Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Brief Notes on a Couple Bases and some Violets

I love love love love bases. When I love them. I'm still trying to understand Givco's Birch Leaf, but I see how it could be useful. I ADORE Givco's Sampaquita. Tropifruit is nice too--it seems to give a floral effect. And of course I'm gaga for their Castoreum. That's seriously nice.

But let's talk about a couple I've just experienced today. Fir Balsam from IFF. Admittedly, I can't recall what fir balsam absolute smells like off the top of my head. But this base smells incredible. Natural, very Christmas tree, kind of ambery, with what I think is an oily, slightly mossy drydown (but I'm thinking of a synthetic moss, instead of the beautiful, dark, complex odor of oakmoss absolute). Maybe there's a berry note (raspberry ketone?) in that drydown too.

Teak from Firmenich: Fresh, very clean, bracing woody note. If you need a general fresh wood note, this is it. It smells like it just popped out of a mens cologne. If I needed a woody note and didn't want to use an essential oil or build anything from aromachemicals, I'd use this. It almost seems to have a green note to me, it's so fresh. The woodiness of the chemical makes me think of Timberol.

Now let's talk two violets. Orriniff 25% in IPM: I love this. It's that soft, kinda transparent orris note that smells maybe a bit like sap. It's fresh, rather transparent, surprisingly persistent, a bit powdery. I'm thinking this would be something one would use to impart that "high class" orris smell. Perhaps not by itself, though. But it's really quite lovely. I like it very much, and I like it better as it fades on the li'l card I put it on. Now the other: Koavone. This is less persistent than the Orriniff; it's a topnote. So of course it's more intense. Orriniff is softer than this. Koavone has the typical woody-orris-violet-fresh smell, more woody than floral, and a bit harsh at 100%. It's a nice smell, though. Woodsy/outdoorsy/autumny, to me. It makes me think of D├ęclaration by Cartier. I wonder what it would smell like in a light woody/acorn/leafy/twiggy scent.


Sunday, June 27, 2010


I think I'm getting a better impression of what, exactly, "phenolic" means. Take something I recently got: methyl benzoate. Interesting chemical. Its smell is described as chemical, phenolic, ylang almond tropical flower. It is definitely chemical. But it also has that wintergreeny ylang floral thing going on. When I first smelled it I thought it would be useful to create a type of indolic floral smell, like an imitation of indolic jasmine. I always think of Forever by Alfred Sung when I think of recreations of indolic jasmine. Right or wrong. But then I started to connect this smell with what's commonly called phenolic. I've seen cade oil described this way (that's obvious--cade smells like smoke), but also Cyclopedine, ylang and methyl benzoate. So I've come to determine that phenolic also denotes a particular texture. I would say something like velvety, but perhaps harsher, since velvety is commonly used to describe Velvione (duh) and Cashmeran. So, for phenolic, I suppose I would say velvet-but-harsher. You know how ylang has that topnote that's creamy but also velvet-but-harsher? That's the texture I'm thinking of. Methyl benzoate has it and to an extent so does Cyclopedine. I'm expecting some para-cresyl acetate soonly, as well as some Aurantiol (can't wait to smell that--it's a base of hydoxycitronellal with methyl anthranilate. The latter is supposed to smell intensely of grapes. A lot of descriptors would call it floral, but I think floral is meant in the same way that it's meant of indole--that as a component it can help fill out a floral smell. I have to say that I feel very vindicated that methyl anthranilate is used to create orange blossom smells, because I remember smelling perfume oils long ago that were supposed to be "orange blossom" or "pikake," and thinking they had a heady grape smell, like a deeper version of grape soda. Then later I smelled this spray someone had which she swore up and down was all natural neroli. But it had a pronounced grape backnote, which led me to believe, based on all my experience, that it was petitgrain and a base rich in methyl anthranilate, although I wasn't aware of the chemical name then. ). The para-cresyl is supposed to be animalic narcissus phenolic floral. That should be interesting. The Aurantiol will just be interesting.

The other new thing I got was Nectaryl. Interesting. I thought it would be sweeter. It's your basic peach fragrance oil writ large. Not sweet. Long-lasting, though. A shame I'm not creating anything I'd like to use it in right now.

I have to give props to raspberry ketone, however. While the crystals don't smell strong by themselves and again, I thought it would be sweeter), it really does do something magical to woody odors. Color me impressed. Maybe I'll try it on my face and hair now!

Also in the pipeline: Orris. Specifially, Koavone, which supposedly smells woody/violet/green, and at high levels aldehydic/pine needle; and Orrinniff 25%. Also: the IFF Fir Balsam reconstitution. Every recon I've smelled so far has been Givaudan. And I've also ordered the Carnation and Ylang Ylang key accords from The Perfumer's Apprentice. Gotta say: LOVE them. Love the supersweet carnation accord, and the ylang smells practically nature-identical.

That's the beep for now.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Raspberry Ketone

So I'm supposed to get some raspberry ketone soon, and I googled it to see if I could find anything interesting. Well, it turns out that, apart from smelling like raspberry jam, it also may have anti-obesity and hair regrowth properties (and maybe make skin look better too). !


hair regrowth

I googled "raspberry ketone" +antidepressant, just in case it was also battled the blues, but didn't immediately come up with anything.

