Elemi Resin

Elemi Resin & Essential Oil Profile & Uses

Jeanne Rose

Synopsis: Elemi, native to the Philippines, the bark resin is extracted and steam distilled;
the E.O. is clear and pale yellow with a citrus scent,
is therapeutic and used in perfumery as a bridge note or fixative
and in skin care (with Galbanum) to rejuvenate and soothe the complexion.
The resin has a history of medicinal uses.

Jeanne Rose photo of Elemi EO on the resin and in front of a piece of wood

Elemi E.O. and resin

LATIN BINOMIAL/BOTANICAL NAME ~ Elemi (Canarium luzonicum) (Blume) A.Gray and from Family Burseraceae. The tree bark produces a resin generally grouped as a balsam; it is more viscous than an oleoresin, very gooey, soft, malleable, and fragrant. When fresh, it is like crystalized honey and will later harden.

            FAMILY – Burseraceae family is the same family that produces Frankincense and Myrrh. The family Burseraceae comprises about 16-20 genera of shrubs and trees.

NAMING ~ Elemi is known as “Pili” in the Philippines. Elemi is a common name for resinous items used as varnishes, printing inks, and ointments. The word itself in Arabic, a translation of Elemi, is similar to the saying “as above, so below”.

            History: “It was Magellan’s discovery of the Philippines in 1521 that led to Manila elemi – known for its medicinal properties and fragrance – being introduced to Europe and the Middle East. The product’s name dates from this period, from the Arabic El-lemi. Its use in “Chinese incense” for religious ceremonies was already being mentioned in China in the 7th century. Further, it was used as a fumigant to perfume homes. Small bags of Elemi were also worn around the neck in that era. Starting in the 18th century, the West began regularly using Elemi for its therapeutic properties, and it is mentioned in many texts, including as “the inventory of simple drugs that must always be kept on hand in the King’s hospital pharmacies.” 2

COUNTRIES OF ORIGIN of Elemi ~ Native to the Philippines. Manila Elemi is a resin (from the bark) grouped in the balsam category and is more viscous than an oleoresin; it is semisolid and quite fragrant. The Philippine Elemi resin (Canarium luzonicum) is also one of the best-known and the source of the world’s largest supply.

GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF PLANT, HABITAT & GROWTH ~ Elemi trees grow in lowland rainforests and primary forests at low and medium elevations. It is an evergreen tree about 30 meters in height, pollinated by insects, and not self-fertile. The resin comes from both cultivated and wild trees.

A chunk of Elemi resin on the wood

Elemi Resin

PORTION OF PLANT USED IN DISTILLATION, HOW DISTILLED, EXTRACTION METHODS & YIELD ~ The tree bark of Canarium produces large quantities of the resin over a period of months. It is available both in the dry and the wet season, and there is a greater flow of resin during the wet season. A mature tree can produce up to five kilograms of Elemi a year. The gum is then shipped to warehouses using large palm fronds and placed in large wooden crates for export.

            While Frankincense is sweet and musky, Elemi delivers a fresh, peppery-citrus aroma.

         Elemi E.O. and CO2 are extracted from the bark resin using steam distillation or a supercritical carbon dioxide system from a tropical tree native to the Philippines. It is a  member of the Burseraceae plant family and is closely related to a resin that resembles Frankincense and Myrrh.

         Yield ~ 13-25% from the resin. Some sources mention yields as low as 3-6%.

ENDANGERED OR NOT ~ This particular species tree is considered to be threatened and/or vulnerable due to heavy usage, people moving into the areas where they live, and by over-tapping. Some species of Canarium are also considered to be invasive.

            Sustainability ~ These items may not be sustainable in the amounts used. My suggestion is to use only the actual resin as it was once meant to be, as incense, in small, moderate amounts as needed, and not use the essential oil at all.  

This work is sponsored and supported
by Prima Fleur Botanicals.


