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  1. #1

    Lightbulb Working with Opoponax

    When I first got this, I thought 'What have I bought. This smells like diesel, chemicals and smoke mixed with some sort of booze'. Then I covered it a little with fractionated coconut oil, so I got a weaker infusion and then I realised there was warmth there as well. A sweet roundness, a little wine like with smoke in the background.

    The material is very solid, but it melts easily. I'd like to mix it with coconut oil to make it a little more workable. I tried heating it up by leaving the bottom half of the jar in warm water, at which point it mixed right in with the coconut oil but then it separates again. Can it be done?

    What do you blend it with? I was thinking of blending it with the absolute of rosa centifolia.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Working with Opoponax

    If you wish to make your Opoponax workable (is it the resin? or the Absolute?) please don't use something as expensive and as strong smelling as Rose absolute. You need to find an odourless solvent. I would suggest using Benzyl Benzoate. Seems your sample is not soluble in Coconut oil.

    As for its use. Try it with anything sweet; Gourmand or Oriental . It is found in Shalimar, and acts to calm down what would otherwise be overly sweet. It can change Vanillin into a closer approximation of Vanilla.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Working with Opoponax

    Quote Originally Posted by David Ruskin View Post
    If you wish to make your Opoponax workable (is it the resin? or the Absolute?) please don't use something as expensive and as strong smelling as Rose absolute. You need to find an odourless solvent. I would suggest using Benzyl Benzoate. Seems your sample is not soluble in Coconut oil.

    As for its use. Try it with anything sweet; Gourmand or Oriental . It is found in Shalimar, and acts to calm down what would otherwise be overly sweet. It can change Vanillin into a closer approximation of Vanilla.
    That's really interesting about the opoponax and vanillin! I have been working on a formula that needs vanilla and I am finding the phenolic aspects of vanillin too intrusive. I have switched to ethyl vanillin for now as I find it sweeter and more naturally vanilla like (though obviously in a far lower dose) and vanilla absolute didn't have the oomph I wanted. I might give your opoponax/vanillin idea a go to see what that comes out like.
    Currently wearing: V / Visa by Robert Piguet

  4. #4

    Default Re: Working with Opoponax

    Shalimar was the first fragrance to use Ethyl Vanillin, and it certainly contains Opoponax. Not sure what you mean by a phenolic note in Vanillin; shouldn't be there. Vanilla abs can have a phenolic note, but not Vanillin. Or maybe you are using natural Vanillin?

  5. #5

    Default Re: Working with Opoponax

    Quote Originally Posted by David Ruskin View Post
    Shalimar was the first fragrance to use Ethyl Vanillin, and it certainly contains Opoponax. Not sure what you mean by a phenolic note in Vanillin; shouldn't be there. Vanilla abs can have a phenolic note, but not Vanillin. Or maybe you are using natural Vanillin?
    Yeah I'm using natural vanillin. It has a slight phenolic aspect to it.
    Currently wearing: V / Visa by Robert Piguet

  6. #6

    Default Re: Working with Opoponax

    Natural Vanillin (made from Lignin?) smells more phenolic. Pure Vanillin has no phenolic character. Vanilla Abs can smells phenolic; as does Guaiacol, and Ultravanil. The last, I found impossible to use.

  7. #7
    Basenotes Institution rynegne's Avatar
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    Default Re: Working with Opoponax

    I've had luck coupling opoponax with vanilla and benzoin.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Working with Opoponax

    Oddly in this formula the addition of vanilla absolute in combination with natural vanillin seems to have done the trick - it's a nice soft vanilla now.
    Currently wearing: V / Visa by Robert Piguet

  9. #9

    Default Re: Working with Opoponax

    I used to have some opoponax absolute. It was great. After diluting in ethanol (at the time I hadn't considered benzyl benzoate), it had an off note for just the first few seconds of evaporation, which seems to be the case with many naturals.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Working with Opoponax

    I have blended helichrysum italicum with opoponax with excellent results. I would also suggest benzyl benzoate as a solvent.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Working with Opoponax

    And just to throw in an extra slightly unrelated comment - don't forget that many older fragrances used opoponax chironium - not the sort we buy these days. There is at least one supplier of opoponax chironium online that I know of (though their name evades me right now) but you have to process it yourself from raw. It smells like a gutsier richer version of the common opoponax these days.

    And, when looking at old formulae floating around on the net, make sure you are understanding it correctly - opoponax bases (unrelated to opoponax resin) were very common in older perfumes and it is easy to accidentally add opoponax resin when the original formula is expecting an amber type base. Most of the guerlain fragrances used an opoponax base made by Givaudan (no longer available) and De Laire had a few too. In fact most perfume companies probably had at least one opoponax base available in the past.
    Currently wearing: V / Visa by Robert Piguet




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