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  1. #1

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    Default Attar Formulation

    Hi to all DIY-ers and perfumers.

    I particularly like arabic-style oils that are sold around the middle east. I was thinking of going for a simple attar with sandalwood, saffron and rose. I'm trying to source some rose absolute and already have some sandalwood. It's been difficult finding a saffron essential oil as it seems to be rare and very expensive. There is an attar seller near me, and he keeps a saffron attar which is affordable, so i was thinking of using this. Is it possible to extract the saffron scent from the actual stigmas ?

    My only problem, after accessing the materials, are the proportions. I expect that sandalwood would be the dominant base, and just a touch of rose would be added, however, im unsure of how much of saffron should go in. Also, can anyone recommend any substitutes for rose, that i could experiment while i wait to find some rose absolute ?

    Im basing this attar on one that i have, and the sandalwood, rose and saffron really stood out, hence my selection of those materials. I also detected an ambery, sort-of-animalic type scent in it as well. Any ideas as to any essential oils/fragrance oils that could repicate that ?

    Other oils at my disposal are : frankincense, vetiver, patchouli, tangerine, cedarwood, petitgrain, geranium, chamomile, bergamot & nutmeg

    Finally, do any of you have any attar-type recipes to share ?

    Thanks!

  2. #2

    Default Re: Attar Formulation

    You are adventurous! These are expensive stuff you are messing with

    Saffron is not that expensive, considering how little you usually have to use, especially in your case.
    White lotus has a wonderful saffron CO2 extract and sells a .05 oz sample for about 10 bucks. That size would probably be enough for your needs. You could alternatively use safraleine, but I guess you are trying to keep it all natural.

    I don't think the attars you have are all natural. In fact I'm sure they are not.

    Mix in small batches, take notes and enjoy what you are doing.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Attar Formulation

    Just a few additional thoughts:

    First on saffron: good saffron absolute is expensive but saripatates is quite right that as you need so little that isn't a big problem. I've not tried a CO2 extract - I bet it's good - but do check first that it is going to be soluble in your sandalwood: CO2 extracts are only guaranteed soluble in CO2 after all . . .

    Secondly don't forget that with the scent will come the colour of saffron: your oil will be bright yellow and will certainly risk staining both skin and clothes though if you use only a tiny proportion the effect on skin will be small (plus it depends on the skin tone you start with of course) but even then you'll need to be careful with white clothing.

    Regarding extracting direct from the stigmas, yes you can certainly do that: I tincture mine in ethanol, never tried doing so in sandalwood, but it might well work. It might take a very long time to infuse though - in ethanol it takes a few days or a week, but I imagine sandalwood would be much slower.

    Finally on the rose, I'd wait for the absolute: why waste precious sandalwood oil on anything less? Rose absolute is quite widely available.

    Good luck! If you get this right the result should be fantastic.
    Battle cries and champagne just in time for sunrise..”
    ― David Bowie
    Chris Bartlett
    Perfumes from the edge . . .

    Fine fragrances hand made in The Shire
    Quality perfume making ingredients
    Twitter: @PellWallPerfume
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  4. #4

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    Default Re: Attar Formulation

    I've decided to give the saffron tincture a go, for use in another scent. How much of alcohol should i use ? And how many stigma's ???

  5. #5

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    Default Re: Attar Formulation

    ...and if i were to try "tincturing" (dont knw if that's the right word to use) saffron in sandalwood, how much of sandalwood would i use ?

  6. #6

    Default Re: Attar Formulation

    New to attars but find it interesting....
    I have sandalwood.. so If I got some vetiver and perhaps another to go along with it could I apply it to my skin ? It seems to me the sandalwood essential oil I have was not to be applied directly to skin but rather to be used in aromatherapy. Maybe it needs to be diluted ?

