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  1. #1

    Default Extracting from flowers - Mission Impossible?

    Here's a link to a very informative article by Chandler Burr on the process of extracting absolutes from flowers :

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/25/st...=1&oref=slogin

    I am suprised to know that its impossible to extract the real natural essence of so many flowers !
    -

  2. #2

    Default Re: Extracting from flowers - Mission Impossible?

    Take with a pinch of salt. No lavender oil? What rubbish is he talking about now? There are different ways of extracting oils and absolutes is only one.

    Newspapers and journos squeeze truth and fact for for story and inches.
    "Don’t try to be original. Be simple. Be good technically, and if there is something in you, it will come out. ” - Henri Matisse.

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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Extracting from flowers - Mission Impossible?

    I have read in books on perfumery that many flower essences are not easy to extract, if they can be extracted at all. Perfumers use accords, i. e., combinations of other scent materials, to approximate the scent of certain flowers that are impossible or too expensive to use; and many natural essences are used just to "round out" an accord which is mostly other things imitating that "finishing" note.

    Many florals also are extracted by other methods, yielding essential oils instead of concretes or absolutes. Neroli is one that I think is usually produced by enfleurage rather than solvent extraction.

    Ever since the nineteenth century, artificial ingredients, often from the chemistry lab, have been used to imitate flowers or enhance floral accords.

    Journalism can be informative, for sure, but usually doesn't exhaust its subject. And as for Chandler Burr, who ever heard of him before he wrote The Emperor of Scent? I guess he's launched a career out of that book... not to say that's necessarily a bad thing.
    Yr good bud,

    JaimeB

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  4. #4

    Default Re: Extracting from flowers - Mission Impossible?


    Burr's articles are usually full of half-digested information and in some cases egregious errors, and this one is no exception. The word "sloppy" comes to mind. I don't see any of his articles taking more than ten minutes to write for a first draft at the most. They always strike me as minimally researched, perfunctory, and shallow.

    In my opinion,
    he is essentially talentless as a reviewer of perfumes.

    Oh, and don't get me started on the misinformation and elisions in The Emperor of Scent.

    scentemental
    Last edited by scentemental; 26th February 2007 at 01:03 AM.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Extracting from flowers - Mission Impossible?

    There are ways to extract oils out of just about any flower. What he may be saying is that it's impossible using steam distillation, as is the case with Jasmine, Rose, and Narcissus. There are many other methods though.
    - Rich
    As always, disregard most of what I say. It's not worth your heart health to actually worry about what a 23 year old guy from Kansas thinks. Even if he is really ridiculously good looking.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Extracting from flowers - Mission Impossible?

    i know this was dumb, but as a kid, I would pick roses from my Grandma's garden along with Aloe plant. Then I would add lemon peels.

    I would boil them...yes..boil..now I see that just dilutes the smell..haha. I would try to make scents.

    I added fresh mint that she had growing too... It was nice, but now I would probably squeeze them all instead of boil them to extract their scents and oils.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Extracting from flowers - Mission Impossible?

    Quote Originally Posted by G Man
    i know this was dumb, but as a kid, I would pick roses from my Grandma's garden along with Aloe plant. Then I would add lemon peels.

    I would boil them...yes..boil..now I see that just dilutes the smell..haha. I would try to make scents.

    I added fresh mint that she had growing too... It was nice, but now I would probably squeeze them all instead of boil them to extract their scents and oils.
    Actually, that's the coolest story I've heard today.
    - Rich
    As always, disregard most of what I say. It's not worth your heart health to actually worry about what a 23 year old guy from Kansas thinks. Even if he is really ridiculously good looking.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Extracting from flowers - Mission Impossible?

    Quote Originally Posted by G Man
    i know this was dumb, but as a kid, I would pick roses from my Grandma's garden along with Aloe plant. Then I would add lemon peels.

    I would boil them...yes..boil..now I see that just dilutes the smell..haha. I would try to make scents.

