Fragrance materials are the products with which we strongly distinguish ourselves. Our customers outside the Netherlands and Belgium almost exclusively buy fragrance materials from us. This is because we can also deliver in very small quantities, which is very unusual for many fragrance materials. We also supply these to private individuals, which is also very special.
What not for
The fragrance materials we sell are not intended for internal use. Although some of our substances are undoubtedly suitable and safe for such use, De Hekserij does not meet the requirements set for the packaging and trade in flavourings. We don’t want that either, that’s a different industry. We do not recommend using our fragrances for food preparation.
Our products are suitable for therapeutic use, for example aromatherapy. However, only as long as this is done externally on the skin or when evaporating in, for example, an aroma burner. Of course in a suitable dilution. We do not recommend internal use. Only use essential oil that explicitly meets the legal requirements for use in food. We don’t sell those.
We do not recommend using our products in liquids for electric smoking. This also applies to carriers such as glycerine and propylene glycol. This is because virtually nothing is known about the safety of electric smoking. As a result, nor the requirements that the raw materials should meet for this purpose.
For which purpose
The products are intended for use in perfume, soap, cosmetics, air fresheners, incense and related products. In fact, for everything that is used on the body, in the air or on furniture, floors and textiles, for example.
Fragrance materials smell intense and can be allergenic or irritating to the skin and respiratory tract. For that reason, they are not normally used pure. They are a component of a product. Depending on the harmfulness to the skin, a certain fragrance can be used more or less concentrated. We try to mention this as much as possible in the description of the substances. See the general guideline, below.
A general safety advice: use common sense! For example, if you suffer from redness after using a perfume, stop using it. A one-time exposure usually does little harm and is at most annoying.
The maximum concentration depends on the fragrance materials used, but as a rule of thumb we can give the following general advice:
- Air fresheners, scented candles and the like that are not intended for contact with the skin. We do not have any advice regarding safety for this. The technical limitations of the product determine the concentration. For example, scented candles often contain around 8% fragrance materials. A higher concentration is possible from a safety point of view, but then there may be technical problems. Maybe the candle doesn’t smell good, or it doesn’t burn well, or it doesn’t look nice.
- Perfume and similar products, which are used in small amounts on the skin, but not on the face or hands, and are intended to perfume the skin: maximum 15%.
- Soap, shampoo and the like that are used on the skin and rinsed off after a short time: maximum 3%.
- Products such as massage oil, which are used on larger areas of the skin, but not on the face or hands and which are not rinsed off: maximum 1%.
- Cream, make-up and other products used on the face or hands that are not rinsed off: maximum 0.3.
Droppers and caps
Liquid fragrances are supplied in a bottle without a dropper cap. This is because they can negatively affect the shelf life of the content. Furthermore, because many people find them unpleasant to use. For those who want to use dropper caps, we sell separate dropper caps and glass pipettes that are built into caps. However, both have drawbacks. They accelerate the spoilage of the products, sometimes they get stuck, cleaning takes time and requires cleaning alcohol. Single-use plastic pipettes have the disadvantage that you only use them once and are therefore relatively expensive to use, but you do preserve the substances better.
For this reason, we recommend using single-use pipettes. Provide sufficient pipettes for dosing the products, the 1 ml pipettes are suitable for 10 ml bottles, the 3 ml pipettes for larger bottles.
Caps sometimes break. Most 10 and 50 ml packages of fragrance materials come in a DIN18 bottle, a few extra DIN18 caps will come in handy in case caps break. We also recommend adding some cheap 10 ml bottles and some extra DIN18 caps to your stock for storing mixtures.
Solids must be dissolved. This is possible in, for example, cosmetic hair water or DPG, provided that the substance dissolves in it. In the description of the products we sometimes indicate an alternative solvent. Making solutions requires a good scale: the more precise and the more digits after the decimal point, the better. The same scale can also be used for the precise mixing of perfumes. You can also add drops with a pipette.
Safety and Damage
The more often you work with fragrances, the greater the chance that you will suffer from an allergic skin reaction. It is therefore best to immediately get used to wearing gloves when mixing perfumes. There is no single type of glove that provides good protection against all fragrance materials. Nitrile gloves are a good general and affordable choice. Safety glasses are a good idea, but not absolutely necessary if you work carefully.
fragrance materials and solvents, just like perfume and cleaning agents, can cause damage to furniture, clothing, floors, etc. So take measures. A plastic sheet is often a good precaution.
Ventilate well after mixing and stirring.
We have already written a lot about the subject of ‘natural’. We will not enter the discussion again here, but choose a simple definition. If a fragrance material is natural according to international standard ISO 9235, we consider it natural and otherwise we do not. We therefore consider a substance such as vanillin or alpha terpineol to be synthetic, although they are usually made from waste products from the wood and paper industry.
We sell various natural fragrance materials:
These are obtained by distillation with water or steam, by dry distillation or by pressing from the peel (in citrus fruits). Depending on the type of oil, further processing may then take place, such as redistillation. Some types of essential oil have been made for hundreds of years (juniper oil for example) others such as ylang ylang oil and patchouli oil are a lot more modern. Our essential oil is pure and compliant with ISO 9235, with one exception. In those cases where IFRA has indicated that an antioxidant must be used to ensure safety in the use of the oil, an antioxidant has been added. This is indicated in the description of the oil. We sell about 50 kinds of essential oil.
