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  1. #1

    Default Odor Strength of Absolutes question

    I plan on slowly adding some fine and rare absolutes to my organ. What I need to know is how strong are they?
    When looking at Bulgarian Rose Absolute and Otto on one site, it stated that the scent was at its best in no more than a 1-2% part of the formula. So, I take that to mean that if I am making an accord of 100 parts ( just a random number) that 1-2 parts is all I would use of Rose Absolute. Since I work by drops...I know, I know...that would mean I would only use one to two drops at full strength. Is my thinking correct?

    Are all the other absolutes just as strong? Jasmines, Orange Blossom, Immortelle, Neroli, Oakmoss?

    Also, I do realize that absolutes are very viscous, some almost like rock and understand they need to be warmed before use. Do you perfumers dilute them before using them in a full strength accord? I would think diluting them first would make them easier to work with. If you DO dilute them, what percentage of a dilution do you make? 10%,50%, etc.

    Sorry for so many questions...I really have tried to research these questions, but just can't seem to find an answer. Sometimes it seems like it would be easier to get ahold of a CIA file than perfumery information!

  2. #2
    Basenotes Junkie jsparla's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011

    Default Re: Odor Strength of Absolutes question

    Hi, diluting absolutes is a fine plan; i always dilute my absolutes, to 10%-25%. My aroma chems often diluted to 1%-10%. My experiments consists somewhere around 100 drops of oils, absolutes and aroma chemicals; and that dilutions seems rather workable. Check my site for some indications in the third column of a formulation, to give you an idea (sample formulation).

    The reason i dilute absolutes not any lower, is that i often experiment with (cheaper) essential oils, and only replace them by the absolute if i like the composition.

    In general, absolutes are rather strong, though not equally and it greatly depends on the rest of the composition.

    Diluting to 10% instead of 25% can do no harm, it will only cost you more time to measure the drops if you make greater batches. But remember it's easier to measure 8 drops at 10% than 3.2 drops at 25% (On the downside: you won't be able to make a perfume stronger than 10% fragrance mixture/compounds, if all your stuff is diluted to 10%!!!).

    On the safe side i dilute small amounts of precious materials, not all at once. While working, i make notes, and a next dilution will be adjusted accordingly to my findings, i.e. i make higher % dilutions of weaker scents next time.

    Happy perfuming!
    Last edited by jsparla; 12th March 2013 at 04:03 PM.
    On my formulation blog, you will find free perfume formulations and accords. We also provide bespoke perfume formulations.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Odor Strength of Absolutes question

    Thank you, again, jsparla. I am so grateful for your help. I am a born researcher and love to get everything together and thought out before beginning on something new. I know perfumery is a very intuitive art that must be practiced in person, but a little bit of prior research and head knowledge will go a long way to helping get off to a great start. Thank you for being so kind as to share your methods with me. It is invaluable!

    And by the way...great advice on using lesser grade oils to experiment before using the precious absolute. Coomonsense approach...I am sad to say it did not cross my mind.

  4. #4
    Basenotes Plus
    pkiler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Southern California

    Default Re: Odor Strength of Absolutes question

    I can't remember an absolute that I didn't dilute.

    I usually dilute to certain percentages like 50%, 25%, 10%, or sometimes 1% or 2% (esp for aldehydes and even further for many Pyrazines, often to 0.1% or 0.01-0.001%) - sometimes even further for the strongest pyrazines and other low threshold materials.

    Often, I dilute to the minimum necessary to allow using a dropper to blend with, and more viscosity hinders this. That may mean 50%, or 25%, or 10%. Sometimes, I need to heat the absolute, AND the Alcohol for the dilution to work.

    But oils do not have the same odor profile nor performance of the same plant's absolute.
    Paul Kiler
    PK Perfumes
    In addition to Our own PK line, we make Custom Bespoke Perfumes, perfumes for Entrepreneurs needing scents for perfumes or products, Custom Wedding Perfumes, and even Special Event Perfumes.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Odor Strength of Absolutes question

    Thank you pkiler. The only expensive material I have ever owned was some Russian Rose Otto. It would crystallize and have to be warmed. From what I have seen, the absolutes are often difficult to dissolve. Do any of you know of suppliers who have some of the more common absolutes already diluted in alcohol? The reputable essential oil companies, i have come across, dilute them in jojoba or fractionated coconut oil. Great for natural perfumers, not so great for alcohol users! I guess I could use the IPM coming in my kit to dilute my perfume creations. The fractionated coconut oil will dilute in that at least. I know diluting them myself would be best, but I don't think I have the skill required to try and dissolve Immortelle, for example!

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