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  1. #1
    Basenotes Member johngreenink's Avatar
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    Default A Question about Dilution before Mixing

    Hello All:
    I have a question about diluting Essential Oils and Aromachems. I have read in a number of places that some very strong perfume elements should be diluted before mixing with others. What confuses me is this: If you're diluting an essential oil, for example, would you dilute that into another oil (such as jojoba, or fractionated coconut oil), or into perfumer's alcohol PRIOR to mixing this with any other oils? Are there some substances that should never be diluted? And lastly, is dilution just supposed to be used for thicker resins that are more difficult to work with in their primary state?

    Thanks for any feedback, much appreciated.
    J
    Painting: www.johnbiebel.com | Music: www.ichigatsu.com | Recent Writing: Serge Lutens

  2. #2
    David Ruskin's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Question about Dilution before Mixing

    I only used a diluent, or solvent, for three specific reasons. One, if the material to be diluted was very strong and proved impossible to be used at a 100.0% concentration; for example I would only ever use Thiomenthone as a 0.1% solution, or less. This chemical is very strong and smells unpleasantly of cat's pee, but in dilution smells of Blackcurrent Buds. Two, if the undiluted material was horribly viscous, and would be difficult to compound with undiluted. For example Benzoin and Oakmoss Absolute are very hard and difficult to measure accurately. They would be diluted with a suitable solvent (usually to 50.0%) to make handling easier. Three, to dilute the whole fragrance to cheapen it, or for the solvent to act as a carrier for some specific application (e.g. Candle fragrance, or Reed Diffuser fragrance). I rarely used any other diluted materials, and cannot think of a time when I would dilute Essential Oils. Once the fragrance is complete, the whole thing may be diluted into a suitable solvent (e.g. Alcohol, if making an EdT).

    What solvent you use depends on what you want to dilute, and what the end product is going to be. I rarely used fixed oils as they cause so many problems with solubility, and If I had to use them (a customer requiring an all natural fragrance, for example) the oil of choice was Castor Oil as this caused the fewest problems. If I didn't need to worry about the entirely fatuous reasoning for all natural fragrances, the solvents I would use were Dipropylene Glycol (DPG), isoPropyl Myristate (IPM), Dioctyl Adipate, or a mixture of of solvents called Downol. The Oakmoss and Benzoin, and other such sticky hard resins were usually pre-diluted in either Benzyl Benzoate or Benzyl Alcohol.
    Last edited by David Ruskin; 18th February 2013 at 05:21 PM.

  3. #3
    Basenotes Member johngreenink's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Question about Dilution before Mixing

    Hi David - This is very helpful, thank you. I just ordered some Oakmoss, too. I'm not terribly familiar with most of the solvents you've listed (except IPM), but I will find out more about them. I know the alcohol/solvent/carrier conversations are always lively here... I will look into the other solvents you mention, cheers!
    Painting: www.johnbiebel.com | Music: www.ichigatsu.com | Recent Writing: Serge Lutens

  4. #4
    David Ruskin's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Question about Dilution before Mixing

    Don't know how much chemistry you have John, but basically DPG is quite polar and is good if you want to use your fragrance in a water based, or alcohol based product. Fairly useful as a solvent (the vast majority of Essential Oils and Aroma Chemicals are soluble in DPG). IPM has been traditionally used in cosmetic products as it is said to have a moisturising effect on skin (other reports indicate it can cause an increase in blackheads). It is far less polar than DPG, but still useful if you want to make a fragrance mixed with alcohol. Dioctyl Adipate, is very non-polar, and is used for non-polar based products such as candles, massage oils etc. Products where you could use a fixed oil if you wanted to. Dioctyl Adipate is better however, as it doesn't go rancid as some fixed oils are wont to do.

  5. #5
    Paul Kiler
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    Default Re: A Question about Dilution before Mixing

    Thanks David for this great information...
    Paul Kiler
    PK Perfumes
    http://www.PKPERFUMES.com
    Gold Medal for "Best Aroma"; Los Angeles Artisan Fragrance Salon

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