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  1. #1
    Basenotes Member edward t's Avatar
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    Default Time for oils to blend with alcohol

    Hello Basenotes! What is the minimum amount of time I should let my essential oils blend with perfumers alcohol at a 75% - 90% rate to combine completely?

    Will mixing speed up the process?

    Thanks in advance.
    Last edited by edward t; 31st March 2013 at 07:51 PM. Reason: I wanted to

  2. #2

    Default Re: Time for oils to blend with alcohol

    They combine straight away. Do you mean the sitting time for the blending to soften?

  3. #3
    Basenotes Member edward t's Avatar
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    Default Re: Time for oils to blend with alcohol

    Time for the ethanol/denaturant smell to disappear. I thought it took a few months for everything to blend properly so when you sprayed it on you were getting a well mixed blend of ingredients. If I want to make a quality blend without too much dilution, what is the best percentage of oils to alcohol?

  4. #4

    Default Re: Time for oils to blend with alcohol

    The blend needs to be well constructed in the first place to have that rounded full feeling. Now there is the challenge....lol. The alcohol softening depends on what alcohol you are using. The organic grain alcohols are much softer on the nose than the horrid denatured things we can get in the UK. These can take miles longer to soften. A few weeks is a bare minimum in my experience. I do not know the industry standard. I will look it up.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Oils to alcohol percentage depends on what you are trying to make. Perfume or EDT or cologne. Have a read of the DIY sticky and it will tell you all about dilutions.
    Last edited by mumsy; 31st March 2013 at 11:44 PM.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Time for oils to blend with alcohol

    I'm a bit confused here. Ethanol is ethanol is ethanol. It makes no difference how it's made.

    What do you mean by denatured, mumsy? Additives such as methyl isobutyl ketone?

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  6. #6
    Basenotes Member edward t's Avatar
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    Default Re: Time for oils to blend with alcohol

    The perfumers alcohol I have is SDA 40 B. The denaturant ingredients are T-butyl alcohol and Denatium Benzoate. I checked an 20% oil to 80% perfumers alcohol blend I made about a year ago and I can still smell the denaturant. After application on the skin, it goes away after about 5 minutes. I want to have a clean smell when I check the bottle. Best bet is to probably use alcohol that has no denaturant in it. I though the denaturant smell was supposed to be absorbed after a certain amount of time.
    Last edited by edward t; 1st April 2013 at 12:16 AM.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Time for oils to blend with alcohol

    tert-Butyl alcohol forms an azeotrope with ethanol (I think) so it ain't going anywhere without a load of messing about.


    neither is the denatium.

    http://www.sciencemadness.org/talk/v...d.php?tid=5136

    Maybe you could use the SDA40 for cleaning bottles or something?

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  8. #8
    Basenotes Member edward t's Avatar
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    Default Re: Time for oils to blend with alcohol

    Thanks. Makes me wonder why they sell it as perfumers alcohol. Good thing there are some intelligent people and commitees out there concerned about my safety. I am unsure as to what I would do if I had to take care of myself.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Time for oils to blend with alcohol

    If you want to mask the smell of ethanol and denaturants then maybe you should try using some more volatile top-notes. Although if you say you can smell it for a whole five minutes on the skin then I would guess it probably isn't very suitable for perfume anyway.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Time for oils to blend with alcohol

    OK. The blending thing. You have to let blends of more than one thing stand around a while so all the hundreds of chemicals in the essential oils and aroma chems can slowly react together to form schiff bases - if they're so minded (depends what's in there) - and do all the other things they may or may not do to sort themselves out. They may also react some more if you add ethanol to your blend, provided there isn't already some in there because you've previously diluted something or other. However, that doesn't really apply if you've made something incredibly simple eg iso E super plus ethanol, because there's not much to react.

    I don't know if that's clear. Probably not 'cos I've just drunk a bottle of wine. I should add that I know very little about perfumery, but it's pretty obvious that if you add hundreds of organic compounds together, some of them are going to react with each other. Not in a fizz bang way, but in a making new compounds way. The chemistry is probably fiendishly complicated, but hey! we don't have to worry about that.

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    - - - Updated - - -

    Mixing might speed up the process, but personally I'd just stick 'em in a cool dark place for a while and see what happens. As you'd do with wine, but not as long.

    -

  11. #11
    Basenotes Member edward t's Avatar
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    Default Re: Time for oils to blend with alcohol

    Thanks Skelly. I appreciate the honesty. Be safe, have a good night and don't drive anywhere tonight.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Time for oils to blend with alcohol

    There is a whole load to learn about the best order of things but I not sufficiently versed in that yet to advise anyone else.

