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  1. #1

    Default Diluting aroma chemicals and essential oils

    Right I have several aroma chemicals and several essential oils and I was wondering if they were best diluted before being used in a blend? Or is it okay to use them neat and just dilute them later, I use oil as my base. The aroma chemicals I have are,

    Gamma nonalactone
    Benzaldahyde
    Benzyl salicylate
    Benzyl acetate
    Iso e super
    Lilian
    Phenylethyl alcohol
    Methyl dihydrojasmonate
    Musk T

    And the essentialoils I have are,

    Amyris
    Orange
    Lemon
    Patchouli
    Peppermint
    Cinnamon leaf
    Coffee
    Cypress
    Cade tar
    Bergamot
    Himalaya cedarwood
    Cedarwood atlas
    Pink grapefruit
    Star anise

    I already have Vanallin and coumarin solutions and quite a few fragrance oils but I don't think the need diluting.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Diluting aroma chemicals and essential oils

    You can do it either way, but an advantage of diluting beforehand is that dilution makes it possible to dispense the essential oils in small amounts with many times greater precision, or to dispense smaller amounts with the same precision, thus enabling many more trials from the same amount of material.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Diluting aroma chemicals and essential oils

    You do not mention what "oil" you use as your base, or why you use it. As Bill has mentioned, if you are working on a small scale then using solutions makes it easier to weigh out small amounts of your Raw Materials. When I was a working Perfumer, the only time I used a solvent was if I was using an extremely strong smelling substance, which could not easily be used in a concentrated form; if I was using a very viscous material that was easier to handle if diluted; or if the solvent had a particular use in a specific type of Perfumed Product (e.g. Dowanol as a carrier for ReedDiffuser fragrances). Other than tat I used my Raw Materials neat, and diluted the finished fragrance to whatever concentration was required. You do not appear to be stuck on using only naturals, so why not go for a more useful solvent such as Diethyl Phthalate (DEP) or Dipropylene Glycol (DPG).

  4. #4

    Default Re: Diluting aroma chemicals and essential oils

    I use defractionated coconut oil, I use it because I prefer the finish it gives me compared to perfumers alcohol! I will look into dep and dpg I guess the reason I haven't before is because I know very little about them. What advantages do they have over my chosen oil or disadvantages they may have?

  5. #5

    Default Re: Diluting aroma chemicals and essential oils

    Fixed oils, such as coconut oil, will go rancid after a few months, and will cause all sorts of solubility problems. I'm surprised that you could dissolve Vanillin in Coconut Oil, for example. If you prefer the feel of an oil that is up to you. Personally I do not like the sticky, greasy effect on my skin, but that is just me. DPG (and to a lesser extent DEP) will cause very few solubility problems; they are much cheaper, and they do not go "off"

    - - - Updated - - -

    You're welcome.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Diluting aroma chemicals and essential oils

    I was just about to dilute everything I 'think' I want for something I'm trying to make but am now hesitant on seeing this.
    I never have before as my method (ahem) has always been sling it all together, top up, leave for a while and approach with an element of caution upon opening.
    I thought I had read either from Chris Bartlett or one of the other sages on here to dilute first to save waste and also that it gives a better indication of final/true smell. Would it perhaps depend on at what stage you are in the creative process?
    I have Perfumers Alcohol which seems the most idiot proof dilute I could find
    Quote Originally Posted by David Ruskin View Post
    You do not mention what "oil" you use as your base, or why you use it. As Bill has mentioned, if you are working on a small scale then using solutions makes it easier to weigh out small amounts of your Raw Materials. When I was a working Perfumer, the only time I used a solvent was if I was using an extremely strong smelling substance, which could not easily be used in a concentrated form; if I was using a very viscous material that was easier to handle if diluted; or if the solvent had a particular use in a specific type of Perfumed Product (e.g. Dowanol as a carrier for ReedDiffuser fragrances). Other than tat I used my Raw Materials neat, and diluted the finished fragrance to whatever concentration was required. You do not appear to be stuck on using only naturals, so why not go for a more useful solvent such as Diethyl Phthalate (DEP) or Dipropylene Glycol (DPG).

