Flavor notes, Standalone Flavors, Tasting, Testing.

Discussion in 'DIY E-Liquid - Guides, Tips & Tricks!' started by Boogenshizzle, Aug 30, 2017.

  1. Boogenshizzle

    Boogenshizzle Member For 1 Year Unlisted Vendor

    Blog Posts:
    May 8, 2017
    Don't limit yourself to one flavoring company. Ever.

    This is a very vital part in learning and understanding your flavors. The chemicals and flavoring that are in the flavor you are about to test is what is called OBJECTIVE taste. It IS. Period. Those flavorings were put in there to taste a certain way by the manufacturer. What you taste from that or how your brain and taste buds interpret those chemicals; that's SUBJECTIVE taste. EVERYONE has this. Think of it in food terms. Apple pie is meant to taste like apple pie. It has apples, crust, etc.. That's OBJECTIVE. It IS... Period. But not everyone likes apple pie, now do they? That's the SUBJECTIVE.

    Ok now that we have that out of the way, always try to check the manufacturer of your flavoring and see what notes they may have. You can check ELR for some general notes of the flavors that you should be getting from the flavoring used. This is the OBJECTIVE part. It is what the manufacturer intended the flavor to taste like.

    There are general percents for each manufacturer based on their strength. I have juices with 2% total flavoring and they are full of flavor because the manufacturer made them so strong. Since each manufacturer has their really strong and somewhat weak flavors, I recommend doing a little bit of homework on the flavor before attempting the standalone. Some FlavourArt/Medicine Flower/Flavorah etc. flavors can be extremely strong and are not very forgiving if you don't take 5 minutes and look up some percents. You wouldn't want to take a trip to another city without looking at a map right? Right.

    So here's in general what I like to mix:

    Capella and TFA: On average I mix 3%, 4% and 5% to get a feel for how they taste. I've had my Cap and TFA as high as 9% on a few standalones (strawberry ripe test) and as low as .5% (TFA dulce de leche). This does not include creams. Cap and TFA Creams on average I use a maximum of 2, but have gone as high as 4% with Bavarian cream and vanilla swirl.

    Flavour Art: This is one that can and will be very strong on average. I ALWAYS check my recommended percent directly from the manufacturer themselves. This will ensure you generally start at the correct percent. I mix these at 1-5% on average, though there are some that are so strong that you only need 1 drop per 30 mil. (FA Blackberry). I use the creams around .4-2% maximum. Many times, you will not taste the fa creams at the beginning and they will come into the flavor at around 2 weeks. I've also noticed that at lower percents, the flavor art creams provide more texture and at the higher percents; more of the intended flavor. Be careful as FA creams are not very forgiving and can and will take over your recipe.

    Inawera is going to be as strong as FA if not stronger. Again, check your recommended percents and work accordingly.

    There are countless of flavoring manufacturers, so check with them before you just up and waste flavoring.

    Flavor notes:

    Ok. So you've got your flavors in and you sit there and look at them thinking, "now what can I make?". Well, you are only limited to what your brain can come up with, but if you don't understand your flavor, then what good is it? So here's what I do. I like to mix 3-5 testers for each flavor. Fruits, generally test at a 30/70 pg/vg ratio, bakery items at 35/65 and creams around 20/80. Mix a low percent, medium percent and high percent based on the research that YOU did on the flavor.

    Taste each one right away. Make a few notes on how it tastes. What kind of texture does it have? Is it a full flavor? Does it have body? Is it really bright? Really dull? Write all of these down on your flavoring so you know what's going on.

    Check your single flavor testers every 5-7 days and do the same thing. I normally use a notebook and scratch my notes down in that and when I'm done it usually ends up something like this:

    Flavour Art: Zeppola 2-5% used.

    Description: Nice fried dough. Not too sweet. Noticing two distinct tastes. Inside is light, very slightly sweet and VERY lightly fluffy. Outside is fried dough. No added sugar or cinnamon. The taste is spot on flavor-wise of the fried dough the little Italian lady up the way makes.
    2% Light fried dough, use here as texture or a good dough/blender.
    3% Blended around here with fruit and other lighter volatiles. A strawberry doughnut for example.
    4% Seems to be the sweet spot as the main flavor.
    5% Heavy dough. Serves it's intended purpose very well. A strong fried dough.

    Mixes with: Anything you need fried dough for?

