What I like about those flowers which are named Jasmines and are not (Trachelospermum and Cestrum) is that they don't smell Jasminy to me.. It's pretty confusing that people keep calling them Jasmines..
Thread: Help with cestrum accord
That's not pernickety. That is exacting.
I'm not sure our variegated one had yellow flowers after all. I was hunting through some old pics. I think they were creamy coloured. The smell was absolutely divine. I wish I had known about enfleurage then.
What I like about those flowers which are named Jasmines and are not (Trachelospermum and Cestrum) is that they don't smell Jasminy to me.. It's pretty confusing that people keep calling them Jasmines..
I've been googling it to see what people said about the smell.
Comments like bubblegum and urinal cake. Yum…
Apparently Jovan made one called Night blooming jasmine which was reported to be fairly accurate. Might be interesting to obtain some and see.
Nizan, your post provides one example for why I myself prefer the use of Latin names for identification of plants. I find the occasional website of a vendor of natural perfumery raw materials where they don't include the Latin names for the sources of materials of botanical origin that they sell...in such cases, I know I need look no further.
That such plants commonly referred to as some sort of "jasmine" are called such is probably due to the fact that to an untrained nose, they smell kind of, sort of, somewhat like a jasmine. To a trained nose, they do not. I think it is a bit of a stretch to call a cestrum a "night blooming....", but to many people, it has a jasmine-like smell. Gardenia jasminoides is identified as such for the similar reason. That it, and tuberose, the "jasmine on a stalk"....no, I just made that one up, that's how common names get created...I digress. The last two mentioned plants contain Methyl Salicylate (wintergreen) in their flower scents, producing the minty aspect which is (to the best of my knowledge) lacking in the Jasminums. This is of little importance to the average gardener, but of major importance to the perfumer. The Latin names are of little importance to the average gardener, but are very important to the botanist.
David, I stand corrected. So obviously, someone lied to me about this being the internet.
Mumsy, re: your statement "That's not pernickety. That is exacting."
I wholeheartedly agree with you.
Edit: And by the way Mumsy, I learned of a great site by way of a post of Paul's, in the Perfumemaking group (over at that other place), called Essential Oil University. It has a database of GC's of both headspace and absolutes of many, many (I mean, a real whole lot of) plants. In many cases, it even provides the results of multiple takes of GC's for the same plant headspace and/or absolute.
Last edited by islearom; 28th April 2014 at 11:56 AM.
Mumsy - I tried.. I got an empty bottle and a fuss. And it seems most dealers on ebay won't ship that internationally. So I'm lurking till something comes up. And then I'll probably send it to be GC's at PA.
Bubble gum & urinal cake - which one? The Cestrum or Trachelo. ? I wish I had some bubble gum tasting like Cestrum..
I know that some people find the scent of Cestrum nocturnum to be annoying. I guess it is the aspect that might be referred to as "cloying"? However it is termed, I know the intense and odd aspect that is bothersome to some people (though I personally love the overall scent of the flowers at night regardless).
The Trachel. has its' own particular odd note, though it is far more subdued and I have never heard of anyone complain about the odor of that plant. It may not be appreciated by many folks, but does not seem to antagonize some people in the manner that the Cestrum can. The true Jasmines (ie. Jasminums) do not contain either of these odd notes.
As to the Bubble gum and urinal cake, my guess is the cestrum, but Mumsy will have to confirm if I am right or wrong on this.
Last edited by islearom; 28th April 2014 at 12:21 PM.
It was the cestrum I was looking up and it was a gardeners description. Not mine.
Thanks for the GC link. I haven't looked properly at this one yet so no idea what's in it. Looked interesting at first glance.
And thank you Mumsy for the link that you have provided. I'm far from home at the moment, so have sent myself an email with the link so I don't lose track of it.
You know, I think those gardners are on to something.. I just thought "bubblegum" and the scent popped up in my head, even though I don't know of any bubblegums that smell like this..
Essentialoils.org is a VERY useful resource indeed...
Seems that I'm missing some faint leathery nuances, as well as something herbal.. The headspace suggests Linalyl Acetate and Phenol, though I've never smelled neither. Will para-Cresol be a good substitute for Phenol? From descriptions on other threads I'm guessing Phenol tends to be more medicinal?
Phenol and Para-cresol are indeed similar, but certainly not the same...
