Sunday, October 03, 2010

Ask the Perfumer - Sunday, October 3, 2010 - 10 a.m. to 10 PM EST

I'll be here on and off all day to answer your perfumery questions. Hope y'all are enjoying the weather and having fun!

16 comments:

  1. Good morning Anya,

    Last week you mentioned that ambrette seed should be blended with some alcohol to help preserve it. Would blending with jojoba oil and/or fractionated coconut oil provide similar protection to ambrette seed oil? Does ambrette seed absolute have a longer 'shelf' life' than ambrette seed essential oil?

    Other than the citrus oils ambrette seed and boronia, are there any other oils that you can think of off the top of your head that require fixing and/or refrigeration?

    Interestingly enough, my word verification for this post is 'muskigue'. :)

    Thanks so much, Lisa

    ReplyDelete
  2. Good day Anya!

    I hope I find you well :)

    I am curious, if you may know this: Do perfumers (generally or your own experience) list all their notes in description of their perfume?

    I browsed few perfumers and I saw 5 or 6 listed notes (Mandy for example). Is that all or is there some notes which are not listed (intentionally or not)? Which one are not on the list? The one that are not in higher percentage or?

    I know some perfumers (JoAnne) always write "xxxxx...and others" so that gives me answer for her perfumes.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi Lisa:

    Jojoba and FCO would not help preventing rancidity.

    Here's where it gets tricky re: ambrette seed oil/absolute:

    From Arctander:
    It is produced from
    the essential (distilled) oil either by neutralization and subsequent elimination of the fatty acids, or
    it is steam distilled from the extracted (true) concrete. In other words, the absolute is the
    essential oil minus the fatty acids which are solid and insoluble in cold alcohol. They also tend to
    produce a rancid odor in ambrette seed oil upon ageing. Ambrette Seed Absolute is thus not a true
    absolute according to the definitions in this book.

    Isn't that an eye-opener?

    Since ambrette seed CO2 (not mentioned in Arctander) contains a lot of fatty acids, you must use the alcohol method to help prevent rancidity.

    There is a difference between the essential oil produced from the whole seed vs. the crushed seed. The crushed seed releases the fatty acids = potential rancidity.

    Arctander says of "Ambrette Seed Oil":

    When Ambrette Seeds are distilled whole (uncrushed), a liquid essential oil is produced. This
    oil contains only small amounts of the odorless palmitic acid. Crushed seeds yield a solid essential oil (so-called “concrete’”; compare this to “Orris
    Concr&e”). The solid oil contains a very high amount of palmitic acid, and the oil is quite
    similar to the concrete extraction product (true Ambrette Seed Concrete).

    I regard alcohol as a necessary preservative for any ambrette seed "oil" you purchase.

    The list of oils that needs refrigeration is long, and citrus and boronia are just the beginning. All blue oils, conifer oils, and many others. If in doubt, refrigerate. Also, when removing them from the fridge to obtain some for blending, return the bottle to the fridge immediately. Otherwise, you risk condensation forming inside.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Ankica, I can't answer for anybody but myself, but I do not believe that perfumers always list the notes. There may be many reasons for this, but you'd have to contact them directly to find out. Like any artist, a perfumer has artistic license ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thank you for your detailed response, Anya.

    Ankica, I would imagine that a perfumer would not want to list all the notes in their perfumes to keep a little mystery. It is actually fun and educational to try and figure out which notes were not listed but can be detected with some luck and experience. Try blending the listed notes and then compare with the original perfume. The missing notes in your home blend should pop out at you in your original perfume. At least they might on a good day.

    My apologies Anya for hijacking your blog. Feel free to not post this...your call.

    Peace, Lisa

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thank you both for comments. I saw that some perfumers put 9 notes, so I though that could be it, full number (3+3+3).

    I think, one day, I will put all my ingrediants... for the sake of allergies...

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi Anya,

    I recently ordered a small perfumery kit, and I selected about 20 fragrance oils to begin my first experiments with. I also have some essential oils and I was wondering if mixing up essential oils and fragrance oils is a good idea. Essential oils are expensive, and that's why I don't think I should use them until I gain some experience in perfume making. Also, I would like to know what kind of alcohol I should use. Is it ok to use bottled water instead of distilled water? I am a beginner, and any information would be helpful.
    Thank you in advance!

    Monika

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hi Anya,

    I recently ordered a small perfumery kit, and I selected about 20 fragrance oils to begin my first experiments with. I also have some essential oils and I was wondering if mixing up essential oils and fragrance oils is a good idea. Essential oils are expensive, and that's why I don't think I should use them until I gain some experience in perfume making. Also, I would like to know what kind of alcohol I should use. Is it ok to use bottled water instead of distilled water? I am a beginner, and any information would be helpful.
    Thank you in advance!

    Monika

    ReplyDelete
  9. Anya,

    Thank you for the information you've been sharing about ambrette seed. You had previously mentioned adding 10% by weight alcohol to ambrette seed EO, and so I'm assuming I should also add 10% alcohol to Ambrette seed Co2? And if i make an oil infusion of crushed seeds, add 10% alcohol, also? Have you ever made a tincture with whole seeds? (I've only done it with crushed seeds.)

    Thank you,

    Autumn

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hi Monika:

    I've never mixed FOs and EOs, so I don't know how that would work out. Personally, I'd stick with one or the other.

    You can get Everclear 190 proof alcohol in some states. Shoppers Vineyard in NJ has it, and can ship it.

    Use distilled water, otherwise, microorganisms like bacteria or fungi can grow in your blend. HTH.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hi Autumn:

    10% is a good rule of thumb. However, when making a tincture, you already have alcohol, so no need to add more. Typical ambrette seed tinctures are 25% seed, 75% alcohol, by weight.

    Tincture the uncrushed seed - you'll like the result. I like both types, and use them for different scent effects.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Anya,

    Thank you very much for the information! I really appreciate your help! Enjoy the nice weather and have a wonderful day!

    Monika

    ReplyDelete
  13. Anya,

    I had another question, as I'd noticed a comment you had left on another blog stating that much of the information on perfumer's alcohol on Snowdrift Farm's website is incorrect. Is this regarding government regulations, or something else?

    Thank you,

    Autumn

    ReplyDelete
  14. Yes, Autumn, it's the government regs. You can purchase and use the alcohol once you pay the tax. Period. Also, I'd never use alcohol that's denatured, especially if the denaturent gave it a strong smell.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Anya,

    I just found vodka Smirnoff 100% proof in Binny's. Do you think I can use it instead of Everclear?
    Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Wow, very nice and interesting blog ! I loved natural parfumes too.

    ReplyDelete

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.