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Thread: Hyrax Hyraceum

  1. #1

    Default Hyrax Hyraceum

    I got some Hyraceum. Strange aromatic raw material of the antique perfumery, the existence of which I even doubted.
    It is supposed to be fossilized excrements of a rabbit size rat, Hyrax, “small brother of the elephants”, as tribesmen in South Africa call it.
    The raw material is a dark brown charcoal like stone, difficult to brittle, with a smell reminiscent of Ambergris and Castoreum.
    The smell did not seem that much fascinating as a perfume ingredient to me, but going through documentation I learned that it is used as a traditional medicine against epilepsy and this renders it excitingly interesting.
    I tried today to make a tincture and the hardest part is to pulverize it before putting it into alcohol.
    The process of making it into powder revealed a unique note from all most animal scents. It is strongly urinary, while ambergris and particularly Civet Musk have a faecal note.
    This urinary smell seems to take power with the tincturing so much that the initial smell of the raw material seems to disappear completely.
    According to my experience with tincturing animal scents and observing the way Hyraceum rected with alcohol I presume that probably a few weeks will be necessary in order to have a full result of the tincture.
    AbdesSalaam Attar
    www.profumo.it

  2. #2

    Default Re: Hyrax Hyraceum

    Very interesting ingredient! I wonder what they used to combine it with (in small quantities, I assume) and what are your plans for it?? Thanks for posting and let us know how it goes.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Hyrax Hyraceum

    I do not have experience with this material yet.
    As a perfume ingredient it does not seem to me strikingly interesting, a much more fascinating smell of musky urine is obtained from goat hair tincture.
    In any case I am also on the track of the absolute of Hyraceum which might be much better as Castoreum absolute is much better than Castoreum tincture. The most exciting aspect of this material for me is for aromatherapy as an anti-epyleptic remedy.
    In the immediate future I plan to commercialize a second "Kit of Animal Scents" with muskdeer tincture, Goat hair tincture, Hyraceum tincture...
    AbdesSalaam Attar
    www.profumo.it

  4. #4

    Default Re: Hyrax Hyraceum

    Hyraxes seem to be quite average little critters, resembling an over-grown guinea-pig and famous almost solely for being the closest living relative to elephants. They are indeed strange animals.

    A hyrax's brain is like an elephant's, while its stomach is like a horse's. The skeleton, however, is akin to a rhinoceros's. The hind feet are entirely different from these animals, more like a tapir's. Peeking into the mouth of a hyrax, you may recognize similar upper incisors from rodents' teeth, upper cheek teeth from rhino's and the lower cheek teeth like a hippo's. They even have two teeth in their upper jaw that resemble elephant tusks. The overall anatomy of a hyrax, however, is like an elephant's or horse's.

    Hyraceum was used long before perfumers did it. It has been a traditional remedy used in Africa and middle east for thousands of years.
    It is not strange that other animal scents such as Civet, Muskdeer Castoreum and Ambergris belong to all traditional pharmacopeias with the same indications; epilepsy, convulsions and feminine hormonal disorders. All these animal odoriferous substances are in fact Pheromones. Although all animals use largely pheromones in the reproducing process, very few of them, such as Civet, Muskdeer and Castoreum possess a specific gland that produces them in quantity to be expelled in a pure form from their body. Most animals, including humans, expel their pheromones together with sweat, urine and feces.
    Cape hyraxes produce large, communal piles of dung and urine that eventually congeal into a sticky mass which is Hyraceum.

    It is said that perfumery Hyraceum is fossilized, and it is in fact extremely dry and hard like a stone, but I could not ascertain how old is the product, 10 000 years as some say or are just a few years in the dry climate of south Africa sufficient to dry it out so thoroughly.

    The tincture is obtained by infusing the raw material in pure alcohol for a few weeks.
    The smell is akin to Castoreum but has a distinct urinary note that can be found only in goat hair tincture among perfumery materials.

    Hyraceum definitely has an affinity with human beings, as its medical use shows. Its smell as well is not disgusting as one may think, but it could be described as “interesting”, even to unprepared people who not in the least perfumers.
    In fact we are genetically conditioned to react to this type of smells, particularly women who by their nature of mothers have to do “biologically” with children’s urine and excrements.

    Pheromones from different species are not that much different, even those of insects and mammals. This is why we human can be influenced by such substances, and aromatic Hyraceum can certainly participate in the construction of the tri-dimentional perfume.

    http://www.profumo.it/forum/topic.as..._Title=English

    AbdesSalaam Attar
    Composer Perfumer

  5. #5

    Default Re: Hyrax Hyraceum

    holy sh*t! thanks for a fascinating, informative post.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Hyrax Hyraceum

    This material is very earthy and wonderful, not as repulsive as one might associate with excrement. If you've ever smelled fermenting pipe tobacco or good quality labdanum, there is a "poopy" basenote, very rich and resinous, which completes and rounds the accord by bridging gaps in other notes with richness. It's not distinctly fecal or urine, it is more complex than that.