  7. #7

    Default Re: Diluting aroma chemicals and essential oils

    Quote Originally Posted by pickledtink View Post
    I thought I had read either from Chris Bartlett or one of the other sages on here to dilute first to save waste and also that it gives a better indication of final/true smell. Would it perhaps depend on at what stage you are in the creative process?
    you do that, first of all, to evaluate your materials. smelling them at 10% or something that emulates the strength in a final perfume. that's important.

    then, with experimenting, using dilute materials can be both faster and less wasteful. when you know your materials and how they react with others, when you feel confident you can make a perfume proper, it might be time to think about using them neat. but that's all up to you, really.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Diluting aroma chemicals and essential oils

    Thanks Gido. I am it seems entirely upside down. Been doing it one way for years and now learning what appears to be 'technique'. truth be told I never realised until recently that country basic could ever actually meet with proper perfume makers. Exciting times in which we live....

    Quote Originally Posted by gido View Post
    you do that, first of all, to evaluate your materials. smelling them at 10% or something that emulates the strength in a final perfume. that's important.

    then, with experimenting, using dilute materials can be both faster and less wasteful. when you know your materials and how they react with others, when you feel confident you can make a perfume proper, it might be time to think about using them neat. but that's all up to you, really.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Diluting aroma chemicals and essential oils

    Different Perfumers work in different ways, of course; I can only tell you how I worked. Gido's advice is good, and useful to follow.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Diluting aroma chemicals and essential oils

    Thanks David. You however come under the heading 'Proper Perfume makers' and one of the aforementioned Sages.
    I'll definitely be diluting the Buchu you recommended though as I have never come across it before and it's not cheap but might still go neat with others I know quite well or the less pricey perhaps.

    For the small time dabbler diluting everything comes to quite a lot of bottles/vials and equipment.
    I for one am grateful that pro's take time to answer our questions. I've learned more on here than I have in years from books!
    Quote Originally Posted by David Ruskin View Post
    Different Perfumers work in different ways, of course; I can only tell you how I worked. Gido's advice is good, and useful to follow.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Diluting aroma chemicals and essential oils

    Dilute Buchu, oh yes, please do dilute it. I understand why you would want to dilute all of your materials; they go further and last longer. I was spoiled when I was working.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Diluting aroma chemicals and essential oils

    So after reading all this should i be diluting all of my materials? and is it possible to create finished perfumes with diluted materials?
    Lets say for example i diluted to 10% in dpg, and then used the diluted solutions to created a 30ml perfume, would that then mean i have a 10% finished product without the need for further dilution?

  13. #13

    Default Re: Diluting aroma chemicals and essential oils

    There is an amazingly informative sticky ( primer) on this site with clear advice from some extremely knowledgeable people. You'll find the answers to this and many other mysteries within it.
    Professionals who are working with a vast range and in high quantities like David Ruskin can put together non dilutes in their creation because they have many years of knowledge and experience of how certain elements will combine.
    That's a very expensive route for the new or untrained.
    Discipline is a necessity if you seriously want to record and reproduce a complex fragrance precisely.

    However I'll stick my chin out and say that sometimes it's wonderful to put together some essentials which you love or smell out there which made your senses swim and mix with abandon, be a swashbuckler, fling them in, close your eyes, shove in one drop of something totally weird for the hell of it then just dilute. Personally I then go for 20% and save on dilute because who the hell knows what it's going to be and that costs money too?
    I am NOT one of the sages on here however but you can get so stuck in precision, science and measuring you forget the sheer excitement of pure mad concoction.
    I made something once in precisely the aforementioned fashion and it was a resounding success. Never got it again sadly but those oils used became the ones I know and understand best as a result.
    Seriously, read the sticky's.
    Quote Originally Posted by rob2982 View Post
    So after reading all this should i be diluting all of my materials? and is it possible to create finished perfumes with diluted materials?
    Lets say for example i diluted to 10% in dpg, and then used the diluted solutions to created a 30ml perfume, would that then mean i have a 10% finished product without the need for further dilution?

  14. #14

    Default Re: Diluting aroma chemicals and essential oils

    Agree with pickletink about enthusiasm, and joy. Perfumery and the sense of smell should, above all else, be a source of pleasure. We do not use our noses enough! However, just chucking together a bunch of smells and hoping for the best is, in my opinion, wasteful of resources and even if the result works out non-reproducable.

