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  1. #1

    Default What is this note? (Answer: Juniper Berry!)

    OK, so now I've smelled this mystery note yet again and it's starting to drive me a little crazy to know what it is. It's probably a very common note that someone can tell me, but I've never encountered it in anything except cologne thus far.

    It's the predominant note in the following colognes, making them virtually interchangeable fragrances to my nose:

    Tommy for Men
    Michael Jordan Original
    OS Old Spice Signature
    Abercrombie & Fitch Cologne 41
    American Classic Blue (discontinued at Sally Beauty Supply)
    Very Cool by Tommy Bahama
    Kenneth Cole Original (and Reaction!)
    Very Sexy for Him 2
    Adidas
    Adidas Moves
    Curve Original by Liz Claiborne
    Mustang Blue
    Donald Trump Cologne
    Playboy Miami
    Hollister California
    Eddie Bauer Adventurer II

    I detect it in the following colognes, but to a lesser extent (but enough to tank them for me)

    Abercrombie & Fitch Proof
    Giorgio Red for Men (very mild, but it's definitely in there)
    Happy for Men by Clinique (barely detectable to my nose)

    The note smells a little like mushrooms maybe? It's a bit foul. Is it an aquatic? I'm really confused and would love someone who has smelled some or all of them to comment.

    Thanks!

    *EDIT* As first suggested below by SirSlarty and confirmed by many others, it is most likely Juniper Berry. Interestingly enough though, DK Men (Fuel) is in my Top 5 all time favorite fragrances and Juniper is listed as one of the notes! Luckily I don't smell it at all in that one!
    Last edited by atrac; 5th November 2008 at 02:24 AM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: What is this note?

    My guess is that it's juniper berry.

  3. #3

    Default Re: What is this note?

    Quote Originally Posted by SirSlarty View Post
    My guess is that it's juniper berry.
    You may be right. I was so quick to post after just smelling the Michael Jordan original that I didn't bother to check the notes on here for it.

    The other colognes don't have or have it listed in their pyramid, but Very Sexy Him 2 and MJ do.

    I am going to check out some other colognes with it listed in their pyramid to see if that's it.

    Thanks!

  4. #4

    Default Re: What is this note?

    How clever.

    Edit: Well, I just saw that you've asked about this before. I was being a bit touchy and automatically assumed this thread was a knock on me and my thread with the nearly identical name since the wording and structure was so similar, and it also pointed out some of the 'flaws' in my post (lack of deep research, posting quickly and a bit impulsively, etc.) I guess I've grown cynical, probably from too much time on other forums where this kind of thing runs rampant, and assumed the worst, hence my initial response. My apologies if the intention of your thread was genuine.
    Last edited by SculptureOfSoul; 8th March 2008 at 03:20 AM.
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  5. #5

    Default Re: What is this note?

    Oh, I assure you it's a genuine request. The note is driving me crazy because it seems that a lot of people actually like the smell and I find it bordering on repugnant. I want to know what it is so I can avoid any future encounters with it.

    It is very odd that we have *VERY* similar thread titles. In fact when I came back to check on responses I clicked on your thread and became quite confused.

  6. #6

    Default Re: What is this note?

    I'm home now so I can post a thought after smelling something. I have some Creed - Baie de Genièvre which is almost pure juniper berry in its top note. It smell "repugnant" so to speak. I don't have the other scents you originally mentioned but it's got to be juniper berry since it's the most common of all the mentioned scents.
    Last edited by SirSlarty; 8th March 2008 at 03:06 AM.

  7. #7

    Default Re: What is this note?

    Crap. I tried Tommy Bahama Very Cool on a tester card the other day. I *briefly* smelled "the note," but it went away fast (to the point where I thought I had imagined it). So I ended up loving the smell on the card and bought some last night.

    I applied it today...and there it is again. That note, possibly juniper berry. And unlike on the card, it does not disappear quickly from my skin. Dang! I can't escape it!!!!!

    So basically every cologne I have listed in my original post is interchangeable in my opinion (except for Proof since the note is barely "visable," but there).
    Last edited by atrac; 21st March 2008 at 07:20 PM.

  8. #8

    Default Re: What is this note?

    Well, juniper berry doesn't really smell like mushrooms. It's more pine like, although with a lighter 'turpentine' note. It's really quite evocative of the smell of gin.

    The only one of those listed I"ve smelled is Old Spice OS, and I definitely don't remember their being anything that smelled of mushrooms. My guess is that it's a particular cheap synthetic chemical that you are having the negative reaction with (which seems to be a fair guess considering the fact it's appearing in many 'cheaper' fragrances.)
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  9. #9

    Default Re: What is this note?

