Post-apocalyptic notes?

    Post-apocalyptic notes?

    post #1 of 14
    Thread Starter 
    Hello, Basenotes DIY. I'm something of a chemist, nothing of a perfumer, here to ask for suggestions on aroma chemicals or naturals for a rather broad and ill-constrained project. Bear with me.

    Like most people, I think, I have a difficult time 'visualizing' scent in the same way as sounds or imagery. I can imagine an entire orchestra I've never heard as if they're playing next door, but when I try to do anything comparable with smell the sense of it never clicks into place. Same no matter how vivid the impression is, from geosmin to PCBTF. I suspect this might be because it isn't tied into language.

    My hobby for the past couple of years has been writing fiction. Worldbuilding, for a large part, along with someone who I suppose finds it as amusing as I do, since they haven't fled yet. The topic of specific smells has come up several times, and I can't help wanting to attempt to put vague conceptions into something more tangible. A little bit creature design, a little bit environment design, the part that always gets overlooked. It may never be obviously relevant, but I want the impression to work with so very badly. Even edging towards one, whether or not I ever hit it, will help.

    I'm looking for materials evocative of the following:
    • ozone, aluminum, steel, flint, sparks, electricity, cathode ray tubes, molten metal, industry, brass
    • gunpowder, sulfur, smoke, pipe tobacco, cigarettes, whiskey
    • antiseptic, fluorescent lights, plastic, latex, blood and sweat
    • moss, peat, topsoil, musty cave, stagnant pond
    • desert, dust, dry grass, cactus, new bones
    • fresh pomegranates, rotten apples, canned peaches
    • coffee
    • books, paper, especially the non-archival kind that's gone crumbly and yellow, old glue
    • what you get walking up the attic stairwell of a seventy-year-old house; I used to joke it was dead spiders and cannot otherwise describe it
    • animalistic smells; most seem to be geared towards mammals, reptilian or amphibian would be a plus

    Also suggestions for anything that might fit in well, even if not representative of any of these, would be appreciated. I'd love to hear "X is bright and floral, but it'll affect Y in such a manner, so it's worth considering."

    I am not looking to create perfumes. A few of the results should be downright offputting, or at least certainly not something anyone would want to wear. I'm just trying to build something like a reference library for scent combinations that don't actually exist on Earth.

    Thanks to anyone who read this far; my condolences and most sincere apologies to those who didn't.
    post #2 of 14

    So, for your labor/research intensive project, I would let you spend your own time, (instead of mine) and tell you to type in those words that you wish to research of say: Ozone, Gun Powder, etc,, and entering each term into the Perfumers Search Tool here:

     

    http://www.perfumersearch.com/

     

    For Instance, Ozone brings up this whole odor list of materials with an aspect of ozone:

    http://www.thegoodscentscompany.com/odor/ozone.html

     

    You can enter a specific word, search term or material name into this search, and see what comes up.

     

    you can also browse the Odor index list too, looking for associative ideas, http://www.thegoodscentscompany.com/  then on the right panels, look down the column for "Odor Index", and click on the odor index.

     

    Have FUN!

    post #3 of 14

    Oh, and if you get to a specific material's webpage, and you are looking for the odor profile or description, look under the tab of Organoleptics, or look under suppliers tab, because sometimes the material has an odor description with each entry from a supplier that may differ, or use different words than in the organoleptic description...

    post #4 of 14
    Thread Starter 
    Thank you. That external search engine just took TGSC from completely unusable to tolerable on mobile devices.
    post #5 of 14

    I have nothing super useful to add, as I am completely new at this myself.  But I wanted to post because I am also a fiction writer (wannabe) and especially LOVE worldbuilding.  I would be super interested to see what comes out of this if you are willing to share :)

    post #6 of 14

    There's a plant I used to grow that smelled of ozone.  Most peculiar.  I wish I could remember what it was.

