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  1. #1
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    Default Noob question about scents used in fragrances

    Hi folks,

    Many years ago, before essential oils become popular here in the UK, I found a small shop which used to sell them. I bought as many as I could because I loved them and started to make fragrances with isopropyl alcohol. They were rubbish but I had fun.

    I've started to become interested in creating fragrances again and have managed to get hold of perfumer's alcohol. I have many essential oils but I understand that a lot of fragrances rely on synthetic scents now.

    My question is this: to what extent do niche companies use essential oils versus synthetics, and where can I buy good synthetic fragrances to use in my own creations, here in the UK?

    Many thanks!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Noob question about scents used in fragrances

    Niche companies vary a great deal in their approach, some being natural only, many using more naturals than are typical in mass-market fragrances (including me) and some are not really niche at all but offshoots of mainstream brands cashing in on the cachet.

    I've given advice on the synthetics I think are most useful for someone starting out on my blog, and I've also recommended some equipment you may want to consider buying there too.

    If you want to buy synthetics for use in fragrance creation I have a, slightly random, collection myself that I can sell on (and I'm happy to help source anything you're struggling with if I can) - email me at enquiry@pellwall-perfumes.com if you'd like a list.

    There is a wider selection available from De Hekserij in the Netherlands, who ship to the UK and as they are in the EU there are no customs complications or charges. Olfactik are in the UK and stock a smaller range of synthetics (some are a bit pricey IMO but no issues with quality) and recently Hermitage have started to stock some synthetics alongside their long-standing and very extensive range of naturals.

    If all those fail then Perfumer's Apprentice in the US stock a wide range and ship to the UK, but you need to be prepared for customs delays and to pay VAT and potentially other Duty on the package before it's released to you.

    Between those you can get hold of most things. As I've recommended elsewhere I don't think it's good to use pre-prepared bases unless the supplier is prepared to tell you what's in it or it's an industry standard base you can be confident will be good, consistent and continue to be available.
    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.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Noob question about scents used in fragrances

    Hi Chris,

    Many thanks for your detailed response. I'll check those links you mentioned ad I'll drop you a line regarding the stocks you sell. Would you be able to tell me the ratio between fragrance and other ingredients for an EDT and an EDP? Is it usually perfumer's alcohol that's used, or is it a combination of many chemicals?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Noob question about scents used in fragrances

    Quote Originally Posted by Fragmeister View Post
    Hi Chris,

    Many thanks for your detailed response. I'll check those links you mentioned ad I'll drop you a line regarding the stocks you sell. Would you be able to tell me the ratio between fragrance and other ingredients for an EDT and an EDP? Is it usually perfumer's alcohol that's used, or is it a combination of many chemicals?
    No problem!

    Perfumer's Alcohol is fine alone - the only other thing that needs to be in it is the fragrance components - some people like to add a bit of water but personally I prefer not to in most cases.

    'Splash' or 'Cologne Splash' is 0.5-3% - occasionally even less
    Cologne is normally 4-8% although sometimes Cologne is used to mean a fragrance type or to indicate that a fragrance is aimed at men and in that case may not give any indication of strength at all.
    EdT is typically 5-9% fragrance
    EdP typically 10-20%
    Parfum (sometimes unhelpfully called Pure Parfum) is up to about 35%, but usually no more than 28-30%

    Sometimes Parfum strength isn't presented in alcohol at all but in an oil base: DPG, IPM or one of the fixed oils. However the concentration still won't be higher than around 30% - anything much more than that isn't wearable on your skin.
    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
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    Default Re: Noob question about scents used in fragrances

    Thanks, Chris. That's very handy to know. I read that there are many chemical additives and types of alcohol that are used in fragrances, but you feel these are unnecessary? It's not that I want to lace my fragrances with chemicals, but was surprised that you said perfumer's alcohol is all you need apart from the fragrance components.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Noob question about scents used in fragrances

    Quote Originally Posted by Fragmeister View Post
    Thanks, Chris. That's very handy to know. I read that there are many chemical additives and types of alcohol that are used in fragrances, but you feel these are unnecessary? It's not that I want to lace my fragrances with chemicals, but was surprised that you said perfumer's alcohol is all you need apart from the fragrance components.
    All fragrance ingredients are themselves chemicals - I imagine that's what the writer meant.
    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.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Noob question about scents used in fragrances

    ~deleted duplicate post~
    Last edited by Chris Bartlett; 23rd January 2013 at 06:58 PM.
    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
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    Default Re: Noob question about scents used in fragrances

    ~deleted duplicate post~
    Last edited by Chris Bartlett; 23rd January 2013 at 06:58 PM.
    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.

  9. #9
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    Default Chemicals

    Hi Chris,
    What I was referring to was, for example, the host of different alcohol types and stabilisers I've seen advertised on perfumery websites. There seem to be many available.

    - - - Updated - - -

    For example, the Olfactik start kit 3 includes these:

    ACA
    Aldehyde C9 (Nonenal) (10%)
    alpha Terpineol HP
    alpha Ionone
    Anisaldehyde
    Aurantiol
    Benzyl acetate
    Benzyl alcohol
    Benzyl propionate
    Benzyl salicylate
    beta Ionone
    cis 3 hexenyl Acetate
    DBCA
    Linalool
    Linalyl acetate
    Lyral
    Mehtyl anthranilate
    Methyl benzoate
    Methyl ionone
    Methyl nonylenate (10%)
    Methyl salicylate (50%)
    Phenyl acetaldehyde
    Phenylethyl alcohol

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Chemicals

    Those are fragrance materials: they all contribute to the way the perfume smells.
    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.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Noob question about scents used in fragrances

    Thanks, Chris.
    Last edited by Fragmeister; 26th January 2013 at 03:12 PM.

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