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  1. #1

    Default A question regarding the use of isopropyl myristate in perfumers alcohol

    I have just come across this:-

    "please note that there are those [authorities] who state: "do not use any variation of isopropyl alcohol, nor any so-called 'perfumery blend' that might contain it; the rapidity of the drying rate is far too high and it can carry a scent that may interfere with your blend. isopropyl myristate is known for causing skin-clogging and blackheads and it is a dermal, eye, and respiratory irritant."

    I found it here:-
    http://home.earthlink.net/~skinesscentuals/Perf.html

    My mistrani perfumers alcohol DOES have this in and I was wondering where this information came from and is it true?

    Can anyone in the know shed any light on this matter?

  2. #2
    Lauren O's Avatar
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    Default Re: A question regarding the use of isopropyl myristate in perfumers alcohol

    Hi mumsy,

    I just looked it up and I found this:


    "isopropyl myristate
    Categories: Emollients, Thickeners/Emulsifiers
    Used in cosmetics as a thickening agent and emollient. Historically, animal testing has shown it causes clogged pores (Source: Archives of Dermatology, June 1986, pages 660Ė665). Results derived from animal testing were eventually considered unreliable, however, and there is no subsequent research showing this ingredient is any more of a problem for skin than other emollient, waxy, thickening ingredients used in cosmetics."

    Here's the link:
    http://www.cosmeticscop.com/cosmetic...myristate.aspx

    I hope it's okay to use because I have some isopropyl myristate too...

  3. #3

    Default Re: A question regarding the use of isopropyl myristate in perfumers alcohol

    This is what the description was on the site i bought the perfumers alcohol from:-

    The 3 main ingredients of perfumers alcohol are:

    1. Ethanol (denatured) - A pharma grade alcohol which is the main carrier for the fragrance oils. This evaporates quickly as it is warmed by skin temperature releasing the fragrances evenly over the surface.

    2. Isopropyl myristate - used in cosmetic and topical medicinal preparations where good absorption through the skin is desired.

    3. Monopropylene glycol - a skin safe cosolvent which allows the fragrance oils to be solubilised in the alcohol carrier. This helps to control the evaporation of the alcohol so that it does not flash off too quickly.


    This description doesn't indicate anything like that.....
    One is at the mercy of the vendor when ignorance is bliss.... I hope it's ok to use too.

    It may be a good idea to summarise the sort of perfumers alcohol everyone uses and finds best. I'm finding mine a little harsh after I've blended a perfume. It blasts the alcohol smell at me instead of the scent, but this could be just I haven't had it mixed for long enough yet.

    How long are you storing your new blends for before they are smelling of perfume and not the alcohol?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: A question regarding the use of isopropyl myristate in perfumers alcohol

    I believe Isopropyl myristate is a naturally-derived synthetic... How do you use it in formulation? In which proportion? Can we replace it by glycerin? Is there a natural substitute of Monopropylene glycol??
    Les parfums, les couleurs et les sons se rťpondent (Charles Baudelaire)

    The odours do not have a sex. Nothing is prohibited in a perfume provided that it gets pleasures! (Jacques Cavallier)

  5. #5

    Default Re: A question regarding the use of isopropyl myristate in perfumers alcohol

    I don't know the answer to that. The perfumers alcohol I buy, already has this in it. I think it must actually be to stop alcoholics drinking it.

    If it is a naturally derived synthetic, then I would rather buy one without it in if that was lawfully possible in England. I want my eventual perfumes to be as natural as I can have them within reason. I don't like the idea that there is anything synthetic in my current blends unless I wish to put it there for a reason.

    Does anyone know if you are allowed to buy undenatured alcohol in the UK? Or know of an undenatured source anywhere?

  6. #6

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    Default Re: A question regarding the use of isopropyl myristate in perfumers alcohol

    It is basically a moisturiser. It slows evaporation a little so increasining longevity a little. It has been used in perfumes/aftershaves for many years.
    "Donít try to be original. Be simple. Be good technically, and if there is something in you, it will come out. Ē - Henri Matisse.

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  7. #7

    Default Re: A question regarding the use of isopropyl myristate in perfumers alcohol

    I cannot worry about it, there is little choice but to have it in over here. There aren't that many suppliers for hobbyists.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: A question regarding the use of isopropyl myristate in perfumers alcohol

    My perfumery alcohol is Denatured alcohol and has no isopropyl myristate. I have an additive, bitrex, to make it improper to drink. Bitrex is another name for denatonium benzoate, a "harmless" chemical compound used in household products, denatured alcochol, insect repellents, shampoos and liquid soaps. I don't like to have that but no choice, it's impossible to find organic perfume alcohol, it would cost me over 100$ for a gallon with shipping, taxes and duty...

    Found more info for isopropyl myristate: used as emollient for cosmetics and medicinal formulations (usage Rate: 1-10%), but no clue how much exactly for perfumery. If it's used only for moisturizing properties and not as a stabilizer, then, I think I am going to use vegetable gycerin...
    Les parfums, les couleurs et les sons se rťpondent (Charles Baudelaire)

    The odours do not have a sex. Nothing is prohibited in a perfume provided that it gets pleasures! (Jacques Cavallier)

  9. #9

    Default Re: A question regarding the use of isopropyl myristate in perfumers alcohol

    Does anyone have a source that is pure that they are willing to share online?

  10. #10
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    Default Re: A question regarding the use of isopropyl myristate in perfumers alcohol

    Hi Mumsy, When getting into perfume making, the solvent (i.e. pure ethanol) is of utmost importance, and compared to the essential oils it turns out to be the hardest thing to procure. This is a major issue for DIY perfumery and I think this topic should have it's own thread, and it should be a sticky thread called "Alcohol for perfumery". I hope the editors or managers of Basenotes are reading this and that they can make this happen. If anyone reading this knows how to cause this to happen, please tell the right people.

    Here are some major topics that should be discussed in this sticky thread (along with my answers which may or may not be correct):

    1. What is perfumer's alcohol? Answer: fundamentally it's just pure 95% ethanol.

    2. Is there a difference between: a. Perfumer's alcohol, b. Grape alcohol, c. Grain alcohol, d. Everclear, etc. Answer: no. Since the ethanol in all of these is a product of a fractional distillation process, it's pure. Trace amounts of impurities may be present, but they likely have little or no effect on the end product, perfume.

    3. What is proof? Is 100 proof alcohol pure ethanol? No. 100 proof means 50% ethanol. In fact 190 proof alcohol is 95% ethanol and that's the one you want.