     

    -

    post #7 of 14
    Not exactly what you're asking for, but I've always thought Serge Lutens Gris Clair was like nuclear winter. It smells like pure cold ash. Sucks the air out of your lungs. Never come across ash in a fragrance like this one, I'd love to know how they did it.
    post #8 of 14

    Interesting project.  It would be great if you could share your findings here as I'm sure it could be educational for others as well.

    post #9 of 14

    Seems like burning smells, animalics and decay would be in order.  Cade, birch tar, indole, black currant, costus, castoreum, civet, etc... The Buchu I have smells like sewage... Phenolic smells, weedy, ozonic... oceanic things like choya & seaweed absolute.  Weedy & green smelling flowers, camphoraceous notes, skunky and sulphurous - onion, garlic, asafoetida, etc.  Depending on how far away from civilization one might be after an apocalypse the pine smells might be good.  Dwarf mountain and templar cone oils are kind of "cold" smelling pines vs the warmth of balsam. 

    post #10 of 14

    I think that sweat needs to be in there too.

     

    Earthy Dirt-y is things like humus Ether, Terrasol, geosmin...

    post #11 of 14
    Thread Starter 
    Sorry about the late response and thanks to everyone who responded. Most of my time's been consumed with work-related stuff lately, so I haven't done much with this beyond pry my way bit by bit through TGSC. Everything smells like acid, tannins, and Elmer's glue now, or rather the shadowy absence of those things, ye gods.

    Sure, I'd be happy to share details and results as I get further. This is for science, not in any intent of making a profit (and the least I can do after anyone else sits through this).

    As far as storage containers go, what kind of caps do you guys use? Is phenolic plastic okay, or will that leach into the chemicals eventually?

    Geosmin, yes. That's actually the chemical that got me into this. I look at the price from Aldrich and I laugh and shake my head. I'm about 70% certain I can get it through work, but it's too much cash to consider right now and too much hassle to risk failure. Kind of a pain since I know I'll need it eventually, but for now I'll focus on other things.

    A couple of the musks smell like human skin (no clue which they are, but most laundry sheets here are that on overdose). Is there any way to build that up without going way over the top, and still have it detectable? I know p-cresol is present in sweat; does it smell reminiscent of it?

    Every material I'm seriously considering so far is from Perfumer's Apprentice. I'm in the US so they look like the most promising choice for a large bulk order. If there's another single source from which I can get a better assortment of fungal, algae, 'dirtier' smelling chemicals, I'll probably hit them up as well.

    This is what I'm looking into getting, and the various impressions I've gathered based on supplier descriptions. I really don't like that a lot of the suppliers seem to prefer describing something based on what it could get used in rather than the actual impression of a chemical. The number of times "cocoa" turned up in things I'm pretty sure don't smell like cocoa was mind-boggling.

    Fruit/Flower
    benzyl acetate - top - jasmine
    datilat - mid - figs, raisins
    diphenyl oxide - mid - rose, geranium, chemical, metallic
    ethyl-2-methylbutyrate - top - apple, sharp
    gamma-decalactone - mid - peach, apricot
    hexyl acetate - top - green, pear
    hydroxycitronellal - base - lily of the valley, melon
    alpha-ionone - base - violet, woody
    beta-ionone - base - violet, berry, beeswax, alcohol
    methyl anthranilate - base - concord grape
    raspberry ketone - base - raspberry
    alpha-terpineol - mid - lilac, citrus, pine

    Musk/Animal
    ambrettolide - base - warm, fruity
    celestolide - base - animal, wood, powder, plastic
    cosmone - base - powdery
    costausol - base - animal, warm, root
    ethylene brassylate - base - sweet, herbal
    exaltolide - base - woody, balsamic
    galaxolide - base - sweet, floral
    grisalva - base - amber, leather
    habanolide - base - metallic, waxy
    iso-muscone - base - powdery
    para-cresyl acetate - mid - phenolic, animal, narcissus
    safraleine - mid - leather, tobacco, saffron, iodine
    castoreum - base - animal, leather

