As a frequent decanter, I must say that I can't be doing with washing funnels. I own four metal ones and a handful of plastic funnels of varying dimensions, which I try not to use, precisely because they are only suitable for one-time use - or multiple uses involving the same scent. I do in fact have a bag of plastic funnels dedicated to different scents, but rarely find a need to redeploy them. Oh, I have just spotted in the photo the one for Michel Comté's Shared Water! That's ironic, given that the whole point of the funnel is to prevent that very phenomenon...
So for the most part, I decant using metal funnels and wash them in the kitchen sink. That is one of the few perks of my going away as often as I do on work trips, according to Mr Bonkers. When he does the dishes he doesn't catch his hand on an assortment of metal objects lurking like submarines at the bottom of the washing up bowl, along with the obligatory teaspoon or two. For it is an infallible law of nature that there is always at least one teaspoon in the dirty water when you go to empty the bowl...
Yes, I wash and soak and sometimes re-wash and re-soak the funnels - I squirt neat Fairy Liquid in and swoosh it around with my finger, before putting the funnel back in to soak. Overnight, often. Or whole days if the coast is clear. Yet certain scents resist the most determined detergents and retain a trace of the decanted fragrance for a long time afterwards.
Given the palaver involved in funnel care, it is hardly surprising that when I set about consolidating my various bits and bobs of samples of the same scent the other day, I decided to go commando and just tip from receptacle A to receptacle B wherever possible. I was mostly trying to transfer 1ml and 2ml glass vial samples - together with the remnants of minis and small splash bottle decants - into 3ml and 5ml atomisers, with a view to taking some of these scents on my next trip.
Upending a 1ml sample vial and tipping it into the wider mouth of an atomiser is usually straightforward, assuming you have a half-steady hand. The procedure becomes very tricky, however, if you are emptying one of those glass vials with a lip, like the ones you get from Les Senteurs. Tip the sample upside down till you are blue in the face, tap it against the side of the receiving atomiser as hard as you like, but not a drop will come out. Or not until about 10 minutes of concerted shaking and tapping have elapsed will the vial grudgingly yield its contents.
This all seems counter-intuitive though, because at the end of the day, it is still A HOLE, and you would think the laws of gravity would apply. Well, a "lay decanter" like me would think that, anyway. I have the same problem with two of my funnels, which have a markedly smaller diameter of the funnelly bit. You spray a goodly squirt of your chosen perfume and wait for a moment, but the darn liquid won't go down! Again, I repeat - a hole is a hole - or should be. But there again, maybe not. It may be all about the meniscus. Menisci moving in mysterious ways.
So aperture is one thing, but even when I was tipping samples from and to identical vials, I noticed marked differences in the pourability of some scents. I should have been paying more attention at the time, but I recall that Jo Malone White Jasmine & Mint was a very compliant pourer, while Tom Ford Neroli Portofino was like recalcitrant magma! Which I wouldn't have expected from what I perceive as a light, "get up and go" scent. I would have placed scents like Ormonde Jayne Tolu or Patou Joy or Micallef Hiver at the magma end of the bell curve - you know, plush and overtly perfumey scents with the sluggish gait of motor oil.
I tried to google "perfume viscosity" and its relationship to decanting and pouring, and came up with surprisingly few citations of note. Though I did find this nugget on the "pour point":
"Pour point: The temperature at which a viscous liquid becomes pourable is called the pour point."
Temperature is also involved? Perhaps it is standard though across all perfume, but actual motor oil may have a different pour point, say. Or maple syrup, for argument's sake. Or sake, for that matter... : - )
The nugget continues:
"If diluents are present in the supplied viscous liquid then the pour point is reduced."
As in the temperature?? Does Jo Malone contain diluents? I am sure those nice people at Estée Lauder wouldn't thank me for speculating on the matter. For that way lies orange squash...
"Pour points are generally not very accurate as they vary with every consignment noticeable in resinoids."
I don't doubt it! So could my perfume collection be construed as "a consignment noticeable in resinoids", I wonder? Very likely - for I fancy a resinoid has got to be just some gunkier version of oil, and my slowest pourers must surely have a bit of those in them?
Still, I can't help thinking that this pour point and temperature lark may be a red herring. I would like to know what else affects pourability, and is it in any way a marker of quality, or not? You know, the double cream principle...
Has anyone else experienced problems relating to narrow apertures and/or variable viscosities? (There I go again, uncharacteristically asking a question!) And was it with the same style of vial? And can you recall which scents poured with glacial torpor? Tip me the wink about what goes on in your sink... ; - )
Photo of woman pouring perfume from art-prints-on-demand.com, photo of Les Senteurs sample from shop.lessenteurs.com, photo of frog pouring perfume from bibliodyssey.blogspot.com, other photos my own