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  1. #1

    Default learn what notes you are smelling

    hello all,

    I am new here and have always been very interrested in fragrances, anyways,

    I am curious about where you all learned to detect the subtle notes in fragrances, I would like to know what each of the raw materials smells like or where i could best accomplish this , when somebody says this smells like tonka bean or cordamom?(im sure thats spelled wrong) or the different moss woodsy smells or even stranger things like gun flint and silica,

    i would love to know how to decipher these various ingredients when i am smelling certain fragrances. I would imagine the easy thing to do would be to go out and smell the ones that have certain notes listed but have any of you come across some kind of palate that presents certain smells,

    i remember college chemistry classes with various "essences and esters and such" whatever , but really what is the best way to learn how to identify the certain notes in these fragrances .....thanks

  2. #2

    Default Re: learn what notes you are smelling

    Some are easy - citrus and spice notes can easily be learned from a trip to a local Supermarket! - but some are trickier than others. If there's a place that sells essential oils near you, it might be worth smelling the various bottles ( many places have testers ). Other notes are learned by experiencing them in perfumes that are dominated by them, such as musk ( very few people have ever smelled the real thing ). However, some notes are marketing speak that you needn't bother learning: "pink frosting accord" etc.

  3. #3
    sameasalways's Avatar
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    Default Re: learn what notes you are smelling

    Whats chypre?
    Always remember you are unique; just like everyone else.

  4. #4

    Default Re: learn what notes you are smelling

    Smelling essential oils is very effective for learning notes. I'm just starting to collect essential oils and fragrant oils - started mixing them this arvo

    Chypre usually contains notes of oakmoss, bergamot and labdanum if my memory serves me correctly.

    I'm still trying to work out what exactly it is but you should smell Miss Dior and Mitsouko to help give you an idea of what a chypre is.

  5. #5
    sameasalways's Avatar
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    Default Re: learn what notes you are smelling

    thank you! I looked on google too and saw there are different types. Interesting.
    Always remember you are unique; just like everyone else.

  6. #6

    Default Re: learn what notes you are smelling

    Quote Originally Posted by Galamb_Borong View Post
    such as musk ( very few people have ever smelled the real thing).
    Though those that have, instantly fall in love. The nicest musk I smelt was in India, a musk called Kasturi, it's found in a rare type of Indian deer.

  7. #7

    Default Re: learn what notes you are smelling

    If you want to know what 'iris' smells like, see if you can find a bottle of Hermes Hiris to smell. To me, it has all the bits of Iris that are mentioned in reviews and descriptions - metallic, earthy, warm, rich, fleshy - that I found a bit contradictory. And unfortunately it's the iris root that used in perfumery so you can't just go in and smell the real thing in a florist's.

    Another good method is to go and smell a couple of different things that have the same note you're trying to learn about - so maybe several vanillas or several teas or figs or... you get the idea.

    I'm sure there's a really good link to a thread or webpage on doing exactly this that's been posted here by Quarry or Dimples or Twolf or another one of the experienced ladies (oh, no, I mean that in a perfume way not anything else!)(I have to say that quickly or Mike Perez and the Perfumafia will come round and do something dreadful to me. Like spritz me with Paris Hilton's Can Can...)
    "A woman who doesn't wear perfume has no future." Coco Chanel

    I'm streamlining my collection http://community.basenotes.net/showt...29#post1219729

  8. #8

    Default Re: learn what notes you are smelling

    Paris Hilton will probably spray you with her own can if you get close enough.

    Sorry, that was a bit of a cheap shot.

    Which is what you could also say about - no, I am stopping now.

    Er, what I meant was, I am still trying to distinguish between galbanum and oakmoss, which isn't easy, because they seem to travel together. Any tips from the pros?
    Last edited by zatarain; 8th January 2008 at 08:05 PM.
    Behemoth cut a slice of pineapple, salted it, peppered it, ate it, and then tossed off a second glass of alcohol so dashingly that everyone applauded.

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