    Earth/Fermentation/Vegetable
    ambroxan - base - paper, dry, amber
    amyl vinyl carbinol - top - mushroom, sweat, breath
    bicyclononalactone - base - hay, almond, coconut, cream, vanilla
    butyl butyro lactate - base - butter, cheese
    coumarin - base - hay, sweet, sharp
    cyclal c - top - leafy, cucumber, citrus
    cyclamen aldehyde - mid - rhubarb, musty, lily
    eucalyptol - top - eucalyptus, medicine, chemical
    cis-3-hexenol - top - grass
    linalool oxide - mid - herbal, dusty, floral
    methyl cedryl ketone - base - vetiver, leather
    methyl hexyl ketone - top - mold, weeds, mushroom
    phenylacetaldehyde dimethyl acetal - mid - earth, mushroom, foliage
    pyralone - mid - oakmoss, tobacco, leather
    stemone - mid - leafy, weeds
    styralyl acetate - top - green, rhubarb, musty, gardenia
    trimmethyl pyrazine - mid - musty, dirt, potato
    veramoss - base - oakmoss, phenolic

    Wood/Spice
    cedryl acetate - base - cedar
    dihydroeugenol - mid - clove, bay leaf, phenolic, dry
    ebanol - base - sandalwood
    eugenol - mid - clove, spicy, sharp
    norlimbanol - base - sawdust, nondescript wood

    Other
    floralozone - base - marine, ozone, floral
    para-cresol - base - phenolic, daffodil, smoke
    guaiacol - base - phenolic, smoke, medicine
    helional - mid - ozone, hay, melon
    isobutavan - base - creamy vanilla
    melonal - top - marine, cucumber, melon
    methyl cyclo pentenolone - mid - caramel, licorice
    methyl phenyl acetate - top - honey
    para-cymene - top - terpene, citrus
    para-cresyl methyl ether - top - naphthol, phenolic, chemical, medicine

    Essential Oils
    black pepper, celery seed, ginger, lemongrass, scotch pine, silver fir needle, vetiver, patchouli
    post #12 of 14

    Creatingperfume.com  Has some things not at PA

     

    Also, here's the pricelist for TGSC:

    http://www.thegoodscentscompany.com/pricoffr.html

    post #13 of 14
    Thread Starter 
    Thanks very much!
    post #14 of 14

    Geosmin is a bear to buy, maybe avoid it by using Humus Ether from Takasago, ot Terrasol, or terranol.

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    9/10/13 at 4:39pm

    JayH said:



    Hello, Basenotes DIY. I'm something of a chemist, nothing of a perfumer, here to ask for suggestions on aroma chemicals or naturals for a rather broad and ill-constrained project. Bear with me.

    Like most people, I think, I have a difficult time 'visualizing' scent in the same way as sounds or imagery. I can imagine an entire orchestra I've never heard as if they're playing next door, but when I try to do anything comparable with smell the sense of it never clicks into place. Same no matter how vivid the impression is, from geosmin to PCBTF. I suspect this might be because it isn't tied into language.

    My hobby for the past couple of years has been writing fiction. Worldbuilding, for a large part, along with someone who I suppose finds it as amusing as I do, since they haven't fled yet. The topic of specific smells has come up several times, and I can't help wanting to attempt to put vague conceptions into something more tangible. A little bit creature design, a little bit environment design, the part that always gets overlooked. It may never be obviously relevant, but I want the impression to work with so very badly. Even edging towards one, whether or not I ever hit it, will help.

    I'm looking for materials evocative of the following:
    • ozone, aluminum, steel, flint, sparks, electricity, cathode ray tubes, molten metal, industry, brass
    • gunpowder, sulfur, smoke, pipe tobacco, cigarettes, whiskey
    • antiseptic, fluorescent lights, plastic, latex, blood and sweat
    • moss, peat, topsoil, musty cave, stagnant pond
    • desert, dust, dry grass, cactus, new bones
    • fresh pomegranates, rotten apples, canned peaches
    • coffee
    • books, paper, especially the non-archival kind that's gone crumbly and yellow, old glue
    • what you get walking up the attic stairwell of a seventy-year-old house; I used to joke it was dead spiders and cannot otherwise describe it
    • animalistic smells; most seem to be geared towards mammals, reptilian or amphibian would be a plus

    Also suggestions for anything that might fit in well, even if not representative of any of these, would be appreciated. I'd love to hear "X is bright and floral, but it'll affect Y in such a manner, so it's worth considering."

    I am not looking to create perfumes. A few of the results should be downright offputting, or at least certainly not something anyone would want to wear. I'm just trying to build something like a reference library for scent combinations that don't actually exist on Earth.

