Wednesday, January 27, 2016


Blimey. I found this old post as a draft that it looks like I've never published.  Might as well complete it! And now, the post:

I got some much anticipated materials today: geosmin 1%, earthy pyrazine, seaweed absolute, oakmoss absolute and a Givco orris base.

My impressions were as follows:

Geosmin: Smelled it from the bottle, as I always do. Couldn't smell much of anything, maybe a very light patchouli. Blended it with some stuff, wore it, and was told I smelled like garden soil. I thought that was a good thing! I hoped for more of a petrichor effect. Probably it wasn't diluted enough.
The pyrazine: earthy, dryish, nutty
Seaweed abs (decolorized): It makes me think of sushi. 
Oakmoss abs: I was already familiar with this one. Like Polo once was, dark, mossy, rich. Wish I had a decolorized one.
Orris: mild orris note; didn't find it very powdery; fruity; nice.

What I found more interesting were Nils's impressions:

Geosmin: patchouli, slightly floral
The pyrazine: green peas. I smell this too, actually, but I don't think it was my first impression.
Seaweed: burnt rubber, burnt textiles, blown-out brakes, unpleasant
Oakmoss: old paint, old houses
Orris: Foody, slightly violet

I can see what he means about the Geosmin and the pyrazine.  Now that some time has passed, I can also see what he means with the seaweed, but my dominant impression of that is still green and sushi-like. The oakmoss I can understand, too, but to me it smells richer and darker than his description. He found the orris very foody, and I found it more woody.

So that's the materials gurzonk for the moment. More to come, as I've probably experienced and forgotten a zillion materials since the last time I updated.


Zara Home

Wow, it's been forever since I posted. I just looked at the blog to see how the format was, and my last post seems to be about my anosmia, which I am happy to report passed after I got antibiotics for the sinusitis.  It was a scare for a little while.  Anyway....

I went into Zara Home today and was greeted by.... new fragrances!! ZH has been in sthlm for some time right now, and I've been wanting them to get SOMETHING new for a long time now.  Sure, they occasionally had different candles or what not at the register, but the main scents they had were always the 'core' line (what I consider the core line): Dark Amber, Black Vanilla, Green Herbs, the gardenia one, the jasmine one and I think one they call White Ginger or Ginger Flower or something.  Those are nice, and they certainly do perform--one of the big candles will fill a room with scent without being lit.  That said, the scents kinda share that Golden Girls vibe that the rest of the store can have, some more than others.  The biggest case in point being the gardenia, which to me seems loaded with white flower notes and fruity tones--peachy lactones, maybe. But it's not soft or velvety or buttery. It's a bit harsh. The jasmine is a bit harsh too, and kinda thin now that I consider it.  The amber is nice--I have the incense, and it gives me a big vetiver vibe. Green Herbs is lovely; I have the spray, and when I got it home it was fruitier in a cis-3-hexenyl acetate way than I expected. The Ginger one is problematic for me--in the store I got a strong spicy, eugenolic feel from it and I got the reed diffuser to tinker with. When I got it home, I got a lot more lilac from it, which I wasn't crazy about. The Black Vanilla I don't even bother with. It just doesn't appeal to me.

Apart from the 'core' scents, I've only experienced a few: their holiday gingerbread is nice in the incense and more lemony in the spray; they had a holiday candle which I think they called myrrh--it was a lovely incensy aroma, I wish they carried it all year round; and something I think they called Coral Flower, which is really an orange blossom. I got the big candle in that, but it doesn't have the performance of their other candles.  Nice, though.

So now to the ones I saw tonight. I didn't write anything down, so I'll try to take it from memory.  There was a cedar scent, not very exciting, seemed to have some conifer aspects. Pleasant, and if I had not accidentally sprayed it in my face, rather forgettable.  There was a fig one, of which I bought the incense. (I'm so into incense now; I never liked it before, didn't like what the smoke contributed. But it's undeniably a convenient method of home fragrancing.) The spray--I was smelling the sprays--was nice, berryish, kinda green, pretty much what you'd expect for a fig fragrance. I quite like the incense, though--a round berry smell with aspects of currant, not as green as I expected. (Take all the descriptions in this post with a hefty grain of salt, because the Zara Home store can be smelled from a block away, and there's also lots of scents in the apartment. So it's not like I'm smelling these things under lab conditions or anything.) There was an orange blossom that I found utterly unlike orange blossom, except for the fact that it was indolic. I actually smelled the cap before then spraying it into the cap to smell again, and I thought, "Wow, the drydown is pretty indolic. I can't wait to smell the floral overlay." But I didn't get any floral in it at all. It was like a woody scent, maybe even leathery, with an indolic facet. I guess they must have been going for some kind of new take on orange blossom, because I don't think that an orange blossom is particularly difficult. I'm sure there are great bases, and even if not, you could probably just put Aurantiol into something and a lot of people would read it as orange blossom. But what do I know? Nothing, that's what!  And onward...  There was something they called bamboo while the design suggested 'clover.' It smelled mild green, but not sharp like you'd expect from a bamboo. More like a clover. Pleasant. I got the incense, but I need to smell it in action again to know fully what I think about it.  OK, this paragraph is getting heavy, so I will start

a new one. Next was a tuberose. "Tuberose Bouquet" was the name. Nice in its way, but even harsher than the one they call Gardenia. Like a bunch of harsh white flower notes turned up all the way. Minty too, which of course made me think salicylates, but don't those usually soften a scent a bit? Maybe the mint came from that cresylic note whose name I can't remember.  Anyway, it could have been so nice if it were softer, but it felt a bit skeletal. Would be interesting to get it and add to it, see what could be done.  The last one I remember was their Red Berries.  I didn't mention it above, but I've also smelled this before. Love me a good berry note, and this one is nice. Nothing to scream from the rooftops about (not like that fantastic Kobo candle that I want--now THAT's a berry!), but pleasant. I wonder how performative it is.

Well, that's the Zara Home update for now. Hopefully this new addition to the scents here means that they'll start offering a better variety. One can hope!