Learn the scientific foundations of perfumery and become extremely better in short time - books to read and learn from


Focus your thoughts, & wonders will appear
Basenotes Plus
Sep 18, 2022
Heeeeey everyone,
I was planing to be bigger man and not come back here, but then I said that wouldn’t be fun, and it’s not like me not to have fun 😈
and now that my work is slowing down, said why not come and have a little more of that fun with certain people! Muwahahahha 😈😈😈
let the games begins 😂

here are some books with some extremely useful information, that will help anyone understand and learn perfumery in such a fast manner,
Read well, and enjoy the benefit, I’ll post some more and more and more, 😈😁 oh yes

1 - the formulation and preparation of cosmetics fragrances and flavor - Louis appell (this one very Important to read)

2 - perfume the alchemy of scent - Jean-Claude Ellena

3 - perfumes the A-Z guide - Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez

4 - a guide to Perfume production - selection of vintage articles on the methods of perfumery

5 - odorograpgia - John Charles sawer

6 - the perfume companion - Sarah M‘cartney and Samantha scriven

7 - fragrant the secret life of scent - Mandy aftel

8 - a practical treatise on the manufacture of perfumery - carl deite

9 - formulary of perfumes and cosmetics - Rene Maurice gattefosse

10 - working the bench II (2) - Justine crane

11 - an introduction to perfumery (second edition) - tony Curtis and David G. Williams

12 - the science and art of perfumery - Edward sagarin

13 - perfume and flavor materials of natural origin - Stefan arctander

14 - the art of perfumery and methods of obtaining the odors of plants- G.W. Septimus piesse

15 - the secret of scent - Luca Turin

16 - scent and chemistry the molecular world of odors - Gunther ohloff , wilhelm pickenhagen , Philip Kraft and Fanny Grau

17 - the complete technology book on herbal perfumes and cosmetics - npcs

18 - the chemistry of fragrance - Charles S sell

Update 1: additional books as recommended by @RomanB (very interesting)

19 - https://libgen.li/edition.php?id=136920831 (Handbook of the Entire Perfumery and Cosmetics)

20 - https://libgen.li/edition.php?id=136844036 (The Modern Perfumery)

21 - https://libgen.li/edition.php?id=3676672 (865 fragrances for perfumes and household chemicals)

22 - https://libgen.li/edition.php?id=3654429 (Fragrances and other products for perfumery)

23 - https://libgen.li/edition.php?id=3578368 (Textbooks and teaching aids for technical schools)

Update 2: additional books as recommended by @pkiler

24- Handbook of Perfumes and Flavors, Olindo Secondini, published by East West Press, New Delhi, reprint 2003

Has some 40 pages of relatively short perfumery formulas, 6-8/page, and 110 pages of flavor formulas 6-8/page, plus a lot of discussion of raw materials.

25- Perfumery Technology: Art, Science Industry, by Wells and Billot, reprinted 1988, Ellis Horwood, London.

Very good, has formulas, a very good book.

26- Flower Oils and Floral Compounds in Perfumery, by Danute Anonis, which includes the fuller versions of some P&F articles, plus a lot more, includes a lot of formulas, but the book itself is fairly unobtainium, except that the crook Leonard Payne has republished a very poor quality version that is available now at $175/book. But since the book was essential unavailable, Leonard has stepped in and gets money for this poor quality repro/pirate edition, so that he can buy wine for himself. Otherwise, original content is an Excellent book.

27- Perfumes, Art, Science and Technology, by Muller and Lamparsky. Elsevier, 1991

This is a higher level and a technical book, which includes synthesizing and chemistry work for aroma materials, excellent and intense book.

I see many affordable copies available right now, so I'm not sure why I resorted to copying the entire book and binding those copied pages, maybe at the time I looked it was difficult or expensive to procure...?

I also find the Roman Kaiser books enormously helpful when trying to construct some florals. His encyclopedic floral GCMS headspace analyses books are nothing short of amazing... They are the Motherload of Floral GCMS Headspace libraries.

These are:

28- Meaningful Scents Around the World

Scent of the Vanishing Flora

The Scent of Orchids

And you should also pay attention to his magazine articles as well.

The last I will mention is the motherload of Fruits GCMS results, especially Japanese fruits, as it is published by the Japan Flavor and Fragrance Association, and I freely admit rather difficult to acquire, albeit not at all expensive.

