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Much needed option- Include Flavors Similar To


#1

Since the release of V2/DX flavors (and other vendors making changes to their own flavor names etc) there has been something that has been getting to me. We currently lack a viable means of searching for recipes with flavorings that can be defined as “Similar To” another flavor. If a recipe calls for, say, 10 ingredients that I do have but they use Vanilla Custard V1 (CAP) and I only have Vanilla Custard V2 (CAP) then that recipe won’t show up for me because I lack one of the ingredients… even though technically I don’t lack the ingredient as I’ve opted for only using DX/V2 etc. So even though the flavor profile won’t be 100% spot on it’d still be the closest I could possibly get while still avoiding Diacetyl, Acetyl Propionyl, and Acetoin. This holds true for even simple recipes that may call for, say, Vanilla Custard V1 and Strawberry Ripe. Substituting V2 for the V1 may have some slight differences but it is similar enough that the end result would still be a strawberry custard whereas if I substituted Coffee for Vanilla Custard V1 it obviously wouldn’t be even remotely similar.

The “Similar To” search option could be set up any number of ways but the way I would start it myself would be to have administration manually go through the flavors and “link” specific ones to each other. For instance I’d have them “link” Vanilla Custard V1 (CAP) to Vanilla Custard V2 (CAP), DX Bavarian Cream (TPA) to Bavarian Cream (TPA) etc. After the general v2’s and alternate names are “linked” I’d then implement a “Include Flavors Similar To” header where the user may then select check boxes beside the flavors in their stash they’re willing to compromise on to include in their search for recipes as acceptable substitutes. As said above, similar is as close as some of us will get to specific recipes that call for multiple flavorings that we may not approve of. The status of the check boxes would be saved for searches in the future as template form data so the user won’t have to check those flavors every single time they want to use the “Similar To” option.

I’d then allow the user to create their own personal links between flavors. This could be done by clicking the flavor and marking it manually as similar to another specific flavor. This is very handy. Not everyone’s taste buds are the same and some of us may think two flavors are exactly the same whereas others may think they are night and day. If the whole community agrees that Strawberry Ripe (TPA) is nothing like Strawberry (FA) then cool, but if John Smith logs in and decides they are close for him then he should be able to select to include those as viable substitutes for one another.

After someone has manually linked their own “similar to” preferences their crowd data gets added to the flavor’s profile and offered as suggestions when someone is linking flavors in their stash. Sometimes flavors are wildly different despite sharing similar names- I wouldn’t advise substituting Catalan Cream in place of Fresh Cream in a smooth strawberry vape. But if someone wants to manually link the two for their own stash if they’re low on flavorings then I don’t see why the recipes shouldn’t populate for them. Likewise if the user is unsure if something could be a viable substitute then the crowd data could help persuade them with percentages. “Oh, uh, guess I shouldn’t link Catalan Cream and Fresh Cream, only 2% of users agree these can be substituted. Must be more different than I thought” lol Additionally, if someone has never tried a specific flavor from a different vendor then they could still link them together via suggested substitute if the crowd data said they are “close enough” to each other (i.e. any number of variants on “base” flavors between brands etc).

I know and understand that I could solve the problem with a temporary solution; all I have to do is manually add each of the flavors I don’t own to my flavor stash and the recipes will populate. If I don’t own Stawberry CAP Strawberry FA Strawberry TPA Strawberry LA then I can still add them to my stash to allow for those recipes to appear that include one variant over the other. But that’s working around a lack of functionality where the ideal solution would be to instead have the option present to us to not have to workaround. A key point of all of this is that everyone is different and all recipes can be slightly altered to personal tastes. If we can add or substitute ingredients on our own to make a recipe more to our liking then it isn’t unrealistic to want an option to allow us our own preferences while searching.

There are a million ways this could be implemented and that is just one suggestion. There are probably better ways to do it lol But the general idea is that if someone hates all strawberry flavors except for Strawberry Ripe then they should still be allowed to search for all recipes including any strawberry flavor and decide for themselves if they want to risk substituting the flavor in. If someone is just starting DIY and only have one brand of custard then they should still be allowed to search for all recipes that include a custard regardless of brand so that they can make something similar to a good recipe.