    4. Why is it 95% and not 100% ethanol? You cannot get pure ethanol due to the physics of the substance. This has to do with vapour pressure of ethanol versus water vapour. Due to equilibrium considerations and the nature of these two fundamental substances of nature (i.e. H2O and CH5OH) ethanol will absorb water from the air until it reaches a balance at 95% ethanol and 5% water. You can get to 100% by using some tricky distillation techniques involving benzene, but it's not worth it.)

    5. How to get 95% Ethanol. This depends very much on what country you live in. Based on a wide reading of Basenotes DIY threads it appears that in some European countries such as Italy and Holland, it's relatively easy to get pure 95% ethanol. You just buy it at the corner store and it's cheap. In other places such as England, Canada and the USA, it's a major project trying to find it legally. A list of countries and the availability of ethanol in each would be handy. For instance, in Canada it's different in each province, but on a national level you can import pure 95% ethanol when you cross the border, as long as you have been outside of the country for 48 hours and it's not more than 1 litre. All along the border in British Columbia there are duty-free shops on the American side of the border that sell "Everclear" or some similar brand of 95% ethanol for about $20/litre. NOTE: Americans cannot buy this product. Only people *leaving* the country can buy it.

    6. Making your own ethanol by fractional distillation. You can buy a still for $400. Or you can make one for considerably less. Ethanol itself is easy to create with yeast and a sugar source. The hard part is separating it perfectly from everything else.

    7. Denaturing agents. Which ones are OK for perfumery and which are not? Here in Canada some denatured ethanol had camphor in it, which is a pain because you can smell it for a few minutes after the ethanol evaporates and this pretty much eliminates this relatively cheap source of ethanol from perfumery. Is Bitrex better?

    8. What about the practice of adding a tiny bit of vanilla or benzoin into a 1 litre bottle of pure 95% ethanol to make it into "Perfumer's Alcohol"? Why is this done and is it of any use?

    Others may have other topics that they'd like to contribute. Again, please make this into a sticky thread at the top of DIY perfumery.

  11. #11

    Default Re: A question regarding the use of isopropyl myristate in perfumers alcohol

    "5. How to get 95% Ethanol. This depends very much on what country you live in. Based on a wide reading of Basenotes DIY threads it appears that in some European countries such as Italy and Holland, it's relatively easy to get pure 95% ethanol. You just buy it at the corner store and it's cheap. In other places such as England, Canada and the USA, it's a major project trying to find it legally. A list of countries and the availability of ethanol in each would be handy. For instance, in Canada it's different in each province, but on a national level you can import pure 95% ethanol when you cross the border, as long as you have been outside of the country for 48 hours and it's not more than 1 litre. All along the border in British Columbia there are duty-free shops on the American side of the border that sell "Everclear" or some similar brand of 95% ethanol for about $20/litre. NOTE: Americans cannot buy this product. Only people *leaving* the country can buy it."


    bshell, that is an excellent overview. There ARE, however, a number of states in the USA that it is completely legal to purchase 190 proof Everclear. But there are also quite a few that the highest percentage that is legal to purchase is the 151 proof of it. You will have to check your local laws to find out.

  12. #12

    Default Re: A question regarding the use of isopropyl myristate in perfumers alcohol

    Thank you for that. It is interesting that some suppliers do add some tempering essential oils to 'condition' the alcohol. My feeling is that this is just to make it smell more pleasant, but could the alcohol then be classed as 'perfume' and therefore be legal as a result? Would this be the best way to avoid such legislation in a perfectly legal fashion?

  13. #13
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    Default Re: A question regarding the use of isopropyl myristate in perfumers alcohol

    Thanks a lot for your excellent replies, this will definitetely help all perfumery dummies like me... Last question: Is it possible to find a 200 proof alcohol as pretends one supplier that I have contacted??
    Les parfums, les couleurs et les sons se rťpondent (Charles Baudelaire)

    The odours do not have a sex. Nothing is prohibited in a perfume provided that it gets pleasures! (Jacques Cavallier)

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    Default Re: A question regarding the use of isopropyl myristate in perfumers alcohol

    As I said in point 4 above, you CAN get 200 proof or 100% ethanol but the manufacturer has to use a distillation trick involving some other nasty solvent like benzene. The problem is called an azeotrope and you can read about azeotropes on Wikipedia. The way around it is called azeotropic distillation and will result in pure 100% ethanol but at more expense and trouble. And anyway, when exposed to air, the pure ethanol will pull in water from the air till it gets to 95% again. 95% or 190 proof ethanol is all that is needed for perfumery. No need to get 200 proof.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: A question regarding the use of isopropyl myristate in perfumers alcohol

    Hi Mumsy,
    I use a range of sources for alcohol for my perfumes depending on what I'm trying to achieve - for a fully natural product the Mistrani 'Perfumers Alcohol' isn't any use, but otherwise I find it works well in most applications. If you are looking for a source of alcohol for a fully natural product then I'd suggest you have a look here:

    http://www.essentially-me.co.uk/lab_alcohol.php

    You'll notice that they sell two varieties - standard and organic - both contain some essential oils already, so they will have an influence on the scent you are using them with. The organic variety is very expensive because it's free of bitrex and so you have to pay duty on it, just as you would with a drinking alcohol.

    If you are within striking distance of Stroud I'd recommend a visit - besides the fact that they are nice people the courier charges are high on this stuff.

    Hope this helps.
    Chris Bartlett
    Perfumes from the edge . . .

    www.perfumedesigner.co.uk
    Twitter: @PellWallPerfume

    If you are looking for a perfumery consultation Iím happy to quote: if you want free advice, thatís what these forums are for
    You can also join my blog if you wish to ask questions of me.

  16. #16

    Default Re: A question regarding the use of isopropyl myristate in perfumers alcohol

    Thank you for that link. I have so far had no choice but to use the mistral one. I have been doctoring some with benzoin in a tiny dilution for some time, but so far it has only softened it a little.
    The essentially me company is very reputable and have aromatherapy backgrounds going back a long way. They are fully trustworthy and seem lovely. I may try a little bit one day to see...
    BUT
    I do not want to make a perfume with unknown quantities of unknown essential oils in. However natural they may be.
    My search is for one with absolutely nothing in and preferably organic. I know high % grape alcohol can be found in Italy.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: A question regarding the use of isopropyl myristate in perfumers alcohol

    In the UK you have some hurdles to overcome: first the duty makes it expensive, second the lack of additives means you need a licence to sell it and third (and this is the killer) you also need a licence to buy it. The HMRC rules are rather draconian I'm afraid.

