Didn't see this one on here, so thought I'd add it. I've long enjoyed the yummy smell of asafoetida (aka hing, aka Ferula asafoetida) frying in oil as part of Indian cuisine, but wasn't familiar with the essential oil. I just got a 5 ml bottle to use in an Indian-inspired perfume that I want to make, but wasn't prepared for how amazingly strong the oil would be. When I opened the bottle, it was like the proverbial genie popping out, or maybe Pandora's box. I've seen the smell described as like garlic and onions, but that's not the half of it. It's also got notes that are sweaty, balsamy, resiny, and notes that are in nothing else that I know of, so I have no words to describe them. The best I can do is to say that it's like a huge, iridescent, dark gray balloon that keeps expanding. I can see that I want to go easy with this stuff. In handling the bottle, I got a minute amount on my fingers, and can still smell it days later, even after multiple washings. This is supposed to be a top note, but with this lasting power I suspect that it's the mother of all base notes.
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1/1/10 at 2:06pm