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  1. #1

    Default Diluting Frankincense

    Has anyone had issues with trying to dilute Frankincense?

    I can't seem to get it to dilute in 99% Undenatured Ethanol. It seems completely insoluble. Any ideas?

    BC
    Australian Blog on Fine Fragrance ---> http://savourandscent.tumblr.com/

    Winemaker/Perfumer for Emerald Vintners ---> www.emeraldvintners.com.au

  2. #2

    Default Re: Diluting Frankincense

    are you trying to make a tincture or is it frankincense oil?
    frankincense oil is perfectly soluble in alcohol. unless you saturate your alcohol completely with the oils, there shouldn't be an issue.

    what exactly are you doing, and how do you know it is insoluble?

  3. #3

    Default Re: Diluting Frankincense

    Is your oil a CO2 extract? I don't think these are fully soluble in alcohol whereas steam distilled oils should be...

  4. #4

    Default Re: Diluting Frankincense

    It sits as a layer underneath the alcohol. I'm diluting from an oil, steam distilled...to 10% dilution.

    The oil i obtained from New Directions, the alcohol from Chem Supply Australia, 99% Undenatured
    Australian Blog on Fine Fragrance ---> http://savourandscent.tumblr.com/

    Winemaker/Perfumer for Emerald Vintners ---> www.emeraldvintners.com.au

  5. #5

    Default Re: Diluting Frankincense

    "to 10% dilution"
    there's your problem. your frankincense oil is already in a carrier oil, and the carrier apparently does not dissolve in alcohol.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Diluting Frankincense

    Im sorry, I didn't clarify properly...

    The frankincense oil isn't at 10%, I'm trying to dilute it to 10%.

    The frankincense oil is 100% pure frankincense.
    Australian Blog on Fine Fragrance ---> http://savourandscent.tumblr.com/

    Winemaker/Perfumer for Emerald Vintners ---> www.emeraldvintners.com.au

  7. #7

    Default Re: Diluting Frankincense

    well, that doesn't make sense to me, maybe chris will think of a scenario where this might happen.
    frankincense oil easily dilutes at 1/10 proportion in alcohol.
    if you've just made it, shake it a bit.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Diluting Frankincense



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    Australian Blog on Fine Fragrance ---> http://savourandscent.tumblr.com/

    Winemaker/Perfumer for Emerald Vintners ---> www.emeraldvintners.com.au

  9. #9

    Default Re: Diluting Frankincense

    Thatīs odd. This should not happen. On the bottle is witten : frankincense essential oil, boswellia carterii. All my frankincense essential oils dissolve completely in ethanol. Saripatates is right when he supposes that your fankincense is diluted in an oil base. But then it should not be named as 100 % pure essential oil.

    Conni

  10. #10

    Default Re: Diluting Frankincense

    From appearances, it looks like your oil is "cut" with Jojoba oil. I hate to say it, but it looks as if you need to find a better supplier of oils. Let's hope none of the other products have been adulterated. Jojoba makes mixtures cloudy as well. I do not know what companies service Australia, but wish I could help further. I use a ton of CO2 extracts and only 1 will not dissolve completely in Alcohol (Cacao) .
    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

  11. #11

    Default Re: Diluting Frankincense

    BCarter, your post disturbed me because I just bought a bottle of Frankincense Essential Oil from New Directions. I just tried dissolving it in 95% ethanol and had the same problem as you. I think wooznib is right: it must be cut with jojoba. I noticed New Directions have another one called "Frankincense (Olibanum)". I always thought Frankincense was Olibanum, unless it's extracted differently. Just wondering if it exhibits the same problem.

    Anyway... I tried adding some Polysorbate-20. To no avail. I'll leave it sit a few days and see if it becomes clear. Doesn't look promising.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Diluting Frankincense

    I emailed their help department.

    Here's the reply

    Hi

    All Frankincense oil that has left the NDA premises have conformed to specifications at the time of release.

    I have investigated the clients query further and below are the results:

    Frankincense Essential Oil when mixed with ethanol 95%, only partially dissolved.
    Frankincense Essential Oil when mixed with vegetable oil completely dissolved.

    Frankincense (Olibanum) Essential Oil when mixed with ethanol 95%, only partially dissolved.
    Frankincense (Olibanum) Essential Oil when mixed with vegetable oil completely dissolved.

    Frankincense Essential Oil Certified Organic when mixed with ethanol 95%, completely dissolved.
    Frankincense Essential Oil Certified Organic when mixed with vegetable oil completely dissolved.

    From the results I would conclude that the Frankincense Essential Oil and Frankincense (Olibanum) Essential Oil are only partially soluble in ethanol as they may have some resins present.

