Probably dumb question here

    Probably dumb question here

    post #1 of 47
    Thread Starter 

    The world of perfume is so insular, it seems I can never find the answer I am looking for. I was reading an article with Luca Turin opinions in it, and he mentioned how for cheap perfumes all of the notes are on the top to make the customer buy faster, and that's why they last so little, so I started thinking, how do they layer the notes in a perfume? How do they make it so that all the scents aren't gone or smelled simultaneously? I know some notes are heavier than others and that's how they last longer but how does this chemistry actually work??

    post #2 of 47
    Something to do with how fast molecules evaporate.
    post #3 of 47
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by blohan View Post

    The world of perfume is so insular, it seems I can never find the answer I am looking for. I was reading an article with Luca Turin opinions in it, and he mentioned how for cheap perfumes all of the notes are on the top to make the customer buy faster, and that's why they last so little, so I started thinking, how do they layer the notes in a perfume? How do they make it so that all the scents aren't gone or smelled simultaneously? I know some notes are heavier than others and that's how they last longer but how does this chemistry actually work??
    I don't have the answer to the question but my hunch is that if you re post this question in the DIY Forum, you're likely to get better targeted and more technical responses. Just a thought.
    post #4 of 47
    There are certain notes (citrus based are common) that smell nice but evaporate and are gone quickly. If you made a fragrance will all lemon, it would smell great for a short while and be gone. Now...If you add an oud, or leather, they last longer. In the beginning, they are there, but blend with the LOUD CITRUS and aren't noticed as much. But as the citrus disappears, the Oud becomes more noticeable. By blending notes of varying longevity, you can have a fragrance that starts out smelling one way, then turns into something different. IMO, one of the problems with dept. store fragrances is that they are linear, all the notes compete for attention in the beginning, and all are gone within several hours. Many dept. store fragrances follow a formula of Top: Citrus, Middle: Pepper, Base note: Sandalwood/Cedar. That is why they smell so similar and the concentration of actual oils is low, so even the basenotes disappear quickly.
    post #5 of 47
    Thread Starter 
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Possum-Pie View Post

    There are certain notes (citrus based are common) that smell nice but evaporate and are gone quickly. If you made a fragrance will all lemon, it would smell great for a short while and be gone. Now...If you add an oud, or leather, they last longer. In the beginning, they are there, but blend with the LOUD CITRUS and aren't noticed as much. But as the citrus disappears, the Oud becomes more noticeable. By blending notes of varying longevity, you can have a fragrance that starts out smelling one way, then turns into something different. IMO, one of the problems with dept. store fragrances is that they are linear, all the notes compete for attention in the beginning, and all are gone within several hours. Many dept. store fragrances follow a formula of Top: Citrus, Middle: Pepper, Base note: Sandalwood/Cedar. That is why they smell so similar and the concentration of actual oils is low, so even the basenotes disappear quickly.

    So if a perfumer would like to make a perfume with a citrus base, it wouldn't be possible??

     

    I guess that my question really was, how do they make the perfumes behave?? How do they make them perform in a certain way that every bottle is the same and it behaves in the same way creating the identity of the perfume? It's so incredible to me because it's liquid lol but it's as solidly composed as a painting, or a movie. How do they do that?

    post #6 of 47

    If you look in the DIY section, there's a 'sticky' thread entitled 'Primer on How to Make Perfume (version 1) which should help you to understand the process.

     

    Citrus wouldn't work as a base as it's a 'top note'.

    post #7 of 47

    The perfumer doesn't decide whether to add citrus as a top note/base note. They know that when they include citrus, it's going to shine at the beginning and fade away fairly quickly. They then have to make choices about what other elements to include to get a well-rounded fragrance.

     

    I think of fragrance notes like articles of clothing. Your favorite hats don't make good pants any more than citrus can be made to perform as a base. To be fully dressed, you need an appropriate combination that covers top heart, and base!

