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How Long Do Samples Last Before Starting To Oxidize?

Discussion in 'General' started by christmas ham, Nov 21, 2020.

  1. christmas ham

    christmas ham Just Arrived

    Is it a good idea to use sample vials in place of full bottles and only use a little at a time? I sometimes do this with potent Western fragrances, and can make a 2ml vial last up to a year. For artisanal oils, would this lead to oxidization or other negative effects?

    I ask because my only opportunity to afford some oils would be if I bought them .3 gr at a time, and I obviously want that kind of investment to remain stable over a few years.
    Oudamberlove likes this.
  2. Oudamberlove

    Oudamberlove Member

    For the most part, expect the oils to be affected by oxidation. To what degree, depends on the particular oil due to the variety of distillation methods, the size of the sample vial, and how often you open the vial.
    Taesik Yun likes this.
  3. Sproaty

    Sproaty Sproudy Staff Member

    Many of mine have. What a colossal waste of money :(
    Mario P., Taesik Yun and DubOudh like this.
  4. DubOudh

    DubOudh Aster Oudh

    How quickly has it happened and what are the initial signs of this occuring?
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2020
  5. Mr.P

    Mr.P Evoloudtionary Bioudlogist

    I've never felt comfortable buying those silly little samples because they are so expensive and then they just turn into a residue in very little time. And they all smell pretty much similar once they oxidize.

    I have this one box that's a graveyard of sample bottles. Maybe 100... some were top shelf once, all just tossed in the bin because they smell the same and are drying in the bottle.

    those $300 sample sets some folks want to sell you... use them up quickly...

    the oils become more base heavy, flow more slowly, and converge on a kind of generic woody oily scent that is not really unique or appealing. First sign is change of top note and thickening, increased viscosity.

    problem is high surface area, plastic porous cap, lots of O2 you cannot control.

    my solution: mix sample in ethanol at 2-5% concentration. Not an ideal solution but you can fill the bottle with alcohol which excludes air and seems to stabilize the scent. When i used to occasionally get samples from vendors in the days when they weren't $60 a sample, I would immediately dump the sample into a 10 mL bottle filled with alcohol. So maybe .2 g in 10 g of alcohol. I have some roller bottles from 10 years ago that I've been able to use and enjoy regularly and they smell enough like the original product to remind me of it clearly. Unlike my samples in those vials. They have all gone bad. My oud "royale" sample (gift - wouldn't pay that kind of $ for that oil) smells just like an old merauke sample from some eBay vendor in Singapore. They sit in a bin with all kinds of dead samples.. Should have diluted in alcohol.

    if the vial is 1/2 full there is enough oil beneath the surface layer that the oxidation slows way down.
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2020
  6. EJayB

    EJayB True Ouddict

    I love the little .1 v-vile bottles that AH uses,
    It’s a full bottle with tiny air space so oil stays good, scent legends also uses these sample type bottles
    Mr.P likes this.
  7. Sproaty

    Sproaty Sproudy Staff Member

    I started buying oud midway through 2018 I believe, and not wanting to commit to full bottles and to experience a multitude of different oils from different regions and price points I bought a lot of samples.
    Agar Aura ones were the worst, they were offered in plastic vials for 0.15g I believe. The oils in these turned completely solid and the fragrance was almost non-existant. I did buy other samples from Taha last year and they were sent in glass vials, which were much better.

    But yeah everything @Mr.P has said rings true. If you buy samples then please use them up. I need to heed his advice regarding adding ethanol.

    BTW I take responsibility for buying too much and not using them up. A while ago I realised how many "close to empty" samples I had and began to use them - which meant actually overapplying like crazy. I have several oils from ASO which I've yet to use, they were 0.2g IIRC and I seem to have gotten 10 or so "wears" from a single one. Multiply by that by owning ~15 samples (from one brand alone) and you can see that it may take some time to actually use up samples.

    I do have some hoarding tendencies. I had the same thing with buying fragrance spray samples - biggest difference being that sitting in a 10ml spray decant for 2 years has not altered the smell; only a potential small loss from evaporation.
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2020
  8. DubOudh

    DubOudh Aster Oudh

    Is this the same for 3ml bottles or just mainly the sample bottles...
  9. Mr.P

    Mr.P Evoloudtionary Bioudlogist

    That's what's needed.

