Diluting Vanillin / Ethyl Vanillin Crystals (Aroma Chemicals) and Isolates

stylez_911

Well-known member
Feb 27, 2015
Hi Everyone,

I'm relatively new to DIY fragrance creation, and i'm currently experimenting with creating simple oil-based fragrances (roll on) as well as alcohol-based (spray).

For my oil-based perfumes, I am using fractionated coconut oil or rice bran oil as carrier oils.

For my alcohol based perfumes, I am using perfumer's alcohol.

For my fragrant compositions, I am currently blending essential oils, absolutes, and fragrance oils - however, I have recently purchased a few aroma chemicals and isolates to provide my blends with different accords and I am hoping somebody would kindly help me better understand how to dilute these chemicals / isolates to make them safe for application and addition to my blends.

First, I am trying to create a particular vanilla accord by combining some vanilla absolute oils with vanillin / ethyl vanillin aroma chemicals that I just received; however, I am having difficulty understanding the proper methods of diluting the vanillin crystals for use in either oil-based or alcohol-based compositions.

My goal at this point is to pre-dilute the vanillin and ethyl vanillin crystals in a solvent(s), which will allow me to simply store them as liquids (1 or 2 oz. bottles) which can either be added to oil-based blends or alcohol-based compositions quickly and easily.

I would like to create these vanillin/ethyl vanillin dilutions in a way that will be safe for skin application on contact, as I understand these are very strong chemicals that can be skin irritants.

In light of the above, here are my main questions:

1) What solvent(s) would work best for diluting vanillin / ethyl vanillin crystals for both oil-based and perfumers alcohol-based fragrances? I have Propylene Glycol and was considering using Dipropylene Glycol, but after reading that PG is not very useful in fragrances, I have decided to stay away from it. Is DPG a better option? Would that work in both alcohol and carrier-oil fragrances or would another solvent work better (and safer for health considerations etc.). I have even seen 10% pre-dilutions of Ethyl vanillin in DPG available online for purchase; however, I'm not sure that DPG is the right (safest) solvent as it is known to cause kidney issues. Perhaps there is another pre-diluted vanillin out there that will fit the bill and be versatile enough for use in oil and alcohol based blends?

2) What % dilutions would be safe for the dilutions to be safe for skin contact and for overall blending with other oils, in a way that would be as simple as adding drops like an EO or FO? I have read that 1% - 10% dilutions would be fine, but considering I would likely be adding the dilution to a composition that will later be further diluted into a carrier-oil base or alcohol base, would that mean the 10% dilution would be better since it will be further diluted in the composition later?

3) What is a recommended scale to use for weighing these dilutions (dissolving crystals) in small amounts (0.5 oz)?

4) Do Natural Isolates need to be pre-diluted before adding it to a fragrance blend? Or will post-blend dilution into carrier-oil / alcohol be enough? I just received a Pineapple Isolate from Aftelier Perfumes and was just wondering if it will act similar to EO/FO's or if it should be treated differently when used in blends.

5) Do Aroma Chemicals such as Benzyl Benzoate need to be pre-diluted before blending with other EO's / FO's in a blend? or will post-blend dilution of the full composition be enough?

I received a bottle of Benzyl Benzoate and Nerolidol and was wondering how those can be added to blends as fixatives.

6) What % of the blends should Benzyl Benzoate and Nerolidol take up? For example, in a 1 oz. blend?

7) Can aroma chemicals / in liquid form be added to blends as % in volume? or does it need to be in weight?

--

I do understand that many of these questions might be answered in other threads, and some might even sound stupid; however, I have tried looking around but was not able to find the answers on my own.

This is more of a hobby than anything and I have spent a lot of money already on materials so far; however, i'm realizing that it might all go to waste unless I figure out ways to create blends that are safe, and blends that will not dissipate after 30 minutes of application.

I do not care too much for using aroma chemicals; however I understand that to achieve the vanilla accord I want, I need to use vanillin, and to give my blends some staying power, fixatives such as Benzyl Benzoate will be useful.

I am just trying to better understand how to incorporate those into my blends without them being harmful to health and to dilute them properly for quick and easy use later.

Please excuse my ignorance if any of my questions above have been answered already in other threads, and if they happen to be silly or dumb to some who are more educated in the art (and science) of perfumery.

I would greatly appreciate any advice that anyone has to offer.

Kind regards,
Shane
 

David Ruskin

Well-known member
May 28, 2009
So many questions! I'm not going to answer them all, not even a fraction of them. However I will try to answer a few. Here goes.

