All-Natural Perfume Making by Kristen Schuhmann is a very complete guide, starting with a run down on the difference between oils, water and absolutes, the material needed for perfume making, the existing essential oils and their attributes, the basics of head note. Middle note and base note, how to make an alcohol based perfume, an oil based perfume and a solid perfume, how to make herbal extracts with cuttings from your own garden and flower water and oils and many other useful little things. And of course a good douzen precise recipes for either specific goal, or a specific preference such as floral or citrus. But the book really encourages people to try their own hand at inventing a unique scent, with good guidance of course. I might have liked a few more recipes, but this is only meant to be a beginning guide, so I’m being picky.
The pictures are truly lovely and there is a very calming feeling to the book overall. The author is very much into aromatherapy and energy, which isn’t my thing, there is a whole chapter on scents linked to chakra points which I admit skipping, but that takes away nothing from the usefulness of the rest of the book. The explanations are very clear and simple, this is very much aimed at beginners and home hobbyists and that is exactly where I stand, so the book was perfect for me. If you know anything about making perfume then it’s probably not the right book for you, but I think many people will be happy to discover how easy and accessible the art of perfume making is with things that we have at home.