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  1. #1

    Default Woody base recipes

    i just don't want to mislead you... i've created this thread to find out where i am doing wrong...

    as most of us, i am also using perfumer's apprentice products -both chemicals and naturals- in my creations. i diluted all materials to 10% (only ambroxan 1%) and mainly working on woody and animalic side. mostly the result is disaster, the mixture is ending with a gasoline-mould like smell... so here i give you some of my formulas and kindly ask you...

    WHERE THE HELL AM I DOING WRONG????

    Recipe 1 (the most successful one but still not even not close to be good at all)
    5 dark patchouli
    5 Vetiver india
    10 ambroxan (1%)
    5 cedryl acetate
    3 sandal key accord
    5 ylang ylang
    5 cashmeran
    1 oud (Firmenich)

    it smells mouldy... what is the responsible of that mould smell?

    recipe 2 (tobacco-leather)
    10 tobacco key accord
    5 leather key accord
    3 sandal key accord
    5 dark pathouli
    5 cedryl acetate
    10 iso E
    10 ambroxan

    wanted to get a smoky leathery tobacco base but it smells like wet tobacco leaves burried into the soil ))...

    i even don't want to talk about my musk deer, amroxan and amber blends... )))

    do you have any advices about how to make a balance of the perfumes? i am not asking for good perfume recipes... i am asking for a regular perfume recipe which smells like a perfume (not mould or soil with some essence in it)... then i'll use it as a start-up point to balance my future creations.

    thanks in advance!

  2. #2

    Default Re: Woody base recipes

    First of all, are you looking for a complete perfume here or just a ‘woody base’? If it’s just a base accord, you already have a good start on that. It doesn’t necessarily have to smell wonderful at this stage, as there is plenty more to add to a base accord before you have a harmonious and complete perfume anyway. You could brighten up these bases with some complex resins perhaps, such as benzoin, frankincense or styrax, or some vanilla would give it some roundness.

    If all you are working with is just what you have in the little kits, it may not be enough to make a satisfactory perfume. I believe it is more for experimenting and becoming familiar with the scent molecules and learning about accords, than for making a complete product.

    If you are looking to enhance what you already have here, I would suggest adding more layers of complexity with mid and high notes, with things like Clary sage, Atlas or Himalayan Cedarwood, Juniper, Marjoram, Rose, Geranium, Lavender, Bergamot, Lime, etc, etc. If you use some essential oils, you will give yourself some real shortcuts to complexity that takes a great deal more materials than you probably have if using mostly synthetics.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Woody base recipes

    I agree that you are off to a good start. Believe me, I have created a thousand concoctions that are unbelievably stinky. You will get the hang of it with practice. Try starting with a simpler accord. I do my formulations with 1000 grams total so that it is easy to duplicate and portion out. A general proportion that I use is 55/25/20 Base/mid/top in percentages. This usually changes through reformulation , but it is a good base to start with. So, try using 3 notes for your base accord. If your base accord is going to be 550 grams you want 1 note to shine a bit so give it half of the available proportion (275) and let the other 2 notes split the difference (135) and (140) from here you can build on complexity.
    You can convert this into drops if you are not using a scale (which I highly recommend)
    So, just for fun try: (550) [22] drops
    Dark Patchouli 275 [11]
    Vetiver India 135 [5]
    Iso E Super 140 [6]

    then you can build on it in another formulation for example: to make drops just divide by 25
    Dark Patchouli (200) [8]
    Cedryl Acetate (50) [2]
    Ambroxan (25) [1]
    Vetiver India (125) [5]
    Cashmeran (10)
    Iso E Super 140 [6]


    Let me know hot it goes. good luck
    Last edited by wooznib; 11th July 2011 at 06:55 PM. Reason: spelling mistakes
    You can check out my fragrances at www.garnerjames.com
    While I work on the website, you can email me for any inquiries at james@garnerjames.com

  4. #4

    Default Re: Woody base recipes

    thanks for the recommendations Nymphaea! actually i have +60 materials in total. i just started up with woody perfumes since i like them more. but you are absolutely right in 'rounding and brightening up' my bases.. before, i thought that the way of creating straight, dry and masculine woody notes is possible only with woods+spices+musks+roots+patchouli... but they were so spiny and pungent and i also got the idea that i don't need to spice them up but warm them up...

    i also got the feeling that the usage of synthetic molecules should be limited with musks, some of the woods and animalids... that is why i ordered also some flower absolutes and vanilla...