     

    Which I guess makes the fact that I'm just wearing amber paste the equivalent of leaving the house in tie-dye shorts :)

    post #8 of 47

    Im with Hednic

    post #9 of 47
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lpp View Post

    If you look in the DIY section, there's a 'sticky' thread entitled 'Primer on How to Make Perfume (version 1) which should help you to understand the process.

    Citrus wouldn't work as a base as it's a 'top note'.

    Good advice except I used "Citrus based" meaning the theme of citrus...don't confuse it with "Basenote" citrus.
    post #10 of 47

    Sorry, possum-pie - me being unclear again.

    As I understand it, by 'citrus based' you are both referring to a fragrance in which citrus is a prominent feature.

     

    The OP is wondering how fragrances are composed, which is explained in the 'sticky'.

     

    In reply to  'How do they do that' -  a perfumer will have spent many years learning how to blend the various ingredients together in order to reach the desired type of fragrance, whether this is a citrus, floral or some other kind.

     

    It involves understanding the exact nature of the various ingredients, their interactions, longevities, etc. 

     

    If this thread could be moved to DIY please, it could be explained more fully.

    post #11 of 47

    I will try and answer with a mental image..

     

    If you looked at a picture of a church organ, and think about how the sounds work, you would be somewhere near. The base notes would have a long and deep pipe and be of great resonance and the top notes would have a tiny short pipe and be shrill. A piano has longer strings at the bottom end, so one biff of the hammer lasts much longer than the same biff at the top end where the strings are shorter. It is the same with perfumery.

     

    The basenotes in perfumery have a deep and long lasting resonance that lasts 400+ hours, these are the sandalwoods, animalics, and longer lasting greens etc.

    The citrus's and suchlike are the higher notes and some last for as little as two hours. All notes have a time resonance like this.

     

    No composer would make his music out of all the notes from one end of the spectrum. A perfumer is a composer of olfactory music. It is no coincidence that his desk is called the perfumers organ too.

    post #12 of 47

    Somebody asked me to poke my head in here, except that I'm preparing to get to s weekend show to sell my perfumes.

    So, here's a brief answer.

     

    Think Molecular weights to start with, the lighter the molecule, the faster it evaporates.

    That's the basics.

     

    Citrus naturals are all light molecules, therefore they don't last, you have to use synthetic citrus molecules to get any lasting powwer out of a citrus scent.

     

    some molecules might evaporate ina couple of seconds.  Some musk molecules might be able to be smelled on a smelling strip for a month.

     

    I am composing a four dimensional symphony when making a perfume.

    Time is an element that is necessary to include in your compostional workings.  You must pick materials that will last and evaporate over the course of time, in the manner you wish them to.  As a Perfumer, you must learn your materials to know how long they last, and how they interact.

     

    Then you compose your symphony according to what you want to say, in the time zones you wish to say them...

     

    Gotta run, hoope that helps...

    post #13 of 47
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mumsy View Post

    I will try and answer with a mental image..

    If you looked at a picture of a church organ, and think about how the sounds work, you would be somewhere near. The base notes would have a long and deep pipe and be of great resonance and the top notes would have a tiny short pipe and be shrill. A piano has longer strings at the bottom end, so one biff of the hammer lasts much longer than the same biff at the top end where the strings are shorter. It is the same with perfumery.

    That was a good analogy, I actually learned something today. Cool.
    post #14 of 47
    Thread Starter 
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mumsy View Post

    I will try and answer with a mental image..

     

    If you looked at a picture of a church organ, and think about how the sounds work, you would be somewhere near. The base notes would have a long and deep pipe and be of great resonance and the top notes would have a tiny short pipe and be shrill. A piano has longer strings at the bottom end, so one biff of the hammer lasts much longer than the same biff at the top end where the strings are shorter. It is the same with perfumery.

     

    The basenotes in perfumery have a deep and long lasting resonance that lasts 400+ hours, these are the sandalwoods, animalics, and longer lasting greens etc.

    The citrus's and suchlike are the higher notes and some last for as little as two hours. All notes have a time resonance like this.

