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Thread: Educated Noses

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  1. #1

    Default Educated Noses

    Many of the reviews that I read are so beautifully detailed and descriptive . . . reading people's impressions of scents is one of my favorite things about this website!

    For you educated noses . . . how did you learn to distinguish all of the components of a certain scent? So often I feel as though I take a perfume's elements "for granted," or don't know enough to really appreciate the mastery in the scent's creation. To me, it seems kind of like reading Shakespeare without knowing anything about the symbolism behind his prose - - you know it's pretty, but you don't grasp the full meaning, context or brilliance.

    How did you "train" your nose to break a scent down (or did you not)?


  2. #2

    Default Re: Educated Noses

    the faq talks a bit about training your nose. essential oils are useful. but you'll learn to pick out notes with or without them, in time. if you care to.

    Traveller, there is no path. You make the path as you walk. -- A. Machado

  3. #3

    Default Re: Educated Noses

    I hardly consider myself an educated nose. There are some very distiquishable notes though that usually stand out to me. I just take a slow steady sniff to find out what notes are in the smells I am picking up.

    After reading note pyramids and finding out what notes I was smelling early on I was able to distiguish certain notes from one another by noticing what the pyramid said. Later I was able to figure out a few notes here and there by myself because I learned how they smelled from simple memorization. I'm not a pro at all and generally have trouble with many notes but there are some easy ones to get used to like Vanilla, Amber, Patchouli, Vetiver, Chocolate, inscense, sadal/cederwood... Those are some easy ones that take no time at all to learn. Most just make sense!


  4. #4

    Shycat's Avatar
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    Oct 2005
    Nashville, Tennessee

    Default Re: Educated Noses

    Heh, heh. When I started pursuit of fragrances as a hobby, I'd try to guess the notes--mostly top and heart, and then I'd track down the pyramid somewhere and see if I was right (not usually). I made...index cards...of all the fragrances I was testing, and notes about my impressions. Over time, I learned which fragrances were heavy on which notes, and which fragrances had notes in common.

    When I went to shops with essential oils, I'd spend thirty minutes opening testers and sniffing with my eyes closed. And when shopping, if I saw a patchouli labeled frag, for example, I sniffed it. I ordered some samples of single notes here and there as well. I ordered ambergris ticture from Italy. At Kroger, I got some cooking spices and sniffed them. This is still very much an ongoing process, and a major source of hobby fun and satisfaction!

    My top of the list mission at present is to find a gardenia plant, which they also sell occassionally at Kroger, and sniff the actual blossom.
    Please, spritz responsibly.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Educated Noses

    Hey Shy Cat. *I think you're gonna trip when you smell the real thing. *I was born and raised in Hawaii and at the house where we live the longest we had a gardenia bush. *It thrived with very little care or attention and bloomed regularly. *It was right by our back door which we used constantly and I think I went over and smelled the blossoms almost everyday when it was in bloom. *Sometimes more than once a day. *It was intoxicating. *I find tropical flowers in general to be irrisistable and I had the luck of living in a few houses that had wonderful indiginous (sp), and richly fragrant flowers growing wild in the yard. *Not to mention my exposure to leis for graduations, birthdays, airport arrivals and departures etc. *Heaven! *I hope you find your current "holy graile"

    Eau Boy.

  6. #6

    Shycat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Nashville, Tennessee

    Default Re: Educated Noses

    Thank you! I should resurrect the pikaki thread as I have ordered three pikaki frags--two from Hawaii. There is a link to buy fresh leis when they come into season. It's also on my agenda!
    Please, spritz responsibly.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Educated Noses

    Funny you should mention Pikaki. *At one of my other Hawaiian homes we shared a fence with a neighbor that ran about 50 feet and it was completely covered with Pikaki vines. *I took so much for granted then, but I was only nine after all.

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