    PS - one thing you might try, if you can manage to work with an alcohol that is only about 80% (the rest being water) then you could buy Balkan Vodka - that's for sale in specialist drinks shops and online in the UK and has no scent or additives. It's around £35-£45 for a standard 70cl bottle though.
    Last edited by Chris Bartlett; 19th July 2011 at 05:50 PM. Reason: Update
    Chris Bartlett
    Perfumes from the edge . . .

    www.perfumedesigner.co.uk
    Twitter: @PellWallPerfume

    If you are looking for a perfumery consultation Iím happy to quote: if you want free advice, thatís what these forums are for
    You can also join my blog if you wish to ask questions of me.

  18. #18

    Default Re: A question regarding the use of isopropyl myristate in perfumers alcohol

    Thank you. I found that with another company who did sell the right thing, but in such vast quantities. Investigate getting a licence... I have no doubt that will incur massive costs.... I may have to drink the vodka when I find out.

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    Default Re: A question regarding the use of isopropyl myristate in perfumers alcohol

    Hi bshell,

    Thank you, I need to ask for more info to my supplier, their website just mentions: Contains bitrex to render the alcohol undrinkable...
    Les parfums, les couleurs et les sons se rťpondent (Charles Baudelaire)

    The odours do not have a sex. Nothing is prohibited in a perfume provided that it gets pleasures! (Jacques Cavallier)

  20. #20

    Default Re: A question regarding the use of isopropyl myristate in perfumers alcohol

    Quote Originally Posted by mumsy View Post
    I don't know the answer to that. The perfumers alcohol I buy, already has this in it. I think it must actually be to stop alcoholics drinking it.

    If it is a naturally derived synthetic, then I would rather buy one without it in if that was lawfully possible in England. I want my eventual perfumes to be as natural as I can have them within reason. I don't like the idea that there is anything synthetic in my current blends unless I wish to put it there for a reason.

    Does anyone know if you are allowed to buy undenatured alcohol in the UK? Or know of an undenatured source anywhere?
    Hello Mumsy

    You can buy undenatured alcohol (ethanol - pure grain alcohol - 200 proof - seriously drinkable stuff!) in the UK but it's messy.

    For many years I have held a permit to purchase and use denatured alcohol; this is fairly easy to obtain (please come back if you need the details).

    However, when I asked about a permit for ethanol, I was told the standards are very strict. You have to demonstrate: (1) your storage facility seriously secure to prevent folks from stealing it to drink and (2) your storage facility is seriously fireproof.

    Since my perfume-making was fairly small volume and only for gifts for family and friends, I decided to stick with denatured alcohol to avoid the hassle. (I tried distilling vodka to remove the water but that was a disaster.)

    Now that I want to work to a higher standard and probably a higher volume, I plan to think again about pure ethanol. To my thinking, the finest perfume should include only two ingredients: oils of the highest quality and the purest carrier available. As far as I'm concerned, you can't find a carrier of any higher purity than ethanol (there are no doubt folks out there who disagree).

    I hope this helps.

    All the best.

    Warmest regards
    Bill

  21. #21

    Default Re: A question regarding the use of isopropyl myristate in perfumers alcohol

    Thank you for that. I suspected as much. To get any such certificate or permit here in Britain, maybe one would have to keep it in an outhouse with iron bars on and get any perfumers to sign for the keys, sign an indemnity clause and get a few million pounds insurance for a public indemnity clause. If it was in the house, no doubt it would render the house insurance invalid too. (I'm going to check that as well...having thought of it).

    I bet France didn't have any such nonsense... maybe it does now though.

    Perhaps I shall have to start a black market..... (only joking Mr policeman...I haven't found any yet).

  22. #22

    Default Re: A question regarding the use of isopropyl myristate in perfumers alcohol

    Hello Mumsy

    Well, heck it's not really not that bad. If I remember correctly, and it has been a few years, in the UK you can meet the requirements for the ethanol license with a reasonably secure garden shed: you don't really need iron bars and a concrete bunker. You could probably do it with a fireproof metal locker sited at the bottom of the garden and secured to the ground somehow.

    Again, if I remember correctly, before your license is approved they have to come to your house to inspect your storage facility. This is a bit of a hassle but now that you're getting serious about your hobby, maybe it's worth it.

    The other problem is the cost. In my last posting I talked about 200 proof or 100% ethanol. You can buy 200 proof - I think -but it will cost you maybe £600 a litre, while 195 proof might cost you £200 (or whatever the market is today).

    So I guess it comes down to the question of how serious you are about your hobby (or maybe by now for you it's more than a hobby, perhaps an avocation?). For me, I'm going to stay with my denatured ethanol at maybe £50 a litre for a while yet. When I have created something to rival Chanel #22 for the woman I love, then it will be time to think about pure ethanol.

    Or maybe, and this relates to an earlier post, with the help of somebody studying chemistry at university, you could devise a still at some reasonable cost and create nearly pure ethanol by removing the water from vodka (probably illegal but my lips are sealed. Anyhow, they might not deal with you too harshly when you convince them nobody's drinking it).

    Speaking of Chanel, do you have any idea where I might be able to buy 5ml to 10ml clear glass bottles with ground glass stoppers housed in little boxes with black linings at anything other than obscene prices?

    All the best.

    Warmest regards
    Bill

  23. #23

    Default Re: A question regarding the use of isopropyl myristate in perfumers alcohol

    Hello Folks

    For those of you interested in finding out all about ethanol and its production, you may want to check out this webpage: http://www.ucc.ie/academic/chem/dolc...p/ethanol.html.

    Speaking of ethanol, has anybody out there tried freezing vodka and draining off the unfrozen ethanol? I have absolutely no idea whether this will work or not but if the experiment doesn't work, I can always drink the remains.

    Enjoy.

    All the best.

    Warmest regards
    Bill

  24. #24
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    Default Re: A question regarding the use of isopropyl myristate in perfumers alcohol

    The information on ethanol is often very confusing and the purpose of this sticky thread is to remove some of that confusion for DIY perfumers.

    To Smellsgreat: Thanks for your contributions to this thread. I think there are errors in both your post on the cost of ethanol in the UK, as well as within your link to the Chemistry department of University College Cork. The numbers appear to be off by at least an order of magnitude. I would be very surprised if alcohol costs £600 or even £50 per litre anywhere on the planet. Here in Canada it's at least 20 times less even if you go the full legal route with permits, etc. On the University of Cork website they talk about the enzyme powered fermentation conversion of sugar into ethanol happening at 250 to 300 degrees C. This is not correct since it would have to be under tremendous pressure and this would destroy the enzyme for sure, and probably the alcohol, too. It's more likely supposed to be 25C - 30C. Also, later on they give the boiling point of ethanol as 780C. In fact it's 78.1C. Then the freezing point is given as -1150C. This is far colder than absolute zero. So the correct number is more likely -115C. Much more reliable websites for information on ethanol are the wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethanol and this one on "Neutral Grain Spirit": http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neutral_grain_spirit

    Another very confusing notion regarding ethanol is "proof". 200 proof should not be used in perfumery because it contains traces of Benzene which is carcinogenic. The most anyone would use is 190proof, which is 95% ethanol, the highest concentration that can be obtained via distillation due to the azeotrope ethanol forms with water. i.e. practically usable ethanol in perfumery must always have 5% water in it. To be exact 4.4% water.