ELEMI Resin & OilResinEO
Color:Pale yellowPale yellow to colorless
Viscosity:Very viscousNon-viscous
Taste:noneBitter, aromatic
Intensity of Odor: 1-10 •
1 is least intense

ODOR DESCRIPTION ~ This oil has a clear to a yellow hue, is non-viscous, tastes bitter, and is medium intensity with a citrus resin scent. The odor of some Elemi E.O. is somewhat like the flower and leaf of Choisya in the spring when it is full of phellandrene. The odor of the principal oil constituent of alpha-phellandrene (more in the spring of Choisya) and the odor of β-phellandrene has been described as peppery-minty with a slightly citrusy note, and phellandrene is absorbed through the skin. Thus, the hydrosol of this resin is excellent in the bath or as a body spray, and the E.O. is helpful in skin care. It is anti-inflammatory.

            SOLUBILITY in 3 mediums – When you see Elemi discussed, it will often be described as a gum resin, resin, or an oleo-resin. Because each of these words has different meanings, I conducted my own simple experiment in determining the solubility of Elemi, in water (to see if it was a gum), in alcohol (to determine how quickly it might dissolve), and in oil (to see if it could be described as an oleo-resin). It was a revelation.

            The solubility of Elemi is Soluble in 0.5 to 5 vol. of 90% alcohol; and usually soluble in 5-10 vol. of 80% alcohol. It is about 30-50% soluble in oil and, by my own experiment, NOT soluble in water; thus, it is an oleo-resin and not a gum resin.   

SOLUBILITY in 3 mediums

photo of Elemi solubility in 3 mediums; neutral grape spirits, sunflower/jojoba oil, and distilled water.

5/27/18 At 9:30 A.M.
Day 1. Using 15 ml. Of 95% Neutral Grape Spirits, a combo of Sunflower/Jojoba Oil or distilled Water.
Day 2. Resin is dissolving in alcohol, slightly dissolved in oil, and not dissolving in water.

Day 3. Dissolved in alcohol; 30-50% dissolved in oil; not dissolved in water. [not a gum]

CHEMICAL COMPONENTS ~ A study on the composition of Elemi essential oil from Manila and from the distillation of Elemi resin yielded 39 compounds, with the most abundant being phellandrene or limonene. Limonene for some tests was at 56%, or phellandrene was higher at 25-28%. These components change depending on the terroir and where and when the tree was harvested and distilled. Constituents are limonene and phellandrene with smaller amounts of elemol, elemicin, dipentene, and terpineol.

This oil is clear and light yellow in color and is non-viscous. Its main constituent is phellandrene (25-28%).

            The soft nature of Elemi resin partly results from the quantity of liquid sesquiterpenes. It sometimes crystallizes from the triterpenes and becomes opaque and white.4 The optical rotation of this E.O. and the fresh resin changes if stored in sunlight, and care should be taken to keep either in a dark container. A box will be sufficient for the resin, and for large amounts of the oil, brown glass is best.

INTERESTING INFORMATION AND HISTORY ABOUT ELEMI ~ When Frankincense became too costly and scarce for mass consumption, Elemi quickly became a logical replacement, offering many of the same therapeutic benefits. In Arabic, a translation of Elemi is similar to the saying “as above, so below.” It was revered as an oil of the Gods and, like Frankincense, was used in meditation and prayer. While Frankincense is fruity and herbal, Elemi delivers a fresh, citrus-spicy aroma.

            Artifacts dating from Egypt’s 26th dynasty (664 B.C. and 525 B.C.) have been found at Saqqara that contained a fat-based ointment containing Elemi, a fragrant resin from tropical trees. “Elemi and another resin Dammar have not previously been linked to ancient Egyptian embalming practices and are highly  unexpected.” “Elemi was present in the (embalming) workshop mixtures used to treat the head, liver, and body bandages.”6.

Several bottles of essential oil of Elemi with the resin and a crystal and a shell.


Elemi resin is antibacterial, antifungal, antiseptic, antispasmodic, and rubefacient; it is used in plasters to ease coughing. If used in medicine, Elemi is a potent antiseptic that protects against bacterial and viral infections, fungus, and septic shock. Its resin is soft, odorous and has the texture of honey. It was formerly exported for the European pharmaceutical trade as Manila or Philippine gum Elemi for use as an ointment for healing wounds and as a plaster. The valuable resin, called ‘Pili,’ aka Manila elemi or ‘breabianca,’ is used as an ingredient in manufacturing plastics, printing inks, and perfumes. It is also used by the Spaniards for ship repairs.

