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  1. #1

    Default 70% Ethyl Alcohol as a Perfume Base?

    I have an idea I want to work through and actual perfumer's alcohol is probably a week to 10 days away by post. I saw 70% ethyl alcohol at the druggist and I was wondering if anyone knew if this could serve as quick and effective base to use until the perfumer's alcohol arrived. I understand that the ideal is 90% ethyl, but I don't know if, other than the water content, there is something in the 70% available at the drugstore that might impede getting an actual clear impression of the scent of an essential oil diluted by a specific amount. 91% Isopropyl seems to impart a lot of fragrance "noise" in the mix, and I don't know if this retail ethyl might do the same.

    The bottle lists the following ingredients: Ethyl Alcohol (70% by Volume). Inactive Ingredients: Acetone, Denatonium Benzoate, Methyl Isobutyl Ketone, Water.

    Any thoughts?

  2. #2

    Default Re: 70% Ethyl Alcohol as a Perfume Base?

    You will have far greeter solubility problems with this grade of ethanol; many materials will drop out of solution, and because of that you will distort the final fragrance. Of course iso Propyl Alcohol is a no no; it stinks!

  3. #3
    Super Member otocione's Avatar
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    Aug 2011

    Default Re: 70% Ethyl Alcohol as a Perfume Base?

    That one is denatured alcohol, which has not been specifically denatured for perfumery so you don't know if the amount of denaturants in it may alter the scent. Anyway as David said, probably it's going to be pretty hard to dissolve oils in it, and I guess you can forget to dissolve absolutes and resinoids.
    Sebastiano - Organic Chemist

  4. #4

    Default Re: 70% Ethyl Alcohol as a Perfume Base?

    I agree. Denatonium benzoate (Bitrex) isn't a problem as it's odourless, Methyl Isobutyl Ketone is a common denaturing agent and probably OK as long as there isn't too much of it there, but first on the list is Acetone, which has a strong and very distinctive smell. Add to that the water content and resulting solubility problems and it's really not going to do a good job for you at all.

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