     

    No composer would make his music out of all the notes from one end of the spectrum. A perfumer is a composer of olfactory music. It is no coincidence that his desk is called the perfumers organ too.


    thank you, look at my next question to the poster below, maybe you can help me too

    post #15 of 47
    Thread Starter 
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by pkiler View Post

    Somebody asked me to poke my head in here, except that I'm preparing to get to s weekend show to sell my perfumes.

    So, here's a brief answer.

     

    Think Molecular weights to start with, the lighter the molecule, the faster it evaporates.

    That's the basics.

     

    Citrus naturals are all light molecules, therefore they don't last, you have to use synthetic citrus molecules to get any lasting powwer out of a citrus scent.

     

    some molecules might evaporate ina couple of seconds.  Some musk molecules might be able to be smelled on a smelling strip for a month.

     

    I am composing a four dimensional symphony when making a perfume.

    Time is an element that is necessary to include in your compostional workings.  You must pick materials that will last and evaporate over the course of time, in the manner you wish them to.  As a Perfumer, you must learn your materials to know how long they last, and how they interact.

     

    Then you compose your symphony according to what you want to say, in the time zones you wish to say them...

     

    Gotta run, hoope that helps...


    Thanks, but like with music in an organ, you've got the key and you decide how long to press it to get a certain sound. I guess may question is, how to do you create a, how do you say, an ongoing note?? like I want this particular smell to be felt for x amaount of time, a sustained note, and then go to a next note and so on. If it all depends on the molecular weight, then isn't the spectrum of perfumery rather limited?? How is it manipulated to get endless scents? And how do you get it to behave once inside the bottle?

    post #16 of 47
    Thread Starter 

    I'm sorry if I am pestering everybody, I am not a perfumer anclass="

    6/20/13 at 1:50am

    blohan said:



    The world of perfume is so insular, it seems I can never find the answer I am looking for. I was reading an article with Luca Turin opinions in it, and he mentioned how for cheap perfumes all of the notes are on the top to make the customer buy faster, and that's why they last so little, so I started thinking, how do they layer the notes in a perfume? How do they make it so that all the scents aren't gone or smelled simultaneously? I know some notes are heavier than others and that's how they last longer but how does this chemistry actually work??

    6/20/13 at 3:02am

    hedonist222 said:



    Something to do with how fast molecules evaporate.

    6/20/13 at 3:39am

    hednic said:



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by blohan View Post

    The world of perfume is so insular, it seems I can never find the answer I am looking for. I was reading an article with Luca Turin opinions in it, and he mentioned how for cheap perfumes all of the notes are on the top to make the customer buy faster, and that's why they last so little, so I started thinking, how do they layer the notes in a perfume? How do they make it so that all the scents aren't gone or smelled simultaneously? I know some notes are heavier than others and that's how they last longer but how does this chemistry actually work??
    I don't have the answer to the question but my hunch is that if you re post this question in the DIY Forum, you're likely to get better targeted and more technical responses. Just a thought.

    6/20/13 at 3:43am

    Possum-Pie said:



    There are certain notes (citrus based are common) that smell nice but evaporate and are gone quickly. If you made a fragrance will all lemon, it would smell great for a short while and be gone. Now...If you add an oud, or leather, they last longer. In the beginning, they are there, but blend with the LOUD CITRUS and aren't noticed as much. But as the citrus disappears, the Oud becomes more noticeable. By blending notes of varying longevity, you can have a fragrance that starts out smelling one way, then turns into something different. IMO, one of the problems with dept. store fragrances is that they are linear, all the notes compete for attention in the beginning, and all are gone within several hours. Many dept. store fragrances follow a formula of Top: Citrus, Middle: Pepper, Base note: Sandalwood/Cedar. That is why they smell so similar and the concentration of actual oils is low, so even the basenotes disappear quickly.