But sure why not try that...? My dilution of Phenol at 2% is only slightly weaker in intensity than my 10% of Para-cresol.
So let's hypothesize that 3% phenol is equal to 10% Para-cresol...
Paul, I know that there are many phenol analogues in nature, but the compound phenol itself is especially toxic. Do you use that frequently in perfume composition? I realize that you use it in a highly diluted concentration, but frankly, that stuff has to be as obnoxious as Poison Hemlock. How do you handle the stuff? Gloves, protective gear, other?
Just because natural Bitter Almond Oil contains cyanide . . . you get the idea.
The general rule with phenol: if there is enough for you to smell it, there is enough to be causing you potential harm.
Nothing in this world is safe and Iím not advocating an attempt at total safety, but there are good alternatives to phenol, including p-Cresol, m-Cresol and others that, while still not nice to handle, are a good deal safer. I think thatís what Paul was suggesting . . .
Thanks Chris...Nizan, would you please provide a link to the GC that you refer to which indicates the presence of Phenol in the headspace of Cestrum nocturnum? I am curious about this one.
I did search for Cestrum nocturnum in the CG database of essentialoils.org and do not find it listed, but going the reverse route, on a search for phenol, I do, to my surprise, find it present in various other botanicals. The something that I learned today.
Also, on looking up Phenol in the GoodScents site, I notice that the first listing indicates that Phenol has a phenolic type odor. Good thing I took the time to do that search, as I would have been wondering all night long about the sort of odor that phenol might provide.
I need to do a search next on "jasmine" to see if by chance it night have a jasmine type of odor, I'm taking a guess that it might.
I bought a kilo of the Phenol, it was very cheap. After I bought it, I did more research, and even poured some out and spilled some on my fingers. I'd swear that instantly, the fat from my fingers (a little) went away. Now, of course, I wear gloves ONLY, and tell all others to too.
I have not yet used the Phenol in anything, and probably won't ever. Still on the fence about it in minute qty, but then really, what's the point I suppose then.
I will gladly send you some, free, if you like, just for sniffing and comparing... It's not like I'm ever gonna run out of this 1 Kilo of Phenol in this life or my great great grandchildren's either. I can afford to throw it around! :-)
Last edited by pkiler; 30th May 2014 at 02:16 AM.
Arrr.. Just realized it's a GC of the absolute.. Not really useful, as the absolute doesn't smell like the flower
Paul - thanks for checking for me. I will use p-Cresol then! And will probably have to work with my nose since I can't really trust that GC.. In a few days will have some massive blooming on my plant - will have to work quickly
Thank you both Paul and Nizan for your replies to my inquiries. Prior to reading the posts here today, I was unaware that Phenol itself even occurred in biological nature (as a compound in itself...I know there are many compounds in nature that include the basic structure of phenol within their more complicated, extended structures...black pepper just one of many examples of botanicals that contain phenolic compounds).
Shows how much I 've been slacking off on the reading of the GC's available for all sorts of materials that interest me (ie. botanical perfume raw ingredients).
Generally speaking, phenols tend to be rather rough on the livers of humans when consumed (that is, even the analogues, like that in Black Pepper, or, so I have read). Acetaminophen (aka N-acetyl-p-aminophenol, or "Tylenol"). or in England, the compound known as Paracetamol (same thing, different local name), is responsible for the death of many thousands of people, by way of its permanent destruction of the liver if taken in excess for some period of time (or, even if a large enough amount is taken on a single occasion), and if not counteracted in time by way of the use of the amino acid N-acetylcysteine, which protects the liver from the particular type of damage that APAP causes, as long as provided early enough after the incidence of poisoning by APAP.
Anyway, APAP is very gentle stuff though in comparison to simple, non modified Phenol.
So I thank you Paul for your kind offer, but will have to decline, as phenol is a compound that I prefer to keep only at a good distance from me or, at least as far as that may possible in today's world where we are inundated with all sorts of toxins in all sorts of ways we cannot even begin to imagine.
And thanks Nizan for providing the link that I requested. The replies from all, Chris as well, are much appreciated. I do understand that as Chris explains that the compound is used only in negligible quantities in perfume production, and that as well, in the absolute technical sense, that everything (ie. every single thing) is toxic at some level. But everything being relative, I am amazed that this especially toxic material is used at all in perfume formulation. I would hazard a guess that such usage was more common in the past then it is in the present, though I am only taking an educated guess here and not speaking from a position of knowledge.
