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Build Your Own Holder
for Perfume Test Blotters

clip holder
Holder for perfume test blotters built from 2X6 lumber.

When working with a number of perfume smelling test strips, there is always the issue of what to do with them between your smelling intervals. You need some kind of a clip to hold the test strip and then some kind of holder to hold the clip. These instructions provide one simple solution.

For me, the problem first arose while working at our summer home. I had plenty of test strips and wanted to work up some ideas for a new perfume. I needed some sort of clips to hold my test strips and then a holder to hold the clips.

My solution (one of many possible solutions!) was spring loaded clothes pins and 2x4 lumber with holes drilled to hold the clothes pins. While this sounds privative, it has proven to be an excellent solution, both practical and cost effective. Here's how it goes:

Step 1: Spring loaded clothes pins

Clothes pins like this one make excellent holders for perfume test strips. This clothes pin is 2-3/5" long and 5/8" wide at the bottom.

Spring loaded clothes pins come in a variety of sizes. I found two sizes around the house. The smaller size was more practical as they would fit into a 3/4 inch diameter hole. The ones I used measured 2-3/4 inches in length and were 5/8 inches wide at the bottom.

Clothes pins are inexpensive and spring loaded wooden clothes pins can be purchased at almost any supermarket, hardware store, dollar store, general store, or convenience store.

You'll need one clothes pin for each of the hole you'll be drilling, probably seven in all, but it doesn't hurt to keep a dozen clothes pins handy.

Found on a sandy beach, this 20" piece of 2x6 lumber was a perfect size for making a perfume test strip holder.

Step 2: 2x4 lumber

Width and depth are important. A standard 2x4 is about 1-3/4 inches wide. This is a minimum width for this project. Your actual need for depth will also be 2 inches so you might get by with 2x2 lumber but you'll find that the extra height of the 2x4 gives you a more elegant solution.

Length is optional and depends on the layout of your work space. In the photo below you'll see two blocks on my desk — one 18 inches long and the other, a 2x6 20 inches long. Beyond 20 inches, the length could be awkward. For me. eighteen to 20 inches is close to ideal and gives me room to drill seven holes for my clothes pins.

Click on image to enlarge

After drawing a line down the center of the 2" side of the board, marks to indicate where holes should be drilled were made at 3" intervals, starting 1" from the left end.

Step 3: Marking your holes

After cutting your 2x4 to length (18-20 inches), draw a line (with a pencil) down the center of the 2 inch side. On this line, starting at one inch from an end, mark off 3 inch intervals. This is where you'll be drilling your holes.

Step 4: Drill your holes

Click on image to enlarge
forestner bit

A forestner bit like this one will give you a clean hole, even with a hand drill.

Measure the widest distance at the base of your clothes pins. The diameter of your holes must be slightly larger. You want the clothes pins to fit snug inside the holes but you don't want to have to force them into the holes. In my case, with the 5/8" width at the bottom of the clothes pins, I drilled 3/4" holes.

Click on image to enlarge

For this project, an electric drill with 3/4" forestner bit was used to drill seven holes.

Drill a hole about 1 inch deep at each intersection you marked off. If you are lucky enough to have a drill press, use it. If you don't have a drill press but have a plug-in electric drill, use it in preference to a cordless drill (it has more power.) If necessary, use your cordless drill. (It may require several recharges to finish the job.)

Click on image to enlarge
pins fit holes

By drilling 1" holes, the clothes pin could fit into the hole so that the bottom of the spring clip was level with the top of the block.

The preferred drill bit for this job is a "forestner" bit. It will give your holes smother sides and a flat bottom. However, with a steady hand and patience, any bit of the correct size that fits your drill will work.

Step 4: Sand your 2x4

After drilling your holes, sand your block. Electric sanders are faster but you can sand by hand. Try medium grit sandpaper. The block shown here was picked off a beach and had been well sanded by the tides, waves and beach sand before I salvaged it.

Step 5: Fit your clothes pins to your holes

Your clothes pins should drop down into the holes you drilled so that the bottom of the spring is level with the top of the block.

Step 6: Positioning you clothes pins

When using the clothes pins with test strips, place them in the holes in the block so that the wide side of the test strip faces you, allowing the test strips to bend forward or backward without touching ones placed in the adjacent holes.

Technical considerations

This solution has its limitations. If you have a sensitive nose, the odor of the wood, faint as it might be, could impact your smelling results.

Wood, both clothes pins and the block, can absorb odors and care should be taken to prevent the wet end of a test strip from contacting either clothes pins or block. You should avoid touching either clothes pins or block if your hands have come into contact with any aroma material.

Do not paint or stain clothes pins or block. Both paints and stains have their aromas which, for you, will be undesirable. Additionally, aroma chemicals used in perfume can act as a solvent for paint and stain, mixing with them it they contact each other. Leave the wood raw.

Final Notes

In the laboratory we use test strip holders of substances that are as odor free as possible and will not react with aroma chemicals should they come into contact with them.

But for the home perfumer, the clothes pins and 2x4s are practical.

The 2x4 (actually it's a pressure treated 2x6) shown in the photos on this page was picked up on Hawk Beach on Cape Sable Island in Nova Scotia, Canada. A large nail was removed. The block was just 20 inches long so I didn't have to saw it to length. I just drilled my holes, dropped in my clothes pins and, in 30 minutes, had a functional test strip holder.

Also read:
Using Perfume Test Blotters: Smelling Techniques.

