Emphasizing notes by variation and not by concentration

Nizan

Basenotes Dependent
Nov 15, 2013
By reading around, I've noticed that when you want to bring a note out,
instead of just adding more to the mixture, people seem to opt for adding
different materials with the same aspect. Is that a correct observation?
Do you consider notes that are not emphasized this way just to be
"modifiers" or "linear" in some sense (instead of being of higher
dimensionality, which is achieved by variation?).
 

JEBeasley

Basenotes Dependent
Jul 24, 2013
I think this is true, hopefully someone more experienced can expand on this though as it's an interesting topic.
I think that this is how certain materials become associated under the descriptor "blends well with" on certain retail sites and in some books. When you have two EO's that share certain chemical constituents in common there is bound to be an additive effect with that particular note. Depending on which two EO's you combine there are other constituents/single notes that might enhance each other by effect, cancel each other or stimulate our olfactory senses with complexity by contrast. On the other side of the coin I think this is also where mistakes happen and a blend has too much of "this" or ends up smelling too muddy or confusing. This is why I'm currently engaged in collecting data on all of my EO's and their chemical makeup. It's not easy info to find online but with some diligence I'm able to find at least the top three or ten aroma chemicals that comprise many well known EO's. If there is a reliable reference book or web site on EO's and their aroma chemical profiles I would love to hear about it.
 
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Nizan

Basenotes Dependent
Nov 15, 2013
On the same note, how do you hide notes? I got some EOs, some of which are awesome, but some have those annoying (top?) notes, which I noticed some EOs have. Sometimes they smell a bit like wax, sometimes like turpentine.. Would be nice to know how to obscure them.

Is there some notion of opposite smells, or smells that interfere destructively (like in optics?)
 

David Ruskin

Basenotes Dependent
May 28, 2009
I think this is true, hopefully someone more experienced can expand on this though as it's an interesting topic.
I think that this is how certain materials become associated under the descriptor "blends well with" on certain retail sites and in some books. When you have two EO's that share certain chemical constituents in common there is bound to be an additive effect with that particular note. Depending on which two EO's you combine there are other constituents/single notes that might enhance each other by effect, cancel each other or stimulate our olfactory senses with complexity by contrast. On the other side of the coin I think this is also where mistakes happen and a blend has too much of "this" or ends up smelling too muddy or confusing. This is why I'm currently engaged in collecting data on all of my EO's and their chemical makeup. It's not easy info to find online but with some diligence I'm able to find at least the top three or ten aroma chemicals that comprise many well known EO's. If there is a reliable reference book or web site on EO's and their aroma chemical profiles I would love to hear about it.
Do you know of Brian M Lawrence? He writes a column in "Perfumer and Flavourist" magazine on the contents f Essential Oils. Indeed he is a recognised expert on Essential Oils. There are several books that are collections of these writings (I think we rare up to volume 9) which can be bought through the magazine. But they are very , very expensive.
 

JEBeasley

Basenotes Dependent
Jul 24, 2013
Do you know of Brian M Lawrence? He writes a column in "Perfumer and Flavourist" magazine on the contents f Essential Oils. Indeed he is a recognised expert on Essential Oils. There are several books that are collections of these writings (I think we rare up to volume 9) which can be bought through the magazine. But they are very , very expensive.
Oh :( expensive is not good for me. Oh well, I'll keep my nose to the internet grindstone. Thanks for the heads up nonetheless, it's great to know they are out there.
 

Nizan

Basenotes Dependent
Nov 15, 2013
I think this is true, hopefully someone more experienced can expand on this though as it's an interesting topic.
I think that this is how certain materials become associated under the descriptor "blends well with" on certain retail sites and in some books. When you have two EO's that share certain chemical constituents in common there is bound to be an additive effect with that particular note. Depending on which two EO's you combine there are other constituents/single notes that might enhance each other by effect, cancel each other or stimulate our olfactory senses with complexity by contrast. On the other side of the coin I think this is also where mistakes happen and a blend has too much of "this" or ends up smelling too muddy or confusing. This is why I'm currently engaged in collecting data on all of my EO's and their chemical makeup. It's not easy info to find online but with some diligence I'm able to find at least the top three or ten aroma chemicals that comprise many well known EO's. If there is a reliable reference book or web site on EO's and their aroma chemical profiles I would love to hear about it.

