I recently completed the Herbal Academy’s Natural Perfumery Course, and I just had to try out a few of their perfumes once I was through with it! The course has an overabundance of recipes to choose from, so picking just one to try first really wasn’t easy.
In this Herbal Academy Natural Perfumery Course review, I’ll give honest feedback about what I liked. I’ll also share my candid thoughts about what I didn’t like – and how Herbal Academy could improve the course.
Let’s start by listing a brief overview of the course and what you can expect.
Then, we’ll dive right in and discuss one of my favorite parts of the course – the Juniper Joy Perfume!
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- Herbal Academy’s Natural Perfumery Course Review Summary
- Herbal Academy’s Natural Perfumery Course Syllabus
- The Juniper Joy Perfume
- Finding the Ingredients
- Herbal Academy’s Natural Perfumery Course – Here’s What’s Inside
- My Thoughts on the Perfume Making Process
- My Harshest Critique of the Course
- How Herbal Academy Could Improve the Course
- Preview More Herbal Academy Training for Free!
Herbal Academy’s Natural Perfumery Course Review Summary
Please find a quick review of what we thought about the course below.
What We Liked:
- One of the most comprehensive perfume courses online
- The instructors are knowledgeable
- You have six months to finish the course
- Data-rich reference charts and botanical herbal monographs
- Learn how to create and incorporate perfumery into your life
- Excellent value for the money (Education is expensive these days – this course is affordable.)
What We Didn’t Like:
- Some of the ingredients are difficult to find
- Some of the perfume ingredients are pricey
- Some of the recipe measurements aren’t consistent
Many of your favorite herbs can be blended into a wonderful, homemade perfume! Creating your own botanical perfume is a great way to surround yourself with the scents of the plants you love the most.
This course will teach you how to start blending your own perfumes and includes over 20 recipes to get started straight away. Choose to enroll in the online course by itself or upgrade with the gorgeous Fragrance Journal, a perfume-blending notebook with scent strips.
Herbal Academy’s Natural Perfumery Course Syllabus
Before you read my in-depth and candid review, here is the course listing.
Unit 1 – Course Introduction and the History of Perfume
Discover the little-known history of the earliest perfumes! How were they made? And – with what botanical ingredients?
Unit 2 – The Science of Scent
Tap into the world of scent so you can prepare your perfumery formulations! Learn about physiology, chemistry, and anatomy. And how all of this impacts human scent – and wellness.
Unit 3 – Botanical Perfume Composition
Unit 3 picks up with some heavy-hitting perfumery know-how! This unit contains fragrance composition, fragrance families, and also essential oil safety.
Unit 4 – Perfumery Recipes and Techniques
Lesson four contains the bulk of the perfume recipes, tutorials, perfume blends, perfumes, enfleurage French perfumes, plus tons of ingredients, tips, and tricks. You’ll also start crafting infused oils, tinctures, and natural perfumery.
Unit 5 – Perfume Plant Monographs
Unit 5 is all about ten of the best botanical herbs. You get monographs for rosemary, pine, rose, lavender, peppermint, juniper, frankincense, cinnamon, vanilla, and bitter orange. The unit describes the benefits of each blend – and also includes natural recipes for you to try.
Unit 6 – Botanical Perfumes and Everyday Ritual
Lesson 6 is all about taking all of the knowledge you’ve used and infusing it naturally into your life! You can incorporate the fragrances that you’ve made in a mindful and uplifting way. This lesson shows how.
Unit 7 – Conclusion
Lesson 7 is all about giving you the freedom to confidently capture the aroma of nature and weave it into your lifestyle. Here’s an uplifting and energetic perfuming mindset that can last you a lifetime – and not just a few seasons!
Now that we’ve talked about what the course contains, let’s dive deeper into what I experienced inside the course.
I started with The Juniper Joy Perfume!
The Juniper Joy Perfume
I was so glad that the recipes inside the course are easy to print – as this let me print out all of the potential candidates to compare them. But, even after printing, it took me a couple of days to decide to do the Juniper Joy Perfume first.
One of the reasons I picked Juniper Joy was because I love Clary Sage, which this perfume has. Not everyone does, I know, but I apply this essential oil to my wrists to help with my PMS a little as Clary Sage helps balance hormones.