            Raw nuts are purgative.  

In skincare, it has been used to rejuvenate and heal wounds topically, as well as reduce the appearance of wrinkles. It is widely used as a fixative in fragrances, soaps, and cosmetics. Elemi may be used as an excellent base note in perfumery, where its inherent complexity is at once earthy and citrusy. During massage and aromatherapy treatments, it can be inhaled to reduce stress-related conditions and bring a feeling of peace and well-being.

Skilled practitioners have incorporated using Elemi to address bronchial and chest congestion due to its expectorant and stimulant properties. A potent antiseptic, Elemi protects against bacterial and viral infections, fungus, and septic shock.

            Elemi, Canarium luzonicum, CO2 wild resin #201, and steam-distilled #217 are both from the resin. Try a bold new step in your skin-nurturing regime; protect and nourish your body with a luxuriously rich combination in a custom skincare line.

Elemi Properties (by IG=ingestion or IN=inhalation or AP=application)

Manila elemi (the resin obtained from the tree) and the essential oil distilled from the resin have a long history of medicinal use. They are considered to be antibacterial, antifungal, antirheumatic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, and rubefacient.

Physical Uses & How Used (I.G. or I.G.). BA.P.Application –  The resin can be melted and used in an ointment for wounds. The resin is applied externally in a salve to arthritic and rheumatic joints, boils, abscesses, furuncles, burns, and sores. It is heated and used on the chest as a poultice to stop severe coughing. The essential oil is an ingredient in a commercial preparation that is a natural anti-louse foaming gel, and this gel also contains Echinacea purpurea.


         SKINCARE ~ ELEMI ~ Canarium luzonicum, the wild resin, is extracted by CO2 extraction and steam distilled for the E.O. It was used by the great Marguerite MAURY, a French biochemist and cosmetics chemist. In the 1950s, she was the first to use essential oils from plants in a new method and by using therapeutic massage. Marguerite Maury believed that Elemi with Galbanum would eventually rejuvenate the complexion and body.

                It is used in products and perfumery. Try it in your skin-nurturing ritual; protect and nourish the skin with a 2% combination of these two ingredients in your night cream and daytime protection cream. In skincare, it has been used to rejuvenate and heal wounds topically, as well as reduce the appearance of wrinkles. It is widely used as a fixative in fragrances, soaps, and cosmetics.

            Make a luxuriously rich combination of these two resins in a combination of Rice Bran oil and Rosehip seed oil to protect and nourish your body and add to your skincare routine. Use this as a luxuriously rich combination in your custom skincare line.

Elemi & Rose Lotion


            By Ingestion – A corn kernel-sized drop of the resin is taken with water and is used in the treatment of fevers and chills.      

            By Inhalation – Skilled practitioners have incorporated the use of Elemi oil by inhalation or in a blend in a diffuser to address bronchial and chest congestion due to its expectorant and stimulant properties.

Emotional/Energetic Uses (AP or IN):

            Inhalation –  The resin burns smoky but with a delightful citrus scent. Inhaled, it stimulates mental and psychic ability, gives spiritual balance, and calms the mind. Elemi resin for the 3rd chakra, the solar plexus, vibrates in yellow, the sound is E, and its scent is citrus-like and helps to balance your fire spirit. The smoke is used by inhalation “to treat the thymus gland.3”    

            Emotional Attributes -cleansing/purifying, strengthening, creativity, meditation, prayer. “On the emotional system, Elemi oil imparts a strengthening, balancing, and centering action, which makes it valuable in meditation. Use it to stimulate mental ability when you suffer from stress, nervous exhaustion, or simply feeling sluggish. Elemi essential oil can be used to help dispel loneliness and create a more positive outlook and encourage hopefulness.”5

• •

USING ELEMI herb, resin, and oil

HERBAL USES ~ One species of Canarium,  Canarium ovatum, the seed is used in the traditional Chinese dessert called ‘mooncakes’,The kernel (seed) is a major ingredient in this famous Chinese festive dessert’. However, kernels from some trees may be bitter, fibrous or have a turpentine odor. Young shoots are used in salads, and the fruit pulp is eaten after it is boiled and seasoned. Boiled Elemi pulp called pili resembles the sweet potato in texture, it is oily (about 12%) and is considered to have food value similar to the Avocado. Pulp oil can be used for cooking. Young shoots from the tree are used in salads, and the fruit pulp is eaten after it is boiled and seasoned.1"
          The tree bark is commonly used for postpartum baths.

