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  1. #1

    Default Note discernment training - please contribute

    I was thinking the other day: what are some notes that every fragrance lover should be able to discern? I decided that I wanted (more so needed) to internalize every popular note out there - at least the texture of them.

    Despite smelling hundreds and hundreds of fragrances, I never sat down to really educate myself what I was actually smelling. I never for once took time to associate a smell to its parent. Embarrassingly and humbly I admit after all this time, I don't know what I'm smelling half the time beyond the basics like: lavender, tuberose, vetiver, jasmine, leather, sandalwood, etc. I admit to having more head knowledge (Polge of Chanel and his aldehydes and Creed using ambergris) than nose knowledge, but I'd love to really get this down and understand what aldehydes and ambergris smell like.

    I thought it would be helpful to come up with a list of notes and the fragrances that have that dominating note. If you want to learn what tuberose is… smell Frederic Malle’s Carnal Flower. If you want to learn what iris is about, smell SL's Iris Silver Mist and so on. It is obvious that one can go to an essential oil store for this education as well.

    I understand on the chemical level that there are many renditions (there are 100-150 species of roses) of a single note plus you have the whole synthetic and non-synthetic arena to talk about, but this is all for basic education. It would be useful to include some educational facts (I know very little botany but ie. “Anise bears a strong family resemblance to the members of the carrot family, that includes dill, fennel, coriander, cumin and caraway. Many of these relatives have been described as having a licorice flavour, to some extent, but anise is the true taste of licorice. [http://theepicentre.com/Spices/anise.html]”) and additional outlets (where) to experience some of these notes.

    Absinthe -
    Agarwood –
    Aldehydes –
    Amber -
    Ambergris –
    Angelica -
    Anise –
    Basil -
    Bergamot -
    Birch –
    Cardamom -
    Castoreum –
    Cedar -
    Chamomile -
    Civet –
    Coriander -
    Cypress -
    Eucalyptus -
    Fennel -
    Frankincense -
    Gaiac Wood -
    Gardenia -
    Geranium -
    Ginger –
    Grapefruit -
    Hawthorn -
    Heliotrope -
    Hibiscus -
    Hyssop -
    Jasmine -
    Juniper Berry -
    Labdanum -
    Lavender -
    Lemon -
    Lilac -
    Lime -
    Muguet -
    Myrrh –
    Neroli -
    Oakmoss -
    Opopanax -
    Orchid -
    Oudh -
    Patchouli -
    Peony -
    Rosemary -
    Rosemary -
    Rum -
    Sage -
    Sandalwood -
    Thyme -
    Tonka -
    Tuberose -
    Verbena -
    Vetiver -
    Violet -
    White Musk -
    Ylang-ylang -

    Calone, linalool, coumarin, salicylates
    etc.

    Please include some other widely used notes that I may have missed.

    *** Perhaps this can one day become a sticky in the "starting out" section. I and future readers of this post thank you.
    Last edited by scentophile; 8th November 2007 at 05:42 PM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Note discernment training - please contribute

    Could you alphabetise your list? It'd make it easier to contribute...

  3. #3

    Default Re: Note discernment training - please contribute

    Quote Originally Posted by leopoldo View Post
    Could you alphabetise your list? It'd make it easier to contribute...
    Done!

  4. #4

    Default Re: Note discernment training - please contribute

    What is "white musk", exactly? Also, birch can vary quite a bit. Sweet birch is wintergreen-ish, and white birch is made both into birch bud and birch tar, both of which smell different. Orchid might be similarly problematic is defining as one note.
    There are some citrus notes that might fit in nicely in that list: lime, grapefruit, lemon.
    Great idea!