    For practice I use the perfumers stuff containing Isopropyl Myristate and Monopropylene glycol, but only to practice with because I find it harsh on the nose for a natural perfume blend and I really don't want the chemicals for myself. I like to obtain scientific 96% ethanol for perfect tincturing but that is like gold dust for me. We cannot easily obtain non denatured ethanol in the UK. It is very easy to purchase in other countries. There is a whole thread on that subject here and here.

    As with everything, the best quality you can get will be the one to choose. Once mixed, all the ingredients need time to settle. Then you need to 'finish' your perfume too. It needs to be able to go through all normal temperatures as a finished frag without behaving badly. You may need some perfume grade filters. Basically the longer the better to settle because if anything wants to not work, have a funny reaction or any particles to separate out, then you don't want it doing it in your clients pretty bottles on their dressing tables. If you've done all those things yourself then you will feel confident when it leaves you.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Time for oils to blend with alcohol

    Quote Originally Posted by Skelly View Post
    OK. The blending thing. You have to let blends of more than one thing stand around a while so all the hundreds of chemicals in the essential oils and aroma chems can slowly react together to form schiff bases - if they're so minded (depends what's in there) - and do all the other things they may or may not do to sort themselves out. They may also react some more if you add ethanol to your blend, provided there isn't already some in there because you've previously diluted something or other. However, that doesn't really apply if you've made something incredibly simple eg iso E super plus ethanol, because there's not much to react.

    I don't know if that's clear. Probably not 'cos I've just drunk a bottle of wine. I should add that I know very little about perfumery, but it's pretty obvious that if you add hundreds of organic compounds together, some of them are going to react with each other. Not in a fizz bang way, but in a making new compounds way. The chemistry is probably fiendishly complicated, but hey! we don't have to worry about that.

    -

    - - - Updated - - -

    Mixing might speed up the process, but personally I'd just stick 'em in a cool dark place for a while and see what happens. As you'd do with wine, but not as long.

    -
    Back in the day it used to be common practice to leave a Perfume diluted in Ethanol for a year in the cold. It was then filtered, and could be used. I don't think it necessary to wait so long but a couple of months can only improve the finished result. It is certainly true that after a while the fragrance becomes softer and more rounded, and this is partially to do with various chemical reactions occurring. The most common is the formation of Acetals (reaction between an Aldehyde and an Alcohol; in the case Ethanol). The filtering was done to remove some of the non soluble materials found in some Oils (most often Citrus Oils). The quality of Ethanol used is very important; even after a year if the Ethanol used is smelly you will notice it.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Time for oils to blend with alcohol

    Quote Originally Posted by David Ruskin View Post
    The quality of Ethanol used is very important; even after a year if the Ethanol used is smelly you will notice it.
    Any advice on the best ethanol would be very welcome. I am having a real problem with ethanol quality. To get pure organic ethanol seems rather difficult. I now have many little samples of different alcohols to test the smells. The best that I have is obtained from other perfumers and a prized bottle of lab quality that I only use for my very best tinctures. I cannot obtain any of these in a regularly repeatable quantity as an amateur perfumer even though I am now properly licensed for denatured.

    The perfumers alcohol I used still has a smell in a tincture after over a year+++ in many cases. It doesn't last after the initial evaporation, but the tincture smell hasn't won over the ethanol yet in the more delicate tinctures or the highly dilute ones. I wonder if it ever will. It is partly why I still like working in oils despite their dampening effects because there isn't that harsh beginning. Each method so far has a fairly severe disadvantage. One dampening and one harsh.

    Some of my blends I initially thought were not good have much improved for being left over a year or more. I haven't ever blended a new one to put beside though. That may be a good thing to do for learning interest.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Time for oils to blend with alcohol

    I distil the very cheapest vodka I can find. Usually Tesco own brand. Sometimes I'm a little sloppy with the temperature, so I filter the product through a column of molecular sieves to remove any excess water that's come across. Works just fine, though it's expensive.

    Customs and Excise might take a dim view, but if they want to raid me for 200ml of ethanol they'll be met with the full force of an offer of tea and a perplexed look.

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  16. #16
    Basenotes Member edward t's Avatar
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    Default Re: Time for oils to blend with alcohol

    Thanks for all the input Mumsy, David and Skelly. Skelly, I caught that post in my email on my phone when stuff was all m@e&s*s#ed up yesterday and that had me laughing when I really needed it.

    Florida used to carry 191 proof grain alcohol in the liquor stores until a few years ago and now the legal proof they can sell is 153. The 153 is pure ethanol (76.5%) and water (23.5), but the extra water is too much for efficient tinctures and perfume blending as it muddies up any fragrance blends of essential oils and does not let them mix efficiently. I used some of the 153 proof to make some extracts of galbanum and some other resins and it just did not effectively do the trick.

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