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  1. #1

    Default Diluting with oil

    Can I dilute aromachemicals like aldehydes or synthetic musks with oil instead of alcohol or will that just not work/go horribly wrong?

    I know there is a definite preference for diluting with alcohol for various reasons but my personal preference on the usage end is for an oil based perfume.

    Am I stuck with only EOs/Absolutes/CO2 extracts if I want to make oil based perfumes?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Diluting with oil

    I don't see why there should be a problem unless they are water based. I'm not aware that they are but it isn't my bag. I do use oils for dilutions on loads of naturals and haven't had much of a problem with anything yet. The occasional cloudy one. I just wait for it to settle.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Diluting with oil

    It's all about solubility. Oil and water don't mix, so the more water soluble a material is the less oil you can use. It is to do with polarity and how hydrophobic/philic the material is. You need to try it and see what happens.

  4. #4
    Basenotes Junkie Curly11's Avatar
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    Default Re: Diluting with oil

    Do you dilute only EOs, or do you also dilute absolutes and resins with oil? I am keenly interested as I have 6 essences that would be more easily used if they were diluted. They are jasmine concrete, benzoin resin, Peru balsam absolute, oak moss absolute, labdanum absolute, and lavender absolute. Any advice would be welcome.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Diluting with oil

    I have all of those in oil. One of my labdanums didn't mix so well and threw a sediment but I just leave it there and use the scented oil from the top. It acts like an oil tincture. It has to be left a long time though and agitated regularly.

    I like oils because they sit close to the skin and release their smell in a more subtle way than the blast of alcohol. A blend made from the same formula acts entirely differently in the two. More subtle in the oil IMO.

    Try a bit in a 1ml vial first before you mix the whole lot. Then there is no waste.

  6. #6
    Basenotes Junkie Curly11's Avatar
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    Default Re: Diluting with oil

    Quote Originally Posted by mumsy View Post
    I have all of those in oil. One of my labdanums didn't mix so well and threw a sediment but I just leave it there and use the scented oil from the top. It acts like an oil tincture. It has to be left a long time though and agitated regularly.

    I like oils because they sit close to the skin and release their smell in a more subtle way than the blast of alcohol. A blend made from the same formula acts entirely differently in the two. More subtle in the oil IMO.

    Try a bit in a 1ml vial first before you mix the whole lot. Then there is no waste.
    Many thanks for your reply. Here's another question: how much oil do you add to each essence? The essences I have mentioned are in 5 ml bottles. Should I heat them first and then transfer them to a larger bottle and add twice as much oil? I don't have a scale (yet) so I have to figure everything by volume. I plan to use jojoba oil as it is available to me locally. Eventually I am going to make solid fragrance using beeswax. I am concerned about diluting with 190-proof Everclear because I don't know if the alcohol and the oils & wax will become homogenous.

    I look forward to your reply.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Diluting with oil

    I don't know if it's going to work or not, but why not try a safer bet like dipropylene glycol or diethyl phthalate? I'm not sure that most aromachems would dissolve in oil, but they probably dissolve in a glycol or isopropyl myristate. You should try that. Then you can always put them in alcohol afterward.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Diluting with oil

    Weight is best if you need to be accurate, but if it doesn't matter, then I would say 40% in your case is a good dilution as it is equivalent to the strongest extrait concentration. You can then dilute it further for perfume, edt and edc blends. Just keep a good record of what is diluted to how much. If you can possibly afford a little jewelry scale, these are pretty cheap and would help you no end.

    Solid perfumes need a higher concentration of the perfume than liquid frags, especially top notes, to hold their niff in the substrate. You also may also find that the resins don't stay clear and make a cloudy perfume. You really do just have to try with a very small amount first because every supplier is different and some more pure than others. A solid perfume will not display the subtle nuances of a liquid, so keep your ingredients to a minimum and bear in mind that beeswax has a super strong smell. I love solid perfumes and oils because they stay close to the skin and last a longer time. Just have some fun.

  9. #9
    Basenotes Junkie Curly11's Avatar
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    Default Re: Diluting with oil

    Quote Originally Posted by mumsy View Post
    Weight is best if you need to be accurate, but if it doesn't matter, then I would say 40% in your case is a good dilution as it is equivalent to the strongest extrait concentration. You can then dilute it further for perfume, edt and edc blends. Just keep a good record of what is diluted to how much. If you can possibly afford a little jewelry scale, these are pretty cheap and would help you no end.

    Solid perfumes need a higher concentration of the perfume than liquid frags, especially top notes, to hold their niff in the substrate. You also may also find that the resins don't stay clear and make a cloudy perfume. You really do just have to try with a very small amount first because every supplier is different and some more pure than others. A solid perfume will not display the subtle nuances of a liquid, so keep your ingredients to a minimum and bear in mind that beeswax has a super strong smell. I love solid perfumes and oils because they stay close to the skin and last a longer time. Just have some fun.
    Thanks for your kind advice, mumsy. I will do a little experimenting to find out how my essences work. I am reluctant to commit an entire bottle of something because of the expense involved (why couldn't I have chosen a cheaper hobby?). So, I'll take your suggestion to try a dilution with a very small amount.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by edshepp View Post
    I don't know if it's going to work or not, but why not try a safer bet like dipropylene glycol or diethyl phthalate? I'm not sure that most aromachems would dissolve in oil, but they probably dissolve in a glycol or isopropyl myristate. You should try that. Then you can always put them in alcohol afterward.
    I have not tried synthetics, yet. It seems as though you are familiar with them, though. How long have you been blending scents?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by edshepp View Post
    I don't know if it's going to work or not, but why not try a safer bet like dipropylene glycol or diethyl phthalate? I'm not sure that most aromachems would dissolve in oil, but they probably dissolve in a glycol or isopropyl myristate. You should try that. Then you can always put them in alcohol afterward.
    I have not tried synthetics, yet. It seems as though you are familiar with them, though. How long have you been blending scents?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Oops, I tried to respond to edshepp and it seems as though I managed to post a duplicate reply. Not sure how I managed to do that. Sorry.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Diluting with oil

    I use a clear 1ml vial with only a drop of the valuable stuff for tests like this. Then you can see clearly what is going on rather than using little brown bottles where you can't.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Diluting with oil

    Lots of good advice here already but I'll add one other suggestion: rather than jojoba you might do better with fractionated coconut oil - it is very stable (does not go off) and not too thick or sticky so easy to work with.