Memory Cross 200 Perfume and Fragrance Test Strips for Testing fragrances, Essential Oils

Sturdy 17 point cover paper which is 2X as thick as a playing cards so will hold up. This paper is specifically designed to absorb fragrances. Five inch length x 0.5 inches wide and tapered for room to write notes at the top.

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Stainless Steel Funnels for Kitchen,Small Metal Funnels (1.7Inch/ 2.2Inch/ 2.9Inch) No Spilling Food Grade Kitchen Funnels for Essentail Oil, Spices, Flask, Perfume

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Karter Scientific 214T2, 3.3 Boro, Griffin Low Form, Glass Beaker Set - 3 Sizes - 50ml, 100ml, 250ml

3.3 Borosilicate glass, Griffin low form, 3 sizes - 50ml, 100ml, 250ml, Extra large marking spot, ASTM Specification E960, Type I requirements.

SUPERLELE Glass Graduated Cylinder Set 10ml 25ml 50ml 100ml, Thick Glass Beaker Set 50ml 100ml 250ml with 2 Droppers

Package contains: glass cylinders in 4 sizes (10/25/50/100ml), glass beakers in 3 sizes (50/100/250ml), and 2 glass droppers.
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Perfume and Flavor Materials of Natural Origin

Steffen Arctander's Perfume and Flavor Materials of Natural Origin was first published in 1960 and is the classic, authoritative reference for natural products used in perfumes, scents, flavorings, foods, and medicine throughout the world. Part One defines and describes processing methods used to extract or refine the products into usable form; Part Two includes more than 500 monographs on the natural raw materials used to produce perfumes, flavorings, etc. Appendices include a classification of important materials by their scent, and worldwide production figures for major products. Fully indexed, the book also includes 62 pages of photographs, making this the standard reference work on natural materials for perfumers and flavor chemists. The preface contains practical descriptions of available materials, their origin, production and processing methods, appearance, odor and flavor type with brief notes on their main constituents, replacements and common adulterants.

Creating Your Own Perfume With A 1700 Percent Markup! (3rd edition)

Perfume is famous for the markup it can achieve, even for a middle market fragrance. While "everybody knows" that perfume costs next to nothing to make (not completely true) the making of it is often considered an esoteric secret. "Creating Your Own Perfume With A 1700 Percent Markup!" details how a 3-person company with no experience created their own fragrance in response to a marketing opportunity that was too good to pass up. The book explains exactly what was done to create a fragrance for that opportunity but it is far more than a history of the author's project. "Creating Your Own Perfume With A 1700 Percent Markup!" lays out every step in the process of creating your own perfume, either as a do-it-yourself project – and without the benefit of automated equipment some compromises and workarounds are required – or full bore professional production under your supervision. Either way you will be producing a quality fragrance at a remarkably low cost. Do you have a marketing opportunity that would be wildly profitable if only you could obtain your fragrance at a ridiculously low cost? "Creating Your Own Perfume With A 1700 Percent Markup!" is the guide you need to do it.

Naming Your Perfume And Protecting Your Name

A really great name, a special name that is just right for a particular perfume or perfume marketer (or entrepreneur with money to invest!) can be worth a ton of money. But few individuals with great ideas ever manage to cash in on those brilliant ideas. Instead they wait while others "discover" their idea, acquire legal rights to it and make all the money while they are left out in the cold without a penny having been earned for what was once THEIR idea.

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Never had an idea for a product name? Never thought much about perfume? "Naming Your Perfume And Protecting Your Name" may stimulate your interest in a whole new game that, when played well, can make you lots of money without your having to leave the comfort of your home office.

How To Launch Your Own Perfume Company: A Simple Business Plan

You can build a perfume business of your own using this business plan as a guide. By following its detailed strategy you learn to identify motivated groups of potential perfume buyers. Members of these groups are near the tipping point of desire for a new perfume. You don't know these people and they don't know you but you know a marketer they trust, one who does not currently sell perfume and might never think of selling perfume were it not for your approach. Here is where you step in with a professional plan, promotion, and perfume to take advantage of this ripe opportunity for mutual profit. Before your first promotion has peaked, you will already be developing a relationship with your next marketing partner. Following this plan, you will gain more and more profit with each new marketing partnership.

Creating your own perfume from dropper bottles: Methods, mechanics, and mathematics

Now when you make your own perfume you can make it fully "commercial" meaning you will be creating a product ready for regular, continuous sales to friends, relatives, and the public! If the fragrance you've made has already won praise, why not share it with others? Some might pay you for it and want it for their web stores or retail boutiques! Creating your own perfume from dropper bottles: Methods, mechanics, and mathematics guides you through steps that can turn your hobby project into a perfume business. Discover how close you are now and how little more you must do to take what you made with essential oils and dropper bottles into a business of your own! For an introduction to this book, watch this video.

How To Create A More Valuable Name For Your Perfume

When you name a perfume you create a valuable asset – the name itself. To sell your perfume you want the most effective name possible. But a good name can have value beyond the edge it gives your sales. In naming your fragrance you are creating a trademark and a trademark can have value independent of the product. The value of that trademark can vary. Much depends on how well, in naming your perfume, you follow the trademark "rules." How To Create A More Valuable Name For Your Perfume first helps you develop a name that will be effective in selling your perfume. It then prods you to make use of certain techniques that can turn a good name into a great trademark, strong and valuable. If you have questions about how to protect a name, How To Create A More Valuable Name For Your Perfume will answer many such as:

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