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  1. #1

    Default Dissolving absolutes

    Good day!
    If I want to dissolve an absolute in alcohol or in a carrier oil, do I need to heat the alcohol or oil up first? I'm so sorry for the stupid questions, but I'm learning and afraid to make a mistake because everything is so darn expensive! Thank you!!

    patti

  2. #2

    Default Re: Dissolving absolutes

    Hi Patti,

    The easy answer is, no. I've dissolved some damned stubborn absolutes in alcohol without heat, no problem. I think the most stubborn have been mimosa, benzoin resinoid, and various other literally solid bunches of what appears to be gunk. I have no experience with using oil, so I'll leave that one to those with more experience in that medium. Best advise I can give is to dilute the absolutes to 10% by weight or volume (weight being ideal, but not everyone has a scale at home). Most stuff dissolves fully in 24-48 hours so patience is a virtue. Additionally, not every absolute is pure. In my agarwood co2 and mate absolute, there are small layers of cloudy organic material that settle to the bottom of the bottle. I make no effort to filter, just carefully pipette off the top of the bottle and accept the loss of a little material in the interest of clarity of the final juice. I hope this helps. I have experimented with heating things, and invariably it requires a lot of attention I do not possess with a potential for dangerous spills of hot concretes and absolutes (my desk still smells of molten labdanum resinoid I made the mistake of turning my back on for 30 seconds).

  3. #3

    Default Re: Dissolving absolutes

    Thank you so much. So, when you dilute your absolutes, do you dilute AGAIN in the alcohol for the final product, or do you just add more alcohol to make your final product. Does that make sense? Cause if you add your dilution to some more alcohol to make 100%, then does the absolute really only account for a small percentage of the fragrance? Also, where do you get your alcohol from? Thank you so much. Please excuse my inexperience!

    patti

  4. #4

    Default Re: Dissolving absolutes

    If you are writing formulae in terms of "drops" of ingredient, you can do one of two things. One is separately writing in drops of absolute and alcohol. For instance, if you add two drops of jasmine absolute to a fragrance that is diluted to ten percent, you are adding 0.2 drops of jasmine absolute and 1.8 drops of alcohol which is as exact as you'll get. The other method would be that you added two drops of jasmine abs. at 10% dilution and count it as two parts of your fragrance...less exact but easier if you have no patience for math and are not planning on starting a fragrance empire where this kind of exactitude is really important. Hope this helps and enjoy your craft.

    Roy

  5. #5

    Default Re: Dissolving absolutes

    roy, what is the strongest solution you have made with mimosa? i have tried 25% but it did not dissolve completely. i am thinking about making it 12,5% but perhaps it can be a little stronger. have you tried to dissolve mimosa abs in dpg?

  6. #6

    Default Re: Dissolving absolutes

    I have dissolved mimosa absolute at 10% in alcohol without any problem except for the small bits of flower that settle to the bottom, exactly as Roy says. The way I soften up resins and absolutes is to heat some water in the microwave (nowhere near boiling, just hot to the touch) and let the bottle or jar sit in a water bath until the contents become more fluid. That way you don't have any accidents! For absolutes I usually do a 10% dilution, but for resins like benzoin, a 75% dilution usually works well.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Dissolving absolutes

    Why did you chose that percentage dilution for mimosa and benzoin? Is there a particular reason or do you like the way it smells more at that dilution? thank you!

  8. #8

    Default Re: Dissolving absolutes

    In these two cases, the choice of dilution was mainly determined by what would produce a solution that is liquid enough to work with. Neither mimosa or benzoin has such a strong smell that it has to be greatly diluted to be tolerable. It's possible that I could go higher on the mimosa concentration, but the 10% dilution worked.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Dissolving absolutes

    i think the 25% solution was not good enough, it started to solidify at the bottom after being on room temp for 12 hours. i made it 12.5% and so far (half a day again) so good.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Dissolving absolutes

    Any experience with lavender absolutes? i would obtain a solution with a good concentration to work with (50% or less in alcohol?). Thx for ideas.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Dissolving absolutes

    For benzoin, labdanum or peru balsam. Try using benzyl benzoate in proper amount.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Dissolving absolutes

    lavender absolute is powerful and overwhelming. I use it at 20% in alcohol. It needs to used with care or it can dominate in a dirty. flat way.
    I just made a lavender water formula, used 4 drops of this 20% absolute in a 10ml experimental batch with lots of lavender EO and other ingredients - I am very pleased with the result.
    "Donít try to be original. Be simple. Be good technically, and if there is something in you, it will come out. Ē - Henri Matisse.

    "Wear R de Capucci" - Hirch Duckfinder

    reviews

  13. #13

    Default Re: Dissolving absolutes

    To original poster, when diluting vanilla I found I got much better results if I heated the vanilla absolute and the alcohol gently before diluting.

    edit - take extreme care heating alcohol
    Last edited by hirch_duckfinder; 23rd April 2010 at 10:24 PM.
    "Donít try to be original. Be simple. Be good technically, and if there is something in you, it will come out. Ē - Henri Matisse.

