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  1. #1

    Default Reverse engineering a perfume (cloning)

    Hi!

    In cloning a perfume, there are obviously lab tests being run on the original. I was wondering, what do the results look like? How easy is it to read the results and recreate the original perfume?
    For example, if there was absolute rose oil being used in the original, how will that appear on the lab analysis?
    Also, if anyone has the results of these for some perfumes on the market, I'd love to see one!

    Thank you!
    Rami

  2. #2
    Basenotes Member aberdeengrey's Avatar
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    Default Re: Reverse engineering a perfume (cloning)

    Stick a few drops in the special USB stick, pop it into the flash drive and run the perfumers world software - it will give you a pretty good excel output.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Reverse engineering a perfume (cloning)

    Thank you for the reply!
    Regarding the other question, after getting the results of analysis, would it be difficult or ambiguous to recreate the perfume formula you'd receive?

  4. #4
    Basenotes Member aberdeengrey's Avatar
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    Default Re: Reverse engineering a perfume (cloning)

    You do realise that you're asking people with a genuine interest and passion about making perfume, how to steal others work ?

  5. #5

    Default Re: Reverse engineering a perfume (cloning)

    Quote Originally Posted by aberdeengrey View Post
    Stick a few drops in the special USB stick, pop it into the flash drive and run the perfumers world software - it will give you a pretty good excel output.
    lol


  6. #6

    Default Re: Reverse engineering a perfume (cloning)

    Quote Originally Posted by RamiMatar View Post
    I was wondering, what do the results look like?
    Like this (just a random example from a Google search).

    Quote Originally Posted by RamiMatar View Post
    How easy is it to read the results and recreate the original perfume?
    As you can see...not easy at all.

    Quote Originally Posted by RamiMatar View Post
    For example, if there was absolute rose oil being used in the original, how will that appear on the lab analysis?
    Each part of the rose oil would show up as its own "line item", summed with anything else in the material that has the same components. In other words: rose oil has (relatively) large amounts of citronellol, geraniol, and linalool, so if your perfume had rose oil in it, the analysis would show a bunch of citronellol, geraniol, and linalool...but it wouldn't be able to tell that those things all came from rose oil.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Reverse engineering a perfume (cloning)

    I'm not asking because I want to do it. I was wondering how clone companies operate. Do they just run a test and have clear results, or do they just get the essence of the formula and have to work from there?
    I also am genuinely interested in making perfumes. I'm asking out of curiosity.
    Thank you to those who responded. I appreciate it.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Reverse engineering a perfume (cloning)

    "essence"

    The Perfumer's Apprentice offers a fragrance/flavor analysis service.
    I imagine clone houses would have their own lab equipment, if they are of any size. But I don't know, they may just submit samples for analysis to companies like The Perfumer's Apprentice.
    Or maybe they have staff that are good enough to nose-out what materials were used in creating a fragrance.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Reverse engineering a perfume (cloning)

    Quote Originally Posted by RamiMatar View Post
    I'm not asking because I want to do it. I was wondering how clone companies operate. Do they just run a test and have clear results, or do they just get the essence of the formula and have to work from there?
    I also am genuinely interested in making perfumes. I'm asking out of curiosity.
    Thank you to those who responded. I appreciate it.
    Large companies have large teams and many, many machines dedicated to this purpose. With technology the way it is these days, it is actually an easy endeavor for a trained analyst who is well trained with raw materials. One day, and anything can be copied; basically to such a state where even the best perfumes cannot pass a triangular test. That is, of course, if one has access to all the relevant materials.

    These 'machines' you refer two are called gas chromatographs. If you want to read about how they work, there are many relevant posts on line.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Reverse engineering a perfume (cloning)

    Quote Originally Posted by Blain View Post
    "essence"

    The Perfumer's Apprentice offers a fragrance/flavor analysis service.
    I imagine clone houses would have their own lab equipment, if they are of any size. But I don't know, they may just submit samples for analysis to companies like The Perfumer's Apprentice.
    Or maybe they have staff that are good enough to nose-out what materials were used in creating a fragrance.
    Any good house has whole teams dedicated to this. And all significant market products are analysed. Fine fragrances, candles, shampoos, shower gels, laundry detergents, etc etc.

