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The Perfumer's Workbook®
Tools, Features, Opportunities

Inside The Perfumer's Workbook®
The Database
Part 2: Aroma Material Descriptions, View 1

The Perfumer's Workbook fragrance creation software was developed by perfumer Stephen V. Dowthwaite, founder of PerfumersWorld and is included as part of the PerfumersWorld Foundation Course or can be purchased separately for instant download.
Also available: The Perfumer's Workbook Professional Edition, starting at $5,000. Installation and on-site training available. Inquire.

The capabilities of The Perfumer's Workbook to generate useful perfume making assistance lie in the information attached to each aroma material in the database. While descriptive information is pre-installed, you, the user, can (and in some instances must) make modifications based on your own experiences with each particular raw material.

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aroma description, view 1
Aroma Description, View 1

Information on the highlighted aroma material is displayed on the right side of the screen. The screen shot shown here displays the first section of the left side of The Perfumer's Workbook before you begin to scroll down the screen. You'll notice, when looking at the next three views, that the right side of the screen remains the same until you select a different aroma material to explore.

View 1

At the top of the screen on the right hand side, you see the name of the material being displayed. Note in View 1 that "Aldehyde C-10, decanal" at the top of the screen at the right matches the highlighted "Aldehyde C-10, decanal" line mid screen on the left, and at the top of the left hand side.

Following the descriptive line on the right side, you find a line for the materials reference code, either yours or the vendor's ("Stock-Reference"). This can be edited to suit your needs. Also you see a line for price which is useful to keep current for those materials you make use of. While the system is designed to use "price in grams," you can substitute "price per kilo" or "price per pound", but you must use the same system for all aroma materials or The Perfumer's Workbook will not produce accurate price calculations for the formulas you develop.


Under the "Synonyms" line you will see alternate names for the aroma material you are viewing. Perfumery raw materials generally can be referred to by a number of different names. For the chemist, standard names can be quite complicated (for the rest of us) as they identify a material by its molecular structure. Most older formulas use common names for perfumery materials. "Synonyms" helps you cross check a material you are using with, perhaps, someone else's formula which refers to the same material by a different name.

Odour (Odor)

Here you will find the "Relative-Odour-Impact" and "Odour-life-in-hours". Impact is given as a multiple of a standard material, Linalool, which is arbitrarily given an odor impact of 100. Materials with an odor impact (what hits you in the nose when you first smell it!) stronger than Linalool have higher numbers; materials with less of an immediate impact on the nose have numbers lower than 100. Base notes tend to have low odor impact while the odor impact of top notes can be quite high.

"Life in hours" refers to the length of time during which the human nose can detect the material's scent on a test blotter. If you don't agree with the time given in the database you can change it as you feel necessary. Also, when adding materials of your own, you can calculate and use your own numbers for both odor impact and odor life.


There are several lines here in which you can add and modify data. Perhaps the most important, for those who use the PerfumersWorld system of odor classifications, is the ABC's of Perfumery line. If you are familiar with this system (which is important for many of the design features of The Perfumer's Workbook), you will be able to fill in this line for aroma materials you have added on your own. Also, you will find this system and these descriptions very helpful in analyzing, by nose, any perfume or fragranced object you encounter, and for selecting materials for your own fragrances.

Stability Data

Stability data gives you insights into what will happen to this material under various conditions. pH ranges are helpful particularly when developing line extensions from a fine fragrance — soaps, shampoos, body washes, etc. or when developing functional products such as dish washing detergent.

Perfume Use

Here you find common uses in perfumery for the particular aroma material displayed. Additionally you are shown materials which this one blends well with and typical levels of use. (Some modern fragrances wildly exceed these levels for certain materials, basing their entire theme on "overloads". Iso E Super, a mild musk, has at times been given this use.)

View 2

Scroll down to the next screen view.

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Philip Goutell
Lightyears, Inc.