Free Educational Resources

Learning & Culture

Browse The Parfum Apothecary's continually updated educational resource page. Here you will find articles on aroma culture & the history of perfume; the properties of aromatic ingredients, real historical recipes and meditations on all things smell.

The Parfum Apothecary 'Glossary' is your resource for understanding the language of perfume, while How-To articles help you to get the most out of your aromatic goods.

Glossary: A Lexicon of Scent

What are notes, accords and undertones? What makes a perfume 'natural', and what exactly are chemicals? What's the difference between an essential oil and an absolute?

Find out using this glossary resource for perfumery terms. An alphabetised collection of the most essential words and phrases in the culture of perfumery.


Smelling History

Formulas, recipes and manufacturing techniques for perfume, cosmetics, incense, DIY beauty, and more, from some of the most important literary works in the evolution of perfume craft.

You will find extracts from The Toilet of Flora, works by G. W. Septimus PiesseFelix ColaJean-Louis Fargeon, and recipes from the ancient world.



Stories of our shared scent experiences, covering the importance of fragrance in our traditions, psychology and history.



Helpful articles on how you to get the most out of the products you can purchase here or elsewhere.


Ingredient in the Spotlight

Each article in the Ingredient in the Spotlight series explores the history, properties and uses of the most important perfumery ingredients.


Featured post

'Macassar Oil.' & Other Perfumed Hair Oils for Men by Hippolyte Etienne Dussauce, 1868

By Alex Latos

One of these hair oils was 'Macassar Oil', a compounded oil popularised by celebrated London barber, Alexander Rowland. In 1793, it became one of the first nationally advertised products, boasting extravagant claims...

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The Origins of Hungary Water with Recipes

Hungary water, sometimes called "the Queen of Hungary's Water", Eau de la Reine de Hongary or "spirits of rosemary”, was one of the first alcohol-based perfumes in Europe. Its exact...

Ingredient in the Spotlight: Frankincense

 Frankincense is used extensively in perfumes and incense, and is the odoriferous body of which is most frequently mentioned as holy incense. The ancient Egyptians used it in their religious...

Ingredient In The Spotlight: Rose

Anyone who has ever inhaled the fragrance of rose can attest to its intensely narcotic aura. It induces a sense of receptivity & surrender, almost like being ravished. After breathing...

Ingredient in the Spotlight: Tea Tree

The Bundjalung nation has a legend of the beautiful Princess Eelamani who had to travel through the bushland of coastal New South Wales. The journey was perilous, so she asked...

Ingredient in the Spotlight: Peru Balsam

Peru balsam has a stunning sweet and smokey scent, reminiscent of vanilla with a calming and comforting quality. It has a unique nature to be gentle while simultaneously softly enveloping with a pronounced...

Grasse Part II: The Exceptional Flowers

The exceptional quality of the perfumed plants grown here is due to the advantageous geographic situation of Grasse, which enjoys a specific microclimate, quality of soil, and altitude, all perfect...

Grasse Part I: A Tale of Two Perfumers

That place is Grasse, the perfume capital of the world. Within the edges of this unassuming, mediaeval town are innumerable perfume shops. Some grand, such as Fragonard and Molinard, whose...

'Liquid Gold': Hanukkah & Olive Oil

Tomorrow, my Jewish friends begin celebrating Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, and the Miracle of the cruse of oil. This story and the traditions it spawned illustrates the the central role...

Divine Fragrance

Fragrance is endowed with meaning and can reveal inner truths about people, places and objects. The concept of aroma's "intrinsic 'essences'" has had a profound impact and importance upon religious practice...

Oil Perfume Secrets

Oil Perfumes have been used for thousands of years, but the 20th century perfume landscape has been dominated by alcohol-based fragrances. With the rising popularity of face and hair oils...


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