How should I diminish the pungent smell of alcohol from a DIY fragrance?

Onefragrance

Active member
Aug 26, 2021
Are there some other chemicals/other types of alcohol/fragrance carriers/etc that I should put in the EO's mix or a certain recipe? The smell of alcohol is quite pungent at first when I smell the fragrance.

I use ethyl alcohol 96%. My ratio is 20% aroma materials and 80% ethyl alcohol.
 

ourmess

Well-known member
Apr 25, 2018
Usually when this question is asked, the person is smelling the liquid in the bottle. In which case, the answer is: don't do that, because when you smell a bottle that's mostly full of alcohol, it shockingly smells like alcohol. ;p On a test strip or on skin, the alcohol should evaporate near-instantly, and not have any odor after a few seconds.

If your fragrance smells strongly of alcohol on a test strip or on skin, after you've waited a few seconds, then either 1) there's something going on with your alcohol, or 2) your fragrance concentrate needs top notes.
 

Najengi

Member
May 31, 2021
I believe Ambrettolide can be used in traces to soften the alcohol odour in a fragrance. Apparently, Arctander says this about it:

‘Its fixative effect is easily recognized by the fact that solutions of 0.01% Ambrettolide (or even less) in slightly diluted alcohol show practically no odor of alcohol’.

I haven’t tried it myself yet, but I will be getting some on my next order to experience this for myself as I find I’m sensitive to the alcohol odour too.
 

Onefragrance

Active member
Aug 26, 2021
Usually when this question is asked, the person is smelling the liquid in the bottle. In which case, the answer is: don't do that, because when you smell a bottle that's mostly full of alcohol, it shockingly smells like alcohol. ;p On a test strip or on skin, the alcohol should evaporate near-instantly, and not have any odor after a few seconds.

If your fragrance smells strongly of alcohol on a test strip or on skin, after you've waited a few seconds, then either 1) there's something going on with your alcohol, or 2) your fragrance concentrate needs top notes.

Yup, this happens. When I smell it from the bottle, but on the strip, skin or clothes, it doesn't smell of alcohol after spraying it.

Thanks.
 

Onefragrance

Active member
Aug 26, 2021
I believe Ambrettolide can be used in traces to soften the alcohol odour in a fragrance. Apparently, Arctander says this about it:

‘Its fixative effect is easily recognized by the fact that solutions of 0.01% Ambrettolide (or even less) in slightly diluted alcohol show practically no odor of alcohol’.

I haven’t tried it myself yet, but I will be getting some on my next order to experience this for myself as I find I’m sensitive to the alcohol odour too.

Thank you.

Yes , I'm very curious what aroma chemicals the big companies use to make a fragrance not smelling like alchol at first?

If I put my nose in a bottle of a good after shave from a designer fragrance house it doesn't smell of alcohol, so I assume they use some specific chemicals and I'd like to know what they are.
 

Najengi

Member
May 31, 2021
Ambrettolide is a musk, Iso e super is a woody amber - part of the IFF contemporary woody palette. I do have Iso e super and a few other musks and they are very different. As much as I like Iso e super, I also find I'm sensitive to the alcohol / dry woody note in that too, so I find the soft white musks calm things down a bit and make it easier on my nose.

Anyway, back to ambrettolide - which I don't have yet - it's supposed to leave a faint floral musky sweet and pleasant odour, so it sounds lovely. And it also works in the top note down to the base note. I've seen it used in trace amounts like this in various perfumes I like, so I can't wait to give it a whirl. It's a popular musk, so I'm sure there are others here who have ambrettolide in their tool kit and will be able to share more about this effect...
 

Onefragrance

Active member
Aug 26, 2021
Ambrettolide is a musk, Iso e super is a woody amber - part of the IFF contemporary woody palette. I do have Iso e super and a few other musks and they are very different. As much as I like Iso e super, I also find I'm sensitive to the alcohol / dry woody note in that too, so I find the soft white musks calm things down a bit and make it easier on my nose.

Anyway, back to ambrettolide - which I don't have yet - it's supposed to leave a faint floral musky sweet and pleasant odour, so it sounds lovely. And it also works in the top note down to the base note. I've seen it used in trace amounts like this in various perfumes I like, so I can't wait to give it a whirl. It's a popular musk, so I'm sure there are others here who have ambrettolide in their tool kit and will be able to share more about this effect...

thanks.

Yes, it'd be nice if those who have Ambrettolide to share more about it.
 

Onefragrance

Active member
Aug 26, 2021
Is DPG a better fragrance carrier/substitute than ethyl alcohol for DIY fragrances?

Also I read that Tri Ethyl Citrate is good for diluting absolutes?
 

