Have you ever chosen a fragrance oil, only to find out that the scent of your finished candles didn't match your expectations? The issue may be how you're smelling your fragrance oils, when picking them out.
Instead of judging a fragrance by how it smells out of the bottle, professional perfumers and evaluators use blotter strips to analyze the full character of a scent. Blotter strips provide a neutral medium for smelling and evaluating the aromatic compounds, providing a truer, more complete impression of the fragrance.
When describing the character of a fragrance, we talk about it in terms of notes. Scents have three main notes or levels: the top notes, the middle notes, and the base notes. When you smell a perfume or fragrance directly from the bottle, you're primarily smelling the top notes of a scent. These are generally the notes we smell first, but they are also the notes that fade the fastest.
The middle notes, also referred to as the heart, balance out the top and base notes. The middle notes are usually the most prominent aromas you will smell when a candle is burning. Base notes are the anchor of every fragrance,lending depth and longevity to the aroma.
The base notes will tend to linger in a room and leave a lasting impression of the scent. By testing fragrances on a blotter strip, we're able to unlock the middle and base notes to get a more accurate impression of how the fragrance will smell once it's in a wax or soap base.
So, how exactly do you use blotter strips? Let's take a look.
First, make sure you're testing where no other odors can interfere with your fragrance. Use one blotter strip for each fragrance and label each blotter with the fragrance name. Bend the tip of the blotter at the second line. This allows you to set the blotter down without compromising the scent or getting fragrance oil on your work surface.
Dip the blotter strips into the bottle to the first line. Let the blotter strips dry for around 10 seconds before smelling. Hold the blotter about an inch from your nose and smell to evaluate the fragrance oil.
If you want to test how fragrances would smell when blended, use two blotter strips. For a 50/50 mix, dip both blotter strips to the first line and hold them together while evaluating the scents. To represent a particular scent more strongly, dip that fragrance up to the second line.
For the best representation of your fragrance blend, we recommend using the strips the same day, as the fragrances can shift a bit over time.We hope these tips will help you better evaluate scents for your next batch of candles or soaps.
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