Use the essential oils in moderation. Choose to use the herb tea or resin more often.

DIFFUSE/DIFFUSION ~ Elemi is a resin and thus can gum up a diffuser. Suggest trying something else for that lovely citrus scent, like a combination of Lemon-Grapefruit-Orange CP (cold-pressed) in your diffuser. Use Elemi, the resin burned on charcoal, to clear the spirit of your home.

            I always use charcoal to burn resin, which is the way of using holy incense. I do it outside. And see the smoke curl into the air, and smell what is left in the air. It is a sacred thing. Resin is burned because it is fragrant and the “food of the gods” which they inhale. Burning incense is to feed the gods, and it is a meditative process.


BLENDING & PERFUMERY ~ Elemi blends well with Rose and other florals, adding a complex, spicy-citrus note. It contributes a unique freshness to Frankincense, Myrrh, Labdanum, Lavender, Rosemary, and Sage.

         E.O. Perfumery – Elemi E.O. may be used as an excellent base note where its inherent complexity is at once earthy and citrusy. During massage and aromatherapy, it can be inhaled to reduce stress-related conditions and bring a feeling of peace and well-being.

HYDROSOL ~ I have not as yet had the opportunity to try an Elemi leaf, bark, or resin hydrosol.

Key Use: ‘Resin for Skin Rejuvenation’ — M. Maury

Science article: Elemi contains dipentene and elemicine, which are responsible for Elemi being a strong antiseptic, protecting wounds, and being a strong healer. expectorant. https://www.discoverlsp.com/news/chemical-focus.html

1. http://www.worldagroforestry.org/treedb2/speciesprofile.php?Spid=425
2. http://www.albertvieille.com/en/products/55-elemi-essential-oil-philippines.html
3. Rose, Jeanne. The Aromatherapy Book Applications & Inhalations. www.jeannerose.net/books.html
4.Langenheim, Plant Resins
5 .https://www.quinessence.com/blog/elemi-essential-oil
6. Bower, Bruce. Egyptian Mummy Recipes Revealed. Science News. February 25, 2023, p.6

Guenther, Ernest. The Essential Oils. Krieger Publishing Company, Malabar, Florida. 1972 reprint


Mabberley, D.J., Mabberley’s Plant Book, 2008 Third Edition with 2014 updates, Cambridge University Press

Rose, Jeanne. 375 Essential Oils and Hydrosols. http://www.jeannerose.net/books.html


Elemi ~ A corny Jeanne Rose Limerick
Elemi, the resin smells citrus
But always sweetly odiferous
Gooey, it’s true
And so sticky too
But one thing it’s not is cruciferous.

• • •
PATCH TEST ~  If applying a new essential oil to your skin, always perform a patch test on the inner arm (afterE.O.ou have diluted the E.O. in a vegetable carrier oil). —Wash an area of your forearm about the size of a quarter and dry carefully. Apply E.O.iluted drop (1 drop E.O. + 1 drop carrier) to the area. Then apply a loose Band-Aid and wait 24 hours. If there is no reaction, then go ahead and use the oil in your formulas. —The Aromatherapy Book, Applications & Inhalations, p. 64
DISCLAIMER:  This work is intended for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for accurate diagnosis and treatment by a qualified health care professional. Dosages are often not given, as that matters between you and your healthcare provider. The author is neither a chemist nor a medical doctor. The content herein is the product of research and personal and practical experience. Institute of Aromatic & Herbal Studies – Jeanne Rose©

Moderation in All Things.

Be moderate in using essential oils, as they are not environmentally sustainable.
Be selective and more moderate in your usage.
Use the herb first as tea or the infusion. —JeanneRose 2010


Home Perfumery – Part 2 ~ Synopsis ~ How do you make perfume? Here is a plan to work at home and how to begin, how to start, and what supplies you need. Use naturals. Here is what do you need to know.