    "Wear R de Capucci" - Hirch Duckfinder

    reviews

  14. #14

    Default Re: Dissolving absolutes

    I'm just dissolving solid frankincense tears in perfumers alcohol at the moment. How would you suggest measuring the ratios to get a 10% dilution when one is solid and the other a liquid? I'm doing mine this time by guesstimate only but it would be nice to be more accurate.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Dissolving absolutes

    by weight is the best.

    but accurate fine scales come at a price.

    a good idea would be to pulverize the frankincense. that way, you get a much better shot at the actual volume. in this process it might (not sure here) get all sticky and difficult, but it's best to do it anyway, because the odor will dissolve much easier and better into the alcohol. (otherwise you're probably just getting what's on the outside of each tear.)

    btw. you are making a tincture, not a dilution. you probably need to filter it, when it's done; all the waxes et cetera, about 25% will not dissolve. and you might consider making it stronger, maybe 20% or 25%, as well as using dep instead of alcohol.

    success.
    Last edited by gido; 4th May 2010 at 10:14 PM.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Dissolving absolutes

    Hi Im new here but have been reading about making perfume for a long time.
    I finally bit the bullet and bought some essential oils and absolutes that i have found used in many recipes and plan to use both jojoba & alchohol as a carrier.
    Ive read up on percentages of EOs to carrier and plan to use 20% strength in 10ml bottle.
    Ive read 1 ml is approx 20 drops, so ill be needing 40 drops of EO and 160 carrier.
    Then that 20 drops is then divided into the percentages of top, heart & base notes. This is the hard part as i can imagine deciding which EO & how many drops of each oil to use in each note would be difficult for a newb. So i plan to follow recipes. The above sounds like im trying to tell others how its done, but im just trying to get it right in my head! lol and let me know if im wrong somewhere. Ok now to my actual question which has taken me a while to spit out. Absolutes. Do they get used as EOs do? Obviously if im following a recipe it will tell me how much to use. But what i mean is, i dont know what i mean.....Ok so say if i pre dilute my EO's to 20% strength as i have read some people do so that they can get the right whiff as they are mixing up scents, would i dilute an absolute to the same strength, or because its an absolute does it need to be diluted further than the others? and also if i go down the diluting all my oils 'road', when i top up the perfume bottle with carrier, the strength will be less than 20% now right? so how do i get back to my 20% without getting all confusion!!

    Any help would be much appreciated!!

  17. #17

    Default Re: Dissolving absolutes

    hello amfie,

    here are some points:
    • are you aware that you can't mix jojoba and alcohol?
    • 1ml is not 20 drops. the size of a drop depends on several things. measure the amount of drop per ml for each liquid as it is different (thin oil vs thick oil) for each one. the difference can be huge. it's much better to get plastic pippetes with measurements in ml on them, and dilute by that (1 ml oil + 4.5 ml carrier = 20%). you can use formulas using drops because they take this difference into account. (be aware that a drop of some sticky oil is not similar to the same, diluted to 20% in alcohol. follow the guidelines of you formula. if there aren't any guidelines, experiment and use your nose.)
    • look up www.thegoodscentscompany.com for relative odor strength. for smelling/odor evaluation purpose dilute your oils according to odor strength, it is not important whether it's an absolute or not. (maybe unless you absolute is too sticky and solid, and not fluid at 20%, but that's another story). but then again, the formula you are going to use might be calling for something else, they have taken the odor strength into account, so in that case you need to use the same dilution for each and every material.
    • you don't need to dilute things down after mixing! why should you? only if you find it too strong. be aware jojoba needs a much higher percentage of oils as it doesn't evaporate as much as alcohol. 20% is most likely not going to be enough.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Dissolving absolutes

    Quote Originally Posted by gido View Post
    hello amfie,

    here are some points:
    • are you aware that you can't mix jojoba and alcohol?
    • 1ml is not 20 drops. the size of a drop depends on several things. measure the amount of drop per ml for each liquid as it is different (thin oil vs thick oil) for each one. the difference can be huge. it's much better to get plastic pippetes with measurements in ml on them, and dilute by that (1 ml oil + 4.5 ml carrier = 20%). you can use formulas using drops because they take this difference into account. (be aware that a drop of some sticky oil is not similar to the same, diluted to 20% in alcohol. follow the guidelines of you formula. if there aren't any guidelines, experiment and use your nose.)
    • look up www.thegoodscentscompany.com for relative odor strength. for smelling/odor evaluation purpose dilute your oils according to odor strength, it is not important whether it's an absolute or not. (maybe unless you absolute is too sticky and solid, and not fluid at 20%, but that's another story). but then again, the formula you are going to use might be calling for something else, they have taken the odor strength into account, so in that case you need to use the same dilution for each and every material.
    • you don't need to dilute things down after mixing! why should you? only if you find it too strong. be aware jojoba needs a much higher percentage of oils as it doesn't evaporate as much as alcohol. 20% is most likely not going to be enough.
    Hi Gido thanks so much for the reply.
    Yes i was planning to use either jojoba or alchohol as a carrier but not together.
    I see what you mean about absolutes and odor strength.
    What i meant by diluting after mixing, was if i start with an empty 10ml bottle and use drops of the already 20% diluted essential oils to get the right scent, and then fill it with carrier, i wont have a 20% strength anymore. I could be wrong but ive read that its a good idea to dilute your oils and mix drops of each to get the idea of what the finished scent will be. But in this case you will only have a very small amount in your bottle, so you must up the formula when you add the carrier im guessing. I was just wondering if there was an easy way of working this out or better order of doing it in. Maybe im over analising.
    What percentage would you suggest for jojoba?
    Thanks