    Mixing attars sounds interesting.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Attar Formulation

    Hi,

    I too, have just ventured into Eastern Fragrances. I am in love with the smell of saffron, just lovely. It is very powerful and a little goes a very long ways. I use a diluted 20% saffron to add to my experiments, fragrances.
    All are headed to that undiscovered country, to which once born, no one has ever returned. Life means death, the end is certain, the journey through life is not. Enjoy the journey and love as much as you are capable of, anger slowly and never with intent to harm another. I am dying of an unknown primary (cancer) and I hope you heed my words, love, love, love life and surrender often to it.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Attar Formulation

    Quote Originally Posted by MoPAT View Post
    I've decided to give the saffron tincture a go, for use in another scent. How much of alcohol should i use ? And how many stigma's ???
    It really depends how strong you want it to be, but since you can always dilute but it's impractical to concentrate I think it's best to start strong. So I would put half a gram of saffron into 25grams of ethanol (that's about 30ml) and I'd let it steep for about a month before straining.

    Quote Originally Posted by MoPAT View Post
    ...and if i were to try "tincturing" (dont knw if that's the right word to use) saffron in sandalwood, how much of sandalwood would i use ?
    I think this will be more difficult - I would do the tincture above and put a drop or two into a 5ml bottle of sandalwood oil, then you can control the strength by adding more if needed. I have not tried it but I have doubts about whether the saffron would successfully infuse directly with sandalwood unless you heat it and that would probably damage the scent of the sandalwood.

    And a tincture is made in alcohol by definition, infusion is a more general term that usually means in water but sometimes a mixture of water and alcohol or something else - the term maceration might be right here but that generally involves the use of heat to get the scents into the oil.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ricardoh View Post
    New to attars but find it interesting....
    I have sandalwood.. so If I got some vetiver and perhaps another to go along with it could I apply it to my skin ? It seems to me the sandalwood essential oil I have was not to be applied directly to skin but rather to be used in aromatherapy. Maybe it needs to be diluted ?

    Mixing attars sounds interesting.
    Sandalwood is the traditional base oil for Attar - undiluted - modern aromatherapy thinking is that there are only two oils that are safe to use directly on the skin (lavender and tea tree) but most people also find good sandalwood, from Santalum album, is also fine. It might not be if you put much other oil into it: but if you make it in the pure form you always have the option dilute afterwards if you find you need or want to.

    If you do dilute I would use DPG or fractionated coconut rather than jojoba because they last much better.
    Battle cries and champagne just in time for sunrise..”
    ― David Bowie
    Chris Bartlett
    Perfumes from the edge . . .

    Fine fragrances hand made in The Shire
    Quality perfume making ingredients
    Twitter: @PellWallPerfume
    If you are looking for a perfumery consultation I’m happy to quote: if you want free advice, that’s what these forums are for
    You can also join my blog for more info about perfumes and perfumery.

  9. #9

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    Default Re: Attar Formulation

    Ok, right now this is where i am with this little rose-saffron-sandalwood "project":

    - I have a tincture of saffron in ethanol which has been sitting for about a month
    - i have some rose otto and some sandalwood

    My questions are:

    - Could i use rose otto for this perfume instead of rose absolute ?
    - I have geranium - could i add this with the otto, to enhance the "rosiness" of the mixture, in the absence of rose absolute ?
    - should i keep the perfume simple with these few ingredients or add any of the other oils that i have, which are:

    Essential oils : frankincense, vetiver, patchouli, tangerine, cedarwood, petitgrain, geranium, chamomile, bergamot, nutmeg & ambrette seed

    Fragrance oils: Choclate, Coffee, Vanilla & Amber

  10. #10

    Default Re: Attar Formulation

    Quote Originally Posted by MoPAT View Post
    Ok, right now this is where i am with this little rose-saffron-sandalwood "project":

    - I have a tincture of saffron in ethanol which has been sitting for about a month

    Before you do anything else, I’d suggest a quick test of your saffron tincture. I’m assuming you made this as I suggested with 0.5g Saffron in 25g ethanol. The test I suggest is this - take a saffron thread out of the tincture (use a pair of stainless steel forceps / tweezers to do this so as not to contaminate the tincture) and place it on a white paper: you will get some yellow/ orange staining - after the ethanol has dried out see whether the thread is darker than the paper. If it is you need to let your tincture soak for a bit longer. If not it is fit to work with.