I think Paul is the only perfumer on the planet who ventured as far as buying some.. And it's so nasty, he's not even using it. And I don't think he usually have problems with nasty stuff
But it does occur naturally, and probably in low dosages is pretty harmless if not beneficial in some way. The reaction of the body tends to be non-linear with concentration.
I wish I had a portable GC sniffer.. Argh.
Nizan, I as well wish that I had a portable GC unit...would be great fun to sample all sorts of volatile things, in my case, I would be most interested in analyzing the headspace of endless tropical flowers.
As to the body acting in a non-linear fashion, dependent on concentration...probably true with some materials, and the opposite the case with others. Minute doses of some material might produce antibodies or other defensive mechanisms in the body to spring into action. On the other hand, the linear mode, there are probably some things that have no benefit at any level. Plutonium might be an example (to use an extreme one for the sake of argument). The only benefit I could see with exposure to that material would be that some very small percentage of individuals would have a genetic constitution (due to mutation, that somehow, they as well managed to survive and live to the age of reproduction), and such a mutation would then be passed on to their offspring (possibly, possibly not). Their offspring (that is, those who retained the mutation) might be immune to the radiation of small amounts of plutonium. A non-linear benefit.
In most cases, the extreme majority, mutations of any concequence cause death of the individual...before it could be even determined if exposure to some material might have a linear or non-linear effect.
One of many theories of aging involve the length of the protective endings of the chromosomes on the DNA strand, called Telomeres. They get shorter with age (normal aging), produce less protection as a result of their shortened length, the DNA tends not to retain the protective abilities for survival of the organism (in this case, the human body), the DNA tends to unravel, disease conditions that could be overcome at earlier stages in life no longer are protected against, example, Cancer. It is is believed that various materials can cause damage to telomere length, or as well, affect the DNA in various other detrimental ways. The effects are not seen for a long period of time when the damage is of this sort, by way of chronic disease conditions later in life, or, a generation or two away, in the offspring. It is hard, at the present time, to determine a direct cause and effect relationship when it comes to this sort of damage (ie. to DNA), but medical science is coming along rapidly and it is probably a short matter of time that direct relationships of exposure to toxins at some point in life can be pointed at to be the direct cause of disease at later stages in life.
Consider the clusters of people around the world who live to abnormally long periods of life. Granted, this is at least partly, maybe mainly, the result of their genetics. But do notice how these clusters tend not to be found in urban, heavily polluted locations. They tend to be in locations far from modern society, far from modern medical technology as well. Not to suggest that these pockets of genetic integrity exist only in such remote locations, just that they require as well a clean environment (and diet, etc.) to have the effect of prolonging life. Place those individuals in New York City and change their diet to that of the average westerner, and they will live roughly the same life span as the average westerner (an example is heart disease in transplanted Japanese to the U.S.)
I trust that Paul has been careful enough with his supply of Phenol so as to not be adversely affected by it. That he is still here to write on this forum would seem to be evidence of this. If all precautions are taken to avoid contact with the stuff (in some above threshold quantity), there will of course be no problems. And as you suggest, he may be stronger for it in some way (though personally, I think that is rather a long shot).
When we get into our car to take a drive to the store to pick up a loaf of bread, we assume all will be fine, and in the vast number of times we do this, all is fine. It is the rare exception, say, the result of a head on collision, where things can change very dramatically, very rapidly.
I really didn't want to end this post on that last sort of note, so let's all assume it will be a bright and sunny day.
I am getting a very strong sense of "deja due" about the whole Phenol thing. I have explained and explained to Nizan that there is a difference between the chemical Phenol, and Phenolic compounds. I also explained that it was highly unlikely that it was Phenol in his flowers. He clearly does not read my stuff, or takes no notice. I've looked at the GC analysis of the Cestrum absolute you provided and see that there is supposed to be over 1.0% Phenol present. In an entirely unscientific way, "I don't believe it".
David, I have looked at the listings at the essentialoils.org site database for botanicals that contain the compound Phenol (not analogues, but "Phenol") and supposedly, it is contained in concentrations of up to over 3% in a few of them (I forget which, but you can easily check the site for yourself). I am not a scientist obviously, but I felt the same way as you describe your disbelief, when I looked at those figures.
