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  1. #1

    Default What's giving me this SOAPY WAXY smell?

    I have a simple OAKMOSS, VA CEDAR, LAVENDER and BERGAMOT and LEMON EO thingy going on, and was testing some of my new Aroma Chems.

    So I addedÖ
    COSMONE
    ISO E SUPER
    LINALYL ACETATE

    And although I liked how it "evened out" and the COSMONE seemed to give the base a nice "wideness", there was this prominent waxy soapy overtone going on.

    Any idea which of these did that? Or a combo?

  2. #2

    Default Re: What's giving me this SOAPY WAXY smell?

    My guess would be it's the lavender, lemon and linalyl acetate that have combined to do that, though the cosmone may be contributing too. It's funny how often a soapiness creeps in to blends when you're not expecting it. I find Lily of the Valley components are often the cause, though obviously not in this case.
    ďA 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 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

    Default Re: What's giving me this SOAPY WAXY smell?

    Yeah, I've read that some find COSMONE to be a little "soapy".

    But what's weird… I was playing around with the same EOs, and switching out the ACs…

    This time I went with:
    KEPHALIS
    and
    ISO E SUPER

    And i'm getting much of the same overtone.

    I know from my limited experience that it's not the KELPHASIS (fairly dry, woody).

    Could it be the ISO E SUPER is what's giving me that sense?

  4. #4

    Default Re: What's giving me this SOAPY WAXY smell?

    I would second Chris' suggestion about Lavender as it is often described as "soapy".

  5. #5

    Default Re: What's giving me this SOAPY WAXY smell?

    I found that (ethyl) linalool in a lot of my experiments has the effect that i can best describe has heavy-on-the-lungs, waxy, muddy and soapy. As if it reacts (like a Schiff's base could; funny thing i notice it in the blends only after a day or two on room temperature. While composing, the blend usually keeps transparent, light and vibrant) with other ingredients. All in all an effect i just hate but notice especially when using pure Ethyl Linalool in my formulas. Came to think of this because of the soapy effect you wrote about.
    As far as i understand (and thats very little...) Linalool is very common in a lot of essential oils (i remember as much as 25% in lavender oil).
    David, Chris, can you confirm such an effect on behalf of (ethyl) Linalool? And if so, could it be the linalool as part of some of the essential oils JungleNYC used, like lavender, lemon and bergamot?

    Happy perfuming!

    My formulation blog
    Last edited by jsparla; 19th February 2013 at 03:52 PM.

  6. #6

    Default Re: What's giving me this SOAPY WAXY smell?

    The classic proportions for lavender are around 40%+ each of linalool and linalyl acetate. Rosewood is famously over 90% linalool. I don't believe ethyl linalool occurs in nature, but to me it is a more floral, bergamot version of linalool and I would not have said soapy personally, though some people may find it so.

    Bergamot contains linalool (though only a little) and linalyl acetate (about 15%) my guess was that taking the bergamot, the lavender and then adding more linalyl acetate is probably what pushed it into soap territory.
    ďA 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 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

    Default Re: What's giving me this SOAPY WAXY smell?

    Hi Chris,
    don't get me wrong, i'm not saying Ethyl Linalool has a soapy scent. I tried to explain that the effect of Ethyl Linalool in most of my mixtures seems to effect (reacts) the other ingredients, which turns the complete mixture in 48 hours in a waxy, soapy, muddy, nothing. And hence, the Linalool components of the essential oils mentioned could possibly trigger this reaction?
    If there is such an reaction known to us perfumers, that is. ;-)

  8. #8

    Default Re: What's giving me this SOAPY WAXY smell?

    Hey guys, thanks for the input.

    I'm learning so much, it's awesome

    I've actually done a lot of mixing since, and, well, I think I used too much ISO E SUPER!

    Way, way too much.

    I may be mis-describing the effect, but, to me at least, it's very waxy. All encompassing.

