I forgot to include the phenomena of fixation as an example of a bonding that is not a chemical reaction. Or am I mistaken on this?
Thread: Can you use too many naturals?
Thanks Paul, I also had to bookmark that one.
Nizan, yesterday when I was at work and away from this computer, I was thinking of this thread, and the bonds that would be created in the mixing of botanical extracts (Schiff's and then some) and thinking of David's inquiry as to whether these were chemical bonds to which I or we were referring, or otherwise...at first, I was assuming, when I wrote initially, the bonds to be of a chemical nature, ie. chemical reactions. I had noticed David's reply and inquiry about the sort of bonds being referred to, but got side tracked in my own writing (or, got lost in my own mind, however....), and neglected to mention that I was, at that time, thinking in terms of chemical reactions.
Then thinking more about David's question later in the day yesterday, that there might be other non-chemical bonds, had me confused, but then with some additional consideration, the thought of the non-chemical sort of bond analogous to how glue will hold things together without a chemical reaction, per se (Thomash and any other specialists can correct me here as necessary), with the exception of epoxy type of glue (and whatever might be related to that type of bonding, which is of a chemical reaction in nature).
The bonds of a glue holding two things together, I think, are of a physical nature, but not dependent exactly on chemical reactions taking place.
David if you could please jump in and advise if this is more or less what you were suggesting as the other sort of possible reaction, if you were even suggesting that there might be some sort of other type of reaction, but which you refer to as "or what?" in your post a bit back (and for the sake of convenience here, we'll put the mystical sort on the side)?
That is to say, a "physical" bond, sort of like glue holding two materials together, which I think, might be part of the way (in addition to chemical reaction of the components of botanical extracted materials) that bonds are created amongst the various ingredients (natural or synthetic) of a blend, which occur over time, or to say, during the maturation of a blend over time as is so often mentioned to be a requirement for the development of the complete scent profile of a newly mixed composition.
I'm not sure if I am putting this in the best possible wording, but fear that this post will turn into Mud if I add anything more at this point (or, maybe it already has).
Edit to add: I think my chakras are starting to feel kind of sore.
Last edited by islearom; 16th May 2014 at 03:58 PM.
I forgot to include the phenomena of fixation as an example of a bonding that is not a chemical reaction. Or am I mistaken on this?
I was doubting the existence of any chemical reaction when mixing fragrance materials together. I know that there are some reactions occurring (hemi acetal formation between aldehydes and alcohols; Schiff's bases forming, etc.) but as these are usually Organic chemical reactions they take a bit of time to take place. I cannot see how the order of addition of ingredients will affect the finished fragrance; especially if you mix well and then leave to blend for a week or so. Physical bonds, by which I guess you mean Hydrogen bonds and Van der Waals forces, don't really have anything to do with it; or do they?
I'm not going to be using the right terms here, so bear with me.
If a few different ingredients, were mingled and then by the nature of those ingredients, some of the molecular chains (if that's the right term) swapped parts of themselves, and other parts of the other ingredients moved in to refill the newly available 'hole', 'slot' or whatever you call them. Then that perfume would be considered matured when all that sort of behaviour had finished happening. From the smell angle the perfume is smoothed and mellowed.
If then, another ingredient were added which might have reacted before in the same 'slot', but that 'slot' was now occupied by the previous lot of ingredients. So now the new ingredient couldn't react in the same way because that 'slot' was already filled. Assuming for a minute the new ingredient doesn't re-break any. Could that not potentially have a slightly different nuance?
Here's something similar from my line of work
People usually converge to surprusingly low success rates.
Anyhow, since my chemistry knowledge is practically null, I was probably being to general. I fonsider two molecules sticking together as a chemical reaction, since it basically involves the same mechanisms (spin, EM force, quantum mechanics).. But maybe I was over generalizing.
As I said in my original post about compounding order, I am reporting from experience only, as was Mumsy, and I don't have any scientific explanation. I then said I expected to be called out.
In all good science, practice informs research and theory, and a great deal of respect is accorded practical observation, for example, for generating hypotheses.