    Escada Sentiment PH also features Gin Juniper as a predominant note. Perhaps give this a smell, and see whether it matches those notes you are enjoying.

  10. #10

    Default Re: What is this note?

    Updated with Kenneth Cole Original and Giorgio Red for Men.

    I haven't had a chance to try Escada Sentiment PH yet.

    Does anyone own more than one from my above list that can smell each one and see what I mean?
    Last edited by atrac; 28th May 2008 at 03:17 AM.

  11. #11

    Default Re: What is this note?

    Then you will probably roll your eyes smelling Guerlain Coriolan: immortelle and juniper berries at the n-th power

  12. #12

    Default Re: What is this note?

    The problem with juniper is that its smell seems so ordinary and 'sporty' - see this list of fragrances that contain it: http://www.basenotes.net/fragrancedi...?notes=juniper - it counts Adidas, Adidas Moves and Adidas Team Force. I mean, which perfume lover would ever buy those?

    When I first smelled Coriolan, I thought 'this can't be a Guerlain!' - you have to wait half an hour to get to the heroic character of Coriolan (but then it sure comes).

  13. #13
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    Default Re: What is this note?

    Juniper berry notes smell like gin to my nose - not like mushrooms.

    Maybe it is not just the juniper berries, but also the other notes that are blended with the juniper berries. I wear and love Baie de Geneivre by Creed, but it's clever use of cinnamon leaves mixed with the juniper is much more clean, distilled and slightly spicy/aromatic. I'm assuming that the fragrances you listed above handle their juniper berry notes MUCH differently, using synthetic aquatics, calone, etc.

    I am not saying that you shouldn't like juniper berry. By all means, all of us have notes that annoy our nose. I personally cannot stand the smell of saffron. However, I have also learned that in certain scents the saffron note is blended in such a way, that the saffron is there (with the other notes) but it's not offensive. Other times it is the only thing I smell, and I hate it. So perhaps in many instances it's my hatred of saffron that turns me off. And other times, it's the way that it's blended that turns me off.

    I hope that makes sense...
    Last edited by mikeperez23; 28th May 2008 at 04:21 PM.
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  14. #14

    Default Re: What is this note?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Guerlain View Post
    The problem with juniper is that its smell seems so ordinary and 'sporty' - see this list of fragrances that contain it: http://www.basenotes.net/fragrancedi...?notes=juniper - it counts Adidas, Adidas Moves and Adidas Team Force. I mean, which perfume lover would ever buy those?
    Bingo! Ding Ding! It just HAS to be Juniper Berry. I realized that I have small bottles of Adidas and Moves left over from a gift purchase and I just tried them out -- there's that smell again!

    Dimitrios put it best when he said it smells like a "rotten sulfer smell." Several have mentioned it reminds them of Gin and being practically a non-drinker, that is a smell that makes me ill.

    At any rate, I'm not going to be afraid of it -- when I can't detect it or like what mikeperez23 says "it blends well." Like I edited my original post to say, DK Men (Fuel) is one of my Top 5 favorite scents and apparently Juniper Berry is in it.
    Last edited by atrac; 28th May 2008 at 08:07 PM.

  15. #15

    Default Re: What is this note? (Answer: Juniper Berry!)

    I think ScupltureOfSoul is right. Changes are that it's NOT juniper berry at all, but rather some chemical used in cheap to mid priced fragrances to mimic certain aspects of real juniper berry...
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  16. #16

    Default Re: What is this note? (Answer: Juniper Berry!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Domingo View Post
    I think ScupltureOfSoul is right. Changes are that it's NOT juniper berry at all, but rather some chemical used in cheap to mid priced fragrances to mimic certain aspects of real juniper berry...
    That is quite possible -- and is probably the case. It's kind of like the various Orange Sodas that are sold. They are called "Orange" yet actually do not contain any fruit juice.

  17. #17

    Default Re: What is this note?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dimitri View Post
    Escada Sentiment PH also features Gin Juniper as a predominant note. Perhaps give this a smell, and see whether it matches those notes you are enjoying.
    I hadn't noticed it, but now that you mention it, there IS a hefty juniper note in Sentiment PH-- and it's really good. Juniper is one of those notes, like cypress, that a lot of people don't pick out right away-- unlike easy notes like vetiver, rose, etc. It sometimes takes a lot of cross referencing to pick out these notes and get a feel for them. I never used to be able to immediately pick out cardamom, but after wearing Creed Epicea, Chanel Pour Monsieur Concentree, Prada Amber Pour Homme, and Emporio Armani-- all very different scents-- I can easily spot cardamom now.

