PERFUME MACERATION – MYTH OR FACTS
You’ve just acquired a new bottle of perfume, and you’re thrilled to try it out.
It smells incredible, but after a few hours, you can’t smell it anymore.
Maybe you’ve read somewhere that maceration/macerating your perfume for a number of weeks can increase the performance of its juice or simply change over time.
In this blog post, we’ll explore how maceration works and whether or not it’s really worth the time and effort to let your perfumes sit after purchase.
What are the different types of perfume?
There are different types of perfume, each with its own unique fragrance. The most common type is alcohol-based perfume, which is made from a mixture of alcohol and essential oils compound.
They are often called eau de cologne, eau de toilette, and eau de parfum.
Perfume oil or commonly called oil-based perfume is a more concentrated form of fragrance and is made by adding a carrier oil to the mixture instead of alcohol (ethanol).
Cosmetic fragrances are usually a mix of different compounds in a container, while Essential Oils (EO) are just pure oils extracted from plants with no added ingredients.
The odor of a perfume depends on the essential oils used in its creation, as well as combined with other ingredients.
How is perfume manufactured?
Perfume is manufactured by extracting oils from plants and flowers and then blending them together to create the desired scent.
The manufacturing process begins with the extraction of the oil from the plant or flower. This can be done through a process of steam distillation, where the plant material is heated in water and the resulting vapor is condensed and collected.
The oil can also be extracted using a solvent, such as alcohol, which dissolves the oil from the plant material.
Once the oil has been extracted, it is then blended with other ingredients to create the desired scent. The blend of ingredients is then aged or left to sit for a period of time, before being bottled and sold as perfume.
The manufacturing process of perfume involves a number of steps, including the extraction of oils from plants and flowers, the blending of these oils to create the desired scent, and the aging of the blend before it is bottled and sold.
What are the ingredients and chemical structures of perfume?
Perfume is made up of a mixture of different aromatic molecules. These molecules are what give perfume its scent. The different ingredients in perfume are what give it its characteristic smell.
The base notes are the heaviest and longest-lasting, while the top notes are the lightest and most volatile.
The middle notes are somewhere in between. Citrus scents are usually top notes, while vanilla and musk are usually base notes.
Ambergris is one of the most expensive ingredients in perfumery.
It is a waxy, amber-colored substance secreted by sperm whales, and is used as a fixative in high-end perfumes.
Ambergris has a musky, earthy scent that helps to prolong the life of a perfume’s fragrance.
What is the difference between perfumes marketed to males and females?
There are some key differences between perfumes marketed to males and females.
For starters, male-oriented fragrances tend to be more intense and have a stronger scent odor than those made for women.
They also often contain more dominant woody or musky notes, while female perfumes are typically sweeter and lighter.
In terms of packaging, male perfumes often come in darker, more masculine-looking bottles, while those made for women are usually more delicate and feminine in design.
Process of Perfume Making: Raw Materials
The first step to make a perfume is to gather the raw materials.
These can be synthetic or natural ingredients, and they must be of the highest quality.
The perfume essence is then extracted from these raw materials using a variety of processes. The molecules are then mixed with alcohol and oil to create the final scent.
The mix is then filtered and cooled to the desired temperature.
Finally, the perfumer adds the finishing touches to the perfume in the laboratory.
Assembling the essences
The process of assembling the essences is known as perfume making. Perfumers use a variety of formulas and ingredients to create different smells.
The concentrate is the most important part of the perfume. It is made up of essential oils and oil molecules. Alcohol and water are used to dilute the concentrate.
The top notes are the first smell that you notice when you wear the perfume. The base notes are the last smell that you notice. They give the perfume its lasting power.
Storing Your Perfume
When storing your perfume, it is important to keep it in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight or heat.
The temperature should be consistent between 15-20 degrees Celsius, as fluctuations can cause the fragrance to change.
It is also important to keep the perfume in a dark place, as light can also cause the fragrance to change.
Finally, it is best to store the perfume in a glass bottle, as this will help to preserve the fragrance.
Benefits of Keeping It Cool
The main benefit of keeping your fragrance cool is that it will help to prevent the degradation of the perfume’s oil and essence ingredients.
If these ingredients are exposed to too much heat, they can begin to break down and lose their potency.
By keeping your fragrance at a cool temperature, you can help to preserve its strength and longevity.
