Balancing a formula

Jolieo

Basenotes Dependent
Feb 18, 2018
So I am still messing with my galangal formula.I have the first one I just took a stab in the dark at- that turned out pretty good: it needs more in the middle.
So I went back to the drawing board and took the core 4 materials-and now I am going to mess about. Tried to find a material that matched galangal in core components, but no luck.
So now I want to start filling the curve. I know that some of the materials from the first iteration worked - but it the spirit of not just guessing- I want to balance it.
I could balance the base, balance the top, balance the mid, balance the musks- then balance the whole thing
OR
I could add one material at a time- but with only 7 materials in current formula, what is the hierarchy? So I have galangal, blue hemlock,butter co2,Jasmine tea,patchoulol crystals , Nagarmotha and Iris abs as the concentrate
I know that Siam wood , guaiac wood are going in , maybe gurjun too- some Vetiver ( not sure which one)
my favorite bergamotier petit grain is going in
i will make a musk mix-
I would like tiny ambroxan
I think tiny pea
one of the oily no smells will be tried.
perhaps linalool Linalyl acetate
i have many teas- might try to keep that the mid
so where do I start?
i also need either more acs or isolates
also my co2 have water in them- how long in concentrate before I have to worry about microbes? How much ethanol cures that? I miss Bill
 
Feb 17, 2022
It kind of sounds like this is exactly the sort of question that the Jean Carles method seeks to answer methodically. Isn't it?

As to your last question; it depends on a lot of factors, like temperature sanitation/sterility, and the type of extract itself. Some extracts are pretty good antimicrobial agents (being somewhat toxic) in and of themselves. The bottom line is, once contamination occurs in an environment in which the microbes can grow, it's just a matter of time. Every hour sees the cell counts multiply. But very few microbes can survive in concentrations of Ethanol greater than 25% or so. Virtually none will survive in concentrations higher than 40%.
 

Jolieo

Basenotes Dependent
Feb 18, 2018
Yes the Jean Carles method - but no one talks of hierarchy- which does one balance first?
or in groups? I know it’s perfumers prerogative- I am curious how people actually tackle it.
i am thinking to try to get spacers in first so the lowest odor in first- but again , I will love any insights
 
Feb 17, 2022
I am a beginner, so I like to work in twos or threes--starting with the heart notes and base notes.

This might be worth a try, as it is a technique I've been playing with:

Make a "middle accord" and a "bottom accord" for your scent. Do this by experimenting with 2-3 materials, until you have a balanced middle accord and bottom accord that are both to your liking, and then test combining these two in different proportions (I like to start with a 5:2 ratio as a baseline). This will often give you a good "core" or skeleton to build the rest of your fragrance on; though you may have to still do some tweaking of individual material amounts.

Then experiment with adding the top notes; once that's done, then you have core of your fragrance, or the skeleton, that you can start considering adding additional parts and nuances. It's said that as you get better at this, you will be able to work with larger numbers of raw materials at once too, but for now 3 at a time is plenty for me to be getting on with.

Jean Carles's original paper from the 1960's suggested using "drops" to do this step. Because it's a lot faster. I have had good results taking that technique and modernizing it slightly by using a laboratory pipettor, because it allows you to measure out very consistent volumes (say .1ml) every single time. When done this way, You are always using consistently measurable and replicable quantities. That way, when you get the ratios balanced to your satisfaction, it is fairly easy to convert the volumetric measurements into a mass measurements for a proper formula.

Sorry if that's TMI lol. I'm new to perfumery too so take all that with a big grain of salt, as I've no doubt that the more experienced people here could offer much better advice about how to do it, but I thought I'd share what I've been doing since I have been somewhat satisfied with how that's been working for me.
 

NobleScent

Long Time Lurker
Dec 26, 2020
I will love any insights.

This thread had a fairly sizable comment about that was semi-related.

For something simple like an accord with few ingredients I go one by one starting with the primary constituent.
For example for lavender I'd do Linalyl Acetate and Linalool first and then I trickle down to the top notes and trace elements.

For a perfume or fragrance, depending on my goal I'd go with balancing the top/middle/base notes OR olfactory group (individually) and then blend those together. This is where having many prebuilt accords can speed things up.

As another example I have something I'm working on now, it's loosely based around a fougere with spice, berry, citrus, and subtle green notes.

So when recreating the (19th) iteration this morning, I DO wind up adding things and making notes to the WHOLE formula at large , I usually add them in order of olfactory importance tweaking as I go. Today I wanted to substantially lower the green note in it, and I added the green notes LAST and did most corrections on the spot.

I often go back and reconstruct from the bottom up tweaking the individual parts and reblending them all back together. Or I'll have the green "accord" prebuilt and then Jean Carles it back in.

Honestly it's whatever works for you. You're free to do it whichever way seems to work for you intuitively and I dislike when we say "you SHALL do it this way". If you can REPEAT the formula, and get CONSISTENT and MEASURED results than the only limit is cost and time efficiency.
 

