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Essential Oil Aroma – Impact and Longevity!

October 2, 2019

I recently stumbled across a part of the Perfumers World website that had me captivated for a good couple of hours.  Anyone that knows me and my ADHD knows that rabbit holes are an occupational hazard of mine and falling into them is one reason why  I’m still not rich or on top of my day-to-day workload 🙂

Anyway, here is what I found.

Anyone who has ever played around with essential oil perfumery knows that the aromas you create don’t always last a long time. I just wrote about this in my Fixatives article a few posts back but there is another part of that puzzle.

Essential oils have, for a long  time been categorised as being top, middle or base notes and most places I’ve looked tend to link that to their longevity.  Top notes last a short time, middle notes a bit longer and base notes the longest time.  However, what I hadn’t fully appreciated before finding the data on Perfumers World is that it’s actually a bit more complex than that and that within the simplistic ‘note’ categorisation are other things including a feature called ‘odour impact’ or odour intensity.

It turns out that among short, middle and base notes exists a whole range of odour intensities with some oils having a huge odour impact (peppermint is a good example of this even though it is mostly classified as a top note),  while others have a very low impact (Peru Balsam is a low impact odour and that’s a base note).

At this point I’m beginning to question if the ‘notes’ way of thinking is kind of pointless OR have I just not understood it correctly?  Either way, this is news that I can use!

I sorted through their website and came up with a table which organises the data that is useful for me on a daily basis as it relates to the essential oils I mostly use.   This table is ordered by increasing odour impact:

Data from Perfumers World Increasing odour impact on application. >>>>>
Essential oil Odour Impact Odour Life in hours
Amyris 30 2000
Peru Balsam 45 72
Myrrh 60 24
Sandalwood 70 999
Cedarwood Atlas 75 48
Manuka 85 40
Frankincense (Olibanum) 97 3
Patchouli 98 42
Eucalyptus Citradora 100 0
Clary Sage 105 20
Vetiver 105 320
Sweeet Orange 110 8
Bergamot 110 8
Lavender 110 27
Elemi 120 12
Neroli 120 5
Grapefruit Pink 125 2
Pine Needle 125 5
Lemon Oil 130 1.2
Rosemary 130 11
Sweet Basil Essential Oil 130 25
Spruce 130 2.5
Lime Distilled 135 1.2
Ylang Ylang 140 20
Black Pepper 150 10
Cinnamon Bark Essential Oil 150 80
Geranium 170 14
Tea Tree 180 23
Clove Bud Essential Oil 180 36
Ginger 200 14
Juniper Berry 200 3
Clove Leaf Essential Oil 220 30
Roman Chanomile 230 30
spearmint 230 8
Citrolenna 280 8
Eucalyptus Globulus 370 2.6
Peppermint 400 10

I am going to experiment with this data to see if I can stretch out my odour impact and longevity further by taking this into account and formulating around the sweet spot of long-life and high odour intensity wherever possible.

I thought that this data may be especially useful when formulating products that need to smell good for a long time such as deodorants, perfumes or scented balms.   It’s probably less of an issue for face creams and make-up products…

What was also interesting at Perfumery World was their notes on formulating.  They give an applications score to each oil (and aroma note) to help identify where the ingredient is best used and where to avoid.  Looking at Peppermint again I see that it is not so good in talcum powder or alcoholic products but it’s great in everything else.  With Neroli, I see it has a huge issue in hair conditioners and by the looks of it I should be careful if putting it into more acidic formulations.

I don’t know how I’ve got through life so far without knowing this but now I have found this I feel like a new woman!



One Comment leave one →
  1. nuggett1 permalink
    October 2, 2019 6:47 pm

    Amanda also I luv your sense of humour that you sprinkle in you articles 😂🤣🥳 I’m your number one fan 🥳👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻

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