Testing flavors

ok so everyone tells me to test my flavors and I have tested a few of them and taking notes doesn’t help me because I noticed with some people. their notes say things ( rich and creamy,vanilla,dry strawberry,wet strawberry,buttery sweet cream. how am I supposed to know if the vanilla custard is eggy or not? I’ve never tasted eggy custard nor do I know what buttery sweet cream taste like. how am I supposed to know what a dry strawberry taste like if ive never tasted one before?

I know that a lot of you have tested flavors but that doesn’t do anything for me. even with notes.

I am also looking for a mixer by the name ALISSA STEIN? is this a real person or is some guy I know lying to me?

I have also noticed that some say to use use vanilla swirl at 2 or 3 percent but yet I see it being used at 0.5
I know some will say im over thinking but this is more confusing than anything!!!


Best thing for me was and sometimes still is. Just think of a fruit you like and keep your recipes with 2 or 3 simple ingredients in the recipe. Don’t worry about different layers of that fruit. That’ll come with time, lots of reading,trying etc. The main goal here is to Keep you off smoking and enjoying saving lots of money in the long run. Once you find that one 2 or 3 ingedients Recipe. Basically what I’m saying is this is all about you and what you like to vape, what helps you achieve whatever goal it is that made you want to DIY. Just keep it simple. The forums are full of information about starting your journey. There’s a link someone may be able to post to get you rolling. Good luck and read and ask questions lots of very knowledgeable folks on here


yea man I try to keep it simple because im not good with testing. 3 months 6 months later I don’t remember what they tasted like and the notes don’t help me. ive been mixing for 8months and still fight a bad struggle with this all. it sucks when you make a 10ml or 20ml bottle of something you think will be awesome and it ends up being trash…I have to face that because testers and notes don’t help me. they confuse me


Hey Bryan. One thing that is MOST important to understand when reading other people’s recipes and notes is … TASTE is VERY subjective . What I perceive in a flavor, you may not ever notice and visa versa. OR , it may be only that how I describe a flavor is foreign to you.

The only real advice I can give you on this is to be patient, look for a couple of mixes on the ELR calculator side that appeal to your senses and try them. Keep making small testers until you find what appeals to you most. Oh, and when you receive your new flavorings, make sure and test them individually, so you know what you’re working with.

Anyhow, there’s lots of advice from great mixers here on ELR. Just have fun with it! :slight_smile:


it’s tough on me when it comes to notes. I cant tell you what rich taste like. I cant tell you what eggy taste like. I cant tell you what creamy yogurt taste like because I don’t know. im not a cook and trust me when I say…you don’t want me cooking…your house will end up getting cooked too lol…fast food and delivery only for me when it comes to food lol. just being honest. I think that’s why im struggling so badly because notes doesn’t work in my favor. …example…capella strawberry taffy. 1% taste like 2% and 3% taste like 2%. there is no difference of what I can tell so that’s another reason why I don’t do testers or notes because I cant tell the difference.


@Bryan22 Worry less about what other people are noting, and more about what it means to you when you vape a flavor. If you taste egg, note the egg, if you taste cardboard, note the cardboard !!! Realizing some other people’s notes may or may not help you, but if you’re doing your own, put whatever you taste and feel, that makes sense to you, that way you can remember when reading them.


What are your favorite fruits ? Juicy melons ? What did you vape before (Retail juices) ? Name a couple, who makes it, is it sweet,sour,maybe a link to where you buy it from etc…take a bite of something or drink of something you love. While you’re chewing or drinking it, stop and think about what is making you love it. Is it the Vanilla in the ice cream, the nice cold sensation, the whipped cream.
Or do you like to stir it up and have a mix of the Carmel in it. Whatever it is you like about it.


the juice im talking about is a house juice. its not a top shelf name. im a huge fan of strawberry cheesecake. county fair caramel apple. funnel cake with ice cream. vanilla custard blueberry ice cream milkshake.

I like killer kustard but it has too much sweetener so I had to stop vaping it.
I love cuttwood unicorn milk and I have the clone for it.
I love cuttwood sugar drizzle too.
I also like the grape pixie sticks juice. I think TIME BOMB VAPOR


that makes complete sense. I tried testing flavors on my drop rda and I cant seem to really notice anything so I might have to use a regular tank for each flavor and wash out after each use. …it seems like you play drums? I play drums too. my dad played jazz and blues for 45 yrs…hes been playing before my brother and I were born…my brother can play anything you lay on the table. he won a double bass contest in dallas tx for fastest feet on the double kick.


Strawberry Taffy - Capella Flavors

Percentages in recipes
Average mixing quantity: 3.9% (Median: 3%)

Single flavor recommendations:
Average quantity: 7% (Median: 7.0%)

3% is the Average when mixed with other flavors 7% when used alone. try higher.

There might be another way… but I find this the fastest , no need to use a scale or mix up 10ml just to test a flavor like I see some people doing on you tube. Also some flavors need to steep.

1 Drop flavor testing

**Make a base of (30/70-PG/VG) **
Pick what %'s of flavor you want to test at.
Always use 1 drop of flavor, just change the drops of Base.

