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  1. #1
    Jamie Frater
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    Default Benzyl Salicylate Question

    Hi all - Is it just me or does benzyl salicylate have no odor of its own? I have a bottle of synthetic and I can barely smell anything there except oiliness. I have used it a number of times and interestingly I can tell it's there because it seems to open the rest of the ingredients up or something similar but is it meant to add its own odor component or just work as a modifier?
    Currently wearing: 1000 by Jean Patou

  2. #2

    Default Re: Benzyl Salicylate Question

    Benzyl Salicylate is a strange one. Many people, including myself, are totally anosmic to it. Give me a smelling strip dipped in Benzyl Sal, and I cannot smell anything. However, I am aware if it is presence in a fragrance, and can definitely smell its effect. Those folk who can smell it describe the smell as green floral. For me its effect is to add a natural floral quality, almost an outdoors feel to a fragrance. It cannot be replaced with anything else. It is one of the building blocks of traditional Perfumery (L'Air du Temps has, I think, 15.0%) and yet for many it is odourless. You are not alone.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Benzyl Salicylate Question

    You are probably anosmic to it. It does work as modifier. It does smell balsamic with orchid like herbal nuance. Isobutyl salicylate is similar, but with stronger little different herbal note lacking balsamic note.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Benzyl Salicylate Question

    I can smell it but it's very, very faint to me. I smell pretty much what one would expect--oily, green, floral like carnation.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Benzyl Salicylate Question

    I have some on a strip right now.
    To me, it is quite quiet and somehow vague smelling. I like your 'oily' descriptor, and would add that I get a 'clean' vibe from it, with a subtle floral quality that goes towards jasmine (if I had to pick a flower).

  6. #6

    Default Re: Benzyl Salicylate Question

    Mild green floral is correct but unique as David sates. Dilute some and sniff a strip throughout the day over many days, refreshing as needed. You may develop the ability to smell it. I had to do this with sandalwood and sandalwood chems.

    In my experience it blends your notes together and acts as a fixative. If you use too much you'll lose much of the individual note character, which may be the effect you want (certainly done by and large in modern fragrances), but also gives a brightness.

  7. #7
    Super Member Dmitriy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Benzyl Salicylate Question

    For me, the smell is very similar to the scent of this modest but very fragrant orchids. https://www.google.ru/search?newwind...nthera+bifolia (Of course it smells brighter than Benzyl Salicylate ) the smell of voluminous, multi-faceted and quite natural for the chemistry. There are lungs tones and as has been said, the deep:a bit tartness, sweetness and greenness .. How very strongly diluted galbanum with hydroxycitronellal and lilial down more sweetness as flowers Datura In my view it is not similar jasmine and very close to aroma the above mentioned orchids. You can put it on undiluted smelling strip and throughout the day trying to catch the scent. Olfactory sensitivity changes all the time))
    Last edited by Dmitriy; 22nd July 2015 at 06:41 PM.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Benzyl Salicylate Question

    The smell of benzyl salicylate is very very faint and i thought it is because of low quality of my material or because of oldness of my material. But i have read it helps overal effect of perfume much and keep its intensity on dilution. I describe its odor as oil (not herbal oil but petroleum like) and a bit green.
    Sharif Attar

  9. #9

    Default Re: Benzyl Salicylate Question

    Blind sniff results on benzyl salicylate from last year

    As I've written here before, I couldn't smell it at first but eventually learnt to. If I put some on a strip I am not able to smell it very well until after it's dried down a bit (the same applies to Hedione). For me, benzyl salicylate smells floral, herbal and somewhat green. Many describe it as reminiscent of laundered sheets. I find it can sometimes lend a soapy / musky impression to a scent.

  10. #10
    Super Member nicok's Avatar
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    Default Re: Benzyl Salicylate Question

    I'm anything but anosmic to it. It is a wonderful material. One of the most important in perfumery. I would describe it as balsamic, clean,floral, delicate. I don't find it green. Amyl Salicylate is somewhat green.

    One way to smell it -and this applies to any other material linked to anosmia like musks- is to make a dilution around 15% - 20% and spray it on you instead of a perfume.
    Of course you will not wear a perfume that day.

    You may notice that you smell it at some stage of the day.
    we are not equally anosmic throughout the day.
    I did it with many musk that was hard to smell, and there were moments of the day, many hours after the application, where I was able to smell them and actually very very well.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Benzyl Salicylate Question

    Good idea nicok.

  12. #12
    Jamie Frater
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    Default Re: Benzyl Salicylate Question

    Quote Originally Posted by nicok View Post
    I'm anything but anosmic to it. It is a wonderful material. One of the most important in perfumery. I would describe it as balsamic, clean,floral, delicate. I don't find it green. Amyl Salicylate is somewhat green.

    One way to smell it -and this applies to any other material linked to anosmia like musks- is to make a dilution around 15% - 20% and spray it on you instead of a perfume.
    Of course you will not wear a perfume that day.

    You may notice that you smell it at some stage of the day.
    we are not equally anosmic throughout the day.
    I did it with many musk that was hard to smell, and there were moments of the day, many hours after the application, where I was able to smell them and actually very very well.
    I've just placed an order for a kg of natural benzyl salicylate - once it arrives I will do just this! In the meantime I do still use it every day and can tell the difference between my mixtures with and without - I just don't smell a fragrant note from it.
    Currently wearing: 1000 by Jean Patou

  13. #13

    Default Re: Benzyl Salicylate Question

    I use BS to dissolve Musk Ketone. It's the only solvent I know of that gets that beast to a 10% solution.