    6/20/13 at 10:32am

    blohan said:



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Possum-Pie View Post

    There are certain notes (citrus based are common) that smell nice but evaporate and are gone quickly. If you made a fragrance will all lemon, it would smell great for a short while and be gone. Now...If you add an oud, or leather, they last longer. In the beginning, they are there, but blend with the LOUD CITRUS and aren't noticed as much. But as the citrus disappears, the Oud becomes more noticeable. By blending notes of varying longevity, you can have a fragrance that starts out smelling one way, then turns into something different. IMO, one of the problems with dept. store fragrances is that they are linear, all the notes compete for attention in the beginning, and all are gone within several hours. Many dept. store fragrances follow a formula of Top: Citrus, Middle: Pepper, Base note: Sandalwood/Cedar. That is why they smell so similar and the concentration of actual oils is low, so even the basenotes disappear quickly.

    So if a perfumer would like to make a perfume with a citrus base, it wouldn't be possible??

     

    I guess that my question really was, how do they make the perfumes behave?? How do they make them perform in a certain way that every bottle is the same and it behaves in the same way creating the identity of the perfume? It's so incredible to me because it's liquid lol but it's as solidly composed as a painting, or a movie. How do they do that?

    6/20/13 at 11:27am

    lpp said:



    If you look in the DIY section, there's a 'sticky' thread entitled 'Primer on How to Make Perfume (version 1) which should help you to understand the process.

     

    Citrus wouldn't work as a base as it's a 'top note'.

    6/20/13 at 1:26pm

    katesonskates said:



    The perfumer doesn't decide whether to add citrus as a top note/base note. They know that when they include citrus, it's going to shine at the beginning and fade away fairly quickly. They then have to make choices about what other elements to include to get a well-rounded fragrance.

     

    I think of fragrance notes like articles of clothing. Your favorite hats don't make good pants any more than citrus can be made to perform as a base. To be fully dressed, you need an appropriate combination that covers top heart, and base!

     

    Which I guess makes the fact that I'm just wearing amber paste the equivalent of leaving the house in tie-dye shorts :)

    6/20/13 at 1:59pm

    Tony T said:



    Im with Hednic

    6/20/13 at 2:26pm

    Possum-Pie said:



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lpp View Post

    If you look in the DIY section, there's a 'sticky' thread entitled 'Primer on How to Make Perfume (version 1) which should help you to understand the process.

    Citrus wouldn't work as a base as it's a 'top note'.

    Good advice except I used "Citrus based" meaning the theme of citrus...don't confuse it with "Basenote" citrus.

    6/20/13 at 2:37pm

    lpp said:



    Sorry, possum-pie - me being unclear again.

    As I understand it, by 'citrus based' you are both referring to a fragrance in which citrus is a prominent feature.

     

    The OP is wondering how fragrances are composed, which is explained in the 'sticky'.

     

    In reply to  'How do they do that' -  a perfumer will have spent many years learning how to blend the various ingredients together in order to reach the desired type of fragrance, whether this is a citrus, floral or some other kind.

     

    It involves understanding the exact nature of the various ingredients, their interactions, longevities, etc. 

     

    If this thread could be moved to DIY please, it could be explained more fully.

    6/20/13 at 3:43pm

    mumsy said:



    I will try and answer with a mental image..

     

    If you looked at a picture of a church organ, and think about how the sounds work, you would be somewhere near. The base notes would have a long and deep pipe and be of great resonance and the top notes would have a tiny short pipe and be shrill. A piano has longer strings at the bottom end, so one biff of the hammer lasts much longer than the same biff at the top end where the strings are shorter. It is the same with perfumery.

     

    The basenotes in perfumery have a deep and long lasting resonance that lasts 400+ hours, these are the sandalwoods, animalics, and longer lasting greens etc.

    The citrus's and suchlike are the higher notes and some last for as little as two hours. All notes have a time resonance like this.

     

    No composer would make his music out of all the notes from one end of the spectrum. A perfumer is a composer of olfactory music. It is no coincidence that his desk is called the perfumers organ too.