    Or like feel oud used to do... little plastic eppindorf tubes with 2-3 drops you can dip a toothpick in a few times and just toss. You can tell it's not going to last long from the moment you get it so you just use that sucker up and decide if you want to buy some or not. Way less oil but he'd give em out almost for free and it was enough to evaluate the oil and there was no illusion that the sample will hold up. Those tubes annoyed me at first but in retrospect...

    The more full a bottle is and the more durable or impermeable the cap, the less of an issue time is. A full 3 ml bottle with glass or no dipstick well sealed in a cool place will keep relatively unchanged for decades I think.

    options for managing stash:

    1) always store in full bottle, decant into smaller bottles when air space gets too much. There are several problems with this that have been discussed...

    2) as bottle empties, add alcohol to "fix" oil and displace air. Obvious issues here.

    3) go crazy and use a "nitrogen flush" to displace air from bottles that are nearly full... store with argon or nitrogen blanket.

    4) ?? what else... dilute in carrier oil? That has NEVER gone well for me.
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2020
    Taesik Yun, EJayB, DubOudh and 2 others like this.
  10. sabahan

    sabahan Whats this Oud About?

    I put argon in all my samples that I have collected over many years and that protects the oils from oxidation.

    Argon has is inert and heavy, and forms a protective layer on top of the samples.

    You should also do this for your other oils in bottles/v-vials once it’s 70-80%.

    All you had to do it keep a bottle or argon handy, and once you’re used to it, it becomes second nature, and only takes a few seconds to do.
    Sproaty, EJayB and Oudamberlove like this.
  11. sabahan

    sabahan Whats this Oud About?

    In addition, you should always keep your samples upright after applying argon gas.

    A centrifuge rack works great.

    Finally, always keep you oils in a cool, dark place away from sunlight.

    In summary:
    1. Argon gas
    2. Store upright
    3. Cool and dark place (and away from sunlight)
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2020
    DubOudh likes this.
  12. Mustafa

    Mustafa True Ouddict

    Assalamualaikum brother, is there a technique to this? I want to learn properly how to do this. What do I need?
    sabahan likes this.
  13. DubOudh

    DubOudh Aster Oudh

    I hope two out of three aint bad.....:)
    sabahan likes this.
  14. Sproaty

    Sproaty Sproudy Staff Member

    I've always kept them upright and out of sunlight but never with the gas...
    sabahan likes this.
  15. Abu Amir

    Abu Amir True Ouddict

    With more water in the oil the more it will oxidize and go rancid.
    DubOudh likes this.
  16. DubOudh

    DubOudh Aster Oudh

    That is the same here..... I have some samples I have bought.
    I think I shall add them altogether and make a Frankinstein scent....Hmmmmm...
    sabahan likes this.
  17. christmas ham

    christmas ham Just Arrived

    I appreciate all the advice posted so far. Looks like my original plan will need some modification.

    I am also curious about this like the other poster mentioned. I assume you mean just a straight bottle of argon used for welding? What do you use to transfer it into the vial?
    sabahan likes this.
  18. sabahan

    sabahan Whats this Oud About?

    Wa’alaikumsalam warahmatullahi wabarakatuh ya akhi Mustafa. InsyaAllah will reply below
  19. sabahan

    sabahan Whats this Oud About?

    Sure thing! I use ArT which you can get from Amazon for about ~$15 (100% Argon gas):

    Another option is bloxygen, which I personally haven’t used, however intuitively should be the same. There is a nice animation in the bloxygen product page that shows how argon blankets and protects contents by displacing the air (and oxygen):

    You can apply argon straight from the cannister nozzle at a 90 degree angle using just a quick gentle press (a quick tap should be more than plenty for a small sample vial). Just a thin layer is needed to seal the oils. Be careful not to apply too much, as this could potentially break glass containers.

    For keeping the sample vials upright, I use a micro centrifuge rack:

    Here is what it looks like when used to store samples:

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Nov 22, 2020
    Mustafa and DubOudh like this.
  20. sabahan

    sabahan Whats this Oud About?

    Full credit really goes to Taha (Agar Aura) and Russian Adam (Feel Oud) for recommending Argon (folks who have been around may remember the conversations and advice around this back at gaharu.com). Taha and Adam are two of the nicest and honest folks out there and have always been very generous with their knowledge.
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2020
    DubOudh likes this.

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