Read this ~ part 1 …. https://jeannerose-blog.com/home-perfumery/

and Read this ~ & https://jeannerose-blog.com/natural-perfumery/

part 2 Home Perfumery

Showing the work table in the home perfumery room
work table in the perfumery

Use them; use your oils by making blends, perfumes and scents. Always write everything down. Remember the secret word — time —. It takes time for a scent to develop. This means that you make your Bases to make the Accords to make the Notes to make the final perfume. Each step along the way, allow the bases, the accord, the notes, the perfume to develop with time. Be patient. [A base note is a note, it is not the bases.]

    George Askinson was a chemist and had something to say about the blending of perfume materials.
“Cologne water of the most superior and incomparable quality is made by dissolving the essential oils in the alcohols and then distilling it, then adding the rosemary and Neroli to the distillate.”


Perfume bottles, and a ceramic plate
Perfume bottles, ceramic plate, and a pyramid

It is not the number of oils that determines the fineness of a perfume,
but the manner in which certain odors are combined.” … George Askinson, 1865

Describing a well-balanced perfume
WHAT IS A WELL-BALANCED PERFUME? – JeanneRose “Natural Perfumery”


DO: Be selective of where you purchase your essential oils.  The quality of essential oils varies widely from company to company.  Be sure to ask if the essential oils are 100% pure, natural, without carrier oil and not adulterated. See the Source List, Ch. VI of The Aromatherapy Book, Applications & Inhalations.

DO: Pay special attention to all safety information on all essential oils that you use. Again, cross-reference the oils you are using in your textbook The Aromatherapy Book, p. 64, for any cautions the oil may have.   This is even more important if you have a medical condition or are pregnant.

DO:  Write down everything you do when blending.  Keep a notebook handy to jot down notes, ideas and recipes for future reference.  There is nothing more maddening than trying to recreate a blend you are fond of only to have forgotten some of the ingredients.

DO NOT: Do not buy perfume/fragrance/scented oils. They are NOT the same as essential oils from plants. Perfume oils are synthetic, they are made of chemicals; they do not offer the therapeutic benefits of essential oils. If you use aromatherapy simply to enjoy the aroma, essential oils offer therapeutic benefits while synthetic oils may make you sick. Remember, perfume oils do not have any therapeutic benefits.

DO NOT: Do not buy essential oil products with rubber dropper tops. Essential oils are concentrated, volatile and will turn the rubber gummy. Be careful to wipe up any essential oils that spill on any wood or plastic surface. They will stain or remove the finish. Do store your essential oils in glass bottles with orifice reducers or dropper inserts. Store in a cool, dark place, in a box or in the refrigerator.


Storage of Essential Oils

Essential oils do not go rancid, as they do not have any fatty acids. They can oxidize (change their chemistry). To protect your oils, they should be kept protected from the light either in clear glass in a lightproof container or in amber or cobalt blue bottles and away from heat and the sun. The non-science that says only amber bottles is not science, but people crowd sourcing incorrect information. Keep in clear, colorless glass and you can see what you have; and keep these bottles in a box or in a cupboard when not in use.

Blue oils (blue-colored oils) should be stored in the freezer. (Blue Chamomile, Blue Tansy, Blue Sage, Blue Artemis, Roman Chamomile, Yellow Chamomile)

Citrus oils can be stored in the refrigerator. (Orange, Lemon, Grapefruit, Yuzu, Petitgrain, Neroli, Lime, etc.). The waxes that are in these expressed oils may settle out into tiny white bits. This is okay, just filter out those white bits.

Most oils should be stored in a cool, dark place, wine cellar or refrigerator. (Rosemary, Lavender, Marjoram, Thyme, etc.)

