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Thread: Lavacol

  1. #1

    Default Lavacol

    Lately I've been interested in making my own perfumes/colognes, and even though I'm just starting out, it's been good fun. Finding high-quality EOs to use has been really easy thanks to the information on these forums, but getting suitable alcohol isn't quite so easy. Living in central Pennsylvania means the nearest source of Everclear is a few hours away, and I'm not about to make a journey just to buy some alcohol (I don't even drink). My local Wegman's grocery store sells Lavacol brand rubbing alcohol, which unlike most rubbing alcohols (which are isopropanol), is denatured ethanol (70%) and distilled water. I've used it to make a few tea tinctures (which smell incredible, and I can't wait to see how it mixes with other scents) and it seems to work a bit better than the vodka I tried using before. It smells fairly pure, and the only thing I notice about it is that it has a *very* strong bittering agent added to it. So strong, in fact, that if you get some on your hands and eat something (finger-food, like fruits and whatnot) afterwards, you can taste it really badly. I'm sure you may be able to make a perfume with it, just don't kiss your lover where it's been applied!

    That said, does anyone know of a good tea scent? Tea tree oil is everywhere, but it's not the same thing. I want just a good, simple black tea. Making a tincture is easy enough, but it just doesn't have the same quality I'm looking for (it's actually really good, but not what I want). Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    New Jersey

    Default Re: Lavacol

    Quote Originally Posted by Stuffman
    Lately I've been interested in making my own perfumes/colognes, and even though I'm just starting out, it's been good fun. Finding high-quality EOs to use has been really easy thanks to the information on these forums, but getting suitable alcohol isn't quite so easy.
    Can't help you on a tea scent, but you might consider getting Jojoba Oil instead of alcohol. It won't have the same diffusion as using alcohol, and you certainly can't use a sprayer, but the scent would last longer being oil based rather than in alcohol.
    In rotation: Greenbriar (new), Silver Mountain Water, Dunhill for Men (1934), Acqua di Parma Colonia, Habit Rouge EDC, Ho Hang, B*Men, Agua Brava

  3. #3

    Default Re: Lavacol

    Well, I would personally not use something with that much water added to it, or anything denatured if possible. The jojoba oil is not a bad idea. Don't know if this helps you, however, I live in Ontario, Canada, and after much searching and phoning, I was directed to the most obvious answer, to call the LCBO (the governmental Liquor Control Board of Ontario). I do not know if you have such an agency where you live, but basically, in Ontario, there are two kinds of stores to buy alcohol in - The Beer Store (that's what it is called), and the LCBO for beer, wine, and everything else.

    I had to apply for a licence/permit to purchase overproof ethyl alcohol at any LCBO store that stocks it, basically to be granted a letter, usable for one year before having to seek renewal, which permits me to buy it and covers them from any assumption of me purchasing it for undiluted consumption. Not that I would want to! I put a tiny bit on my finger and put it to my tongue. Oh, the burn, the burn!

    It comes from a distillery in Ontario, it is made impossible for just anyone to walk in and buy just like that without the paper, even if they know what name it is sold by, and it is food grade - meaning, undenatured, nothing added to make it unfit for human consumption, no flavoring, no toxic chemicals. It is 95 percent alcohol by volume, twenty something bucks for a half litre.

    So maybe you should check out something like that if you have it, or a chemistry supply store/site, or you know what, since you are in the states...try here:

    Looks like you have to buy a gallon, minimum. I was going to use them, but since it would have been across a border for overproof alcohol, I would have had to run around and try to figure out what to do with customs, and how to class it and posibbly create a business name and licence and pay a fee for the importation of such a product, etc., etc., basically a major pain in the ass. But as you are U.S. based already, hey, it might be the ticket for you! Good luck, be safe.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Lavacol

    [quote author=Stuffman link=1137827545/0#0 date=1137827545]...but getting suitable alcohol isn't quite so easy...[quote]
    Have you tried ordering perfumers alcohol online, I use Snowdrift Farm...
    I live in Texas so I don't know if shipping policies vary from state to state, but I'm sure they would be able to answer any questions regarding that.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Lavacol

    FWIW: Lavacol was a common drink of persons of Native American descent in South Dakota in the 1960s-1980s (perhaps later?)

  6. #6

    Default Re: Lavacol

    I like Snowdrift Farms perfumers alcohol, as was mentioned here. I found the link on this forum, purchased it, and have been very happy ever since.

    IMO, forget the vodka/everclear/moonshine route. It's not worth the hassle.

  7. #7
    ECaruthers's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Rochester, NY
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: Lavacol

    The Perfumer's Apprentice has a Black Tea fragrance oil, 15 ml for $3.50. I've ordered from TPA twice & been very happy with the quality, price and service.

    Two alternatives for dilutions that don't have the nasties required by law to denature alcohol: Devil's Creek Vodka is 160 proof, 80% ethanol, and may be easier to find than Everclear. I haven't found anything that doesn't disolve in it. Neutragena makes a fragrance free body oil that's good for your skin. The only thing I've found that didn't disolve in it was a benzoin super concentrate.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Lavacol

    Another vote for Snowdrift, they have fabulous stuff. And I think it is on sale (25% off) through the end of the day - no rush!

    As a soaper & candle maker, the black tea I would vote for unreservedly is here:


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