Stop Muting Your DIY E-liquid Mixes!
This is a scenario I often see. A large intricate fruit recipe, with many different ingredients and layers, and a touch of TFA Marshmallow to “round things out”. But when you go and vape the recipe, does the marshmallow really make any difference? I often don’t taste it. In fact, I often find it does nothing but mute the would-be sharpness and brightness certain fruits could’ve brought! And this isn’t just fruits, but creams, bakeries, tobaccos, and almost anything else! There always seem to be some “filler” flavorings that provide nothing but distraction.
Marshmallow & Whipped Cream
The most common of these ingredients are the marshmallow/whipped cream blends. On their own, they provide an excellent, fluffy, full-feeling vape, with a light delicate and sweet flavor. But because of how light & delicate they are, they often need to be used very carefully, or they run the risk of getting overpowered. There are many mixers who make a habit of dumping these ingredients in their recipes to add a level of “fullness” to their vapes, but never take the time to mix the recipe without them. A “crutch” if you will.
So one of the best rules of thumb is to understand that every ingredient you mix should have a purpose. Adding flavorings willy-nilly will provide nothing but frustration. Marshmallow should be added in a small amount of cases where you want the FLAVOR of marshmallow, and not just its “good” qualities. Because flavorings don’t just bring their good, but their bad as well. And most of the time, Marshmallow and Whipped cream’s muting and flavor depressing cons, outweigh their pros.
On the same plane, Vanillin is most likely the often used compound in e-liquid. It’s a flavoring compound in so many different ingredients, from vanillas & creams, to bakeries and even fruits. It’s a great compound, with great flavor. But like Marshmallow, it’s very delicate. But because of its prevalence in our ingredients, it’s simply the most easy ingredient to over-flavor. So ensure that adding any extra vanilla flavorings have a strict purpose, or you’re aware of your total Vanillin count.
Bakeries & Fruits
Now creams and vanillas aren’t the only thing you need to worry about. We also must watch our for our bakeries and our fruits. Fruits and bakeries often carry many different, intricate webs of flavoring compounds that make them up. So they’re very easy to go overboard with. And on top of that, adding marshmallows, or creams, or vanillas, only further drown them out. Take a look at this recipe….
In this mix we can see a few things. First off, there are 3 different strawberries. This is not an uncommon site, nor is it an incorrect one. But the better question, is it necessary for the flavor that I want to provide? Next we can say the same about the 2 different marshmallows. Are they really that different from each other? Are they needed at all? Why do we need whipped cream, and on top of that, are we really able to taste that vanilla swirl? And lastly, don’t we already have enough Maltol in our recipe from our marshmallow, our whipped creams, and our strawberries? This will undoubtedly create a muted mess. Stripping this back to something more refined will provide, much, much better results.
This recipe below is much more concise & much more refined. We dropped all the unnecessary fluff, trimmed the fat, and what results is a much, much more saturated, vibrant, bright, and lingering experience.
The last thing I want to touch on are enhancers. It’s easy to want to add a bit extra Ethyl Maltol to bring some extra candied essence. Or a touch of Acetyl Pyrazine for a bit extra crunch. Or a splash of WS-23 for a cool, icey finish. But when we strip back our mixes and get down to “what’s necessary”, enhancers often are unneeded. They are almost already embedded within our flavorings, and adding any extra just runs the risk of overflavoring. It’s always best to go back to the drawing board and seeing if you can make tweaks to the original recipe before adding enhancers. And you should only be adding them when you understand the composition of your mix, and what’s lacking. Something that may take some experience.
Overall, I’m not saying don’t add any of these ingredients. All rules are meant to be broken, and our creativity, as well as our own palates, are what dictates what our recipes need. All I’m saying, is that if you’re having issues with not getting a vibrant, saturated mix, you may want to take a look at how your development process is going. Are you the type of mixer to add ingredients without much purpose? Or do you tend to go overboard? If so, take a step back and make sure everything has a place in your recipe.