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  1. #1

    Default Storax, orientalis or styraciflua?

    Could anyone tell me how the two compare in terms of odour, colour and price please? I have some Friars' balsam but it doesn't list the type of storax that it contains. The balsam has a bright yellow colour and a stale bready note in the dry down. Which type of storax does this fit the description of best, would you say? Perhaps it's just the smell of the denaturants in the alcohol? I know that the original Friars' balsam contained orientalis but I've read that styracilfua is also used for this purpose these days. Many thanks.

    Pears
    Last edited by Pears; 22nd December 2013 at 11:45 PM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Storax, orientalis or styraciflua?

    I've come to the conclusion that it's storax from liquidambar orientalis. It sates on the label that it contains Prepared Storax BP. According to a source written in 1990:

    "Under the title Prepared Storax the B.P. recognizes only the balsam from the wounded trunk of the L. Orientalis, purified by extraction with alcohol, and containing not less than 30.0 per cent of total balsamic acids, calculated on the basis of the substance dried on a water bath for one hour."

    However, I'm still unsure about whether the stale bready note in the dry down is from the storax or from the denatured alcohol. Can anyone with some storax provide the answer? Thanks.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Storax, orientalis or styraciflua?

    It gets complicated. I've only ever referred to Styrax rather than Storax, and the one commonly used in Perfumery is indeed Liquidambar orientalis. The top note of this material contain Styrene, which has quite a characteristic odour. I've never noticed a stale bread note, nor have I ever smelled any extract from styraciflua.

    The complicated bit is that Benzoin, also used in Perfumery comes from a plant whose name is Styrax tonkinensis .

  4. #4

    Default Re: Storax, orientalis or styraciflua?

    Hi David, this Friar's balsam contains Storax and Sumatra benzoin. I have some Sumatra benzoin tincture, so I can pick it's smell out in the Friars' balsam. The Storax in it is certainly giving off a strong styrene smell. The stale bready note could only be coming from the Storax or denatured alcohol, I think because I don't detect anything like that in my Sumatra benzoin tincture. I've noticed that some tinctures on the market have a stale smell in the dry down, almost like the smell of tramps, so it may be down to denaturants in the alcohol. Have you or anyone else noticed that some grades of denatured alcohol smell like stale bread, stale urine, tramps etc? No offense meant to any tramps, ofcourse, they have it tough out there!
    Last edited by Pears; 23rd December 2013 at 02:43 PM.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Storax, orientalis or styraciflua?

    Could be a denaturant giving this type of odour; but if it is, I have no idea which one! Maybe a pyridine or pyrazine?

  6. #6

    Default Re: Storax, orientalis or styraciflua?

    I'm not sure that it's pyridine because that's said to smell like fish. I've just put some more on a blotter and the initial smell reminds me of the urinal cakes once used in public toilets. Not recently but decades ago now. Perhaps this is the styrene? I'll now wait for the dry down.
    Last edited by Pears; 23rd December 2013 at 09:37 PM.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Storax, orientalis or styraciflua?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pears View Post
    I'm not sure that it's pyridine because that's said to smell like fish. I've just put some more on a blotter and the initial smell reminds me of the urinal cakes once used in public toilets. Not recently but decades ago now. Perhaps this is the styrene? I'll now wait for the dry down.
    Sounds like Terpineol Alpha, every time I open the bottle I think of urinal cakes.

    Maybe it also contains Atlantic Cedar or Black Currant Bud? They both have a urine note. That Angelica Root tincture certainly has a urinal aspect to it as well.
    Last edited by JEBeasley; 23rd December 2013 at 09:54 PM.
    Justin E. Beasley

  8. #8

    Default Re: Storax, orientalis or styraciflua?

    Pears, how does the scent's performance differ when you are applying it to skin?

    JEBeasley – on the Terpineol alpha. I thought my nose is playing tricks on me when I smelled this. For now it's on my personal banned list. Have you been able to make use of it (satisfactorily)?

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Storax, orientalis or styraciflua?

    Quote Originally Posted by Graphite View Post
    JEBeasley – on the Terpineol alpha. I thought my nose is playing tricks on me when I smelled this. For now it's on my personal banned list. Have you been able to make use of it (satisfactorily)?
    Graphite
    Hehehe, no, sorry.
    When I look at it's occurrence it appears to be in a lot of different materials in small quantities or traces (-5%) but by itself... I can't imagine what it might be useful for. There have been a couple of times when it seemed more pine like than urinal cake but I can't pinpoint what else I was working with that made it smell pine-like in concert. It doesn't look like it's part of styrax or opoponax though, so, the urinal note is probably something else altogether.