Najengi

Member
May 31, 2021
You can make alcohol based, oil based or solid perfumes (using beeswax). Best to read through the sticky thread for beginners at the top of Fragrance DIY called 'Welcome new at DIY fragrance members'. This section here tells you about the different carriers you can use and the pros and cons of each:

https://www.basenotes.net/threads/158437-Primer-on-How-to-Make-Perfume-(Version-1-0)

DPG is usually used as a diluting solvent. I believe it plays well with alcohol based and water based products, but not oil based fragrances. I guess you could use it as a carrier if you wanted to, but it will keep the fragrance close to your skin and flatten the fragrance somewhat. Loads of threads in the archives on diluting materials just type keywords 'DPG' and 'diluting' and 'TEC' into the search option.

Good Luck.
 

Onefragrance

Active member
Aug 26, 2021
Thanks guys. I've searched.

The thing is I'd like to find a way to mask or diminish somehow the smell of alcohol in a DIY fragrance.
 

mnitabach

Well-known member
Nov 13, 2020
You've already been given the correct answer in post #3. When you sniff an open bottle of commercial aftershave, you don't smell alcohol because it contains a lot of very volatile top note molecules that are strong in their scent character and evaporate very quickly to reach your nose when the alcohol does. These strong smelling molecules then mask the scent of the alcohol. If you want to test this out, make a 3% solution of dihydromyrcenol (a strong smelling volatile molecule commonly used in masculine after-shave type fragrances) in EtOH & compare the smell to pure EtOH. All this business about ambrettolide is a red herring & has nothing to do with what you are observing.
 

ourmess

Well-known member
Apr 25, 2018
The thing is I'd like to find a way to mask or diminish somehow the smell of alcohol in a DIY fragrance.

If you are only smelling it in the bottle, then the answer is to stop smelling it in the bottle. There really and truly isn't any more to it than that. If there is no smell of alcohol on a test strip or on skin after a few seconds of application, then you have successfully diminished the smell of alcohol. It sounds like you're there already, yes?
 

mnitabach

Well-known member
Nov 13, 2020
If you are only smelling it in the bottle, then the answer is to stop smelling it in the bottle. There really and truly isn't any more to it than that. If there is no smell of alcohol on a test strip or on skin after a few seconds of application, then you have successfully diminished the smell of alcohol. It sounds like you're there already, yes?

I don't think it's an unreasonable aesthetic goal to obscure the scent of EtOH in an EtOH-based fragrance, for example when sniffing the top of a "splash" or "dabber" type bottle. As you already explained, the way to achieve this is by including powerful volatile top molecules in the fragrance.
 

Onefragrance

Active member
Aug 26, 2021
You've already been given the correct answer in post #3. When you sniff an open bottle of commercial aftershave, you don't smell alcohol because it contains a lot of very volatile top note molecules that are strong in their scent character and evaporate very quickly to reach your nose when the alcohol does. These strong smelling molecules then mask the scent of the alcohol. If you want to test this out, make a 3% solution of dihydromyrcenol (a strong smelling volatile molecule commonly used in masculine after-shave type fragrances) in EtOH & compare the smell to pure EtOH. All this business about ambrettolide is a red herring & has nothing to do with what you are observing.

Thanks mnitabach.

There are other molecules used to mask the scent of alcohol like dihydromyrcenol?
 

Onefragrance

Active member
Aug 26, 2021
If you are only smelling it in the bottle, then the answer is to stop smelling it in the bottle. There really and truly isn't any more to it than that. If there is no smell of alcohol on a test strip or on skin after a few seconds of application, then you have successfully diminished the smell of alcohol. It sounds like you're there already, yes?

Well, it's only when I smell it in the bottle. Anyway it is what it is.
 

mnitabach

Well-known member
Nov 13, 2020
Thanks mnitabach.

There are other molecules used to mask the scent of alcohol like dihydromyrcenol?

You are starting to sound disingenuous, because you have been now given the same correct answer multiple times in this thread, yet you keep asking. Strong volatile top note molecules, of which there are very many, will mask the smell of alcohol during the very brief period of time that an EtOH-based fragrance is experienced with the EtOH still present. These molecules are not "used to mask the scent of alcohol"; they are used to provide strong diffusive appealing top notes as a part of the fragrance progression, but have the effect of masking the smell of EtOH.
 

Onefragrance

Active member
Aug 26, 2021
You are starting to sound disingenuous, because you have been now given the same correct answer multiple times in this thread, yet you keep asking. Strong volatile top note molecules, of which there are very many, will mask the smell of alcohol during the very brief period of time that an EtOH-based fragrance is experienced with the EtOH still present. These molecules are not "used to mask the scent of alcohol"; they are used to provide strong diffusive appealing top notes as a part of the fragrance progression, but have the effect of masking the smell of EtOH.

ok. sorry.
 

DrSmellThis

Well-known member
Apr 13, 2013
A touch of ambrettolide, benzoin, or civet works. I have some scentless stuff called glucam I haven't tried that is used for that. Look up prefixation. I think that's the topic here?
 

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