  25. #25

    Default Re: A question regarding the use of isopropyl myristate in perfumers alcohol

    Hello Bshell

    One problem solved and one to go:

    The -1150C and the 780C should read -115C and 78C; the "0" in each figure should have been a superscripted "degree" sign for which the formatting apparently was lost when the article was posted.

    The £600 I was quoting from memory was the cost of seriously pure ethanol with the remaining 5% water removed (we don't really need a carrier that pure so why worry? A little water may be good for you, anyhow). The last denatured ethanol I bought was several years ago and I don't remember exactly what I paid for it. I shall check current prices here in the UK and post a reply tomorrow.

    Sorry for the confusion.

    All the best.

    Warmest regards
    Bill

  26. #26

    Default Re: A question regarding the use of isopropyl myristate in perfumers alcohol

    Hello Mumsy & Bshell

    As promised, here is an update from the UK.

    Mumsy, you can obtain a permit to purchase up to five Litres of Denatured Ethanol B from HM Customs & Excise. When I obtained my permit about ten years ago it was free; there may be a fee now.

    Ethanol B is pure Ethanol (95%) to which is added 0.1% Tert-Butyl Alcohol to make it undrinkable. I haven't been able to find any references about how Tert-Butyl Alcohol at 0.1% will affect your perfume (I should think not at this low concentration).

    You can buy it here in the UK from Phoenix Natural Products Ltd by phone quoting your Customs & Excise Authorization Number. The price quoted to me today was £4.45/L with some carriage added.

    @Bshell: Sorry for the confusion over the pricing; memory is the first to go.

    I hope this helps perfumers here in the UK and clears up any confusion.

    It would be nice to hear from anybody with knowledge of how this denaturing agent might affect a perfume blend.

    All the best.

    Warmest regards
    Bill

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    Default Re: A question regarding the use of isopropyl myristate in perfumers alcohol

    Hi everyone. Been lurking here for a while, but I thought I should share this. I recently came across some 95% Vodka that I imagine would be great for making tinctures / perfume. Still pretty expensive, but it's a UK source and seems to be the only easy way to get pure un-denatured alcohol without going to Italy or somewhere. Apparently it's popular in Poland for making fruit flavoured Vodkas and the like. Here's the link:

    http://www.thewhiskyexchange.com/P-9042.aspx

    If anyone knows of somewhere cheaper online, please do share.

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    Default Re: A question regarding the use of isopropyl myristate in perfumers alcohol

    Renegade: Thanks! That's a great source, but insanely expensive.

    Smellsgreat: £4.45/L is about 10 times less than the price of Spyritus Vodka at the Whisky Exchange as referenced by Renegade. Unfortunately Tert-Butyl Alcohol has a camphor smell: http://www.thegoodscentscompany.com/data/rw1047291.html. This makes it questionable for perfumery, unless of course you want that hit of camphor in your perfume. Personally, I find that when using that stuff, the camphor smell evaporates pretty fast, but it's going to be there as part of the first impression of the perfume. I find it's gone in a few minutes though.

    Recently, I found a source here in town (Vancouver) called Golden Bough Botanicals where you can get denatured Ethanol (they use Bitrex in ~30ppm quantities) and it does not smell at all. Cost is about CA$8/L which is the cheapest I have seen. They have a minimum order of $75, though. But you can buy all sorts of essential oils, bottles and other things there as well, such as fragrance-free shampoo and hand-cream bases, etc, so it's easy to spend $75.

    Thanks to everyone contributing to this thread. Finding good quality perfumer's alcohol is essential and yet one of the great unexpected difficulties of a beginning DIY perfumer. This thread should help a lot of people.

  29. #29

    Default Re: A question regarding the use of isopropyl myristate in perfumers alcohol

    One quick thing that no one else mentioned. Isopropyl myristate isn't a "variation of isopropyl alcohol" any more than water is a "variation of hydrogen" or a "variation of oxygen". It's a molecule that happens to have an isopropyl group attached to it. It's, systematically, an isoproyl group and a myristate group attached by an ester bond. Isopropyl alcohol is an isopropyl group with an -OH group attached to it. (Or you could say a propane molecule with an -OH group attached to its middle carbon.) The presence of a specific group in a molecule doesn't necessarily convey upon it the suite of properties of another arbitrary compound also containing that group.

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    Default Re: A question regarding the use of isopropyl myristate in perfumers alcohol

    Sehrgut: that's a really good point. Maybe you could expand on what the Myristate group is, and what it does, and why we would want it or not want it in our mix. It seems that isopropyl myristate is added as an emulsifier. Is that your understanding?

  31. #31

    Default Re: A question regarding the use of isopropyl myristate in perfumers alcohol

    The myristate group is simply myristic acid (as present in things like palm and coconut oil) as combined with another compound. In this case, one combines isopropyl alcohol (isopropanol) and myristic acid (probably isolated from a vegetable oil source) in the presence of a small amount of sulfuric acid. This removes a hydrogen from the carboxyl ("acid") group on the myristic acid and the -OH (alcohol) group from the isopropanol and joins them together at the "broken spots". (This is an oversimplification, but you can see a step-by-step breakdown here if you're interested.)

    So the resulting substance, isopropyl myristate, isn't "like" isopropanol OR myristic acid, its "parents", any more than water is like hydrogen or oxygen, or salt is like chlorine or sodium (thank goodness for that! *grin*). (Or any more than acetate fabric is "like" the vinegar used in making acetate fibers.)

    I'm more familiar with the abstract chemistry of such things than their use in perfumery, unfortunately, but my guess would be that its either a cosolvent (to actually bring immiscible phases into solution, rather than just emulsifying them as tiny drops) or maybe drying retardant for the alcohol (to prevent as quick a boil-off on the skin, lowering the perceptible "alcohol smell"). Someone else could probably answer that better than me.

    As to whether we want it in our perfumes or not, that comes down to preference, since it's present in small enough quantities not to trigger its only real drawback -- it's a comedogenic. Myself, I think (apologies if I offend -- I mean only to state my personal views) that a "principled" all-organic view is rather silly, since "natural" substances can be and often are more dangerous than synthetics. (Cocaine, anyone? Aflatoxin -- one of the most potent carcinogens known?) There's nothing magical about naturally-derived substances.