    I tried the simple EO blend again with just the COSMONE, and it's great so far. Not any of that waxy "sheen" i was getting.

  9. #9

    Default Re: What's giving me this SOAPY WAXY smell?

    Don't really need to add to Chris's comments about Ethyl Linalol, although it has never been a favourite of mine. I find it to be a smoother, more elegant version of Linalol, but not really worth the price. However, it has become more commonly used recently as it is not considered to be an allergen (although there is usually some Linalol present). I have never described Ethyl Linalol or Linalol as having a "soapy" smell ("soapy" tends to be aldehydic), and have never experienced the effect mentioned. Lavender could be described as soapy, but that's more to do with the ketones present, I feel.

    Iso E Suoer, is a difficult material to use, with unusual effects. Difficult also that it can block your sense of smell.
    Last edited by David Ruskin; 20th February 2013 at 05:30 PM.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: What's giving me this SOAPY WAXY smell?

    Interesting. I'd like to see your ratios, but sometimes I get a "soapy barbershop" smell if I use bergamot in a mix like that. I'm a noobie but I'd like to hear how it goes without the bergamot.

    Also, are you testing this on skin or card? Could be quite different...

  11. #11

    Default Re: What's giving me this SOAPY WAXY smell?

    What is fascinating about this discussion is that either our experiences of the same materials and blends are very different or our language for describing the experience is very different or, most likely, both.

    It's striking that even amongst experienced practitioners we are struggling to relate to each-others descriptions of the same things: a lesson in how young the science (as distinct from the art) of perfumery really is I'd suggest.

    I can't imagine describing Iso E Super as soapy - velvety, woody, even lemony make some sense to me and I can relate to waxy, though I'm not sure it's a term I would have used but soapy just doesn't seem to fit to me. I would certainly agree it has some very unusual effects too though I'm not sure I find it difficult to use, as compared to say cashmeran or undecavertol but perhaps that's because I'm missing something!
    ďA 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 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.

  12. #12

    Default Re: What's giving me this SOAPY WAXY smell?

    One of the hardest things to do is to talk about smells (bit like trying to listen to colour; unless you are Kandinski!!). There isn't a universal language of descriptor so that one man's "soapy" is another's "waxy"; and so on. This problem really comes into its own when potential clients are trying to explain what they want to Account Managers who then have to explain to the Perfumers. Chinese whispers, and then some.

    Lucky you Chris that you found Iso E easy to use. I found the ease with which it took over a formulation, a big problem. Strangely I never had difficulty with either Cashmeran or Undecavertol; I realised they were power houses and acted accordingly.

  13. #13

    Default Re: What's giving me this SOAPY WAXY smell?

    (in drops)

    40 ALCOHOL
    20 OAKMOSS
    10 VA CEDAR
    5 LAVENDER
    10 BERGAMOT
    2 LEMON

    Then I added
    5 ISO SUPER E

    And… BAM. Totally changed the composition.

    The "terms" conversation is interesting, too. Waxy? Soapy? Etc. Because I would say that it gave it a "sheen", that to me seemed "waxy" and had some "soap" elements to it, although not in every way. It also pushed and pulled a few of the other elements in different ways. It seemed to affect the CITRUS the most, making it more pronounced, but in a "waxy" fashion. It also seemed to tamp down the woodsy/cedar elements.

    I also tried the ISO SUPER E with a GINGER concoction I was working on. And imho it turned the GINGER "sour", as well as changed the overal composition. And then I only used 2 drops.

    I'm really determined to keep experimenting with this. I know it's got to be a good option, but I just need to learn how/where.

  14. #14

    Default Re: What's giving me this SOAPY WAXY smell?

