Nice tip. Will try this. Thanks!
Thread: Decant Without Atomizing
Here is my method for decanting a fragrance from a spray bottle without atomizing.
I don't think its wise to spread misinformation/insecurity, From my experience there is zero change to a fragrance when it is redistributed via atomising.
If an aspect of a fragrance is lost via an atomised spray then we'd never spray it on ourselves to begin with.
Love it BC.
Can you provide some specifics on the syringe volume and needle thickness and length?
Also, have you seen any vids showing how to remove the atomizer instead?
I've seen it mentioned a couple of times on the board but never actually seen a vid.
Kron, I am sharing this technique specifically so that anyone can do it. I think you are correct that many fragrances are not affected by being atomized twice (that is what we are preventing here--not atomizing them once onto the skin). But scents with highly volatile top notes, especially those susceptible to oxidation and quick evaporation, most certainly could lose some of their brighter qualities. I say "could" because I have done an informal experiment with Poivre 23 that has lead me to this hypothesis; I will not say that they "do" until I can prove it conclusively (or be proven wrong, which I would be happy about).
In the meantime, I would rather be safe than sorry.
I will go further and say that the volatility of perfume ingredients is well established. They are shipped in air tight bottles for a reason. There is absolutely no question that atomizing them (and exposing that much surface area to oxygen) is going to degrade them at some level. The question is whether the degradation is detectable to us or not. As far as I am concerned, this is an unanswered question, and it is equally irresponsible to presume the answer is no as it is to presume that it is yes.
Unanswered questions aside, I was able to decant more quickly and with less mess using this method. What is not to love?
Last edited by Beranium Chotato; 15th May 2012 at 12:51 PM.
Thank you for figuring this out and sharing.
Precise and neat. Thanks for making/sharing the video.
Interesting concerns. I think the oxidation/evaporation rate for perfume materials/chemicals/molecules must be much longer than the amount of time that it takes to spray some into a decant bottle. They have to be relatively sturdy or they would degrade in their original bottles after the first spray. An atomizer sprayer is like a respirator, it pumps oxygen in every time it expels perfume, mixing new oxygen onto the surface of the perfume/liquid.
That said, a certain amount of top notes are surely lost to evaporation when something is decanted through the atomizer.
Any chemists willing to chime in here?
Has anyone made a decant of Hermes Pampelmousse Rose? The pink grapefruit note in that one has to be one of the most volatile materials used in a commercial perfume. On the skin it lasts about 60 seconds. If it withstands a atomized decant, then the majority of other aroma chemicals probably do, too.
Last edited by Kevin Guyer; 15th May 2012 at 05:44 PM.
The difference between the oxygen going into the bottle and the exposure during the spray is quite different. When atomized, the thousands of tiny droplets aer exposing massive surface area to the air. My suspicion is that the effect varies from scent to scent, but I was only lead to form this hypothesis after being somewhat astonished at the difference between a non-atomized and atomized decant of Poivre 23. It doesn't prove anything until I can do a double-blind comparison. But it's made me suspicious.
I really don't think it's a huge deal when you're sharing a 2ml sample with somebody. When it matters is when someone is buying into part of a split. I just went in with three other people on a $340 bottle of vintage Derby. When people are giving me $88 apiece to have 20ml of the juice, I want to make sure they are getting exactly the same thing as the person who keeps the bottle--even if it means going a bit overboard to make sure.
Brian - I think this method is ingenious ! I will try this out when I can . It never occurred to me that one could put a needle down the spray tube of a bottle.
I don't much like atomising ( though forced to because there is no other way unless it's a screw on top ) when doing a decant simply because I think I am wasting scent - it's not very precise. I do also wonder about top notes .
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Please do not be insulted. I have never heard of anyone who was unsatisfied with your meticulous splits, including myself. You are a hero for doing them.
I realize that what I'm discussing affects you, but it came about having nothing to do with you. I've been perplexed for some time about why atomized samples sometimes smelled differently from what later came directly out of the bottle. I still haven't answered these questions, but I didn't want to explore them in depth before I could at least demonstrate a solution to the decant problem. I did this demonstration more for you and heperd than anyone else, to be honest, because I wanted to share the solution before having a lengthy discussion about quantifying the problem (which I intend to do).
In the end, this is about better understanding (and possibly improving) the way that all of us are decanting. Please don't take it personally. I treasure you both as someone I buy splits from and as a friend. Having done some splits now myself, I can also say they are tedious and time-consuming, and I can't say enough how much I appreciate you hosting so many of them.
