Scent Science: Exploring the Art of Fragrance Analysis

The creation of a parfum is a delicate process that spans over several years. To achieve the desired scent, maintaining quality control at each stage of production is of utmost importance, starting from the raw materials to the final product. Anton Paar’s non-pressurized measurement system ensures that the most information is extracted from each sample in one run.

Fragrances are single compounds or mixtures of compounds with characteristic, strong, usually pleasant odor. Natural fragrance materials have been used for perfumery purposes for thousands of years. Nowadays, several thousands of natural and synthetic substances are used for the production of fine fragrances (parfums). In order to ensure purity and quality of each raw material used, various parameters such as specific gravity (SG), refractive index (RI), optical rotation (OR) and color-related quantities are meticulously checked.

Fine fragrances are usually complex mixtures of different fragrances and hydroethanolic solution. Extrait de Parfum contains the highest percentage of fragrance, typically between 20 % v/v and 30 % v/v, while products with less than 15 % v/v of fragrance are called eau (Eau de Parfum, eau de Toilette, etc.). The creation of a parfum often takes several years to achieve the desired fragrance and optimize the formulation. To ensure compliance with specifications and regulations, quality controls are required during the production process. Monitoring of the quality parameters is essential for detecting impurities in raw materials and changes in the final product composition.

This report aims to demonstrate the suitability of a non-pressurized measurement system equipped with a multi-sample changer for efficient and precise quality control throughout the entire parfum production process. This application report shows how changes in composition can be identified through single measurements, and highlights the potential for automating this quality control process for larger batches.

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