That's one hell of an aromachemical! I can't believe I haven't seen weight loss-antiwrinkle-hair regrowth fragrances yet. After all, people were producing (allegedly) oxytocin-infused perfumes after the study came out linking oxytocin with enhanced trust. Perhaps I should market a scent in that vein! (NOT!)

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Damascenone Total 10%

I just remembered this. If you want to know what this smells like, taste some Beringer's White Zinfandel. I had a glass and immediately thought of my Damascenone 10%. Didn't run to taste the Damascenone, though. It's probably not as sweet as the Zin. (If anyone is inspired by this to buy me some wine, I tend to prefer dry whites. So dry they taste of nothing. I wish I could buy dry whites flavored with faint touches of banana and mango--just enough for the aroma to be there but not so much that it's Hooch or that it tastes like it came from Starbucks. Who can make that happen? Hmmmm???)

Friday, June 18, 2010


...Could I have a new favorite aromachemical??? Right after I decided that methyl diantilis was the smell of happiness??? (And right after I sent my perfume album, with the aromachemical pieces, to CDBaby. Hmmph!) Well, let me tell you what I got today.

I got four new aromachems, just in sample size: Amyl vinyl carbinol, Cyclal C, methyl phenyl acetate and Cyclopidene. And I'm pleased to admit that I love them all! I have to admit--you never know with aromachemicals. Sometimes they don't smell to you like the descriptions; sometimes they're very useful in blends but not something you find pleasant alone (qv Cashmeran, which I smelled at 10% and wasn't fond of it. I think that it can work magic in a blend, though). And sometimes you just love them. So here's what I think after briefly smelling what I got:

Amyl vinyl carbinol: Nicely earthy, after a few hours smells still earthy but a bit more like food. Kinda green, I think. I have to smell it again. It's supposed to smell like mushroom, but I'm not quite sure what that smells like. (I hate it when descriptors I don't understand are used. Examples: Phenolic, thujonic. I think I have an idea what phenolic means now, because I smelled an old cleaner that had phenol in it. Smoky, acrid. Very smoky. Thujonic I looked up, because I don't know what thujone smells like, or if I do then I don't remember what I might have smelled it in. Apparently it's cedarleaf/mentholic. Is that right?)

Cyclal C: Wow. Nice green note. I LOVE green notes (cis3hexanol, Stemone, isocyclocitral...), so it's no surprise that I love this. It's green but also has a sweetness that kinda reminds me of cinammon. Very interesting. I wish I could say more, but these are just first impressions. It's very natural, and I could see it coming in handy.

Methyl phenyl acetate: Holy honey! Wow! This was described as honey like and very intense. Intense? Very, but I smelled it 100%. I know you're not supposed to, but I just can't wait and don't want to have to think about diluting things at this point. I'll see how they behave later. Honey? Hmmmm, probably, but it's not how I perceived it. For me it is definitely a strong floral note, but it smelled a bit like hyacinth at first, without the intense greenity. (Can we all start using this word I just made up, y'all? Greenity? I just like the way it sounds.) But then it started to smell more like a floral note that I can't quite define. Like something I used to smell at trade shows as a kid, when my parents were in the nursery business. I want to say azalea for some reason, but since we have craptons (another word I'd like to get enbirthed) of azaleas en Floride and they also at FSU, I can tell you that azalea flowers, as I know them, have no scent. I wish I could pin it down. I will say this: it's incredible. And I just rubbed a piece of paper with a bit of it, left the room and came back about an hour later, and it smelled the entire room. It's loverly.

Cyclopidene (which I can never remember how to spell, so maybe I'll start referring to it as tuberose acetate): If methyl diantilis is the smell of happiness, then this is the smell of ecstasy. It's floral, sweet, strong and slightly minty. It definitely has a tuberose-ylang type smell. If any of you ever smelled that tuberose oil they had at Sephora when they had the perfume organ, it smells a bit like that, like candy. Smarteez candy, to be specific. It has a fruitiness to it too. But what's most interesting about it is the mintiness, specifically a wintergreen (methyl salicylate) type mintiness. Have you ever smelled a flower that had a wintergreen note? I've smelled a fragrant orchid once, and it had that aspect. It's sort of like that. Imagine ylang with wintergreen. Take that and make it brighter, louder and simpler (remove the softness and the creaminess). Add in the smell of Smarteez candy. Then you have Cyclopidene. The only sad thing about it is that, despite its descriptor as a middle note and an estimation of 18 hours substantivity--which I think would put it at a middle-top note, right?--it doesn't last. At least not on the piece of paper I have. I guess that would definitely make it the smell of ecstasy, right? Since it can't last... (Maybe that would also make it the smell of XTC--no, wait. I think that's methyl benzoate. Or benzyl something. A note they use to train the drug dogs. See that book What the Nose Knows. Cocaine apparently smells like benzaldehyde, if I'm right here. And I think I'm mixes up. Marijuana smells like sesquiterpenes.) There's something else about this chemical, though--something it reminds me of that I can't place. Maybe it was used in one of those spicy air fresheners that I used to adore back in the day. It smells familiar, but I'm not sure what exactly of. Anyway, it's loverly. Wouldn't it be?

That's today's aromachemical report.