Building an Olfactive Reference Library

    Building an Olfactive Reference Library

    post #1 of 35
    Thread Starter 

    Since first clapping eyes on Le Labo’s Olfactionary – which, for those who don’t know, is a smartly presented case of 40, 2.5mL bottles of common essences, I’ve obsessed over the idea of having my very own olfactive reference library. A resource to teach you your Hedione from your Velvione. The eye-watering price of Le Labo’s kit however, coupled with the difficulties involved in actually obtaining one, got me to thinking of alternatives.

    So, a few months ago, I contacted BN’s Chris Bartlett, whom I also know from the monthly Perfume Lovers London Meetup, asking whether he (as a perfumer) could assist me by putting together just such a kit. Ignorant as I was of aroma chemicals, and therefore exactly what I wanted, Chris very helpfully put together a proposed list of some 55-odd common ingredients, including Aldehyde C8, Ambroxan, Ambrettolide, Civet (synth.), Castoreum (synth.), Calone, Ethyl Maltol, Geraniol, Iso E Super, Kephalis, Linalool, Melanol, Norlimbanol, Romandolide, Safraleine, Veramoss, etc. A couple of PMs and a week later, the postman called with one eagerly awaited and very fragrant package.

    As you can see, Chris labelled each bottle carefully with the aroma chemical’s proprietary and scientific name, together with its CAS number.

    If I recall correctly, Le Labo’s offering also comes with a booklet of blotters. I found packs of 100 blank, perfume testing strips readily available from UK sellers on eBay, and ordered a few bundles. Et voilà ! The perfect DIY solution.

    Having now familiarised myself somewhat with most of the contents, I’ve begun thinking of extending the collection to include various naturals, as well as filling out certain areas, e.g. adding a few more aldehydes. It’s very much an ongoing project. As a bonus, it has also opened up other areas of BN to me, e.g. the Single Note Exploration and the DIY boards.

    I’ll say this though: training your nose is not easy (at least for me). It has been said that Western culture is characterised by the hegemony of the visual, and really learning fine olfactory discrimination feels plain weird. But it is wonderfully educational, stimulating, and fun. I’d heartily recommend this kind of experiment to anyone interested in perfumery. Just be prepared to find testing strips lurking everywhere, from coat pockets to bags to desk drawers and even books...

    (As a disclaimer, I should say I’m in no way affiliated with Chris Bartlett, nor his company).

    post #2 of 35


    Congratulations! That's wonderful. I wish you thousands and more nose-opening, horizon-widening hours with your library. And share your insights with us please!

    post #3 of 35
    That's great!
    post #4 of 35
    Wow, Chris did a great job! In an interview I heard that smelling/recognizing aromatics is a similar process as learning to read/hear sheet music. It take a good amount of time and practice! Enjoy the journey! smile.gif
    post #5 of 35
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by GraphiteView Post


    Congratulations! That's wonderful. I wish you thousands and more nose-opening, horizon-widening hours with your library. And share your insights with us please!


    Yes please, share with us. I'd love to do something similar too, sooner or later- I've studied Chemistry at University and I'm very interested in the science behind perfume.

    Happy journey!

    smiley.gif

    post #6 of 35

    It sounds like a great idea! I like to smell the Le Labo too in the store, but it's very expensive, and it doesn't really contain the basic molecules themselves, but either naturals or accords.

    Please, over time, provide the list of the molecules you have, so that we can start ourselves.

    cacio

    post #7 of 35
    Thread Starter 
    Thanks for the kind comments.
    Cacio - Sure thing. I'll type out the full list shortly.
    post #8 of 35

    That's very generous of Chris, but that's how we know him anyway. :)

    Basenotes is lucky to have him around.

    Have fun smelling these materials!

    post #9 of 35
    Wow that sounds amazing! Good luck, I'm sure it'll take a lot of patience. I'll hopefully be able to start on something like this one day soon
    post #10 of 35
    Wonderful, G.! Congratulations!
    post #11 of 35

    Chris is a very helpful and friendly fellow. I have a tiny criticism to make however. It would have been better to have used brown glass bottles rather than clear glass. Light can affect the chemical.

    post #12 of 35
    Thread Starter 
    That's true, David. I suppose if one were to store the bottles in the open, it could be an issue. Mine however, are kept in a metal box which obviates any problems.
    I'll list all the aroma chemicals shortly, so if you've any suggestions for additions, I'd be grateful.