Resinous oils may be stored anywhere but not in the cold. (Frankincense, Myrrh, Labdanum, Cistus)



Perfume Breakdown© is developed by Jeanne Rose

A chart showing how a perfume develops in layers like music
Perfume is built in layers like music

the home perfumery table showing textbooks, vocabulary of odor bottles, scent blotters and scents
The Home Perfumery  Table with reference books and essentials

Writing a Formula

NAME OF PERFUME ____________________________  DATE _____________ Your Name ______________

writing a formula
Writing a Formula by JeanneRose


Here is a list of what was covered in one of our previous Natural Botanical Perfumery Classes. We will be able to do as much each year the class is given.


projects that are completed in a class.
PERFUMERY CLASS – Completed Projects in 8-days

Bibliography and Book Resource ~
Arctander, Steffen. Perfume and Flavor Materials of Natural Origin
Calkin, Robert R. and J. Stephan Jellinek. Perfumery Practice and Principles, Wiley Interscience, 1994.
Guenther, Ernest: The Essential Oils, volumes I-VI,  Krieger. 1949.
Mabberley, D. J. The Plant Book
McMahon, Christopher. AROMAtherapy 2037, Fall 97. “Tuberose Treasure”
———. AROMAtherapy 2037, Summer 97. “Extraction of Floral Concretes”
———. AROMAtherapy 2037, Winter 97/98. “Mimosa Harvesting”.
Ohloff, Günther:  Scent and Fragrances, Springer-Verlag 1990. Translated by Pickenhagen and Lawrence
Piesse, G. W. Septimus. The Art of Perfumery.  1867
Rose, Jeanne: 375 Essential Oils and Hydrosols; Frog, Ltd. 1999.
Natural Botanical Perfumery Workbook • 2018
Writing of the Rose, 1998
AROMAtherapy 2037. Winter 1997/98
The Aromatherapy Book, Applications & Inhalations 1996.
—  Herbs & Things, Last Gasp. 2002
—  The World of Aromatherapy, 1996.
Thompson, C. J. S. The Mystery and Lure of Perfume.  Lippincott. 1927.
Wildwood, Christine. Creative Aromatherapy. 1993.
Williams, David G.: The Chemistry of Essential Oils, Micelle Press. 1996.
The Oxford English Dictionary.


picture of the perfumery workbook
Perfumery Workbook

Available from http://www.JeanneRose.net/books.html

Source List ~
Acme Vial


Synopsis ~ How do you make perfume? Here is a plan to work at home and how to begin, how to start, and what supplies you need. Use naturals. Here is what do you need to know.

Sorting Roses for your perfumery


part 1. By Jeanne Rose, 2020

INTRODUCTION ~ So you want to make perfume? You plan to work at home and just don’t know how to begin. How do you start? What supplies will you need? Are you going to use naturals or synthetics? Do you know the difference? What do you need to know?

Home perfumery is gaining widespread popularity all over the world and is gradually moving towards the mainstream. It is especially strong as a niche scent concept in the United States of America. The use of scent as perfume cuts across gender, social, and racial classes, because it is emotional, it is physical, it is social, and it can smell divine. Annual sales of basic ingredients and perfume end products are staggering. An important driver in this upsurge in scent acceptance is due to its status of being thought a natural product with the people thinking it is low toxicity, it really works, it is very accessible, easy to do, prepare and use.

        Since the beginning of recorded history, humans have attempted to mask or enhance their own odor by using perfume, which they hope will emulate nature’s pleasant smells. Many natural and man-made materials have been used to make perfume to apply to the skin and clothing, to put in cleaners and cosmetics, or to scent the air. Because of differences in body chemistry, temperature, and body odors, no perfume will smell exactly the same on any two people. The United States is the world’s largest perfume market with annual sales totaling several billions of dollars.

            This article is about making perfumes with natural, botanical ingredients – only. No synthetics.


Jeanne Rose workspace in the perfumery

Getting to Know Your SPACE – Oils

Space, Supplies-Oils, Preparation, Recall, Focus, Time

SPACE ~ What You Need

If you are making perfumes from natural ingredients at home – you will need to think about your basic space and equipment.

Make a space to do it. It helps to designate a special area set-aside for storing your equipment and blending your perfumes.   It should be a well-ventilated, well-lit area or room.  However, air conditioning is not advised as it takes the scents out of the air. Designate a specific long table or desk as your workspace and demand no one will put any food or objects on it.   There should be shelves or cabinets for storing your essential scents and finished fragrances; ideally, they should be stored in a room where the temperature is about 55° (a wine-type room).  Store your essential oils in glass bottles, I prefer clear glass to be able to examine and look at the colors of the oils, but they should ultimately be kept in a cool, dark storage space.  All oils should be out of direct sunlight or covered in boxes.  Oils/absolutes should not be subjected to changes in temperature.