    Vanillas (depending on application)

    Creams: Custard v1, FA Custard, Vanilla bean ice cream, vienna, FA meringue, fresh cream, bavarian cream. Pretty much any cream that is smooth and delicious. I would avoid spicier creams unless the whole recipe calls for something spicy (like a fried pumpkin doughnut, or eggnog latte with a fried dough top.)

    Cakes/ pastry/ texture: Definitely could use a bit more texture depending on application. Boost inner doughnut with another bread/ to increase texture itself. Mix with acetyl pyrazine, cereal 27, doughnut flavors, yellow cake (any depending on end goal), nonna's cake (a really big plus if you use the FA Custard), fudge brownie, biscotto (fa), vanilla cupcake, joy, bread pudding, biscuit... you get the idea.

    Fruits: Any sweet fruit. Blueberry, strawberry, banana, jams, oba oba, raspberry etc.. I'd probably stay away from citrus as the fried outside flavor can give you the misinterpretation of citrus if you have a very sensitive palate. The only citrus I'd probably insert here is the lemon in nonna or fa custard.

    Chocolates can be used in pretty much any form depending on the intended effect. Bready chocolates are nice for a doughnut and creamy chocolates are going to be good for an outside coating.

    Nuts: almond, pistachio, mixed nuts, cashews. Pretty much any nut will go well depending on application.

    Solid flavor. If you want fried dough with very little sweetness, this is the way to go. Very versatile and fun.

    Or at least end up with a short version so you know what's going on like:


    Peach can be taken to Rings or Natural Peach.
    Light Citrus Note.
    Slightly floral - Rose - Can be manipulated to increase the fuzziness of the added peach.
    Can be used as building block or standalone.

    Mix with:
    Juicy peach, apricot, white peach
    strawberries (bright), Banana?, Golden pineapple
    Fa: Orange, Citrus Mix, Lemon (lightly), Lime Tahiti cold pressed
    Almond, N.E.T. (light shags)
    Creams: Bavarian, Fresh, Vienna, Marshmallow, Sweet Cream
    Could be used just for the peach but kind of pointless if you have other peaches unless you are just using this for a building block.
  2. Boogenshizzle

    Boogenshizzle Member For 1 Year Unlisted Vendor

    Blog Posts:
    May 8, 2017
    As you go through your flavors you will begin to taste flavorings that will go together, your notes will get better and you will understand your flavors more. That way when you do want to create something, you can look at a food recipe and get your ideas for usable flavors from there.

    Food Recipes:

    I love to peruse the dessert websites when I get a new fruit in; to get ideas of combinations, textures, and yes, even recipes. Look at a food recipe and keep it simple. Experiment, play around. If you notice that the recipe calls for creams, see if you can't break it down and figure out some creams that would work. A perfect example is the milkshake again. You know that you're going to need strawberry (pretty obvious), so you use 2 strawberries. One for a fleshy meaty texture, one bright to keep it going in the flavor so it doesn't fade away. Ok, that's ice cream right? So we put in some ice cream, but VBIC is a little on the spicy side so we tone it down with the dairy/milk because what is ice cream? Milk. I personally find the vienna to be a nice sweet and creamy light vanilla addition to the VBIC and it just helps level the cream side out. The entire time I made the recipe, I was thinking of a real milkshake. What flavors would I get? Then I made it accordingly.

    Pies, creams, custards, cakes, fruits, mixed drinks, tobaccos, sodas, slurpees, tea, coffee etc. all have real life food recipes/versions. Look at what's in them. Study multiple recipes of the same thing to find the common flavors. Use what you have or order what you need to accomplish the recipe. There will be many times that you will already know what a flavor will do because you have used it before. A good example, is if you are looking for a flaky crust. If you've used biscuit before, you know it can provide something along those lines. Get you a couple of booster notes like a bread or a cookie to accomplish what kind of crust you are looking for. Each one will be different for each recipe. Different cultures have different tastes; different ways of cooking and producing a taste. What may in America be recreated with Bavarian cream, in italy, they might use a more vienna style. I can't reiterate this enough. LOOK AT A FOOD RECIPE. It will save you a TON of headache. Knowing the ingredients is half the battle.

    Garage sales have some of the best cookbooks. Big Betty knows her stuff. Many of the older ones will have gem recipes that cannot be found online. If you really feel adventurous, actually make the food recipe. You will know exactly how the crust should taste, feel, flake, texture. You'll know if the fruits are soft, cooked taste (perhaps a slight ferment/bake thing), juicy, dry. You'll know if it's creamy rich, creamy thick, creamy light, vanilla cream, etc. If you have the opportunity to try the food version before making the vape version, I'd definitely recommend it.


