Friday, February 19, 2016


First of all: Oh fer Chrissakes, now the EU demands that blogs have informed consent??? WHAAAAAA?????

And now that's out of the way (I hope), let's talk about lactones.

It's been forever since I posted, and I've smelled about a million (probably closer to 30) aromachemicals since then, so I'm finna speak about my most recent acquirescences, which aren't many.

So..... lactones.  What does the word mean to you? If you're not a fumehead (my preferred term) (and if you're not, well, how did you get here?), then you have no idea what I'm talking about. Maybe you're lactones intolerant.

If you ARE a fumehead, then you're probably thinking, "Oh yeah, lactones! Buttery, peachy, coconutty.... white floral accents.. yes, I know those."

So yeah, lactones.

I'm finna talk about my most recent acquirals in the world of lactones. And they all revolve around tonka.

So since I was gonna be in the States over xmas, I finally made another order from I haven't ordered since I've been abroad, because their shipping is, like, $20, and compared to perfumersapprentice's circa $10, that seems like a lot to me. Until I type it, and then it's like all, duh, that's only a few more dollars, but hey, no one ever claimed I was rational. But anyway, so for the visit, I made a quick order that included whiskey lactone and gamma valerolactone.

OK, so some preliminaries... I love lactones. Tonka-type lactones.  Peach lactone and C18 were the first ones I ever experienced, and I didn't much like them, to be honest. Peach lactone (C14) didn't smell like peach to me in a way that I liked (it smelled buttery to Nils; I would say maybe fatty, but not buttery so much), and C18 was too dry for my taste. I don't usually like the coconut note when it's too forward. I still don't like C14 very much, but I'm sure it works better in composition than in isolation.  But I DO love coumarin. And, to some extent, octahydrocoumain. Both are lactones. Presumably so is dihyrdocoumarin, which I think I like even better than coumarin, as I perceive it as more tonka. Coumarin in isolation is more powdery to me.  But since I'm always searching for That One Perfect Tonka Note, and I know (now) that coumarin is a lactone, I've been trying tonka-type lactones.

The first couple I tried that seemed much more interesting were Koumalactone and Florex (both available from Liaison Carbone, thanks god). Now, every time I find a new lactone that's coumarinic in the way I like, I always think it's my salvation. "This is the lactone I've been looking for!!!" is the first thing I think when I smell them.  It was like that with Koumalactone.  "Finally a lactone that smells like tonka!!!!" I thought when I first smelled it. I wish I could get it at 100%. But.... then came Florex.  But wait!

Actually.... then came Coumarone, also available from Liaison Carbone.  I forgot about this one.  A powder, just like coumarin.  BUT it has an orangeflower facet.  I read about this (of course) on The Good Scents Company before ordering, but to be honest, I couldn't really get my head around it. "And orangeflower facet in a coumarinic material? How could it be so..." I thought to myself. But it's true. A coumarin theme with a significant orangeflower side note, not unlike.... oranger crystals!!! Of course, it makes total sense. I mean, it's a ketone, right? Just like oranger crystals.  Seems like it could be very useful.  But anyway...

Florex. Amazing. It really does have a 'tangy' aspect. I've been interested in this idea of a tangy aspect since smelling Guess! for Women, which--for better or for worse---I will always associate with Payless Shoe Source, since I finally bought the bottle, at deep discount, the same day I visited a Payless Shoe Source in Atlanta. One whose clientele must have been mostly drag queens, because I think I bought some chunky women's heels there in an attempt to see if I could make myself even taller, something which today I think I could accomplish with simple elevator shoes. (Full disclosure: I'm not exactly tall. I'm not exactly short either, at just about 6 feet, but hell, a few inches can make a big difference. Yes, that IS what she said!) But I remember it had a tangy drydown which for whatever reason I thought had a fecal aspect.  And interesting that I should think that.

Because I got some Florex, after wanting some for quite a while. And naturally I thought, "This is the tonka note I've been looking for my whole life!" I found it tonka, coumarin, tangy, interesting and very long lasting.  Nils, on the other hand, thinks it smells like "fresh dog shit," and hates it. When I think about it now, I sort of see what he means. Its tangy note is very sharp. I find it pleasant; Nils doesn't. The tangy note isn't so forward in composition. (Full disclosure: "Composition" to me basically means "added to something I had lying around.") It's quite lovely.

So on to the creatingperfume order.  In it were whiskey lactone, gamma valerolactone, a sample of Azuril, a sample of Indolearom, a sample of Amber Xtreme and something else citrusy that was unpleasant. I think that was all.  So whiskey lactone.  Well, it's basically the tonka note that I've been looking for all my life.  Like the others. At this point I'm getting skeptical of these initial impressions.  But it did smell lovely in a tonka way. Nils thinks it smells like dill. Gamma valerolactone--well, this one is quick. Quick of the smelling strip, that is. The description intrigued me to no end--tobacco, hay, top note.... On the strip I didn't smell so much. I still haven't explored it enough, though. But I think I got some almond/hay type scent from it. I'll have to explore this one further. After googling, I noticed that it may be metabolized into some GHB type chemical.  Well, who knew! I have no intention of trying that, but I guess this type of thing is good to know, if only to anticipate the thing being restricted soon.

So that's my lactone journey for the moment. I'm always hoping to find more (convenient to acquire) tonka-type lactones, so maybe something will come along soonly that IS the lactone I've been looking for my whole life. And hopefully it will be super strong, available at 100% for cheap, and be a base note with an effect perceptible at every stage of evaporation. I've yet to explore gamma-hexa- and heptalactone--maybe those are the key.  I guess it can't be all THAT difficult to reproduce the tonka note, since there aren't many tonka bases offered in my sphere of purchase possibility dinglepoodonglevweenoodelpeedoodeloos (which makes me think that this tonka-hay note is so obviously reproduced that no one bothers to make bases for it; that said, there IS the base Coumarex, which I still have yet to experience. But then, that's a base to allow for reduced use of coumarin, methinks, which doesn't really apply to me, since I'm just a hobbyist doing ish for my own pleasure).
Be well, and be perfumed.

Much Love,

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