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I bought only 2 recipes from some merchants. Now I have to use trial an error to discover the rest of them. Do you guys just write them down on a piece of paper? Or maybe there is some kind of an in-game notebook where I could put it in? Should the player know all the recipes by heart?

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i tend to keep the parchments that have recipes on them lying around one of my houses, but it's mostly for show as Kevin's answer explains :) –  Michael Edenfield Dec 4 '13 at 13:40
    
Even when you purchase the recipes, they are not added to your list of known effects until you create the potion. That might make a cool mod. –  ChargingPun Dec 4 '13 at 14:20
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up vote 7 down vote accepted

Every time you create a potion or poison you will learn that the ingredients used have the given effects. Then when you want to create say, a potion of invisibility, you open the alchemy interface and select (on the left side) ingredients with invisibility.

This will show you all the ingredients you have on you that you know have an invisibility effect. Then you just create a potion out of them.

So no, there is no way to write down "Nirnroot + Death Bell = Poison", but you can go "I want to create a poison, what ingredients can I use". Of course, if you really want to write it down, there's always pen and paper.

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Thanks, I finally got it after some testing. What's been a mystery to me is that optional ingredient. Now I understand how you can make a potion with 2+ effects. Thanks! Although I would appreciate some kind of a in-game notepad to write the recipes down for reference. Guess I'll have to search through some mods. –  Bart Dec 5 '13 at 7:56
    
You could try this mod: nexusmods.com/skyrim/mods/48375 Note, haven't used it myself. Do check the installation instructions for it before trying, requires 2 other mods to be installed. –  Kevin van der Velden Dec 5 '13 at 8:45
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