DPG vs Perfumer's Alcohol

Raddy14

New member
Feb 20, 2016
Hello everyone!

Ok, so, this is my first post and I'm completely new to all this – i'm new to Basenotes too!

I have read previous entries related to my question but just can't seem to fully understand the difference.

I have two questions:

My first and main question is....
What is the difference between DPG and perfumer's alcohol. When, why and how would I use DPG?? Is it necessary? Is it used just as a dilutant – at what stage would i use it?
I've made some initial and super basic fragrance mixtures, using EO and synthetic's and the formula sheet i have says to mix it with DPG.......why?

Finally...
I've bought a bunch of ingredients – essential oils and synthetics. However, Vanillin and Tonalid have come as powders. How do I use them, do i dilute them in some sort of solvent??

Any help would be greatly appreciates....thank you in advance!!

Cheers
Raddy.
 

hamed.121.hamed

Well-known member
Dec 9, 2015
DPG is used as a solvent for oil based perfumes.
Perfumer alcohol is used as solvent for alcohol based perfume.
Depend on what kind of perfume you want to achieve, select either of them.
Stikies on the top of Basenote page might answer your questions.


HAMED
 

David Ruskin

Well-known member
May 28, 2009
Sorry hamed but you are wrong. DPG is used as a solvent for all water based/water soluble type end products. So, shower gel fragrances, soaps, alcoholic fine fragrances would all use DPG when making the fragrance concentrate. If you are making a fine fragrance that will use ethanol then use DPG to make solutions of Vanillin and Tonalid; or else add them as solids to your fragrance.

Ethanol is much more volatile than DPG, and is used most commonly as the end product medium with fine fragrances.

Should you wish to make a fragrance for an oil based end product ( such as massage oil, beard oil or oil based fine fragrance) then DEP or IPM would be the preferred solvents.
 
Last edited:

hamed.121.hamed

Well-known member
Dec 9, 2015
Sorry hamed but you are wrong. DPG is used as a solvent for all water based/water soluble type end products. So, shower gel fragrances, soaps, alcoholic fine fragrances would all use DPG when making the fragrance concentrate. If you are making a fine fragrance that will use ethanol then use DPG to make solutions of Vanillin and Tonalid; or else add them as solids to your fragrance.

Ethanol is much more volatile than DPG, and is used most commonly as the end product medium with fine fragrances.

Should you wish to make a fragrance for an oil based end product ( such as massage oil, beard oil or oil based fine fragrance) then DEP or IPM would be the preferred solvents.

Thanks David
You know more than i do. You are right.
 

hamed.121.hamed

Well-known member
Dec 9, 2015
Raddy
You asked two more questions which I am going to answer. Hope David correct me if my answers are wrong.
Add solvent after mixing and aging, before using your blend.

If you are going to evaluate your raw materials and train your nose, it is better to dilute them down to 10% and if you are going to mix them to make perfumes, it is better to use neat.


HAMED
 

David Ruskin

Well-known member
May 28, 2009
The way I used to work was to make a fragrance concentrate, make sure it was well mixed together and then add it to whatever end product it was designed for. If you wish to restrict your work to alcoholic fine fragrances (EdT etc.) then; make the fragrance concentrate (using DPG as a solvent where necessary), make sure it is well mixed together then add it to ethanol at whatever strength you wish (usually between 10.0% and 20.0%). A thorough mix and then leave it is a cool place for a week or so (some folk leave it for much longer, maybe over month), filter and it's ready.

Because I did not need to worry about the availability of ingredients I usually made 100.0 gms at a time, and only ever used solutions if the ingredient was too strong to uses neat, or it was too thick to handle easily. Evaluation of raw materials was done with concentrate (unless too strong ). Evaluation was usually done in concentrate until I was satisfied that it was good enough to put into the designated end product. This would then be evaluated, and if necessary, more work was done.
 

julian35

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Feb 28, 2009
DPG is used as a solvent for all water based/water soluble type end products. So, shower gel fragrances, soaps, alcoholic fine fragrances would all use DPG when making the fragrance concentrate. If you are making a fine fragrance that will use ethanol then use DPG to make solutions of Vanillin and Tonalid; or else add them as solids to your fragrance.
David, I have never thought of alcoholic fine fragrance as a water based/water soluble end product. You mention Vanillin and Tonalid.
My chemistry ignorance is showing, how can one know if a material is water based/water soluble?
If there are no water based/soluble material in the fine fragrance is there any need for DPG?
I have been around this subject many times. I am still looking for something that would indicate when or when not to use DPG.
Am I understanding what you said correctly?
 

David Ruskin

Well-known member
May 28, 2009
There is a subtle and sliding scale of solubility. Alcohol is completely miscible in water; very few perfumery ingredients are water soluble yet most are soluble in alcohol. In most fine fragrances there is about 80.0% alcohol, a water soluble chemical. By adding various chemicals which act as co-solvents it is possible to "persuade" ingredients to dissolve in alcohol.

Look at the polarity of a chemical, or even better do an experiment. Get some DPG, and some IPM; then see which ingredients dissolve in either.
 

Raddy14

New member
Feb 20, 2016
Hi everyone,

Thank you so much for your advice. I think that all makes a lot of sense, so thank you for sharing your knowledge!
I know it was in essence quite a rudimentary question.

Cheers
Raddy
 

GemJedi

Active member
Dec 31, 2018
Just curious why using alcohol to dilute the fragrance to 20% makes fine perfume, but using DPG to dilute the fragrance to the same 20% is considered cheapening the concentrate for cost purposes? Is this just a use of language or is there a subtle distinction that is lost on me? I accept that I often miss subtle distinctions at first glance.
 

