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  1. #1

    Default A beginners question about oils, dilution and bases

    Hello again, I'm just double checking something before I go too far the wrong way.

    I have just begun diluting my pure EO's by getting new clean dropper bottles, labelling them 10%, and putting 300 drops of fractionated coconut oil with 30 drops of EO in each.

    I've only done three so far. I just wanted to check whether this was only useful if I am going to use the coconut oil as a perfume oil base.

    Would this 10% diluted EO in the coconut oil be what I should be using to mix the actual perfume when using the perfumers alcohol as a base, or would I just use this for the recipe designs and be putting the pure 100% EO's in perfumers alcohol directly to make alcoholic based perfume?

    I hope that question makes sense. I would be very grateful for a bit of early reassurance. The oils and materials are too expensive to make too many mistakes with.

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    ECaruthers's Avatar
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    Default Re: A beginners question about oils, dilution and bases

    First, you are technically making 1/11 dilutions (30 drops of EO in 330 drops to solution). For 10%, add only 270 drops of coconut oil, so you have 30 drops of EO in 300 drops of solution. But I doubt the difference in smell is worth starting over.

    More important is, oil evaporates much more slowly than alcohol. If I put a drop of 10% EO in oil on one paper towel and a drop of 10% same EO in alcohol on another paper towel, the EO/alcohol paper towel will give me a much stronger initial smell than the EO/oil paper towel. But the EO/oil paper towel will continue to smell of the EO for quite a while after all the scent has evaporated from the EO/alcohol paper towel. The same is true if you put EO/oil on one wrist and EO/alcohol on the other.

    Most important, as you'll see in a bunch of posts on this topic, you won't be able to dilute EO/oil in perfumer's alcohol. Oil and alcohol is like oil and water.

    Oil as a base has the advantage of feeling nice on the skin. But I've found that oil doesn't make a nice mist if you try to spray it through an ordinary spray bottle. Drop formation depends on density and surface tension and they are both different for oil than for alcohol. So I suggest deciding in advance whether your final fragrance will be oil or alcohol based and just use one.

  3. #3

    Default Re: A beginners question about oils, dilution and bases

    Thank you sooooo much. You have saved me much wasted time and aggro. It was right to pose the early question. I will add the right drops to make it a 10% solution, otherwise further ratio calculations will be too hard. In order to start learning all the base notes, I was mixing these dilutions from oils I already have, so I could wear one a day to learn about what each EO would do on the skin from application to drydown. I bought the fractionated coconut oil for economic reasons to play at simple mixtures with.

    I do however have some alcohol coming, so, in reading this answer, I realise that I have a lot of reading of posts to do before I even think of beginning with this. I had the notion that I could invent the recipe with the diluted oils and then once perfected to my satisfaction, make a proper perfume with the alcohol afterwards.

    Thank you for helping me in this quest.

    (Thanks for the essential oils PM too. I shall look there.)

  4. #4
    ECaruthers's Avatar
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    Default Re: A beginners question about oils, dilution and bases

    mumsy, I also use dilutions in oil to learn what different notes smell like. I need the extra time that the slower evaporation provides. My estimate is that a 10% dilution in oil will initially smell as strong as a 3% dilution in alcohol.

    Beyond EOs, I recommend The Perfumer's Apprentice for a wide range of accords and individual aromachemicals.

    Have fun.

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