Neither Vanillin nor Ethyl Vanillin are skin irritants. A good concentration to work with is 10.0% or 1.0%; you will have to smell these and decide for yourself. The best solvent for Vanillin and Ethyl Vanillin is DPG. DPG is perfectly safe for use in Perfumery. DPG is the best solvent for use in Ethanol. However if you with to use a solution of Vanillin in a fixed oil, DPG is not so good. You may have trouble getting Vanillin or Ethyl Vanillin to dissolve in a fixed oil. You could try making up a solution of Vanillin or Ethyl Vanillin in a mixture of Benzyl Benzoate and Benzyl Alcohol. I would try a 50:50 mix of Benzyl Benzoate and Benzyl Alcohol as your solvent, and make a 10.0% solution.

I leave it to others to try and answer some of the other questions.
 

stylez_911

Well-known member
Feb 27, 2015
Hi David,

Thank you very much for your suggestions; it is great to know that DPG is safe for use in Perfumery and that Vanillin and Ethyl Vanillin are not skin irritants.

I think you've sold me on the DPG idea for the alcohol based fragrances.

With regards to the 50:50 mix of Benzyl Benzoate and Benzyl Alcohol, that is for use as a solvent for dilution for oil-based fragrances, correct?

Also, once diluted, can the vanillin be added to essential oils by the drop? or does fancy weighing with scales have to come into play?

Thanks so much again!

Cheers,
Shane
 

stylez_911

Well-known member
Feb 27, 2015
I would use IPM when wishing to use in either ethanol or oil-based formulas.

Hi Bill,

Thanks for your suggestion; however, I am not too familiar with "IPM".

Please forgive my ignorance, but would you mind expanding on what that is?

Many thanks,
Shane
 

Bill Roberts

Well-known member
Mar 1, 2013
Apologies for the abbreviation: it's isopropyl myristate. Either Perfumer's Apprentice or Creatingperfume.com, or likely both, have it, as do many suppliers.

It is an ester of a natural fatty acid; whatever is absorbed by the skin becomes isopropyl alcohol and the natural fatty acid, myristic acid. At low concentrations it's even chosen sometimes to improve the feel properties of a skin oil; for example, it makes up a large part of Neutrogena's light body oil.

It has good ability to dissolve most aromachemicals and all essential oils, and is itself soluble in both ethanol and oils such as fractionated coconut oil.

Unlike the above, I don't myself have information on its use in commercial perfumes, but it's been posted here (unfortunately my memory is too poor to confidently give credit where it is deserved, but best bet Paul Kiler?) that it has been used in quite substantial percentages of formula in some commercial perfumes.

By percentage of formula, I mean that if for example the perfume is at 20% strength (20% is fragrance concentrate and the other 80% is alcohol) then 10% of formula would be 10% of the concentrate, but only 2% of the finished product.
 
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David Ruskin

Well-known member
May 28, 2009
Hi David,

Thank you very much for your suggestions; it is great to know that DPG is safe for use in Perfumery and that Vanillin and Ethyl Vanillin are not skin irritants.

I think you've sold me on the DPG idea for the alcohol based fragrances.

With regards to the 50:50 mix of Benzyl Benzoate and Benzyl Alcohol, that is for use as a solvent for dilution for oil-based fragrances, correct?

Also, once diluted, can the vanillin be added to essential oils by the drop? or does fancy weighing with scales have to come into play?

Thanks so much again!

Cheers,
Shane
I have only ever worked using weights; for everything. I have never worked by volume, although there are many on this site who do so. I guess it is a matter of what you are used to.

The Benzyl Benzoate/Benzyl Alcohol mix is a solvent for the oil based fragrances. The reason I suggested it was that it works really well in Candle perfumery, when trying to make a fragrance containing a lot of Vanillin. DPG cannot be used in a Candle fragrance, and the solvents that are used are not very good to dissolve Vanillin. Benzyl Benzoate/Benzyl Alcohol seems to work well, and I thought it would work as well for you. However if Bill's suggestion works too I would go with that. Seems to be a simpler way to go, and simple is always best.

May I make a suggestion? Have you read all of the Stickies at the top of this Forum? If not, you really should, they will help enormously.
 

stylez_911

Well-known member
Feb 27, 2015
Apologies for the abbreviation: it's isopropyl myristate. Either Perfumer's Apprentice or Creatingperfume.com, or likely both, have it, as do many suppliers.

It is an ester of a natural fatty acid; whatever is absorbed by the skin becomes isopropyl alcohol and the natural fatty acid, myristic acid. At low concentrations it's even chosen sometimes to improve the feel properties of a skin oil; for example, it makes up a large part of Neutrogena's light body oil.