    Edit: Here's the full list (assume any mis-spellings are mine):

    Floralozone
    Ethylene brassylate
    Citral
    Vanillin
    Ebanol
    Orange Power
    Benzyl Salicylate
    Allyl Amyl Glycoate
    Orange Terpenes
    Citronellol
    Indole
    Ambrettolide
    Nectarate
    Norlimbanol
    Undecavertol
    Aurantiol
    Kephalis
    Romandolide
    Ambrofix
    Linalool
    Iso E Super
    Ethyl Vanillin
    Dimetol
    Linalyl Acetate
    Cinnamyl Alcohol
    Helional
    Calone 161 Liquid
    Castoreum
    Melonal
    Aldehyde C12 MNA
    Vertofix
    Ethyl Maltol
    Geranyl Acetate
    Aldehyde C8
    Ionone Beta
    Phenyl Ethyl Alcohol
    Rose Oxide
    Exaltolide Total
    Oranger Crystals
    Velvione
    Ethyl Linalool
    Civet (synth.)
    Methyl Anthranylate
    Cis-3-Hexenol
    Veramoss
    Cyclamen Aldehyde
    Hedione
    Santaliff
    Rose Givco 217
    Dihydromyrcenol
    Safraleine
    Florhydral
    Fructalate
    Cedramber
    Geraniol
    Edited by gandhajala - 6/2/13 at 3:08am
    post #13 of 35

    You seem to be missing many of the basic building blocks. Forgive me if you have put them on your list,and I have missed them,

    Amyl Salicylate,

    Benzyl Acetate

    Terpineol

    Iso Boryl Acetate

    Hexyl Cinnamix Aldehyde

    Cinnamic Aldehyde

    Coumarin

    Methyl Ionone

    Anisaldehyde

    Galaxolide

    Vertenex

    And some more. I think it would benefit you to get these.

    post #14 of 35
    Thread Starter 

    That's fantastically helpful, David. Thank you.

    Coumarin and Galaxolide were already on my radar (beside Cashmeran etc.)

    I'll definitely look into the others.

    post #15 of 35
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by David RuskinView Post

    You seem to be missing many of the basic building blocks. Forgive me if you have put them on your list,and I have missed them,

    Amyl Salicylate,

    Benzyl Acetate

    Terpineol

    Iso Boryl Acetate

    Hexyl Cinnamix Aldehyde

    Cinnamic Aldehyde

    Coumarin

    Methyl Ionone

    Anisaldehyde

    Galaxolide

    Vertenex

    And some more. I think it would benefit you to get these.

    My spelling!!

    Iso Bornyl Acetate

    Hexyl Cinnamic Aldehyde

    post #16 of 35

    I think it could be great have a list as sticky. Just the most basic and versatile ones.

    I have merged Chris' list and David's suggestions, plus my own, and alphabetized them for ease of looking up.

    Please add and subtract! Let's try to keep it trim. No naturals, please. Please think twice about bases, if it is an alternative to a readily available natural, it has essentially no place here in my opinion.

    Restricted materials *do* have a place here. Banned ones do not.

    Aldehyde C11

    Aldehyde C12 MNA

    Aldehyde C8

    Allyl Amyl Glycoate

    Ambrettolide

    Ambrofix

    Ambroxan

    Amyl Salicylate,

    Anisaldehyde

    Aurantiol

    Benzaldehyde

    Benzyl Acetate

    Benzyl Benzoate

    Benzyl Salicylate

    Calone

    Castoreum Replacement

    Cedramber

    Cinnamic Aldehyde

    Cinnamyl Alcohol

    Cis-3-Hexenol

    Cis Jasmone

    Citral

    Citronellol

    Civet Replacement

    Coumarin

    Cyclamen Aldehyde

    Dihydromyrcenol

    Dimetol

    Ebanol

    Ethyl Linalool

    Ethyl Maltol

    Ethyl Vanillin

    Ethylene brassylate

    Eugenol

    Exaltolide Total

    Farnesol

    Floralozone

    Florhydral

    Fructalate

    Galaxolide

    Geraniol

    Geranyl Acetate

    Hedione

    Helional

    Heliotropin

    Hexyl Cinnamix Aldehyde

    Hydroxycitronellal

    Indole

    Ionone Alpha

    Ionone Beta

    Iso Boryl Acetate

    Iso E Super

    Kephalis

    Limonene

    Linalool

    Linalyl Acetate

    Melonal

    Methyl Anthranylate

    Methyl Ionone

    Musk Ketone

    Nectarate

    Nerol

    Norlimbanol

    Orange Power

    Orange Terpenes

    Oranger Crystals

    Phenyl Ethyl Alcohol

    Romandolide

    Rose Oxide

    Safraleine

    Santaliff

    Terpineol Alpha

    Undecavertol

    Vanillin

    Velvione

    Veramoss

    Vertenex

    Vertofix


    Edited by gido - 6/3/13 at 7:10am
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    6/1/13 at 2:46am

    gandhajala said:



    Since first clapping eyes on Le Labo’s Olfactionary – which, for those who don’t know, is a smartly presented case of 40, 2.5mL bottles of common essences, I’ve obsessed over the idea of having my very own olfactive reference library. A resource to teach you your Hedione from your Velvione. The eye-watering price of Le Labo’s kit however, coupled with the difficulties involved in actually obtaining one, got me to thinking of alternatives.

