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  1. #1
    Basenotes Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2012

    Default Quantitative description

    It is probably beyond question that the process of making perfumes has components of creativity and of knowlege just as other arts do, e. g., music, and judgement is partly subjective.

    I would like to understand better those parts which can be captured numerically but still are relevant for the creation process of a perfume. However, I was not able to find a data bank which holds consistent and complete information about

    - odor thresholds in Ethanol for human, as average and standard deviation (if relevant separately for male and female)
    - concentration dependence of intensity (as perceived by average human), maybe a curve showing the dependence.
    - volatility (under standardized conditions) on a continuous numerical scale, not just top, middle, base note
    - solubility in ethanol, DPG, PG measured consistently, preferrably in mass units g/kg at normal conditions (20C)

    It is important that all data were measured under equal conditions, it is hard to compare odor thresholds with different solvents or solubilities at different temperatures. But where are all these numbers for the 4000 ingredients? I know that it is a lot, but I would think that the first thing research focusses on is to study properties and perception systematically for all ingredients before developing complicated olfactory models.

    Are there sources of information which I overlooked?

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Washington, DC

    Default Re: Quantitative description

    Somebody suggested a book, the chemistry of fragrances, ed Sell, which may have some information. But I have not read it so I don't know if it has any of your answers.


  3. #3

    Default Re: Quantitative description

    Sorry, I didn't understand a single word u wrote.. Perhaps u should try digging into Luca Turin's the secret of Scent for the technical aspects. Charles Sell is mentioned by name in Chandler Burr's the Emperor of Scent. I suspect his text book will have more or less the same info based on very different principles. As for the formulae, Frederic Malle has published his in his own book.
    On Sillage:

    If someone can smell me at more than an arm's length away, I'm probably wearing too much of whatever I applied; if she can distinctly make out the top notes, then perhaps I left the house a bit too soon..

    On icebreaker:

    I tend to compliment people on their frags to make short talks rather than anything more meaningful.

    Si o No?

  4. #4

    Default Re: Quantitative description

    Quote Originally Posted by cacio View Post
    Somebody suggested a book, the chemistry of fragrances, ed Sell, which may have some information. But I have not read it so I don't know if it has any of your answers.

    I think it might have been me that mentioned it - it's in my collection and very useful - however it does not contain the sort of numerical information being sought here, rather it explains the processes involved in getting from raw material to ingredient to fragrance to fragranced product.

    Louis Appell includes a great deal of numerical information in his book The Formulation and Preparation of Cosmetics, Fragrances and Flavors - Appell was a chemist rather than a perfumer and he looks at the problem from a chemists viewpoint.

    If you read his descriptions of the process he devised to obtain, under standard conditions, a measure of something as simple as volatility, and the difficulty of using the measure across the range of odorous materials, you will understand why relatively little standard numerical information is available in published work. Appel didn't collate and publish his work until after he retired and he died very soon after the book was first published.
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    Chris Bartlett
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