Sunday, April 10, 2011

Ask the Perfumer - Sunday, April 10, 2011 - until 10 PM EST

I'll be here until 10 PM, EST, USA, so if you have any questions, please post.  I'm working on the lilac post I promised two days ago, but life sure has a way of messing up your plans, eh? ;-)  Are the lilacs blooming where you are?  I have tips on how to capture it's scent.

19 comments:

  1. well, how do you capture it's scent?? it seems impossible.

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  2. Anya: How do we join the chat? I love the photo. Unfortunately, we don't see lilacs around Charlotte, NC - at least not to my knowledge. Do you get them in FL? I have only seen the flourish in New England where every street I walked down in the fall smelled fragrant with them. It's a fond memory!

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  3. Hi Stella:

    Nice to see you here. I always refer folks to Jeanne Rose's lilac article first - http://jeannerose.net/articles/lilac.html

    The only correction I would make to Jeanne's article is that there is a CO2 of the lilac flower available, and I'll be blogging about new developments with that hopefully later today, or tomorrow.

    I hope you can get 190 proof alcohol in VT. I know a place in Jersey where you can order 192 proof Polish vodka, and they ship, also another Jersey site for 190 proof Everclear.

    Anya

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  4. Hi DM

    When I said "Ask the Perfumer is open for lilac and other fragrant chat.Ask the Perfumer is open for lilac and other fragrant chat.", I just mean chat here on the blog ;-)

    There are no lilacs in Florida. However, the CO2 from Bulgaria I'll be blogging about soon (see previous post) has the true lilac scent, and it brought me back decades and thousands of miles to when I used to live where lilacs grew. Scent memory is such a strong emotion!

    Thanks for dropping by.

    Anya

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  5. I've been tincturing lilacs for three years now; I have a huge bush outside my front door. I didn't have any perfumer's alcohol on hand, so I used high test vodka.
    The lilacs are in season very briefly here; our spring is quite short, (and my alcohol is only 50 proof) so I keep changing out the flowers for the two weeks they are in season, and put the tincture (sans any flowers inside) on the shelf at the end of the season. This will be my third (and last year) doing the tincture. It will have achieved full strength (to my satisfaction) at the end of it. This process could probably be shortened using perfumer's alchohol, but, budgetarily, I'm here to tell you Vodka works!

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  6. Hi Anya, Which floral scent is the most difficult to capture using naturals and botanicals. why?

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  7. Hi Alwyn:

    Sounds like it's working well for you. Is your tincture cloudy? The lilacs release some water when they're put into the alcohol, and I think if you try to make perfume with it, it will definitely be cloudy, but, heck, put it in an opaque bottle! ;-)

    Did you know 190 proof Everclear is only $17/liter or so? Is it available where you are?

    I'm glad someone is nearing the end of three years of tincturing and has a great product. It took me that long with my aglaia harvest. Of course, that's only one little tree, and those flowers are the tiniest things you ever saw. Now the scent is gorgeous beyond belief, as I'm sure your lilac is.

    Anya

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  8. Hi Didier:

    There are several that have proven to be very elusive, for various reasons. Sometimes the reason is that there is no nearby industry with seasonal workers to harvest and process the flower, as the violet flower. Flowers I'd put in this category include honeysuckle, sweet pea, muguet and daphne (which may be poisonous), loquat flowers and leaves (smell like smooth lilac and hyacinth, hyacinth (one Dutch producer, sporadic yield). I, like many other passionate natural perfumers, are making our own tinctures and extracts of these elusive flowers.

    Sometimes, the flower itself has proven difficult, re: the lilac - until now!

    Thirdly, sometimes, as with the gardenia, synth gardenia scent was developed, and the gardenia extractions stopped. Now, however, due to the demand from the naturals industry, we're getting gardenia oils from China and Tahiti. I'm making gardenia enfleurage, it's very labor intensive.

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  9. Anya great photo! What can be done to make a top not linger longer than a flash? Thanks Happy Sunday

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  10. Hi Sandi:

    Well, there have been exciting developments in this area! That's what I'm going to blog about shortly. Well, when I can catch a minute, LOL. Very exciting, indeed. Historic, I'd say. Yay!

    Anya

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  11. Thanks Anya, I will watch for this blog. I noticed that I typed not instead of note been one of those days.

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  12. Well, Sandi you could have typed top knot and I would have told you to use more hair spray! ;-)

    BTW, I was only addressing the lilac as top note-vanishing problem. So, maybe I've been having a day, too, since I didn't realize what you were looking for.

    It often depends upon what top notes you're using, whether you've looked to fix them as is, whether you can use a bridge aromatic to help them segue into the middle, or careful use of isolates. There are so many mistakes being made by amateurs (well-meaning, but oy!) with isolates that I've moved forward to have someone work with me on a book, not the short course I was proposing. So stick to number 1 and 2 above, number 3 isn't ready ;-)

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  13. I love lilacs and hadn't thought of them not being in some places of the country. Well, I'm glad we have at least one nice fragrant thing that you don't have in Florida Anya :-)
    I've been putting lilac flowers in coconut oil for the past few years, but it hasn't resulted in anything too fragrant. When mine bloom (right outside the back door) I will try putting them in alcohol. I didn't see any details on Jeanne Rose's site though, is there a certain ratio of flower to alcohol that is good?

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  14. f you are making an oil based perfume, but use one essence that is tinctured in alcohol (mimosa, frangipani etc), will it meld with the rest of the essences or will it evaporate out because of it's alcohol base?

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  15. Hi:

    I'm taking it for granted there are other aromatics you're going to be adding to the oil.

    The alcohol in the oil will work. If you're using other aromatics, add them *after* you do this:

    Blend your alcohol into the oil, leave the top off for the alcohol to evaporate. The mimosa molecules, etc., will be left in the oil.

    Then, you can add the rest of your aromatics.

    Anya

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  16. In my opinion Lilacs has the most pleasant smell. It is perfect for a perfume.

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  17. thanks, anya, i'll read it and prepare for lilac week!

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  18. Very strange...

    I got up this morning and after my shower, walked up to my perfume cabinet containing at least 100 perfumes, some new but mostly my favorites. I asked myself what I wanted to wear today and looked around a bit, then came across a small bottle of lilac perfume. It's the synthetic kind but the perfumer did a surprisingly good job on it because it reminds me of subtle but fragrant lilacs,a scent I miss from my childhood and rarely get to smell from the perfumes out in the marketplace.

    When you get that ex trait you're looking for make sure you tell all of us and I will be one of the first to create a perfume from it. Thanks for all the great information!

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  19. Very strange...

    I got up this morning and after my shower, walked up to my perfume cabinet containing at least 100 perfumes, some new but mostly my favorites. I asked myself what I wanted to wear today and looked around a bit, then came across a small bottle of lilac perfume. It's the synthetic kind but the perfumer did a surprisingly good job on it because it reminds me of subtle but fragrant lilacs,a scent I miss from my childhood and rarely get to smell from the perfumes out in the marketplace.

    When you get that ex trait you're looking for make sure you tell all of us and I will be one of the first to create a perfume from it. Thanks for all the great information!

    ReplyDelete

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