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  1. #1

    Default Determining Relative Odor Trength of Perfume Raw Materials Question and Info

    I have been searching for awhile to try and find a way to determine the relative odor strength of raw materials. I know some odors will overpower others in a blend, and would like to avoid this. Testing each oil against another is expensive.

    Now, in searching, I have found only the following two sites with information.
    She also has a database showing her results. This requires a great deal of toothpick marking and dipping. Somewhat tedious. And it is based on 10% dilution values which requires some math computing to apply practically. To be honest, I don't want to be doing math imputations for each formula, every time I test something. Call me lazy, but I would rather spend my time formulating.

    The other site is They do tests based on linalool and use a number system of linalool being 100 and compared odors falling equal, below or above that line. Their results are shown on their product material information pages. This is great in some ways, but as they don't give the starting rate of the linalool test base, it is impossible to repeat the tests on your own or to exactly know how to apply their relative impact ratings. These ratings are also shown on the software they have available. Maybe one of you using that software would know how to apply the information to formulating.

    I was wondering, do any of you have different methods of testing for odor strength? Are their any charts out there with this information? Strong, medium, weak isnt a great deal of help. I feel it is important to conduct my own tests, as materials can differ. I am looking for a way to do this that will result in minimum material waste and that will provide data that is easy to understand and apply.

    Hopefully, this will help others out there too!

  2. #2
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    Dec 2007
    Southern California

    Default Re: Determining Relative Odor Trength of Perfume Raw Materials Question and Info

    Probably THE most helpful item in my learning has been the database for The Good Scents Company. Commonly called TGSC.

    Mark Evans from Australia put up a searching website for perfumers that between TGSC and Mark's Site, I use maybe 25 times a day.

    For each element that you seek, there is an Organoleptics portion for each element that tells relative strength, for which you can gauge by this man's judgement just how strong, in a general sense, how strong something is.

    Still, the best thing, is your own nose and experience, that is only gained by work.
    If you don't want to become a Perfumer, then don't put in the work. But, if you want to progress and grow then the work of learning your materials is perhaps THE most important thing to learn. This allows you to be the best at what you like, the blending... because *then*you will know how, what, and why to use something.

    Tedium is a part of the learning process. Repetition is a part of the learning process.

    But still, relative strength is also relevant to what you pair the element with... And this comes from experience and experimentation.
    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.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Determining Relative Odor Trength of Perfume Raw Materials Question and Info

    I do intend to make my own tests. It just helps having some idea of what to expect when starting. And as for tedium, I would not consider the testing itself tedious. I like smelling things. I even like tedious things, like research. I have to as an anthropologist/archaeologist student looking to work in vintage fashion and textile restoration. It was marking dozens of toothpicks in 5ml increments that would be tedious. I don't mind putting in work. I never expect to be a professional perfumer, but I like to do things right to the best of my ability. I can become obsessive compulsive, making me always seeking the Best Way to do something, spending all my time on that. I am always afraid there is a better way. It would be nice to see how other people do things, so I can weigh my options before beginning, as I believe consistency in work habits is the key.

    What I really want to know, is how do other people conduct their odor strength tests? Do you put a diluted drop next to each other on a blotter strip? Do you use two strips? Playing with materials is fun, but we are all beginners sometime and need a starting point.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Determining Relative Odor Trength of Perfume Raw Materials Question and Info

    Louis Appell, "The Formulation and Preparation of Cosmetics, Fragrances and Flavors", has an odor classification chart with columns for vapor pressure/volatility and minimum perceptible concentration, and calculated columns for intensity level and equivalent weight. He explains the concepts and calculations in the text.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Determining Relative Odor Trength of Perfume Raw Materials Question and Info

    Thank you Alyson. Also, pkiler, thak you for the websites. I have already used them some and will be sure to use them more.

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