Sunday, September 22, 2013

Dear Yves Rocher

Dear Yves Rocher,

I just tried a few of your deodorants last week. The good news: I LOVE how they smell! It's so refreshing to find a deodorant that doesn't smell like all the rest. I especially like The Brown One, which is oriental and reminds me of that Liz Claiborne fragrance for men. Spark, was it called? I like the pink one too and the almond one, which should probably be renamed coconut.

And now the bad news: they don't work. Oh, they smell great when you put them on, but then a few hours later, after the sweat comes, there's no sweet smell left. Only sweaty-ass rankness. Check out Soft n Dri---that stuff works after a 12 hour shift at McDonalds! Or Right Guard, which doesn't smell as good but certainly works.

That is all.


Monday, September 09, 2013

Snerfling (...I really hope that's not the word for some strange fetish or something. It just came to me, like sniffing +flerping)

So I was at the only place in sthlm I know of where you can sniff the Frederic Malle line the other day, and I think I have a new scent for my wish list: Dries van Noten, which until yesterday when I looked it up online would have been referred to as "that Dutch-sounding name." (I think it's actually a Flemish name, which means.... what exactly? Does anyone actually speak Flemish? Or Dutch for that matter?) My first impression of it was that it smelled like steamed milk and toasted almonds. And I guess that will never change, because that's what everyone says about first impressions: Looking for a second job is a full-time first impression.  When I got home I peeped at basenotes and elsewhere about the frag and it seems that the whole gourmand thing is no accident--you know, Belgian waffles and I forgot the rest after mentioning Belgian waffles.... But it also apparently has a sandalwood accord, which I'm not sure if I picked up, because I kept thinking there was a balsamic woody thing going on there but that it might have been the scotch pine essential oil that I put on my hand some hours before (that gluey woody pine note, without any of the sharp greens, possibly because of low quality). And it's supposed to have real Mysore sandalwood in it. Is that possible? I thought it was supposed to be NO HOW NO WAY NO MYSORE SANDALWOOD since the unpleasantness (the overharvesting). Do I have it wrong? Well, sandalwood or not, I really quite like the Dries, so after trying it a zillion more times I might end up buying it when I'm drunk and feeling like a splurge. Except that nothing is ever open here when you're drunk, unless you get all bombed from 11-2 and not on Sundays.  So maybe not then.  We'll see, because it might smell completely different the next time I make an experience of it.

The other scent I smelled there was also from Frederic Malle, because they don't carry Serge Lutens at this store and have never heard of the line (of course not--why would someone who works at a perfume store know anything about perfume?), was Une Fleur de Cassie. Now, I've never smelled cassie absolute before or, to my knowledge, cassie flower. But I do know that it's not the same things as cassis or cassia. Something leads me to think that it's in the same olfactive range as mimosa and hawthorn (another one I've not smelled. to my knowledge)--a pale, almondy, anisic, greenish, powdery smell. Mind you, I only say anisic because every 'anisic' odorant I've come across is described as useful for mimosa and hawthorn scents. Also that these odorants don't usually smell like what I would think of as anisic--anisaldehyde is kind of hay-like and anisyl acetate smells pink.  Yep, pink. And Une Fleur de Cassie smells white. White and powdery. And floral, but not exactly like I expected. I really didn't get almond or vanilla or hay or anise or coumarin or cherry or any of that, or if I did they were subliminal, if that's the right word. I really just got a powdery pale floral. One that smelled 'classy.' Like if you added a lot of orris, you'd have a Chanel perfume. And if you added orris and ate one of those saffron buns, you'd have the whole Chanel boutique (because saffron has a leather nuance. Make sure you tell that to the next person you meet who is eating a saffron baked good). And while I appreciated the smell of Une Fleur, and I guess you could say I in-the-right-mood-quite-liked-it, I'm not sure I would ever wear it. I'm not sure when something like it would be appropriate. Maybe it makes more sense if I say that I could totally see myself wearing it with an ivory suit. But then when would I ever have the opportunity to wear an ivory suit?! Also, it seems much better suited for a woman my Mom's age (I'm not sure my Mom would like it--I think she likes her frags more hot blooded). And since I'll never be a woman my Mom's age or any age, then either it's perfectly wrong for me or perfectly appropriate-because-I-don't-have-to-be-older-to-wear-it. Does that make sense? It felt like it made sense to me the other day. Hmmmmm.....

