Code of Conduct
Results 1 to 16 of 16
  1. #1

    Default Tips on avoiding olfactory dissonance with Bergamot and Lavender

    Now that I've been fooling around with perfumery for about a year and a half I have noticed that a lot of my concoctions easily get what I call a dissonance. This is analogous to in music when you have a dissonant chord. The harmonies are not in sync if you know what I mean. It's unpleasant to listen to this kind of music, and it's unpleasant to smell these discordant messes that I seem to make a lot of the time.

    In particular I'm finding that certain essential oils such as Bergamot and Lavender are the common causes of such dissonance. What I call a "buzz". A kind of nasal discord that sometimes comes after the first highly volatile elements evaporate off, and other times it comes right away. Very often this buzz dissipates after a while and things are OK. But how to get through that dissonant phase?

    What I'd like to know: how to avoid this? Are there any easy tricks? Especially with regard to Lavender and Bergamot. These are often cited in many different formulas but I find them very difficult to put in a mix and not get this buzzing discord. Am I the only one that notices this, or is it a common experience? And if so, are there any tried and true age old solutions?

    The funny thing is: usually bergamot and lavender smell great on their own. But when added in a mix all hell breaks loose. At least for me. Looking forward to hearing about others' experiences.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Tips on avoiding olfactory dissonance with Bergamot and Lavender

    Are you talking about Bergamot and Lavender mixed together in a blend, or do you mean either of them in a blend on their own? (Either way I'm not sure I'd be able to help, but just to make sure everyone's on the same page!)

    This "buzz" you speak of, is it a kind of roughness or harshness, maybe a herbaceous-ness? Both of the mentioned oils can have a herbaceous element to them, I'd say. Whatever it is, do they not have that element on their own, in isolation?

    Maybe this has something to do with terpenes? I understand you can get terpeneless versions of both of these oils, but so far I don't know exactly how this affects the odour. My guess is less sharp, maybe less herbal, smoother. Hopefully, the more experienced perfumers can enlighten us...

  3. #3

    Default Re: Tips on avoiding olfactory dissonance with Bergamot and Lavender

    Renegade: I'm talking about my experience with these two separately, not mixed. I mean either of them in a blend on their own. Yes, they may have the element on their own in isolation, but it's not bothersome in any way. If you smell just lavender or bergamot on their own they are balanced and fantastic. I find you can also get this "buzz effect" when blending with chamomile, helichrysum, clary sage, and others, if you are not very careful to balance these with something else. I'm just not sure what the something else is.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Tips on avoiding olfactory dissonance with Bergamot and Lavender

    I'm not sure that I'm interpreting what you are describing correctly but my guess is that what you are getting may be an overdose of linalool: lavender in particular contains quite a lot (around 40%) and it is also in most of those things you are finding problematic to mix with it. In the lavender itself the linalool is offset by a similar proportion of linalyl acetate, which keeps the smell fresh and clean (obviously with a lot of lower concentration ingredients too).

    To test this you could try adding some pure linalool to your lavender oil (and bergamot oil) and see if you get the buzzy effect.

    It could also be that it's happening the other way round and it is too much linalyl acetate that is causing the problem but I think that is less likely as it is such a light fragrance on its own.
    ďA person who is nice to you, but rude to the waiter, is not a nice person
    ― Dave Barry

    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.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Tips on avoiding olfactory dissonance with Bergamot and Lavender

    I do have both linalool and linalyl acetate, so I could try some experiments as you suggest Chris. Thanks.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Tips on avoiding olfactory dissonance with Bergamot and Lavender

    I find it is my lower quality Lavenders that make olfactory muddiness if that is the type of thing you mean. The high altitude ones less so.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Tips on avoiding olfactory dissonance with Bergamot and Lavender

    The last time when i made a fougere accord, i noticed the same, especially with lavender eo. So i tried to replace the lavender eo with dihydromyrcenol. The result was much better. I ony use one or two drops high quality lavender essential oil to make it more natural.
    The same i experienced with bergamot eo. When i use pure bergamot eo as a top note, the whole blend smells what i call an "old men cologne". It lacks the briskness. The result is that i donīt use pure bergamot eo when i make a bergamot accord. I only add one or two drops of bergamot eo and use a combination of naturals and synthetics.

  8. #8

    Default

    Good bergamot should easily blend with almost anything. It's the universal top note for just this reason.
    Lavender can be problematic, especially the absolute. The richer and more floral the lavender the more I find it has a tendency to dull and flatten mixtures. I have to work quite hard to lift it up. A little of one of mint or camphor, black pepper, lemon, frankincense, rose can add this lift. There are others too. Hope this helps....