  5. #5

    Default Re: Note discernment training - please contribute

    Aldehydes – K de Krizia, Chanel No. 5, White Linen
    Amber - Ambre Precieux by MPG, Ambre Sultan by Lutens
    Ambergris – Eau de Merveilles by Hermes
    Ambrette Seed - No. 18 by Chanel
    Angelica - Angelique Sous La Pluis by Malle
    Basil - Baime by MPG
    Bergamot - Divine Bergamot by The Different Company
    Blackberry - Mure et Musc by L'Artisan
    Black Currant - Silver Mountain Water by Creed
    Calone - L'Eau D'Issey by Miyake, Escape by Calvin Klein
    Carnation - Bellodgia by Caron, Carnation by CDG
    Cedar - Bois series by Lutens, Cedre by Lutens, Feminite du Bois by Shiseido
    Cherry Blossom - Various Cherry Blossom editions from Guerlain
    Cinnamon - Rousse by Lutens, Cinnamon by CDG
    Civet – Jicky by Guerlain, Rose Poivree by TDC
    Dihydromercenol - Cool Water
    Fig - Marc Jacobs for Men, Premier Figuier by L'Artisan
    Fern - Rive Gauche Pour Homme by YSL
    Flour - Bois Farine by L'Artisan
    Gardenia - Marc Jacobs
    Grapefruit - Pamplelune by Guerlain, Un Jardin Sur Le Nil by Hermes
    Hedione - Odour 53 by CDG
    Hyacinth - Jacinthe de Bois by L'Artisan
    Ionones - Apres L'Ondee by Guerlain, Bois de Violette by Lutens
    Iso E Super - Escentric Molecules, Declaration by Cartier
    Iris - Iris Silver Mist by Lutens, Bois D'Iris by The Different Company, Iris Bleu Gris by MPG, Infusion D'Iris by Prada
    Jasmin - A La Nuit by Lutens, Jasmin Full by Montale
    Kiwi - Tutti Kiwi by Guerlain
    Lavender - English Lavender by Yardley, Anti-Hero by Etat Libre
    Leather - Cabochard by Gres, Cuir de Russie by Chanel, Bandit by Piguet, Antaeus by Chanel
    Lemon - Lemon Sorbet by Etro
    Lilac - En Passant by Malle
    Lily - Un Lys by Lutens, Lys Mediteranee by Malle
    Lily of the Valley - Diorissimo by Dior
    Mandarin - Mandarine Tout Simplement by L'Artisan, Mandarine Basalic by Guerlain
    Mint - Mint/Peppermint by CDG, Menthe Fraiche by Heeley
    Musk - Muscs Koublai Khan by Lutens, Original Musk by Kiehls, Musc Ravageur by Malle
    Neroli/Orange Blossom - Castile by Penhaligon's, Fleurs D'Oranger by Lutens, Fleurs D'Oranger by L'Artisan
    Orange - Eau D'Orange Verte by Hermes
    Osmanthus - Osmanthus by The Different Company, Osmanthe Yunnan by Hermes
    Patchouli - Patchouli by Etro
    Peach - Mitsouko by Guerlain, Bois et Fruits by Lutens
    Pepper - Poivre Samarcande by Hermes, Poivre Piquant by L'Artisan
    Pineapple - Ananas Fizz by L'Artisan
    Rhubarb - Rhubarb by CDG
    Rose - Nahema by Guerlain, Une Rose by Malle
    Sandalwood - Santal Blanc by Lutens
    Tea - Tea by CDG, The Verte by Bvlgari, The Pour Un Ete by L'Artisan
    Tobacco - Jasmin & Cigarette by Etat Libre
    Tuberose - Tubereuse Criminelle by Lutens, Carnal Flower by Malle, Fracas by Piguet
    Vetiver - Vetiver Extraordinaire by Malle, Vetiver by Lorenzo V.
    Violet - Meteorites by Guerlain, Violette Verte by L'Artisan, Grey Flannel
    White Musk - Clair de Musc by Lutens
    Yuzu - Yuzu Rouge by Parfums 06130
    Last edited by Dane; 13th November 2007 at 06:43 PM.