How about this site?

http://www.pherobase.com/database/floral/floral-taxa-genus-Jasminum.php

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Hello? where did all the mega-perfumers go?
 

DrSmellThis

Basenotes Dependent
Apr 13, 2013
By reading around, I've noticed that when you want to bring a note out,
instead of just adding more to the mixture, people seem to opt for adding
different materials with the same aspect. Is that a correct observation?
Do you consider notes that are not emphasized this way just to be
"modifiers" or "linear" in some sense (instead of being of higher
dimensionality, which is achieved by variation?).
There are two ways to think about essential oils and aromachemicals.

You can think about them as part of an accord, or you can think about the chemical or oil indivdually. For example, cedramber is both a wood note, and a smell unto itself.

So which approach you choose influences whether you emphasize the note by adding more; or making it bigger and richer, as part of something else. Of course, these approaches can be mixed.
 

Nizan

Basenotes Dependent
Nov 15, 2013
DrSmellThis - Could you elaborate with an example? :) It would be really helpful.

I also had some additional thoughts. Since we usually start with the base note, as it's the
longest lasting smell and the makes up for more than 50% of the smell, we can get away
with unwanted higher notes by hiding them with the middle notes (and similarly hiding the
unwanted middle notes with top notes). The question is what to do if the unwanted note
is tenacious and can't be really hidden by middle notes?
Also, I guess hiding with the middle notes simply means enhancing some other desired
effect?
 

DrSmellThis

Basenotes Dependent
Apr 13, 2013
DrSmellThis - Could you elaborate with an example? :) It would be really helpful.

I also had some additional thoughts. Since we usually start with the base note, as it's the
longest lasting smell and the makes up for more than 50% of the smell, we can get away
with unwanted higher notes by hiding them with the middle notes (and similarly hiding the
unwanted middle notes with top notes). The question is what to do if the unwanted note
is tenacious and can't be really hidden by middle notes?
Also, I guess hiding with the middle notes simply means enhancing some other desired
effect?
Take iso-e super.

You could use it as a note in and of itself, and say, match it with hedione and a musk. then you would adjust the iso up and down to change the character. The other notes are quite different.

Or you could consider it a wood note, and "bump it out" by adding ebanol and amyris. then pine, and some castoreum.

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If you have an obnoxious effect, simply time it by putting the offending substance on your skin and/or a test strip. Whenever the obnoxious note leaves, before that is the time your modifier has to last. Recently I used lavender to mostly hide the obnoxious note from vetiver, Lavender will be mostly gone in an hour, and so will the annoying dusty note.

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If you have an obnoxious effect, simply time it by putting the offending substance on your skin and/or a test strip. Whenever the obnoxious note leaves, before that is the time your modifier has to last. Recently I used lavender to mostly hide the obnoxious note from vetiver, Lavender will be mostly gone in an hour, and so will the annoying dusty note.
 

Nizan

Basenotes Dependent
Nov 15, 2013
You do it experimentally, or is there a way to do it by considering some physical data on molecules?
(I guess that's a question for JEB also :) )
 

DrSmellThis

Basenotes Dependent
Apr 13, 2013
You do it experimentally, or is there a way to do it by considering some physical data on molecules?
(I guess that's a question for JEB also :) )
Yes, consider the objective (e.g., GoodScents) data too. My personal habit is to judge things on skin, which keeps me based in the final reality of things. You get other information from that exercise too. In my opinion, many modern perfumers neglect long term wearability, based on the fact that purchases aren't as often determined by that relative to initial impact.
 

JEBeasley

Basenotes Dependent
Jul 24, 2013
Nizan, I'm learning this stuff too, I'm not an adept by any stretch of the imagination so I'm right here with you figuring this stuff out. DrSmellThis laid out some logic in post #11 that answered some of my own questions regarding the process. I like to be helpful where I can but with advanced questions I step back and let the pros take the podium.
 

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