Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Classic EDC

I've been playing around with Eau de Colognes of late ~ attempting to recreate formulas, and come up with a few of my own.

The whole water issue with EdC's kind of scare me. I remember when I was new to natural perfumery, I attempted an EdC based on a formula from my antique copy of 'A Woman Beautiful' -- it was a disaster as I had very little knowledge about character of EdC's, and . . . then . . . there was that water issue that literally clouds the composition, in more ways than one.

I guess I had a hard time wrapping my mind around the concept of adding water ~ was it added for longevity of scent, though light, as some books would have me believe? Or was it added to stretch the raw ingredients to create a fresher, lighter perfume, as other books suggested?

Being a perfumer who has very little patience for 'light' and 'airy' essences (Give me a vat of patchouli, or give me death!) hasn't helped with my endeavors to build and EdC. I'm always trying to ground them without punching them out. (Tonka and vanilla tinctures work wonderfully here.)

But I think I get them now. I think I've figured them out, those 'classics'. I can imagine Napoleon dousing himself with eau de cologne and begging Josephine not to bathe. I can imagine Hungarian princesses splishy-splashing rosemary eau de cologne on their faces to retain their youthful glow.

I am being fanciful, no?


  1. You're ahead of me :) I have the bottles out for recreating the EdC, but haven't reworked a formula yet.

    Water scares me, too. I think the first time I did a EdC knockoff, I left the beaker uncovered for a couple days. Completely by accident. It definitely lowered the alcohol content because the etoh grabbed moisture out of the air, but I'm not sure I'd incorporate water that way again.

  2. Honey,
    The real and classic EdC we recreated in class in Grasse (nice rhyme there LOL) contained absolutely no water at all, but all raw materials and DPG. I myself don't believe that the water add anything to a formula...A hydrosol yeas, but plain destilled water???
    Better go and delve into that tincture stash;-)

    Hugs and looooooveee!

  3. Oh, I did dig 'round the tincture closet -- found a nice orange flower tincture that I used, diluted only slightly with distilled water.


  4. Sara,
    What is it about the water? I can only think of one thing -- the mold issue. I think I'm stuck on that, even though there's very little chance the EdC's will grow mold with less than 5% water content! Still . . . as a formulator of oils for skin and hair, butters and soaps, the water issue is a big, big deal.

    And the clouding -- geesh!

  5. Ayup, on the clouding.

    I think water has its place as a solvent, and maybe it brings out components the etoh won't, and all that jazz, but the cloudy stuff bugs me.

    If I create something, I want it to be crystal clear. I'll even filter a couple times to get all the sediment out, sometimes, or to get the CO2 sludge out of something (I find a few of them never completely go into solution and tend to ooze amoebically around the bottom of the beaker).

    The mold potential bugs me, too.

    If I'm making something with water, and I know the end user is probably going to innoculate it with his/her own germies, well...



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