    I added fresh mint that she had growing too... It was nice, but now I would probably squeeze them all instead of boil them to extract their scents and oils.
    How 'Harry Potter'...! Luv it.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Extracting from flowers - Mission Impossible?

    Thanks for linking another Burr article, zztop! This contains valuable information for most readers of the NYT Style Magazine, I guess. Although some facts may have been absorbed before, others may come as a surprise to members within this communinity. And the advice to take Burr's article with a pinch of salt has already been given with good reason.

    Four things I have been stumbling over: "...and so perfumers recreate it: mix 2,6-nonadienal + beta-ionone + dihydro-beta-ionone + alpha-ionone and a few others, and there’s your scent of violet. Which means the rose-violet of YSL Paris is made with natural rose — and recreated violet."

    (1) Violet notes in perfumes have a very long tradition in European perfumery. Napoleon Bonaparte is said to have consumed a lot of violet cologne. Was the necessary chemical knowledge already available at his time?

    (2) While some rose perfumes are still based on natural rose (petal) oils, Burr forgets to mention that synthetic rose smells are commonly used for the production of (cheaper) rose perfumes/colognes/lotions, etc. I have difficulties believing that 'Paris' should have more than an alibi amount of natural rose in it. At the price it sells for you could call 'Paris' a give-away if the rose in it was natural.

    (3) Whoever saw 'The Perfume' must have realized that lavender has had a long history in perfumery. The book's author can be blamed for a couple of things but his historical research has been solid, and so have been the filmmakers' documents. As a viewer then, I must ask myself myself now why it would be so important to choose the proper time for harvesting lavender of the Provence in July if the blossoms were unimportant - error of all Mediterranian people from Turkey to Spain??

    (4) "While iris root has a strong, beautiful, astonishing — and astonishingly expensive — scent, iris flowers have almost no smell at all." - Dear Mr. Burr, you make an old gardener laugh, and with this characterization of one of the most delicate, subtle smells in the world you give away any credibility as a perfume critic.

    I think the article has its value despite such errors of a quick pen: Perfume reviews and advertising still create impressions of precious, natural, and rare ingredients. There seems to be a silent collusion among perfume producers to maintain vague illusions of genuity. This article allows a bit of daylight on the perfumer's cook-book. Written with a little more care, this could have been a valuable contribution! I seriously doubt if Mr. Burr cares about consumer's interests very much. A friendly relationship with one or another perfume house has been documented though.
    Last edited by narcus; 26th February 2007 at 10:45 PM.
    'Il mondo dei profumi č un universo senza limiti: una fraganza puo rievocare sensazioni, luoghi, persone o ancora condurre in uno spazio di nuove dimensioni emozionali' L. V.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Extracting from flowers - Mission Impossible?

    Quote Originally Posted by scentemental

    Burr's articles are usually full of half-digested information and in some cases egregious errors, and this one is no exception. The word "sloppy" comes to mind. I don't see any of his articles taking more than ten minutes to write for a first draft at the most. They always strike me as minimally researched, perfunctory, and shallow.

    In my opinion,
    he is essentially talentless as a reviewer of perfumes.

    Oh, and don't get me started on the misinformation and elisions in The Emperor of Scent.

    scentemental
    I love how you just took Burr to school! Unfortunately thousands of people likely read Burr's words as absolute fact. Imo a few of our own (I'm lookin' at one) would be much better suited to professionally write fragrance reviews.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Extracting from flowers - Mission Impossible?

    Quote Originally Posted by narcus
    Thanks for linking another Burr article, zztop! This contains valuable information for most readers of the NYT Style Magazine, I guess. Although some facts may have been absorbed before, others may come as a surprise to members within this communinity. And the advice to take Burr's article with a pinch of salt has already been given with good reason.
    Thanks for that bit of information Narcus. I was suprised by those "facts" because some of it went against the limited information I have about the area.
    Last edited by zztopp; 26th February 2007 at 03:48 PM.
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