  19. #19

    Default Re: Dissolving absolutes

    yes, but again, pre-diluted the size of the drops will be different. it won't be the same.
    you can make the perfume as strong as you wish. be aware that things can smell not only less strong but also very different in dilution! the amount of oils depends on odor strength, so you will have to use your nose. 20% is quite strong.
    elsewhere on this forum, janmeut gives an indication on ratios with jojoba oil, search for titles with jojoba. i think it was close to 50/50.
    Last edited by gido; 15th May 2010 at 04:41 PM.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Dissolving absolutes

    maybe im being a bit confusing with my question. ill try to be more precise. Im going to talk in drops rather than weight/mls or however its done. I realise this isnt as accurate but for now its the only means i have and all im really trying to do right now is understand the concept.
    Regardless whether its too strong or not, for the sake of the example. If i intend to make a 20% strength scent in a 10ml bottle and if we presume 1 ml is approx 20 drops just for this example. Then i will need 40 drops of EO to 160 of carrier. And these 40 drops will be made up of top/heart/base note percentages and it all depends on preference/strength of oils etc.....this is understand....

    where i get confused is....If i use various 20% prediluted oils to make a total of 40 drops, this is a weak solution right, and still havent added my carrier oil? if i add 160 drops of carrier we are weaker again. What im asking is how to get to my goal of a 20% strength finished scent when im using prefiluted oils....an easy way

    you might be an expert at smelling to see if its just right etc...but as a newb i really need to understand the concept, all atleast thats the way my brain works....hope you get what im saying and thanks for getting back to me

  21. #21

    Default Re: Dissolving absolutes

    Amfie, It seems you're worrying too much about amounts and concentrations given that you don't have any accurate way of measuring anything. Maybe for starters you could just start out mixing things by "drops" (whatever that means) and see how they smell. There's nothing wrong with working in approximate ratios. I would suggest not using expensive materials until you become confident about formulating.

    I don't know what your ultimate goal is, but if you pursue this as a hobby, it's worth investing in a decent scale that measures in 0.1 g increments (or less), some pipettes, some graduated cylinders, beakers, metal spatulas, filtering equipment, etc. These things don't cost a fortune if you shop around online, and will make your life much easier.

    In the end, your nose is the ultimate authority, so all you have to do is keep an accurate record of what your nose tells you to do.

  22. #22

    Default Re: Dissolving absolutes

    Quote Originally Posted by amfie View Post
    where i get confused is....If i use various 20% prediluted oils to make a total of 40 drops, this is a weak solution right, and still havent added my carrier oil? if i add 160 drops of carrier we are weaker again. What im asking is how to get to my goal of a 20% strength finished scent when im using prefiluted oils....an easy way
    if you persist in mixing pre-diluted drops, there is no easy way. you have to do endless counting. that's why i am trying to offer you better solutions.
    please do yourself a favor, get some plastic pipettes. you can get them here 80 cents for 10 pieces, 6 euro gets you 100. count how many drops go in 0.5 ml. do a little math, and you will be done in two minutes.
    otherwise, don't use pre-diluted oils, mix it pure and then add 80% carrier. to do this, you could use a apothecary bottle (again, cheap, available) they have a certain size. add oils until you reach 20% and simple fill the rest with the carrier.

  23. #23

    Default Re: Dissolving absolutes

    ok thanks, yes thats exactly what i meant. its not necessarily that i want to use the oils prediluted, it just seemed to be the perferred method of alot more the 'experienced' people so i thought i should also. From what i gathered the pros seem to be that you can experiment with mixes without wasting larger amounts. Which is precisely what i have done so far, wasted, so it could be a good idea. As for pipettes yes i have a pack of 100x 1ml pipettes, and before i got into measuring preciseley was just going to go by 'drops'. Im destined to mess up at first with even getting a scent to smell good, so i really prefer to just keep things simple for now. I have every intention of getting more precise but dont want to overload the brain just yet.

    Ive now realised the simple answer to my own question. Once i have the 20% strength scent i want from the test amount of pre-diluted oils, i then use that formula/ratio of each prediluted oil as a ratio/weight of the total amount and simply use more of the pre-diluted oil. Thats actually all i wanted to know. i I was getting confused on how to maintain that ratio because i kept thinking of topping up with plain carrier, instead of just more of the same. Im sure you probably answered this in your own way, but i just needed it spelt out, and this back and forth has helped me nut it out so thankyou!!

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