        The kitchen is not the best place for blending your perfumes, even though it may seem ideal because of access to cabinets, a table, sink, running water and utensils.  And working around an open flame and stove burners can be hazardous as essential oils and alcohol can explode. 


Supplies are important. Make sure you have the scents and the back-up supplies.

SUPPLIES ~ Have the correct supplies and tools at hand for blending to make the process easier and more precise. The following is an idea list of perfumery supplies that you should have at hand:

1-dozen small glass cups (2-inch) or shot-size glasses with measurement on the side
Adhesive labels – small
Air that is fresh for clearing nose; Coffee beans, salt or piece of wool may work but are NOT necessary.
Alcohol for cleaning droppers or vials; use cheap isopropyl EtOH; then rinse with clear water and dry, Alcohol for rinsing, a quick Grape spirit rinse using scent-free alcohol. www.organicalcohol.com
Alcohol for dilution — cane, corn, pear, wheat or grape depending on the odor being diluted.
Apron or Lab coat to wear over your clothing and shoes that cover your feet for protection.
Bags – small to medium to large plastic Ziploc bags
Beakers for measuring from 5 ml to 150 ml
BooksThe Aromatherapy Book, Application & Inhalation; 375 Essential Oils & Hydrosols; Natural Botanical 
Perfumery Workbook, by Jeanne Rose to give you the basic information on the essential oils & absolutes.
Bottles and Vials – you will need a varied selection of clear, colorless bottles and vials, particularly the
½-dram, 1-dram, 2 -dram, 4-dram vials from Acme Vial in California. Also get the orifice reducers.
Bowl – small (I prefer thin glass bowls on the smaller size)
Clock with a second hand or a timer
Cotton balls – get the larger size or the flat cotton discs
Dishwashing detergent
Glass vials or bottles (various sizes) – see above
Labels – small ones. Label everything with contents, your name and the full date (include the year).
Measuring spoons or ear scoops (wooden or metal spoons to scoop out earwax, but you use for concrètes)
Pen and notebook or pad for writing down everything that you do.
Pencil/s – Pencils are needed to write labels as essential oils can dissolve ink or ball point markings.
Pipettes or droppers (plastic or glass). Find and use the ones that you prefer.
Scale, digital – to measure weight precisely to 0.005
Scent blotters
Scissors, sharp of a small size
Stirrers, glass works well or glass drink stirrers.
Towels, both paper and cotton
Vocabulary of Odor Kit© – to be able to describe odors. You will want to start with the

          “Basic 7 Vocabulary of Odor Kit©” and then graduate to the full

         Advanced 28 Vocabulary of Odor Kit©”. Available only from JeanneRose.com

Water or bowl of water


Alcohol, Neutral grape and grain spirits (for making perfumes, colognes, splashes)

Bases (make and keep as many as you want, label them fully with the ingredients)

Carrier oils (for alcohol -free perfumes)

Distilled water (for making splashes)

Alphabetical – Keep your products/oils/bases/accords in alphabetical order or by style you prefer.


Scent blotters

What Oils/Absolutes Should you have to START?
This Is A Simple Supply List to Start With…

1.Bergamot, I prefer the whole Bergamot not the bergaptene-free. – SD
2.Cardamom – SD
3.Cedarwood, Atlas – SD
4, Champaca CO2 or Osmanthus CO2
5.Clary Sage, Russia – SD
6.Cocoa Abs
7.Frankincense CO2, India
8.Geranium Abs (Pelargonium x asperum) Egypt or SD Pelargonium graveolens from Madagascar
9.Grapefruit, CP, Pink or white
10.Jasmine Abs, India
11.Lavender Abs or high-altitude SD Lavender
12.Neroli Extra, – SD
13.Labdanum Abs (diluted 50/50)
14.Orange, Wild or another citrus – SD                                                                   
15.Patchouli, Dark is best. Lighter color Patchouli has less scent. – SD
16.Petitgrain Abs
17.Rose Abs, Morocco
18.Spikenard, Green or Vetivert – SD
19.Vanilla Abs (you may need to do a 50/50 dilution on this one)
20.Ylang Ylang Complete, Fine – SD

ABS = absolute; CD = cold-pressed; CO2 = cold-pressed; SD = steam distilled
These 20 are good to start with but there are hundreds more that you can add. I prefer to use only pure and natural plant matter; the best that is available. I buy by quality and not by price and recommend you do the same. Mail-order. www.primafleur.com and www.edenbotanicals.com are my go-to and recommended places.