    Thanks to anyone who read this far; my condolences and most sincere apologies to those who didn't.

    9/10/13 at 5:28pm

    pkiler said:



    So, for your labor/research intensive project, I would let you spend your own time, (instead of mine) and tell you to type in those words that you wish to research of say: Ozone, Gun Powder, etc,, and entering each term into the Perfumers Search Tool here:

     

    http://www.perfumersearch.com/

     

    For Instance, Ozone brings up this whole odor list of materials with an aspect of ozone:

    http://www.thegoodscentscompany.com/odor/ozone.html

     

    You can enter a specific word, search term or material name into this search, and see what comes up.

     

    you can also browse the Odor index list too, looking for associative ideas, http://www.thegoodscentscompany.com/  then on the right panels, look down the column for "Odor Index", and click on the odor index.

     

    Have FUN!

    9/10/13 at 5:32pm

    pkiler said:



    Oh, and if you get to a specific material's webpage, and you are looking for the odor profile or description, look under the tab of Organoleptics, or look under suppliers tab, because sometimes the material has an odor description with each entry from a supplier that may differ, or use different words than in the organoleptic description...

    9/10/13 at 5:47pm

    JayH said:



    Thank you. That external search engine just took TGSC from completely unusable to tolerable on mobile devices.

    9/10/13 at 6:12pm

    Waywardspirit said:



    I have nothing super useful to add, as I am completely new at this myself.  But I wanted to post because I am also a fiction writer (wannabe) and especially LOVE worldbuilding.  I would be super interested to see what comes out of this if you are willing to share :)

    9/16/13 at 11:38am

    Skelly said:



    There's a plant I used to grow that smelled of ozone.  Most peculiar.  I wish I could remember what it was.

     

    -

    9/17/13 at 2:37pm

    L'eaulita said:



    Not exactly what you're asking for, but I've always thought Serge Lutens Gris Clair was like nuclear winter. It smells like pure cold ash. Sucks the air out of your lungs. Never come across ash in a fragrance like this one, I'd love to know how they did it.

    9/18/13 at 6:23am

    Mark said:



    Interesting project.  It would be great if you could share your findings here as I'm sure it could be educational for others as well.

    9/20/13 at 9:01am

    JEBeasley said:



    Seems like burning smells, animalics and decay would be in order.  Cade, birch tar, indole, black currant, costus, castoreum, civet, etc... The Buchu I have smells like sewage... Phenolic smells, weedy, ozonic... oceanic things like choya & seaweed absolute.  Weedy & green smelling flowers, camphoraceous notes, skunky and sulphurous - onion, garlic, asafoetida, etc.  Depending on how far away from civilization one might be after an apocalypse the pine smells might be good.  Dwarf mountain and templar cone oils are kind of "cold" smelling pines vs the warmth of balsam. 

    9/20/13 at 9:11am

    pkiler said:



    I think that sweat needs to be in there too.

     

    Earthy Dirt-y is things like humus Ether, Terrasol, geosmin...

    9/28/13 at 8:00pm

    JayH said:



    Sorry about the late response and thanks to everyone who responded. Most of my time's been consumed with work-related stuff lately, so I haven't done much with this beyond pry my way bit by bit through TGSC. Everything smells like acid, tannins, and Elmer's glue now, or rather the shadowy absence of those things, ye gods.

    Sure, I'd be happy to share details and results as I get further. This is for science, not in any intent of making a profit (and the least I can do after anyone else sits through this).

    As far as storage containers go, what kind of caps do you guys use? Is phenolic plastic okay, or will that leach into the chemicals eventually?

    Geosmin, yes. That's actually the chemical that got me into this. I look at the price from Aldrich and I laugh and shake my head. I'm about 70% certain I can get it through work, but it's too much cash to consider right now and too much hassle to risk failure. Kind of a pain since I know I'll need it eventually, but for now I'll focus on other things.

    A couple of the musks smell like human skin (no clue which they are, but most laundry sheets here are that on overdose). Is there any way to build that up without going way over the top, and still have it detectable? I know p-cresol is present in sweat; does it smell reminiscent of it?

