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  1. #1

    Default Ambrette Seed CO2 in Alcohol

    In the set of absolutes and such I ordered from White Lotus, I ordered Ambrette Seed CO2 Select (just the sample size). This goes down as a "shoulda checked first", I think, but I was talking to Christopher at White Lotus, and he said:

    The Ambrette co2 will not dissolve in alcohol and in my experience there is nothing you can do to get it to do so by a direct dissolving. Definitely you could use some sort of emulsifier but in that realm I do not have sufficient experience to explain a workable technique so perhaps DPG might work. You can of course place it in alcohol and it will dissolve some of its volatile components but you will find that the majority of it visually sinks to the bottom. It would be better to use an ambrette seed essential oil if you wish to use alcohol as your primary medium for dissolving.
    So, for those of you familiar with CO2s, what would be your preferred approach to using this? Should I reserve it for oil-based perfumes, or is there a solvent (like DPG) I can use to incorporate it into an alcohol-based fragrance? Or should I just be tincturing it (which would lose a lot of the character of the CO2, I would think)?

  2. #2
    gecko214's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ambrette Seed CO2 in Alcohol

    Hi Sehrgut,

    I asked a similar question a while ago about Co2s and that thread should still be there and may help somewhat. I found that for pre-dilution the best thing for most of these CO2s is Isopropyl Miritstate (IPM) which then mixes nicely with alcohol anyway and has nice skin properties, plus make retard the evaporation of top notes a bit too (the exception was oakmoss, where it would not mix with the IPM). But generally, I now have simply learned to treat the Co2s like a concrete, put them in the alcohol perfume formulation, break up (the IPM does this in advance) and macerate (as long as you can, months is better I am told). You are then essentially making an alcohol "extract" out of your co2 "concrete", and getting a very nice, very complete scent out of it to boot. Then freeze and filter your whole creation as you would anyway, don't worry about the waxes that filter out. Of course ambrette may be different and I do not have co2 ambrette, and thus it would be great if you report back your experience.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Ambrette Seed CO2 in Alcohol

    See, I checked goodscentscompany, and they claim it should be entirely alcohol-miscible, but of course Christopher (who knows this precise ambrette CO2), says it won't.

    Did you end up getting IPM to work? I guess my concern with IPM is getting an antisolvent effect and precipitation when I add it to an alcoholic solution. Did you find the scents of absolutes prepared from CO2s to be as full as the original CO2? I guess my concern with that process was the possibility of losing the alcohol-insoluble volatiles. Of course, that's no different from losing those same volatiles present in a concrete, but I just hate to lose anything, you know?
    Last edited by sehrgut; 14th August 2011 at 05:21 PM.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Ambrette Seed CO2 in Alcohol

    Having read the advice here and in the other thread, I think my approach would be to try diluting it in IPM first - down to 10% - I'd do that by weight but if you don't have accurate scales you could do it by volume.

    That should give you about 15g of diluted material: then take a gram or so of that and put it in alcohol. Try a gram of alcohol first, then gradually add more - with luck it will stay in solution until you have got your sample to 10g (so you now have a 1% solution of the absolute, mostly in alcohol with some IPM acting as a co-solvent).

    In this way you should be able to get to a 1%-5% alcohol solution that you can then freeze down and see what, if anything, comes out. What I would expect to come out would be any waxes left over from extracting the concrete, which are probably not contributing much to the scent anyway.

    You may be lucky and find nothing drops out of solution if you do it that way, but if it is a total failure, you still have 90% of your original material in IPM that you can try a different technique on (or just use with DPG in an oil-based fragrance).

    Good luck!
    Chris Bartlett
    Perfumes from the edge . . .

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    If you are looking for a perfumery consultation Iím happy to quote: if you want free advice, thatís what these forums are for
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  5. #5
    gecko214's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ambrette Seed CO2 in Alcohol

    Quote Originally Posted by sehrgut View Post
    Did you end up getting IPM to work? I guess my concern with IPM is getting an antisolvent effect and precipitation when I add it to an alcoholic solution. Did you find the scents of absolutes prepared from CO2s to be as full as the original CO2? I guess my concern with that process was the possibility of losing the alcohol-insoluble volatiles. Of course, that's no different from losing those same volatiles present in a concrete, but I just hate to lose anything, you know?
    Yes I got it to work very well, but as I said only in order to pre-dilute, both for pourability and for dilution. But it does, as you suggest, re-precipitate out when mixed with alcohol. I think you answered your own question though, when you say this is as good as it gonna get anyway. I fretted about it too, but now I am quite happy with using the CO2s this way. If it is any consolation, in reading I have done in the old books, it is said that an alcohol extract (from the concrete or pommade) is "better" than an absolute made from that extract as some of the volatiles will be lost in distilling off the alcohol. So what we are doing here with the co2 totals is essentially making an alcohol extract, and the unsolvable waxes will be left behind. Probably not too much you want in those anyway. So if you see what I mean, you are getting something "more" than if you got a CO2 select which was completely solvable in alcohol, or an absolute from a concrete, which again would be fully solvable in alcohol of course.

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