    I love Baie de Genievre. Most people will notice the cinnamon without really realizing just what all the juniper berry contributes to this fragrance. I remember the day I went to a mall to buy Guerlain Vetiver Extreme-- as I was walking out of the exit, toward the parking lot I noticed some evergreen shrubbery along the sidewalk. I looked closely and saw little purple berries on the shrubs. They were juniper berries. I picked a few and mashed them into my palm and it was just the most beautiful smell. I guess that explains why I'm a gin martini person, and I feel sorry for those who drink vodkatinis.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: What is this note? (Answer: Juniper Berry!)

    Congrats atrac - on your note hunting expedition. This is one of the reasons why I love Basenotes! Where else can one get help on fragrance notes that we love (or hate) besides BN?
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  19. #19

    Default Re: What is this note? (Answer: Juniper Berry!)

    Is the mystery note also present in Hermes Rocabar?
    That one is vanilla and juniper berries.

    Tim

  20. #20

    Default Re: What is this note?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Guerlain View Post
    The problem with juniper is that its smell seems so ordinary and 'sporty' - see this list of fragrances that contain it: http://www.basenotes.net/fragrancedi...?notes=juniper - it counts Adidas, Adidas Moves and Adidas Team Force. I mean, which perfume lover would ever buy those?

    When I first smelled Coriolan, I thought 'this can't be a Guerlain!' - you have to wait half an hour to get to the heroic character of Coriolan (but then it sure comes).
    it's true that usually juniper is used for its corroborating and balsamic character, close to a bitter mint, but if usually it is emphasized in sporty scents for the ozonic, metallic and fresh side, in coriolan is imphasized for its dryness and green bitterness, like a knife opposed to the smoother, mat immortelle which pairs for the dry feel but in a totally opposite way. And for sure the mat greeness of the drydown cannot drive you anywhere else but chez Guerlain

  21. #21

    Default Re: What is this note? (Answer: Juniper Berry!)

    I'm a fan of juniper too. Its a sharp crisp and fresh note.
    Juniper Berry (the species available in my country) itself has a kind of dark brown crust and inside it, there is a green material, which has a very sharp, uplifting, crispy smell.
    Dreamer by Versace was my romantic wearing choice for many years, because of the nice combination of Tobacco and Juniper.
    The most beautiful part of Very Sexy for him 2 is the presence of Juniper IMO. Also I'm in love with XS (and Himalaya), because the general effect of its scent is similar to the natural juniper(Clean, Crisp, Fresh and Energizing), but less Green.

  22. #22

    Default Re: What is this note? (Answer: Juniper Berry!)

    For what it's worth I wouldn't automatically avoid any frag with juniper berry listed in the notes. I guarantee you a good, authentic - or unlikely to find natural - juniper berry note is nothing like what you described and is quite enjoyable.
    Last edited by SculptureOfSoul; 7th August 2008 at 11:25 AM.
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  23. #23
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    Default Re: What is this note? (Answer: Juniper Berry!)

    If I remember correctly, the one frag based exclusively on juniper is Fred Hayman's Hollywood. I have never smelled anything quite like it. If you love juniper, this is a low cost must have.

  24. #24

    Default Re: What is this note? (Answer: Juniper Berry!)

    Quote Originally Posted by stuigi View Post
    If I remember correctly, the one frag based exclusively on juniper is Fred Hayman's Hollywood. I have never smelled anything quite like it. If you love juniper, this is a low cost must have.
    Hey, good call! I remember trying to figure out what it was in Hollywood that I liked so much. It was almost piney, but not quite. Juniper-- of course. I also get a movie theater butter note out of Hollywood (clever imagery) and a touch of a strawberry note. Hideously tacky bottle, but actually a good scent.

  25. #25

    Default Re: What is this note? (Answer: Juniper Berry!)

    I sampled Clinique's Happy last week and found that I liked it a lot. A nice clean, citrus smelling frag.

    I came across it yesterday for a fairly cheap price at Loehman's, so I bought it. I applied it tonight and my heart completely sank -- I smell a fairly strong Juniper Berry note in it. Noooo!!!!!

    Interestingly enough, I do NOT see it listed in the notes pyramid on this site, nor does anyone mention it in any of the reviews listed for it.

    So I wonder, am I just going MAD? Am I being haunted by Juniper Berry?? Or, is the note pyramid for this frag just not as accurate is it could be?

    I wonder why I didn't smell it from the tester I used? The same thing happened to me when I sampled Tommy Bahama Very Cool. It's starting to get a little annoying!