And of course I wrote the whole preceding paragraph without explaining that mimosa/cassie/hawthorn is a note I'm really feeling right now because I bought some room spray called Mimosa and felt like I suddenly 'got it' with the mimosa descriptor. I think the spray is by Durance, who for some probably-irrational reason I've been resistant to for some time. And who knows why I smelled it in the first place, but when I did, it seemed like I finally understood something about the mimosa descriptor. Because the spray is fresh, floral, powdery and has that anisaldehydic sweetness that tells you that it's mimosa. And it also has that fantastic soft-not-sharp green note on top that I think is what attracted me to that long lost gem from the Body Shop called Leap. I'll confess--I like it so much I've worn it as perfume. And if that's wrong then I don't want to be overserved. And we all know I like the overservage. So yeah, that's why I decided to pick up Une Fleur de Cassie the other day. That and the fact that I always smell Carnal Flower and Musc Ravageur, dreaming of the day that I'd be rich enough to waltz in and buy one for my daytime scent and one for the bathroom, and one for the ballroom where I get my waltzing lessons.

And well that's the beep for now. Snerflp!

Sunday, September 08, 2013


So I got some new materials the other day, in addition to the bazillions of ones that I got and never wrote about, so I thought I'd flerp a post up.

One at least is a "natural" ingredient (natural in quotes because the demarcation between natural and synthetic is so much fuzzier than it may seem initially): fir balsam absolute.  Wow--where has it been all my life?? It smells kinda like that Yankee Candle that was discontinued because it smelled too good, the Balsam Fir one. It has the very green conifer notes (nothing camphory, thankfully), and the balsamic-woody tone with the fruity tone that always comes up in descriptors for it. It's very, very thick and sticky, but it's worth getting it to dissolve in alcohol, because it's such a lovely, natural note.  And rather unlike the steam-distilled conifer notes I've smelled. It's fuller than the Himalayan fir oil and much more complex than scotch pine essential oil.  Very nice. I think I shall have to get more of it.

Two other materials I got are good examples of the blurriness between the idea of naturals and synthetics: One is Patchouli Coeur, which is a patchouli oil high in patchoulol. It's a very nice oil, not as harsh as the young, steam-distilled (?) patchouli oils you often come across in health food stores and what not. It's almost like a composition.  Recognizably patchouli, not too green, a bit of that 'round' note that patchouli can have that I've never been able to describe. I think it might be a fruity note, but I've always for some reason thought of it as having a cola nuance.  Unfortunately I don't get any of a cocoa feel from this oil, but nevertheless it's a great patchouli. I'd love to compare it with patchouli CO2 and patchouli absolute, which I don't have.  And patchoulyl acetate, which I'd quite like to smell, especially since I find interesting the olfactive differences between various alcohols and acetates (linalool and linalyl acetate, eugenol and eugenyl acetate, etc....)  The reason why I'm not sure whether this oil is a natural or not is that I'm not sure how they get the patchoulol content higher than typical oils.  I guess it's some kind of fractionation, but I'll stop any speculation there, since I don't understand those processes. The takeaway here is that if you like patchouli, you'll probably like the patchouli coeur.