    Pears: I found this- I would look at that angelica root as a possible source for the urinal note. Combined with myrrh I know from a very recent fiasco that this combination does create a sweet and sickly green urinal note.

    FRIAR'S BALSAM
    An Antiseptic Vulnerary & A Stimulating Expectorant

    A blend of the liquid extracts of:

    • Siam Benzoin resin (Styrax tonkinensis) 47%
    * Storax Balsam (Liquidambar orientalis) 17%
    * Balsam of Tolu (Myroxylon balsamum) 17%
    * Balsam of Peru (Myroxylon pereirae) 9%
    • Cape Aloe leaf latex (Aloe ferox) 4%
    • Myrrh tears (Commiphora abyssinica &/or molmol) 4%
    • Angelica root (Angelica archangelica) 2%
    Justin E. Beasley

  10. #10

    Default Re: Storax, orientalis or styraciflua?

    Higher grades of Alpha Terpineol are better than lower grades of Purity.

    It is very useful for what it's good for... :-)

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

  11. #11

    Default Re: Storax, orientalis or styraciflua?

    Thanks alot guys. Graphite, I haven't actually used it on my skin yet but I might give it a try tommorow after my bath. The ingredients that are listed are: Prepared storax BP 10% w/v, crushed benzoin sumatra BP 10% w/v, aloes, ethanol, purified water. Angelica is indeed in some blends but it doesn't appear to be the culprit in this case. Good thinking though, JE. The Alpha Terpineol sounds like a good possibility to me, as it is used as a denaturant in alcohol. I've discovered another good explanation also.

    In The Art of Perfumery, by George Piesse, he states that Storax has the stench of coal-tar naphtha. I've analyzed the smell on the blotter further and that's very similar to how I'd describe it. It's like one of those sickly sweet smelling coal tar fractions that you'd smell in public toilets many years ago. Similar to the phenol fraction but slightly different. I'm sure that they added something like that to urinal cakes many years ago. Don't get me wrong though, it's actually quite a nostalgic smell and I think It could be put to good use, if used in moderation. That is, if it's intrinsic to the Storax itself, as Piesse suggests below.

    http://archive.org/stream/artperfume...search/naphtha
    Last edited by Pears; 24th December 2013 at 01:15 AM.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Storax, orientalis or styraciflua?

    Quote Originally Posted by Graphite View Post
    Pears, how does the scent's performance differ when you are applying it to skin?

    JEBeasley – on the Terpineol alpha. I thought my nose is playing tricks on me when I smelled this. For now it's on my personal banned list. Have you been able to make use of it (satisfactorily)?
    Standard Terpineol is used mainly in Household perfumery, as it is quite stable, and very cheap. It can be found in stuff to clean the floor or the toilet etc. Alpha Terpineiol is the basis of all Lilac fragrances, and is found in the Headspace of Lilac blossom.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Storax, orientalis or styraciflua?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pears View Post
    I'm not sure that it's pyridine because that's said to smell like fish. I've just put some more on a blotter and the initial smell reminds me of the urinal cakes once used in public toilets. Not recently but decades ago now. Perhaps this is the styrene? I'll now wait for the dry down.
    Urinal cakes used to be made from para Dichloro Benzene (PDCB) which is now banned (I think).

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Storax, orientalis or styraciflua?

    Quote Originally Posted by David Ruskin View Post
    Standard Terpineol is used mainly in Household perfumery, as it is quite stable, and very cheap. It can be found in stuff to clean the floor or the toilet etc. Alpha Terpineiol is the basis of all Lilac fragrances, and is found in the Headspace of Lilac blossom.
    Ooh, good nuggets, thank you sir. It still smells like toilet by itself but as Paul pointed out perhaps I have a lesser quality product. If not PA then where can the higher quality product be purchased so that it is more useful?
    Justin E. Beasley

  15. #15

    Default Re: Storax, orientalis or styraciflua?

    Sorry, I am never able to recommend suppliers; we had a man for that.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Storax, orientalis or styraciflua?