I also like the other ingredients that were in it, and I love the smell of carnations. It also looked straightforward, so this perfume seemed like the perfect one to try.
(PS: Here are some of our favorite courses from Herbal Academy!)
Finding the Ingredients
Once I picked the Juniper Joy Perfume, finding the ingredients was the next step. I already keep Clary Sage and Juniper essential oils on hand, as both of those I get from Young Living.
So, all I had to find was the base oil – which I had to pick – vitamin E oil, mandarin essential oil, and carnation absolute. The recipe also said to put all of this in a roll-on bottle for this type of perfume.
One of the options that this recipe gave for the base oil was jojoba oil. I noticed that a few of the other perfume recipes required jojoba oil as well. So, I decided that jojoba was the best choice. Both it, the vitamin E oil, and the roll-on bottles were surprisingly easy to find online.
It was the other two things that were quite a bit harder for me to find. I was not expecting them to be hard to find! Well, not that hard.
After searching for mandarin essential oil, the results were all recipes and articles about the benefits of this essential oil. However, it wasn’t too hard to find this oil online. After some effort and research!
As for the carnation absolute, well, that had issues of its own as well. The Natural Perfumery Course taught me that there are some critical differences between absolutes and essential oils. So, imagine my confusion when I found lots of things claiming to be carnation absolute essential oils.
With quite a bit of digging, I found that the things that say carnation absolute essential oils are (in reality) just a type of essential oil. Therefore, for things like perfumery, you don’t want to use these as your absolute.
I did, eventually, find the ingredients that I needed from an Eden Botanicals website, which seems to have a lot of perfumery ingredients. After ordering everything I needed, I had to wait until it all came in.
Making Juniper Joy Perfume
- 1 ½ Tablespoon (0.75 oz) jojoba oil
- 1 drop of vitamin E oil
- 12 drops mandarin essential oil
- 9 drops Juniper essential oil
- 6 drops Clary Sage essential oil
- 6 drops Carnation absolute
- Combine all ingredients in a ½ oz glass roll-on bottle.
- Close and shake gently.
- Label and keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 year.
Making the Recipe Myself
Once I got everything in, I cleared an area and started following the instructions. At this point, I started wishing that I had gotten an eyedropper.
(I know that I have an old-eyedropper somewhere. But, who knows where I used it last. Or whether I used it for something that I didn’t want mixing with my perfume!) However, I was also very appreciative that my roll-ons came with a couple of small funnels.
The vitamin E oil ended up getting 2-3 drops instead of 1 of them, but I like vitamin E, so I was okay with that. Then, I went to add the jojoba oil. I wasn’t entirely sure how to get ½ of a Tablespoon. But I did have an idea.
I knew that I didn’t want to fill up the Tablespoon all the way, as that would make it harder to poor the oil without spilling it. So, I decided to fill it up only most of the way, twice to get the 1 ½ Tablespoons, and after pouring the first one into the roller with the funnel, I realized that I got the wrong size roller!
So, I decided to split it between two rollers.
Since I had only added the vitamin E and the jojoba oil, this was easy to do. All that was left was the smells. I divided up the 12 drops of mandarin essential oil and put six drops in each roller, which was a little hard to do from the sample size, and I wanted that dropper again, but I had a few drops left over.
I then put three drops of both the Clary Sage essential oil and Carnation absolute in each roller. The Juniper essential oil was a little trickier since the recipe calls for nine-eyedrops, but I just put five drops in each roller.
Then, the magic happens. All that was left was to put the roller top on, shake gently, put everything away, and then try it out!
Herbal Academy’s Natural Perfumery Course – Here’s What’s Inside
I also want to go over what students get inside the course. Afterward, I’ll give my honest feedback and no-holds-barred review!
7 Units / Lessons
Text-based lessons so you can follow along at your own pace. You get everything you need to create homemade (and natural) perfumes.
6-Month Course Access
I know that my homesteading friends are so busy these days, so I loved how they give students 6-months to complete the course. No rush to finish!
Tutorials and Recipes
The list of recipes is generous. You get 25+ recipes and tutorials to help you kickstart your botanical perfumery path.
Guest Video Training
You also get video content from Jennifer Allen (from Mythic Aromatics) – who shares an inspirational presentation about individualized perfume blends.