    To my nose hyraceum has a distinct elephanty note, hay and earth and musk of animals, a rich and chewy texture that gives dimension to a composition. This "elephanty" note isn't surprising since the hyrax is the last known living relative of the elephant. If this sounds silly, consider the wild success of L'Artisan Parfumeur's "DZING!" and its animalic/stable/circus/sawdust/caramel corn theme. Wonderful. This material can be an invaluable grounding note for rich fougeres, musks, woody accords and adds an interesting counterpoint to florals to give them an earthy dimension and shouldn't be dismissed on a conceptual notion that it is just poop.

    If you wish to acquire some of this wonderful material in the U.S. it is avaliable at. www.ancientessences.com


    --------------------------------------
    Last edited by jimmyfresno; 8th March 2008 at 12:36 AM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

  7. #7

    Default Re: Hyrax Hyraceum

    I am quite abashed that James Smith, in his eagerness to convince customers to buy his goods, does not hesitate to defame me on this prestigious group.
    I bought the raw material from him and at that time I was also on the tracks of the absolute of Hyraceum.
    James Smith “Mister I know all about Hyraceum”, affirmed that the absolute of this material did not exist and that I was selling a tincture of his material as an absolute, cheating the people.
    Well, Hyraceum absolute exists, I have it, and it is better than the tincture in the same way as the absolute of Castoreum is better than its tincture.
    I am sorry that unlike James Smith I cannot sell the absolute in minute quantities, my dealing with aromatic raw materials is only with professionals of the field for minimum quantities a bit too high for private amateurs.
    AbdesSalaam Attar
    www.profumo.it

  8. #8

    Default Re: Hyrax Hyraceum

    If anyone is interested in seeing these animals, there are a few at the zoo called, "The Living Desert" in Palm Springs, California. They are pretty cute.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Hyrax Hyraceum

    Quote Originally Posted by revoile View Post
    If anyone is interested in seeing these animals, there are a few at the zoo called, "The Living Desert" in Palm Springs, California. They are pretty cute.
    nice, im gonna bring a telescoping poop scooper with me

  10. #10
    beachroses's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hyrax Hyraceum

    How sanitary are these fossilized rat turds you sell? (Honestly, I cannot believe you would put something like that in a fragrance.)
    Last edited by beachroses; 3rd November 2007 at 09:37 PM.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Hyrax Hyraceum

    Actually, this material is quite clean. Since the best material is hundreds of years old from the lower stratum of the communal area where hyraxes void, it becomes a resinous, rich stonelike substance that can only be broken with a hammer. By the time it is found, it does not contain the bacteria from the gut of the animal in any appreciable quantity. Also, the tincturing process further sterilizes it.

    You would have to smell this material to appreciate it. It has an "elephanty" quality to it since Hyraxes are the last remaining relatives of the elephant, even at their small rodent-like size. Still, their diet of grasses and hay gives this an animalic, rich fragrance that is hard to put in words. Yes, it is musky, but it is not musk. It is very useful in rounding floral, herbal, woody, fougere and aldehydic blends to "ground" them. It is not a manure smell in my opinion, but more oud-y.

    I have received quite a demand for this and still have material available at www.ancientessences.com. I will be tincturing more in the near future and will also have that available.

    [email protected]
    Last edited by jimmyfresno; 19th February 2008 at 10:07 PM.

  12. #12
    beachroses's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hyrax Hyraceum

    gross

  13. #13

    Default Re: Hyrax Hyraceum

    Fascinating, but I'm still waiting for at least half-scientific proof that pheromones really work, i.e. increase your chance with the ladies. So far there's only been assumptions, it may work, it works on animals so it should work on humans, it is believed it works, and so on....

    beachroses: I see nothing gross in that, remember, it's being soaked in ethanol for a long time and essentially, just a chemical. Do you know what ambergriss is?

  14. #14

    Default Re: Hyrax Hyraceum

    Not to mention civet!

    Quote Originally Posted by electric View Post
    Fascinating, but I'm still waiting for at least half-scientific proof that pheromones really work, i.e. increase your chance with the ladies. So far there's only been assumptions, it may work, it works on animals so it should work on humans, it is believed it works, and so on....

    beachroses: I see nothing gross in that, remember, it's being soaked in ethanol for a long time and essentially, just a chemical. Do you know what ambergriss is?