What i was referring to was relations between and among molecules in solution. I'm not a chemist. Far from it. But there are covalent and noncovalent relations. I was referring to both, while admitting I understand neither. In fact, no one in perfuming understands much about the relations molecules form. The science is lacking, and is therefore at a stage where practice-based speculation should be accepted as normal, rather than be mocked as "mysticism".
Some things are understood about the covalent reactions, the formation of esters and the like. I don't think GC-MS technology can identify it all for us yet, or most of it. Correct me if I'm wrong.
Yet there are also countless examples in nature of noncovalent relations among molecules in solution as well. (Again, I am a layperson as regards chemistry, and am only attempting to coverse about it the best I can.)
But a solution is by definition a relation among molecules, as it is precisely the degree of relation between a solvent and a solute that determines solubility. Different degrees of solubility imply different relations between a solvent and a solute on the molecular level. Like dissolves like, which means the ideal solvent is related to the soluble molecule as the soluble molecules relate to themselves, clumsily put.
Usually noncovalent molecular relations are electromagnetic, they have been categorized in detail, though perhaps not exhaustively. There are also liquid crystals which are common in nature. A cell wall is a liquid crystal. Then there the structure of water molecules in water. Water molecules are not randomly arranged, which helps explain a lot of strange characteristics water demonstrates. Salt solutions, surfactant solutions have structures, Viscosity refers to structures of molecules in solution. As David said, there are Van Der Waals forces and weak hydrogen bonds. There is hydrophopic clumpng. Structures and relations can be determined by the sizes and shapes of molecules, and often large molecules tend to interrelate (e.g., to form liquid crystals). concentration in a solution is another variable that affects molecular relations, as is temperature, and the ratio fo organic molecules to inorganic (in the case of liquid crystals).
My point is that there are many kinds of examples of different molecular interrelations in solutions, and we still do not understand them all, as regards alcoholic perfumes. Yet there are so many different kinds of relations among molecules in solutions in nature, there is plenty of room for reasonable speculation, especially the kind based in practice. It's not as if solutions in nature, or fluids in general, tend only to be a random collection of molecules, identical when viewed from any angle. Certainly water is not that way.
Again, I don't pretend to understand how to explain the maturation of alcoholic perfumes in terms of the evolving relations among molecules dissolved in the alcohol or other solvent.
David's apparent claim is that perfume molecules randomly distribute themselves vis a vis one another in solution after two weeks of maturation. If that is the claim, and if I have stated it correctly, then that is a hypothesis, an educated guess, as there were experience-driven guesses by Mumsy and myself.
In order to test all these hypotheses without viewing fragrant solutions microscopically, you would have to do something like take complex perfumes full of naturals, and compund them randomly, in order, and in reverse order. Then you compare the smells after two weeks under those three conditions. That would start to approach scientific.
Last edited by DrSmellThis; 16th May 2014 at 09:37 PM.
This paper should explain a number of the questions raised in this thread;
although there is not any mention of compounding order, however one could make a case that the order might
have an effect, based on the reactions mentioned in the paper.
my mom was a perfumer in the 30's and in some of her notes there are references to the compounding order
as well as at certain times during the compounding temperature notes.
forgot to mention, this in a sense could be an example of
compounding order as well?
not mentioning the perfume, but a famous perfume that
used aldehydes, used a unique method, one of the aldehydes was first mixed with 2 parts of phenylethyl alcohol, that formed the hemiacetal, [the protecting group]
prior to addition in the compound.
Last edited by luigi_g; 16th May 2014 at 09:26 PM.
I love all the jesting as well as the serious. That is half the fun on here. What is the point of a DIY section if you cannot pontificate together? Out come all the study files and all the ancient books to see if there is anything. There will be something written on this type of speculation already. It will be old hat somewhere and either proved or disproved.
I am very game to do some serious testing of it. Not quite yet. There are a few bees to attend to first.
I mean no disrespect in saying this but.. 125 EOs and Absolutes sounds crazy to me.. that is a lot of molecules! That being said, I'm still a rookie, and have not smelled this fragrance!
Mix too many harmonics and get white-noise, too many colors and get brown. I think removing the superfluous is due diligence in all art forms, but artistic philosophies are subjective things.
Truly the smell in the bottle is the only important thing, not how you got there... but personally I would be asking myself what's properly placed, and what's actually sabotaging the essential character of the fragrance.