    Now, my personal preference in most arts -- and perfumery is no exception -- is to use completely natural things, but just out of an aesthetic bent that way.

  32. #32

    Default Re: A question regarding the use of isopropyl myristate in perfumers alcohol

    Quote Originally Posted by sehrgut View Post
    Myself, I think (apologies if I offend -- I mean only to state my personal views) that a "principled" all-organic view is rather silly, since "natural" substances can be and often are more dangerous than synthetics. (Cocaine, anyone? Aflatoxin -- one of the most potent carcinogens known?) There's nothing magical about naturally-derived substances.

    Now, my personal preference in most arts -- and perfumery is no exception -- is to use completely natural things, but just out of an aesthetic bent that way.
    I agree in a way when put like that, but in this case of perfumes, if the additives aren't necessary for the resulting perfume, then the 'principled approach' of all organic does no harm if it can be obtained, and therefore only enhances that organic approach.

    Personally I'm not actually opposed to chemicals, I would just like the organic choice without it being made for me.

    That vodka looks like the real thing and i will keep my eyes open for some. I wouldn't like to drink it though.

  33. #33
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    Default Re: A question regarding the use of isopropyl myristate in perfumers alcohol

    Quote Originally Posted by mumsy View Post
    That vodka looks like the real thing and i will keep my eyes open for some. I wouldn't like to drink it though.
    Certainly worth trying - despite the expense - but seriously don't drink the stuff neat: in a cocktail sure, but not neat.

    That being said I would be interested to know whether you can in fact tell the difference between a perfume made with the vodka and with Mistral's Perfumers' Alcohol: I find that in practice I can't, much as I dislike putting the extra two ingredients on my labels, they really are not altering the scent any more than the alcohol itself does.
    Chris Bartlett
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  34. #34

    Default Re: A question regarding the use of isopropyl myristate in perfumers alcohol

    This is my first posting so if I have broken any rules with the information posted please could the administrator remove it and let me know where I went wrong so that I avoid making the mistake (oh and apologies!). Likewise if it would better appear under a different thread then by all means move it to there.

    -----------------------

    I've managed to find denatured alcohol in the UK at: http://www.thesoapkitchen.co.uk/

    Prices excluding postage are currently:
    100ml £1
    250ml £1.70
    500ml £2.80
    1 litre £4.70
    5 litres £19.50

    -------------------------------------------
    I wrote to see what it is denatured with and they replied to say:

    "Tertiary Butyl Alcohol - 0.1% vol

    Denatonium Benzoate (bitrex?) - added to the resulting mixture in the proportion of 10 microgams per millilitre.

    It is not regarded as being dangerous because it evaporates so quickly when applied to the skin just leaving the scent behind"

    I hope that is true as like all posters here I want my perfume to be safe to use. I'd also prefer my perfumes to be as natural as possible but I've no idea how natural the denaturing agents are. I'm assuming that the other stuff that is routinely added in the UK to make 'perfumers alcohol' isn't actually needed, that just denatured alcohol on its own will do a good job...

    ----------------------------

    There is also 2 notes on the site which are helpful regardless of whether you buy it from this source or not:

    1. THIS PRODUCT REQUIRES A USER AUTHORISATION FROM HMRC BEFORE WE CAN SUPPLY. For customers wishing to order this product who do not yet hold authorisation, an application for is available from HM Revenue & Customs, via their National helpline or from....

    National Registration Unit
    HMRC
    Portcullis House
    21 India Street
    Glasgow
    G2 4PZ

    There is no cost involved in obtaining authorisation. Hobbyists and small businesses may apply to receive 20Lt or less for their own use as a recognised category for authorisation.

    Orders may be placed with us via phone +44 (0)1805 622944. fax: +44 (0)870 4586724, or Email sales@thesoapkitchen.co.uk and must be accompanied by a copy of your user Authorisation Letter.

    If this product is added to an existing order the shipping cost will be recalculated accordingly.

    -------------------------


    2. INFORMATION FOR TSDA APPLICATIONS

    We are licensed stockists of TSDA (trade specific denatured alcohol) in the form of DEB100, which is used mainly in the manufacture of soaps, toiletries, perfumes, cosmetics etc.. In order that we can supply our customers we require them to be licensed by HMRC themselves and to hold a copy of this license. We will then be able to supply in quantities not exceeding 20Lt up to any annual maximum their license specifies.

    To make your application for a license simpler we have a link to a copy of the application for HERE:
    http://www.thesoapkitchen.co.uk/imag...0or%20TSDA.doc

    Once you've completed the form you need to sent it together with a COVERING LETTER to...

    National Registration Unit
    HMRC
    Portcullis House
    21 India Street
    Glasgow
    G2 4PZ

    Please Note... DEB100 TSDA is not considered suitable as a diluent for room-sprays, so applications for use for this purpose will not be considered.

    -------------------------

    In filling in the application form you might first want to see what the laws currently are so that you stand more chance of being granted the licence. Information can be found throughout the following HMRC webpage:

    http://customs.hmrc.gov.uk/channelsP...yType=document

  35. #35

    Default Re: A question regarding the use of isopropyl myristate in perfumers alcohol

    Oh, I've just seen further down that Tertiary Butyl Alcohol adds a camphor odour... does that happen even when it is used in as low a concentration as is found in the denatured alcohol from thesoapkitchen (i.e. 0.1% vol)?

  36. #36

    Default Re: A question regarding the use of isopropyl myristate in perfumers alcohol

    The odour of tert-butanol is quite fleeting. It's a higher-boiling alcohol than most, but I still don't think it'd last much longer than the "alcohol blast" of any newly-applied fragrance would.

  37. #37
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    Default Re: A question regarding the use of isopropyl myristate in perfumers alcohol

    I think that 0.1% is quite a lot for a smell. That's EASILY detectable. I've got that kind of denatured alcohol here in Canada from the local drugstore (chemist) and in tests on smell strips, you *can* smell the camphor smell for the first twenty seconds to a minute. Yes it does go away rather quickly, that is true, however this is unacceptable for a perfume, because a very important part of the perfume-smelling experience is that first few seconds when it hits your skin. I'm not talking about the part when the alcohol is evaporating. I mean after that. The camphor smell will definitely be a subtle but present component of your perfume's initial impact when people smell a perfume made with that kind of denatured alcohol. I'd look for something without tert-butanol in it. Otherwise your works will all have that characteristic camphoracious opening.