  15. #15

    Wink Re: Hyrax Hyraceum

    I'm not sure where all of the hype about pheromones crept into discussion of hyraceum and civet, much less ambergris. True, they "mark" territory, but this has traditionally been useful to show that a dominant colony is already present and to drive AWAY potential male suitors!

    Scientifically, humans and some other mammals are most responsive to androstendione, which is not present in hyraceum or civet. The addition of animalic notes to fragrances to my knowledge has been more for the comfort and cuddly living warmth they yield, not for their ability to have a pheromonic attraction. Ambergris, for god's sake, floats far from the whale that produces it so would have no value if it sent chemical sexual signals years after it was vomited forth.

    I think, relative to hyraceum, civet and ambergris, certain suppliers of these animal products propagated the pheremone myth as an added marketing spin on their products.

    For more information:
    www.ancientessences.com

  16. #16
    beachroses's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hyrax Hyraceum

    Pheromones in fragrance have been attributed to dog attacks. The woman who was mauled to death in her hallway in SF was said to be wearing them. Some fixatives they use mimic these, I'm not sure what they are, but would like to know so I can avoid them.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Hyrax Hyraceum

    I agree, I think the whole pheromones thing has been hyped to death by perfume marketers. This on the other hand, sounds quite interesting:

    Quote Originally Posted by beachroses View Post
    Pheromones in fragrance have been attributed to dog attacks. The woman who was mauled to death in her hallway in SF was said to be wearing them. Some fixatives they use mimic these, I'm not sure what they are, but would like to know so I can avoid them.
    I'd love to see the guys from the 'Mythbusters' tv show put it to the test.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Hyrax Hyraceum

    Quote Originally Posted by jimmyfresno View Post
    [...] hyrax is the last known living relative of the elephant. If this sounds silly, consider the wild success of L'Artisan Parfumeur's "DZING!" T[...]
    Dzing has Hyraceum in it?
    ===
    “… [I] recall thinking that the computer would never advance much further than this. Call me naïve, but I seemed to have underestimated the universal desire to sit in a hard plastic chair and stare at a screen until your eyes cross.” ~ David Sedaris

  19. #19
    beachroses's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hyrax Hyraceum

    You are talking about excrement, I'm not into whale vomit, either. To each their own.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Hyrax Hyraceum

    Sorry to imply that DZING! has hyraceum in it. It doesn't, but it is based on an elephanty-hay-caramel-vanilla-leather-plastic feel. I was more alluding to the idea of elephants not being weird as a "what's this?" note in a composition.

    Hyraceum is wild stuff! It really rounds out leather, spice, florals, woods like sandalwood or oudh, and adds a bit of funky interest and richness. As disgusting as it might sound, it even makes gourmands more delicious, like cocoa and coffee absolutes. If you think of the richness of manure in the cool winter air, or the "poopy" basenote of a pipe tobacco shop, this is the right stuff. It is sort of a rich filler that completes gaps in a composition that has wide open holes in its spectrum of notes, making a continuum of topnotes to basenotes and giving a blend real richness. Even a floral or citrus can be intensified by this note.

    www.ancientessences.com
    --------------------------------------
    Beachrose, the origin of using fecal and urine like smells in perfume can even be found in an old French monograph "La Chimie de l'Odorat," The Chemistry of Odor, which refers to the French tradition of adding some bad to the good, skank to the sublime, to give perfumes the contrast. A symphony of all sweet notes would be boring without some cacaphony and counterpoint. So goes perfume, and so go the musky, fecal, indolic and urine scents.

    www.ancientessences.com
    Last edited by jimmyfresno; 8th March 2008 at 12:53 AM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

  21. #21

    Smile Re: Hyrax Hyraceum

    On Deer musk:

    There was also a scent available on ebay for a while from an indian importer which he called "Like Kasturi," (or "like deer musk.")
    I have NO idea what was in it but it was tremendously animalic and a lot like civet but sweeter and less fecal. I like to use it in some of my custom blends. You can search for it from time to time.
    Last edited by jimmyfresno; 2nd July 2008 at 04:13 AM. Reason: addition

  22. #22

    Default Re: Hyrax Hyraceum

    I'm interested in buying some Hyraceum but I prefer it in an infusion (instead of a tincture) with an oil base such as sandalwood (or which ever oil would complement the smell without deteriorating over time) with the Hyraceum notes being dominant.

    The same for Castoreum & Civet...Any clues?

