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  1. #1

    Default Alternative Carrier to Alcohol

    Hi all

    I've been experimenting with creating fragrances for a little while now, and am having a blast doing it, thanks largely to reading posts from this community, but there is one concern I have that I do not think has been addressed anywhere. If it has then my apologies.

    I am looking for an alternative to using ethanol as a carrier. I have tried several different oils (jojoba and sweet almond mostly) but they create a very different feel to the fragrance than the same formula in alcohol. I live in Australia where it is very expensive to buy pure grain alcohol, and it is illegal to distill alcohol without a licence, and very expensive to distill alcohol even if you have one.

    Does anyone know any decently priced alternatives?

    Thanks

    Stratos

  2. #2

    Default Re: Alternative Carrier to Alcohol

    Yes, Australia seems particularly averse to trading and using alcohol for Perfumery. I know that it is a supreme frustration for many of my friends in OZ. BUT, they seem to be able to meet their needs, nonetheless, even if difficult. So first, I recommend that you continue to seek what you desire in terms of alcohol based perfumery.

    But in the interim, you can try using IPM, Iso Propyl Myristate, or even DPG, Dipropylene Glocol.

    You should also conduct your own research for Cyclomethicone:
    http://www.wholesalesuppliesplus.com...Silky+Perfume)

    Which they say provides a "Silky Sprayable Perfume Carrier". I've never had the need to use this, as I can simply drive to my Alcohol supplier and pick it up, which even for the BIG USA, seems like a great thing for someone to be able to do, in contrast to the difficulties other people encounter.

    There's three alternatives for you...

    I've never liked any oil based perfume. And jojoba isn't an oil, but actually a wax, so it has an extremely long shelf life, while oils can go bad/rancid faster than one would like...

    Best to you...
    Paul Kiler
    PK Perfumes
    http://www.PKPERFUMES.com
    Gold Medal for "Best Aroma"; Los Angeles Artisan Fragrance Salon

  3. #3

    Default Re: Alternative Carrier to Alcohol

    Thanks for the tips Paul

    The Cyclomethicone looks quite interesting, might give things a bit of a unique feel to them

    Jojoba isn't an oil? Well you learn something every day don't you

    I'll try them out and see how they go. It would be nice to have an alcohol supplier, the best we can do is fork out approximately $50 for 500mL of grain alcohol. They aren't allowed to advertise it either, you have to ask specifically and I had to sign a register saying what it is used for. I get that its to stop people drinking it but you can walk up to the shelf and buy 4L of wine for $15 it seems a little bit rich

    Also your website is gorgeous, and thanks again for your advice

  4. #4

    Default Re: Alternative Carrier to Alcohol

    I'm planning to try some dilutions in methylated spirits to see whether the odour is acceptable. Diggers methylated spirits is 95% ethanol, 5% water, plus tiny amounts of three denaturants: methyl isobutyl ketone (faint ketonic and camphor odour), denatonium benzoate, and (I think) Fluorescein. I had to ring the company to find out about denaturants, they weren't listed on the MSDS. And I'm somewhat deaf, and I'm not sure 'Fluorescein' was the word she was trying to get across.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Alternative Carrier to Alcohol

    Methylated spirit generally will contain methanol as well as ethanol (that's what it means here anyway) and methanol has a strong smell of it's own as well as being poisonous (though not by skin absorption, so it's safe enough in a perfume).

    The denaturants you describe wouldn't give a huge smell - denatonium benzoate is odourless in the quantities in which it's used - not sure about the smell of flourescein if that's what it was but you'll know immediately you see it if that's in there because it's a very striking flourescent yellow colour, which will be quite strange for perfume and might well be a problem unless there is only a trace.
    A 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 I’m happy to quote: if you want free advice, that’s what these forums are for
    You can also join my blog if you wish to ask questions of me.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Alternative Carrier to Alcohol

    Hi, You could ask the Aussie P&S perfume and skincare co. They obtain it from somewhere.

    Also there is Fractionated coconut oil. That is nice to use.

  7. #7
    Basenotes Member Luís Carlos's Avatar
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    Default Re: Alternative Carrier to Alcohol

    Quote Originally Posted by Stratos View Post
    (...) the best we can do is fork out approximately $50 for 500mL of grain alcohol. (...)
    In small amounts, with $50 I buy 25 ls. of alcohol from sugarcane or 15 ls. of grain alcohol…

    I heard it is possible to separate the alcohol from the water contained in the vodka for fractional solidification. The melting point of water is 0 ° C (32 F) and the alcohol is -114 ° C (-173 F). Theoretically, water will crystallize at 0 ° C and you could remove it by filtration, leaving only alcohol.