Essential oils come in many beautiful colors

The above are the oils that are available to use in the JeanneRose Natural Botanical Perfumery class. You may choose to have all or only some of these in your perfumes.  This is an expensive undertaking so choose well. It may be best to dilute all your oils/absolutes to 50•50 with95% neutral grape spirits. That way you can blend and then at the end after your perfume has aged, just add an equal amount of the 95% neutral spirit to have a 25% blend of your perfume. Just right for application or can be further diluted to 10 or even 15% with the addition of more alcohol. Always age your perfume before making the decision. You can always dilute but you cannot make it stronger.

Have paper towels handy.  You will need scent blotters, pipettes, a pen, pencil and your notebook.  Do not wear any scent on your body and tie your hair back. Dress appropriately as if you were in a lab setting with your arms and shoulders and feet covered (against harmful lab spills).

Train the Memory by Developing the Limbic System through Smell


Know your oils/absolutes/concretes by their name, smell and intensity.
Throughout Steps 1 Through 6, Take Notes.


Step 1. Less is More. To get the full spectrum of odor you may wish to dilute everything to 50•50 with the appropriate type alcohol.

Step 2. Before you start to blend, you will want to get to know your library of scents.  Learn the Basic 7 Vocabulary of Odor© and the Advanced Circular 28 Vocabulary of Odor©. Read and memorize Chapter 3 of 375 Essential Oils and Hydrosols called “Essential Oils are More Than Stinky”. This will tell you how to use the Advanced Circular Vocabulary of Odor©. You will need the “Advanced 28 Vocabulary of Odor Kit©” to properly do this and of course, natural odors to work with. (Use the chart)

  To do this you will need your scent blotters/fragrance strips.  Start with up to 5 oils.    Write the name of the oil on the scent blotter.  Also, write the time you used the scent blotter/strip and the date.  Put one drop of oil on the strip with its name on it (or dip your strip 2 ml into your selected oil).  Smell the strip briefly and note the fragrance.  Imagine it as a color.  Imagine it has a personality.   Record your impressions on the chart. If you did not know the fragrance name, what would you call this fragrance?  Sniff it again with your eyes closed.  Do you smell or see anything different?  Write this down in your notebook and note it on your Vocabulary of Odor© chart. Now put the strip away, label, and give you nose a chance to recover.  Repeat for each scent/fragrance you examine.  Describe them in words by your classification; by their Volatility, Strength, and Intensity. >See below<


You’ll want to do this exercise in stages.  No more than 4-5 individual oils at a time.  Save your other oils for later in the day, or the next day. 

Step 3:  After 30 minutes, go back to each scent.  Smell.  Are there other notes in the fragrance that you recognize?  Record your impressions and any changes that you notice.

Step 4.  Go back to your original 5 strips.     Cover the names and pick one.  Smell.  Do you recognize the fragrance?  Repeat this with the other 4 scents.  Familiarize yourself with your fragrances this way, until you can recognize each scent by name without looking at its bottle. “By their scent you will know them” …Jeanne Rose 1979

Step 5:  Two hours later, go back to each strip.  Pick one and smell.  How has it changed?

Step 6:  The next day, go back to each strip.  Pick one and smell.  Has it changed?  How has it changed?

You are learning the effect of dry down on each scent and how it may operate in your finished perfume.

Step 7: Let your scents rest, if making a blend, let the take time to integrate and to become a perfume. This does not happen in the moments that it takes to mix a drop of this or a drop of that.

TIME ~ It takes time to make a good perfume.

As George Askinson said, “It is not the number of oils that determines the fineness of a perfume, but the manner in which certain odors are combined”

. …Perfumes and Cosmetics — Their Preparation and Manufacture
By George W. Askinson, Dr. Chem.1865


The Entrance to Laurie Stern magical home perfumery – photo by JeanneRose

The Entrance to Laurie Stern magical home perfumery – photo by JeanneRose