    Every material I'm seriously considering so far is from Perfumer's Apprentice. I'm in the US so they look like the most promising choice for a large bulk order. If there's another single source from which I can get a better assortment of fungal, algae, 'dirtier' smelling chemicals, I'll probably hit them up as well.

    This is what I'm looking into getting, and the various impressions I've gathered based on supplier descriptions. I really don't like that a lot of the suppliers seem to prefer describing something based on what it could get used in rather than the actual impression of a chemical. The number of times "cocoa" turned up in things I'm pretty sure don't smell like cocoa was mind-boggling.

    Fruit/Flower
    benzyl acetate - top - jasmine
    datilat - mid - figs, raisins
    diphenyl oxide - mid - rose, geranium, chemical, metallic
    ethyl-2-methylbutyrate - top - apple, sharp
    gamma-decalactone - mid - peach, apricot
    hexyl acetate - top - green, pear
    hydroxycitronellal - base - lily of the valley, melon
    alpha-ionone - base - violet, woody
    beta-ionone - base - violet, berry, beeswax, alcohol
    methyl anthranilate - base - concord grape
    raspberry ketone - base - raspberry
    alpha-terpineol - mid - lilac, citrus, pine

    Musk/Animal
    ambrettolide - base - warm, fruity
    celestolide - base - animal, wood, powder, plastic
    cosmone - base - powdery
    costausol - base - animal, warm, root
    ethylene brassylate - base - sweet, herbal
    exaltolide - base - woody, balsamic
    galaxolide - base - sweet, floral
    grisalva - base - amber, leather
    habanolide - base - metallic, waxy
    iso-muscone - base - powdery
    para-cresyl acetate - mid - phenolic, animal, narcissus
    safraleine - mid - leather, tobacco, saffron, iodine
    castoreum - base - animal, leather

    Earth/Fermentation/Vegetable
    ambroxan - base - paper, dry, amber
    amyl vinyl carbinol - top - mushroom, sweat, breath
    bicyclononalactone - base - hay, almond, coconut, cream, vanilla
    butyl butyro lactate - base - butter, cheese
    coumarin - base - hay, sweet, sharp
    cyclal c - top - leafy, cucumber, citrus
    cyclamen aldehyde - mid - rhubarb, musty, lily
    eucalyptol - top - eucalyptus, medicine, chemical
    cis-3-hexenol - top - grass
    linalool oxide - mid - herbal, dusty, floral
    methyl cedryl ketone - base - vetiver, leather
    methyl hexyl ketone - top - mold, weeds, mushroom
    phenylacetaldehyde dimethyl acetal - mid - earth, mushroom, foliage
    pyralone - mid - oakmoss, tobacco, leather
    stemone - mid - leafy, weeds
    styralyl acetate - top - green, rhubarb, musty, gardenia
    trimmethyl pyrazine - mid - musty, dirt, potato
    veramoss - base - oakmoss, phenolic

    Wood/Spice
    cedryl acetate - base - cedar
    dihydroeugenol - mid - clove, bay leaf, phenolic, dry
    ebanol - base - sandalwood
    eugenol - mid - clove, spicy, sharp
    norlimbanol - base - sawdust, nondescript wood

    Other
    floralozone - base - marine, ozone, floral
    para-cresol - base - phenolic, daffodil, smoke
    guaiacol - base - phenolic, smoke, medicine
    helional - mid - ozone, hay, melon
    isobutavan - base - creamy vanilla
    melonal - top - marine, cucumber, melon
    methyl cyclo pentenolone - mid - caramel, licorice
    methyl phenyl acetate - top - honey
    para-cymene - top - terpene, citrus
    para-cresyl methyl ether - top - naphthol, phenolic, chemical, medicine

    Essential Oils
    black pepper, celery seed, ginger, lemongrass, scotch pine, silver fir needle, vetiver, patchouli

    9/28/13 at 10:11pm

    pkiler said:



    Creatingperfume.com  Has some things not at PA

     

    Also, here's the pricelist for TGSC:

    http://www.thegoodscentscompany.com/pricoffr.html

    9/29/13 at 5:01pm

    JayH said:



    Thanks very much!

    9/29/13 at 7:00pm

    pkiler said:



    Geosmin is a bear to buy, maybe avoid it by using Humus Ether from Takasago, ot Terrasol, or terranol.