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  1. #1

    Default SDA OR undenatured alcohol for selling perfumes

    Over the years, the matter of sda and undenatured alcohol has been discussed on various boards, and it enough to make your head spin! It is hard to make heads or tails of what I've read.

    Does anyone know if there is an advantage of sda vs undenatured alcohol for the small business selling perfumes...in terms of permits or licenses.

    I am fairly certain one needs a permit to BUY more than 5 gal of either kind.
    Is a permit/license needed for SELLING handmade perfumes (either with SDA or undenatured alcohol)? Does it make a difference if you use undenatured or sd alcohol? I am in NY.

    Thanks!

  2. #2

    Default Re: SDA OR undenatured alcohol for selling perfumes

    I can't advise on US federal or state laws but I can tell you the basic principle involved, which is the same all over the world.

    Governments make money out of alcohol that is consumed (undenatured) by levying duties and taxes on it. To protect that income Governments require alcohol that isn't intended for consumption be 'denatured' which usually involves having something poisonous and something foul-tasting added to it so that it is no longer potable. What that means is that denatured alcohol is then vastly cheaper - that's it's only advantage for making perfume.

    In the UK no license is required to sell perfumes made either way, and you can buy as much alchohol as you like as long as you pay the duty on it. If however you want to buy denatured ethanol as such, you have to have a license from HMRC (though there are ways round that by buying Perfumers Alcohol or the like, which has other things added to it so that HMRC don't class it as ethanol but as a finished product).
    ďBattle 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 Iím happy to quote: if you want free advice, thatís what these forums are for
    You can also join my blog for more info about perfumes and perfumery.

  3. #3

    Default Re: SDA OR undenatured alcohol for selling perfumes

    You need a permit from the feds to buy more than 5 gallons per year of an SDA. Presumably this is because the denaturants in an SDA could be easily removed to make a drinkable alcohol and the feds want to prevent any sort of diversion like this that would cheat them out of their tax on drinkable alcohol. The exemption that allows 5 gallons per year or less to be purchased is for purchasing "sample" material, some vendors will let you do this others want to see your federal SDA permit before they will sell you samples.

    No federal permit is required to purchase tax paid drinkable alcohol. Once the tax has been paid to the feds they no longer have much interest in what happens with the alcohol. So with tax paid drinkable alcohol the feds allow the states to decide how to regulate the sale. Some states want you to have a state license to buy drinkable alcohol, others don't. For New York state I have never been able to find out exactly what the rules are (in part since I am in California and don't much care). For someone in New York state it may be easiest to go to New Jersey where you can buy Everclear in Liquor stores.
    All these moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain.

  4. #4

    Default Re: SDA OR undenatured alcohol for selling perfumes

    Thanks, Chris and dcampen!

  5. #5

    Default Re: SDA OR undenatured alcohol for selling perfumes

    Hi Chris,
    Could you recommend what alcohol to buy in small quantities in the UK?
    (I'm not sure if the products added to perfumer's alcohol here are a bit toxic?)
    I'd prefer to work with something pure if possible...
    Thank you,
    Eliza

  6. #6

    Default Re: SDA OR undenatured alcohol for selling perfumes

    Quote Originally Posted by stinnycat View Post
    Hi Chris,
    Could you recommend what alcohol to buy in small quantities in the UK?
    (I'm not sure if the products added to perfumer's alcohol here are a bit toxic?)
    I'd prefer to work with something pure if possible...
    Thank you,
    Eliza
    You have only two viable options:
    1) Perfumerís Alcohol, which has some IPM and PG added to it in addition to the denaturants. Neither is toxic unless you drink it, in which case the denaturants will be far more unpleasant anyway. You canít buy Ďpureí denatured ethanol without a licence.
    2) Duty paid, drinkable alcohol at a very high strength such as this vodka or this one is also just about strong enough.

    Iím looking into offering a duty-paid 96% alcohol for perfumery via Pell Wall at some point in the future, but so far canít think of a way to avoid the requirement for a licence to sell alcoholic drinks... so for now only those two options.
    ďBattle 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 Iím happy to quote: if you want free advice, thatís what these forums are for
    You can also join my blog for more info about perfumes and perfumery.

  7. #7

    Default Re: SDA OR undenatured alcohol for selling perfumes

    Dear Chris,
    Thank you - that's very helpful.
    I'm going to try both!
    Best,
    Eliza

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