And the other material is Labdasur. It's from labdanum (hence the name), and I think it's considered a synthetic. But I'm not sure if it's a fractionated version of labdanum or something extracted out of it (like alpha irone from orris?). The company that manufactures it also makes Cistasur (a synthetic) and eclat de ciste. I don't have either of those, but I do love my labdanums. The Labdasur is supposed to be leathery and animalic--I suppose the leathery part of labdanum.  To me it smells very ambery, and maybe leathery in the sense that Bel Ami is (or rather, was) leathery.  In that ambery way.  So it's a warm brown leather note like in Cuir de Russie, not a smoky leather note like cade or a black leather like Safraleine. I diluted some and put it on my skin, and it got a bit of a powdery thing going on too.  Very nice. I like this one a lot. I'd love to try the cistasur, which is supposed to be ambery and powdery, I think, and the eclat de ciste, which I think is a 'sparkling' cistus note.

I do have to reiterate that I love my labdanum. There's an absolute that I can actually buy in a store here in the Frozen North (there aren't many places to get essential oils/absolutes here), and it has a smell similar to a light oakmoss.  Speaking of which, I have some oakmoss coming, along with Timbersilk and Fixateur 505, which I'm pretty excited to meet. I just love the name, and it's supposed to smell a bit like Ambrarome, which I think is supposed to smell a bit like labdanum.  So the labdanum journey continues.

And that's my beep for today.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

OK, so I sort of told myself that if I had a glass or 8 of wine then I would post something on the Interwebs. Which, now that I think about it, maybe isn't the best idea, but whatever.  I'm only in the mood to post after a glass or two of wine.  And prebiotics.

So I thought I'd flammer about things that I couldn't smell before but I can smell now.  First, the odd ones out: raspberry ketone and eugenyl acetate.  Raspberry ketone I thought I just couldn't smell.  But since there's online jangles about it helping hair growth and skin elasticity (and weight loss--how odd that something I've played with for perfume is also available in pill form for people who want to slim down), I diluted some in PG (yeah, I did that.  I said PG for propylene glycol) and then in water and put it on my face.  Why not? It's cheap enough.  And from that I get a little bit of a berry smell.  Not singly raspberry--more like a vague strawberry/raspberry/generic berry. Or like the fruity part of ethyl maltol without the burnt sugar/caramel tone.  Faint, but nice, and seemingly very versatile.  I think TGSC said one of its uses was 'Christmas blends,' and I can see this now.

And eugenyl acetate.  The first couple times I got this chem I could not smell it AT ALL.  This latest time I got an impression of it.  I think.  Now that I've come to the conclusion that acetates are fruitier than alcohols, I smelled the eugenyl in that frame of mind. I think it is fruitier than eugenol, although it's not fruity per se.  I think it's a more rounded smell than eugenol, not as sharp.  But I still can't smell it all the time, whereas I can absolutely smell eugenol, dihydroeugenol (the Monster thought that smelled like clove cigarettes) and isoeugenol (there's a weird ham note there). I like eugenyl acetate, but of course I would.  I love the clove note, and I don't think I've met a clove note that I didn't like a bit. Interestingly, the Nilsmonster couldn't smell eugenyl acetate at all either--is this common?  Anyone out there who could smell eugenol perfectly well but not the acetate? (I don't know if it's relevant, but I can smell Z3hexenyl acetate and linalyl acetate just fine.)  So I can sort of smell eugenyl acetate now, under the right conditions.

A couple more: ambroxan at 100% and Exaltolide at 100%. I can smell these now.  Before, I couldn't.  You may be thinking, "Of course you couldn't smell them at 100%! Why didn't you dilute them?!" OK.  I admit it--I'm not exactly scientific with my aromachems.  I'm not a perfumer or a compounder.  And I don't have a 'lab.'  So I usually smell things at 100% or dilute them in any carrier I have (at whatever %) and, well, yeah.  Anyway, I can smell ambroxan now.  If I hold the bottle under my nose for just a moment, I get the whiff of what I know is ambroxan (I know this mostly from drydowns of things with it.). And Exaltolide: I couldn't smell it at all before at 100%, and I don't think I could smell it in dilution, but I  COULD smell a change when I added it to things.  I can't exactly explain the change, but it just seemed to enhance things.  Well the last time I ordered it, I smelled it outside (this is important, I think because of air pressure) and I could smell it!  I could smell the balsamic character it has!  That was cool.  Other musks were somewhat easy to smell at 100%: Cosmone, Musk Ketone, Velvione, R1. Others needed dilution: Galaxolide (I put this in my bathroom spray, which essentially functions as a vehicle for experiments. I sprayed it, and after the lighter notes wore off, I was like 'this smells just like Tersor!!!'), Tonalide (to me this smells like Downy when it dries down), Habanolide (the hot-ironed fabric note is real: but you have to dilute it or let it dry down to smell it).

