Musk ketone: Goddamn, I love this chem. It's like the perfect musk (except that it's not very soluble in alcohol)--the first isolated musk I smelled was Cosmone, which I thought smelled like heaven. I think musk ketone smells like a more fleshed-out version of Cosmone. I get a powdery musk quality to it and what seems like a slight vanillic angle. I haven't blended it much because it doesn't seem to dissolve in anything (was out of DPG when I got it the first time and am out now). But I have sprinkled it a little and used it in a warmer with other stuff--in the warmer it seemed to contribute an aspect that always makes me think of my first experiences with Oscar by Oscar de la Renta. That rich, full, powdery, ambery kind of smell. Of course I don't think it's contributing an amber smell, and I doubt there's any Oscar on the shelves today with musk ketone, if there ever was, but that's what it makes me think of when I combine it with stuff. I also had musk xylene for a while, and to my nose it's much the same as the ketone, but I would say that I prefer the ketone, even if I can't articulate a reason why. Anyway, it's nice to have a li'l bit of nitro musk around, even if I don't get to start that "odor museum" that I wanted to.
Second: Piconia, aka isolongifolene ketone. This one hits my sweet spot. I'm not sure whether it's incredibly, ineffably wonderful or whether it's just been a long time since I smelled one of those dry woody with tabac and amber nuances chems. I expected it to smell kinda patchouline (I don't think that's a word, but I like the way it sounds), and it does, a bit. It smells very dry, earthy, woody with patchouli, tobacco (dry, unflavored tobacco; not that rich, sweet, heavy, almost fruity, hay tone of tobacco absolute), vetiver and amber angles. It reminds me a bit of Kephalis--its earthy, tobacco, dry quality. It also reminds me a bit in the beginning of methyl cedryl ketone. It's got a great dry woody character, but it's not hyperultramegasuperstrong like Karanal or Timberol or Okoumal (I think the latter two are considered to be 'medium' in strength; but they're strong to me--very harsh. But Okoumal has a nice quality to it that underlines its piercing woodiness). (It bears repeating: Karanal is STRONG.) I also think that it is, in some way, a wee bit like isobutyl quinoline, but not quite as rich and decidedly less strong (ISBQ is another reedonkulously strong chem, but not unpleasant at 100%. Just opening a 2mL bottle will fill a room with its scent, which I find to be woody, very earthy, leathery in a sense and pleasant). I wish I'd had this chem when I had all the other woody ones and was tinkering. I would love to try it with tobacco absolute, which is one of my favorite smells ever.
Veratraldehyde, aka vanillin methyl ether. I think I love every variation of vanillin I come across. By far my favorite is vanillyl isobutyrate (Isobutavan), which smells like a creamsicle without the orange. At 100% it has a weird glue-like tone, but if you just handle a bottle and a bit gets on your hands, your fingers smell like ice cream. After that I guess would be vanillin. Maybe this one after that. Then I suppose ethyl vanillin (is it odd that I prefer vanillin to ethyl vanillin? I will say one thing about e.v., though: sprinkle some in your shoes, and when you take them off they'll smell like Angel. Well, the vanillic part of Angel. With a touch of stink. OK, a heaping shit-ton of stink. And Angel!!!!!!!) Veratraldehyde smells creamy to me. And also a bit like a certain cereal that I can never name. It smells like a flavor used in cereal, I guess you could say. And it can be used as a flavor, at 50ppm, I think, where thegoodscentscompany's page says it tastes "sweet, creamy, vanilla-like." It also says it's a heliotropin replacer, but unfortunately I don't get any cherry-almond or Play-Doh notes from it. ...Which reminds me---I finally smelled actual heliotrope flowers (lindenflowers as well) recently, and their cherry-vanilla scent was very much what I expected. Now I wish I could smell vanilla cresol (Ultravanil), because I'd like to see how the phenolic note in it influences it, if it smells more vanilla absolutist. So Givaudan, feel free to send me some samples of that and anything else you don't mind parting with.
And that's today's aromachem report.