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  1. #1
    kopah's Avatar
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    Question Making a one-note perfume out of gardenia absolute

    I read with interest Luca Turin's Duftnote piece about a new gardenia absolute that has become available. My mom is a gardenia fanatic, and I would be interested to know how I might be able to take some of this absolute and make it into a fragrance. So, those who DIY: what are the basic components of a fragrance, and what are their ratios? If I wanted to make, say, 50ml of EDP (20%), what would a formula look like?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Making a one-note perfume out of gardenia absolute

    a one note formula is not neccesarily and easier to make than one of an abstract perfume, this is not something you will easily be able to "whip together" in your basement. sorry, thats reality.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Making a one-note perfume out of gardenia absolute

    Smelly, I don't think he's trying to make a linear perfume that is seemingly one note throughout (which I agree, can be just as difficult if not impossible to make [at least with nice longevity] - especially with only naturals), but actually making a perfume with just alcohol and one essence. Of course, I've never heard of any authentic gardenia absolute and I'd be quite wary of anyone selling one as such - especially because the price would be, I imagine, through the roof ($500 or more per ounce, possibly much more.)

    But, assuming you can source some natural gardenia, to make it at a 20% solution, you'd take whatever you want your final volume to be, and multiply that by .2 to get the amount of absolute to add, and by .8 to get the amount of alcohol (use Everclear 195 proof or organic grape alcohol with a similar proof). So, in 50ml, you'd get 50 * .2 = 10ml of gardenia absolute, and 50 * .8 = 40ml of alcohol.

    Please note that if Gardenia is $500 an ounce, 10ml of absolute is 1/3 of an ounce, so that would be a $167 bottle of perfume there. And, I presume the longevity of it would be.. terrible. Maybe 2 hours, tops. You can try adding some pure distilled water to it to increase longevity (but this decreases projection). I'd start at about 5% water, which you subtract from your alcohol amount - so you'd have 10ml of absolute, 50 * .05 = 2.5ml of water, and 37.5ml of alcohol.

    There are also synthetic fixatives available but I have no experience with them and so can't advice on their proper use. All that being said, there's a reason that most people don't wear a single oil - longevity. Unless you are wearing a pure basenote at 20%, you won't get more than 2-3 hours of longevity in general.
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  4. #4
    kopah's Avatar
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    Default Re: Making a one-note perfume out of gardenia absolute

    Here's the article: http://www.nzzfolio.ch/www/21b625ad-...447c66840.aspx
    Seems real enough to me, and given that it's $50 for 2ml, the price is about right (i.e. wrong )

    I was actually more curious about those fixatives. I did a little experiment with some home fragrance oil and diluted it down to 10% with 85% alcohol and 5% water, and it had terrible longevity. Like, Chanel Cologne kind of longevity. Now I don't know whether Gardenia is a basenote or not, but one would think there must be other ways of prolonging the life of a fragrance?

  5. #5

    Default Re: Making a one-note perfume out of gardenia absolute

    Well, there's really no magic tricks to make something last longer. I wish that weren't true but sadly it is. Any fixative that works also has a trade off of lost projection, to some degree.

    I think you'd be best off trying to find suitable basenotes that highlight the gardenia without overpowering it. If you want to stick to just pure gardenia, I'd look at using it in an oil base (low diffusion, increased longevity.. likely to be a 'skin scent' though).

    I wish I could recommend a synthetic fixative but I really haven't used any. I've read about and heard about Glucam P-20 (http://store.perfumersapprentice.com/glucamp20.html) and according to some research charts it increased the longevity of topnotes considerably in some cases. Hopefully someone with more experience with a variety of them can help.
    ***For sale:

    Iris Pallida 50ml

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    and more!
    - http://www.basenotes.net/threads/301...n-Man-and-more

  6. #6

    Default Re: Making a one-note perfume out of gardenia absolute

    What kopah is after is called a soliflore. This is traditionally a French style of perfume that is dominated by a single floral fragrance note.

    Of course, they do have other things in them to add depth and act as fixatives.

    Some things I would personally consider using when making the scent:

    - Benzoin
    - Vanilla
    - Labdanum
    - Balsam Peru
    - Glucam P-20 (as mentioned above)

    If anyone sees the real Gardenia absolute available for sale anywhere I'd be interested in a link.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Making a one-note perfume out of gardenia absolute

    Here's the link to the company mentioned in Turin's blog:
    http://www.enfleurage.com/oils-d-l.h...a%20enfleurage

    If you read the entry on Chicle though (http://www.enfleurage.com/oils-a-c.html#Chicle), which is also derived from the same enfleurage method, it sounds like the oils are going to be rather faint and unsuitable for mixing as they are easily overwhelmed.
    ***For sale:

    Iris Pallida 50ml

    Ungaro I 75ml

    and more!
    - http://www.basenotes.net/threads/301...n-Man-and-more

  8. #8

    Default Re: Making a one-note perfume out of gardenia absolute

    Oh, I know that company. Pretty expensive prices there, but they have a strong reputation.