    Most aroma-chemicals will dissolve in it (don't forget that all the naturals are composed of aroma-chemicals) though a few will give problems.

    DPG, IPM and DEP are all widely used perfumery solvents that most things will dissolve in and all three will dissolve in ethanol should you later want to. The fixed oils like fractionated coconut and jojoba will not.
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  12. #12
    Basenotes Junkie Curly11's Avatar
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    Default Re: Diluting with oil

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Bartlett View Post
    Lots of good advice here already but I'll add one other suggestion: rather than jojoba you might do better with fractionated coconut oil - it is very stable (does not go off) and not too thick or sticky so easy to work with.

    Most aroma-chemicals will dissolve in it (don't forget that all the naturals are composed of aroma-chemicals) though a few will give problems.

    DPG, IPM and DEP are all widely used perfumery solvents that most things will dissolve in and all three will dissolve in ethanol should you later want to. The fixed oils like fractionated coconut and jojoba will not.
    Thank you, Chris Bartlett. Your reply helped to clarify a term that I see a lot - "aroma chemicals". I wasn't sure whether or not this meant all fragrance molecules, or just synthetics. Also, what is the difference between a fixed oil and other oils that are not fixed? If an aroma-chemical is dissolved in DPG, IPM, or DEP, will it blend with an oil such as fractionated coconut oil or jojoba?

  13. #13

    Default Re: Diluting with oil

    Quote Originally Posted by Curly11 View Post
    Thank you, Chris Bartlett. Your reply helped to clarify a term that I see a lot - "aroma chemicals". I wasn't sure whether or not this meant all fragrance molecules, or just synthetics. Also, what is the difference between a fixed oil and other oils that are not fixed? If an aroma-chemical is dissolved in DPG, IPM, or DEP, will it blend with an oil such as fractionated coconut oil or jojoba?
    Fixed oils are non-volatile, fatty oils often used as carrier oils in aromatherapy and massage applications. It would also cover most of the oils used in cooking. The term is used to draw out the distinction from essential oils, which are by nature volatile - and hence highly scented.

    What will dissolve in what depends mainly on polarity but I wasn't certain my instinct on this would be correct so I did the test to check: FCO will dissolve in IPM and DEP but not in DPG - this is what I expected because DPG is more polar than the other two and hence can be dissolved in water. I've not done the test on PG but I'm confident it won't as that's even more polar than DPG.

    I don't have jojoba so have not tested with that, but I would expect the results to be the same.
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  14. #14
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    Default Re: Diluting with oil

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Bartlett View Post

    Fixed oils are non-volatile, fatty oils often used as carrier oils in aromatherapy and massage applications. It would also cover most of the oils used in cooking. The term is used to draw out the distinction from essential oils, which are by nature volatile - and hence

    What will dissolve in what depends mainly on polarity but I wasn't certain my instinct on this would be correct so I did the test to check: FCO will dissolve in IPM and DEP but not in DPG - this is what I expected because DPG is more polar than the other two and hence can be dissolved in water. I've not done the test on PG but I'm confident it won't as that's even more polar than DPG.

    I don't have jojoba so have not tested with that, but I would expect the results to be the same.
    Thank you, Chris, for testing the FCO. This information is very helpful. Now I know to avoid buying PG and DPG.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Diluting with oil

    this thread made me think of a question: If I have something that won't dissolve in ethanol but it will dissolve in, say, DPG, can then dissolve it first in the DPG and then dissolve that in the ethanol? Or will something fall out of solution?

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    Default Re: Diluting with oil

    Quote Originally Posted by edshepp View Post
    this thread made me think of a question: If I have something that won't dissolve in ethanol but it will dissolve in, say, DPG, can then dissolve it first in the DPG and then dissolve that in the ethanol? Or will something fall out of solution?
    Good question, edshepp. I don't have the answer, though.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Diluting with oil

    Quote Originally Posted by edshepp View Post
    this thread made me think of a question: If I have something that won't dissolve in ethanol but it will dissolve in, say, DPG, can then dissolve it first in the DPG and then dissolve that in the ethanol? Or will something fall out of solution?
    A good question indeed. I'm afraid the answer is 'sometimes' - I often use IPM to help get difficult things like some CO2 extractions into solution successfully but there is no guarantee that you won't find something drops back out of solution when you add the ethanol - generally it does not, but occasionally it will - so the only way to find out for sure with a particular material is try it with a small amount first.
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  18. #18
    Basenotes Member Luís Carlos's Avatar
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    Default Re: Diluting with oil

    Essential oils are soluble in alcohol but practically insoluble in water. The alcohol is water soluble. If you increase the amount of water in ethanol they will mix, but the power of solubility of alcohol will be lower. The DPG is soluble in alcohol. If you add alcohol to DPG the power of solubility of DPG, for the same reason, should also decrease. IMO. I think the elements will mix, but precipitation may occur depending on the amount of alcohol you put. This if you consider something that is soluble only in DPG.

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