    "I made something once in precisely the aforementioned fashion and it was a resounding success. Never got it again sadly". What a a shame. Had you written down what you did (with or without "abandon"), you could have had it again.

    As to diluting materials I understand that those with little resources need to conserve their stocks, and I agree that when I was working I didn't need to worry about such things. The only problem with using diluted materials is that you end up with a diluted fragrance in a solvent that dos not feel so good on the skin (I think DPG was mentioned above). Using solutions in ethanol, is a way to go but smelling alcoholic solutions can sometimes be difficult, as the alcohol can be quite smelly. Guess what I'm saying is that there are no hard and fast rules, and you should do what is best for you. Keep the joy, but keep notes too!
    Last edited by David Ruskin; 22nd April 2013 at 07:15 AM.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Diluting aroma chemicals and essential oils

    By the way -sorry for another question may be irrelevant the topic- I'm trying to dilute my materials with ethanol. But my ethanol has a sharp smell like hospital alcohol My seller said that it's pure 96% ethanol you can use it for your fragrances but I can not fill the gaps??? Is there any material been sold like "fragrance grade ethanol" like DPGF or all ethanols are the same (except % alcohol rates)

  16. #16

    Default Re: Diluting aroma chemicals and essential oils

    Quote Originally Posted by chuck78 View Post
    By the way -sorry for another question may be irrelevant the topic- I'm trying to dilute my materials with ethanol. But my ethanol has a sharp smell like hospital alcohol My seller said that it's pure 96% ethanol you can use it for your fragrances but I can not fill the gaps??? Is there any material been sold like "fragrance grade ethanol" like DPGF or all ethanols are the same (except % alcohol rates)

    Chuck What country are you in?
    Paul Kiler
    PK Perfumes
    http://www.PKPERFUMES.com
    Gold Medal for "Best Aroma"; Los Angeles Artisan Fragrance Salon

  17. #17

    Default Re: Diluting aroma chemicals and essential oils

    Turkey

  18. #18

    Default Re: Diluting aroma chemicals and essential oils

    In general, I use Everclear for diluting, which is just grain alcohol liquor. The best dilutant I think is the pure hospital grade ethanol, which is very close to 200 proof (you can never get pure alcohol, as it will suck water out of the atmosphere) but here in my locale you need to be a "doctor" to get it. Everclear is almost as good, though. 151 rum will work in a pinch, but vodka will not be satisfactory.

    If you want to use oil, avoid jojoba for fragrance. It's great for massage and skin applications, which can have fragrance; but the structure of jojoba is too much like skin oil and will absorb into your skin, thus killing off the scent.

    Denatured palm oil, I understand, will stay on the surface of your skin. I had a perfumer friend recommend that to me to use. This guy makes a lot of oil based perfume, whereas I use alcohol. So I'd probably start there.

    Saw where Chris recommended fractionated coconut oil.

    You definitely want to avoid anything that goes rancid.

    Others here know more about DPG, etc, than I, being more a natural substance guy. But I would strongly consider their advice on those things.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Diluting aroma chemicals and essential oils

    Yes I think I have pure hospital grade ethanol but what about the sharp smell I mentioned above?
    Is it normal / will be gone after particular time or not?

  20. #20

    Default Re: Diluting aroma chemicals and essential oils

    All types of ethanol have a sharp stinging smell, which usually goes quite quickly as the alcohol evaporates. Some grades smell worse than others, and some have other smells which last longer. If you leave your fragrance to mature in alcohol you should find the smell will lessen with time.

  21. #21

    Default Re: Diluting aroma chemicals and essential oils

    Quote Originally Posted by chuck78 View Post
    Yes I think I have pure hospital grade ethanol but what about the sharp smell I mentioned above?
    Is it normal / will be gone after particular time or not?
    Perhaps, but from what I know the likelihood of having 199 proof hospital ethanol is unlikely, just due to restrictions on getting it. It's pure alcohol, made by a special process. You said yours was 96%, which would be a different grade. There should be no denaturant or additive, either.

    But anyway, there is an answer to make alcohol less sharp -- you can prefix your alcohol, which means dissolve a neutral substance, like benzoin, or really any fixative that goes with your perfume, to thicken and tone down the alcohol. (Perfume chemists have their own prefixatives they use) You let the alcohol mature until essentially, you can't smell the fixative any more. But then you have to judge the appropriate amount to use, enough but not too much which depends on your perfume. You don't want the prefixative to smell, ideally. I had to learn through experience. Skillfull prefixation can help your perfumes last longer, as well.