    Sometimes the nose is indeed necessary. Especially with materials that have so many different qualities (think citrus, florals, etc). The nose can aid in picking the right quality once a certain material is determined to be present.

    The Perfumer's Apprentice printouts are extremely crude compared to what big money can buy in terms of analysis. With technology the way it is -- almost nothing can be hidden inside a perfume today. Even captives can generally be easily identified. But, of course, if they are used well, the fragrance cannot be copied so long as the patent has not expired.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Reverse engineering a perfume (cloning)

    Quote Originally Posted by aberdeengrey View Post
    You do realise that you're asking people with a genuine interest and passion about making perfume, how to steal others work ?
    Copying can be a way to learn. All great artists do that. You learn from the work of other's. It does seem like relying on a machine is cheating a bit. But, using your nose to try and reproduce other's work is an excellent way to learn.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Reverse engineering a perfume (cloning)

    Quote Originally Posted by George Tedder View Post
    Copying can be a way to learn. All great artists do that. You learn from the work of other's. It does seem like relying on a machine is cheating a bit. But, using your nose to try and reproduce other's work is an excellent way to learn.
    I learn a lot by copying formulas I find online.
    I make 30 grams total.

    I divide this 30 grams into 10 parts.
    3 grams each.
    Part 1 is kept "as is."
    This first part is kept for future reference.


    I run experiments with the other 9 parts (the other 27 grams).
    part 2 - I might make sweater
    part 2 - I might make drier
    part 3 - I might combine with other accords

    etc etc etc

  13. #13

    Default Re: Reverse engineering a perfume (cloning)

    So if i may add a question .
    I have just bought a gcms of an old famouse perfume that was translated to amounts, And molecules .
    So i dont have any idea of which eo or abs/co2 are present. Do you think i can relay on the base not directory triangle ? Or that would be far from real?
    Does anyone know a source that shows all the molecules in a all essential oils? Or for example Like searching which naturals have caryophilyn(spelling...) in them?

    Sent from my SM-G965F using Tapatalk
    Currently wearing: Y by Yves Saint Laurent

  14. #14
    Basenotes Member aberdeengrey's Avatar
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    Default Re: Reverse engineering a perfume (cloning)

    Quote Originally Posted by refael_sakura View Post
    So if i may add a question .
    I have just bought a gcms of an old famouse perfume that was translated to amounts, And molecules .
    So i dont have any idea of which eo or abs/co2 are present. Do you think i can relay on the base not directory triangle ? Or that would be far from real?
    Does anyone know a source that shows all the molecules in a all essential oils? Or for example Like searching which naturals have caryophilyn(spelling...) in them?

    Sent from my SM-G965F using Tapatalk
    https://essentialoils.org/db

    this will give %age contents for eo's and if you know a specific compound, you can search that and it will tell you what EO's contain it.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Reverse engineering a perfume (cloning)

    Quote Originally Posted by refael_sakura View Post
    Do you think i can relay on the base not directory triangle ? Or that would be far from real?
    Sorry but I haven't the faintest clue what you mean by this.

    You mention caryophyllene. This terpene is found in so many essential oils. Olfactively it is an interesting way to distinguish between, say, clove leaf and clove bud. But on the printout you won't have the faintest clue if it is actually clove leaf present. Could be from lavender, rosemary, basil, cinnamon or ylang. Of course none of these can be substituted for one another. Suppose you do smell a spice and you suspect it comes from this material. Then which to add? Cinnamon leaf? Clove leaf? Pimento Leaf? They will all alter the direction of the fragrance enough to be noticeable.

    I can repeat this story for limonene, and benzyl acetate, and linalool and so many more things. There are certain hints. For example, if you detect citrus and see dimethyl antrhanilate in your results, this is a good indication that mandarin is present. Of course, which quality is a different question (red, green, yellow?). But you get the idea. It takes a professional to identify which materials are there based off the data they are presented.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Reverse engineering a perfume (cloning)

    Quote Originally Posted by George Tedder View Post
    Sorry but I haven't the faintest clue what you mean by this.

    You mention caryophyllene. This terpene is found in so many essential oils. Olfactively it is an interesting way to distinguish between, say, clove leaf and clove bud. But on the printout you won't have the faintest clue if it is actually clove leaf present. Could be from lavender, rosemary, basil, cinnamon or ylang. Of course none of these can be substituted for one another. Suppose you do smell a spice and you suspect it comes from this material. Then which to add? Cinnamon leaf? Clove leaf? Pimento Leaf? They will all alter the direction of the fragrance enough to be noticeable.