My buddy has been using this method for a few years now. Its really neat. To be honest the only reason he does it is the no mess and easy to measure part. Using a syringe or atomizing the fragrance is the same. We have compared both. We couldn't find any differences.
But it is a really nice upside that using a needle is faster, neater, and very precise. I don't see any drawback other than the slight annoyance of procuring syringes in the first place.
That's very encouraging. What fragrance was it?
If aroma chemicals are so volatile that exposure to oxygen alters them, then perfumes would have to have expiration dates on them.
Luca Turin has written that the biggest factor in aroma chemical's breakdown/degradation is actually heat and light, not time.
I've read that the ubiquitous aroma chemical linalool degrades into peroxide.
If it's true that aroma chemicals are as volatile as you suspect, and they are oxidized by atomization, especially the volatile top notes, these chemicals/molecules must also be oxidized by the air in the bottle. The only difference would be the rate of oxidation.
I'm interested in this hypothesis because I truly do not know. I have personal anecdotal evidence that could make a case for either outcome. I think Oupavoc's experiment is very compelling in favor of it not being true; on the other hand, there are easily google-able documents on the web describing the oxidation issues with aromachemicals and advising perfumers on how to account for them. Given that atomizing a liquid is a super efficient way to accelerate oxidation (this is exactly what wine aerators do to wine), I think it is definitely worth an inquiry to find out whether the degree of degradation is detectable or not. Same goes for the potential effects of evaporation.
Last edited by Beranium Chotato; 15th May 2012 at 06:46 PM.
And I'm not just going to sit on a thread and boviate. I am actually going to do an experiment. In the meantime, if anyone wants to know how to circumvent the potential issue, there you have it.
Chris Bartlett has posted on oxidation's effect on perfumes. I recall he said that citrus notes and aldehydes are affected most.
Ever since I started keeping my fragrances in the cool and dark, I have not noticed any deterioration in the quality of the scents as the air in the bottles increases with use. Not even with my citrusy fragrances or those with citrus top notes, of which I have many. And to tell the truth, I haven't noticed the perfume in my spray-decanted travel atomizers smelling any different from the juice in the bottles they were decanted from.
Nevertheless, I look forward to reading the results of any experiments done.
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a) This method is excellent and I look forward to using it in the future when I need to decant things
b) My only concern, and this is only based on ideas in my head so I could be very wrong, but, if we're concerned about oxidation, then we should be concerned with fragrance molecules interacting with the air, right? Well if that's the case, wouldn't plugging the syringe into the spraying tube and pushing it down inject air directly into the fragrance? Also, wouldn't the simple act of leaving your decanted bottle open be dangerous as well?
Personally, I'm choosing to believe that fragrances aren't affected by sprayers enough that we should be bothered by the effect. Really look forward to your experiments! Thanks again for sharing this great idea!
Also- like you said, this is an inexpensive and quite simple way to achieve decanting. Regardless of how it affects top notes, it's a great method nonetheless. I recently lost a massive amount (at least 10-12 mLs) of L'air du Desert Marocain while decanting and I'm still a little bitter.
The uncovered bottle should not be part of the process. For some reason, I turn on a camera and forget what's what. I usually keep that cap over it at all times, except when I'm plunging the liquid in.
Another improvement: bottles with larger openings would allow the syringe to go completely inside, and the liquid can be ejected into other liquid instead of being pushed out in a stream.
I haven't seen any vids on removing atomizers, but I understand that you can use pliers to grip the base and rock them gently back and forth while pulling upward. I would have done that for this split except that someone asked to have his juice in the bottle.
Kron, if I were you i wouldnt feel insulted at all. Ive talked to Brian about this and it works for him and he is willing to take the time to do it so i say go for it. He's not saying everyone else is doing it wrong. I wont be using it for my splits because it will make it far too slow if im going to be decanting lots of bottles. Ive never noticed a change in top notes and everyone has always been happy.
BC i do think you should keep track of exactly how many syringe fulls you draw up. Its hard to tell a few mls differenc just by eyeballing, especially in a bottle that size. Looks like a 3ml syringe right? and a 25 gauge needle.
Also, have you ever seen the Anal Retentive Fisherman sketch that Phil Hartman did on SNL?
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You might actually be interested to know that I fully decanted that bottle of Derby into 3 bottles in <10 mins. Maybe I'm not as fast a sprayer as you, but having a larger syringe took this process from ridiculous to very practical. It went faster and my hands were not covered in backspray at the end. You should try it out.
"No elegance is possible without it...perfume is a part of you." Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel