Monday, August 02, 2010


I'm starting to get into musks lately. My favorite, hands-down, is Cosmone. It was the first one I ever smelled by itself, however--that may make a difference. It smells so soft and warm and transparent. Powdery a little, but not noticeably. Just GOOD. With a slight vanilla-like nuance that's barely even there. I adore it. I may have to make a perfume with just Cosmone (apart from the one I made for myself where I just diluted it in water and shook it up before spraying it all over myself. It goes with everything, by the by). Especially since I read that Helmut Lang did the same with

...Velvione (and called it Velviona, if the story is true). I got that at the same time as Cosmone, and smelled it second. It's more typically what I expect from a musk--that cleanish note that we're all more or less familiar with. It's supposed to impart a velvety feel to a fragrance. Hence the name. Cosmone imparts "cosmetic volume." Can anyone tell me exactly what that means?

I used to have some muscenone and ethylene brassylate, but ran out of it before I got enough into musks to notice differences. I remember e.b. having a creamy kind of tone, like it would work very well in a vanilla scent, and muscenone being a bit more animal.

Now I have Animalid, the musk deer reconstruction. It's the typical musk odor. I was hoping it would be more gamey. I also have Exaltolide 50% and Musk R1. Exaltolide--again, a typical musk type smell--clean, maybe a powdery feel. Musk R1 is interesting--for one, it's a crystalline solid, but that's not exactly unusual. Coumarin's solid; so is raspberry ketone. But when I smelled it I immediately though of Fresh White Musk Fantasy, that thing by Coty, I think. I remember when I first smelled that and was completely perplexed, because I thought musk was supposed to smell animalic and even a bit gross. I figured they'd dress it up, but I wasn't expecting the scent to have that particular character. Which we've come to notice as musk. Must R1 smells like it had to be the building block of that scent. It smells just like a stripped-down version of it: cleanish, a bit harsh, a bit oily, perhaps with a woody nuance in the manner of scotch pine (or I'm thinking this because I mixed it up with some scotch pine oil).

If you count Cashmeran as a musk, and I guess most people do, I have that too. But to me it smells nothing like what I'd expect from a musk. To me it smells harsh, sharp, "aromatic," piney, and maybe spicy. I don't get the red fruit aspect from it. And I used to dislike it quite a bit, but it's grown on me. I think it's a smell like no other, and it can work magic in a blend. I'll have to smell Dan Tes Bras again to see if I like it better now that I'm more familiar with Cashmeran. And I'll have to smell that black bottle of Downy fabric softener--I think 'orchid' is in the title. Because the last time I smelled it, I immediately thought, "Cashmeran!"

And since we're sorta speaking about animal notes, I've recently received some of the Civette reconstruction by Firmenich, uncut. WOW. I thought I knew civet, because I smelled it at Symrise. I knew ye not. I must've smelled a dilution there, because this civet doesn't smell like a rotten tooth. This Firmenich stuff smells like an animal's ass. Stinkier than African Stone oil. Not pleasant like castoreum reconstruction. But very useful. And it's always interesting to smell something that's very different from what you're used to. I used to think of civet as a slightly dirtier Lactoscaton, but now I have a whole other appreciation for it.

That's the beep for now.


mykstor said...

Ed. I love your blogging... would like to make contact.

Michael Storer, perfumer

rasputin1963 said...

"Cosmetic volume" means a note or scent, added to a commercial product, that does not have a distinctive quality of its own-- it merely serves as a pleasingly nondescript "background" against which more focal notes may star.

To put it more cynically, it is the note(s) which tell you "This is a shampoo you're using". "This is a dishwashing liquid." "This is a laundry detergent", "This is a men's cologne you'e smelling".

Being able to cobble together a "cosmetic base" for a scented project is a whole art in itself.

Chris Bartlett said...

Hello Ed,
I'd like to subscribe to your blog but the gadget to do so seems to be broken.