  5. #5

    Default Re: Woody base recipes

    hello wooznib! I did my homework

    in general, i had an impression that you have created these bases based on 'patchouli' and modified it with the rest... does it mean that i need to define one main base (amber, patchouli, vetiver, musk,wood) and try to play around that single note?

    the 1st mixture was a nice lesson to learn from you; less is more! simple, balanced and 'right'... in general i spend so much time and add +5-6 materials for the same effect.. now i want to add some amber and spices to it..

    2nd mixture: i loved this one. masculine, crispy and powdery.. but when i added some flowers(geranium,
    /iris/lily of the valley), that mouldy smell showed up again. probably my patchouli is wrong or i need to wait for my flower absolutes to asses it again...

    many thanks for your help!

  6. #6
    ECaruthers's Avatar
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    Default Re: Woody base recipes

    Hi,

    I don't have most of the chemicals you'rre using. The ones I do have don't individualy smell like mold or gasoline. So I suggest that you smell as you go. E.g., start with your sandalwood key accord. I know that & I know it smells woody. If you want something smoother or sweeter in the long drawdown, add something else that lasts a long time, maybe a little vanilla or cinnamon. Smell that & think about what you want to change before you add anything else. Also, smell your dilutions of all the other candidatesr. Make notes about how each smells 5 minutes after you put it on paper, 30 minutes later, an hour later, next morning, etc.

    Also, it's more economical to do really small experiments. I have a bunch of little screw top hard plastic pill cases that I can wash thoroughly & air out to reuse. Maybe put in 5 ml of the mix you're starting with and a drop or two of whatever candidate you are thinking of adding. Close it up, shake to mix, wait 10 minutes, open & smell. Add a drop or two more & repeat. Keep notes. I have a notebook, just like real chemists use. There can be huge differences between 3:1, 2:2 and 1:3 mixes of the same two ingredients.

    This can take a while but I learn a lot from doing it. At the very least you should learn where your moldy gasoline smells are coming from and whether just a bit less of something would fix the problem.

    Good luck & don't forget to have fun!

  7. #7

    Default Re: Woody base recipes

    Hmmm...Looks like you're working with things that should give you a nice woody note. You might try reducing the patchouli just a little ... also adding a bit of Javanol to your juice would probably help push it in the direction you're looking for.

  8. #8
    New Member Canibal's Avatar
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    Default Re: Woody base recipes

    You should mix Sandalwood, Costus and Olibano.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Woody base recipes

    Try adding some white noise to your mix. Hydroxy citronellal (or it's replacement), leerall, hedione, helional, musks, or even fir pine needle oil.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Woody base recipes

    The key thing is to do lots of experiments. Having only 60 materials to work with isn't a bar to creating a good blend: I've worked within that sort of limitation many times both while learning and later as an exercise in disciplined creativity. However the preponderance of heavy base notes you are using does mean that you can't expect to have a complete fragrance. In my view however it does need to smell nice at this stage - after all when you make a fragrance using this base, eventually the base-notes will be what is left on the skin when everything else is gone - so I think it is well worth spending time playing with the proportions to see if you can get a result you like.

    Try starting with something really simple that you like - perhaps ambroxan and iso e super - and then add other things drop by drop, testing as you go. Stop after about 10 drops, come back to it after 20 minutes and see if it still smells good.

    OK so having said all that, I'm betting that it's the vetiver that is causing your problem in the first accord and patchouli in the second. Try dropping them right down and see if that helps.

    Experiment and enjoy!
    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.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Woody base recipes

    I don't use any aroma chemicals, except for musk, but if you have any naturals you can try Atlas Cedar, Texas Cedar, Sandalwood and Black Agarwood to get a woody base. I don't consider any woods, except Agarwood, to be real bases but more like heavy middle notes. Base notes are thick and heavy like Birch Tar, Tobacco, Oakmoss, Hay, Labdanum, Balsam of Peru, Vanilla, Vetiver, etc...
    Oakmoss might help bring the woods together, less is more, and provide some complexity and earthiness. Cypress, copaiba, ho wood, petitgrain, peppercorn, costus, hydachem can give middle and top woody notes.