Thoughts? Sorry for the book.


Suggesting Duplicates (non-english languages)
#2

I really welcome this suggestion, I’m sure many others have been thinking along these lines for sometime.

I hope it would not be too much of a pain to implement, If it were I think it would be the kind of function that could do a lot of good in health terms, (lots of yummy recipes with no guilt n’ nasties)

I have no doubt a lot of other places would follow the lead.
also as a side-effect you could increase the likelihood of serendipitous innovation.
i.e.
By setting the threshold of flavour similarity higher, you might get flavour pairing suggestions you’d never thought of that might be worth a try.

Another thing is of course consolidating all doubles / dealing with all the name variations like :
FWxxx
xxxFW
xxxFlavour West
each counting as a different flavour (most of us will just pick the one that looks wrong if it has the bigger number :raising_hand:

Names that have changed i.e. Brown sugar extra being changed to simply brown sugar, then both are still in the list, so despite you owning the flavour it won’t show you a recipe if the person who made it wrote it differently.

apologies for wall o’ text (not figured out how to do embeds here)


#3

I was running into that exact same dilemma entering my MBV flavors since a lot of people say they’re just rebranded FW, or entering my sweeteners as sucralose vs MBV Sweetener, or em vs TPA cotton candy, but then who would be in charge of saying x = y? What if there was not a consensus? It seems tricky.


#4

I think that’s where allowing the individual to mark their own flavor relations would come in handy. At that point it wouldn’t need a consensus; you could decide for yourself to just link your sweeteners and still find 2-10x the recipes in your searches by doing so. And if you’ve experience with all of the sweeteners and decide that maybe some are too different, you can even choose to ignore the crowd based suggested links and elect to exclude specific flavors. Myself though, since I still lack hundreds of individual brand flavors, would probably trust the consensus on some calls =P But I think that’s back to the beauty of allowing each user to determine their own links; I can choose to trust the crowd on a few flavors, choose to ignore links on others, and still search for recipes that would likely turn out very similar to the original flavor profile while yielding a ton more search results.

Even as I develop my DIY collection though I think this option will continue to help as new companies and new flavors are created. Keeping up with all the repeat custards for instance from each new company would be difficult, especially if I’ve already a passionate favorite or if the profile for the new custard is too similar to an existing one.


#5

Perhaps @daath might have a different view, or others here, but my opinion is this is something more suited to a project rather than an implementation here. To me it seems too daunting. There are so many flavors and most of them have different flavor characteristics and then to compound that is the variation even among similar flavors for amounts of a flavor to be substituted which would render similar results. I think this might make for a cool collaborative project but to gather and organize such a matrix for a site it seems far to intricate…not that it wouldn’t be cool. Just that I see potential problems with it.

Take strawberry for example. There are lots of strawberry flavors but few of them are what you might consider identical in flavor. But who would decide the percentage to be used by one as a replacement for another? Yes, you could use analytics based on user input to get an aggregate representation but that would strongly depend on many, many users participating so as to arrive at a median and I think orders of magnitude would probably make it a weak project at best. Then again, it is something that could be included in the Adapt This function where people substitute flavors with similar names and then a ranking system to measure “similar” results. That would probably take years to arrive at results remotely accurate.

Why not just do a search. Say you have LorAnn Bavarian Cream (the best imo) but you would like to find recipes that have TPA Bavarian Cream or those from other vendors. Rather than search for a recipe name or by flavor stash, just use the words Bavarian Cream in your search from the recipes page and it will bring all the recipes that contain flavors called Bavarian Cream regardless of vendor. Sure this would mean you would have to do more work, but I think it would still open doors to exposing more recipes rather than searching by flavor stash alone. And that extra work pales in comparison to the work that would be involved in what you are suggesting.

As always…just an opinion.


#6

A thoughtful reply is always a welcome one =)

I can see your points and there were some concerns raised that I hadn’t considered, especially pertaining to concentration levels that vary by vendor. Even if something tastes the same, or similar enough, the concentration level could throw a wrench in the recipe and make it largely unrecoverable lol But the suggestion to search by, say, Bavarian Cream also wouldn’t help for when vendors have a Bavarian Cream but give it a specific name like “Fuzzy Feelings” or “Warm Vanilla” or “Narwhal.” When vendors attribute these kinds of names to their flavor bases or mixes then it results in those not being found (FA, love their flavors, but their naming conventions can be along these lines at times).