    So, a few months ago, I contacted BN’s Chris Bartlett, whom I also know from the monthly Perfume Lovers London Meetup, asking whether he (as a perfumer) could assist me by putting together just such a kit. Ignorant as I was of aroma chemicals, and therefore exactly what I wanted, Chris very helpfully put together a proposed list of some 55-odd common ingredients, including Aldehyde C8, Ambroxan, Ambrettolide, Civet (synth.), Castoreum (synth.), Calone, Ethyl Maltol, Geraniol, Iso E Super, Kephalis, Linalool, Melanol, Norlimbanol, Romandolide, Safraleine, Veramoss, etc. A couple of PMs and a week later, the postman called with one eagerly awaited and very fragrant package.

    As you can see, Chris labelled each bottle carefully with the aroma chemical’s proprietary and scientific name, together with its CAS number.

    If I recall correctly, Le Labo’s offering also comes with a booklet of blotters. I found packs of 100 blank, perfume testing strips readily available from UK sellers on eBay, and ordered a few bundles. Et voilà ! The perfect DIY solution.

    Having now familiarised myself somewhat with most of the contents, I’ve begun thinking of extending the collection to include various naturals, as well as filling out certain areas, e.g. adding a few more aldehydes. It’s very much an ongoing project. As a bonus, it has also opened up other areas of BN to me, e.g. the Single Note Exploration and the DIY boards.

    I’ll say this though: training your nose is not easy (at least for me). It has been said that Western culture is characterised by the hegemony of the visual, and really learning fine olfactory discrimination feels plain weird. But it is wonderfully educational, stimulating, and fun. I’d heartily recommend this kind of experiment to anyone interested in perfumery. Just be prepared to find testing strips lurking everywhere, from coat pockets to bags to desk drawers and even books...

    (As a disclaimer, I should say I’m in no way affiliated with Chris Bartlett, nor his company).

    6/1/13 at 4:40am

    Graphite said:




    Congratulations! That's wonderful. I wish you thousands and more nose-opening, horizon-widening hours with your library. And share your insights with us please!

    6/1/13 at 4:42am

    hednic said:



    That's great!

    6/1/13 at 5:42am

    Irina said:



    Wow, Chris did a great job! In an interview I heard that smelling/recognizing aromatics is a similar process as learning to read/hear sheet music. It take a good amount of time and practice! Enjoy the journey! smile.gif

    6/1/13 at 6:16am

    iodine said:



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by GraphiteView Post


    Congratulations! That's wonderful. I wish you thousands and more nose-opening, horizon-widening hours with your library. And share your insights with us please!


    Yes please, share with us. I'd love to do something similar too, sooner or later- I've studied Chemistry at University and I'm very interested in the science behind perfume.

    Happy journey!

    smiley.gif

    6/1/13 at 8:23am

    cacio said:



    It sounds like a great idea! I like to smell the Le Labo too in the store, but it's very expensive, and it doesn't really contain the basic molecules themselves, but either naturals or accords.

    Please, over time, provide the list of the molecules you have, so that we can start ourselves.

    cacio

    6/1/13 at 8:34am

    gandhajala said:



    Thanks for the kind comments.
    Cacio - Sure thing. I'll type out the full list shortly.

    6/1/13 at 9:37am

    gido said:



    That's very generous of Chris, but that's how we know him anyway. :)

    Basenotes is lucky to have him around.

    Have fun smelling these materials!

    6/1/13 at 11:18am

    foughare said:



    Wow that sounds amazing! Good luck, I'm sure it'll take a lot of patience. I'll hopefully be able to start on something like this one day soon

    6/2/13 at 12:07am

    Larimar said:



    Wonderful, G.! Congratulations!

    6/2/13 at 2:34am

    David Ruskin said:



    Chris is a very helpful and friendly fellow. I have a tiny criticism to make however. It would have been better to have used brown glass bottles rather than clear glass. Light can affect the chemical.

    6/2/13 at 2:56am

    gandhajala said:



    That's true, David. I suppose if one were to store the bottles in the open, it could be an issue. Mine however, are kept in a metal box which obviates any problems.
    I'll list all the aroma chemicals shortly, so if you've any suggestions for additions, I'd be grateful.