  9. #9

    Default Re: Tips on avoiding olfactory dissonance with Bergamot and Lavender

    Hard to find out the problem without smelling. Could you post the formula of a mixture that has this problem?

    As far as I can do with this information I assume you have 'empty spots' in your formulation: at certain times you only smell the less interesting parts of lavender and bergamot oil, simply because they are the most dominant in that stage of the evaporation of the perfume. This happens in case you have large amounts of these oils in the mix (which is not unusual), but not enough heart and base notes to give off enough interesting fragrance every minute of its use. You have he problem just after the first impression, in that case a little EO ylang ylang might be helpful. There are others who can do as well, but ylang ylang is classic for this use, EO lemongrass or citral may be helpful too.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Tips on avoiding olfactory dissonance with Bergamot and Lavender

    glad to see you back, jan. for those who don't know, janmeut is the owner of hekserij.nl (soon http://www.hexapus.nl/en/main.htm for orders in english.)

    this forum really is in good shape these days, with the assists of chris, david and now janmeut. i hope he will stick around for a good bit, because he's a busy man.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Tips on avoiding olfactory dissonance with Bergamot and Lavender

    Wow. Thanks so much to Hirch, Jan, Conni, Chris, and everyone else. I agree with Gido, this is indeed an amazing group. Here is the formula that is giving me the "buzz":

    Oak moss 5
    Lavender (Hermitage) 6
    Lavender (Hawaii) 5
    Coumarin 6
    Tonka 6
    Methyl Cedryl Ketone 2
    Oud Al Qasr 4
    Hyraceum 3
    Linalool 2
    Timberol 1
    Habanolide 2
    Floralozone 2
    Neroli (profumo) 4

    I'm trying for an Azzaro-like smell. Maybe I will try a drop of Ylang Ylang. Frankincense and rose might also work in this mix. Thanks again everyone. I'm going to try these and report back, eventually

    Barry

  12. #12

    Default Re: Tips on avoiding olfactory dissonance with Bergamot and Lavender

    The formula has very little heart notes, so after the 'real' top has ended you have a huge empty hole in which you smell the less appreciated aspects of several of the ingredients used. I assume the dry out might be fine, though.

    In case you mean with 'Azzaro' the original Azzaro (female 1975) you should add a jasmin heart. The ylang ylang will fit in well with this. A rose heart is of course another option that goes well with top and base.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Tips on avoiding olfactory dissonance with Bergamot and Lavender

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Bartlett View Post
    linalool is offset by a similar proportion of linalyl acetate, which keeps the smell fresh and clean
    Is there any reason to include BOTH Linalool and Linalyl Acetate in a blend?

  14. #14

    Default Re: Tips on avoiding olfactory dissonance with Bergamot and Lavender

    I also had a problem with lavender. It blends very nice with very diluted ververine.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Tips on avoiding olfactory dissonance with Bergamot and Lavender

    Quote Originally Posted by JungleNYC View Post
    Is there any reason to include BOTH Linalool and Linalyl Acetate in a blend?
    Only just realised I never responded to this. Yes, they smell different of course but more to the point Linalool is longer lasting - a middle note - while linalyl acetate is fresher and more fleeting - a top note. Linalool is also more agressic (which could be good or bad, depending). In combination you get a kind of simplified lavender effect, without the complexity.
    ďA person who is nice to you, but rude to the waiter, is not a nice person
    ― Dave Barry

    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.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Tips on avoiding olfactory dissonance with Bergamot and Lavender

    It was nice, I had bshell here at the Perfumarium yesterday, on his way to Santa Barbara...

    He very graciously couriered samples and a Gallery brochure from the Art of Scent show in NYC that he also attended on this trip. It was nice to visit with him while he is blowing through Los Angeles...

    Thanks Barry!
    Paul Kiler
    PK Perfumes
    http://www.PKPERFUMES.com
    Gold Medal for "Best Aroma"; Los Angeles Artisan Fragrance Salon

Similar Threads

  1. Does one insult the gods of perfumery by avoiding masculine top notes?
    By Bigsly in forum Male Fragrance Discussion
    Replies: 39
    Last Post: 1st September 2012, 02:09 AM
  2. What to wear for an upcoming... blizzard. Avoiding cabin fever!
    By actiasluna in forum Female Fragrance Discussion
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 25th March 2010, 12:57 AM
  3. Eau des Merveilles - cognitive dissonance?
    By Morgaine in forum Female Fragrance Discussion
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 9th July 2009, 12:41 AM
  4. EdP and EdT variants-- avoiding the disparaged flankers?
    By Heartwood in forum General Fragrance Discussion
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 14th April 2009, 07:17 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  



Loving perfume on the Internet since 2000