Vape and take Notes.

Start low and work up until you find your sweet spots lower and upper ranges.

Use the same kind of bottle to drop your base for best accuracy.

If your need more liquid for testing the higher %'s. Just double the drops of Flv and base.

(Flv) (Base) (% being tested)
1D 4D 20%
1D 5D 16.6%
1D 6D 14.2%
1D 7D 12.5%
1D 9D 10%
1D 11D 8.3%
1D 13D 7.1%
1D 15D 6.25%
1D 19D 5%
1D 24D 4%
1D 32D 3%
1D 49D 2%
1D 99D 1%

The math is 100% Divided/by NumberOfDrops = % per drop.

100%/5D = 20% per Drop
100%/10D = 10% per Drop
100%/50D = 2% per Drop

Good Luck


Part of why we test is to establish a high end and low end %. If you can taste strawberry taffy at 1% then maybe try .0.5-0.75% and establish your low end %

low end is simply the point where you can taste it , but, be sure to steep it too because you may be able to taste it off the shake but not after a steep.

If 3% tastes similiar then you know you can go even higher. As you go higher eventually you will notice the flavor begin to mute out or morph into something you no longer enjoy. Try 4%, 5% and 7% and establish your high end %

These tests are then valuable because you now know this flavor. If you want this flavor as a main note in a more complex mix, mix it just below the high end %. If you want this flavor to just be an accent mix just above your low end %. Whether you can verbally describe the aroma is not necessary here. The idea is , when a multi flavor mix does not steep well you have an idea which flavor at which percent may be the culprit…


This is part of the experience you gain with mixing. If you have 1 strawberry, 1 peach, 1 custard, 1 cookie, etc, I find it hard to put it in a description… but if you have a couple of each, it’ll become easier by noticing the differences and writing those down.

I have the same reaction you have when it comes to wines. A lot of people go really weird and talk about chocolate notes (in a wine???), or a nutty charater… some people taste pineapple and whatever and all I think is, this wine is crap :smiley:
But over time, when you compare wines and you drink it more often, you do find yourself picking out the differences and finding words to try and describe the flavors, mouthfeel, aftertaste and what else. Flavor concentrates are pretty similar.

As others have said, what is important is that YOU can make something out of your notes. And you are free to write down whatever you like. Even if it’s “I don’t like this strawberry with dragon fruit, but it goes well with cheesecake. It does need some sweetener” for example.

The more flavors you try and the more notes from other people you read and compare with your own experience, the more it’ll all start to make sense. I really wouldn’t worry about it a whole lot. And if you have to test a flavor again, so be it. You wouldn’t be the first. Sometimes just a finger test should be enough to refresh your memory so you won’t need to mix up a new test batch.


“Notes” can be a somewhat difficult topic with concentrates, because as mentioned it is a very subjective subject. It can help if there are a lot of notes on a flavor and many of them are similar, i.e. a strawberry that most folks view as natural as opposed to candy sweet. But even then it’s really not much more than a baseline you may or may not want to trust when considering a purchase. Furthermore, not everyone realizes that any notes you add, even in your stash, are then pegged to the concentrate in the public database. SO some notes may not even make sense because they weren’t meant for general consumption. So use them however works for you, which includes not using them at all if you wish.

As for tasting… this subjectivity is also why everyone is suggesting SF tests. Concentrates definitely do not taste the same regardless of %, and in most cases the flavor changes dramatically based on %. And I don’t mean simply 'weaker at low % and stronger at high %. Just about every flavor has a zone where the flavor works. Going outside that zone actually can change the flavor significantly. So, taking the time to SF test them and building your own internal database is all but necessary, unfortunately. It is arduous, it is time consuming, and it can even be wasteful because you will range outside of the flavor happy zone as a matter of course while you nail down your ju-ju field. But if you really want to get to the point where you can mix juices for yourself like a boss, it’s all but inevitable that you go through the SF tasks.


This is a curse and a blessing, but it’s true.

Since strawberry is involved in your flavor.

Note some ppl have issues tasting strawberries. Im one of them. So when I found this (below) another person who had the same issue I was like hell-ya! cause I just got this Delosi Strawberry. So one you get to know your flavors, you can read other ppls notes and find which ppl taste the same as you do, then just make the recipes they like and you’ll have a higher chance of liking it also.



@Bryan22 Outstanding brother drummer. Jazz and blues, some powerful good stuff there. As far as the testing, note taking, etc., I know a LOT of people here love and use the RDA’s for testing, and general vaping, but they never really worked out for me. I ended up using a very old version 1, Steam Crave for all of my critical testing. Loved it soo much ended up buying almost all of the OTHER Steam Craves too. It’s all about flavor for me, all other features never mattered unless I had great flavor first.


As others have mentioned your notes are your own notes, based on what you do taste.

As I started diy i read all these notes too, that was one reason I purchased nearly the whole FA line, I didn’t understand that not everyone will taste the flavor as described in the notes, I had been reading the whole 6 month prior before even getting into diy.

If a person stated it’s eggy, harsh, candy, needs to be diluted, can’t be mixed with certain profiles, I for sure was the first to follow that guideline. Percentage? Yep that too, don’t go above a x amount of percent, stay in this and that range.