It has good ability to dissolve most aromachemicals and all essential oils, and is itself soluble in both ethanol and oils such as fractionated coconut oil.

Unlike the above, I don't myself have information on its use in commercial perfumes, but it's been posted here (unfortunately my memory is too poor to confidently give credit where it is deserved, but best bet Paul Kiler?) that it has been used in quite substantial percentages of formula in some commercial perfumes.

By percentage of formula, I mean that if for example the perfume is at 20% strength (20% is fragrance concentrate and the other 80% is alcohol) then 10% of formula would be 10% of the concentrate, but only 2% of the finished product.

Hi Bill,

That does sounds great - especially since it is soluable in both carrier oils as well as alcohol. That would give me the freedom to store it as a neutral component in a bottle that can be added to either base as I see fit.

Thanks for the suggestion.

With your experience with IPM, does it have an odor on it's own that will effect the blend in any way?

Also, would the 10% (or so) concentrate be basically 10% vanillin / ethyl vanillin to 90% IPM? then once the dilution is created, that can then be added to my blends as I see fit as part of the 20% fragrance concentrate?
 

stylez_911

Well-known member
Feb 27, 2015
I have only ever worked using weights; for everything. I have never worked by volume, although there are many on this site who do so. I guess it is a matter of what you are used to.

The Benzyl Benzoate/Benzyl Alcohol mix is a solvent for the oil based fragrances. The reason I suggested it was that it works really well in Candle perfumery, when trying to make a fragrance containing a lot of Vanillin. DPG cannot be used in a Candle fragrance, and the solvents that are used are not very good to dissolve Vanillin. Benzyl Benzoate/Benzyl Alcohol seems to work well, and I thought it would work as well for you. However if Bill's suggestion works too I would go with that. Seems to be a simpler way to go, and simple is always best.

May I make a suggestion? Have you read all of the Stickies at the top of this Forum? If not, you really should, they will help enormously.

I do appreciate all of your suggestions David, and I am indeed in the process of reading those stickies.

As for weight scales, are there any that you would recommend?
 

Bill Roberts

Well-known member
Mar 1, 2013
IPM is odorless.

I don't know the solubility of vanillin in IPM, or in anything really: my recollection is that in general, for various solvents, it's a material with unusually low solubility for an aromachemical. My own stock solution is 1% in ethanol but I think it will dissolve more, but not necessarily 10%.

Looking it up now, Sigma Aldrich says 5% in ethanol: https://www.sigmaaldrich.com/conten...igma/Product_Information_Sheet/1/v2375pis.pdf

This source gives information suggesting that solubility in soybean oil is about 3%, though the method isn't specifically the way one would choose to measure solubility: http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/bk-1995-0610.ch012

Solubility in IPM should be at least as good as in soybean oil.

In most cases one doesn't want vanillin to be highly concentrated in a fragrance anyway, so that concentration could well suffice for you. You might be able to get more.

With ethyl vanillin, I would be very surprised if 10% were not possible.
 

Bill Roberts

Well-known member
Mar 1, 2013
And yes, you could build your final product using diluted material, though if all your diluted materials were at say 10%, then the final product could not be more concentrated than 10%. To be able to achieve 20% this way, the majority of your solutions should be at 20%.

Some could be lower, and this could be made up at the end by adding some materials as pure rather than as dilutions.

Commonly, trials will be made with stock solutions, and the concentration does not really matter for this so long as it's strong enough to work well with, and not too strong too work well with, or so strong as to be using much more materials than necessary. Actual making of final formulations though may be directly by weighing, for the most part. Though materials that are present only in very small quantity may be best added by adding diluted material, so the weight will be large enough to be accurately weighed.

For example, if your scale weighs only to 0.01 g, you don't want to be weighing out only 0.2 or 0.3 g at a time. The percentage error would be huge. I'd want to be weighing out at least 0.5 g a time with such a scale. I might use a diluted material to be able to get the weight to that amount without having to make a huge amount of formula.

(I'd suggest however getting a scale that reads to 0.001 g: the above was just to make illustration more striking. But scales such as the above absolutely are out there, and used.)
 

stylez_911

Well-known member
Feb 27, 2015
IPM is odorless.

I don't know the solubility of vanillin in IPM, or in anything really: my recollection is that in general, for various solvents, it's a material with unusually low solubility for an aromachemical. My own stock solution is 1% in ethanol but I think it will dissolve more, but not necessarily 10%.

With ethyl vanillin, I would be very surprised if 10% were not possible.

Okay, so you currently have a solution that contains 1% vanillin in 99% ethanol, correct?