    I think it helps a lot if, as a matter of routine, you think about the percentages of what you are using - I use a spreadsheet that calculates those for me as I'm going along so that they are in front of me as I'm working - if you do that with your formula:

    ALCOHOL 43.48%
    OAKMOSS 21.74%
    VA CEDAR 10.87%
    LAVENDER 5.43%
    BERGAMOT 10.87%
    LEMON 2.17%
    ISO E SUPER 5.43%

    That tells you right away that you've a stunningly large amount of Oakmoss (compare with the IFRA maximum of 0.1% and the typical usage in an old-fasioned Fougere of around 1-2%).

    Just looking at the Iso E Super, you're over 5% - now I know that's not much compared to the IFRA limit of 21.4% but it's about 5 times as much as I use in most of my formulas, unless I'm trying to create a thick, heavy effect.

    I assume you're intending further dilution before you use this on skin?
    ďA 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 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.

  15. #15

    Default Re: What's giving me this SOAPY WAXY smell?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Bartlett View Post
    I assume you're intending further dilution before you use this on skin?
    What? …I was planing on DRINKING this!!



    Lol.

    This has only gone on blotters so far. And I got my OAKMOSS Absolute (amazing stuff) and just diluted into a small jar to play with. And since it's not readily apparent in this mix, I'm assuming I have a fairly weak dilution. So the "20" is actually 20 of, well, nothing scientific.

    I need to figure out how to properly dilute my absolutes so I can have a better idea of the amounts I'm using.

    But it's good to know that the ISO E SUPER is 5x the amount that you would use. That reference is very helpful.

    What "affect" would you use a small amount like that for? I'm assuming per your blog the "exalting" of the blend?

  16. #16

    Default Re: What's giving me this SOAPY WAXY smell?

    Quote Originally Posted by JungleNYC View Post
    What? ÖI was planing on DRINKING this!!



    Lol.

    This has only gone on blotters so far. And I got my OAKMOSS Absolute (amazing stuff) and just diluted into a small jar to play with. And since it's not readily apparent in this mix, I'm assuming I have a fairly weak dilution. So the "20" is actually 20 of, well, nothing scientific.

    I need to figure out how to properly dilute my absolutes so I can have a better idea of the amounts I'm using.

    But it's good to know that the ISO E SUPER is 5x the amount that you would use. That reference is very helpful.

    What "affect" would you use a small amount like that for? I'm assuming per your blog the "exalting" of the blend?
    Drinking it might have an effect rather like that Dr Jekyll discovered . . .

    I've given some advice on diluting absolutes in A method for blending. The key thing is you really need to know what dilutions you are working with - as soon as you introduce an unknown dilution of one thing, you've lost track of the proportions of everything.

    With IES at around 1% what I'm typically doing is using it to 'thicken' the blend: I don't expect to smell ISE as such, but the blend as a whole should seem more dense, and more substantial. The perfume equivalent of adding cornflour to your stew - the effect on the flavour should be minimal or none but the stew feels richer and more luxurious to eat.

    Exalting is a word I use of ingredients that can perform a bit of magic in a blend: improve both fixation and diffusion and make the other ingredients like better versions of themselves.

    A good experiment to help understand what's going on is this: make up a known blend of essential oils / aroma chemicals that you like with a good balance of top, middle and base notes. Split it into six even sized amounts in separate vials.

    1) Keep as it is
    2) Add 1% Iso E Super
    3) Add 1% Hedione
    4) Add 1% Ambrofix
    5) Add 1% Benzyl salicylate
    6) Add 1% DPG

    What you should observe is that 1 and 6 smell the same and have very similar lasting qualities - the reason for doing 6 is to give you a better comparison with the others because all the ingredients in 6 will be at exactly the same proportions as the others, while in 1 they will be slightly more concentrated.

    If you find you can't tell the difference between any one of them when compared with 6, try again using, say 5%, but I think you'll find you can tell what has happened in each case quite clearly (the exception might be Hedione).

    Dip a labeled strip into each of the six and monitor changes in odour over time (you may find it easier to do this in pairs, comparing each one to either 1 or 6 only), but note the differences in lasting quality, projection and the tones of the fragrance.

    Hope that helps
    ďA 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 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.

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