Jolieo

Basenotes Dependent
Feb 18, 2018
Working methods to get results are the most used thing-like in anything - not knowing where to start is the biggest issue
i think I am going to try to add some low volume first - but because it will be unrelated( galangal being the prominent first note and it has nothing related available) I’ll mess with it but it might not work well
 

RSG

Basenotes Junkie
Nov 26, 2016
For me personally balancing the bottom or making a base is pretty easy but IMO it's important to do this first so that you can smell your base notes as you are working.

Then usually I find the heart the hardest to make "characteristic" and spend a long time on it. Once I get 50% happy with it I can start mixing it with the base knowing that it's fine and knowing that I can smell the heart notes on top of it.

Once I am happy with that I start working on the top notes. I find top notes pretty easy for me too knowing that everything underneath the top notes that I'm not smelling is ok. I can also design the top notes taking into account everything else in the formula without making it unbalanced at the end. Of course, there are variations on this theme like making 3 base trials and 3 heart trials and mixing them in different proportions to figure out what is the best balance. Or even splitting a mid-point into two and trialing a couple of top note mixes on top of them.

Since you already have a fairly complete small formula made you may have to try something like finding the longest lasting note you have now like iris abs and pairing it with vetiver. Work from bottom to top. Keep good notes and at the end you should be able to pour almost everything together to make your final formula.

Since galangal is spicy try researching ways to extend cardamom. Cardamom aldehyde 1%, maceal 10%, Maybe try cardamom abs or ginger abs. Try fresh ginger co2. Ethyl linalyl acetate is a fantastic top note for galangal.

A lot of spicy things and naturals, in general, can do with a hit of pine materials. I see the blue hemlock but maybe also fir abs for the base or rosamusk in the top. If you like tea in the heart look into nerolidol.

Cedar also pairs nicely with galangal and cedar adjacent like cashmeran or cedryl acetate.

When trying to keep things characteristic I find using salicylates and resinous or waxy smells to be helpful. Bisbolene, elemol, ethyl laurate, hexenyl salicylate, benzyl salicylate. Or if looking for more spicy freshness hexyl benzoate.

Poivrol is a great spicy heart note that smells peppery but when used on the low end like .5% it can coexist in the middle with galangal. A lot of the time galangal is also paired with muguet and jasmine materials. Maybe leaning masculine and creamy so mayol and jasmolactone.
 

Jolieo

Basenotes Dependent
Feb 18, 2018
For me personally balancing the bottom or making a base is pretty easy but IMO it's important to do this first so that you can smell your base notes as you are working.

Then usually I find the heart the hardest to make "characteristic" and spend a long time on it. Once I get 50% happy with it I can start mixing it with the base knowing that it's fine and knowing that I can smell the heart notes on top of it.

Once I am happy with that I start working on the top notes. I find top notes pretty easy for me too knowing that everything underneath the top notes that I'm not smelling is ok. I can also design the top notes taking into account everything else in the formula without making it unbalanced at the end. Of course, there are variations on this theme like making 3 base trials and 3 heart trials and mixing them in different proportions to figure out what is the best balance. Or even splitting a mid-point into two and trialing a couple of top note mixes on top of them.

Since you already have a fairly complete small formula made you may have to try something like finding the longest lasting note you have now like iris abs and pairing it with vetiver. Work from bottom to top. Keep good notes and at the end you should be able to pour almost everything together to make your final formula.

Since galangal is spicy try researching ways to extend cardamom. Cardamom aldehyde 1%, maceal 10%, Maybe try cardamom abs or ginger abs. Try fresh ginger co2. Ethyl linalyl acetate is a fantastic top note for galangal.

A lot of spicy things and naturals, in general, can do with a hit of pine materials. I see the blue hemlock but maybe also fir abs for the base or rosamusk in the top. If you like tea in the heart look into nerolidol.

Cedar also pairs nicely with galangal and cedar adjacent like cashmeran or cedryl acetate.

When trying to keep things characteristic I find using salicylates and resinous or waxy smells to be helpful. Bisbolene, elemol, ethyl laurate, hexenyl salicylate, benzyl salicylate. Or if looking for more spicy freshness hexyl benzoate.

Poivrol is a great spicy heart note that smells peppery but when used on the low end like .5% it can coexist in the middle with galangal. A lot of the time galangal is also paired with muguet and jasmine materials. Maybe leaning masculine and creamy so mayol and jasmolactone.
Oh thank you soooo much for replying- I don’t know why I’m in love with this idea, but I truly am-and I couldn’t figure out how to do it.(because galangal has no leads) I was about to buy Ayala Moriel’s book ( which I still may) because I tried benzyl salicylate, iso e, hedione- just at a starting point at 5% of concentrate- and they did nothing for the perfume, and muted even a bit- since I want to keep what I have , I was going to try linalyl acetate, and linalool next- but then I was out of ideas -so RSG , this is a huge help!!
i am again very excited!! Thank you!!
 
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