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Where Do Your Flavors Come From?

Knowing what you’re putting into your lungs is essential for any safety-conscious vaper. Vaping is likely to be safer than smoking even in the worst case scenario – for example, even a juice that’s chock-full of diacetyl doesn’t have the sheer quantity of harmful ingredients you’ll find in cigarette smoke – but asking “What am I vaping?” is still a good idea, because many ingredients can represent an avoidable risk in e-liquid.

At Black Note, we try to make this question as easy as possible to answer. For one, we offer a lab report confirming that our juices don’t contain ingredients such as diacetyl, acetyl propionyl, acetoin, acrolein and diethylene glycol, but our flavors are pretty easy to trace too. As a naturally extracted tobacco (NET) e-liquid company, we make our flavorings in house by steeping carefully-selected tobacco leaves in a base mixture – with no added heat – for six to eight weeks, and we don’t add any artificial flavors, colors, dyes or additives.

But what about other companies? Where do the ingredients come from for your favorite non-tobacco juices? While some companies may make their own extracts – particularly so for things like menthol – the majority depend on the same flavoring companies do-it-yourself mixers use.

In effect, juice companies use their flavor-crafting expertise to produce delicious ecig liquid, but if you want to know the source of the flavorings in your juice, the answer is companies like Capella, Flavor West, LorAnn, the Perfumers Apprentice and many others. Here’s a quick look at the biggest companies responsible for the flavorings you’re vaping – or using in your own DIY mixes – which also covers how much information they provide about the ingredients in the flavors.

The Perfumer’s Apprentice/the Flavor Apprentice

The Flavor Apprentice is a division of the Perfumer’s Apprentice, and they carry a wide variety of flavors that can be used in best tobacco e-juice. They originally got started in 2004, and as the name suggests, their original audience was perfume-makers, but they’ve since expanded into offering food flavorings.

They don’t use diacetyl in any of their flavorings, but acetyl propionyl and acetoin are used for custard-like notes. If you browse through their flavors by section, you’ll see that any flavorings with either of these ingredients present are marked as such, and you can even look at the components of the flavorings via the spec sheet page. If you’re interested in one component in particular, you can search by it’s CAS number to see all flavorings with the ingredient present (the CAS for acetyl propionyl is 600-14-6 and for acetoin it’s 513-86-0). For specific flavorings, you can see a full list of its components and how much of each there is in there.

For DIY mixers, this means you can be pretty sure about what you’re inhaling if you check the flavorings out on their website, and if you know a company uses the Flavor Apprentice, it should offer some assurance that there’s unlikely to be diacetyl in the juice.


Capella is one of the most widely-used flavor companies, and originally got their start as a coffee company, who branched out into flavorings in 2005. They now offer a bewildering array of flavorings, split into sections such as desserts, nuts, fruits, spice and liqueurs.

The company doesn’t use diacetyl, and they’re currently in the process of removing acetyl propionyl and acetoin from their flavorings (with a list available so you can check the status of specific flavors). They offer MSDS sheets for their flavors, and also list non-flavor ingredients on the page for each individual flavor (ordinarily just PG, but some contain other ingredients such as alcohol).

Overall, they’re a reputable company and the fact that they’re taking steps to remove acetyl propionyl and acetoin puts them in good standing with most mixers.

Flavor West

Flavor West is another of the most widely-used e-liquid flavoring companies in the e-liquid industry, and they first got started in 2012. They split their flavorings into natural and artificial flavors, natural flavors, with base liquids (PG, VG and nicotine) and even caffeine available. They test their flavorings to ensure there is no diacetyl present, and many flavorings list the acetoin content and acetyl propionyl content, but the full list they released doesn’t provide much useful information in terms of testing limits, and not all of the flavors they’ve released are included.

The results are also expressed as percentages, which effectively means “parts per hundred,” and therefore would need multiplying by 10,000 to become a ppm or μg/ml value (more info on this is available in this article on understanding e-liquid lab reports). This would suggest that Pumpkin Spice, for example, mixed down to 10 percent of an e-liquid, would contain 242 ppm of acetyl propionyl, which is not an acceptable amount. If you’re mixing, you can use the document as a guide to ensure your mixes are safe, but without knowing the minimum detection limit, it’s hard to be sure.

