as White Florals, Woody, Hydrangea, etc.