Natural Perfumery Notes on Tinctures and Enfleurages

I love making natural perfumes. And have made hundreds over the years. The unique scents that each essential oil will carry can be exalted, or diminunized for very different results and lovely aromas are achieved.

Over the years there is much I have learned on my own as well as through research and sharing with like-minded groups.

Here’s a clip from my natural perfumery group I thought was pertinent to share about tinctures and enfleurages for those that are interested in making their own perfumes from essential oils, and natural elements. :

In NaturalPerfumery@ yahoogroups. com, “miraculousbeads1@ …” <miraculousbeads1@ …> wrote:
> I just made two batches of perfume which contain infused oil and enfleurage alcohol (carefully strained)
> The oil separated from the alcohol (I didn’t add water)
> Does anyone know what caused this to happen?
> Stumped,
> Margo

The oil you used for your infusion or maceration will not mix with alcohol and will separate. Use that oil for oil based perfumes and your alcohol tincture for alcohol based perfumes. Essential oils are not the same as carrier oils (almond oil, coconut, FCO, jojoba, etc.) . They will “dissolve” in high proof alcohol while your carrier will not.

Are you sure you are preparing an enfleurage and not a tincture? In an enfleurage the plant material is not saturated with the fat. The plants are laid on top of the fat (usually a soft solid) tray, recharged daily until the fat absorbs the odor molecules and then the fat is “washed” with alcohol.

If you put the plants directly in alcohol that is a tincture. Bear in mind that a tincture will also extract water from a plant and become diluted. As a result, it’s best to tincture with fully dried plant matter, if you would like to control the alcohol content. There are gauges you can use to measure the percentage of water in your alcohol. The more water, the more likelihood your essential oils will separate and your blend will become subject to spoilage if the alcohol content is too low and you will need a preservative.

— In NaturalPerfumery@ yahoogroups. com, Johanna Knox <johanna.knox@ …> wrote:
> Hi – I’ve been reading with interest and have a question about all this.
> The 33% diluted absolutes from white lotus (diluted in fractionated coconut
> oil) seem to mix in with alcohol fine. I’m wondering why they do, but
> other oils don’t so much?
> Is it all about ratios? Types of oil? How fast you add one to the other?
> Or whether there is water involved as well?
> I’m trying to understand!
> Best wishes
> Johanna

Hi, Johanna:
Fractionated coconut oil absorbs water so there is no water content when you mix it with the alcohol.
I always add the oils slowly to the alcohol while stirring
Best Regards,

Join GROUP for natural perfumes on yahoo here.

Learn more about production of perfumes here.

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