It may be an amazing project though with enough input, especially if it’s set up as an interactive chart of sorts where the user is able to see the relation between say Double Chocolate and Chocolate Glazed Doughnut to allow for flavor discovery and potential recipes. Until that happens though…

It’d be very easy to include the function as suggested in the original post here within elr. We only need the option to link our own flavors to other flavors and (later) for that information to be presented in the form of suggested links. At it’s very core the suggestion would require only that each flavor in our stash be augmented with a “virtual” and hidden flavor. For instance, if I link Vanilla Custard V2 (CAP) to Vanilla Custard (TPA) and Vanilla Custard V1 (CAP) and Vanilla Custard (FW) etc etc, then the only thing that needs to happen is when the check box is clicked to include “similar to” my Vanilla Custard V2 (CAP) then it adds those linked flavors I’d set up to appear in my stash, unseen and behind the scenes, so that my search by stash includes all of those linked flavors. It would be a very basic implementation but would also benefit down the road when the data from the crowd can be made available in suggested flavor links as compared to just adding those flavors to my stash (when I don’t own them) just to yield the same search results. Both would have the same end result except that linking similar flavors would A) remove clutter my stash in the form of items I don’t actually own B) contribute toward flavor profiles that may benefit users in time as more and more links are set between flavors and C) open new DIY users to other flavors and vendors they may not have considered yet for the flavors they enjoy most. Not to mention the suggestion would save a lot of time and effort spent in workarounds when trying to search for recipes with more than one flavor you may have to substitute.

There are too many amazing recipes that hundreds of users are creating and I’m ashamed to say I haven’t had the pleasure of being able to find them all because of maybe 1 or 2 missing ingredients that could very well be substituted in at this very moment with flavors I do have. Not only will I not be puffing on their best recipe but they also will not have shared it with everyone they could have. I feel the suggestion, in it’s most simple form at least, is something that could get a lot more artists out there the recognition they deserve and get the rest of us the vape we’ve been missing.


#7

Revival, like this idea. Too add to it we could set substitution ratios. E.g flavour 1 need 1.3 times the amount to replicate the same. Hard implement though. Maybe we could setup a table so the community can set substitution and the according ratios for flavours. Not easy but you never know someone may come up with an elegant solution.


#8

If it was me I would implement it by way of main word in flavour, Eg: if you put Strawberry Ripe TPA in your flavour stash any other flavour containing Strawberry gets linked to it, that way all recipes with strawberry whether it be ripe sweet or normal will show up if you select see what I can make, and then you make your own decision if you want to mix it with your particular flavour.
I have all flavours for example for Bust a nut except one is a different make and it does not show up’ I found it through searching recipes and decided to make it with that other flavour and its still great.
Just my thoughts


#9

At the very least, it should be implemented so that v1/v2 and regular/dx flavours count towards “What can I make?” as the same thing. My workaround is to simply add both flavours to my stash - there is probably some programming method to do that virtually.


#10

old conversation… important stuff!

I believe this would be useful, for many reasons, and in particular the crowd data aspect. I have spent months-and-months trying to determine substitutions from others flavour note, then adding that to my notes, in an effort to “add to the knowledge base,” as I call it.

I never considered there could be another way. In considering crowd data, it occurs to me just how much space in recipe comments consist of “can I use ____ instead?” and the time spent by both parties to find out “of course you can” and “no, it’s not the same.”

What a boon it’d be to cut all that interaction out, by allowing a user to click a dropdown that opens a substitutes/similar flavours list – all created exclusively by crowd data – to add a sub when adapting a recipe for themselves.

I actually came upon this thread bc I keep looking for a sub for Bavarian Cream, and I’ve yet to find one I consider suitable. How lovely it’d be to consult others’ opinions and be able to make a one-shot of something like Fresh Cream and Vanilla (Classic) or whatever!