  14. #14
    Basenotes Plus
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    Default Re: Benzyl Salicylate Question

    Quote Originally Posted by David Ruskin View Post
    Good idea nicok.
    Ditto...
    Paul Kiler
    PK Perfumes
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  15. #15
    Super Member Serg Ixygon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Benzyl Salicylate Question

    Does somebody have a simple formula for educational purposes with and without BS to feel the difference?
    Thanks!

  16. #16

    Default Re: Benzyl Salicylate Question

    I can smell Benzyl Salicylate quite clearly. Azalea is first thing I get. We have a type of Azalea here in the Pacific Northwest that blooms early in the Spring. Bright yellow fragrant flowers come out before the leaves. There must be a fair bit of benzyl salicylate in those flowers. So for me benzyl salicylate is a lovely, sweet floral, springtime smell. Also, I can detect it in a lot of modern commercial perfumes.

    BUT Here's my problem with benzyl salicylate. It does not seem to be very soluble in ethanol. Any tips on how to get it to dissolve?

    And one more thing. There's a similar molecule that I *do* have trouble smelling: Benzyl benzoate. Even at 100% I can barely smell it.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Benzyl Salicylate Question

    I've been meaning to ask about benzyl salicylate as well, and whether my material is probably impure or deteriorated. Mine smells initially of wintergreen (like methyl salicylate), 'salty' (like amyl salicylate), dirty like petroleum, and only very faintly floral. In a blend I smell the 'saltiness' very strongly, and the dirty-fuel note while faint tends to ruin the blend.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Benzyl Salicylate Question

    Quote Originally Posted by bshell View Post
    I can smell Benzyl Salicylate quite clearly. Azalea is first thing I get. We have a type of Azalea here in the Pacific Northwest that blooms early in the Spring. Bright yellow fragrant flowers come out before the leaves. There must be a fair bit of benzyl salicylate in those flowers. So for me benzyl salicylate is a lovely, sweet floral, springtime smell. Also, I can detect it in a lot of modern commercial perfumes.

    BUT Here's my problem with benzyl salicylate. It does not seem to be very soluble in ethanol. Any tips on how to get it to dissolve?

    And one more thing. There's a similar molecule that I *do* have trouble smelling: Benzyl benzoate. Even at 100% I can barely smell it.
    That's because it is pretty odourless and not meant to be used for its smell. It is used as a solvent and odourless fixative.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Benzyl Salicylate Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Alysoun View Post
    I've been meaning to ask about benzyl salicylate as well, and whether my material is probably impure or deteriorated. Mine smells initially of wintergreen (like methyl salicylate), 'salty' (like amyl salicylate), dirty like petroleum, and only very faintly floral. In a blend I smell the 'saltiness' very strongly, and the dirty-fuel note while faint tends to ruin the blend.
    Sounds like your sample is contaminated, with the chemicals you mention.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Benzyl Salicylate Question

    Quote Originally Posted by bshell View Post

    BUT Here's my problem with benzyl salicylate. It does not seem to be very soluble in ethanol. Any tips on how to get it to dissolve?
    That's odd as I've had no trouble at all.

  21. #21

    Default Re: Benzyl Salicylate Question

    Quote Originally Posted by David Ruskin View Post
    Sounds like your sample is contaminated, with the chemicals you mention.
    Thank you, David.

  22. #22

    Default Re: Benzyl Salicylate Question

    For those who may not have investigated my new catalogue descriptions, here is the one for Benzyl Salicylate:

    "Very useful material particularly in conjunction with aldehydes where it acts to blend and soften them. Good in many fragrance types to give naturalness and smooth out the blend. Weak odour, but very good fixative, sweet-floral, spicy, balsamic, slightly phenolic, azalea, gillyflower, ylang ylang, narcissus. A widely used fine fragrance ingredient, essential for some early 20th Century classics, also useful as a solvent for some crystalline musks and as a UV stabiliser.

    Arctander starts by elucidating the difficulty of describing its odour:
    Very faint, sweet-floral, slightly balsamic odor. This ester is, according to the judgment of some people (including perfumers) absolutely odorless, while others find it ’musky’ of odor. Trace impurities can greatly influence the odor of this high-boiling chemical. Widely used as a blender in perfumery, and generally as a mild, floral background with an effect not unlike that of Ylang-Ylang (except for power and topnote). Excellent in all florals, Carnation, Wallflower in particular.
    "


    I put this up here partly because Arctander’s description is so striking: I don’t think I’ve seen anyone else describe it as like Ylang Ylang but you can see what he means.

    Here’s a bit more from Arctander, which suggests it should be readily soluble in ethanol, which is also my own experience:

    Colorless oily liquid, or opaque crystalline mass, melting at 24-26° C. It may remain supercooled for a considerable length of time. Sp.Gr. 1.18. B.P. 300’ C. Almost insoluble in water, insoluble in Glycerin, poorly soluble in Propylene glycol, soluble in alcohol and oils.
    According to Bedoukian:

    “This ester finds some use in perfumery as a fixative and also as a solvent for artificial musks”
    he goes on to say that it is
    “clearly soluble in 9 volumes of 90% alcohol"
    he says a lot else besides, mainly about the means of manufacture.
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