They are made by De Hekserij ourselves on the basis of an old recipe. These are little used in professional perfumery anymore. Especially for the natural perfumer, it can be a very good addition to the palette. A tincture is made by infusing natural substances in alcohol for a certain time. After this period, the tincture is filtered.
Vegetable material is mixed with liquefied carbon dioxide under high pressure. The fragrances from the plants partly dissolve in this liquid carbon dioxide. The liquid carbon dioxide is drained and brought to normal pressure, where it becomes gaseous again, the odourant remains behind. As a result, there is no residue of solvent. Even if it were there it would not be a problem, carbon dioxide occurs naturally in the air. The process produces beautiful scents that often match the scent of the plant itself much better than, for example, essential oil. We sell some CO2 extracts.
Extracts made with solvents such as alcohol or (highly pure) benzene. Plant parts with little or no water are added to a solvent for a while and filtered. The solvent is then evaporated from the solution for reuse. Resinoids are usually solid, so we sell most of them as solutions so that they can be dosed with a pipette. We sell some resinoids.
Extracts with solvents that do not mix with water, such as (highly pure) benzene. This is especially useful when extracts are made from products that contain a lot of water, such as mosses, flower petals and the like. Because the water from the plant does not mix with the solvent, the extract is not diluted by the extraction method. Some are liquid, others solid. We sell some absolutes.
Pure fragrance materials (with mainly one type of molecule) that are isolated from a mixture by, for example, distillation. An example is menthol from field mint oil. The smell is usually very similar to the synthetic substance. There may be a difference in smell because the small amount of other substances that are always present also influence the smell. Menthol is but an example, there is also synthetic menthol on the market.
Resins, gums and gum resins
Please note: only those with an article number starting with 26 are suitable for use in cosmetics and perfumes. Article numbers that start with 40 are only suitable for technical products and, moreover, often not or less suitable for fragrance products.
These are natural secretions of certain plants, trees and shrubs that are extracted and usually purified to a limited extent. Depending on the origin and commercial use, these may contain other items, such as packaging material remnants, sand, plant residues, etcetera. We strive to source the cleanest quality resins. Fresh resins are often soft, they become harder over time. This is also a matter of use and sometimes there are several types on the market. Strictly speaking, they are no fragrance materials, but products that you can use to make fragrances, such as tinctures.
Dried plant parts of fragrant plants. These are also not fragrance materials, but raw materials for making fragrances, such as tinctures. They can also be used in potpourri. We don’t buy them for the look, but for the smell.
Under the name of perfume oil (we abbreviate PO, for example PO Farmer Jasmine) we sell mixtures of fragrances. These are synthetic and natural fragrances that together have a certain fragrance effect. The advantage over loose fragrance materials is that a PO itself already has a pleasant smell. This can be very different for loose fragrance materials. Some fragrances smell nice on their own, others only in combination with other substances.
By the way, pleasant is of course a matter of personal taste, what we like you may not like. Also the description will not be ‘correct’ for everyone, there is always an element of fantasy in the name.
If you want to make your shampoo smell nice, the easiest way to do this is to use a perfume oil. Mixing loose fragrance materials is more intended for making a special fragrance, for example for a perfume. You can also mix several types of perfume oil together to make a new scent.
The perfume oil is intended for general use, we don’t know how well every perfume oil works in candles, soaps or other more difficult to perfume products; trying it out is the easiest and fastest way to find out. As a rule, they mix well to fairly well with many types of cosmetics and perfumes.
Because the perfume oil is developed by people who take as much as possible into account issues such as safety and stability, perfume oils are usually safer to use than more natural fragrance materials and also more stable: they last longer, with some exceptions.
In addition to natural fragrances and perfume oils, there are synthetic fragrances. These are liquids and solids consisting mainly of one fragrance molecule, but also some blends of fragrances made by well-known fragrance manufacturers. We also sell a number of solutions of synthetic fragrances in DPG (dipropylene glycol), which are solutions of solids that are easier to dose in liquid form, or strong-smelling fragrances that show up better when diluted.
Synthetic fragrances are generally safer than natural fragrances because more selection has taken place. A natural fragrance that is bad for the environment or health, but has been used for 150 years, usually remains on the market, a new synthetic fragrance with the same properties simply does not come on the market (unless the fragrance is exceptionally useful). There are also exceptions, but usually these are exceptional synthetic fragrances that have conquered a place in the perfumer’s palette and therefore do not go away so easily.
There are several other advantages of synthetics over natural fragrance materials, to name a few:
- The smell is easier to control with synthetic materials, because they usually consist of only one molecule type, an essential oil quickly consists of 300 different molecule types, of which you could do without 30, for example, because they ruin your smell. There is also an immediate disadvantage: you often need more synthetics to make a pleasant perfume. A perfume needs a certain complexity and one essential oil often already has that of itself.
- The quality and availability can be better controlled and predicted. With essential oil, the quality and supply can vary from year to year: if the weather is bad in the Bulgarian rose valley at the time the roses are harvested, there is not enough rose oil, the price shoots through the roof and the oil smells different than last year. However, the perfume has to smell the same as last year and that is very difficult. However, the phenylethyl alcohol from a certain supplier smells almost the same, time after time.
- Although there are very cheap natural fragrance materials and very expensive synthetics, most synthetic fragrance materials are cheaper.