Wondering if it is some sort of artifact or misreading of the results, or whatever. I don't know. But it seemed to me to be beyond belief. I didn't want to suggest that as the site has more scientific "clout" than I could ever have, but your post has me take more confidence in my own feelings of the results that the GC's (at either site) show.
Thanks very much for your input here, it helps me to have a better feel that it is not me that is looking at this topic upside down...and with no disrepect to Nizan or anyone else here please, I am only speaking in reference to my own confusion caused by the suggestion that phenol (the compound itself, unmodified) is used in perfumery at the present time, and that it can occur in such large amounts in flowers that evolution designed to attract insects for the sake of reproductive pollination, and to not kill or maim them before they could carry out any such pollinating activity.
Last edited by islearom; 30th May 2014 at 09:58 AM.
I wonder if there is a confusion between "Phenol" (Hydroxybenzene) and "Phenols", the class of chemicals. Many plants contain one or more Phenols (e.g Thyme contains Thymol, Clove contains Eugenol etc.). I had a quick look at Wikipedia (if they can be relied upon) and a lot of Phenol (it's all relative) is found in some whiskeys; but nowhere near the 1.0% plus found in the analysis above.
Phenol used to be used in Perfumery, mainly in soap (Coal Tar soap), but it has been banned for many years.
Last edited by David Ruskin; 30th May 2014 at 06:15 PM.
David, I am getting the impression that the confusion in terminology, phenols vs. phenol, is much the situation here. As I mentioned briefly, phenols (ie. phenolic compounds, not phenol itself), are also said to be contained in black pepper. For that reason, I have read, it is suggested that individuals with liver conditions avoid consumption of black pepper...for anyone else, such consumption of that particular spice is not a problem. I wish I could remember the articles and such that made these references, but my faculty of recall is not quite what it used to be.
I was referring to Phenol.. It sometimes pops up in GC in very high levels.. Taking into accound our odor threshold for it, I find it kind of surprising. But some flowers do seem to have a leathery green thing beneath all their sweetness. I won't know till I start working on the accord again.
Too bad my lab assistant is on leave.. Who will wash all the bottles now?
Since I have no access to the full paper, I guess we'll never know. It could be that they meant phenolic compounds, or there was something weird with the extraction.. I'm trusting this specific analysis less and less. I'll look at the other ones when I get home..
(Isn't it weird that there's so much benzaldehyde in this absolute as well?)
It could be a very old sample, or a sample that was treated badly (left to oxidise, heated etc.) A lot of Benzaldehyde and a lot of Phenylacetaldehyde; both could be oxidation products (from Benzyl Alcohol and Phenyl Ethyl Alcohol). Or, it could be that the analysis as a whole is faulty.
David, I was wondering if maybe phenolic compounds that were present would decompose to phenol, along with whatever else would result by way of the decomposition process. Is that possible?
That's what he just said..
What I said was that maybe some other chemicals, present at a very high level (Benzaldehyde and Phenylacetaldehyde) could be there as a result of oxidation of (in order) Benzyl Alcohol and Phenyl Ethyl Alcohol. Nowhere did I suggest that the huge amount of Phenol supposedly there, was there as a result of ay type of decomposition.
That's what I thought you meant. I guess I got confused about what decomposition means.. I thought it was referring to large molecules breaking down, not to organic decomposition..
It wasn't me who used the word "decomposition", I only mentioned oxidation.
I apparently used the incorrect term, but I was referring to the idea of larger molecules breaking down to smaller molecules. It has been quite some time since I took Organic Chemistry classes in college, so I am a bit rusty on much of the technical details....really an understatement on my part to even be saying that.
Regardless, David has now answered my question.
Tremendous bummer. After working with the flowers yesterday, I realize I have a long way to go. There's some freshness/greenness that I can't pinpoint. I tried Hexenol and Cineol.. The latter was a step in the right direction, but I feel like I'm missing some terpenes. The GC's suggest either Caryophellene (or its oxide) and Farnesene, but I don't have neither.. Though Copaiba is supposed to be almost pure Caryophellene, it doesn't smell close. I also have some Chamomile that's supposed to contain 80% Farnesene, but I'm not sure that's what it should smell like alone.
When testing against alpha Terpinene, it seemed kind close, but more herbal.. Are there any terpenes which are close? Maybe Terpinyl acetate?