    I agree that vetiver is probably causing you problems. Natural vetiver smells different depending on where it is grown. You might try other vetivers, use less, or eliminate it altogether.

    Also try 2 drops patchouli instead of 5, patchouli can destroy a good fragrance, especially a cheap patchouli. You may want to get some from a place with higher quality product.

    Since I don't often work with 'accords' and chemicals I'm not sure if this is an issue but it seems you're using more than one accord with several other scents. This may be simply too many scents in one blend
    Last edited by Vincents1278; 8th September 2011 at 06:09 PM.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Woody base recipes

    And if you want tobacco leaves in soil try something like this:
    (For ~1 ounce fragrances= ~3ml oils, 4ml glycerin and 22ml alc)
    6 tobacco leaf abs 20%
    3 Black Agarwood
    6 oakmoss abs 20%
    4 Balsam Peru oil
    2 Vetiver (sri lanka)
    3 Hay abs 20%
    1 patchouli (dark)
    2 Fossilized Amber 25%
    5 sandalwood
    3 texas cedar (or virginia)
    2 carrot seed
    4 lavender
    4 rose
    3 Lime
    3 Ho wood
    3 pink peppercorn

  13. #13

    Default Re: Woody base recipes

    Working entirely with natural materials, in my view, makes it harder to come up with a good complete fragrance (and all power and respect to those committed to doing this btw it's a noble enterprise with a very long pedigree). However using synthetics has it's issues as well, not least because often they are so powerful individually and many can make the whole fragrance smell 'synthetic' if you overdo it even though they are lovely in the right proportions. Many aldehydes are in that category as is floralozone.

    Two things you might try for your woody accord - both sold by Perfumer's Apprentice I think - are Cedryl methyl ether (aka Cedramber) which I think is superior to the cedryl acetate you are using, and Norlimbanol (aka Timberol), which is very strong so use with care but creates a very lovely woody effect that lasts and lasts in a blend.

    BTW I really like the sound of the tobacco accord Vincents1278 and I may well try it out myself. I also agree about the sources of materials - it can make all the difference. Sadly many naturals are also adulterated, which can spoil the effect: choose your supplier with care!
    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.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Woody base recipes

    The ultimate natural woody base material is (in my opinion) East Indian ( Mysore) Sandalwood Oil. You can tweak Australian Sandalwood oil with a bit of Cedar, Javanol, Ebanol etc. & a whisper of both benzoin & methyl laitone, which, to my nose brings it a bit closer to E.I. Sandalwood. Many of the commercially available (non-captive) sandalwood bases that I've smelled seem to lack both the depth and creaminess of the real stuff.

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    Last edited by Ecoture; 14th September 2011 at 12:50 AM.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Woody base recipes

    What might help is to do experimentation with single ingredients first just to see how much you can dilute them, and how they smell at different strengths. For instance, try working with your tobacco accord at 1% strength instead of 10%. Same thing with leather; leather accords can be incredibly strong. Also, to me a fragrance does not smell right without at least a small amount of topnotes. I would try very small amounts of an aldehyde at 1% dilution. My guess is that your concentrations are much too high with some of your ingredients.

  16. #16
    Basenotes Plus

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    Default Re: Woody base recipes

    Perhaps the word "mould" is off? When I smell Cashmeran, it has a very strong sense of earth, which is also found in Patchouli. Odd how Cashmeran is touted as velvety smooth. I guess it is if you rely on those first thoughts of musk and Iso-E but if you dig deeper that very evident earth comes through, loud and clear. So in my opinion, Cashmeran can be subtle at times...and loud at others...and perhaps can be influenced by the company it keeps also.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Woody base recipes

    Quote Originally Posted by DoItMyself View Post
    i just don't want to mislead you... i've created this thread to find out where i am doing wrong...

    as most of us, i am also using perfumer's apprentice products -both chemicals and naturals- in my creations. i diluted all materials to 10% (only ambroxan 1%) and mainly working on woody and animalic side. mostly the result is disaster, the mixture is ending with a gasoline-mould like smell... so here i give you some of my formulas and kindly ask you...