    Quote Originally Posted by MoPAT View Post
    - i have some rose otto and some sandalwood

    My questions are:

    - Could i use rose otto for this perfume instead of rose absolute ?
    - I have geranium - could i add this with the otto, to enhance the "rosiness" of the mixture, in the absence of rose absolute ?
    - should i keep the perfume simple with these few ingredients or add any of the other oils that i have, which are:

    Essential oils : frankincense, vetiver, patchouli, tangerine, cedarwood, petitgrain, geranium, chamomile, bergamot, nutmeg & ambrette seed

    Fragrance oils: Choclate, Coffee, Vanilla & Amber
    Assuming your saffron tincture is really ready, these are the answers I’d give to your questions:
    - Rose Otto - yes this is just fine as long as it is pure rose otto and not diluted or cut with a fixed oil.
    - Geranium - if your rose otto is good, then you don’t need this. I would not add it unless you feel the need later.
    - I would keep it simple to start with, but if you are going to add anything I’d suggest geranium, patchouli and nutmeg will go best of the ones you have - but use with caution. If you use ambrette, use only a tiny proportion as it is pervasive. Don’t use vetiver: even a little will overwhelm the delicate scent you are building.

    I would not use any of your fragrance oils - your other ingredients are in a different league as regards quality - if you want to add vanilla (and that could be a good plan) I would make a tincture in a similar way to your saffron tincture and add a little of that.

    Hope that helps.
    Last edited by Chris Bartlett; 29th December 2011 at 09:40 PM. Reason: correct format
    Battle cries and champagne just in time for sunrise..”
    ― David Bowie
    Chris Bartlett
    Perfumes from the edge . . .

    Fine fragrances hand made in The Shire
    Quality perfume making ingredients
    Twitter: @PellWallPerfume
    If you are looking for a perfumery consultation I’m happy to quote: if you want free advice, that’s what these forums are for
    You can also join my blog for more info about perfumes and perfumery.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Attar Formulation

    Hi,

    I was searching the forum to see if there was already a thread about attars. I never created a fragrance before and i wanted to do my first one in an attar style, i enjoy the thick and rich aroma that this kind of creation has.

    I have some doubts, could you guys please help me:

    When creating an attar, do i need to dilute the essential oils or will i use them pure?
    Is it a problem if i decide to add synthetics?

    I want to create an attar which has as the main notes bergamot, narcissus absolute and mysore sandalwood. The narcissus should be the star, but i want the sandalwood to be noticeable too. I thought also about using oakmoss at the base to give it a chypre aura.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Attar Formulation

    One of the main virtues of an Attar is it's complexity. So far, your ingredient list is very short.

    Give that a think over first, but no, use what you want to use... Synths included...

    PK
    Paul Kiler
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  13. #13
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    Default Re: Attar Formulation

    Paul, i had shortened it, but my idea was to use 9-10 ingredients.

    I know that i want three very distinct phases, and i want the narcissus to be the star here (and i'm willing to spend what i need to do it).

    What i wanted to do was something like this:

    Opening:
    mandarine,
    grapefruit (i have three grapefuit options to work with, don't know if i should use them all or only one - white, pink and ruby grapefruit)
    Bergamot

    Heart:
    Narcissus
    Jasmine Sambac
    Neroli

    Drydown:
    Mysore Sandalwood,
    Oakmoss,
    Opoponax

    I could add many more to my list, but then i'm not sure if doing this i'll loose my fragrance in complexity. Maybe i'm dreaming big, but i wanted my first fragrance to be something expensive, carefully made and with notes that i enjoy. And i thought about an attar because i wanted it to be intense.

    Paul, what do you think? Your opinions would be very appreciated (as well as any other DIY perfumer that wanted to give his/her opinion )

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Attar Formulation

    So the thing about Attars are this... The formula and the materials are all codistilled together, and land into a substrate of Sandalwood oil. So you have to then learn the good proportions, and the maceration time would be long, so that the scents meld together really well.

    They also end up being fairly heavy, since the substrate isn't alcohol, but Sandalwood. So you'll probsbly have to come close to doubling the topnotes so they show up well, as compared to an alcohol base...

    PK
    Paul Kiler
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    Gold Medal for "Best Aroma"; Los Angeles Artisan Fragrance Salon

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Attar Formulation

    When I experimented along those lines it took absolutely months & months to really all develop properly, but it was fine in the end - probably cheaper to buy a decent attar to start with 'though!