    Edit: Here's the full list (assume any mis-spellings are mine):

    Floralozone
    Ethylene brassylate
    Citral
    Vanillin
    Ebanol
    Orange Power
    Benzyl Salicylate
    Allyl Amyl Glycoate
    Orange Terpenes
    Citronellol
    Indole
    Ambrettolide
    Nectarate
    Norlimbanol
    Undecavertol
    Aurantiol
    Kephalis
    Romandolide
    Ambrofix
    Linalool
    Iso E Super
    Ethyl Vanillin
    Dimetol
    Linalyl Acetate
    Cinnamyl Alcohol
    Helional
    Calone 161 Liquid
    Castoreum
    Melonal
    Aldehyde C12 MNA
    Vertofix
    Ethyl Maltol
    Geranyl Acetate
    Aldehyde C8
    Ionone Beta
    Phenyl Ethyl Alcohol
    Rose Oxide
    Exaltolide Total
    Oranger Crystals
    Velvione
    Ethyl Linalool
    Civet (synth.)
    Methyl Anthranylate
    Cis-3-Hexenol
    Veramoss
    Cyclamen Aldehyde
    Hedione
    Santaliff
    Rose Givco 217
    Dihydromyrcenol
    Safraleine
    Florhydral
    Fructalate
    Cedramber
    Geraniol
    Edited by gandhajala - 6/2/13 at 3:08am

    6/2/13 at 1:18pm

    David Ruskin said:



    You seem to be missing many of the basic building blocks. Forgive me if you have put them on your list,and I have missed them,

    Amyl Salicylate,

    Benzyl Acetate

    Terpineol

    Iso Boryl Acetate

    Hexyl Cinnamix Aldehyde

    Cinnamic Aldehyde

    Coumarin

    Methyl Ionone

    Anisaldehyde

    Galaxolide

    Vertenex

    And some more. I think it would benefit you to get these.

    6/3/13 at 12:13am

    gandhajala said:



    That's fantastically helpful, David. Thank you.

    Coumarin and Galaxolide were already on my radar (beside Cashmeran etc.)

    I'll definitely look into the others.

    6/3/13 at 1:01am

    David Ruskin said:



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by David RuskinView Post

    You seem to be missing many of the basic building blocks. Forgive me if you have put them on your list,and I have missed them,

    Amyl Salicylate,

    Benzyl Acetate

    Terpineol

    Iso Boryl Acetate

    Hexyl Cinnamix Aldehyde

    Cinnamic Aldehyde

    Coumarin

    Methyl Ionone

    Anisaldehyde

    Galaxolide

    Vertenex

    And some more. I think it would benefit you to get these.

    My spelling!!

    Iso Bornyl Acetate

    Hexyl Cinnamic Aldehyde

    6/3/13 at 6:28am

    gido said:



    I think it could be great have a list as sticky. Just the most basic and versatile ones.

    I have merged Chris' list and David's suggestions, plus my own, and alphabetized them for ease of looking up.

    Please add and subtract! Let's try to keep it trim. No naturals, please. Please think twice about bases, if it is an alternative to a readily available natural, it has essentially no place here in my opinion.

    Restricted materials *do* have a place here. Banned ones do not.

    Aldehyde C11

    Aldehyde C12 MNA

    Aldehyde C8

    Allyl Amyl Glycoate

    Ambrettolide

    Ambrofix

    Ambroxan

    Amyl Salicylate,

    Anisaldehyde

    Aurantiol

    Benzaldehyde

    Benzyl Acetate

    Benzyl Benzoate

    Benzyl Salicylate

    Calone

    Castoreum Replacement

    Cedramber

    Cinnamic Aldehyde

    Cinnamyl Alcohol

    Cis-3-Hexenol

    Cis Jasmone

    Citral

    Citronellol

    Civet Replacement

    Coumarin

    Cyclamen Aldehyde

    Dihydromyrcenol

    Dimetol

    Ebanol

    Ethyl Linalool

    Ethyl Maltol

    Ethyl Vanillin

    Ethylene brassylate

    Eugenol

    Exaltolide Total

    Farnesol

    Floralozone

    Florhydral

    Fructalate

    Galaxolide

    Geraniol

    Geranyl Acetate

    Hedione

    Helional

    Heliotropin

    Hexyl Cinnamix Aldehyde

    Hydroxycitronellal

    Indole

    Ionone Alpha

    Ionone Beta

    Iso Boryl Acetate

    Iso E Super

    Kephalis

    Limonene

    Linalool

    Linalyl Acetate

    Melonal

    Methyl Anthranylate

    Methyl Ionone

    Musk Ketone

    Nectarate

    Nerol

    Norlimbanol

    Orange Power

    Orange Terpenes

    Oranger Crystals

    Phenyl Ethyl Alcohol

    Romandolide

    Rose Oxide

    Safraleine

    Santaliff

    Terpineol Alpha

    Undecavertol

    Vanillin

    Velvione

    Veramoss

    Vertenex

    Vertofix


    Edited by gido - 6/3/13 at 7:10am





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