Alysoun

Well-known member
Feb 4, 2011
Just curious why using alcohol to dilute the fragrance to 20% makes fine perfume, but using DPG to dilute the fragrance to the same 20% is considered cheapening the concentrate for cost purposes? Is this just a use of language or is there a subtle distinction that is lost on me? I accept that I often miss subtle distinctions at first glance.

What I thought George meant, was that a perfume of 20% fragrance materials and 80% alcohol would be more expensive than a version having say 15% fragrance materials, 5% DPG and 80% alcohol. The DPG cheapens the concentrate prior to the addition of alcohol. DPG is a lot cheaper than the fragrance materials and in my experience also cheaper than alcohol.
 
Feb 12, 2019
What I thought George meant, was that a perfume of 20% fragrance materials and 80% alcohol would be more expensive than a version having say 15% fragrance materials, 5% DPG and 80% alcohol. The DPG cheapens the concentrate prior to the addition of alcohol. DPG is a lot cheaper than the fragrance materials and in my experience also cheaper than alcohol.

Does that mean that DPG is count as a part of the juice? So 15% Aroma Materials + 5% DPG (from diluted matirials) + 80% Alcohol = 20% Perfume? Is that true?

I think that's important for the calculation of the dilution?
 

Alysoun

Well-known member
Feb 4, 2011
Does that mean that DPG is count as a part of the juice? So 15% Aroma Materials + 5% DPG (from diluted matirials) + 80% Alcohol = 20% Perfume? Is that true?

I think that's important for the calculation of the dilution?
I didn't mean to imply anything about that.

I think you will find that language use will differ. In some circumstances it makes sense to refer to the concentrate as that which the buyer is instructed to dilute, in which case it may well already for one reason or another contain small amounts of DPG etc. If I was specifying the dilution of something I'd made I wouldn't include the diluent part of pre-diluted materials as fragrance concentrate, but that's not necessarily standard--indeed from casual observation here on BN and elsewhere it may be unusual. So long as you understand the person it doesn't particularly matter. If you're wondering about labelling and safety, you would be looking at the concentration of individual ingredients in the total mass, so which part of it you call "concentrate" is irrelevant.
 
Feb 12, 2019
Thank you. I m just interested on the practical side. So I use most materials as a 20% dilution in alc. to mix samples. But if I use an accord with diluted materials I always wonder which concentration it is ;).

Let's take my marine accord, it contains:

2x Helional
1x Calone
1x Ambroxan 10% in DPG

If I dilute this with 80% perfumers alc., is it a 20% solution or do I have to reduce the alc. brcause of the DPG to reach a 20%? I think as long as it's a hobby it is not so important, but what if I have to pass the formula to a factory? :undecided:
 

Bkkorn

Well-known member
Feb 21, 2020
Thank you. I m just interested on the practical side. So I use most materials as a 20% dilution in alc. to mix samples. But if I use an accord with diluted materials I always wonder which concentration it is ;).

Let's take my marine accord, it contains:

2x Helional
1x Calone
1x Ambroxan 10% in DPG

If I dilute this with 80% perfumers alc., is it a 20% solution or do I have to reduce the alc. brcause of the DPG to reach a 20%? I think as long as it's a hobby it is not so important, but what if I have to pass the formula to a factory? :undecided:

a quote taken from another thread should answer this....as from Bill Roberts:



Quote Originally Posted by: Bill Roberts
First usually if wanting to make a 20% product, the great majority of materials used would not have been prediluted to 10%.

Not that one may not be able to do it, but it's inconvenient.

If having to do it, determine the total weight of aromamaterials, determine the total amount of diluent (alcohol or other) needed, which is four times that, subtract the amount of diluent used already from your diluted aromamaterials, and add the remainder.

Simple example:

Formula is Hedione (undiluted) 200, Sampaquita (diluted for some reason to 10%) 600, Galaxolide (50%) 200.

Your total aromamaterials, not counting their diluents, add to 360.

Multiplying that by 4, you need 1440 total diluent.

You already have 540 from your diluted Sampaquita, and 100 from your Galaxolide, total of 640.

Therefore you need to add alcohol of 1440-640, which is 800.

And to check that calculation:

Diluent: 800 added at end, 540 in the Sampaquita, 100 in the Galaxolide, total 1440.
Aromamaterials: 200 Hedione, 60 from the Sampaquita, 100 from the Galaxolide, total 360.
Grand total, 1440 + 360 = 1800
360/1800 = 20%
 

elantiheroe

Active member
Jan 27, 2020
A doubt, in the event that Sampaquita was diluted in DPG (not alcohol) ... would it be the same (540 Sampaquita)?
Would DPG = alcohol be taken and subtracted from the final formula? or..?
Thanks
 

Bill Roberts

Well-known member
Mar 1, 2013
Well, okay answer maybe within original thread but here a little mysterious because of the "mulitply by 4" out of nowhere.

The goal must have been a fragrance at 25 percent aromamaterials.

If wanting twenty percent, then multiply by 5, etc, or more generally divide by the desired fraction. E.g. for 15 percent, divide by 0.15.

The specific diluent, whether DPG, IPM etc does not matter to the calculation.
 

Bill Roberts

Well-known member
Mar 1, 2013
Elantiheroe, somehow despite posting after you, I had not seen your post till now.

Yes, DPG would also be counted as a diluent. The calculations, if wishing to do them, would be the same is if alcohol were the diluent.

That said, there really is not a reason to have predetermined exact percentages of aromamaterials in the final formula, such as having exactly 20.00%, etc. Final dilution is best done by finding what best gives the desired result.
 

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