Tuesday, January 05, 2010

My Aromatic Christmas

Well, Christ's moose has come and gone, and I thought I'd report on the aromachemicals I got, since I know everyone is DYING to know. (The picture oon the left, by the way, is me enjoying a day after Christmas in beautiful Mount Dora. At present I am pining for Mount Dora's fantastisk vinter clime. Sigh....)

Firstlene, I should say that I was surprised I got any at all. I mean, who asks for aromachemicals, right? It's WEIRD. But hell, I'm weird. I'm a mad scientist artist andallthatjazz. So I do, that's who! There! Anyway, I got three, from Mom. I guess they were at the top of my list.

Allyl amyl glycolate: I was really glad to get this, since I believe I've read it's the engine behind those huge 80s fragrances like Giorgio Beverly Hills and her sisters. I expected it to smell intensely strong, pineapply and galbanum green, from the descriptors I've read. From my experience so far, it smells like a sweaty pineapple. Very sweaty. And there's a galbanum-like greeness there too, but not as much as I'd hoped. Granted, I think I'm smelling it at 100%, and I ought to be smelling it as 1%. I plopped a bit in something, and it took it over. If I'm to be an ersatz perfumer, however, then I must learn to use this. Because many of the materials say that it "adds a modern sparkle to any fragrance." But I heed Luca Turin's warning from The Secret of Scent, I believe: that any concentration above 1% may compel the wearer to rush out for a copy of Olivia Newton John's Physical. Lastly, this compound is an ester.

Berryflor [berry hexoanate]: You know, I still can't really smell this much. I get the berry nuance, the anise nuance and maybe some of the jasmine floral nuance. I thought it would be stronger. Perhaps it needs to be diluted. Interestingly, it smells just like this oil I discovered from Bath and Body Works, which was from their autumn line, called Harvest Berry. I can confidently say that Harvest Berry smells, to me, like a great cassis (as far as I've been exposed to cassis; there are a couple cassis accords I've gotten before that I've really loved--one by Bare Escentuals and another from a place called Soaps 'n Suds. Or something. I really liked those, but, of course, who knows what's in them..... I may have smelled real cassis from Enfleurage, but I don't recall the smell except that it was very different from the accords I'd been exposed to before) with an anise tone to it. I mixed it with some clove oil and ylang, and it was magic. It overpowered the clove a lot more than I expected, and the ylang made it smell a bit like Christian Dior's Poison. Well, that with the berry. I've experimented less with the Berryflor so far. I'm thinking that it could be very useful.

Benzyl salicylate: I unequivocally LOVE this smell. Luckily, it has a low odor strength, meaning that you can open it in someone's house without it smelling up the whole place, and mix with it too. It's supposed to be a great fixative too. To me it smells like a piece of a carnation interpretation--the light, greenish part, but with floral and maybe spicy accents. If I were bold enough to attempt them , I could probably use this in innumerable floral compositions. I haven't a doubt it would go with ylang and any carnation accord; jasmine and surely orangeflower as well. Of course, it's indelibly associated with carnation because of its high use in the carnation perfume L'Air du Temps; it was what really made the fragrance (it may have since been replaced). (Tack to this blog for the paper which I linked to in the previous sentence.) So if you're in the market for a fragrance chemical, and one that won't make the entire neighborhood smell, pick this one.

What? Whose birthday is coming up? Oh right! MINE!!! I guess I should say which aromachemicals I want now, then! Well, I will, but not because I'm fishing for someone to give them to me. But here we are: I really want some Cosmone since it's supposed to be a really amazing musk; I'd love any kind of coumarinic lactone, or even just coumarin; I want some more tonka absolute, because I methinks I'd like to try to make a quick-n-dirty hay/tonka/tabac scent; Iso E Super, because it's in everything, and I really ought to be familiar with the smell; one of those really grass-green hexylenes, Galaxolide because it's a classic chemical; acetoin because it's intriguing, and maybe some bases like Sampaquita, Kumquat, Star Jasmine or an orangeflower one. Oh, and a good hay absolute. That would be a dream.

Anyway, happy new year, glerps! 2010 is the year that everything MUST change. So make a change! I've already changed my underwear TWICE this year!!!! Yes! TWICE!!!!!!


postscript: My li'l pine/firewood/leather accord finally came out well. I think the Cashmeran enhances the freshness of the pine without making it more mentholic; more Safraleine helped punch up the spiciness, and a crapload of cade gave it a more smoky nuance. My sister said she liked it, but she may have just been humoring me. She said it smelled like firewood but also like incense in a church. I can see that. I didn't actually add any olibanum, though. I thought about it, but I can see how other chemicals, perhaps the ambroxan (which, though surely in a huge "overdose," made it "bloom") or the Timberol. Maybe the castoreum accord, which I think tends to give things a "used," old smell. Anyway, it was a success. Maybe I'll make a better one for next year. Maybe I'll use real oakmoss. Maybe I'll do a fruit-spice. Maybe I'll do a fantasy floral. Or maybe I won't do anything at all. Who knows what Christmastime will bring this year anyway---this is the year that EVERYTHING. MUST. CHANGE.

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