Overall, they provide some information, but it’s nothing approaching the sort of disclosure the Perfumer’s Apprentice offers, so safety-conscious mixers and vapers might prefer to avoid them. Incidentally, there are suggestions that Thug Juice from Mount Baker Vapor is built on Flavor West’s Jungle Juice, although they’ve denied that they use the company.

LorAnn Oils

LorAnn Oils originally got started in 1962, meaning it’s been manufacturing and distributing flavorings and essential oils for over 50 years. They carry a wide range of flavors, classed as “super strength flavors” and “natural flavors” (with the latter ones being suspended in a PG and VG mix), with several fruity, sweet and beverage-based flavors available. The flavors all contain no diacetyl, but they don’t really cater to vapers, and so there are some issues. One of which is that there is no real indication of whether acetyl propionyl or acetoin are used, and a vaper has been informed that some flavors do contain them, but with no information about which specific ones.

Additionally, there are oil-based flavors mixed in with vape-safe flavorings, and lipoid pneumonia is a potential risk from vaping oils. Although this is likely a little more complicated than simply “don’t vape anything that says oil on it,” it is still good advice, overall. Really, if it’s water-soluble, it’s probably safe to vape (but there is ultimately still a lot of uncertainty with many flavorings). There is a useful list of the flavorings from LorAnn that are considered safe for vaping and ones which aren’t.

As for ingredient listing, LorAnn don’t really offer much information. Using the list referenced above should help you steer clear of anything potentially risky, but overall the information provided is really minimal here.


FlavourArt is another popular e-liquid flavoring company (available to buy in the U.S. here and elsewhere), based out of Italy. The company takes purity very seriously, and don’t use diacetyl, acetyl propionyl, acetoin, preservatives, sweeteners or colors in any of their flavorings, making them a great choice for safety-conscious vapers. They have a wide range of flavors available, ranging from tobaccos to sweets, fruits and blended mixtures, as well as offering a small selection of “ready to vape” options. The website doesn’t offer much else in terms of ingredients listings, but the fact they’re free from the main chemicals of concern should be satisfying to most vapers and DIY mixers.

Which Suppliers to My Favorite E-Liquid Companies Use?

This is a very difficult question to answer, because – as you may expect – companies aren’t exactly eager to reveal their suppliers, and most will use several. The best advice, if you’re concerned about the potential flavors you’re inhaling, is to check “clone” recipes of the juices. These are vapers’ best guesses as to how to produce a particular flavor, and even if they aren’t completely accurate, they should give you a general idea of the type of flavors likely included in a juice. In some cases (as with Thug Juice, mentioned above), the recipe is really quite easy to work out, so these can offer valuable clues as to which supplier a company uses.

The best advice – if you’re really concerned about vaping things like diacetyl – is to simply avoid custard-based flavors. A Perfumer’s Apprentice blog post puts it like this:

“Pretty much by definition, a vanilla custard flavor, no matter who makes it, will have both acetoin and acetyl propionyl (or diacetyl) in it. Just like it would be hard to bake a cinnamon cookie with no cinnamon, it would be really hard (pretty much impossible) to create a vanilla custard flavor with no acetoin or acetyl propionyl (or diacetyl).”

Diacetyl imparts a buttery flavor, too, so being cautious about butterscotch and similar buttery flavors is also good advice.


For DIY mixers, having a knowledge of the different e-liquid flavoring companies, what they offer and how many of their juices are likely to contain ingredients you shouldn’t vape just makes sense. But for ordinary vapers concerned about what they’re inhaling, looking at flavoring companies can give you a good idea of the specific chemicals likely hiding behind the “natural and artificial flavorings” listed on the bottle. For these purposes, the Perfumer’s Apprentice is a great site to check, offering more information about the specific ingredients in their flavors than any other company listed here. There are many flavoring companies used by vapers, though – with a big list available here – so it’s also worth checking in some other places if you want more information. You might not be able to be certain about what you’re inhaling, but you can use it to get a general idea of what’s in your juice.