So, if I was to say create my own vanillin solution using perfumer's alcohol as a solvent, I simply dissolve 1% vanillin to 99% alcohol?

I have both Ethyl Vanillin crystals and vanillin - not sure which to proceed with at this point.
 

stylez_911

Well-known member
Feb 27, 2015
For my blends, I plan to use literally 99% essential oils and absolutes.

It's just the addition of a vanillin-based solution that I need to figure out how to bring that into the mix.

I do not plan on creating anything too fancy or chemical-driven, just this one Vanillin solution...

I would normally just blend those oils to get my fragrance blend, then once satisfied, I would dilute the blend in a carrier oil or alcohol to finish the fragrance off.

However, adding the vanillin to the mix to get that vanilla accord i'm looking for is the issue here, as everything seems overly complex to someone without advanced knowledge on perfumery.

Ideally, I would love to blend some vanillin, along with vanilla absolute oils to get the accord i'm looking for, and from there, create a larger scale solution (1 oz.) that I can easily blend with my other essential oils to give it that vanilla aroma, and from there, proceed as I normally would by diluting the entire blend with carrier oil or perfumer's alcohol.

I am hoping somebody can help me understand how to go about simply creating a 1 oz. go-to vanilla solution that is comprised of vanillin/ethyl vanillin as well as vanilla absolute oils that are soluble in carrier oil or alcohol, and can be easily added to my blends.

A quick and straightforward process like the following would be tremendous:

Step 1) Take 0.99 oz. Perfumer's Alcohol (for alcohol based solution) or 0.99 oz. of DPG or IPM
Step 2) Dissolve 0.01 oz. of vanillin crystals into the base (as noted above)
Step 3) Bottle and let sit for x hours
Step 4) Done.
Step 5) When creating new blends of essential / absolute oils, add drops of new vanilla solution until desired aroma is achieved.
Step 6) When desired aroma is achieved, mix 20% of your fragrance concentration with 80% alcohol or carrier oil and voila.

Although I completely understand it is more complicated than that, I encourage and would much appreciate being spoken to like i'm a 6 year old :)
 

Bill Roberts

Well-known member
Mar 1, 2013
Okay, so you currently have a solution that contains 1% vanillin in 99% ethanol, correct?

So, if I was to say create my own vanillin solution using perfumer's alcohol as a solvent, I simply dissolve 1% vanillin to 99% alcohol?

You could. However you would have problems if wanting to add much of that to an fractionated coconut oil formula, as not much would mix.

If diluting into ethanol, you might want a higher concentration such as 5%. I only happen to have it at 1% myself.

I would try both vanillin and ethyl vanillin to see what you like. Ethyl vanillin is I think more common in perfumery; one reason is that it has less tendency to discolor the formula. They smell a little different, see what works for you.
 

Bill Roberts

Well-known member
Mar 1, 2013
Your procedure for making your working 1% solution is fine, though the sitting step is unnecessary. Once fully dissolved, no particles visible, it's ready to use.

I would add in a process of diluting essential oils to 20% to have solutions to work with. You can do a lot more work with a given amount of essential oils when doing this than when working with them "straight."
 

stylez_911

Well-known member
Feb 27, 2015
If diluting into ethanol, you might want a higher concentration such as 5%. I only happen to have it at 1% myself.
.

So, based on your response, does this sound accurate and sensical then?:

1) Alcohol-based ethyl vanillin solution (for blending into alcohol-based blends):

5% Ethyl Vanillin crystals dissolved into 95% Perfumer's Alcohol, DPG, OR IPM (5% dilution)

2) Ethyl vanillin solution (for blending with oil-based blends only) - fractionated coconut oil or other carrier oil:

1% Ethyl Vanillin crystals dissolved into 99% IPM(1% dilution) - as DPG is usually no good for oil-based blends

--

Does that make sense? or would concentrations be higher/lower depending on the solvent?
 

stylez_911

Well-known member
Feb 27, 2015
I would add in a process of diluting essential oils to 20% to have solutions to work with. You can do a lot more work with a given amount of essential oils when doing this than when working with them "straight."

So by this you mean creating solutions for each essential oil / absolute note, say in 20% concentrations? (ie 20% essential oil / absolute to 80% solvent)?

I understand that some notes might need further dilution than others though.

If I have 20% dilutions of all of my oils all ready to go in bottles, you're saying it's easier to just mix them like that by appropriate ratios as opposed to mixing the straight oils then adding alcohol later?