  38. #38

    Post Re: A question regarding the use of isopropyl myristate in perfumers alcohol

    Thanks for sharing your experience about the camphorous odour of tert-butanol even in small concentrations. It's unfortunate as I don't know anywhere selling denatured alcohol without it in the UK where you can just purchase small volumes (or small volumes without humungous postal charges)... by small I mean 1 litre or less.

  39. #39
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    Default Re: A question regarding the use of isopropyl myristate in perfumers alcohol

    Hi Elspeth. I asked that the thread http://www.basenotes.net/threads/261...fumers-alcohol be made a sticky so that it would always be at the top of the DIY section. It has some information about obtaining good ethanol in England. We may still need a definitive answer, though, so keep looking and let us know what you find out. Please consider posting to the sticky thread above so that all the info about getting ethanol is in one place.

  40. #40
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    Default Re: A question regarding the use of isopropyl myristate in perfumers alcohol

    Quote Originally Posted by bshell View Post
    I think that 0.1% is quite a lot for a smell. That's EASILY detectable. I've got that kind of denatured alcohol here in Canada from the local drugstore (chemist) and in tests on smell strips, you *can* smell the camphor smell for the first twenty seconds to a minute. Yes it does go away rather quickly, that is true, however this is unacceptable for a perfume, because a very important part of the perfume-smelling experience is that first few seconds when it hits your skin. I'm not talking about the part when the alcohol is evaporating. I mean after that. The camphor smell will definitely be a subtle but present component of your perfume's initial impact when people smell a perfume made with that kind of denatured alcohol. I'd look for something without tert-butanol in it. Otherwise your works will all have that characteristic camphoracious opening.
    I think it's a case of horses for courses: I find that the Perfumers Alcohol from Mistral works well in many blends - the propylene glycol and isopropyl myristate that it contains as additives are used as solvents for many aroma-chemicals and don't add a lot of scent (though they certainly are detectable). For a fragrance that won't be harmed by the camphor odour (and many will not) then the tertiary butanol additive is OK.

    Only with the most delicate of fragrances do you need to worry and for those, even if you have no other alternatives, duty-paid pure 96% ethanol is always an option.

    I understand that HMRC need to, in their words, protect the revenue from duty but I don't see why just adding Bitrex, which is odourless, isn't considered good enough for that purpose on its own. Anyone know the answer to that?
    Chris Bartlett
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  41. #41

    Default Re: A question regarding the use of isopropyl myristate in perfumers alcohol

    That's a great question. Exactly why does it need denaturing with TWO things? If it must be denatured, why can't they limit the number of chemicals added to it. I know most of the additives are classed as safe but I'd still feel happier personally with as few additives as possible.

  42. #42

    Default Re: A question regarding the use of isopropyl myristate in perfumers alcohol

    Hello Elspeth and Chris

    A couple of weeks ago I had a chat with a chemist at one of the UK suppliers (sorry, I've forgotten which one) and he told me the reason we need both tert-butanol and Bitrex to denature ethanol is because while the Bitrex makes the ethanol taste seriously bitter it doesn't, in fact, render it impossible to drink.

    Clearly, this doesn't solve our problem. We still need a supply of reasonably priced odorless ethanol here in the UK.

    I shall continue to keep telephoning suppliers throughout the UK. Maybe somewhere out there lurks a yet-unknowed odorless denatured ethanol. As a retired guy I have plenty of time during the day to spend on the phone.

    I shall let you all know.

    All the best.

    Warmest regards
    Bill
    "All art begins and ends with integrity. Without integrity there can be no art." Kimon NicolaÔdes

  43. #43

    Default Re: A question regarding the use of isopropyl myristate in perfumers alcohol

    In my (difficult) quest for a volume of ethanol that's less than a truckload (which seems to be the minimum order quantity at most places), i've come across a supplier than claims to sell "spraying alcohol". After enquiring about it, the seller claims that it's 99% ethanol. Is this acceptable for DIY perfumery ? The price is not bad either...

    BTW im from South Africa.

  44. #44

    Default Re: A question regarding the use of isopropyl myristate in perfumers alcohol

    I forgot to mention that the supplier has a soap business and explicitly claims that the alcohol is for making perfume.

  45. #45
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    Default Re: A question regarding the use of isopropyl myristate in perfumers alcohol

    To MoPAT: Keep in mind that "pure" ethanol for perfumery is not 99%. It is 95%. The rest is water. When manufacturers attempt to get alcohol more pure than 95% they have to use special chemistry techniques involving the use of solvents such as benzene to get ethanol higher than 95%, of which traces are very likely in the alcohol. These may have a smell. You should find out from the supplier if it is truly 99%, and if it is, then what's in the other 1%, and finally, can you get a tiny 1ml sample to smell before you buy one or more litres of it. Actually, you don't even need 1ml. Even 0.2ml is enough. You just need a sniff. If you can get to the place and just ask him to bring out a tissue which had some of the ethanol dropped on it. So bottom line: smell before you buy.

  46. #46
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    Default Re: A question regarding the use of isopropyl myristate in perfumers alcohol

    Smell before you buy is good advice.

    Just to add that the chemical techniques normally involved in making anhydrous alcohol may make it poisonous as well as smell bad (it usually has benzene left in it, which is poisonous both by ingestion and by skin absorption so totally unsuitable for perfumery).

    I bet the supplier in this case means 96% (the maximum you can distil to without using the methods bshell mentions - some authorities quote 95%, most 96% but never more) - anhydrous ethanol (with no water) is much more expensive to make and mainly used as a fuel additive.
    Chris Bartlett
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    Default Re: A question regarding the use of isopropyl myristate in perfumers alcohol

    For those in Europe, who may not have spotted it Mistral, the UK’s principal supplier of Perfumer’s Alcohol to the amateur trade, now also stock Formulator’s Alcohol - they have not made it very obvious - you won’t find it if you click the link for Alcohols for example. Anyway it may be of interest to those who dislike the Isopropyl myristate in PA. The downside is that there is some IPA (along with DPG) in the Formulator’s and you can smell it, though not strongly: it is in any case always good to have choices!

    Thinking about it, I’ll put the link in the suppliers thread too.
    Last edited by Chris Bartlett; 31st January 2012 at 11:39 PM.
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  48. #48
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    Default Re: A question regarding the use of isopropyl myristate in perfumers alcohol

    I use isopropyl myristate at 2% in my heavy creams/moisturisers. It helps the oils to sink into the skin so the product is less greasy but I'm careful which products I put it in. Its true its comedogenic so I only include it for people with very dry skin (to which I also add butters like shea and cocoa butter which are also comedogenic but v moisturising). I would be interested to know what % IPM is included.