List of DIY Flavoring Suppliers (with unwanted ingredients present in highlighted juices)

Michael Grey
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Michael Grey

With a passion to educate through my writings and a passion to help others, I found my place here at Black Note. Being that I am a former smoker who quit smoking because of vaping, I knew I could help others do the same. Working for Black Note is a true blessing. Not only do I help educate vapers on a daily basis through my writings, but I am also enjoying the benefits of working with an amazing team and sharing an authentic tobacco solution with the vaping community.
Michael Grey
Find Me Here

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What is Naturally Extracted Tobacco E-Liquid?

E-juice, also known as e-liquid or vaping liquid, is the liquid that’s placed in the vaping device and subsequently atomized into vapor. When you go to buy e-juice, you’ll notice it contains a mix of several ingredients. These typically include vegetable glycerin (VG), propylene glycol (PG), some type of flavoring, and nicotine.

VG and PG form the base of the e-liquid. VG is a component used in food and personal care products; its role in e-liquid is to create a thick, dense vapor. PG is another popular solvent used in a variety of everyday items. It carries the e-liquid flavor, provides the “throat hit,” and enhances the vaping liquid’s ability to soak into wicks or cartomizer materials.

Nicotine is an optional ingredient, often available in different levels. E-juice also contains some type of flavoring.

Black Note leads the pack of tobacco vaping liquid by using only natural flavoring – extract from real tobacco leaves to produce real tobacco taste. When you go to buy e-juice from other companies, you may find any number of chemicals used to create synthetic flavors that include fake strawberry, manufactured vanilla, and even man-made tobacco flavors.

If your aim when you buy e-liquid is to experience the subtle nuances, genuine flair and authentic taste of real tobacco, then you’ll be on the mark if you buy e-juice from the Black Note lineup.

Best E-Juice

When you’re going to buy e-liquid, it’s only natural you’ll want the best e-liquid. But what, exactly, does it “best e-juice” mean? We’ll tell you.

For starters, you’ll want an e-juice that doesn’t contain all kinds of strange chemicals and concoctions that you can’t even pronounce. True, even the best e-liquid will contain vegetable glycerin (VG) and proplene glycol (PG), which serve as the base of e-juice, but you don’t necessarily need a host of other chemical compounds.

The best e-juice will stick to natural ingredients, like real tobacco extract, rather than rely on synthetic flavorings, colorings and other additives. Diacetyl is one of those synthetic ingredients that has gotten a pretty bad rap, although its use is not all that uncommon for producing sweet e juice flavors.

Definitely read the ingredient list before you buy e-juice to ensure you recognize what’s on it. Better yet, see if the e-juice company offers a lab report to confirm what’s actually inside the e-liquid.

In addition to having as few chemical ingredients as possible, the best e-juice will have an amazing taste. For those who enjoy authenticity over imitation, the most amazing taste is the most natural taste, especially when it comes to tobacco. Since Black Note uses real extract from tobacco leaves, we not only avoid all those weird chemical flavorings, but we also produce the most authentic experience: tobacco vaping liquid that actually tastes like tobacco.

Best E-Liquid on the Market

Anyone looking for the best e-liquid on the market need look no further than Black Note. Black Note tobacco vaping liquid ranks as the best e-juice across the board in every category, starting with the taste.

Black Note’s main claim to fame is producing a tobacco vaping liquid that actually tastes like real tobacco. That because we use real tobacco extract, not chemicals, to create the best e-juice tobacco flavor. Using extract from real tobacco leaves retains tobacco’s nuances and flavor notes, giving you the most authentic and multi-faceted tobacco experience.

In addition to being the best e-juice for tobacco taste, Black Note also has the best e-liquid manufacturing process. We spent years researching and testing various production methods, and finally landed on one that we believe is absolutely perfect.

It starts with growing carefully selected tobacco seeds, followed by an equally precise of steps that include an extensive natural extraction process. Even our bottling and packaging is done with the utmost care, using recycled and recyclable packaging materials to ensure our products are as earth-friendly as they are vapor-friendly.

One more category where Black Note ranks as the best e-liquid is with the value. Every order comes with free domestic shipping, one-to-three day domestic shipping guarantee, and a 90-day, money-back satisfaction guarantee. If you’re not happy for any reason, or don’t agree we’re the best e-juice on the market, send it back on us and we’ll refund your money.