Again, please forgive my ignorance as I try my best to clarify.
 

stylez_911

Well-known member
Feb 27, 2015
I'm starting to think that perhaps simply creating ethanol (Perfumer's Alcohol) based solutions and sticking with alcohol-based fragrances is easier than using oils.

I can then simply use DPG as a solvent for aroma chemicals as I know that DPG is alcohol soluble and is safe and does not cause skin irritation.

The only issue I see with this is that using alcohol, I worry that unless I start adding additional fixatives and chemicals, I won't get good projection or longevity - unless I am assuming wrong.

How would you breakdown a good ready-to-go solution in terms of %? Taking into account % of oil, % of alcohol, distilled water, etc.?
 

Bill Roberts

Well-known member
Mar 1, 2013
If you're making a fairly small amount of total formula, then it can be more accurate to weight out a number of 20% solutions than to weigh out pure materials.

For example let's say that your scale is accurate to only 0.01 g, as in the example above. And you have a material that makes up only 1% of the formula (this is common, actually there are often ingredients that make up only 0.1% of a formula!)

Unfortunately, when a scale "read" to 0.01 g, that doesn't mean being precise to 0.01 g. If it reads for example 0.10, the true value might typically be anywhere from 0.007 to 0.013. That would be unacceptably uncertain. So you'd want to weigh at the very least say 0.50 g, so that the true value would probably be no lower than 0.47 g and probably no higher than 0.53 g, which isn't brilliant precision but isn't too bad for fragrance.

Now let's say that this ingredient makes up only 1% of your formulation.

You have to make up 50 grams of formula then!

You will use up 80% less of your raw materials if you mix 50 grams of 20% solutions (which uses up only 10 g of essential oils) than if you mix 50 grams of pure essential oils.

It would be better to use a more precise scale reading to 0.001 g, but the same principle will apply. My savings from mixing mostly dilutions is very large compared to mixing pure materials.

But when really making up an amount of material because I'm settled on it, I'll weigh out the pure materials for all of the more common materials, say those making up 5% or more of the formula. Trace materials will still be done diluted, for better precision.
 

Bill Roberts

Well-known member
Mar 1, 2013
Distilled water, zero.

Percent that is fragrance concentrate vs alcohol (or fractionated coconut oil): Really to preference for the situation. I don't know official values; to me, parfum 20-30%, EDP 10-20%. Whether I'd count my own 20% as being EDP or parfum would depend on whether it had particularly high fragrance strength or not (not all 20% fragrances will smell equally strong by any means.)

I don't think the above is standard, it's just how I look at it. Probably you'll get a more precise answer that may differ a bit.
 

stylez_911

Well-known member
Feb 27, 2015
If diluting into ethanol, you might want a higher concentration such as 5%. I only happen to have it at 1% myself.

Sorry, I forgot to ask.

By this, you would first dilute the ethyl vanillin into a solvent such as DPG and then mix that solution with alcohol after, correct?

In that case, what would the ratio's be for that, say for example you want to make a 1 oz. alcohol based ethyl vanillin solution? I figure diluting a DPG dilution further with alcohol would decrease the potency of the vanillin.
 

stylez_911

Well-known member
Feb 27, 2015
If you're making a fairly small amount of total formula, then it can be more accurate to weight out a number of 20% solutions than to weigh out pure materials.

Got it, and thank makes sense.

I guess my main question now is what a good formula would be for creating such solutions at say 25% concentration.

Would it be:

Essential Oil / Absolute Oil: 25%
Perfumer's Alcohol or Carrier Oil: 75%

And for creating a vanilla accord solution using ethyl vanillin, DPG or IPM, or perfumer's alcohol:

Step 1) Create initial solution using 10% Ethyl Vanillin Crystals dissolved into 90% DPG or IPM
Step 2) Blend 10% of initial solution (created in step 1) with 90% Perfumer's Alcohol or Carrier Oil (depending on whether DPG or IPM was used as solvent) - this will leave us with a 10% concentrate of initial solution in the base of alcohol or carrier oil - making up the other 90%, leaving us the final solution that can then be blended with the other solutions of essential oils etc., is that logic accurate?
 

Bill Roberts

Well-known member
Mar 1, 2013
Step 1 has you at 10% already. Blend this with your other materials, unless it's too concentrated (the amount you need to weigh out is too little) at which point you could consider 1% if needed.
 

stylez_911

Well-known member
Feb 27, 2015
Step 1 has you at 10% already. Blend this with your other materials, unless it's too concentrated (the amount you need to weigh out is too little) at which point you could consider 1% if needed.

Okay great, so then the solution itself for the ethyl vanillin only needs to be with a solvent such as DPG or IPM, skipping the dilution in alcohol?

