What Defines a “Complex” E-Liquid?

When talking about the flavor profile of an e-liquid, we usually refer to how natural it tastes, how sweet it is, and the quality of the ingredients. Another factor though to consider is the complexity of a flavor profile, which refers to how many notes you’re getting at once, and whether or not they go together in a complementary manner.

Now, do not get us wrong, there is nothing wrong with sticking to single-note flavors, like that of a juicy green apple or a pure, icy menthol. But, there is something distinctively gratifying about going for a flavor with lots of nuance and many layers that excite your palate. Complex flavors consist of a multitude of flavor notes that hit the palate in different regions, offering up a taste that keeps your taste buds excited.

Meanwhile, complex flavors better mimic tastes that we crave on a regular basis, like an ice cream sundae or a delectable fruit medley balanced to perfection.

Multiple Flavor Components
An e-liquid can only be complex if it offers a variety of flavor notes. Technically, a single-flavor vape juice can accomplish this – for instance, think of a blackberry that has notes of sweetness, tang and tartness, with a hint of earthiness just lingering beneath. Or, imagine real cigarette tobacco, in all of its nutty, smooth, rich, earthy, and sweet glory.

You can still enjoy even more complexity when you go for an e-juice that has multiple flavoring agents combined into one flavor profile. For instance, vanilla custard is delicious all on its own, but imagine if that vanilla custard were topped with velvety bananas and toasted nuts. Now, you have a flavor that’s sweet, creamy, fruity, sweet, nutty, buttery, rich and savory, all at the same time. This type of flavor makes its presence known by unveiling one layer at a time, while your taste buds anticipate each and every nuance as it unfolds.

Proper Flavor Balance
You cannot have a complex-tasting vape juice if the flavors are not balanced properly. An e-liquid can contain a large number of flavoring ingredients, but if one particular flavor ingredient overwhelms the others, you just won’t get much complexity. It’s actually quite a challenge for e-juice makers to get the balance of flavors just right so that each one hits the right spot on the palate in a way that allows you to fully taste each one.

Quality Ingredients
Yes, the quality of those ingredients impacts in an e-juice’s complexity because high-quality ingredients are already complex on an individual level. Remember our blackberry example? Well, high-quality blackberry flavoring has that complexity that makes you swear you’re tasting a real blackberry. Low-quality blackberry flavoring may barely crack the surface of what a real blackberry tastes like in terms of its complex flavor profile. Also, many cheap ingredients are overly sweet, and this can prevent you from tasting anything but pure sugar when you vape.

When Complexity Goes Wrong
Now, complexity can go wrong if a brand does not know what they’ ae doing. Here are the most common things that can go wrong when attempting to make a complex-tasting vape.

#1: Too Much Sweetness
Adding too much sweetness can kill the nuance that you’re trying to achieve. Sugar is an assertive flavor that becomes cloying in high doses, and if a vape juice is too sweet, all you will taste, like we said before, is sweetness – you will not get the subtle notes that are in the flavor profile, which means that all of those ingredients will essentially have gone to waste.

#2: Muddiness
Muddiness is what happens when flavors end up competing for your attention rather than each having their own place in a flavor profile. It means that all you end up tasting is a mess of indistinguishable flavor, rather than appreciating each and every note that unfolds on the tongue. This happens when someone is unable to practice restraint and ends up using high amounts of all of the flavoring ingredients at once, instead of coming up with a good proportion of each.

#3: Vaper’s Tongue
If a flavor profile is too strong and complex, it can give you vaper’s tongue, which can leave you unable to taste your e-liquid. Vaper’s tongue is temporary and not harmful, but it results from too much flavor stimuli at once.