Wednesday, June 8, 2022

Unexpected problem developing formula led to new book

 The last six weeks have been busy, busy, busy. While working on the revised version of Rough Day, I ran into a situation that I wanted to write about. It dealt with the high cost of a particular ingredient that happened to make up a large percentage of the formula. The new Rough Day did get finished. I've been using it and my wife approves. I just now produced labels and bottled more of it. In spite of the cost of the "juice," I've decided to use 2-ounce bottles with spray pumps. I have the bottles and pumps on hand.  
You might wonder why, when I was so excited about this "new, improved, (and more expensive)" version of Rough Day I've taken so long to get back to it. A little glitch in developing the master formula, which I started to write about in a blog, has become an important chapter (Chapter 5: Sometimes complications arise and drops become a problem) in a book I stopped to write, design and photograph. The book was published last week and is now available on Amazon so I am free to get back to keeping in touch with followers.
The issue that caused me to stop everything and write a short book or "guide" involves measurements for developing a master formula. The formula for the new Rough Day, Rough Day 2022, like all my other formulas, was first developed with drops from dropper bottles. From this "drops" formula, using an electronic balance I could develop a formula in percentages of weight, which would allow me to scale up my formula to any weight required. This is a lot more practical than counting out thousands of drops.
In my original "drops" formula, some materials were used in a single drop. A single drop was too light for me to weigh accurately so I would multiply the drops of all the materials by twenty. Now I could accurately weight the drops for each material an then calculate the percentage of the formula represented by that weight. (Together the percentages of the weights of all the materials would total 100.)
Ordinarily all this is simple. I weigh the drops, I calculate the percentages and I have my formula and, with that formula, I can make any amount of my perfume oil I want. And, because the formula is in percentages, the units I'm using can be any weight measurement: grams, ounces, kilos, pounds. With a few steps more I can convert my formula by weight to a formula by volume: milliliters, fluid ounces, liters, or gallons. All very straight forward.
With the new Rough Day a situation arose. Two materials were used in very small quantities and one material was used in a large quantity (many, many drops.) To weigh the drops accurately I would have had to multiply the smallest by a minimum of 20, which would have given me enough to weigh accurately. That would not have been a problem. But what about the one material that called for a lot of drops? I would have been counting out well over 1000 drops.
Maybe I could have done it but what if I lost count which, for me, would be pretty easy to do. Then I would have to start EVERYTHING all over again. Worse still, the material with the largest number of drops was the most expensive. In fact, it cost more per gram than almost any material I have ever used. I couldn't see risking a screw-up with this expensive material.
So I used another method to develop my formula for the new Rough Day. It is not one I would recommend unless you have a good nose but I trusted my nose and used this alternative to make a small batch. My nose told me I was slightly off from what I wanted so I adjusted the result AND adjusted my formula to reflect what I had done. All worked out fine. By now you've probably guessed that I was working with volumes rather than weights. None of my expensive material was wasted.
When you write a formula for your perfume in either percentages of weight or in percentages of volume, your nose becomes very important. Your nose is the tool by which you decide when your formula has nailed it or whether adjustments are still required.
If what I've just written leaves you with any confusion, just write me a comment below and I'll try to clarity. Meanwhile, thank you for reading this!
-- Phil

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