    I do not know if this really works or if you need some specific device, but apparently you would not be an out-of-law if you did ...

  8. #8

    Default Re: Alternative Carrier to Alcohol

    Quote Originally Posted by Luís Carlos View Post
    I heard it is possible to separate the alcohol from the water contained in the vodka for fractional solidification. The melting point of water is 0 ° C (32 F) and the alcohol is -114 ° C (-173 F). Theoretically, water will crystallize at 0 ° C and you could remove it by filtration, leaving only alcohol.

    I do not know if this really works or if you need some specific device, but apparently you would not be an out-of-law if you did ...
    This doesn't work terribly well for two reasons, first water and ethanol fractional freezing is a great deal more complex than it first appears. For example I normally keep a bottle of 40% v/v vodka in my freezer at -18° C where it (all) remains liquid - I prefer to drink it in that condition, that's why it's there.

    If you keep reducing the temperature then eventually you do get ice forming, but the ice still has alcohol in it, it just has less than the part that remains liquid. That remains true even when you get to the point where it all freezes - you can never separate all the water from the alcohol this way, though you can concentrated it somewhat if you have a cold enough freezer.

    This process is also why adding anti-freeze screen wash (based on isopropyl alcohol usually, but the same principles apply) to wiper washing water is effective - if it didn't work that way you'd just get ice crystals in your screen wash anyway.

    Second it's really quite difficult to perform the filtration without the water/alcohol ice melting straight back in unless you can do it all at very low temperatures, because it's freezing point is so low.

    Finally I'm pretty sure that, in the UK at any rate, the prohibition isn't just against distilling your own ethanol without a license but concentrating it by any means. The legal situation will no doubt be different round the world though.
    A 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 I’m happy to quote: if you want free advice, that’s what these forums are for
    You can also join my blog if you wish to ask questions of me.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Alternative Carrier to Alcohol

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Bartlett View Post
    Methylated spirit generally will contain methanol as well as ethanol (that's what it means here anyway) and methanol has a strong smell of it's own as well as being poisonous (though not by skin absorption, so it's safe enough in a perfume).

    The denaturants you describe wouldn't give a huge smell - denatonium benzoate is odourless in the quantities in which it's used - not sure about the smell of flourescein if that's what it was but you'll know immediately you see it if that's in there because it's a very striking flourescent yellow colour, which will be quite strange for perfume and might well be a problem unless there is only a trace.
    Well, it isn't yellow! But at 1ppm perhaps it wouldn't show. I might contact them again and see if I can clear up that last ingredient. As to smell--when I open a new bottle it does have an unpleasant, sort of fuel-like, odour, but that's gone when I'm a little way through the bottle. Anyway 95% ethanol at under $5 a litre has to be worth trying.

    I've considered cane-sugar sourced ethanol but the minimum order appears to be a 20-litre pail and they'll only deliver it if they approve your storage facility. I just don't fancy storing and pouring from a 20-litre pail . . . I have a two-room flat.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Alternative Carrier to Alcohol

    You are quite right to be worried about large amounts of ethanol in a two room flat. I don't store more than 5 litres in my lab at any one time with the rest being in a ventilated storage area. When I'm decanting large amounts I do it outside.

    I've written about the risks and safety considerations elsewhere on this forum and at some point I'll try to consolidate all that into a blog post I think. Suffice to say here that the key thing to remember is that the main risk with ethanol isn't the flammability of the liquid so much as the explosive potential of the vapour it gives off. That vapour is heavier than air and so tends to settle low down, if it accumulates and there is a spark it can explode so if you have a spill open all the doors and windows and don't switch anything on or off until it's cleared up. Remember that opening a refrigerator door causes a light to switch on . . .
    A 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 I’m happy to quote: if you want free advice, that’s what these forums are for
    You can also join my blog if you wish to ask questions of me.

  11. #11
    Basenotes Member Luís Carlos's Avatar
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    Default Re: Alternative Carrier to Alcohol

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Bartlett View Post
    This doesn't work terribly well for two reasons...
    It seems as or more difficult as trying to make the separation by distillation. Instruments, suitable environments, replications of processes ... And if it's illegal, not worth the effort.

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