    That's a sophisticated, optional technique, however. There is no need for it, as you can simply let the alcohol sit in the perfume for a long time, which will mellow the alcohol with time, as David said. However, I routinely prefix ethanol, and believe it does help. A lot of professionals do this.
    Last edited by DrSmellThis; 21st April 2013 at 05:31 PM.

  22. #22

    Default Re: Diluting aroma chemicals and essential oils

    Yep, thanks to both of you...

    BTW, I had prepared both of ethanol blends and olive oil blends of my solid base notes (frankincense, amber, etc) when I mentioned about diluting a few days ago... And I just checked the bottles and they smells so beautiful, yes a little alcohol smell remains but no problem, it will be gone, I believe.

    And, yes I know the frankincense in olive oil may be rancid after particular time, but I plan to use it with ethanol lastly in my perfume...

  23. #23

    Default Re: Diluting aroma chemicals and essential oils

    Your olive oil will not be soluble in alcohol,.

  24. #24

    Default Re: Diluting aroma chemicals and essential oils

    Quote Originally Posted by chuck78 View Post
    Yes I think I have pure hospital grade ethanol but what about the sharp smell I mentioned above?
    Is it normal / will be gone after particular time or not?
    Hard to know what level to go to give context.

    Maybe I should have mentioned the importance of water for mellowing the tone of the alcoholic sting.

    All alcohol perfumes contain a certain amount of water, and the amount of water determines the sting. I'm not telling anyone anything they don't already know, but that was the first thing I thought of.

  25. #25

    Default Re: Diluting aroma chemicals and essential oils

    David, I know that, but I will try that with several additives
    And also I plan to use that blends in alcohol free products such as massage oils, etc...

    You know, it's just for testing...

    @DrSmellThis; I don't understand what you mean by "I'm not telling anyone anything they don't already know, but that was the first thing I thought of."

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Diluting aroma chemicals and essential oils

    Diluting is important in my opinion. It increases the solubility of one ingredient thus making it easier to distribute it in small amounts.
    www.luvessentials.com

  27. #27

    Default Re: Diluting aroma chemicals and essential oils

    As Dr Smell This mentions Prefixing is an option to think about and research, some use Ambergris, in addition to what has been suggested.

    But, Since the Alcohol is so volatile, and evaporates so fast, and is surrounded presumably by many other highly smelly materials in a fragrance, the sensation of smelling like alcohol is very fleeting...
    Paul Kiler
    PK Perfumes
    http://www.PKPERFUMES.com
    Gold Medal for "Best Aroma"; Los Angeles Artisan Fragrance Salon

  28. #28

    Default Re: Diluting aroma chemicals and essential oils

    hi guys, I have just purchased some benzoin resinoid. now I just wondered if this was ok to dilute to 20% in dpg?

  29. #29

    Default Re: Diluting aroma chemicals and essential oils

    is it the pure (near solid) resinoid or the made-mobile stuff (where solvent was added to make it more fluid and easy to handle)

    the stuff i have is 50% benzoin in mpg. i'm not sure why dpg was not used, or if there's a reason for this at all.

  30. #30

    Default Re: Diluting aroma chemicals and essential oils

    Quote Originally Posted by chuck78 View Post
    @DrSmellThis; I don't understand what you mean by "I'm not telling anyone anything they don't already know, but that was the first thing I thought of."
    I just meant it's sort of obvious, and I don't want to tell everyone things they already know, as that could be annoying.

  31. #31

    Default Re: Diluting aroma chemicals and essential oils

    @DrSmellThis, would be better if I left as didn't understand

  32. #32

    Default Re: Diluting aroma chemicals and essential oils

    the benzoin I received is a very viscous material, it hardly moves at all! I can hardly smell it, even diluted to10%, is that typical of benzoin?

  33. #33

    Default Re: Diluting aroma chemicals and essential oils

    Quote Originally Posted by chuck78 View Post
    @DrSmellThis, would be better if I left as didn't understand
    The point was just that adding water to alcohol makes it less sharp. Many of us know this from drinking whiskey.

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