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Attar Formulation

    Quote Originally Posted by lpp View Post
    When I experimented along those lines it took absolutely months & months to really all develop properly, but it was fine in the end - probably cheaper to buy a decent attar to start with 'though!
    Lpp, that was exactly what i thinking. So do you think it'd be a good idea to buy an attar an construct my fragrance on top of it?

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Attar Formulation

    Quote Originally Posted by pkiler View Post
    So the thing about Attars are this... The formula and the materials are all codistilled together, and land into a substrate of Sandalwood oil. So you have to then learn the good proportions, and the maceration time would be long, so that the scents meld together really well.

    They also end up being fairly heavy, since the substrate isn't alcohol, but Sandalwood. So you'll probsbly have to come close to doubling the topnotes so they show up well, as compared to an alcohol base...

    PK
    Paul, after i wrote here i went after more info about attar and realized that i was being a fool I thought that i could create an attar like fragrance using sandalwood as base and adding the other essentials oils on it. It seems that i can't, so maybe i should eitheir do like lpp said, use some attar as an starting point, or do an alcohol fragrance instead (because my impression with oils is that in natural fragrances the composition end being very, very soft and ending vanishing quite quickly. That's why i thought about an attar, which doesn't have either of those problems).

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Attar Formulation

    Also, the thing about Attars is that the art and craft is vanishing. And it is in our best interest to continue to pay and buy and support those craftsmen who actually HAVE mastered the process, and buy their materials FROM them... Instead of trying to make it oursleves, in our own small quantities...

    My thought is to enjoy what it is for what it is... and employ it for what it's good for, if I place it into something else and build around it...

    PK
    Last edited by pkiler; 11th March 2014 at 03:14 PM.
    Paul Kiler
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  19. #19
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    Default Re: Attar Formulation

    Paul, do you have any attar producer that you would indicate me?

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Attar Formulation

    http://www.pecoperfumers.com/prod1.html

    When you write tell them that Nischal knows me...

    PK
    Paul Kiler
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  21. #21
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    Default Re: Attar Formulation

    Thanks Paul! Do you know if they sell small amounts?

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Attar Formulation

    I know they'll sell 100g, but less than that, you'd have to ask...

    Their Mitti Vetiver is really great..

    You will want to know EXACTLY what base they are selling you...
    They distill into several substrates...

    PK
    Paul Kiler
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    Gold Medal for "Best Aroma"; Los Angeles Artisan Fragrance Salon

  23. #23

    Default Re: Attar Formulation

    Hi, can you tell me how i can to make saffron threads extraction without alcohol and any chemicals solven after i want to make pure saffron oil attar. i've heared about extraction by fermentaion but how exactly i don't know.

  24. #24

    Default Re: Attar Formulation

    can you tell me how i cam make extraction from saffron threads without alcohol and any chemicals solvent. i've heared about extraction by fermentation but how i don't know.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Attar Formulation

    Quote Originally Posted by chap_bg View Post
    can you tell me how i cam make extraction from saffron threads without alcohol and any chemicals solvent. i've heared about extraction by fermentation but how i don't know.
    There's no such thing as a chemical free solvent, or chemical free anything for that matter..

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Attar Formulation

    If you don't want to use a SOLVEnt, how do you expect to disSOLVE the oil you seek to gain?
    Paul Kiler
    PK Perfumes
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    Gold Medal for "Best Aroma"; Los Angeles Artisan Fragrance Salon

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Attar Formulation

    Quote Originally Posted by chap_bg View Post
    can you tell me how i cam make extraction from saffron threads without alcohol and any chemicals solvent. i've heared about extraction by fermentation but how i don't know.
    If you mean how can you extract the scent without alcohol or any petroleum based solvent, just use an oil and make it up like a tincture with a percentage of saffron to oil. You can use fractionated coconut oil - try 1-3% saffron -whatever you can afford . Or you can infuse saffron into other essential oils, such as sandalwood, or amyris if sandalwood is too expensive. I also like saffron infused into frankincense. Of course any infused essential oil would also carry the scent of the essential oil as well. I'd leave it a good 3- 6 months to get the full scent, keep it in the dark and shake it regularly.
    Last edited by Clare30; 23rd June 2017 at 06:41 AM.

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