  6. #6

    Smile Re: Note discernment training - please contribute

    Perfume.com, has done that for us. Click on search by scent. I would venture to say that a Perfumer, or "Nose'', deal's with many more than are listed here.Click on note, and that will lead you to a frag. Mostly Designer frag's. Hope this help's!

  7. #7

    Default Re: Note discernment training - please contribute

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron199 View Post
    Perfume.com, has done that for us. Click on search by scent. I would venture to say that a Perfumer, or "Nose'', deal's with many more than are listed here.Click on note, and that will lead you to a frag. Mostly Designer frag's. Hope this help's!
    www.perfume.com? I don't think it's the right link.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Note discernment training - please contribute

    wow good question!

  9. #9

    Default Re: Note discernment training - please contribute

    Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and sorry I could not travel both and be one traveler, long I stood and looked down one as far as I could to where it bent in the undergrowth; Then took the other, as just as fair, ...... I shall be telling this with a sigh somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I -- I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference. - Robert Frost

  10. #10

    Default Re: Note discernment training - please contribute

    go to one of my favorite blogs...

    perfumeposse.com

    There they have perfume 101 and 102 classes you can click on and list a lot of the notes you mentioned and lists of fragrances which highlight these notes. One other quick note... when I smell a note I try to picture it with a literal image so that when my nose and brain pick it up in something else, that image comes to mind even when the note is well hidden. It sounds infantile but it works

    p.s. Sofresh, not to brown nose but that is a great and thoughtful list you've put there. Thanks!
    Last edited by nthny; 8th November 2007 at 08:11 PM.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Note discernment training - please contribute

    Quote Originally Posted by TwoRoads View Post
    I think we can make a better list than them. They'll (obviously) only include the matching scent that they sell...as opposed to the best representation for the note.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Note discernment training - please contribute

    Quote Originally Posted by TwoRoads View Post
    Got it. Thanks. But I could have easily done this with a basenotes search. And honestly, I looked at the list and it isn't what I'm looking for. I'm looking for scents that has that one dominating, shining note.
    --------------------------------------
    Quote Originally Posted by sofresh View Post
    I think we can make a better list than them. They'll (obviously) only include the matching scent that they sell...as opposed to the best representation for the note.
    Right on! You slid this post in before I pressed post.

    Btw. I loved your list. This is exactly what I'm looking for. I'll be off with this list to the fragrance shops this weekend. Thanks!
    Last edited by scentophile; 8th November 2007 at 08:20 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

  13. #13

    Default Re: Note discernment training - please contribute

    Anyone serious about fragrances would get a kick out of sampling essential oils. Get some samples of real essences and absolutes from places like libertynatural.com or Eden Botanicals or some other company that sells samples for cheap. I never knew half of what I was smelling in fragrances until I started getting into perfumery myself and amassed a collection of fragrance materials (I have a cabinet full of oils, tinctures, absolutes, resins, etc.)

    It adds a whole new element, and lets you start "thinking" in smells after lots of practice. I can "think" lavender or gaiacwood now, just like I can imagine the colour red, or a musical note. This is part of how perfumers compose a fragrance, by smelling with their mind instead of just the nose.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Note discernment training - please contribute

    Quote Originally Posted by Maxwell View Post
    Anyone serious about fragrances would get a kick out of sampling essential oils. Get some samples of real essences and absolutes from places like libertynatural.com or Eden Botanicals or some other company that sells samples for cheap. I never knew half of what I was smelling in fragrances until I started getting into perfumery myself and amassed a collection of fragrance materials (I have a cabinet full of oils, tinctures, absolutes, resins, etc.)

    It adds a whole new element, and lets you start "thinking" in smells after lots of practice. I can "think" lavender or gaiacwood now, just like I can imagine the colour red, or a musical note. This is part of how perfumers compose a fragrance, by smelling with their mind instead of just the nose.
    Agreed completely....that's how I learned. For those who don't have access to many oils or would rather smell compositions, this is a fun way to do it.

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