Vape Juice Ingredients

Vape juice ingredients can be pretty straightforward – or not. At the very least, most vape juice contains propylene glycol (PG), vegetable glycerin (VG), and some type of flavoring. Nicotine has largely become an optional ingredient that can be included at varying levels or left out altogether.

Vegetable glycerin (VG) and propylene glycol (PG) are usually the two main ingredients that make up the base of most vape juice.

VG is a plant-based substance with the ability to produce a dense, thick vapor. PG is an additive found in many food items and certain medicines. It carries the flavoring, provides the “throat hit” and enhances the vape juice’s ability to soak into the wicking materials.

Nicotine levels can vary, as can ingredients that make up the flavorings. The components that make up vape juice flavoring are where ingredients can get rather complicated.

Vape juice that relies on artificial flavorings can contain any number of extraneous chemicals and other additives, whatever it takes to recreate the flavor the ecig juice is going for.

Black Note uses only natural flavorings: extract from real tobacco leaves. That keeps our ingredient list incredibly simple, backed by a lab report to prove it. You won’t find any strange chemical concoctions used to produce our tobacco flavor, just real tobacco extract that delivers a real tobacco experience.

What is the Best Flavor for Ecig Juice?

From strawberry shortcake to banana rum, ecig juice comes in tons of flavors. While folks can debate and discuss all the fruity, sweet or food-like flavors all day long, the best flavor for e-cig liquid is straight-up tobacco.

Why? Vaping was originally created as an alternative for traditional cigarettes, mainly for those who enjoy the taste of tobacco. And when you can find an e-cig liquid that is able to recreate tobacco’s full-bodied yet delicate flavor notes and nuances, but without the harmful chemicals found in cigarettes, then you’ve found the best ecig juice.

Recreating tobacco’s complex flavor isn’t easy, especially when it’s attempted with artificial ingredients. That’s why Black Note sticks to the real thing, extracting the essence of real tobacco leaves to flavor our vaping liquid. Not only does this avoid the harmful chemicals in cigarettes, but it also eliminates the flavoring chemicals found in many ecig juices. The end result is real tobacco taste, an authentic tobacco experience and the best flavor for ecig juice you can find.

Notice also we said the best e-cig flavor was straight-up tobacco, not plain old tobacco. Black Note’s real tobacco vaping liquid happens to come in a variety of different blends, from the light and airy to the peppery and robust. Not all tobacco is created equal, and different blends capture the specialized subtleties that make each tobacco unique.

Best Sweet Tobacco E-Juice

When it comes to sweet tobacco e-juice, your options can be broken down into two categories.

The first category contains tobacco e-juice that overlays the tobacco flavor with artificial chocolate, caramel, vanilla, fruity or other dessert-like flavorings. We wouldn’t classify any such flavors as the best tobacco e liquid, simply because they typically use chemicals and other artificial ingredients to create the tobacco taste, the sweet taste, or both.

The second category of sweet tobacco e-juice is where you’ll find the best tobacco e-liquid, sweet or otherwise. This category contains vaping liquid created using only natural flavorings, which is exactly where Black Note fits in. Instead of concocting flavors using synthetic ingredients, Black Note uses an extensive extraction process that slowly and deliberately extracts the tobacco essence from real tobacco leaves.

The result is the best tobacco e-juice: tobacco vaping liquid that actually tastes like real tobacco. And if you’re going for the best sweet tobacco e liquid, we have a few tobacco blends that offer varying levels of sweetness.

Prelude is our sweetest tobacco e-liquid, containing golden Virginia tobacco. Made from fire-cured dark Virginia tobacco, Sonata is our Cavendish blend with a mildly sweet and nutty flavor. Solo is our menthol blend, giving you a semi-sweet minty taste created from natural menthol crystals extract from dried mint leaves.

For the best tobacco e-liquid that’s naturally sweet and remarkably delicious, Black Note is at your service.

WARNING: Black Note products are not smoking cessation products and have not been tested as such. Black Note products are intended for use by adults of legal smoking age (21 or older in California), and not by children or women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Black Note products contain nicotine, a chemical known to the State of California to cause birth defects or other reproductive harm. Ingestion of the non-vaporized concentrated ingredients can be poisonous. Keep out of reach of children and pets.

WARNING: This product contains nicotine. Nicotine is an addictive chemical.