#11

which bavarian cream are you wanting to sub ? and why not just use the bavarian cream ?


#12

The TPA one. It’s in most recipes and it has diketones. Plus, for a bonafide vanilla cream lover, I dislike the flavor.,


#13

Hi @Darkon, All,
I’m BRAND new to the site so please bare with me. I’ll get to the point shortly. I was just about to send the moderators this exact feature request but I couldn’t since I guess I’m new. Regardless, first a small intro… Been vaping for 10 years now and always made my own eJuice but never bothered to make anything good. Too cumbersome to deal with “recipes”; a scary word for us commoners. We just end up buying a bunch of flavors, mix them up (single mostly) and move on vaping a barely OK eJuice but content that we saved money. But, at the same time, we really want to make those great tasting eJuices; it just seems so complicated looking at the long list of flavors in recipes. Finally, I stumble on THE feature: “What can I make” and OMG it helps a LOT. This is the type of feature that keeps people like me here.
Anyway, a Flavor Substitute, almost exactly as described by @Darkon, is really needed for people like me and IMHO will help bring and retain more people on the site.

A list of rated substitutions on the flavor page:

Flavor A has
Substitute Ratio Votes

  • B 4/3 4.5 (30)
  • C 1/3 3.8 (15)
  • D 1/1 3 (7)
    -…

Just like recipes, the substitutions are added by anyone and the community votes on the substitution itself (From flavor A / To Flavor B) (with a ratio of course). Users can then search using “What can I make” or by “Flavor Stash” while allowing a certain threshold of substitutes. For example, “What can I make” and allow up to 2 substitutions. The query would compare substitutions to my stash’s flavors and present them.

Some comments:

  • As an inexperienced DIYer, I would not know what are good substitutes since I don’t have the exposure that others have. I therefore would not be able to properly build a substitution list without lots of research from threads which is very time consuming. I therefore don’t think that allowing me to add my own personal substitutions will help me or other beginners.

  • I have already been adding duplicate flavors to my stash that I assume would substitute well but here is the problem. I added non-DX versions of my 6 TPA DX flavors because I realized after some frustration that most recipes use the non-DX flavors. The problem is that I cannot use the “My Stash” feature properly. If I select both DX and non-DX flavors, I get nothing since no recipe uses both. I therefore must select each one by itself but as you can imagine, it is just innefficient and complicated.

Additional thoughts:

  • Substitutions are not always straightforward. For such cases, comments from experts under each substitute would add value.

  • Looking at the list of flavors in a recipe is intimidating. Showing the list of substitutes while looking at a recipe helps quickly evaluate if a recipe is possible or not. And/Or, clicking a button on the recipe to show if I can make it with substitution of my stash’s flavors would be amazing. That’s really what we want to do after all. Make the recipe! Or almost…

  • I noticed substitutions specific to recipes such as replacing apple with peach. That’s another useful feature that can be added yet slightly different. Can be very useful also.

You may have guessed it by now… I am a software architect… inventor at heart. I know it takes time to build. Let me know if I can help with the DB design / SQL.
Happy Vaping!
Allen


#14

Thanks @KumariHPX

BTW, Flavor Substitutions can also be achieved without requiring the community to add Substitutes directly to the Flavor itself. If Substitutions can be added to Flavors on the Recipes page instead (In this recipe, A can be substituted with B), those can then be automatically added as Substitutes to Flavors. Maybe this is even better as you can see how many recipes the substitute has worked well making it a more favorable substitution.

For example, even though many voted that Strawberry A substitutes for Strawberry B, that may only work in 40% of recipes. So if substitution is driven by recipes and the substitute works well for many recipes, then we have a better chance of knowing that a substitute works really well.

In either case, this is really needed for a complete solution. I have thus far added so many flavors that I don’t own, I can’t even recognize my stash anymore.


#15

I would suggest a data driven approach where people rate their batches with substitutions. That would require recipe adaptations to be made public and for people to rate their own batches.

A second step could be to go over the substitutions from the recipe/batch and suggest them on recipes where there is no substitution present. Possibly weighed by some kind of mixer quality score, itself taken from previous substitutions.

Whether it is works or not…