29- Perfume Quarterly, Japan, Special Issue - Fragrances of Fruits by GCMS, Winter 2014, But the entire title, and 99% of the text but for the molecular names, is all in Japanese. This tome will be extremely difficult to find and acquire. And then you must translate anything that you really want to read, as well. And live on your phone translation software doesn't seem to be doing a terrific job, so absorbing, reading, and using the book is quite time consuming. It is just a very thick magazine, really, so I had mine library bound so that it would last for my lifetime.

PK additional reference: A last word on the India published books, with titles that include the words like Modern Technology, Complete Technology, Etc, and published by NIIR, and other sources are extremely reasonable $ to purchase when buying from India, buying outside of India they are pretty expensive. They all seem to be republished /stolen / conglomerated from other older books, (One is just a copy of Poucher's 9th Edition...) so the info is outdated. But the price is cheap, if you want to have one or two in your library.


I look forward to the very interesting replies which will come, Im sure 🤣🤣🤣😈😈😈


Community Manager
Staff member
Basenotes Plus
Mar 4, 2007
I think the list is fine and helpful, but of course, if someone disagrees constructively to titles that is perfectly fine and should not be seen as a personal attack.

Constructively is the word of the day.


Focus your thoughts, & wonders will appear
Basenotes Plus
Sep 18, 2022
I think the list is fine and helpful, but of course, if someone disagrees constructively to titles that is perfectly fine and should not be seen as a personal attack.

Constructively is the word of the day.
Constructively takes all the fun away! It’s nice to humor the drama sometimes! like a reality show, or forum show! 😂 brings more viewers!
But whats right is So and we can’t argue that! constructively it Is then!

Im glad you do find the list helpful, it is! Isn’t it 💪 hope it will be of some help for all who needs it!
Ill put out more reference’s once I finish reading it.. constructively 😅👍

Cheers 🍻


Focus your thoughts, & wonders will appear
Basenotes Plus
Sep 18, 2022
Pro-Tip: (pro from books)
sometimes and most times is better to build a formula on a Skelton of category, meaning:

- is really hard for beginners and intermediate to properly build a fragrance that is attractive as the commercial or niche ones you find on the market solely by experimenting with materials only!
but, if you choose your theme to be built on top of an existing category like examples of cypher or Fougere, either by building those accords or having one ready, to be overlayed with your desired theme, can produce amazing results!

Experimenting only by materials can be hard, and takes a really masterful perfumer over years of experience

this can help by boosting your sense of accomplishment, and gives you results which you created and will help you strive for more!
Formulating with poor or mediocre results can leave a heavy feeling on your overall desire slowly and surely, hence, this method can help you gain experience with materials and produce good perfumes which you can be proud of!


cheers 🍻
Feb 24, 2023
Thanks for the list! I'm pretty new and don't have much experience with actually making fragrances yet, though I have done some reading.

I also have the tendency to overly consume a lot of content and not feel like improving. So, how are your or anyone's experiences on how learning theories, the chemistry or acquiring books help them improve? What're your journeys in making and learning fragrances/perfumes? Thanks!


Focus your thoughts, & wonders will appear
Basenotes Plus
Sep 18, 2022
Thanks for the list! I'm pretty new and don't have much experience with actually making fragrances yet, though I have done some reading.

I also have the tendency to overly consume a lot of content and not feel like improving. So, how are your or anyone's experiences on how learning theories, the chemistry or acquiring books help them improve? What're your journeys in making and learning fragrances/perfumes? Thanks!
Hello there,
lucky you, your still in the sweet spot of being new, best phase in learning perfumery, this time will carry much emotion and discovery that will unfortunately suck you in the craft towards sort of an obsession 😅 but in a good way!

I want to address several things you mentioned,
You overly consume lots of content and not feel like improving! That seems either you’re not getting the right content, or not really understanding the addressed content, both are normal, but may I ask, have you read any of the books mentioned up!? Start with the first on the list, very Important, covers mainly the overall of perfumery process in detailed and easy manner! Don’t forget, to answer about the contents you were consuming! Is best to know so we can advise accordingly

secondly, experience is sort of a 2 way path, one is similar with everyone and one is special only for you, based on your own personal perspective of how you perceive the materials and how they work.
meaning, the shared experience when you read about the categories of the materials, intent of use, preferences of dosage, effects, etc.. those normally are general guidelines, but due to the immense possibilities of outcomes when mixing materials, it’s never written in stone so said, but have a character to be developed based on your preference and to work with those materials.

