Why Does My E-liquid Taste…Chemical-ly?

You don't know how many times I've gotten messages and emails from new mixers, and old alike, that ask why their recipes taste like they are full of artificial flavors and chemicals. It's almost a weekly occurrence, and there's always a similar answer to them all. So I've decided to write an article about it to help those with this issue to quickly remedy the situation.


Remember that over-flavoring doesn't just mean that you'll have a muted experience. Muting is just one symptom of overflavoring. Over-flavoring can bring a host of other issues. One of them being that terrible chemical flavor. Let's take a recipe for example. TFA Swedish Gummy 5%, FW Hard Candy 5%, CAP Jelly Candy 5%, CAP Super Sweet 0.5%. Looks like a nice candy recipe right? Well each of those candies contain Malic Acid which infuses a sourness to candies. But in vaping, what you end up getting is a chemical like taste. So all of those ingredients combined, all at high percentages, won't produce a very tasty recipe because you're overflavoring on the Malic. And that's where that chemical taste will prop-up. This can work for so many other profiles. 


We all have different noses. We pick up smells and aromas differently from each other, and most importantly, perceive them different. Just ask your favorite mixer if they can taste TFA Strawberry. I love it and get a nice vibrant pink strawberry, where someone like Colton doesn't taste a damn thing. And this is mostly due to the our sensitivities to certain compounds within the flavorings we use. If you find that you're getting a wildly artificial and chemical like taste from your recipes, and you're 100% positive you're not overflavoring, then its most likely you are very sensitive to one of the ingredients involved. The best way to find this out is to test each ingredient on its own. Once you find the culprit, make sure to write it in your notes so you don't make that mistake again. Now, what if you test each individually and you don't find any sensitivity issues? Well, you could be sensitive to a compound in your recipe, that two flavorings share. So once those two flavorings are paired up in a recipe, that compound becomes overflavored and then your sensitivity arises. This is a bit more difficult to identify, but your best choice of action is to try and pair up the ingredients in your recipe that you suspect could be the culprit. Or you can grab a friend to do some testing and see if they pick up any chemical notes. If they do, you know it's your recipe, if they don't, you know it you. And if it's a well-known recipe that's garnered a lot of positive reviews, and you're unsure how with the chemical flavor you're picking up, well I hate to say it, but you're probably sensitive to one of those ingredients or compounds.

Bad Recipe

Lastly, you could've just mixed up a bad recipe. If you've made sure your concentrations are right & you're not sensitive to the ingredients in your recipes, well unfortunately it's time to head back to the drawing board. Don’t try to force a recipe that's not working, it's always best to scrap the idea and start fresh, especially when harsh and off putting off-notes arise. Figure out where you think the recipe is going wrong. Is it the pairing of the fruits together? Maybe that accent note you added in? Or maybe is the combination of all the ingredients together that is just doing something weird? Asking questions about your recipe are the best way to find out. So don't be ashamed or upset if you need to try again. Getting the right flavor from a recipe is often a long arduous road. Just keep your chin up and keep mixing and you'll be working out recipes in no time.

Article Written By

Wayne Walker

Owner / Operator of DIYorDIE Vaping + ENYAWREKLAW Concentrates

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