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  1. #1

    Default Essential oil dilution

    Basically if in making dilutions in alcohol with essential oils there's a separation and settling of something at the bottom of that dilution that looks like a blobby fluid that beads up till it finally settles into a big blob at the bottom and never dilutes into the alcohol, that is carrier oil and the essential oil wasn't pure? Am I correct in this thinking or am I missing something?
    Last edited by Pipsta; 10th September 2012 at 05:21 AM.
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  2. #2

    Default Re: Essential oil dilution

    What percentage of alcohol are you using? What you describe sounds like you are using an alcohol with too high a concentration of water and the oil is separating out. In that case, the "blob" is the essential oil.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Essential oil dilution

    Quote Originally Posted by Pipsta View Post
    Basically if in making dilutions in alcohol with essential oils there's a separation and settling of something at the bottom of that dilution that looks like a blobby fluid that beads up till it finally settles into a big blob at the bottom and never dilutes into the alcohol, that is carrier oil and the essential oil wasn't pure? Am I correct in this thinking or am I missing something?
    If you are using ethanol at 96% (or a perfumer's alcohol with a lower percentage of ethanol but some added solvents like PG, DPG, IPM etc.) then what you describe is exactly what happens if your essential oil has been diluted with a fixed oil such as almond or jojoba.

    Normally if you have too much water in your mix the essential oil ends up floating on the surface, though it does depend on which essential oil we are talking about - it can end up behaving as you describe with a heavier (higher specific gravity) oil.
    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
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  4. #4

    Default Re: Essential oil dilution

    I'm actually using 190 proof grain alcohol, everclear, with nothing added. I just received a few oils from a new supplier and all of their oils are separating like this. They advertised it as pure essential oil and before I contact them about this I wanted to get an idea if there is something else that would do this. None of my other oils do this out of the two dozen I have acquired and I made an strong effort to only purchase pure essential oils.

    I made a few more dilutions afterwards with other oils I already had, some of them 'top offs' of previous dilution bottles bottles I've been working off of using the same one and only bottle of alcohol I have been working with and none of the others separated at all so it's not contamination of the alcohol I'm working with.
    Last edited by Pipsta; 10th September 2012 at 03:37 PM.
    ***My SALE thread***My TRADE thread***
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  5. #5

    Default Re: Essential oil dilution

    Quote Originally Posted by Pipsta View Post
    I'm actually using 190 proof grain alcohol, everclear, with nothing added. I just received a few oils from a new supplier and all of their oils are separating like this. They advertised it as pure essential oil and before I contact them about this I wanted to get an idea if there is something else that would do this. None of my other oils do this out of the two dozen I have acquired and I made an strong effort to only purchase pure essential oils.
    In that case I see no room for doubt - the oils are diluted and your supplier is misrepresenting them as pure, or to be generous, they may have been fooled themselves: though I'd be highly doubtful they could have accidentally bought a whole group of oils all adulterated in the same way. More likely they are aiming at the aromatherapy market, who won't detect this kind of fraud as they will dilute further with more fixed oil.

    Sadly this sort of thing happens a lot. The worse news however is that the fact that an oil dissolves successfully in ethanol is by no means proof that it has not been adulterated: smarter crooks use adulterants that are harder to detect - virtually all natural oils are routinely adulterated and getting pure ones is all about selecting trusted suppliers and then checking anyway.

    Good luck!
    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.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Essential oil dilution

    Another idea I was having.... since the carrier oil won't mix and falls to the bottom, would the part of it that is essential oil still, even only in part, mix into the alcohol? If I'm just using this for personal use and experimentation what harm could come from at least trying to slurp off the top the alcohol with some essential oil mixed in?

    Obviously I wouldn't be able to get an accurate reading on measurements to nail down an exact formula since I'm not sure what the accurate dilution is but I could use them to play with note combos and see what works together. That is if I can't get a refund on the fraudulent 'pure essential oils'!
    Last edited by Pipsta; 10th September 2012 at 04:58 PM.
    ***My SALE thread***My TRADE thread***
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  7. #7

    Default Re: Essential oil dilution

    Your theory is quite sound - that's the principle governing the process of extraction of absolutes from digestion - the ethanol soluble volatile aromatic parts will go into the ethanol, leaving the fixed oil behind. It does not happen quickly though: you'll need to give the mixture a good shake over a few hours or days and then let it settle again.

    The real problem though, as you say, is that if you produce something brilliant from your mixing experiments you won't be able to reproduce it because you will have no idea what concentration you started with.

    To be honest if it was me, and I couldn't get my money back on them, I'd use them up by mixing them with more fixed oil to form a massage oil or add some emulsifiers to make a bath oil.

    I'd also publish the name of the fraudsters who sold them to me . . . (though not before I'd given them a fair opportunity to make it right of course).
    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.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Essential oil dilution

    As I expected the seller is insisting their oils are pure with nothing added and that I should test them. She also has told me carrier oils are alcohol soluble....lol. I want to reply to her with some links to more authoritative sources about the solubility of carrier oils in alcohol. Google search with various terms hasn't yielded good enough information. Does anyone here have some links to websites I can pass along to them as some proof.

    Part of it is that they offered a refund but I'm concerned that when I do they will deny my refund based on me using a couple grams from some of them. So I'm building a 'item not as described' case through the messaging system so even if they try to refuse my refund that I can get it through ebay buyer protection. I guess that's what I get for trying to get some oils quickly and not having to meet minimum order requirements of most of the other essential oil suppliers I feel more comfortable with.
    ***My SALE thread***My TRADE thread***
    Frag addicted? Join the support group We are too but dam we smell good!

  9. #9

    Default Re: Essential oil dilution

    Quote Originally Posted by Pipsta View Post
    As I expected the seller is insisting their oils are pure with nothing added and that I should test them. She also has told me carrier oils are alcohol soluble....lol. I want to reply to her with some links to more authoritative sources about the solubility of carrier oils in alcohol. Google search with various terms hasn't yielded good enough information. Does anyone here have some links to websites I can pass along to them as some proof.

    Part of it is that they offered a refund but I'm concerned that when I do they will deny my refund based on me using a couple grams from some of them. So I'm building a 'item not as described' case through the messaging system so even if they try to refuse my refund that I can get it through ebay buyer protection. I guess that's what I get for trying to get some oils quickly and not having to meet minimum order requirements of most of the other essential oil suppliers I feel more comfortable with.
    The best place to refer them to is probably right here you know: quite apart from this thread and others like it (that is concerning dodgy oils) I must have advised people against attempting to mix fixed oils with ethanol dozens of times here. It's such a simple test I'm slightly at a loss to understand why people don't just do it themselves - pop some jojoba or almond oil into some ethanol and see what happens: the two liquids are not miscible any more than fixed oil and water are.
    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.

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