Rubbing alcohol is fine for making perfumes

Cerel9

Banned
Jun 11, 2011
To experiment, I just made a batch of perfume with rubbing alcohol. A few observations:

1. Rubbing alcohol has no long lasting smell. If you don't believe me pour some on your hand, wait for it all to evaporate and see if you smell anything.

2. Rubbing alcohol is perfectly safe. It was created to be rubbed on your skin afterall!

3. Rubbing alcohol projects the scents strongly. Not sure if it projects them more strongly than perfumer's alcohol, but it does a good job.

-------

The only concern is that rubbing alcohol might not mix with some ingredients as well as perfumer's alcohol. I'll report on that after some experiments.
 

Repogirl

New member
Aug 18, 2010
I tried using rubbing alcohol for my first experiments and it smelled terrible. I let it cure for a month and it still smelled terrible. Maybe the ratios were wrong but I did not like the results of any tests I did using rubbing alcohol. It would be nice if I got it to work well and smell good considering the price of rubbing alcohol!
 

gido

Basenotes Dependent
May 31, 2008
no it isn't! it reeks, it will not work. this is very bad advice, likely the worst i have ever seen on this forum or elsewhere.

get everclear or cosmetisch haarwater instead, if you can't get the pure stuff.
 
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Cerel9

Banned
Jun 11, 2011
I agree it smells bad for the first few minutes but once it evaporates the smell is gone. If you don't have perfumer's alcohol you can get a good sense for the mid and base notes with rubbing alcohol.

The main problem with rubbing alcohol is that materials do not dissolve into it. This is partly due to the fact that rubbing alcohol contains a very high percentage of water.
 

xilonic

Super Member
May 5, 2006
I think Cerel does have a point. Isopropyl alcohol is a good solvent, especially in high concentrations (look for 91/92% at your pharmacy). It is an excellent disinfectant and works well for eliminating body odors. It does smell harsh indeed however evaporation is very fast, leaving no traces. It could be appropriate in very small concentrations (such as use in concrete) but more diluted applications will have a rather pungent opening.
 

gido

Basenotes Dependent
May 31, 2008
ethanol does all that too, and it does not have an awful topnote that's unsuitable for perfumes.
and it costs only a fraction of the price of your precious oils. so why degrade these with rubbing alcohol? it makes no sense.
 

Chris Bartlett

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Jul 17, 2011
I use Isopropyl alcohol a lot and it certainly has a strong distinctive odour. It is a wonderfully useful solvent, much like ethanol, and like ethanol can be quite harsh on your skin: I find it’s much more hard on the skin than ethanol.

Unless you can’t get ethanol I really can’t imagine wanting to use isopropyl alcohol as a fragrance solvent, unless possibly at a low concentration as an additive (see the sticky thread on isopropyl myristate for more on Formulators Alcohol).
 

dbsobe

New member
Apr 16, 2016
I used 91% Isopropyl alcohol and it had no affect on the scent of the essential oils. I will eventually stumble over to the liquor store to search for Everclear, assuming they have it here in Miami Beach...

For now, I am making tiny experiments of cologne with essential oils, squirting in some isopropyl alcohol and mixing in some water. It smells good, but essential oils mixed with water and alcohol do not linger for long. Seems I have a lot more to learn!
 

joxer96

Super Member
Nov 8, 2007
no it isn't! it reeks, it will not work. this is very bad advice, likely the worst i have ever seen on this forum or elsewhere.

get everclear or cosmetisch haarwater instead, if you can't get the pure stuff.

I agree! Use grape seed oil, or some other solvent if you can't find perfumers alcohol. That horrible smell may seemingly disappear quickly, but I guarantee it'll affect the rest of the composition, especially after sitting for a few days.
 

dbsobe

New member
Apr 16, 2016
Paul what does one use then? I've seen people say vodka mixed with the EO blend and then vegetable glycerin. I'd rather hear it from a professional person so I can stop searching all over for correct information. Any info is appreciated.
 

pkiler

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Dec 5, 2007
dbsobe: Unfortunately, the sticky thread for this has been deleted

Glycerin is NOT OK, either...