the path of this experience knowledge gains is the same, you can read about the general materials outlines as explained above, and then you have to start to experiment yourself and take notes and develop your own reference with those materials!
remember something supper important, perfume creation depends heavily on you being organized, it’s crucial , taking notes overtime and developing reference which you can easily access every time you work is vital! Either excel sheets or perfumery programs will do the trick!

perfumery is not a fast learning craft! Even if you are born a genius, or consume lots of content like myself, you can’t beat one factor here, which is time versus learning!

you can make this phase shorter or longer based on how organized you are, and reading here on the best practices of materials, and building your own references by creating mini formulas to complex ones.
in simple words, you need to raise your expectations that this craft is one of long time ahead and needs lots of experimenting to become good!

is not like painting, or singing, were you can throw anything and call it art or abstract art, this is something relating to an olfactory system shared with all humans, and 95% of them are within the same acceptance range, so if you try to abstract a perfume it won’t go well with people!

reading formulas and trying them yourself can be helpful, but, don’t fall in trap of counting on that, it will destroy your actual learning process, you need to try materials by yourself

learn a bit of history of perfumery, key figures in the business, best practices, and categories like cypher or Fougere or floral etc, and the most Important accords, understand this perfumery in a whole rather than just creating formulas,
why you need to learn this, you just do, you’ll thank me later

understand that perfumery is secretive business but at the same time quite easy to practice it, so, dont get intimated of those things, or different materials, you don’t even need to learn the chemistry, you can be a great perfumer In time if you keep practicing with the materials, and learn the minimum basics.

Minimum basics:
- perfumers alcohol is ethyl alcohol or ethanol, you can buy it at 99.99% or 96% or 94% but don’t go bellow 94% (the remaining is distilled water done at the lab)
- don’t add water to your alcohol, keep the ethanol (SD40) or ethanol pure 99.99% or 96%/95%/94% as it is! Not your Job to add water
- there are few sites that really sells proper perfumery materials, anything else is fake and don’t buy and the list of suppliers is here at the wiki pages
- dont read books and content made by so called perfumers when they are actually not, the list above is a good list to start with, basically any book or content that tells you use vodka, and jojoba oil and water is wrong
- work with electronic scale, not drops, because drops have different weights per materials, light materials have lighter drop weight than thick materials / hence, you need a reliable scaling to reference for future, best is work with electrons scale, which can take 0.001 but to start with 0.01 is good, but my advice, don’t start except with a 0.001 scale, and make sure that the scale can take 250gm and above, because most of them are 100gm and that will hurt your scaling during larger batches so it should be minimum of 250.000 gram accuracy
- label your materials and keep them in cool place bellow 23 degrees
- dilute your materials to be able to work with larger trials and better mixing process, if possible, dilute always with DPG rather than alcohol, but alcohol ethanol works, some materials requires IPM or TEC dilution but those are few, and normally they come from supplier pre-diluted
- buy glass bottles without dropper, instead use airtight caps, and use disposable pipettes for your work and try to wear gloves
- before buying materials, research it here on the forum or from the books above to better understand why you need to buy, theres in the wiki threads one about best 100 materials, Start there. with 100 materials you will have creations possibilities within billions so that’s a good start
- set realistic expectations, you won’t create something worth selling before some years, it’s a complex but extremely fun craft to learn, dont pre-disappoint yourself into thinking you can create the best new fragrance before some years! Not you only, everyone, this is a craft of experience and experience needs time and effort.
- ask questions here on this forum about things which are not clear, people will help you, don’t be shy!
- when you create and assemble a formula, you call it juice or formula or whatever oils, you need to leave it to mature minimum a month, more is better, in dry place with no light at 25 to 28 degrees and then after you add the alcohol and let it simmer for minimum of another 15 days but at low temperatures of 1 to 5 degrees

what else 🤔 what else 🤔
it’s an expensive hobby so be ready, 😅
ah, taking an existing formula and changing it a bit is not perfumery, is plain stealing, and counter productive to learn
you will realize soon enough by yourself that formulas are the last thing one should search for, rather, experience and why the formula was assembled in that way! That’s where you learn

if any of the books seemed complex to you, highlight what is that you dont understand and we will help you here to best of our capacity

this is a self learning craft, you don’t need mentors or classes or what ever, you need to set up a place for your work, organize yourself, read a bit, ask a bit and experiment a lot.

you need to learn about the ifra regulations which tells you how much you can use of each material at the final product like a 100ml perfume as example


if I remember anything else I’ll write it

hope this will be helpful

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