    WHERE THE HELL AM I DOING WRONG????

    Recipe 1 (the most successful one but still not even not close to be good at all)
    5 dark patchouli
    5 Vetiver india
    10 ambroxan (1%)
    5 cedryl acetate
    3 sandal key accord
    5 ylang ylang
    5 cashmeran
    1 oud (Firmenich)

    it smells mouldy... what is the responsible of that mould smell?

    recipe 2 (tobacco-leather)
    10 tobacco key accord
    5 leather key accord
    3 sandal key accord
    5 dark pathouli
    5 cedryl acetate
    10 iso E
    10 ambroxan

    wanted to get a smoky leathery tobacco base but it smells like wet tobacco leaves burried into the soil ))...

    i even don't want to talk about my musk deer, amroxan and amber blends... )))

    do you have any advices about how to make a balance of the perfumes? i am not asking for good perfume recipes... i am asking for a regular perfume recipe which smells like a perfume (not mould or soil with some essence in it)... then i'll use it as a start-up point to balance my future creations.

    thanks in advance!
    It's tricky to give advice, since I can't smell the stuff, and don't know what you were going for. So I'm going to use intuition, looking at your formulas, and reading your post. Also, some of those materials are olfactorialy unfamiliar to me, even though I've read about them and know the ideas behind them.

    Having said that, my sense is you need to go back to the basics, the fundamentals; and think like an artist and perfumer.

    My intuition, and I could well be wrong, is you are thinking like a perfume consumer about the end product; something like, "I know I like tobacco and leather scents, so lets mix a number of these great ingredients together that are in those kids of perfumes, at some ratios that sound reasonable." In other words, I feel you are probably getting ahead of yourself.

    It's not about the mix, and what's wrong with the mix, per se. That is because it's premature to think in terms of the mix.

    You seem to feel a little confused, and the formulas are also confusing to me. I feel your frustration. In particular, you are combining a lot of complex things at once, and a lot of things at comparitively high ratios. This typically makes the likelihood of "random noise" astronomically high, unless you have very good reasons for each ingredient being there in the ratio it is in to all the other ingredients.

    I want to help you remove unnecessary noise.

    I think what you need to do is immerse yourself in the "art"; and in the fundamental techniques of simple, systematic blending. Take one idea you are interested in, and pick two or three ingredients. Or several, just to have some variety on alternate days. But keep it simple. If you are using three ingredients, there should already be no doubt in your mind how any subset of two of those ingredients go together, in other words. Really get to know just a few ingredients, like friends. Know which ratios you like for simple applications like the back of your hand.

    Perfuming isn't about mixing things. That act. It's about relationships between things coming together; being hammered out. By the time you are looking at a "mix", you should already know what kinds of sub accords are working, and how you like those sub accords to be proportioned.

    It sounds like you have quite a few blends, and aren't satisfied with any of them. My suggestion is to go for one blend that you will think is perfect in some way. To where it accomplishes a simple purpose. This will likely be satisfying.

    You are also working with prepared bases as your main ingredients, which might produce good results without teaching you much. This is OK, however, as long as you have a clear idea what you want to do.

    So my advice is to pick one or two simple ideas; maybe your three favorite ingredients or one idea, and work on that, two ingredients at a time. Then report back, in terms of what you need to go to the next step.
    Last edited by DrSmellThis; 25th April 2013 at 07:48 AM.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Woody base recipes

    I have not posted in a while but this thread relates to my current problem as well, as most of my accords or blends become either too sweet or cloying in the end and never smell the way I would like them to (a basic fougere type masculine). Since I have some real tonka bean, 2 different types of geranium and different chemical aromas of flowers (rose oxide, citronellol etc) and also lavender, I figured it would be a good place to start. However when I get to modifying it, It loses its character in the end and I don't know how to really save it.