So here's the scoop:

You CAN use Everclear 190 proof grain alcohol. NOT the 150 or 151 proof version. This 190 is not sold in some states, like California.
You can also use Spirytus, Potato vodka, that is 192 proof. Which oddly is available in some states where Everclear 190 is not sold, like Nevada.
But both of these products cost extra, because you are paying the Alcohol taxes for drinking alcohol. (This I think is world over)

Next, is Ethyl Alcohol, aka: EtOH, or also known as Perfumers Alcohol. This should likely be the best choice.
This can come at 200 proof, and undenatured, at 190 proof that is denatured, with any number of materials, the most prevalent currently is Alcohol type 40B, but 39C was also popular until every alarmist falsely proclaimed all phthalates as carcinogenic. (Because 39C is denatured with Diethyl Phthalate.) And also at other lower proofs, which then contain more water than the 5% found in 190 proof alcohol. Most of the time, I use the 190. There are a few other denaturant type classifications that can vary upon usage and needs, but really, 40B is the best bet, I think. I also keep 200 proof undenatured in lesser stock quantities than the 190 that I use for production. This 200 proof I use for purest form of dilution of raw materials, and sometimes for tincturing and making my own raw materials.

Depending of course on where you live, determines what you can get, and how much you'll pay for it and shipping will cost, as Alcohol has to go by Hazardous shipping with it's attendant regs and exorbitant costs.

dbsobe - you do not state where you live, so I cannot make any more recommendations for choices of vendors or shipping.
Some vendors online will sell you EtOH 190 40B in smaller qty's. For myself, living in Los Angeles, Remet Alcohol is my vendor, for which I simply order by phone, and pick up the next day, saving innumerable dollars on hazardous shipping costs. If you live in the USA, you can, after going through a vendor vetting process, purchase up to 5 gallons per year, without paying the US alcohol taxes.

End of Alcohol lesson,

PK
 
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dbsobe

New member
Apr 16, 2016
PK,

Your time and effort in preparing such a thorough response are sincerely appreciated! I visited your on-line store what a nice site!

Thank you so much for all that information. I really appreciate it. I live in Miami Beach, Florida. I will do a search and see who sells Perfumers Alcohol here locally. Good idea to save a little money.

I have read so much information on the web, and the concept of creating tinctures to abel to produce a scent that cannot be easily replicated. What I have noticed in the my neophyte experimentation with scent creation and essential oils is that the duration of the essence is short-lived compared to commercially produced fragrance oil based colognes. I'm ok with this but wonder if there is a way to "naturally" increase the time an EO based spray will linger on the body... Anyway, I know this new obsession of mine will lead to much fun and a huge increase in my knowledge!

Thanks again,
Douglas
 

julian35

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Feb 28, 2009
Does it mean anything that the initiator of this link, back in 2011 has "banned" under their name?
Does that mean they are now banned from posting on base notes?

Cerel9
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Banned
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leopaulc

New member
Aug 17, 2017
Hi,

I am new to this field. (I am from a mechanical engineering background)
For basic fragrance test, I also tried the same way. I found it is the most simple way to test it.
I added the compound to Isopropyl Alchohol (IPA) 80% and It gives a good result after spraying on the body.
Now I am struck up with the contents which I can add to it for the final production.
Some countries don't allow IPA more than 30% in the final product. What all other ingredients I can add to balance the ratio.
In my perfume, I am planning to mix 16 to 20% of the fragrance and 25% of IPA.

Thanks in advance.

Regards,
Leo Paul
+91-9560873377
Please help me with other contents & ratio which can be added to it.
 

pkiler

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Dec 5, 2007
First off, Stop using IPA, and switch to ETOH (95% or 190 proof) I use version 40B denatured.
Then you can use all ETOH alcohol plus your fragrance concentrate
 

needaname

Super Member
Jun 5, 2017
First off, Stop using IPA, and switch to ETOH (95% or 190 proof) I use version 40B denatured.
Then you can use all ETOH alcohol plus your fragrance concentrate

I am curious, why shouldn't you use IPA for perfume making? It is extremely hard/extremely expensive in a lot of countries to pure ethanol. Pure IPA is easier to get and has similar characteristics in terms of solubility, evaporation and smell. Any specific reason why you are opposed to IPA?
 

needaname

Super Member
Jun 5, 2017
I use IPA instead of Ethanol usually since it is 10 times cheaper. I have what they sell as 99% IPA and to my amateur nose it is slightly sweeter than Ethanol, is that what you mean by stink? I have some IPA that I think was probably denatured or adulterated which really stinks or just low quality. But otherwise I have not found it to really stink in any way and the top notes along with letting the perfume rest hide the smell of the alcohol just like what you would have with ethanol. Is it possible that different qualities of IPA cause such a big difference in how it is perceived?
 

leopaulc

New member
Aug 17, 2017
Hi,

It's really a wonderful profile name "NeedAname".. :)

Sir, I am looking this composition which can I export to other countries which restrict Alchohol and inflammable.
1. 12% to 18% perfume base,
2. 30% IPA is permissible.
What all other chemicals or compounds can mix with the perfume to make it 100%

Please suggest

Thanks in advance
Leo Paul
 

leopaulc

New member
Aug 17, 2017
Okay.. Thanks for the input! As a new person in this field, I just googled it to identify "DPG".

