Perfumery Ingredient Suppliers—The Essential Guide

There is no one stop shop for all perfumery needs. Over the years I have built relationships and used the services of most suppliers and it seems that a good reference covering all of them doesn’t really exist anywhere on the net. So here is my big list of suppliers. Please feel free to add inline comments or just add your general thoughts at the bottom. I should mention that all of the suppliers on this list ship within (or to) the US and internationally.

Table Of Contents

All Supplies

1. Perfumer Supply House
2. Vigon
3. Perfumer’s Apprentice
4. Perfume’s World
5. Creating Perfume
6. Pell Wall
7. Liaison Carbone
8. Hermitage Oils

Essential Oils And Absolutes

9. John Steele
10. White Lotus Aromatics
11. Eden Botanicals
12. Apothecary’s Garden

Perfumer Supply House

Supplies: Chemicals, essential oils and absolutes, bases
Location: Danbury, Connecticut, USA
Contact: Christine Daley
Website: https://perfumersupplyhouse.com

Perfumer Supply House is always my first choice. The owner, Christine, is a wonderfully intelligent and professional woman and she has some amazing connections in the industry. Christine has been able to acquire some of the rarest and most unusual ingredients for me—from the insanely expensive Orris Absolute (not orris butter, I’m talking about the precious liquid that not even Creed can afford these days), to chemicals so little-known that they don’t even have names!

Perfumer Supply House is also able to supply large quantities of materials and items that companies like Vigon won’t sell direct to the public (such as Firmenich products if you are not in the USA), and can also obtain samples in many cases so you can be sure of the quality of your materials. Having said that, the standard of the ingredients sold by Christine are of the absolute top quality; I have not had a single misfire.

Perfumer Supply House uses mostly clear glass bottles for small quantities (roughly up to an ounce) and metal bottles and canisters for larger amounts. The packaging is excellent, drip safe due to the use of tape around the neck of the bottles, and light weight. Everything is well wrapped, well protected in the box, and shipped quickly. The company is based in Connecticut but items reach me in New Zealand with the same speed as anything purchased off Amazon or elsewhere.

Vigon

Supplies: Chemicals, essential oils and absolutes, bases
Location: USA
Website: https://vigon.com

Vigon is a supplier for bigger players usually. They will ask you questions to ensure you are a legitimate perfumery business and have a minimum order price of $250. That said, they are the very best supplier for bulk items and natural isolates (natural coumarin, natural vanillin, natural heliotrope, natural aldehydes, and the list goes on). They supply all of the highest quality materials from Firmenich (including bases like Jasmin 231, Iralia, Cyclosia, and Hedione), and all the finest qualities of materials like Iso E Super from IFF.

But the very best thing is their samples. Wow! When you place an order (but don’t forget the minimum price) you can also add samples to your cart and in my experience there is no charge for samples unless you pass a threshold which is very high. And by samples I mean half ounce to one ounce samples of basically any material they sell, including such things as essential oils and absolutes. Samples come in small glass bottles, incredibly well packaged and complete with safety data. Bulk items are in 1kg aluminum canisters or metal drums and plastic buckets for larger quantities.

Vigon is professional, fast, and friendly. The staff are knowledgable and they will accommodate all of your needs. I purchased a kilo of an item which was highly hazardous and they went to a lot of trouble to find a shipping agent who who willingly ship the item to me in New Zealand. It was expensive, but they didn’t just give me a “can’t do” reply: they really went out of their way to make things happen.

Perfumer’s Apprentice

Supplies: Chemicals, essential oils and absolutes, bases
Location: California, USA
Website: https://shop.perfumersapprentice.com

Perfumer’s Apprentice (and the next two suppliers on the list) is my fall back. This is where I go when I need materials I can’t get from the two suppliers above. In terms of the quality of materials: absolutely excellent. Everything is fresh and the supplies ship amazingly fast. They are one of the fastest suppliers I know actually. They ship everywhere in the world and I have never had any of their products get stuck for customs clearance. From the store to the door in a few days.