    It might be worth buying the 2 mL and experimenting, perhaps comparing it to a gardenia accord such as the one available from perfumer's apprentice.

    Last edited by Neurotic Scientist; 3rd December 2008 at 04:02 PM.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Making a one-note perfume out of gardenia absolute

    I'm thinking of picking up some olive leaf absolute from them as I've yet to smell it. It's supposedly (well, a synthetic substitute, i'm sure) in Armani Code for men, but I don't smell anything particularly green, herbal, or waxy in the midnotes of that. Ah, nevermind, I just checked and it lists olive flower, not leaf.
    ***For sale:

    Iris Pallida 50ml

    Ungaro I 75ml

    and more!
    - http://www.basenotes.net/threads/301...n-Man-and-more

  10. #10

    Default Re: Making a one-note perfume out of gardenia absolute

    I'm a bit nervous about posting,but wish to try to help the OP make that gardenia scent for their mom.

    I have some of that gardenia enfluerage and had been experimenting with it. I had some real gardenias in my small garden for comparison as I worked with the material.

    For fixative, I used mainly Liquidambar (styrax). The one I was using had a nice floral aspect to it that did not compete with the delicate gardenia scent of the enfluerage. I also used a wee bit of vanilla and a teensy amount of velvione.

    Addressing the OP's question about ratios: As I look through my notes I see that I used Perfumer's Alcohol (about 2/3rds of the final blend),

    I also had a homemade gardenia maceration,jasmine and bergamot in the mix.
    I recall that the blend at a certain point was missing a certain "something" that the real flowers had and figured out it was the green,live essence flowers on the plant have. I added some mango leaf extract to get back that fresh green element.

    I hope this info is of some use.
    The folks at Enfluerage are great to deal with. I've also been experimenting with their tuberose enfluerage,which is wonderful. I have the chicle,but not decided where to go with it yet. It is very delicate.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Making a one-note perfume out of gardenia absolute

    Thanks for chiming in blupest. So are all of the enfleurages they offer quite delicate? How would you rate their strength in comparison to a typical medium strength essential oil (something like say, geranium or frankincense).
    ***For sale:

    Iris Pallida 50ml

    Ungaro I 75ml

    and more!
    - http://www.basenotes.net/threads/301...n-Man-and-more

  12. #12

    Default Re: Making a one-note perfume out of gardenia absolute

    All the enfluerages were pretty delicate in nature. The chicle was the most delicate, the gardenia was in the middle, the tuberose was the strongest. All were definitely fainter than geranium or frankincense.

    With both the gardenia and the tuberose I found it necessary to bolster the scent of the enfluerage by adding other materials and they require some sort of fixative.The enfluerages by themselves are,IMHO, a bit too delicate to be used on their own or alone in a carrier. But they do have a wonderful,soft complexity.

    I'd be curious to know of other folks experience with these materials and I am curious to know what the OP eventually makes for their mom. Good luck.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Making a one-note perfume out of gardenia absolute

    I have recently started using Glucam P-20 and find that it is ia very good fixative indeed for mid-high notes. It does not seem to alter the blend much at all and really holds some of the more delicate floral notes quite a ong time.
    The other good news about this stuff is: It is extremely cheap!
    Again, available from Linda at www.perfumersapprentice.com
    -Gordon
    Last edited by Ecoture; 6th December 2008 at 07:22 PM. Reason: Typos

  14. #14

    Default Re: Making a one-note perfume out of gardenia absolute

    Quote Originally Posted by Ecoture View Post
    I have recently started using Glucam P-20 and find that it is ia very good fixative indeed for mid-high notes. It does not seem to alter the blend much at all and really holds some of the more delicate floral notes quite a ong time.
    The other good news about this stuff is: It is extremely cheap!
    Again, available from Linda at www.perfumersapprentice.com
    -Gordon
    What kind of percentage are you using on the Glucam?

  15. #15

    Default Re: Making a one-note perfume out of gardenia absolute

    The Glucam seems effective at about 3 percent (weight) of total "juice".
    I think it can be used up to 5%,
    I'll have to check that again though...

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