    I would suggest the client use Frankincense Essential Oil Certified Organic if they wish for it to be dissolved in ethanol.
    Australian Blog on Fine Fragrance ---> http://savourandscent.tumblr.com/

    Winemaker/Perfumer for Emerald Vintners ---> www.emeraldvintners.com.au

  13. #13

    Default Re: Diluting Frankincense

    Well I just came back here after emailing them myself! So tomorrow they'll have a "Frankincense Dilemma" on their hands! I didn't even realise they had a 'certified organic' range so I just checked it out: much more expensive (as you'd expect). The organic one is Boswellia rivae, whereas the 'non-organic' (whatever that means... I have real problems with the term 'organic', but that's another story) is Boswellia carteri

  14. #14

    Default Re: Diluting Frankincense

    may have some resins present? what kind of BS is that.
    very bad practice. I wouldn't shop there.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Diluting Frankincense

    I ordered some products from New Directions two years ago and found them to be inferior. I have not ordered from them since.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Diluting Frankincense

    Quote Originally Posted by sarıpatates View Post
    may have some resins present? what kind of BS is that.
    very bad practice. I wouldn't shop there.
    yes
    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

  17. #17

    Default Re: Diluting Frankincense

    I had the same problem with some black pepper oil that I had bought on ebay. I suspected it was cut by a carrier oil when a blob of oil just sat at the bottom of the bottle and gathered again after I had shaken it. So I bought some other black pepper EO and this stuff dissolved in everclear immediately. I think I have the same problem with the Egyptian Geranium I got recently. I just bought some frankincense EO on ebay and it dissolves immediately in everclear. Sorry to hear you may have gotten some cut oil. Frustrating.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Diluting Frankincense

    That's too bad. It seems there are fewer and fewer reliable sources left for good natural materials. New Directions has been off my preferred list of places to buy from for a while, and will be even more so now. Thanks for bringing this issue to the attention of the community.
    Blog: www.perfumenw.blogspot.com
    Website: Olympic Orchids Artisan Perfumes http://orchidscents.com.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Diluting Frankincense

    Sorry to be a bit late to this thread, but the solution is clear enough (or rather it isn't, but you know what I mean): the frankincense oil you have is adulterated with a fixed oil of some sort (could be jojoba, could be something else). The real thing dissolves completely reliably in ethanol and no resins will change that: if it is being sold as 100% pure then that is fraud and you could consider reporting it to your local Trading Standards office

    Olibanum is the old Biblical name for frankincense, preferred in the perfumery industry for reasons I can't fathom. There are some environments where the two names are used to mean two different things, but there is no general agreement about what the difference is so for practical purposes the terms are interchangeable. Since from the ND website both appear to be from Boswellia carteri and both are produced by steam distillation from the resin they are identical except in price. If neither will dissolve in ethanol then both are adulterated.

    Boswellia rivae produces a very different oil - I've put some smelling notes about that on the relevant single-note thread.

    I note that ND also offer a CO2 extraction: these are quite different and I don't know from personal experience whether this particular one will dissolve in ethanol or not, but many do not or don't do so completely: but that does not appear to be what you have in any case.
    Last edited by Chris Bartlett; 16th November 2011 at 09:47 AM. Reason: added link to single-note thread
    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.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Diluting Frankincense

    aaah Chris, I was hoping you'd chime in with this one. Informative, well-crafted response as always. It's definitely adulterated. I set about doing some more dilutions with new EO's purchased from New Directions last night and discoved another one: their Juniper EO exhibits the same behaviour. I've got several more dilutions to make and I'm wondering how many more I'll discover.

    I've ordered some of their "organically certified" Frankincense (rivae), which they claim is completely soluble in ethanol.

  21. #21

    Default Re: Diluting Frankincense

    Thanks for the kind words, I'm glad to be of help.

    I've been meaning to add some notes on scent and solubility of Juniper oils to the single note thread and today I've done it: the essential oil does not behave quite like most oils in my experience so you might want to check that out while you are doing a comparison. What you certainly should not see though is oil sitting at the bottom of the ethanol as in the pictures posted on this thread - that's a clear indication of the presence of a fixed oil.

    I got my frankincense Boswellia rivae from Hermitage Oils - it is also 'organic' - not cheap, but very nice indeed and Adam has gone to the trouble of giving a full chemical analysis on the site.

    The Rivae isn't included in it but I believe he's got an extensive sale on (today only) that does include some of his other frankincense offerings for those interested.
    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.

  22. #22

    Default Re: Diluting Frankincense

    Just to let you all know my end conclusion to my little Frankincense drama.

    Ended up going with Sydney Essential Oil Company, they sent some Frankincense samples, which proved readily soluble.

    New Directions continues to ignore emails, in fact, I got told off because someone else complained about the same issue.
    Australian Blog on Fine Fragrance ---> http://savourandscent.tumblr.com/

    Winemaker/Perfumer for Emerald Vintners ---> www.emeraldvintners.com.au

  23. #23

    Default Re: Diluting Frankincense

    Quote Originally Posted by BCarter View Post
    I got told off because someone else complained about the same issue.
    Oh dear... That'd be me! I'll have to give the Sydney Essential Oil Company a try.

  24. #24

    Default Re: Diluting Frankincense

    I have a good supplier for the very best frankencense that can be found. I am talking about the pure resin straight from Omen. How do I convert it to oil?

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