Their packaging is clear glass bottles up to an ounce, and then metal bottles after that. I have ordered both small and large quantities and have found the service to be excellent in all cases. They stock some really nice Albert Veille and Robertet products and are also a supplier for John Steele naturals whom I review a little further down the page. You can find these luxury speciality brands here. Definitely add these guys to your go-to list.

Perfumers World

Supplies: Chemicals, essential oils and absolutes, bases
Location: Bankok, Thailand
Website: https://www.perfumersworld.com

The really great quality of Perfumers World is that you can choose exactly how much you want to order of a product: from 1g upwards. Yup: one gram. This makes Perfumers World one of the few places those of us on a tight budget can go to try small amounts of otherwise too-costly materials. I’m thinking of things like the Damascones and Irone alpha.

They have an online perfumery course which is worth looking at if you are a newbie. It costs money, but for someone starting out it is probably worth it in the fact that you won’t waste as many materials in your earliest experiments.

Their packaging is amber dropper bottles for tiny quantities and then very sturdy metal bottles unlike those used by anyone else on this list. This is both a pro and a con. The pro is that the lid of the bottles embeds deeply into the bottle and this is then wrapped with plastic tape and sealed with a metal collar which makes leaking virtually impossible (having said that, I haven’t experienced leaks from any of the suppliers on this list). The downside is that you need to use something like a screwdriver to remove the metal collar and it is very sharp and requires a little force. I have cut myself more than once opening a Perfumers World bottle for the first time. But once the collar is off, you toss it out and you’re good to go thereafter.

Creating Perfume

Supplies: Chemicals, essential oils and absolutes, bases
Location: California, USA
Website: https://www.creatingperfume.com

Again a backup supplier as far as I’m concerned. Pretty much every chemical or oil you could need for perfumery is going to be available at the suppliers listed so far (including this one). Their packaging is very similar to Perfumers Apprentice though their labels tend to fade or vanish over time which is quite annoying and has led me to have to dispose of a few bottles over the years. Additionally, I have had one somewhat bad experience with a material which was past its usable state, but that hasn’t stopped me from using the company since.

They have a nice page explaining some musks and other chemical profiles which I recommend you check out if you are a bit confused about musk. This was the first company I bought from when I started out and they are definitely fast and experienced.

Pell Wall

Supplies: Chemicals, essential oils and absolutes, bases
Location: Shropshire, United Kingdom
Website: https://pellwall.com

This is definitely a good place to go for some quite unusual high-impact ingredients such as cadaverine, dimethyl sulphide, and trans-2-cis-6-nonadienal (an astonishingly diffusive violet-leaf chemical). Pell Wall has the most beautiful aged Virginia cedar which I can’t get enough of.

The owner of the company, Chris, is a regular commenter on the Basenotes DIY forums and he has an amazing nous for perfumery. He will be able to help you out with any questions or requests relating to the products he sells and more. You get a very bespoke type of service with Pell Wall. They also make their own range of fragrances which you can check out here. They are based in the UK so shipping can be a little slow to the Southern Hemisphere.

Liaison Carbone

Supplies: Chemicals, essential oils and absolutes, bases
Location: Berlin, Germany
Contact: Rebekka Schnorbus
Website: https://liaison-carbone.com/en/

Are you looking for a hard-to-find ingredient or something seldom seen in small quantities? Liaison Carbone is the answer. This is where I get my cinnamic alcohol because Rebekka can supply it by the kg rather than the usual MOQ for Symrise (Symrise and Givaudan produce the finest cinnamic alcohol). It’s where I get treasures in the form of bases and accords likes Firmenich’s green Allogal base and their profoundly beautiful Iralia base (a combination of methyl ionones). Liaison Carbone also stocks some amazing chemicals like the almost impossibly powerful corps racine (think nasturtium base notes), aldehyde booster geraldehyde, and the most diffusive coumarinic/anthanalitic note known: coumarone.

Quantities can be small to large (I’ve bought a few grams up to one kg) and packaging is good: clear glass bottles mostly (not my favorite but for small quantities it isn’t the end of the world). Shipping is fast. This may be a particularly good option for those in Europe, but even for me in NZ this is a company worth using. Rebekka is really helpful and she can definitely supply things you may not be able to find otherwise. I definitely recommend Liaison Carbone.