    Would be interested to know your thoughts on using cyclomethicone as a carrier instead? I use it in my creams at 4% - makes the cream spread very nicely, makes it slightly less oily and its a good scent carrier and evaporates.

  49. #49
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    Default Re: A question regarding the use of isopropyl myristate in perfumers alcohol

    Quote Originally Posted by itunu View Post
    I would be interested to know what % IPM is included.

    Would be interested to know your thoughts on using cyclomethicone as a carrier instead? I use it in my creams at 4% - makes the cream spread very nicely, makes it slightly less oily and its a good scent carrier and evaporates.
    Isopropyl myristate
    The supplier lists these ingredients in the MSDS:

    Ethanol Cas No. 64-17-5 >80%
    Monopropylene glycol Cas No. 57-55-6 1-5%
    Isopropyl myristate Cas No. 110-27-0 1-5%

    My guess, for what it’s worth, is that is it’s nearer 1% than 5%.

    Cyclomethicone
    I’ve mentioned in a few posts the option to use cyclomethicone - it’s used by some makers as an alternative to ethanol that is practical to use in a spray.

    It has three advantages over ethanol:
    1) It isn’t as flammable and does not qualify as HazChem under the EU rules
    2) It isn’t considered prohibited even by strict Muslim practice
    3) It does not cool or dry the skin as it evaporates.

    On the other side of the coin:
    1) It does not carry the scent out into the air as well
    2) May leave (usually short-lived) greasy marks on clothing when sprayed
    3) The solubility of aroma-chemicals and natural oils in it is nothing like as widely known as it is with ethanol so you’d need to experiment.
    4) It isn’t as widely available or as cheap in bulk.

    It’s good to have choices!
    Chris Bartlett
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  50. #50

    Default Re: A question regarding the use of isopropyl myristate in perfumers alcohol

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Bartlett View Post
    Isopropyl myristate Cyclomethicone
    I’ve mentioned in a few posts the option to use cyclomethicone - it’s used by some makers as an alternative to ethanol that is practical to use in a spray.

    It has three advantages over ethanol:
    1) It isn’t as flammable and does not qualify as HazChem under the EU rules
    2) It isn’t considered prohibited even by strict Muslim practice
    3) It does not cool or dry the skin as it evaporates.

    On the other side of the coin:
    1) It does not carry the scent out into the air as well
    2) May leave (usually short-lived) greasy marks on clothing when sprayed
    3) The solubility of aroma-chemicals and natural oils in it is nothing like as widely known as it is with ethanol so you’d need to experiment.
    4) It isn’t as widely available or as cheap in bulk.

    It’s good to have choices!
    Actually the piece of information above is not quite correct.
    Cyclomethicone is not 1 singular substance. It's the common name given to cyclic (circular) silicones or siloxanes of low molecular weight that evaporate quickly (also known as D4, D5 or D6). All are known to be combustible and flammable liquids.
    http://www.cyclosiloxanes.eu/
    Also there are some environmental concerns regarding biodegradability.
    I would certainly take that into consideration when making an well informed choice.

  51. #51
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    Default Re: A question regarding the use of isopropyl myristate in perfumers alcohol

    Quote Originally Posted by Irina View Post
    Actually the piece of information above is not quite correct.
    Cyclomethicone is not 1 singular substance. It's the common name given to cyclic (circular) silicones or siloxanes of low molecular weight that evaporate quickly (also known as D4, D5 or D6). All are known to be combustible and flammable liquids.
    http://www.cyclosiloxanes.eu/
    Also there are some environmental concerns regarding biodegradability.
    I would certainly take that into consideration when making an well informed choice.
    I will certainly concede that the information I provided was incomplete, but I don’t see what it is you think was inaccurate?

    Cyclomethicone is indeed a silicone oil one of D4, D5 or D6 or more usually a mixture of these such as this one.

    For the chemically minded: Cyclomethicone is a fully methylated cyclic siloxane containing repeating units of the formula:
    [–(CH3)2SiO–]n,
    in which n is 4, 5, or 6,or a mixture of them.

    They are all three flammable, but there are degrees of flammability, measured by the flash point - flash points for cyclomethicones vary from 57-82 C while the flashpoint of ethanol is in the 13-14 C range: vastly more flammable, which is why it has to be labeled with the flame symbol and is subject to HazMat transport restrictions. Cyclomethicone does not and is not.

    The following abstract is taken from the MSDS for one of the cyclomethicone mixtures produced by Dow:


    Not hazardous according to Council Directive 1999/45/EC and its subsequent amendments.

    . . .

    Road / Rail (ADR/RID)
    Not subject to ADR/RID.
    Sea transport (IMDG)
    Not subject to IMDG code.
    Air transport (IATA)
    Not subject to IATA regulations.

    . . .

    Low molecular weight volatile siloxanes have very low water solubility and evaporate to air. Low molecular weight volatile siloxanes in air are degraded by reaction with hydroxyl radicals, which is the dominant degradation process for most chemicals in the atmosphere. Low molecular weight volatile siloxanes in soil are removed by several simultaneously occurring processes including volatilisation, hydrolysis, and clay-catalysed degradation.
    Now there may well be controversy about the biodegradability question and I certainly don’t claim to be aware of all the details but the statement above is supported by the detailed data presented on the CES site to which you linked. The Good Guide, no friend to the cosmetics industry and critical of many ingredients also seem to find nothing of concern.

    I’m still struggling to find anything I said which was incorrect . . .
    Last edited by Chris Bartlett; 1st February 2012 at 12:38 PM. Reason: added link to Dow site with MSDS
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  52. #52

    Default Re: A question regarding the use of isopropyl myristate in perfumers alcohol

    Just a quick reply as I'm pressed of time, but I promise to get back to you very soon on this.

  53. #53

    Default Re: A question regarding the use of isopropyl myristate in perfumers alcohol

    Sorry, Chris, you are absolutely right, I meant incomplete not incorrect, I should have read better (stupid trying to reply in a hurry). Was also only reacting to the 1).

    There are some considerations. The data on the biodegradability of the volatile siloxanes is ongoing. There are some very recent toxicological studies that the cyclic structure may impose a threat on pregnant mice (increasing the chances on miscarriage). (sorry can't find a public internet source for this one).
    Also some suppliers don't longer ship these siloxanes by air due to low flashpoint (you are right still better than ethanol!).

    So I would say there are plenty of other less controversial choices than cyclomethicone like other non-cyclic siloxanes and light carrier oils like caprylic/capric triglycerides.