Not quite sure what you mean by "the amount you need to weigh out is too little"... Can you please elaborate on that? Do you simply mean that the vanillin to solvent ratio is too high and therefore there will not be enough weight in the amount of liquid necessary to balance the blend (therefore, further dilution to 1% will accommodate the extra weight needed)

It would be amazing if you can provide a quick example for creating a full alcohol-based fragrance, say using a mix of two essential oil solutions (at 25% concentrate) as well as the DPG ethyl vanillin solution mentioned above (without alcohol).

Say we have the following oil solutions at (25% concentrate):

1) Neroli
2) Blood Orange

and the 10% ethyl vanillin DPG solution

If I wanted to make a 1oz. EDP for example using the above solution, would it simply be a matter of weighing the 3 solutions to equal out to 1oz.? maybe 40% Neroli solution, 40% Blood Orange solution, and 20% Ethyl Vanillin Solution?

My plan is to create a go-to vanilla solution as a base for my vanilla-driven fragrances, so that will probably include a mix of vanillin solution, vanilla absolute oil solution, possibly some tonka etc so I think in the end I will have enough solution to give it the weight needed for blending.
 
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Bill Roberts

Well-known member
Mar 1, 2013
By the amount being too little, I mean the calculated amount needed would be less than say 50 times (more preferably 100 times) the smallest increment that your scale reads. So if the scale reads to say 0.01 g, then if your formula would call for less than 0.50 g of material diluted to 10%, I'd instead add ten times more material that was at 1%, to get a reasonably precise weighing.

Yes, you can skip dilution in alcohol.

Or, if you have no intent ever to dissolve in oil, you can dilute straight into ethanol in the first place. Your choice.

Yes, you could follow your above formula, but I think you'd find the ethyl vanillin far too strong. As personal opinion for most formulations, the ethyl vanillin should probably come to no more than 3% of the formula. Here it's at 10% while everything else is at 25%. So you could have 2.5 times more, or 7.5% of the more diluted material as a guess of a max. Call it 8% for convenience.

You could then have:

Neroli 25% 46
Blood Orange 25% 46
Ethyl vanillin 10% 8

Of course, see what works for you, but as an illustration.
 

stylez_911

Well-known member
Feb 27, 2015
Thanks so much for helping me understand that.

If I did decide to dilute the ethyl vanillin crystals into perfumer's alcohol directly without using a solvent such as DPG or IPM, what would be a safe concentration for that, if I was to say create a 1 oz. solution? Of course, because of it's strength, I would introduce much less of this solution to the blend then the other solutions being used, but would you say 10% is safe?

Another question I have is whether a 10% ethyl vanillin solution using DPG as a solvent is soluble in carrier oils such as fractionated coconut oil or rice bran oil? Since the ethyl vanillin crystals may not be soluble directly into the carrier oil, would the DPG solution help with this?

Further, as far as fixitive isolates go, such as benzyl benzoate, nerolidol etc., would I need to create 20% concentrations of those in DPG or alcohol similar to the other solutions we've been discussing?

I purchased those isolates from the Perfumer's Apprentice recently and once I receive them, it would be great to know how to prep those solutions for my blends.

I am beginning to understand everything, so thanks very much for all of your fantastic feedback and clarifications. I know that it must be a bit tedious answering all these questions, but I truly appreciate you helping.
 

stylez_911

Well-known member
Feb 27, 2015
As general rules of thumb, I was just wondering if you can help confirm the following with regards to formulating concentrations of ethyl vanillin crystal dilutions as well as EO's / FO's, Absolute Oils etc. just as a slight recap of what we've discussed:

1) EO's, FO's & AO's are all soluble in Fractionated Coconut Oil (Carrier Oil)

2) EO's, FO's & AO's are all soluble in Perfumer's Alcohol (for alcohol-based fragrances)

3) Fractionated Coconut Oil Solutions (25% concentration of EO/FO/AO) are soluble in Perfumer's Alcohol

4) Ethyl Vanillin Crystals are NOT soluble directly in carrier oils such as Fractionated Coconut Oil, unless pre-diluted in a solvent such as IPM first (as DPG does not work well)

5) Ethyl Vanillin Crystals are soluble directly in Perfumer's Alcohol directly OR via solvents such as IPM or DPG

6) Isolates and Fixatives such as Benzyl Benzoate and Nerolidol are soluble in Fractionated Coconut Oil and Perfumer's Alcohol, and solutions can be made at 25% concentrations for blending with other solutions in a formula.
 