    I can repeat this story for limonene, and benzyl acetate, and linalool and so many more things. There are certain hints. For example, if you detect citrus and see dimethyl antrhanilate in your results, this is a good indication that mandarin is present. Of course, which quality is a different question (red, green, yellow?). But you get the idea. It takes a professional to identify which materials are there based off the data they are presented.
    Yes. Thank you for the good info. Regarding the triangle.... there is a data base of the perfume and their base, middle and top note in the base note directory. Same as the fragrantica website. I m sure 100% you are familiar and my description was off... yet, do you think i can relay on these info? Or it is just a made up guidlines of the chemicals that were used to make the perfume?
    Hope i was a bit more clear this time :-)

    Sent from my SM-G965F using Tapatalk
    Currently wearing: Y by Yves Saint Laurent

  17. #17

    Default Re: Reverse engineering a perfume (cloning)

    I am on a journey of cloning perfumes in order to learn how to build different types of perfumes. I use a few ways to do this:

    1. Fragrantica - I use note pyramids to provide clues about what materials may be in the perfume.

    2. The label- the perfume label will include some of the materials used that are restricted and that have to be listed. You can be sure these will be in the perfume. The materials are listed in order of prevalence- one listed last will be found in the lowest percentage in the perfume whereas one listed first will be found in the highest percentage. The ingredient "parfum" is always the most prevalent (usually after aqua and ethanol) and is the mix of the ingredients that dont have to be listed by name

    3. Applying perfume and smelling it. Write notes on what you suspect is in the perfume and in what amount. If you are unsure If a material is in there smell the material then smell the perfume to make your mind up.

    4. Make one or more versions of the perfume
    Wait at least a month, then apply the real perfume and yours to each wrist and compare. Write notes on each to see what is missing from yours. Sometimes you may be missing a material that you may not have. This has happened to me several times. I end up buying a few materials that fit the description and most of the time I do find a suitable material for this.

    5. Work in multiples - if you are looking to clone many perfumes work on many at once. Waitint one month for a perfume to mature means you will have much time to spare.

    6. Try to get hold of any work by arctander and other authors which will explain how the materials work.

    7. Dont give up - this ie the best advice I can give. Persistence is key. If you are a complete beginner like I once was then dont give in - the first few months will be extremely difficult but you will know more as each day passes.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Reverse engineering a perfume (cloning)

    Quote Originally Posted by refael_sakura View Post
    Yes. Thank you for the good info. Regarding the triangle.... there is a data base of the perfume and their base, middle and top note in the base note directory. Same as the fragrantica website. I m sure 100% you are familiar and my description was off... yet, do you think i can relay on these info? Or it is just a made up guidlines of the chemicals that were used to make the perfume?
    Hope i was a bit more clear this time :-)

    Sent from my SM-G965F using Tapatalk
    The pyramid of notes is almost always marketing hype. It cannot hurt to have a look, but most likely the information you gather from it will be cursory. You allude to chemicals and this is correct. A perfume pyramid will never say “ambrettolide” or “cyclopentadecanone” (save some very niche brands like nomenclature, perhaps), but simply “musk.” As you’ve correctly guessed this is mostly unhelpful.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Reverse engineering a perfume (cloning)

    Quote Originally Posted by aberdeengrey View Post
    https://essentialoils.org/db

    this will give %age contents for eo's and if you know a specific compound, you can search that and it will tell you what EO's contain it.
    Thank you so much

    Sent from my SM-G965F using Tapatalk
    Currently wearing: Y by Yves Saint Laurent

  20. #20
    Basenotes Member aberdeengrey's Avatar
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    Default Re: Reverse engineering a perfume (cloning)

    Quote Originally Posted by George Tedder View Post
    Copying can be a way to learn. All great artists do that. You learn from the work of other's. It does seem like relying on a machine is cheating a bit. But, using your nose to try and reproduce other's work is an excellent way to learn.
    Yes George I agree. I am just not very enthusiastic about cloning or stealing. The original poster is looking for a one button quick fix to do just that. Its endemic in not just the creative industries and in some parts of the world its an industry in itself..

    Sent from my SM-G950F using Tapatalk




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