Hermitage Oils

Supplies: Natural Chemicals, essential oils and absolutes, bases
Location: UK, Italy
Website: https://hermitageoils.com

Based in the UK, and Italy, Hermitage Oils is expensive. Like . . . REALLY expensive. In some cases it is justified (naturally extracted ambrettolide from Ambrette Seed absolute for example) and in others it isn’t. Go to Hermitage Oils for things you can’t get anywhere else. By the way, the natural ambrettolide is a perfumery miracle in a bottle. It is $1,300 US for one ounce. Ouch. Packaging is amber glass bottles and unfortunately Hermitage suffers from a similar problem to Creating Perfume in that sometimes the name of the oil can be erased just from use.

They also stock some extremely precious oud oils, animal tinctures, and very rare floral extracts from enfleurage (a very old style of extracting floral oils by laying flowers on a bed of fat or oil). But beware: their enfleurage products are extremely diluted whereas traditionally an oil by enfleurage was used typically at 100% like any other essential oil. This renders them useless for someone like me who works at 100% concentration for the most part.

John Steele

Supplies: Essential oils and absolutes
Location: California, USA
Contact: Information Email
Website: C/o Perfumers Apprentice

If your budget is limitless or you want to use only the very finest, rarest, most precious oils and absolutes in the world, you have only one choice: John Steele. Here you will find the finest Mysore sandalwood, rare Brazilian rosewood, Rose de Mai produced in Grasse, vintage rose Otto from Turkey, and so much more. Perfumers Apprentice sells a large number of their materials but if you are looking for something extra special that isn’t listed there, you can contact John Steele directly with your questions. I can’t recommend their spice oils enough—the Cinnamon Ceylon and vintage clovebud Zanzibar is to die for.

I cannot stress enough how absolutely mind-blown I have been every time I have tried a new material from this company. Packaging is amber glass bottles with dripulators that can be annoying as they really need to be removed for practical use in the perfume lab.

White Lotus Aromatics

Supplies: Essential oils and absolutes
Location: Washington, USA
Contact: Chris McMahon
Website: https://www.whitelotusaromatics.com

After all that praise for John Steele, how can I recommend anyone else? Luckily, I can! While John Steele is my first choice in most cases, sometimes my budget won’t allow for their cost or I need a very particular item sourced from a particular region. White Lotus is my go-to for Ylang Ylang Superior Extra oil. For Ylang Ylang II, III, and Complete, it’s John Steele all the way, but White Lotus carries the most ethereal Ylang Ylang Superior Extra. It is so profoundly good that I open the bottle and sniff it every time I pass it on the shelf and I occasionally rub some into my skin just so I can sniff it through the day.

Other items that I always go to White Lotus for are their Italian bergamot (it practically sparkles), Geranium Bourbon (penetrating top notes), and Jasmine Flexile which is the most beautiful of all the Jasmines. Ordering for the US is easy and done direct via the site, but if you are outside the US you can simply contact them to place your order that way. Christopher and Suzanne are really fast and extremely helpful. You’ll get everything you need as quickly as you need it.

Packaging is always excellent: amber bottles and well wrapped for shipping.

Eden Botanicals

Supplies: Essential oils and absolutes
Location: California, USA
Website: https://www.edenbotanicals.com

These guys seem to have every type of citrus oil you can imagine! And they are great! This is my favorite supplier of mandarin oil (in all colors) and orange oils. They stock nothing but the best and I would say that they, along with White Lotus, are at the top of the essential oils pecking order if John Steele is prohibitively expensive of lacking an item. You can’t go wrong with Eden. They sell a huge range of sandalwoods (and while I prefer the Steele Mysore sandalwood, I have used and love all of the Eden options too).

I should also mention that they have a good range of patchouli oils and I am never without a bulk bottle of their most intensely sweet heavenly Ylang Ylang Absolute (thick and green and longer lasting than Ylang Ylang Superior Extra oil, with which it works beautifully in combination). I should also mention that they also stock every type of Ylang Ylang oil you could imagine.

Eden Botanicals also sells my favorite smelling strips—small enough to fit inside a one ounce bottle! You can find those here. Eden’s packaging is in amber glass bottles with shrink wrapped plastic sealing the lids so shipping is problem free and nice and fast.