Data Charts for Referencing
You get study aids, tools, and charts to help you remember all of the content you’ve learned. You can download and print the charts.
Your journey doesn’t end here! You also get a list of future online resources and books. Never stop learning!
Printable PDF Unit Lessons
You can effortlessly download and print the lessons. That way, you can save them, store them, or put them in a binder to reference later.
Badge of Completion
Once completed, your student dashboard showcases your hard-fought perfumery skills.
Optional Upgrade – Journal Kit
The fragrance journal is the perfect complement to the course. It contains helpful charts for perfumery reference and also tester strips so you can sample your fragrances.
The journal costs about $24 extra. If you want the journal, keep your eyes on the dropdown menu during checkout/registration!
My Thoughts on the Perfume Making Process
I felt that the recipe was effortless and straightforward. Of course, as soon as I made it, I had to test it. I also had my mom test it, as she was nearby, and both of us rolled some onto our wrists.
The smell of mandarin was the strongest. The mandarin scent did not surprise me since I knew that mandarin essential oil was the main ingredient.
What did surprise me a little was how the orangey scent was all I could smell at first.
The Natural Perfumery Course did teach that top notes of a perfume are the ones you smell first and that these scents dissipate the quickest.
So, after a minute or two, I sniffed my wrist, and I could recognize some of the other fragrances a bit better. This excellent instruction was an improvement, and I liked the result.
Though I liked the smell, I don’t feel that the perfume lasted very long. A couple of hours later, I already couldn’t smell it at all, not even with my nose pressed right up against my wrist. I had been hoping that the perfume would last a bit longer. I prefer not needing to reapply perfume every couple of hours.
It does say on the recipe that you are supposed to put it in the fridge. But, I admit that this instruction doesn’t make any sense to me.
I checked the vitamin E and the jojoba oil, and neither of them needs to be refrigerated after opening. I wish they went deeper into their rationale in some cases like here.
I know that the essential oils and the absolute don’t need refrigeration either. So, I can only guess that they have this instruction to ensure it stays mixed and does not separate. Unfortunately, it doesn’t explain.
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My Rating for the Recipes
All in all, this recipe has some things about it that I like and some things that I don’t. I would give it either a two or a three out of five stars.
On the plus side, it is simple to put together. I also liked the smell.
On the downside, the ingredients were hard to find (more on that in a moment). The smell could have been better, as I felt that the mandarin overpowered the other scents. Also, the instructions about storing it in the fridge made no sense to me.
Finally, though I didn’t mention this further up, the printout of the recipe even contradicts itself in one way. Near the top of the printout is a not giving you a few ideas for your base oil, explaining what it smells like, and telling you that you will need a 1-oz glass roll-on bottle for the recipe.
Meanwhile, the first instruction tells you to use a ½-oz glass roll-on bottle! Someone didn’t read something through here. That is especially sad since it is not even a long recipe.
How Much Does It Cost to Make Your Own Perfume?
One of the questions students of herbal academy’s natural perfumery course might have is – what’s the cost of the ingredients?
You may have some of the stuff you need to make your perfume already on hand. However, having everything you need is (highly) unlikely. So, you will have to buy at least a few of the things that I did when I wanted to make this recipe.
I started by looking for some nice roller bottles. There are plenty of options for these that let you get a dozen for under $20. One of these is what I went with, even though I only needed two, so you can find options that only have six roller bottles for under $10 if you want to do that instead.
There are a lot of jojoba oils out there, so I decided to pay a little more for a quality GMO-free and cruelty-free option. A decent jojoba oil cost me about $20 as well. That brings the cost up to about $40. However, like the roller bottles, I still have way more than I need for the recipe.
The same is true for the Vitamin E oil, which I was effortlessly able to get two 4oz bottles of for about $10. You only use a few drops of this oil in perfume recipes! So, this amount will last me a long time as well. The cost is now up to $50, not including shipping.
I already had the Clary Sage essential oil and the Juniper essential oil on hand, both large bottles from Young Living. The large bottles cost $40 to $50 each. Luckily, they last me for months! And, they can easily spare a few drops for perfume making. Perfect.
You don’t have to buy large bottles, though, as I saw that Eden Botanicals had both of these in sample size for about $5 combined. So, if you were buying it that way, your cost would be up to $55.