    This ALL started when I smelled OS Signature from Old Spice and was repulsed by it. That frag definitely reeks of it (the strongest of any I've smelt) and, interestingly enough, Juniper Berry is also not listed in the note pyramid for it on here.
    Last edited by atrac; 14th June 2008 at 12:22 PM.

  26. #26

    Default Re: What is this note? (Answer: Juniper Berry!)

    I tried Donald Trump Cologne this evening at T.J. Maxx.....ugh, there it is again!!! I'm surprised that the fragrance tanked, since "that note" is so strong in it. I mean, it practically smells just like Michael Jordan Original or Kenneth Cole signature!

    It must be because no one was thrilled with the perception of smelling like Mr. Trump!

  27. #27
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    Default Re: What is this note? (Answer: Juniper Berry!)

    Im with atrac on this topic .
    I smell it clearly in Giorgio Red , Grigio Perla , K Cole & more recently in Bob Mackie and a few others I can't remember .
    I don't like it & I have no idea yet what the note is .


    ** I just checked & to my nose both
    Eau Du Grey Flannell & Carlo Corinto Rouge
    have that note too .
    Last edited by Dimitrios; 7th August 2008 at 11:03 AM.

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  28. #28

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    Default Re: What is this note? (Answer: Juniper Berry!)

    If you want to know what real juniper berry smells like, I would suggest Baie de Genievre from Creed.

  29. #29

    Default Re: What is this note? (Answer: Juniper Berry!)

    Or pick up a bottle of juniper berry essential oil and, even better, juniper berry C02 extract (this smells more like the actual berry, brighter, and alive).

    Much cheaper than a Creed, and nothing smells more like juniper berry than well, juniper berry.

  30. #30

    Default Re: What is this note? (Answer: Juniper Berry!)

    (I posted this in another thread but I think it's more suitable in this one, considering the note!):



    Caswell-Massey Gin shower gel. It's made with natural Juniper Berry. It was $7.99 for a huge bottle. For some reason I passed on it -- here's my chance to try something closer to the original. I'll have to go back and buy a bottle.

    The packaging alone should have made me buy it -- I love when colognes or shower/bath products have that "old fashioned" look to them.

  31. #31
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    Default Re: What is this note? (Answer: Juniper Berry!)

    Hi sculpt & mike .. I did just that smelled by bottle of juniperberry & also been sampling the Creed which by the way is fantastic !
    I think the problem i share with atrac is probable a combo of notes ...... the investigation continues .

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  32. #32

    Default Re: What is this note? (Answer: Juniper Berry!)

    Quote Originally Posted by atrac View Post
    (I posted this in another thread but I think it's more suitable in this one, considering the note!):



    Caswell-Massey Gin shower gel. It's made with natural Juniper Berry. It was $7.99 for a huge bottle. For some reason I passed on it -- here's my chance to try something closer to the original. I'll have to go back and buy a bottle.

    The packaging alone should have made me buy it -- I love when colognes or shower/bath products have that "old fashioned" look to them.
    Juniper berries? Really? I can't stand the stuff. Though, I swear I've had gin from something like that big plastic bottle before. It probably costs the same amount as well. In addition, I abhor Gin (though not from the aforementioned experience). Oh college...

  33. #33

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    Default Re: What is this note? (Answer: Juniper Berry!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Dimitrios View Post
    Hi sculpt & mike .. I did just that smelled by bottle of juniperberry & also been sampling the Creed which by the way is fantastic !
    I think the problem i share with atrac is probable a combo of notes ...... the investigation continues .

    Yeah, the Baie de Genievre smells like a freshly made gin and tonic. I've never smelled anything quite like it.

  34. #34

    Default Re: What is this note? (Answer: Juniper Berry!)

    I went back today to T.J. Maxx and just smelled the bottle of Gin Bath Gel. It doesn't smell anything like the stench I've mentioned in this thread. This bottle had more of a lemon/citrus smell to it. I passed (again) on it because it wasn't really that much different than a regular lemon shower gel.

  35. #35

    Default Re: What is this note? (Answer: Juniper Berry!)

    Well, gin is open to interpretation anyway, and when you're talking bath products, even moreso. Juniper should always be in real gin, but not necessarily in a shower gel, and citrus could definitely be more prominent.

    I agree that juniper oil is one option. If you have a homebrew supply shop or a good spice shop near you, you can just go pick up some whole juniper berries. Crack one in half and you'll know if that's the note you hate. I tend to agree with some of the above posts that you may hate the cheaper synthetics that might be used to recreate this note. Even in gin, though, real juniper has to be treated right, or it comes across as harsh and - oddly - perfumey. I used to hate gin because I'd only tried cheap gin. Properly dealt with, juniper is a delightful scent, piney without being reedy.

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