    You can't exactly just go and order a cigarette based on a food recipe. It doesn't quite work that way. While many of us try to avoid tobaccos like the plague, there are quite a few of us that really enjoy a good smoke. Many times, this is what it will take to get someone completely off of the cigarettes. If I had to vape a strawberry as my first juice, I personally wouldn't feel that I was getting the real smoke feel and taste rolling over the back of my throat. I never really was satisfied, and felt like there was any form of real tobacco. As time has progressed, I've noticed quite a few advancements in tobaccos. There are quite a few different styles, but mostly it's simply natural extracted, synthetic or a combination of both. Either way, it's a flavor. To be used as any other flavor. Test the percentages and find the high and low of each flavor and what it will do over time. Many of the naturally extracted tobaccos will be sweet at first but once it steeps out, it steeps into the flavor. So when you are doing your standalones, try to taste at first, make notes, and then gradually up to, and after 2 weeks and make notes. You will likely find a huge difference between them. My favorite, is a brand called Stixx Mixx. They are a naturally extracted tobacco and the most realistic I have tasted. Since they are my favorite, I'm going to use them for my example. There are three main things going on in most of the tobaccos I have experienced.
    1. MAIN FLAVORS: These are usually listed as a complete tobacco. You only need one of if you had to pick one. They are excellent by themselves and excellent with other flavors if needed for a mix.
    2. BACKUP FLAVORS: (can be used as main)
    3. ADDITIVES: (can be used as backup or main depending)
    So for example. If you wanted a really manly smoke, you'd probably do something like:

    • Main: Perique (a smooth m-light without the burn) 7%
      Secondary: Burley for more manly throat feel 2-3%
      Additive: Dark fire cured for that nice campfire/burn effect .75-1%
    Or a blonde pipe:

    • Main: Oriental 456- a perfect awesome "cheap" cigar. 8%
      Backup: Nicaraguan Seco - Adds a nice throat feel to your cigar. 2%
      Additive: Cavendish-brings a nice pipe taste to it without being too heavy 4%
    Or if you want a solid cigar try the Oriental 456 and the dark fire....you get the idea....
    Learn what each brings to the table and use accordingly.

    Are naturally extracted tobaccos safe? Good question. Nothing is 100% safe, but if it is made from organic, non chem leaves, and filtered properly to remove as many harmful chemicals as possible, then I'd say it's as close to vapable as you can get. My advice though is to leave the extracting to the pros.
  3. Boogenshizzle

    Boogenshizzle Member For 1 Year Unlisted Vendor

    Blog Posts:
    May 8, 2017
    Flavoring percentages:

    The goal of this mission is to understand how flavoring percents work. Sure, many people will scream, "personal taste!", and that's fine to a point. But here we are going to go deeper. I see people all the time asking, "I used 20% flavoring! Why can't I taste my juice?" I guess I will start with a sticky I made for groups for a certain question and we will break it down from there.

    "You have to understand your flavors and what they will do with time. Find the high and low of each flavor and use it accordingly. This way one flavor will not overpower another. You will find the perfect harmony. I have recipes with 1.5% total flavoring and full of flavor and recipes upwards of 20%. If you focus on the flavoring themselves and not total percent of flavoring, you will find you use less and have better juice."

    So what does this mean? I'll elaborate with specific flavorings to give you a good idea of what is going on. I'll use a few examples and perhaps that will give you an idea that once you are out of what I like to call the "flavor range," you are past personal taste.

    What is personal taste? Personal taste is that you may like kiwi with your coffee vape. Perhaps you like strawberry fromunda cheese. Heck you might even like TFA Guava Cheesecake Pizza. I know some people that like capella bacon. That's personal taste.

    What personal taste is NOT is the flavor range. Each flavoring performs a certain chemical reaction at each percent. You will learn to find the minimum and maximum of each flavoring and use it according to what it does at every percent to achieve the effect you want. But you will stay in the FLAVOR RANGE to accomplish that goal.

    Example 1: Flavour Art Vienna Cream:

    This is one of my favorite creams and is probably the most versatile in my collection. I use this in between .4% and 2% MAXIMUM in a mix as it seems to be the "flavor range" for this flavor. Anything above that and I'm past personal taste and into the either muting other flavors range or losing the intended effect of the cream... I.e.. rather pointless...