The white-noise factor could be adding to the scent, not subtracting. Ever tried sitting in a sound proof chamber? Also, you're forgetting these aren't randomally mixed. I got to sample a few mixtures which are claimed to be olfacotry-white at the olfactory lab here. They had simiar scent (like Jasmine and Wintergreen), though they had a totally random mix of molecules.
As for mixtures, I would be surprised if there's more then one steady equilibrium of the mix that is formed after the perfume has fully matured..
Fascinating. It needs to be tested under strict controls. I shall have a shot soon enough.
I've been doing a lot of reading all the old books and looking for clues last night and this morning. One thing that seemed more important then (in the 1920's in my book) was the types of alcohol used with what ingredients. Whether it was grape or grain. (That is another matter to this discussion but worth mentioning for another discussion later).
The other, more pertinent to this discussion, was that particular bases were often made up and matured in advance. This would account for house signatures such as the spicy accord that Guerlain uses and is instantly recognisable as their own. These signatures seem to endure their many variants and keep a 'house style' as it were.
Could this not indicate that a certain pre-designed base stability would stay as it was, without further chemical reactions for the aroma to stray too far, before the rest is added?
Last edited by David Ruskin; 17th May 2014 at 10:31 AM.
You have been given an experiment to try out (the triangle test), why not try it out, and see for yourself. As indeed, you have suggested.
Last edited by David Ruskin; 18th May 2014 at 09:27 AM.
DrSmellThis, I was also going to mention that there was no suggestion that direct observation as you refer to, is in any way considered by anyone's statement here to be of a mystical nature. I agree with you that Hypothesis is often preceeded by direct observation. And I do trust your and Mumsy's observations. I know from reading many of both of your posts that both of you pay close attention to the details of how you create perfumes as well as the outcome of your various formulation trials. I believe that observations by both of you, of your blending experiements, are definitely valid. I do not think they are the result of what would be analagous to the Placebo effect in medicine, or illusion, or delusion on the part of your senses of perception.
Luigi-G, Thanks for the comments on vapor pressure as it being related to (and essentially, the cause for) fixation. Do note, if you have not already, that my comment as well indicated that the bonding of fixation did not involve chemical reaction. We we already in agreement on that part, you did bring me up to date as to the particular part of physics involved with fixation (ie. vapor pressure).
And thanks David for your patience with all of this. I know much of this seems more theoretical than pratical, but I do think there is a practical aspect that can be derived from any answer that might be eventually provided (re: oreder of sequence for blending, of importance, or, irrelevant).
Wouldn't the paper results suggest that if the accords are matured first, and more so, if they were diluted in ethanol initially (say, by way of dilution of the individual raw materials used for the composition of each accord), then sequence would in fact be relevant?
Nizan, That's how I understood what David was saying.
Yes Mumsy, there is a fair amount of redundancy in this thread...I think that will help for this thread to mature into a blend that is superior to the barebones thread without the redundancy.
But I do not regard my own thinking as "mystical" on this, and if someone states that they believe it is, that I am not being rational, I reserve the right to defend myself, so that readers don't just automatically disregard everything I say. Do you understand?
Last edited by DrSmellThis; 17th May 2014 at 08:00 PM.
I'd be curious to know if these 'compounding order' experiments yield different results when blending chemicals of similar molecular weight only. My mind wanders to images of molecules, many a shape and size, bumping around in an awkward dance of physics until some peaceful "physical order" is reached (and maintained, by virtue of physical forces perhaps).
And Nizan, I agree that noise has appeal, it's why so many people prefer analog audio equipment to digital: digi is too clean, cold, and sterile: too pure. White-noise and an anechoic chamber are polar opposites, harmonically speaking. I think many perfumers use naturals for exactly that: adding noise.... warmth, roundness, subtle harmonics.
I suppose its the nature of my philosophy but my creative endeavors are always subject to subtractive processing at one point or another, refinement... Personally I can't help but think such a mountain of molecules could be improved by subtracting (at least to my tastes).
If you disagree, fine.
Do you believe it is already well understood, that we are wasting our time looking for, or wondering about, new phenomena?
Last edited by DrSmellThis; 17th May 2014 at 08:51 PM.