Additionally, cool temperatures can also help to prevent the evaporation of alcohol from the perfume, which can make it weaker over time.
LETTING YOUR FRAGRANCE MACERATE AND MATURE
It’s not a matter of speculation. It’s a matter of terminology.
A perfume’s scent is not just something that emerges out of thin air. It’s the result of a methodical process called Maceration, which is an extraction process that results in the medium adopting the scent of the ingredients and happens before the product ever reaches the shelves.
It is an intentional chemical process undertaken by the manufacturer which can only happen in very large volumes and under very specific environmental conditions.
The first step in maceration is to create a solution of alcohol and water, along with some other ingredients.This mixture is then added to a batch of perfume ingredients, which are mixed together until they all become one substance.
The liquid solution is then left for several weeks, months or even years before being filtered out and bottled as a finished product.
Maturation is a crucial part of the process of creating a fragrance in a lab. Once the perfume is finished, bottled, and left to sit, it’s possible for the scent to change in various ways because of maturation.
As your fragrance matures, the ingredients will interact with one another to create a more complex and more powerful aroma that reflects the true essence of your fragrance.
What’s more, as your scent ages, it becomes even more potent—something we all want.
WHAT HAPPENS DURING THE MATURATION STAGE:
The chemical reactions that are likely to take place in your mix are like a group of people at a party.
The more people there are, the more likely it is that some will start dancing.
The more alcohol there is, the more likely it is that someone will get drunk.
The same thing goes for your mix: the longer you let it sit around with all its ingredients together, the more likely chemical reactions will begin to happen.
And these reactions are like people at a party—they’re not just random movements; they’re dependent on what’s going on around them!
Depending on your mix, you can get either one of the following different types of reactions:
Transesterification is a chemical reaction that occurs when an alcohol reacts with an ester to form a new ester and alcohol.
The process is reversible, meaning that the initial reactants can be recovered by distilling off the excess alcohol and acid.
The esters will chemically balance out eventually.
We’ve always been suspecting that it’s the part of the process that makes a scent “rounder”, as people described it.
Formation of imines (Schiff Base)
A Schiff base is formed when an amine reacts with a carbonyl compound to form a new compound. In perfumery, the most common amines are ammonia and primary amines like ethylamine or aniline.
The most commonly used carbonyl compounds are aldehydes and ketones—but there are others, including furans, nitriles, and esters.
The resulting molecule that forms when the two react is called an imine. Imines of methyl anthranilate are very often strongly colored. So if your perfume goes dark during maturation, it’s because of the formation of those imines.
As the reaction goes on, some of the chemicals will have a harder time finding partners that can accept their excess energy.
They’ll start to build up in the solution and eventually reach a “stable” concentration—the point at which they’re just as likely to stabilize and no reaction is being achieved anymore.
We believe that the stability stage will be achieved in three months.
This does not mean, however, that it will take exactly three months to balance everything.There are many complex variables that should be taken into consideration when making such calculations- The stability stage could even occur at a faster rate after one month, instead of the normal period.
IS IT WORTH IT TO MACERATE YOUR FRAGRANCES?
Maceration (a period of letting a perfume composition sit before filtering) and maturation ( a period of letting chemical reactions take place after bottling) are one of the many terminologies you’re likely to come across when starting your journey into perfume making or fragrance collecting.
To recap, if you recently mix a perfume blend together, it takes approximately a month to achieve a third percentage of the plausible chemical reactions to occur, and around 3 months for a full stabilize concentration to take place. (Note: It’s an estimate.)
Lastly, there is a ‘softening’ process of chemicals ‘falling’ into solution, which is to say that if you dilute something sharp-smelling in alcohol/DPG, it tends to present as more smooth after extended aging than immediately afterward.
This applies very well to “blend to order” stores like indie clone houses DUA Fragrance, Alexandria Fragrance, Oil Perfumery, or even Maison Phillipe Perfumery. You can check our fragrance oil samples HERE
Our customers are always telling us they’re so excited to try out our new perfume oils, but they often have to wait several months before they can get an accurate sense of how it smells.
It’s because the blending process is so complex and involves many different notes and ingredients, that it takes time for all those different components to settle into their proper place in the final product.
This should result in a richer consistency and a more powerful aroma, something everyone really want.
We hope this information is helpful to all!