Will try "di propylene glycol" ... Thanks a lot :)

Leo Paul
 

Serg Ixygon

Basenotes Junkie
May 2, 2015
If somebody uses IPA for his perfume and find it good and attractive from all sides - why not? May be he find people aroung who can enjoy that perfume with him? All that we should say-
Happy perfuming!
 

Dmitriy

Basenotes Junkie
Dec 10, 2014
If somebody uses IPA for his perfume and find it good and attractive from all sides - why not? May be he find people aroung who can enjoy that perfume with him? All that we should say-
Happy perfuming!

The main thing is that it does not become a club of toxicomania addicts instead of adepts of fine perfumery.:smiley: Isopropyl alcohol except a terrible smell is even more toxic than ethanol))
 

Exuberant

New member
Oct 12, 2017
Hello Guys,
I've been looking for information on using an alternative to Perfumer's Alcohol and found this thread. I will be receiving a bottle of PA with my order from Chris (Pellwall) shortly to start with my little perfumery experiments and perhaps something bigger in the future. While ordering glass equipment I stumbled on denaturated, rectified ethanol. Here's what it's supposed to consist of:
Ethyl alcohol: min. 96%
Methanoll: max. 500ppm
Acidity: 15,2-30mg/l
Water: max. 4%
Content of higher??? alcohols: 3,2-5mg/kg
Density: 0,799g/cm3
Completely contaminated according to "insert some paragraphs" (contaminated for it not to be edible)

By the seller it is described as "good for cleaning and degreasing surfaces, as well as diluting fragrance compositions, paint, polish and resinous varnish. Used for production of perfume, deodorant, eau de cologne and hairsprays".

It seems like it's purpose is pretty clear and it's really cheap. I bought 1l for 13 PLN (about 3,60 USD) and a 5l bottle costs 46,99 PLN (about 13 USD).

So the question is - are there any precautions to using this stuff for diluting essential oils and others or is this basically what Paul said (EtOH 190 40B)?
 
Apr 17, 2016
The denaturant is methanol, which is not only hepatotoxic, but also has a prominent smell which will affect your perfume; perfumer's alcohol is best.
 

Exuberant

New member
Oct 12, 2017
Yes, but apparently there are really only traces of methanol in it. I can't wait to compare theses two substances. If it really turns out to smell badly I'll just have something to help me clean the glas without having to waste precious PA :D
 

Ivor Joedy

Super Member
Apr 14, 2019
Is 70% ethyl alcohol fine? Its hard to find higher % beyond 70. Need help

All (sic) of my perfumery books claim that after 4 - 5 weeks rest of the composition you should add water as a fixative to alcohol so that it should be pretty much about 80% (by volume) - at lower alcohol concentration it can not keep the essences. They write that the idea is to prevent alcohol from carrying away to many molecules in the air; big companies would do it.

Jean-Claude Ellena of Hèrmes writes that 5% of the essences in 85% alcohol is used in the training of perfumers.

I've tried it out. With 85% I could not even dilute Cedrus Atlantica by more than 3 to 5%. Yes, the 96% alcohol is a bit sharp at the first smell. But then it is true, what the professionals say here in the forum: The perfume performs better later on. I can only guess why.

In addition, water in alcohol means more oxygen, i.e. this may possibly affect the shell life etc.

In my experience also, no water should be used, which means that 96% alcohol is the only way. I do not think it's possible to work with less than 90% alcohol. It is not hard to find 96% alcohol - it is hard to pay for it.

Rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol, isopropanol) is only suitable for cleaning. The only alcohol for perfumery is the one you use to make eggnog (advocaat), what I sometimes do.
 

saberhagen

New member
Nov 9, 2019
Is perfumer alcohol odorless?

Sorry for asking such silly question. The thing is I come from a non-English speaking country, and there are all kinds of terms used to describe alcohol / ethanol, so I dont know which one is perfumer alcohol or even if such thing exists in my country. I bought some stuff which are supposed to be highly grade ethanol but the smell is very strong. For example the product below has some nasty warning that I dont even dare to open the bottle. Do you its safe to be used?

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pkiler

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Dec 5, 2007
Have you smelled high proof Vodka?
Mostly, pretty similar.

Placing small amounts of high volatility high impact aromatic materials can often mask much of the very short lived alcohol smell.
 

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