  23. #23

    Default Re: Hyrax Hyraceum

    Hello, Taz.
    I am a fellow perfumista and importer of hyraceum and beaver castor. (I have a website at www.ancientessences.com)

    The raw materials would be wasted if you tried to infuse them directly in sandalwood oil, but I have successfully made products by infusing pure absolutes of hyraceum and castoreum in sandalwood oil. Basically this would be an attar, except attars are produced by distilling the volatile components of the raw material directly through sandalwood oil rather than adding the absolute later.

    I can make these for you, which might also be an advantage since you can select the type of sandalwood oil you would like and strength of infusion of the raw absolute. The materials are VERY potent, so a small infusion of the absolute in a greater part sandalwood would be quite satisfactory. They do not degrade over time; the sandalwood oil stabilizes and actually improves the blend if it is stored in an airtight brown bottle at a reasonable room temperature.

    The most affordable and ecofriendly would be Australian sandalwood oil. This would be a fine oil to use for this purpose since the nuances of the oil will be blended with the very heavily scented raw materials. Next up would be Vanuatu (New Caledonian, santalum austrocalidonicum) sandalwood oil which I imported directly. This oil more approaches East Indian in its beta santelol content (the desirable component of the sandalwood smell) but it is also slightly more expensive than the easily obtainable Australian. They have stopped exporting it, but I have quite a stock.

    Most expensive and probably cost-prohibitive would be santalum album, East Indian sandalwood oil.

    I can give you a basic breakdown of what I would have to charge for basic quantities in each type, at two levels of concentration:

    Australian Sandalwood with Hyraceum Absolute at 1=8 (eight parts pure sandalwood, one part hyraceum absolute) 1/3 ounce (10 mls) $62 1/2 ounce (15 mls) $80 1 ounce $140
    For Vanuatu Sandalwood oil, add 20%
    For East Indian Sandalwood oil, add 40%
    For a stronger, 1=6 infusion, add 20% to above total

    Australian Sandalwood with Castoreum Absolute at 1=8 (eight parts sandalwood oil, one part castoreum absolute) 1/3 ounce (10 mls) $52 1/2 ounce (15 mls) $70 1 ounce $130

    Same formulas to change oils as listed for Hyraceum.

    I can produce larger quantities at a significant discount but it would take some time to process.

    Shipping to a canadian address would be $20 flat per order.


    Hope this is helpful. Also, just in case you're interested, I currently have saffron infused Australian sandalwood oil, very strongly infused. Same price as the Hyraceum. It is not available in Vanuatu or East Indian sandalwood oil, and it is very, very orange so would need to be diluted way down in order not to stain if used in a perfume.

    Hope this is helpful!

    James Smith, AncientEssences.com

  24. #24

    Default Re: Hyrax Hyraceum

    I've heard of natural musk absolutes which are wonderful but not talked about much and so was piqued to see you mention absolutes for castoreum & hyraceum..Thanks for the response! PM sent
    Last edited by Taz; 2nd July 2008 at 11:01 PM.

  25. #25

    Default Re: Hyrax Hyraceum

    Any reputable sources for hyraceum infusion you guys can recommend?

  26. #26
    Paul Kiler
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    Default Re: Hyrax Hyraceum

    Outline, You REALLY need to get to know the Perfumer's Search Page:

    http://www.perfumersearch.com/

    It has several searches, searching different sites pertinent to that search need, like:

    TGSC Search
    Ingredients Supplier Search
    Odour Lookup Search
    Demonstration Formula Search
    Botanic Ingredients Supplier Search
    IFRA Search
    Blogs Search
    Equipment Suppliers Search

    I found your answer for a Hyraceum supplier on the first entry under Botanic Ingredients Supplier Search...

    I probably use this search 25 time EVERY DAY

    You will profit by using immensely.
    Paul Kiler
    PK Perfumes
    http://www.PKPERFUMES.com
    Gold Medal for "Best Aroma"; Los Angeles Artisan Fragrance Salon

  27. #27

    Default Re: Hyrax Hyraceum

    Thanks Paul. I'm learning every day

  28. #28

    Default Re: Hyrax Hyraceum

    Fascinaing. Keep us posted, please. A urine note?

  29. #29

    Default Re: Hyrax Hyraceum

    Cruelty free odiferous cross between Castoreum and Civet. Not as fascinating as gland secretion of course )

    http://www.enfleurage.com/products/Africa-Stone.html



    According to Duchaufour hyraceum deepens florals. That works for me.
    Last edited by outline; 27th April 2013 at 02:10 AM.

  30. #30

    Default Re: Hyrax Hyraceum

    Quote Originally Posted by DrSmellThis View Post
    Fascinaing. Keep us posted, please. A urine note?
    Yeah, like a cat litter tray.

    Hermitage stock it in the UK.

    http://www.hermitageoils.com/hyraceu...ica-stone-1053

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