Bill Roberts

Well-known member
Mar 1, 2013
1) True for essential oils and absolutes, true for fragrance oils that contain little to no DPG, but not true of fragrance oils that do (there may be some other problem solvents such as triethyl citrate, but I don't know.)

2) True, except there are reports of some poor quality fragrance oils giving problem.

3) Somewhat true: some FCO will dissolve into perfumer's alcohol, but I don't know how much. It's not much.

4) Untrue, ethyl vanillin will dissolve into FCO at some substantial percentage, and at anything needed for a final product.

5) True

6) True

if you would like to have a double set of stock solutions, one diluted with FCO and one with ethanol, then there's no need for an IPM set. An IPM dilution, in most cases, would be for the reason of having the option to use in either alcohol or FCO.

Btw, not that there's a need to do as I do, but for the most part I run two sets and have only a few things in IPM.
 
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stylez_911

Well-known member
Feb 27, 2015
That makes perfect sense to me, and I think that having a double set would be quite useful.

Now, I have a question for you with regards to Fractionated Coconut Oil vs Rice Bran Oil.

I currently have FCO, but I hear that there are great benefits of using Rice Bran Oil as well.

I have read that Rice Bran Oil does not absorb quite as fast as FCO and has benefits for UV protection and is non-greasy on application. Would that actually contribute to giving an oil-based fragrance greater staying power due to not being absorbed as readily as FCO?

With regards to your comment about Ethyl Vanillin being soluble in a carrier oil (such as FCO), what percentage would likely allow me to create a 10% dilution for use as a solution for oil-based blends?

If I can create a stock ethyl vanillin solution by dissolving the ethyl vanillin crystals directly into FCO (or any other carrier oil you can recommend) without IPM, then I would most certainly believe that would solve my greatest issue here. Now that I know that EV is soluble in Perfumer's Alcohol directly, then i'm good to go on that end if I decide to create an alcohol based fragrance. If EV is soluble in FCO, I will create a separate stock solution that way for my oil-based fragrances.

Can you possibly recommend a safe concentration ratio for diluting Ethyl Vanillin with FCO according to a particular reference weight of the overall solution that you believe would be enough for weighing? By that I mean, if I wanted to have a 2 oz. Ethyl Vanillin / FCO stock solution, would 2 oz. allow for solubility, where 10% of the 2 oz. is the Ethyl Vanillin and the remaining 90% is FCO? Or would I need to go beyond that for it to be soluble?

This is all really starting to come together now in terms of understanding how the puzzle pieces will fit, so now it's just the matter of figuring out concentrations for each component, buying a good scale, creating the stock solutions, and experimenting. How exciting!
 

Bill Roberts

Well-known member
Mar 1, 2013
Most oils go rancid after a whil; FCO does not.

I don't have experience with rice bran oil.

For what sort of dilution would be needed, if someone is thinking of running some ingredients at near numbers in a range such as 20-40% of formulation or more, as in your example, and other materials at for example only 2-4% or something like that, then often it makes sense to run those small-percentage materials at a lower concentration.

However, if you like making substantial amounts at once, you might not need to do that. Let's say that your scale reads to 0.001 g (so, it's probably correct to within plus or minus .003 g or thereabouts) and you like making 10 grams of concentrate at a time.

Then, if a material is 1% of the formula, you'll need 100 mg of it.

Your scale will easily measure that amount with good precision. So it would not need to be more diluted than the other materials, which would be weighed out in amounts of several grams.
 

David Ruskin

Well-known member
May 28, 2009
You could. However you would have problems if wanting to add much of that to an fractionated coconut oil formula, as not much would mix.

If diluting into ethanol, you might want a higher concentration such as 5%. I only happen to have it at 1% myself.

I would try both vanillin and ethyl vanillin to see what you like. Ethyl vanillin is I think more common in perfumery; one reason is that it has less tendency to discolor the formula. They smell a little different, see what works for you.
Sorry Bill, not true. Ethyl Vanillin discolours just like vanillin. Vanillin and Ethyl Vanillin are as commonly used as each other. They do smell different. Ethyl Vanillin is stronger, and has a more synthetic creamy smell.
 

David Ruskin

Well-known member
May 28, 2009
To the OP. If all you wish to do is make a mx of Essential Oils with a touch of Vanillin added; why not just mix your Oils and add Vanillin to the mix? Try on a small scale to see if the Vanillin will dissolve, if it doesn't then you will have to make a solution of it first, but if it does then problem solved.
 

I.D.Adam

Well-known member
Nov 14, 2014
Have you thought about using natural vanilla absolute? Apparently it will dissolve in oils and it has a very round, full vanilla scent profile without being super sweet. Downside of course is cost.
 