    Here are some interesting links:

    biodegradability

    newest findings 2011
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21438524

    latest canadian findings 2010-2011
    http://www.ec.gc.ca/ese-ees/default....n&n=2754DD2F-1

    latest UK findings 2009 (more data is needed)
    http://publications.environment-agen...09BPQX-E-E.pdf

    leaded to data 2010 (still concerns)
    http://ec.europa.eu/health/scientifi...sccs_o_029.pdf

    findings northern europe 2005
    http://nordicscreening.org/index.php...portfile&pid=4


    flammability is linked to volatility (cyclomethicones are volatile siloxanes) thus flammability
    http://www.personalcaremagazine.com/...spx?Story=9021
    leading to
    http://www.freepatentsonline.com/y2010/0144897.html

    older information on volatile siloxanes being flammable
    http://www.dowcorning.com/content/pu...52-1034-01.pdf

    and because of that being lower than 200 F some (small) cosmetic suppliers don’t longer ship this by air:
    http://www.lotioncrafter.com/reference/msds_995.pdf
    Last edited by Irina; 2nd February 2012 at 02:55 PM. Reason: pregnant women should be pregnant mice!

  54. #54

    Default Re: A question regarding the use of isopropyl myristate in perfumers alcohol

    isopropyl myristate (IPM) is used in making fragrance oils and is widely used as a diluent for essential oils and aroma chemicals. I wouldn't use it as a face moisturizer or even body moisturizer but to dilute aromas, or for making a roll on perfume i feel its fine. Its a more acceptable base than Diethyl phthalate (DEP). isopropyl myristate is not isopropyl alcohol. Isopropyl alcohol is rubbing alcohol.

  55. #55

    Default Re: A question regarding the use of isopropyl myristate in perfumers alcohol

    I'm a newbie. Can you explain why anyone in the U.S. would want to use something other than 190 proof Everclear?
    Anybody want to get rid of H.O.T. Always? Andy Warhol? I've got vintage M7 & others in my swap list here.

  56. #56
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    Default Re: A question regarding the use of isopropyl myristate in perfumers alcohol

    Quote Originally Posted by L'Homme Blanc Individuel View Post
    I'm a newbie. Can you explain why anyone in the U.S. would want to use something other than 190 proof Everclear?
    Denatured alcohol is much cheaper because it's not taxed as much as drinkable alcohol. If price wasn't a factor then of course you'd use the Everclear.

  57. #57

    Default Re: A question regarding the use of isopropyl myristate in perfumers alcohol

    You say "of course" because...?

    I'm just trying to make sure I understand. Are you saying Everclear is higher quality than denatured alcohol? I'm planning on using Everclear, mostly out of convenience. I live a few blocks away from a liquor store where it's easily available. I think it's 750ml for $15.
    Anybody want to get rid of H.O.T. Always? Andy Warhol? I've got vintage M7 & others in my swap list here.

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    Default Re: A question regarding the use of isopropyl myristate in perfumers alcohol

    Well the denaturants are really there to stop you from drinking it. Everclear (by which I really mean any generic non-denatured 96% ethanol) will do the same job as denatured alcohol, plus it doesn't have the initial slight smell that the denaturants add. So for me, it's better. The denatured alcohol I use, from Mistral, has some other stuff in it too which is the original topic of this thread. I'd rather they weren't in it at all.

    In Europe I can get 5 litres of denatured alcohol for EUR 37.99. The cheapest non-denatured 96% ethanol I can find works out more than twice as expensive as that for the same amount. I actually use both, but the denatured is okay for practice blends etc.

  59. #59
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    Default Re: A question regarding the use of isopropyl myristate in perfumers alcohol

    If you only need small quantities of ethanol it's fairly easy to distil vodka - which is approx 40% etoh and 60% water - yourself.

    You will need:

    1: A suitable flask

    2: Claisen stillhead and thermometer

    3: Condenser and water pump. (I use a fish tank pump)

    4: Receiving flask (anything will do)

    5: Clamps to hold it all together

    6: The cheapest vodka you can find

    7: A quick read of Zubrick's 'The organic chem lab survival guide' to keep you safe. (pdf available on line)

    That'll give you a 95% ethanol/water azeotrope. It's possible to make 100% ethanol by drying the mixture, but you probably don't need to do that.

    It's best to use a 'quickfit' all glass setup, 'cos if you use rubber bungs everything will smell of rubber...
    With a little patience you should be able to find everything for about £30 on e-bay.

    And with a little modification the same setup can also be used for steam distillation, which is nice.

    I don't know if the link will work, but here we are steam distilling orange oil:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/2478957...n/photostream/

    And, yes, I know he's not wearing safety glasses - that's 'cos we hadn't started yet.

    -
    Last edited by Skelly; 20th January 2013 at 01:13 PM. Reason: typos

  60. #60
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    Default Re: A question regarding the use of isopropyl myristate in perfumers alcohol

    Quote Originally Posted by Skelly View Post
    If you only need small quantities of ethanol it's fairly easy to distil vodka - which is approx 40% etoh and 60% water - yourself.

    You will need:

    1: A suitable flask

    2: Claisen stillhead and thermometer

    3: Condenser and water pump. (I use a fish tank pump)

    4: Receiving flask (anything will do)

    5: Clamps to hold it all together

    6: The cheapest vodka you can find

    7: A quick read of Zubrick's 'The organic chem lab survival guide' to keep you safe. (pdf available on line)

    That'll give you a 95% ethanol/water azeotrope. It's possible to make 100% ethanol by drying the mixture, but you probably don't need to do that.

    It's best to use a 'quickfit' all glass setup, 'cos if you use rubber bungs everything will smell of rubber...
    With a little patience you should be able to find everything for about £30 on e-bay.

    And with a little modification the same setup can also be used for steam distillation, which is nice.

    I don't know if the link will work, but here we are steam distilling orange oil:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/2478957...n/photostream/

    And, yes, I know he's not wearing safety glasses - that's 'cos we hadn't started yet.

    -
    I'm sure that's all correct, however do keep in mind that distilling ethanol in the UK requires a licence and payment of duty to HMRC - other countries have different rules about this and in some places it is perfectly legal to distill your own ethanol but in the UK it is a criminal offence. Definitely not something to post pictures of!

    There is no restriction on distilling your own essential oils, though the volumes of most materials required to get more than a teaspoonful of oil make it impractical for most people to do on a domestic scale - citrus might be an exception as it's quite oil-rich - it isn't something I've tried myself.
    Chris Bartlett
    Perfumes from the edge . . .

    www.perfumedesigner.co.uk
    Twitter: @PellWallPerfume

    If you are looking for a perfumery consultation Iím happy to quote: if you want free advice, thatís what these forums are for
    You can also join my blog if you wish to ask questions of me.

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