Hi ELR family!
I recently had to write a company I work with and educate them on flavor companies (or more specifically “The best” that is out there.)
I didn’t include all of the companies and I just went with the main 6 that I use. This is far from a detailed breakdown but it may give a general idea of each company. I figured it may or may not be useful for some beginners here and I copied some of my letter and posted it here.
Everyone can expand upon this as they like.
I didn’t get into any specific flavors by company and it’s more like a general review, per company.
Here is a list of ALL the top flavor companies, that 97% of the DIY and higher end vendors use, along with their acronyms, as they are known in the community;
FA - FlavourArt http://flavourart.com/en/
FLV - Flavorah http://store.flavorah.com/
INW - Inawera http://www.inaweraflavours.com/en/
TFA/TPA - The Flavor Apprentice https://shop.perfumersapprentice.com/c-108-the-flavor-apprentice-world-of-flavors.aspx
CAP - Capella http://www.capellaflavors.com/
FW - Flavor West http://flavorwest.com/
Those 6 are hands down the best, top of the line, companies out there that are used more than any others.
LorAnn is also a big player and have been in the flavor game for decades and they have a HUGE selection. Unfortunately a lot of their flavorings aren’t suitable for vaping and I won’t get into them for this. I do use about a dozen of their flavorings but I didn’t list them only for the fact there’s about 6 flavors I personally can’t live without and the “not suitable” thing. However they do have some good flavors
There are also a handful of other companies that have some great flavors as well. Some quick examples being…
Hangsen, Flavors Express, Real Flavors (sold as Northwest VG some places), Super concentrate, DuoMei and more. Unfortunately they do not have the biggest inventories and are good for only a dozen flavors or so.
Then there is Medicine Flower. These guys are like the Ferrari 250 GTO of flavors!
Seriously perfect taste that are 100% identical to the item they are flavored.
They are priced like the GTO @ $22 for just a 15ml bottle, so they aren’t as popular as the rest, in terms of frequent of use. I have about 6 of their flavors and I find them tasty but I have noticed a change in potency from month to month.
That is the Gambit and on to the break down…
First I want to start with FW. Tons of people like them and a lot of e-juice companies(and DIYers) use them because they are CHEAP. When it comes to candy fun flavors, these guys have it.
I personally do not care for them because the majority is candy like and I prefer true flavors. I can live with out these guys and even in my personal “lab”, I only use 1 of their flavorings frequently. Their Blood Orange is one of the best orange flavors I have had.
Italian based. These guys are just fantastic! If I am using cars as a reference, Lambo.
These are the guys that I suppose I would use exclusively, if I was forced at gun point to do so
This could easily be a long list but I will keep it simple.
For the most part I use them on average around .04-2% and I have never gone above 3% with their flavorings.
All their fruits are on point. Their cookie is the best across the board of companies IMO
75% of my booster flavors are made by FA. Few drops of Fuji apple in a mix can make other fruits pop, add juiciness and a unique sweetness. Their pear flavor is like biting into an over ripened pear. Very juicy and not a strong pear flavor. Perfect. Add a few drops of this in your mix and you add fullness and a delicious fresh juiciness.
From flora to Oakwood to saffron to flavors called monsoon, aurora, eclipse. They have a great selection of flavors that will instantly take your juice to unbelievable heights! Seriously guys. If you want a unique flavor that you will never attain using just traditional fruit, cream and tobacco, these guys are it. Every single flavor in this line is on point. My Ylang’s Vanilla Oak would never be possible without FA. That particular juice may not be for everybody and I’m just using it as an example but everyone who has tried it, eyes pop open and say, “ooooh what is that?” haha. This is the secret sauce. The hidden spice.
Not many at all
They just don’t have a lot of custard/cream selections (but the ones they do are killer)
Price Point 5/6
I personally do not see this as an issue but they are higher on the list out of the 6 companies
USA based. I found them by being Brendan’s flavor tester/reviewer when he started and I am glad I did. He has some great stuff! Unfortunately not everything.
For the most part, these guys are the most concentrated out of all the companies. Now it may not be true for all but the majority of use is .04-1% I have rarely gone over 2% on any of their flavors
These guys make up the other 20% of flavors I use as boosters. Cantaloupe being one I can’t live without.
Custard and Cream
Arguably the best Vanilla custard and cream on the market. I personally say it is definitely on my top 3 custards and creams
They have some of the best melon flavors I have tasted. Specifically the Wild Melon and Cantaloupe
Not many and just like the majority of flavor companies, not every flavor is the best out there.
Their fruits are good but I only consider a few to be excellent. Their strawberry for example is a different take on strawberry. It’s not bad but its not normal.
They really don’t have much and the ones they do, are done even better elsewhere
Price Point 6/6
They are the most expensive from the list of 6. BUT what people don’t realize at the register, is, you actually end up paying about the same as you would with a cheaper company. Cost vs usage. FLV you use, say 1%, where you would normally use 3% or more with a cheaper company. I think it’s about the same in the long run.
I didn’t start making 4-6% juices until I started using them
Polish Company. Insert your own joke there.
