Monday, September 17, 2012

The Oozy-ness of oakmoss and a call to suppliers for sensible packaging

Not the prettiest picture I've ever posted, but working with oakmoss isn't pretty!
On the left you can see the slurry oozing out of the bottle neck a bit - and on the right, the primordial reception pool.  Plop, plop.

Lisa asked a question in my weekly "Ask the Perfumer" forum yesterday, and it is timely.  She asked about the safety of oakmoss, a known sensitizer. I need some more for my Outlaw fragrance wax melts in my Room Candy line.  They contain oakmoss, bergamot and lime - yummy chypre!  I am also getting my assistant ready to pour a lot of kits for my students and customers, and bottle of 3% oakmoss dilution is included.

Anyway, I'm sensitized to it, but I know people who could bathe in the stuff and not have a problem. Besides the sensitization, my problem with oakmoss and other thick aromatics, even those that don't cause a problem for me, and that is that suppliers still bottle them in narrow-necked bottles that require a lot of warming to semi-liquify to pour.

Well, first of all, I don't think they need to be "poured" to decant for dilution or incorporation into a compound.  Every perfumer should know weight procedures for working with aromatics, and a wide-mouth jar would be perfect for these thickies, like oakmoss, labdanum, blond tobacco, et al.

I was just too lazy to do the bain marie today, so I popped the opened bottle of almost-full 8 oz of oakmoss abs into the microwave for 22 seconds (700 watts).  Looked, ok, no progess. I know oakmoss can be wild and crazy, though so 22 seconds more.  Opened the door just in time - it was oozing up the neck of the bottle and about to do a Mt. Vesuvius.

Upended it into a mason jar, and you see the beginning of the decant above.  What a hassle, but each time I need it from now on, I'll just have to scoop some with a stainless steel carving tool (the one I recommend to my students, as it's sturdy and non-reactive), put the ooze into a flask for weighing, and I'm done.

Please ask your suppliers to begin packaging their thick stuff in jars.  Some are, but others remain old school, and maybe with some encouragement, they'll make life easier for us.

1 comment:

  1. I wouldn't heat it up in a microwave. It will ruin the essence.


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