    I cannot really improve upon what Chris or others have stated since I am also new. I do however have about 100 or so materials that I work with diluted to about 10% or so, both natural and aromachemicals. I also have many of the materials used in your post except the cashmeran and accords. I am learning what goes together and in what amounts by weight (I use a cheap scale which gets to .01 grams which is accurate enough for me now). It really just takes time...I don't think there is any way around it.

    Your main issue seems to be in your proportions that you are using and the lack of contrasts that exist. For example a formula that uses the same amount of material for every ingredient will lack structure and the notes will be fighting against themselves creating a cloying effect. For example your first accord

    5 dark patchouli
    5 Vetiver india
    10 ambroxan (1%)
    5 cedryl acetate
    3 sandal key accord
    5 ylang ylang
    5 cashmeran
    1 oud (Firmenich)

    You are going to have that patchouli and vetiver contending with eachother and the vetiver is going to give is a weird smell depending on where it is from, as well as the patchouli. Along with this is the same amount of the cedryl acetate which is also woody and smokey but much less harsh as the other two, and is more of a cutter or blender between the two of them. So, that is three things at 5 amount. If you take these things by themselves and make an accord to see how they work out side of your blend, modify it from there. If you want the accord to be based off of the vetiver,use more vetiver, the cedryl acetate to blend it with the patchouli (perhaps 6-4-1 ratio, the 1 being the patchouli). Once you find harmony, add it back into the blend as you see fit. Thing of good things that will modify the smell of the vetiver, treating is as a fixative that needs some help. Also think of notes that are going to add diffusion (some aldehydes) since the heavy molecules are going to anchor in the smell (when I add a heavy note like Iso E, it completely changes my accord).

    Next, you have 10 ambroxan,3 sandal accord, and 5 cashmeran. Since I have never smelled the oud (howbeit I have black Agar and ebanol so I have an idea) and I have not smelled or worked with the cashmeran so I cannot really comment on them. I have ylang ylang as well and it is a mildly volatile inky floral. I think that the issue here is really that sandal key accord which probably contains many different chemicals that are going to cloy up the blend, that oud as well. The formula needs to be more dynamic and utilize simple similar ingredients to cut down and blend between the notes as the evaporate. In other words, the smallest amount you have in there is 1, the oud due to its strength, and 10 of the ambroxan due to its pleasant cool nuzzly smell. However this might not be big enough. Again try isolating these and make smaller simpler accords, then add them back when you get something nice.

    Your second formula was

    10 tobacco key accord
    5 leather key accord
    3 sandal key accord
    5 dark pathouli
    5 cedryl acetate
    10 iso E
    10 ambroxan

    Again, I see 3 things contending, 3 of which are very powerful and heavy things. Who has the spotlight here? It is supposed to be the tobacco, but it is an accord already, against 2 other strong accords (that leather, as has been mentioned). You also have that patchouli again. Think of a pyramid, do you see one? I have seen a few real formulas, and also many accords. You will typically always see a pyramid at work here, a structure. Within it are small things blending and cutting. For example an accord that has say .4grams of rose oxide which is super strong musky rose smell will also have in it 4grams (10x amount) of peonile etc which will balance that rose oxide out. If the accord was based on oranges or citrus, expect to see even 10x that amount in there compared to anything else such as

    30g hedione
    25g orange terpines
    10g peonile
    5g geranium
    .1g rose oxide
    .1g velvione

    Probably a bad example but you see the pyramid. A perfume is a giant accord consisting of accords that evaparate at different levels within themselves (iception style).

    Again if you are trying to make something, think simple. A woody base. What does wood smell like? Should you use a bunch of chemicals that have a wood smell, or simply use a real wood oil like sandal wood or guiac wood and then explore that note (it being the biggest by amount). The same with a flower. What is it composed of? Floral, waxy, sweet, green, grassy, stemy etc. You can get your hands on these types of notes and chemicals and compose your own floral accord, or find some online and modify them. You will find that they all have a common structure.

    These are some ideas that have helped me steer away from some messy and cloying accords and create better ones for now.

    You don't have to settle with moldy perfume.
    Last edited by Smellington; 26th April 2013 at 09:22 AM.

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