    Quote Originally Posted by David Ruskin View Post
    Urinal cakes used to be made from para Dichloro Benzene (PDCB) which is now banned (I think).
    Thanks, David. After a quick search, I've discovered that it's 1,4-Dichlorobenzene in particular that is used in urinal cakes. It's also used in mothballs as a replacement for the more traditional naphthalene.To quote Wiki:

    "Older mothballs consisted primarily of naphthalene, but due to naphthalene's flammability, many modern mothball formulations instead use 1,4-dichlorobenzene, which may be somewhat less flammable....Both of these ingredients have the strong, pungent, sickly-sweet odor often associated with mothballs."

    Naphthalene is also said to have a tarry smell and it's the most abundant single component found in coal tar. To link the possible associative smells together then: Storax smells like 1,4-dichlorobenzene, which smells like naphthalene, which in turn smells like coal tar naphtha. However, Piesse stated that storax smells very different, almost divine, when it's in much lower concentrations and I'm currently smelling it in a highly concentrated state. The dry down is quite different I remember also, so I'll be assessing that in the comings days. Thanks again for your help guys.
    Last edited by Pears; 24th December 2013 at 05:37 PM.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Storax, orientalis or styraciflua?

    Could someone tell me if any of the Storax/Styrax replacers smell close to the real thing? If so, which is the most realistic please? Thanks.

    Pears

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Storax, orientalis or styraciflua?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pears View Post
    Could someone tell me if any of the Storax/Styrax replacers smell close to the real thing? If so, which is the most realistic please? Thanks.
    Pears
    I have Styralyl Acetate that is a close approximation for a styrax top note... I haven't used it much in order to truly know how well it works as a replacer but there are definite similarities.

    I've been wondering about this lately as well. It has dawned on me that some of these IFRA banned materials might become harder to find over time but nonetheless I've been interested in figuring out how to closely approximate those naturals that are banned and regulated. For instance a peru balsam accord would be good to know how to blend.
    Justin E. Beasley

  19. #19

    Default Re: Storax, orientalis or styraciflua?

    Quote Originally Posted by JEBeasley View Post
    I have Styralyl Acetate that is a close approximation for a styrax top note... I haven't used it much in order to truly know how well it works as a replacer but there are definite similarities.

    I've been wondering about this lately as well. It has dawned on me that some of these IFRA banned materials might become harder to find over time but nonetheless I've been interested in figuring out how to closely approximate those naturals that are banned and regulated. For instance a peru balsam accord would be good to know how to blend.
    Styrallyl Acetate smells nothing like the top note of Styrax. Styrallyl Acetate (AKA Methyl Phenyl Carbinyl Acetate) smells bitter green, and is vital of a Gardenia accord, also used in Rhubarb flavours. The top note of Styrax is Styrene, which smells of certain types of glue, and is the starting monomer of Polystyrene.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Storax, orientalis or styraciflua?

    Quote Originally Posted by David Ruskin View Post
    Styrallyl Acetate smells nothing like the top note of Styrax. Styrallyl Acetate (AKA Methyl Phenyl Carbinyl Acetate) smells bitter green, and is vital of a Gardenia accord, also used in Rhubarb flavours. The top note of Styrax is Styrene, which smells of certain types of glue, and is the starting monomer of Polystyrene.
    Hahaha, thanks for the intervention David,

    Oops! Actually, I just re-checked myself and I was confused, sorry, I have Phenyl Acetald. Dimethyl Acetal in the same cubby as the Styralyl Acetate and I haven't used either of them much. The styralyl acetate doesn't smell anything like styrax, so I think I was convincing myself and connecting the name with the smell of something else (weird), the Phenyl Acetald. Dimethyl Acetal does have a styrax like aspect and a rose aspect.

    David, does this sound right or am I imagining this too?

    EDIT: I just looked up Phenyl Acetaldehyde on the Good Scents DB and it says absolutely nothing about styrax, green rose - yes, styrax - no, so I guess I'm totally nuts today. Sorry for the confusion, just one of those days. Just ignore me, nothing to see here, carry on.
    Last edited by JEBeasley; 4th February 2014 at 04:31 AM.
    Justin E. Beasley

  21. #21

    Default Re: Storax, orientalis or styraciflua?

    PADMA is described as green Rose/Hyacinth; and I entirely agree.

  22. #22

    Default Re: Storax, orientalis or styraciflua?