Buy this tank, that rda, this mod, get a mixer, frother, glassware, plastic, hell lock yourself in a tent and don’t breathe, at the end you reach the absolute knowledge of flavors… Yes been there and guess what? I stopped diy because it didn’t work.

As I came back to it nearly a year later, I took a other approach. I didn’t read any notes, wasn’t interested because it was clouding my judgement. I picked up some flavors I found interesting and tested them.

Trust me not all were great, but it helped me to find what I like. Some might argue, I would have saved money with looking at a list. I don’t agree because most of the flavors recommended I don’t like. I just would have ended up more frustrated.

I based it on real food, and while it’s different to vaping, it did help me a lot when trying to find additives at the beginning.

So for example (TFA) Greek yogurt. I purchased the flavor and mixed 4 testers one at 2%, 4%, 6% and 8%. Let them sit for a week and then tried it, as well as writing down what I taste, and how it compares to the real thing.

My notes looked something like this: not authentic, tastes like rotten milk (6-8%), even disgusting at 4%. 2% tastes like real Greek yogurt without the body. Sour and tangy, might be difficult to mix with. still don’t like it!

I didn’t publish them, I kept them in a notebook for me only.

At that time I didn’t knew/realized texture/mouthfeel or anything like that.

However I did unintentionally notice dry, every time I would vape a specific flavor, it’s like someone would put cotton in my mouth, sucking my saliva right out of it. This compared to the feeling I have at a dentists office or in the morning when you wake up with dry mouth.

I’d note that. I did that with every new flavor and after a while I noticed how textures can vary, how the same profile depending on brand can vary and find the differences. Same for custards, first I noticed a texture that was like a piece of omelette in my mouth, didn’t taste like anything and I never put it together with eggy.

Nowadays I actual taste egg but my notes from the past helped, because I wrote down that feeling I did have based on true food.

After a while you test differntly, I at least do, also my notes are different but it took a while to get here. And there are still times where I read a note from someone, and won’t taste nothing like that. But I’m not worried about it.

You’re the one mixing your juice based on your taste buds, if you taste strawberry when it’s labeled chocolate, great use it as your new strawberry. Unless you want to go commercial, you don’t need to worry what others taste, if it’s eggy, milky, dry, silky, rich, thick or thin. Stop thinking about that, because it doesn’t matter for now.

I know it’s a whole novel, but maybe it helps and explains a few things, because I feel you’re looking to much at - what do others taste, rather than do I like the flavor and why.


When you say dont like it do you mean strictly as a standalone? One thing i did learn from diyordie is the idea that certain flavors come in, as wayne refered to it, their “uncracked” form. Meaning the yogurt component may just be one component of an actual yogurt. Ie TFA yogurt may only bring the sour twang of the yogurt and needs to be paired to “unlock” a more authentic taste. For this reason i usually mix yogurt flavors with OOO milky undertone and LB fresh cream. A drop or four of FLV milk helps as well…


By now I like that flavor, I have experienced enough with it to make it work for me personally, the key was not to throw anything dairy heavy in it. it’s my go to yogurt actually but it can throw off beginners lol.

But I was talking about how my notes were written back in the day, as I didn’t know that some flavors won’t be great as single or my first impressions etc. This is not how I write it nowadays and I also don’t test with set percentage anymore either.

Just wanting to show that if you do not taste/night not have enough experience to or with the flavor, simple notes like that can help at the beginning very much.


Lot’s of talk here about eggy flavor in custards. To be honest, I don’t really taste eggy in any custards at all but there is one concentrate that has the exception. Most custards I use taste what I define as buttery. The only custard that tastes truly as defines “eggy” is Health Cabin Egg Custard. Now to me, that stuff is eggy as it can be and I use it to support my personal custard recipes.

For the note taking, I believe a good stretch of time in needed in order to do it correctly. If you are new to mixing, note taking is something that takes practice as well as learning what different percentages do by singles and combinations. I build my own devices, coils and mix and mixing is the most difficult part of it all. I find that patience and persistance works best. Also, I find that giving whatever concentrate you are trying plenty of time and attempts before you put it down. One of the worst mistakes I made mixing was giving up on a concentrate before I found it to be useful. Sometimes I have to go through 10mls or more before I can taste a flavor consistently. Also know that one tank or dripper may give flavor better for someone else more than it does another.I really don’t think you are using the wrong one though, I have several Drop RBAs.

Sometimes you have to take a break from a certain flavor and go back to it later. That’s why most of us have an e-liquid rotation as our pallet gets burnt out on the same flavor over a period of time. Mixing is one of the hardest things I have ever taken on, but I love it.


That’s also another important aspect to consider for new folks.

You’re very likely to do more harm than good by mixing on/for an atty that’s different from your every day atty.

Yes, quality (well designed) RDA’s can help you discern “all of the aspects” of a given flavor under testing. However, things can be perceived substantially different when you put the recipe you mixed up (using a RDA) into your tank, RTA, RDTA, etc.

Bottom line, testing with whatever works for you is fine, but create/mix for whatever you use most :wink: