Inside The Perfumer's
Graphic Odor Display
We continue our description of The Perfumer's Workbook with a look at the Graphic Odor Display tool. You use it by opening a formula and then clicking on the Graphic Odor Display icon on the toolbar. The Graphic Odor Display tool, which I think of as "the wheel" due to its shape and movement, displays the changing odor profile of your fragrance as it evaporates.
|The Perfumer's Workbook fragrance creation software was developed by perfumer Stephen V. Dowthwaite, founder of PerfumersWorld and is included as part of the PerfumersWorld Foundation Course or can be purchased separately for instant download.
Also available: The Perfumer's Workbook Professional Edition, starting at $5,000. Installation and on-site training available. Inquire.
This tool can actually be used either as a pie graph or a bar graph. Both show an animated display of the evaporation process. When you load your fragrance and activate this tool it immediately shows you both the odor impact of your fragrance (in relation to the odor impact of Linalool) and the anticipated life of the fragrance on a test blotter.
These are significant metrics. If you're trying to develop a fragrance that will play well among co-workers in a crowded office, you might not want to see, for example, an odor impact of 300 as it might clear the office with Hazmat alert.
And if you notice that your fragrance is anticipated to last no more than two hours on a test blotter, you might consider adjusting your formula to bring in more base notes.
But wait. There's more to the Graphic Odor Display than these bare numbers. Click on the Auto Elapse button and it begins to evaporate your fragrance, steadily changing its display to show the change in odor profile. If, like me, you use the pie graphic display ("the wheel"), you'll see it constantly changing until all the nose can no longer smell what is left.
"Zero Hour" -- fresh out of the bottle
The display at the left shows the odor evolution of a generic cologne whose formula has been pre loaded in The Perfumer's Workbook. the top screen shot shows the odor profile of this Cologne as the oil is placed on a smelling strip, directly from the bottle. Thus the top screen shot shows our Cologne in all its glory.
The slices of the pie graph show the odor groups represented, based on The ABC's of Perfumery as developed by Steve Dowthwaite and PerfumersWorld. In this example we see a large yellow area marked "C" for "Citrus." Toggling briefly to the bar graph we see that the Citrus odor group represents 59.8 percent of the formula followed by 12.2 percent Linalool (a light, chemical aroma that commonly serves as a blender in fragrances) and then lesser percentages of Herb, Fruit, Musk ("X"), Rose, Spice, etc. This is easily understood when we look at the actual formula and see Bergamot Oil, Grapefruit Oil, Lemon Oil, Neroli Oil, and other "Citrus" (category) aroma materials. Then we wee Herb materials, Linalool, etc.
Press the "Auto Elapse" button
and evaporation begins
Once you press the "Auto Elapse" button the wheel begins to turn. What you are seeing is the rapid evaporation of the more volatile materials (the top notes of the fragrance) and, as their percentages decrease, the size of the pie slices of the less volatile materials increase.
The second screen shot shows the odor profile after 2 1/2 hours. Now Citrus is just 42.5 percent while Linalool has risen to 19.0 percent, Herb to 8.2 percent, Musk to 6.3 percent, and Fruit to 6.2 percent. Now, although Linalool, Herb, and Fruit has odor impacts about half of that of Citrus, they make up a larger portion of the odor profile and thus come into greater prominence to the nose.
After 3 hours
By the third hour, as represented by the third screen shot, we see a dramatic shift in the odor profile. Citrus ? originally the dominant note ? has faded down to just 35.5 percent of the odor profile. Linalool, Herb, Musk, and Fruit (the "middle" or "heart" notes here) continue to assume greater significance.
...and onward to the end
By 4.2 hours Citrus is down to 4.5 percent, approaching extinction .Our fragrance is now a more complex blend of Linalool, Herb, Musk, Fruit, Rose, and Green notes. We now detect smells in our fragrance that were previously masked by the dominance of Citrus.
At 11.4 hours (screen shot 5) our fragrance has lost almost all of its impact and we struggle to relate it to what first came out of the bottle.At 24 hours (screen shot 6) we are seeing the drydown. Musk and Linalool, slightly scented by Rose, Narcotic, and a few others.
When, at 43 hours, the wheel stops, nothing is left but Musk, ever so slightly scented by equally long lasting Animal ("U" for "Urine") scents, and Dairy. At the beginning, the Animal and Dairy notes were represented as tiny traces of these materials. At the end the have slightly more impact but, at the end, it is the Musk that dominates.
Hours of evaporation displayed in seconds
The Graphic Odor Display tool can be a real timesaver in evaluating your fragrance. Not only can you watch how your fragrance changes its odor profile as it evaporated, you can "stop the clock" at any point ? or set the clock to any point ? between zero hour and the last hour of its life.
The hour of the "last hour" will vary from fragrance to fragrance, depending on the aroma materials that have been used, making the evaporation cycle quite sjhort in some cases and quite long in others.