These guys are also amazing!! The Ferrari of flavors! These guys are almost tied with FA and the only reason they are not, is because I have more FA flavors in my lab than I do INW. That gap is closing rather quickly though…
Their fruits are right up there with FA as far as quality and accuracy.
Their shisha line is among the top flavors that I use. Shisha vanilla is the best vanilla out there. These are great accents to juices. Shisha strawberry is a great special touch on strawberry juices (again I just use SB as a general reference flavor)
Besides shisha they have a lot of special flavors like Cactus(amazing/booster), teas, Rhubarb, exotic roots and my personal favorite, Cherimoya. Good selection!
These guys are about the same as FA in this regard. Highly concentrated and I average .04-2%
Bakery/custard selection low
I only say this because the few types they do have, are phenomenal and make me crave more. They do have an amazing cookie, nougat, creme brulee and vanilla shisha but that’s pretty much it in this area
Price point 4/6
They are just slightly less (sometimes the same price at other vendors) as FA. Personally I buy direct from Poland and I get great prices and insanely fast delivery
The Flavor Apprentice
USA based. Most people would chose these guys to be, “the one and only” company.
“The Best” because of their selection and genuinely good flavorings in all areas. I would also agree with this.
TFA is a great company because they have a huge selection of flavors in every category and for the most part have an 8/10 average when it comes to quality. Just an all around great company and relatively cheap.
They have their misses in a few flavors and even though there may be another company that does flavor X better, it doesn’t mean TFA’s flavor X isn’t a good one.
They have an insanely high selection of flavors!
Even though it may not be “the best” on the market they still have good flavors across the board
Taro is all I’m going to say with this one. They also have cherry blossom, honeysuckle,
A great and easy to use dragon fruit
They have some really good custards and creams. Bavarian cream, whipped cream, sweet cream, orange cream, brown sugar, marshmallow, gelato, vanilla swirl and so much more. Great selection in this category!
Taking the remaining 5%, they have flavors like Marshmallow, brown sugar extra, toasted marshmallow, etc that adds great qualities to mixes. Great to enhance juices
Hands down one of the best strawberry flavors out there. Ripe strawberry. Plus they have a few more that are fantastic, like organic strawberry (this time I am actually talking about strawberry in the literal sense)
Great selection of fruits and for the most part, all of them are great
Price Point 2/6
Their flavors are cheap! That’s what makes them great as well. because they’re still a good tasting flavor company
I wouldn’t call this a bad thing necessarily, I would say you would use twice the amount of flavoring than you would with INW or FA. Typically I use these guys on average 2-6%. Although I do use a few of theirs at .5-2% range, I think their flavors vary in strengths across the board.
They are lacking in the baked goods arena. Not as much in selection, as it is in the wow factor. No cookie
USA based. Capella is a good company. There’s a lot of flavors I would be heart broken if I couldn’t use haha. They are strong in the force, when it comes to custards and creams and not so much when it comes to a majority of their fruits.
Amazing Vanilla custard and it is the best one out there. French vanilla is another good one
They have half their selection among “the best” like sweet strawberry, golden pineapple, yellow peach, juicy orange, sweet tangerine and a few others
Fantastic Dragon fruit, especially paired with TFA’s
They’re not as potent as FA or INW but they are so ever slightly in the higher range. Averaging 2-4%
they are not consistently good down the line of fruit flavors. Some are fantastic but others fail, ending in a candy like version and not a “true” flavor
Price Point 3/6
Not a bad thing, they are reasonable for the concentration
They really don’t have anything special to offer outside of the norm. Maybe their cucumber and that’s about it
So there you have it. That’s a quick review of the top 6 flavor companies out there and I have tried a lot of companies but find I prefer all these guys
I have been sent flavors to review from EuroFlavor & Liquid Barn
They both require insanely high percentages with an average starting point of 5%. Liquid barn has decent ice creams, coco milk, sweet creams and Vienna cream but their fruits were just shit.
Euroflavor didn’t go over to well with myself nor the others. They had a couple good fruits. Their yellow/green mango is nice and their passion fruits were good. The rest of their fruits just weren’t that good and definitely nothing worth the 5% starting point.
I didn’t join in the tobacco review end but those who did, say their tobaccos were good.
Neither of these companies would be able to support an ejuice company or an all exclusive juice on their own
Now I don’t want to seem harsh by saying that. Flavorah, by itself, would also not be able to sustain an ejuice company BUT you are able to produce a lot of FLV exclusive mixes with their stuff.
If there’s one thing that i wish I knew starting out, it would be that just because it’s a flavoring and it says strawberry flavoring on it, doesn’t mean it’s automatically going to be a good strawberry.
Just throwing a strawberry flavor and an ice cream flavor in a bottle doesn’t mean you’re going to get a good strawberry ice cream.
For example, you need to find a good strawberry, preferably 2 or more (1 that’s sweet/body and 1 that’s ripe accented), a nice ice cream, fresh cream, marshmallow for mouth effect, sometimes a small amount of cookie or malted milk, if you’re going for a shake and so on.
Having a solid company is the only way to produce a solid juice and I stand behind these 6 companies. I know that they will produce consistent, high quality, flavor. This doesn’t mean I won’t still be constantly trying new companies
Thanks guys, and sorry for the lengthy review. I hope you get something positive out of my ramblings