    6/20/13 at 4:24pm

    pkiler said:



    Somebody asked me to poke my head in here, except that I'm preparing to get to s weekend show to sell my perfumes.

    So, here's a brief answer.

     

    Think Molecular weights to start with, the lighter the molecule, the faster it evaporates.

    That's the basics.

     

    Citrus naturals are all light molecules, therefore they don't last, you have to use synthetic citrus molecules to get any lasting powwer out of a citrus scent.

     

    some molecules might evaporate ina couple of seconds.  Some musk molecules might be able to be smelled on a smelling strip for a month.

     

    I am composing a four dimensional symphony when making a perfume.

    Time is an element that is necessary to include in your compostional workings.  You must pick materials that will last and evaporate over the course of time, in the manner you wish them to.  As a Perfumer, you must learn your materials to know how long they last, and how they interact.

     

    Then you compose your symphony according to what you want to say, in the time zones you wish to say them...

     

    Gotta run, hoope that helps...

    6/20/13 at 8:35pm

    chili_willi said:



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mumsy View Post

    I will try and answer with a mental image..

    If you looked at a picture of a church organ, and think about how the sounds work, you would be somewhere near. The base notes would have a long and deep pipe and be of great resonance and the top notes would have a tiny short pipe and be shrill. A piano has longer strings at the bottom end, so one biff of the hammer lasts much longer than the same biff at the top end where the strings are shorter. It is the same with perfumery.

    That was a good analogy, I actually learned something today. Cool.

    6/20/13 at 8:36pm

    blohan said:



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mumsy View Post

    I will try and answer with a mental image..

     

    If you looked at a picture of a church organ, and think about how the sounds work, you would be somewhere near. The base notes would have a long and deep pipe and be of great resonance and the top notes would have a tiny short pipe and be shrill. A piano has longer strings at the bottom end, so one biff of the hammer lasts much longer than the same biff at the top end where the strings are shorter. It is the same with perfumery.

     

    The basenotes in perfumery have a deep and long lasting resonance that lasts 400+ hours, these are the sandalwoods, animalics, and longer lasting greens etc.

    The citrus's and suchlike are the higher notes and some last for as little as two hours. All notes have a time resonance like this.

     

    No composer would make his music out of all the notes from one end of the spectrum. A perfumer is a composer of olfactory music. It is no coincidence that his desk is called the perfumers organ too.


    thank you, look at my next question to the poster below, maybe you can help me too

    6/20/13 at 8:38pm

    blohan said:



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by pkiler View Post

    Somebody asked me to poke my head in here, except that I'm preparing to get to s weekend show to sell my perfumes.

    So, here's a brief answer.

     

    Think Molecular weights to start with, the lighter the molecule, the faster it evaporates.

    That's the basics.

     

    Citrus naturals are all light molecules, therefore they don't last, you have to use synthetic citrus molecules to get any lasting powwer out of a citrus scent.

     

    some molecules might evaporate ina couple of seconds.  Some musk molecules might be able to be smelled on a smelling strip for a month.

     

    I am composing a four dimensional symphony when making a perfume.

    Time is an element that is necessary to include in your compostional workings.  You must pick materials that will last and evaporate over the course of time, in the manner you wish them to.  As a Perfumer, you must learn your materials to know how long they last, and how they interact.

     

    Then you compose your symphony according to what you want to say, in the time zones you wish to say them...

     

    Gotta run, hoope that helps...


    Thanks, but like with music in an organ, you've got the key and you decide how long to press it to get a certain sound. I guess may question is, how to do you create a, how do you say, an ongoing note?? like I want this particular smell to be felt for x amaount of time, a sustained note, and then go to a next note and so on. If it all depends on the molecular weight, then isn't the spectrum of perfumery rather limited?? How is it manipulated to get endless scents? And how do you get it to behave once inside the bottle?

    6/20/13 at 8:50pm

    blohan said:



    I'm sorry if I am pestering everybody, I am not a perfumer anclass="