    Does anyone else have any suggestions for realistic Storax/styrax replacers? Thanks.

  23. #23

    Default Re: Storax, orientalis or styraciflua?

    Without the Styrene, I think it is difficult to duplicate the top note of Styrax; once that has passed, it becomes a lot easier.

  24. #24

    Default Re: Storax, orientalis or styraciflua?

    Styrene isn't restricted is it, David? I can't find an IFRA standard for it and it's allowed by the Cosmetics Directive.

    http://ec.europa.eu/consumers/cosmet...tails&id=41112

  25. #25

    Default Re: Storax, orientalis or styraciflua?

    Perfumer's Apprentice have "Styrax Essence" but I'm not actually sure exactly what it is. They describe it as a "purified styrax blend" - the "blend" part makes me think it might be some kind of replacer - I'm sure they could tell you. I haven't used it in a while but I remember it definitely had a styrene-like top note. I think it was pretty good. I'll try and compare it to the Styrax resinoid I have from Hermitage and report back.

  26. #26

    Default Re: Storax, orientalis or styraciflua?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pears View Post
    Styrene isn't restricted is it, David? I can't find an IFRA standard for it and it's allowed by the Cosmetics Directive.

    http://ec.europa.eu/consumers/cosmet...tails&id=41112
    I thought it was banned by IFRA, but like you couldn't find any mention of it on the IFRA web site. Mind you, I find the IFRA web site one of the nastiest and least friendly sites I have been to. Styrax is restricted by IFRA, but no mention of Styrene. Guess I was wrong to worry about it.

  27. #27

    Default Re: Storax, orientalis or styraciflua?

    Okay, I compared the "Styrax Essence" I have from Perfumer's Apprentice with the Styrax Resinoid from Hermitage. They are very similar. The resinoid is, however, a bit stronger, more rich and lively compared to the "Styrax Essence" which seems slightly flatter. No huge difference though. The resinoid will probably have a better fixative effect.

  28. #28

    Default Re: Storax, orientalis or styraciflua?

    Thanks alot guys. The Styrax essence which is listed on goodscents has the cas no. 8024-01-9, which is the old no. for Styrax oil/resinoid. So I'm guessing that Styrax essence has the same level of restrictions as the resinoid/oil. The Styrax speciality which is listed on goodscents doesn't appear to have any restrictions and it's available from Perfumers World as Styrax Fleuressence. I don't supose that anyone's tried it?
    Last edited by Pears; 6th February 2014 at 09:06 PM.

  29. #29

    Default Re: Storax, orientalis or styraciflua?

    Quote Originally Posted by Renegade View Post
    Perfumer's Apprentice have "Styrax Essence" but I'm not actually sure exactly what it is. They describe it as a "purified styrax blend" - the "blend" part makes me think it might be some kind of replacer - I'm sure they could tell you. I haven't used it in a while but I remember it definitely had a styrene-like top note. I think it was pretty good. I'll try and compare it to the Styrax resinoid I have from Hermitage and report back.
    Stryax Essence: It's an Innospec product, try asking them too..
    Paul Kiler
    PK Perfumes
    http://www.PKPERFUMES.com
    Gold Medal for "Best Aroma"; Los Angeles Artisan Fragrance Salon

  30. #30

    Default Re: Storax, orientalis or styraciflua?

    I just received an email back from Perfumers Apprentice and they confirmed to me that theirs is Styrax Essence Oliffac, from IFF. According to the MSDS it's colorless to pale green and has no CAS no. so it's unlikely to be the Storax resinoid or oil. Most likely a reconstitution.

    http://www.johndwalsh.com/MSDS/IFF20...SHA%20MSDS.pdf

    It looks as though it could be used in combination with Storax when you wish to use more Storax than the 0.6% restriction allows.

  31. #31

    Default Re: Storax, orientalis or styraciflua?

    Good to know Pears, thanks for sharing. Also, I forgot to mention, when I compared PA's Styrax Essence to the real Styrax Resinoid the former actually seemed to last a bit longer on a strip. So, a good product I think. And yes it is colourless. The Styrax resinoid I have is slightly yellow but actually very light in colour when diluted.

  32. #32

    Default Re: Storax, orientalis or styraciflua?

    Thanks for sharing also, Renegade.
    Last edited by Pears; 30th March 2014 at 03:17 PM.

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