I'm not sure I have anything else that I can't smell at 100%. I don't really keep track of musks, since I don't expect to smell them at 100%. I have a great musk ambrette replacer that I can smell if I put it on paper and wait a short while. Otherwise I think everything I have at the moment is smellable at 100%.

And that's the burgoosh for now.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Still here. Still a Sauvignon Blanc wino.

So I have some castoreum absolute (50% in benzyl benzoate) on the way. But I have to admit, I prefer the Givco (I think) castoreum base. I guess it's "Disneyfied," but I just see so much possibility with it. Whereas the natural I'm just like, 'it smells sweaty.' I think I need to further dilute the natural. Am I the only one who thinks this?

Hermitage has some natural civet absolute for sale. I'm toying with the idea of buying a milliliter just to have the reference scent at hand.  After all, I've had the base (Firmenich? I got it from Perfumer's Apprentice), and I don't think that's EXTREMELY offensive.  Sure, it's unpleasant, but not all THAT bad, really.  Not something that I'd keep in a jar inside a jar (like the isobutyl quinoline, which I find quite pleasant even at 100% but which is so strong that I keep it inside a couple jars). At Symrise I smelled a sample that just smelled like bad teeth.  Or, if you will, "over 45 teeth" (I put the 45 in there since I'm, um, "over 39," and I'd prefer to think that I have 5 years before that 'teeth' smell arrives). Anyway, the natural is supposed to smell 'repulsive,' so it would be nice to have the reference smell.

But back to Givco bases. I had some Sampaquita  and used it all to simply dilute in alcohol to make scents with (it's that good). And sure, it smells like jasmine, but, like I've said before, jasmine "with all the lights turned on."  I will say, however, that in a composition I think it smells more like regular jasmine flower.  So why does anyone use natural jasmine?!?!  Now if only PA would carry a tuberose, a fully accurate carnation and a tonka base, then all the problems of the world would be solved!  I imagine that if I had the perfect tabac-new mown hay base, then I could just quit with all my experimentation, because there would be my perfect scent!

So I also have some of their 'styrax essence' on order. And I'm not 110% sure if that's a purified natural or a base or whahappen, but I'm interested to see how it will smell. It's in their 'leather key accord,' so I'm hoping it will be more a leather than a cinnamic-tolu balsam-type. But since I intend to maybe use it in a spicy leather thing that I have, then probably either will do. But I'm hoping it smells exactly like Tom Ford Private Label Tuscan Leather (which it won't), because I adore that (along with Tobacco Vanille). And not only do I adore it, but I find it deceptively simple.  I smell it and think, "I could just dilute some Suederal."  But no.  I've diluted Suederal, and it didn't smell the same.  So if anyone has a formula for a convincing formula for a fake, please do comment....

I had the same experience with Chanel's Sycomore.  I smelled it and was like, "I could make that!" Even though I knew in the back of my head that I could not, in fact, make it.  But it seemed so simple!  I can't in fact recall the smell now, except that maybe it was vetivery and definitely woody-green-foresty, and that I'm sure I thought I could reproduce it with isocyclocitral, vetiver and galbanum. Oh, to be as close to the Chanel boutique as I was when in NYC!!!! Alas.

