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  1. #1

    Default Why cumin as a fragrance note?

    I do use cumin in cooking, but the thought of it in a fragrance doesn't appeal to me at all. I don't want to smell like I'm wearing my dinner. In the "plummy" thread someone mentioned Rochas Femme, and I recall that people have said the reformulation has a distinct cumin note, whereas the vintage I believe does not. Some have said that cumin gives them a sweaty BO note, while others seem to like it. I can totally understand cardamom, with its spicy camphorous odor, in perfume, especially in ripe fruity ones, and cinnamon, and anise, and even pepper. But cumin? I just don't get this one. What do you think of cumin as a perfume note? Anyone care to enlighten me?

  2. #2
    Overcome By Fumes
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    Default Re: Why cumin as a fragrance note?

    Why not?

    There are plenty of fragrance notes which are food based which I consider less pleasant, eg. celery, melon, even tea--although I can think of fragrances that do use them to advantage. I consider cumin a rich spicy note that evokes India to me more than anything else--pungent, slightly sweet, heavy. It can be overbearing at times--but in the right balance can be spectacular. I am one who finds Kingdom to be a masterpiece, and I do like Femme, both the cumin and the un-cumin versions. Why would cumin be any less useful a note than cardamom, cinnamon, pepper, nutmeg, clove, coriander, or any other intensely fragrant flavoring agent? To my nose, cumin is far from a natural body odor.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Why cumin as a fragrance note?

    Quote Originally Posted by docluv45
    Why not?

    There are plenty of fragrance notes which are food based which I consider less pleasant, eg. celery, melon, even tea--although I can think of fragrances that do use them to advantage.
    And don't forget cucumber!

    I don't know docluv, to me it just seems like an odd sort of note to go into a perfume. Has it always been used in perfumery? I want you to know that I just went downstairs to the kitchen and rubbed some cumin on my wrist - and it's honestly rather interesting smelling on its own. It's pungent and earthy. I can see it mixing with some funky patchouli in an interesting way. And I'm not picking up any BO, so I'm not sure why people say that. But it still smells like a savory dish to me. Maybe because I associate it with savory foods in Indian, Mexian, Persian cuisines, and maybe sweeter food notes in perfumes are more familiar to me? I wouldn't want to wear the scent of celery seed, or garlic, but I like them in food. I have never smelled Kingdom so can't comment on it. And I don't know the current version of Femme. My mother used to wear the old one.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Why cumin as a fragrance note?

    One of my favorite fragrances, Aimez-Moi, has cumin in it. But even though there is cumin in Aimez-Moi I do not perceive that note as 'the cooking' scent of cumin on my skin. Similar situation also happens with Gucci Eau de Parfum. There are other notes in these fragrances as well, and so they take on those different characteristics as well.
    "Of the five senses, the sense of smell is incontestably the one that best conveys a sense of immortality."

    Salvador Dali

  5. #5

    Default Re: Why cumin as a fragrance note?

    I have Gucci EdP, too, and I find it very nice. It doas not smell gourmand, even if it has cumin as one of it´s ingredients. My nose is not sharped enough to tell you what cumin doas for the frag, perhaps someone else can tell you. But the mixture is fresh and nice. There is thyme in it, too, and that note is really detectable for my nose.

    Well, I guess the "noses" are trying to find new frags, and experiments with what they find usefull. I do like cumin both in food and in this frag. The same goes for thyme.
    Faves right now: Chanel No 19, Stella Rose Absolute, L´Heure Bleu, Elixir de Merveilles, Samsara.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Why cumin as a fragrance note?

    Gucci edp should be fairly easy to find around here (if not Kingdom or Aimez Moi) so I am going to check it out when I have the chance. I really want to smell how cumin works in perfume. Thanks for the responses so far!

  7. #7

    Default Re: Why cumin as a fragrance note?

    How fun, please, tell us on the board what you think about Gucci EdP and cumin!

    It is a fresh frag considering it is an oriental... And that means it is not so heavy and/or sweet as orientals usually are. I have not been fond of it until I started to try to detect notes in frags. So, please, if you don´t like it at the first sniff, give it some more tries.
    Last edited by Margareta; 11th November 2006 at 02:44 PM.
    Faves right now: Chanel No 19, Stella Rose Absolute, L´Heure Bleu, Elixir de Merveilles, Samsara.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Why cumin as a fragrance note?

    I have trouble with cumin. It comes off as too salty. A better alternative for me has been saffron, which provides some of the same kind of bite. Saffron is more delicate and just as stong as cumin. Coriander, on the other hand, is always pleasing to me.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Why cumin as a fragrance note?