Lastly, the remaining two ingredients I got from Eden Botanicals. This amount of the carnation absolute and the mandarin essential oil cost less than $15 combined, and I have some leftover of both so that I can probably make this perfume a second time.
All in all, just for making this recipe, you are likely to spend at least $65. That’s a bit pricey! However, you are also going to have plenty of stuff for the next time you make perfume. Like most hobbies, this means the initial costs are going to be the most expensive.
If I already had the jojoba oil, Vitamin E oil, and rollers as I do now? And taking into consideration the two essential oils that I already had, I would have only needed to spend about $15 for the last couple of things I needed.
My Rant About Searching for the Ingredients (Read at Your Own Risk!)
I wish that the Natural Perfumer Course from the Herbal Academy would have given me places to find their ingredients! That part took me a few hours, and it was the trickiest part of making this perfume. By far!
Now, after contacting their customer service for help about finding some of this stuff, they did get back to me (really quickly, by the way) and directed me to an article they have on their blog. However, I only found this article mildly helpful at best.
This article went over different types of herbs and listed companies that sell them. It had lists of places to find bulk and fresh herbs, live plants and seeds, aromatherapy, and packaging – which I assume is to help if you want to launch a business with your herbs. Then it had smaller lists for the same things in Canada, the United Kingdom, and a few other places.
Aromatherapy isn’t the same as perfumery, and I had already tried the recipe. However, I knew that I wanted to try some of the others, so I sorted through the list of sites for aromatherapy ingredients (of which there were only eight options) to see if any of those places would have had what I needed.
The first was a site only for essential oils – it had green mandarin and tangerine! But not just mandarin. I don’t know if there is a difference between green mandarin and just regular mandarin, but I decided to assume that there was.
The same was true of the second site, which had only red mandarin (I don’t know if that is different either). The third didn’t have mandarin essential oil at all despite being another site primarily for just that. Essential oils!
The fourth looked more promising, offering hydrosols and a few other things. It had both red and green mandarin essential oils – but not just mandarin essential oil again – and it even had a few absolutes, but not the carnation absolute that the recipe calls for, frustrating!
Then, one site gave my webpage a warning saying that my connection wasn’t private. I decided to skip that one.
(If the vendor can’t secure their website with HTTPS, I don’t want to shop on their platform. I recommend all of my homesteading friends do the same. Keep your data safe!)
The next to last one finally had a simple mandarin essential oil, as did the last-of-the-eight options. But neither of these had the carnation absolute.
In short, their list was not helpful at all and, therefore, neither was their reply to me asking them for help. I was glad that I hadn’t waited on a response before finding the ingredients myself.
The Eden Botanical site that I found, which seemed to be for perfumery, had both of those two ingredients. They even had them in small sample sizes. Perfect! That’s all I needed. And, it was not one of those listed by the Herbal Academy.
On a hunch, I decided to research some of the ingredients for some of the other recipes. I’m heartbroken to report that I ran into the same problem!
Here’s what I mean.
There were ingredients that I still can’t find! And, I don’t think that they’re reasonably possible to procure for anyone else, either.
My Harshest Critique of the Course
So – here’s my harshest critique of the course.
I feel that it’s terrible of the Herbal Academy to give you recipes that you can’t make without fuss! Though they were quick to reply, I didn’t feel that they cared that much about actually helping me find the ingredients.
After getting excited to see how many recipes are in the course, I feel like some of their promises fell short.
So, while I value the information from the Herbal Academy, I think finding some of the ingredients is tricky – especially these days, where local mom and pops are closing left and right.
So, research to ensure that you can source the materials required for the course before you enroll!
If other offerings from Herbal Academy are just as hard to find the stuff for, it does make me less inclined to give them a try!
How Herbal Academy Could Improve the Course
One idea is that Herbal Academy could offer students a kit that includes all of the perfume-making materials needed to create the perfume.
I think part of the course’s appeal is that it teaches you how to source the ingredients. That way, you become more self-reliant, which is part of the homesteading process!
However, maybe if Herbal Academy offered a handy ingredient kit – it might add value to the overall experience?
In any event, this was my honest Herbal Academy Perfumery Course review.
Do you have more questions about the course? Or, do you want to share your experience?
Please let us know your thoughts!
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