Apothecary’s Garden

Supplies: Essential oils and absolutes
Location: Ontario, Canada
Contact: Dan Riegler
Website: https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/ApothecarysGarden

Apothecary’s Garden specializes in just a few things: animalics and precious resins. This is where you go when you need civet paste, castoreum glands, ambergris tincture, hyraceum stones, propolis, muskrat musk, and even skunk musk (considering there is a use for cadaverine and the likes of skatole and onion oil—think hyacinth—in perfumery, there has to be a place for skunk surely).

Additionally, Apothecary’s Garden has a nice supply of various myrrhs, frankincense (olibanum), dragon’s blood, mastic, copal, benzoin, elemi and more. The products are excellent and the owner of the store, John, is great to deal with. My personal tinctures of castoreum and civet are both from his raw materials and now, after years of aging, they are truly delightful. Between you and me, I secretly sniff the civet tincture occasionally to remind me that sometimes beauty comes from ugliness.

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Florian
Florian
3 months ago

I can vouch for https://shop.hexapus.nl/
Its a Netherlands based shop with good Aroma Chemicals and some Naturals.

Guido
Guido
3 months ago
Reply to  Florian

I am very familiar with Hexapus and they have a lot of ingredients that I already bought from them. But “unfortunately” I have to order from Creating Perfume or Perfumers supply house or Perfumers apprentice because Hexapus is missing some key ingredients for making some of Jamie’s formulas…, I have blended Jamie’s Flowers On The Avenue and I was blown away !! I became a patron immediately. If it wasn’t for Basenotes I would’ve never found out all the things I know now and this website… This really is a revelation!

Florian
Florian
3 months ago
Reply to  Guido

Yes thats right, they are missing many ingredients unfortunately.
Will order stuff from PerfumersWorld and Perfumer supply house in a few days too

Joye
Joye
3 months ago

Glad to hear that our animalics comes from the same source.
Finally Hamilton, Ontario in the map!

Guido
Guido
3 months ago

I’ve ordered from Perfumer supply house but my parcel is in transit since July 14th and it’s still at the distribution centre in NY.
USPS isn’t as fast as UPS, I have to be patient probably…

Last edited 3 months ago by Guido
Florian
Florian
3 months ago
Reply to  Guido

My parcel was send with DHL Express at perfumers supply house, it was here (Germany) in 3 days.
Now i asked for a cheaper and slower shipping method for my next purchase because the Express costs 41 $

Guido
Guido
3 months ago
Reply to  Florian

I’ve also paid around 40 dollars for shipping but I expected a much quicker delivery like I had from the other sellers: Creating Perfume and Perfumer’s Apprentice were delivered within 3 days via UPS!

Florian
Florian
3 months ago
Reply to  Guido

I think its not the fault of PSH that it takes longer now but its frustrating, i understand that

Guido
Guido
3 months ago
Reply to  Florian

That’s true, I am sure that PSH is doing its best.. let’s be patient and wait.
 The most important thing is that delivery will succeed.

Guido
Guido
3 months ago
Reply to  Guido

I’ve been in contact with Christine and what a great person she is! willing to help you with everything. There are some delays with delivery from USPS, probably due to COVID-19 but she was confident that the delivery will happen.

Last edited 3 months ago by Guido
Florian
Florian
3 months ago
Reply to  Jamie Frater

Yes that is probably a difference.
I havn’t ordered from CreatingPerfume yet but PSH worked really good and Christine searched the cheapest shipping method for me now.
Unfortunately the customs in germany are really strict and it wont get really cheap but she tried and i appreciate that

Guido
Guido
2 months ago

Perfumers world: ..I get the feeling that Paul Kiler really detest them if I have to believe what he writes about them in the Basenotes DIY forum. At the Basenotes forum he wrote : First suggestion is to remove PW from your attention ‘LOL’!… that makes me doubt PW. Nevertheless, I have asked Christine for some aroma chemicals only PW or Creatingperfume have at the moment (Vigon or Penta not included), I rather order them from Christine from PSH even it’s going to take a longer time for her to collect them for me: such a great person! I even… Read more »

Last edited 2 months ago by Guido
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