    Quote Originally Posted by purplebird7
    I have trouble with cumin. It comes off as too salty.
    Yes! Last night as I was sniffing the cumin-rubbed wrist, I kept thinking, "it smells salty." I thought maybe it was just me.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Why cumin as a fragrance note?

    I just bought my husband a large bottle of Gucci EDT. I don't know if the EDT has cummin, but I can't smell it. It just smells like an expensive wood. I love it on him. I don't wear men's cologne, but I have found that a lot of scents turn to salt on me, especially Hermes Merveilles and Hermes d'Orange so I certainly do understand the salt thing.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Why cumin as a fragrance note?

    I entered cumin as a note in the Basenotes directory and came up with a number of men's fragrances, only a few women's. So, I assume it's more commonly used in men's frags.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Why cumin as a fragrance note?

    It works! Cumin is tricky as a fragrance note because it doesn't work on everyone, but imo it adds something special. I like it in spicy fragrances and it adds pizazz, especially to fruit notes (for example, the reformulated Femme edt.) Other good ones with cumin: Dinner by Bobo and Kenzo Jungle.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Why cumin as a fragrance note?

    I love the cumin in Eau d'Hermes. The entire concoction is a wonderful spicy, leathery citrus smell -- but well blended and very subtle. I believe Roudnitska was attempting to create the smell of the interior of a Hermes bag in creating this. One of my favorites.
    Beauty is an ecstasy; it is as simple as hunger.
    There is really nothing to be said about it.
    It is like the perfume of a rose: you can smell it and that is all.

    --W. Somerset Maugham

    My Wardrobe

  14. #14

    Default Re: Why cumin as a fragrance note?

    I like cumin a lot in Dinner (by Bobo), SL Arabie and Rochas Femme, but it can be very nasty (and is, too!) in many other scents.
    "Wovon man nicht lesen kann, darüber muss man schreiben."

  15. #15

    Default Re: Why cumin as a fragrance note?

    I like cumin in a perfume. It's such a rich, torrid note. I sometimes crave Kingdom. I understand why people find it sweaty-smelling, but I have no problem with that.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Why cumin as a fragrance note?

    It's warm, soft, spicy-musky. Adds a lot of tenacity to fragrances. It's especially masculine, stimulating, increases sexual desire, male fertility, good for fatigue. Erotic, exotic and evocative, stimulates flow of bodily juices while warmly pernetrating the senses of man and woman.

    Many of the great Lutens frags contain cumin - Santal de Mysore, Muscs Koublai Khan, Cuir Mauresque, Fleurs d'Oranger, Arabie and others. I love Eau d'Hermes. Lots of cumin in that one.

    A few good books regarding essential oils, fragrance notes:

    Essence and Alchemy - Mandy Aftel
    Scents and Scentuality - Valerie Ann Wormwood
    The Fragrant Mind - Valerie Ann Wormwood
    The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy - Wormwood
    The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essentail Oils - Julia Lawless
    Last edited by pluran; 17th November 2006 at 08:25 AM.
    "...The history of perfumery before this subdivision of niche was manufactured, both literally and imaginatively, is a long one, with thousands upon thousands of fragrances. The true fragrance lover takes each fragrance one at a time, and examines it preferably outside of the imaginatively manufactured categories and, in doing so, builds up a steady, informed basis for seasoned comparative judgments based on the sampling and information gathered from such sampling. This is why any one on the board who ever has anything particular interesting to say about fragrances as fragrances rather than as categorical constructs always has an abiding interest and passion for all kinds of fragrances and not just a narrow niche of fragrances. Conversely, the "niche whores," the more and more narrow their interests become, the more and more they mimic the ad copy of the very companies they worship. I know whose posts I like to read..."

    “Perfume is decidedly not about two things: it isn’t about memory and it isn’t about sex. Perfume is about beauty and intellect,” .......... “A perfume is a message in a bottle—not a smell—and the message is written by the perfumer and read by the person who smells it.”

  17. #17

    Default Re: Why cumin as a fragrance note?

    Quote Originally Posted by pluran
    It's warm, soft, spicy-musky. Adds a lot of tenacity to fragrances. It's especially masculine, stimulating, increases sexual desire, male fertility, good for fatigue. Erotic, exotic and evocative, stimulates flow of bodily juices while warmly pernetrating the senses of man and woman.
    Very interesting! A friend from old days used to say that dining in Indian restaurants made her feel sexually aroused, so looks like cumin must have been playing its part (not to mention the bring-yer-own alcohol). Thanks so much for the information and for the book recs, too.

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