But anyway, I have castoreum, styrax and the citrus key accord they have on the way.  I do love the citrus accord. If you look at the formula, it's almost all limonene, but that's fine, because it smells sweet and dry citrus and wonderful, and it will go with my Celeditude scent, which might be a bit too round and needs more sharp citrus.  So there you go.  But apart from that, it's all about the leather.  And spices and tobacco. And, of course, powdery musk.  So if any reader out there has any strange quinolines or spicy notes or rare musks that they want to share/get rid of, hit me up in the comments.  I'm always up for spicy notes! (I love me some Methyl Diantilis, and I'm tinkering with the idea of getting some Safranal and zingerone.)


This is one of those posts where I'm, like, 'I haven't posted in a while, but now I've found Jesus, and I'm going to post all the time or at least try or explain why I haven't posted or say that I'm drunk." So yes. Obviously the Jesus part is tongue in cheek.

So I haven't posted in 10000 years, but maybe I will sort of almost kinda in a way post more in the future or something?  So there you go.

I would have posted about aromachemicals right now, but my Nilsmonster just held one of his boxes in front of my nose.  See, he has these wooden boxes that he occasionally asks for scents to put in.  So I put scents in. Usually heavy woody or woodamber notes that take forever to disappear, like Timberol.  But in this case it was loaded with Cashmeran.  And it's STILL in my nose, the Cashmeran. I like this note, but it makes me think of hairspray.  Because I was doing a lot of stuff with it in my bathroom back in my Mom's house, and I always smelled it the next day or five, and I was like, 'It smells like hairspray.' Even though it doesn't smell like hairspray PER SE, but possibly as a component thereof.  Eller?  Anyway, it has a chemical nuance.  And a clean pine nuance as well, but the 'clean' part is very chemical.  And that's why I really don't like Dans Tes Bras. Because I find it harsh and chemical.  Am I the only one?  I've never liked it.

But continuing with this streamofconsciousness, I do like Musc Ravageur. Yes, it's much more than musk, and someone who smelled it on me thought it was Shalimar.  But I do like it. Better than Muscs Koublai Kahn, which I find animal-in-a-Costasuol-kind-of-way but not so much that I'm bowled over.  I like the vanillic spiciness of MR. I might would get it as a splurge, but I'd always wonder if I should have gotten Carnal Flower, which is closer, in my mind, to genius.  Sigh.  This is Sweden for you, folks.  There is one--count ONE--place where I can buy them, apart from online.  So I have to choose well, because I can't just waltz into the department store and spray them on, mind you.  So do I buy Carnal Flower, which I would seldom wear but it's perfect, or Musc Ravageur, which I could wear much more often if everyone here weren't "allergic" to noticeable fragrances?  Oh me.  My life if so hard.

So I feel like I should talk about aromachemicals more, since I've gotten a bunch (and used them up) since I last seriously reported.  Tabanon. Undecavertol. So many others.  In some cases I'm terribly embarrassed, because I sort of remember what they smell like, but not in detail. And every now and then someone reads this blog and comments and I'm like, "Shit. People actually read this sometimes." And then I'm like, "They must think I'm an idiot because I don't dilute things and my 'smell readings' are so amateur."  For example: rum acetal.  I don't remember what I thought when I first smelled it.  I think I was like, 'Yeah, this would totally work in tobacco scents.' But I had my monster smell it, and he was like, 'Tequila.  No, liquor.  It smells like liquor. Maybe rum.' And this was without me showing him the label. Interesting was his take on Dimetol: 'It smells like Gain [detergent]'  Yes. I think.  I had seen the descriptor of dihydrolinalool attached to it, so my impression was, 'Yes, it's like a super fresh linalool. I can see how it would be used in bergamot things.'   Anyway.....

So anyway, there's really no point to this post. I guess I just wanted to feel my fingers typing again, so I could see what it's like.  But I would like to start posting again, so we'll see.  And that's the bagoosh for now.