    Fa Vienna Cream .4%: Really gives a nice texture to the juice. A rich creamy texture, similar to a heavy marshmallow. The catch is, it takes 2 –3 weeks for the texture to set. You barely taste it at first but it steeps very nice.

    Fa Vienna Cream 1-1.3% Provides a nice smoothness to the fruits. Heavy marshmallow, rich creamy off the bat but steeps into a nice smooth note to edge off certain harsh fruits. While you can taste the texture and flavor off the bat, it usually ends up velvety with less fluffy texture.

    Fa Vienna Cream 1.3-2%, I usually get approximately the same as before and this is usually my mixing limit. Once the flavor is above 2% in a mix, it simply seems to "mute itself" over time. So sure, it's great for shake and vape but chemistry says its too high and will mute other flavors unless you use the high range of those flavors too and even then who knows. So you are out of the "flavor range" and past personal taste. You are into chemistry.

    Example 2: CAP Strawberry Sweet:

    I feel that the Capella strawberry sweet is best used around 2-4%. If you're going to use a raspberry booster anyway, why are you at 8%? For a flavor that is that strong, you are way out of the flavor range. Once again, it is put in so strong so one can taste it off the bat. But when it steeps or ages, it mutes itself. The problem is you are using a "pop" strawberry for a full strawberry. If you use a ripe strawberry or a berry with a meaty texture, and add 2-4% capella strawberry sweet to make the other strawberry pop, you will find it stays, and stays in the flavor range.

    Example 3: Inawera Biscuit:

    Tastes like a rich buttery American biscuit. Flavor Range: .4%-2% MAX

    INW Biscuit: .4%-.8% provides a nice layery texture to many bakery items. Think the layers on a biscuit. Adding a little of that can really accent cakes, cookies, etc.

    INW Biscuit: .8-1.8% this is the sweet spot for this flavor. This will provide you a GREAT biscuit with a nice layered biscuit flavor with a hint of butter. Many mixers above 1.4 will taste a chemical back note that is also found in grahamcracker flavoring. While this taste reducess a little after a steep, I can still taste it.

    So it's MAX is 2 and that's mixed with a heavy cookie to overpower the chemical back note. Otherwise you WILL taste it. Anything above that... is not personal taste... it's a waste and you are out of the flavor range.

    Example 4: Flavour Art Blackberry:

    FA Blackberry: .01%-.1% yes that's point 01- point 1.

    This is one of the strongest flavor I've ever used. At one drop per 30 mils, (.08%), it imparts a nice rich blackberry that isn't too sweet. Anything above .1 and you get straight perfume. So your personal taste here is either blackberry..... or perfume.... either way you would use the flavor according to the flavor range. This is one of the flavors that you might want to thin down due to the strength. (covered later in this chapter)

    So do yourself a favor. Find the high and low of each flavor from your testing and use that TO YOUR PERSONAL TASTE. Remember, each flavor can impart a different texture and or taste at a different percent, but there always is a maximum that should be used before it either takes over, "why don't I taste my high strawberry?", or you begin to have unwanted results and not sure why. If you focus on the flavors themselves and let them steep, and not the end total flavoring percentage, you will find you use less flavoring and have better juice.
  4. KarmicRage

    KarmicRage Silver Contributor Member For 1 Year

    Blog Posts:
    Jul 13, 2017
    As a DIY fan and startup this is very interesting and very well explained. Thank you for putting your time into the post.

    Sent from my HTC One X using Tapatalk
  5. Letitia9

    Letitia9 Therion/Nano Junkie VU Donator Gold Contributor Member For 1 Year VU Challenge Team

    Blog Posts:
    Aug 2, 2017
    Boogenshizzle likes this.
  6. Just Frank

    Just Frank Gold Contributor Member For 1 Year

    Blog Posts:
    Mar 17, 2017
    Great info here.
    Boogenshizzle and Letitia9 like this.
  7. wildgypsy70

    wildgypsy70 My son calls me "vape mom" VU Donator Gold Contributor Member For 2 Years VU Challenge Team

    Blog Posts:
    Jul 29, 2016
    This is awesome!
    Boogenshizzle and Letitia9 like this.
  8. CajunCanuck

    CajunCanuck Bronze Contributor Member For 2 Years

    Blog Posts:
    Oct 7, 2016
    Thx for the post.....good read...appreciate it.....:)
    Boogenshizzle likes this.
  9. lexie3

    lexie3 New Member Reddit Exile

    Blog Posts:
    Dec 3, 2017
    Boogenshizzle and Letitia9 like this.

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