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Gamma Methyl Ionone

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Quote Originally Posted by mastorer View Post
Fascinating reading, all the above, as I try to find more written info on Takasago's Methyl Ionone Gamma EQ (I have no idea what EQ stands for and I guess that's my point here...)

This issue, I mean aroma discrepancies between products obtained from one seller to the next with the identical chemical name, exists with many other ingredients as well, not just the big family of ionones we all love so much. However, differences among the ionones is perhaps more noticeable –or rampant– because there are mathematically such multitudinous possibilities for isomeric mixtures by specific percent or slight impurities to "bend" the aroma profile toward this direction or that.

Product obtained from minor manufacturers is just an annoyance because it means that one batch can vary quite a bit from the next, the variances not necessarily being anything calculated, but rather merely a result of production sloppiness, such as differences in the age of the stock by the time it arrives under your nose (which is always only a matter of trust, regardless of what's stamped on the flask), the age –and hence level of degradation and thus impurities– of the precursor chemicals the product was manufactured from, vagaries in distillation temperatures, type and cleanliness of the metal and glass hardware used for this, etc, etc. I'm talking about product from "cheap and dirty" industrial sources such as India and China, etc. OK... I shouldn't single out certain countries, should I? Slap my face. I mean from any manufacturing plant that doesn't have a major reputation for quality control, regardless of where on the globe it's located.

IMHO, the major houses such as Takasago, Firmenich, Givaudan, IFF, Symrise, etc. also create their own "secret house blends", although not officially identified as such. Their products often have what appears to be identical labeling, yet the aroma profile consistently differs between Brand A and Brand B. Their products are at least usually reliably the same from one batch the the next, one year to the next, and reliably reflect that house's well-cared-for "signature" for the specific product, but differ from one another –again, even though they may be labeled as what technically "should be" the same single ingredient with the same CAS number. I consider these, with a wink, as secret "proprietary blends." The only way a perfumer can learn one from next is by sampling various brands, then faithfully sticking to one brand if s/he wants to consistently obtain the same odor profile. I think it's a way of developing brand loyalty among their buyers.
I have never read it and I can't prove it, but just like winemakers, I personally suspect that Firmenich, et al. actually add or remove specific traces of this and that isomer or other trace "byproducts" to give their branded aldehydes and other products a unique aroma profile without the buyer ever actually knowing what was done that makes that ingredient perform ever so slightly "better", "differently" or "uniquely" from another brand with the same generic name. In other words, C-11 enic aldehyde doesn't inevitably have the same smell. Think of different brands of, say, beta ionone as different trademarks of single malt whiskey. All may have the same legal and technical designation, yet the human palate can often detect a drastic difference between one house's output and another's. No one can really know what chemical technician has tinkered around ever so slightly with this and that trace material, a purposeful-accidental "slip" in temperature or oxidation level during synthesis, distillation or whatever. Trade secrets abound in perfumery. We can never forget that. I guess we can do nothing other than try to consider it part of the mystery, part of the fun of it all.



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