Bill Roberts

Well-known member
Mar 1, 2013
Sorry Bill, not true. Ethyl Vanillin discolours just like vanillin. Vanillin and Ethyl Vanillin are as commonly used as each other. They do smell different. Ethyl Vanillin is stronger, and has a more synthetic creamy smell.

Thank you David! I was misinformed that ethyl vanillin supposedly discolored a little less, and had wrong impression on frequency of use from formulas read. Doubly wrong: it doesn't get much worse except for triply and past. Your correction is much appreciated!
 
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Chris Bartlett

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Jul 17, 2011
Thank you David! I was misinformed that ethyl vanillin supposedly discolored a little less, and had wrong impression on frequency of use from formulas read. Doubly wrong: it doesn't get much worse except for triply and past. Your correction is much appreciated!

I’m very late to this thread (sorry - have been neglecting Basenotes of late), so I’m not going to try to answer the shopping list of questions it started with but just focus on this bit: the misunderstanding might have arisen because ethyl vanillin is so much stronger smelling than vanillin, it means you can get a bit more vanilla odour for a given amount of discolouration.

However a better solution would be to use isobutavan (vanillin isobutyrate) which is much less discolouring and gives a lovely creamy note too. For white candles or soaps etc this is much more suitable.
 

Bill Roberts

Well-known member
Mar 1, 2013
Thank you Chris! That indeed makes sense.

While I haven't included it in a final formulation yet, Christine provided me with a vanillin propylene glycol acetal sample, which I wanted for a cosmetic application where I expected vanillin or ethyl vanillin would be lost to Schiff base formation. Very nice product which may be another way to avoid the discoloration issue. It's not easily available though, so mentioned more for possible interest rather than usefulness for the OP.
 
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David Ruskin

Well-known member
May 28, 2009
Thank you David! I was misinformed that ethyl vanillin supposedly discolored a little less, and had wrong impression on frequency of use from formulas read. Doubly wrong: it doesn't get much worse except for triply and past. Your correction is much appreciated!

I guess as Ethyl Vanillin is stronger than Vanillin (some folk say 10 times as throng), you can use less and so get less discolouration.
 

Bill Roberts

Well-known member
Mar 1, 2013
However a better solution would be to use isobutavan (vanillin isobutyrate) which is much less discolouring and gives a lovely creamy note too. For white candles or soaps etc this is much more suitable.
Checking the organoleptics as well as considering your description, this sounds like it might do well for me in some instances, I'll give it a try. Thank you!
 

Chris Bartlett

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Jul 17, 2011
Thank you Chris! That indeed makes sense.

While I haven't included it in a final formulation yet, Christine provided me with a vanillin propylene glycol acetal sample, which I wanted for a cosmetic application where I expected vanillin or ethyl vanillin would be lost to Schiff base formation. Very nice product which may be another way to avoid the discoloration issue. It's not easily available though, so mentioned more for possible interest rather than usefulness for the OP.

I’m not familiar with vanillin propylene glycol acetal so I don’t know whether it would be better or worse than Isobutavan. I can’t remember which but I think the Schiff’s Base of either vanillin or ethyl vanillin is bright red - so much so that it’s been used as a dye...
 

stylez_911

Well-known member
Feb 27, 2015
To the OP. If all you wish to do is make a mx of Essential Oils with a touch of Vanillin added; why not just mix your Oils and add Vanillin to the mix? Try on a small scale to see if the Vanillin will dissolve, if it doesn't then you will have to make a solution of it first, but if it does then problem solved.

Thanks very much David, that does sound like an option; however, I think it would be very convenient to have an oil-based Ethyl Vanillin solution, as well as an alcohol-based solution for quick access.

In your experience, do you have a particular dilution % that you would recommend for both?

My goal is to create a creamy, freshly baked vanilla accord similar to that found in Guerlain's Spiritueuse Double Vanille. I own the fragrance and after a few days of drydown on clothing, all is left is the vanillin sweet vanilla scent, which has led me to believe that Ethyl Vanillin is present in their vanilla accord. Granted, Guerlain is a powerhouse and have their own trade secrets, I am hoping to at least create a comparable vanilla accord that I can use as a base for other blends with other ingredients, using that vanilla accord in the background.

So I think a dilution of Ethyl Vanillin in both FCO or Perfumer's Alcohol would at least allow me to add that note to create the overall accord i'm going for.

Any suggestions on dilution % on that front? Given that Ethyl Vanillin is stronger? I like the creaminess of EV, so i'm not sure diluting regular Vanillin is even necessary.
 

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