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  1. #1

    Default Note Identification Project - Please Join In!

    The Note Identification Project

    Welcome to another zany experiment.

    In early June, you are invited to explore fragrance notes with us.

    Those of you who wish to do so, obtain raw materials (natural or synthetic), and post your impressions for everyone to discuss.

    Here is my list:



    Bergamot
    Neroli
    Mandarin
    Orange
    Pink Grapefruit
    Lime
    Lemongrass

    Juniper Berry
    Lavendar
    Spearmint
    Virginia Cedar

    Orange Blossom
    Rose de Mai
    Rose
    Rose (synthetic)
    Jasmine Grandiflora
    Jasmine Sambac

    Champaca
    Genet/Broom
    Linden Blossom
    Geranium
    Tuberose

    Galbanum
    Atlas Cedar
    Orris Root
    Clary Sage
    Vetiver
    Patchouli

    Violet Leaf
    Oakmoss
    Oakmoss (synthetic)
    Mate
    Tobacco
    Oud
    Hay

    Fennel
    Galangal
    Cardamom
    Cinnamon Leaf
    Clove Bud

    Methyl laitone (synthetic, creamy)
    Nectaryl (synthetic peach/apricot)

    Myrrh (tincture)
    Opoponax (tincture)
    Olibanum (tincture)
    Copal (tincture)
    Pine Resin (tincture)

    Civet (synthetic)
    Castoreum (synthetic)
    Ambrettolide (synthetic musk)
    Habanolide (synthetic musk)
    Velvione (synthetic musk)

    Javanol (synthetic sandalwood)
    Sandalore (synthetic sandalwood)

    Vanilla
    Ethyl vanillin (synthetic)
    Vanillin (synthetic)

    Peru Balsam
    Tolu Balsam (synthetic)
    Siam Benzoin
    Labdanum




    I lack these: Ambrette Seed, Angelica, Basil, Beeswax, Blackcurrent, Boronia, Cassie, Chamomile, Coriander, Hyssop, Hyacinth, Kewda, Lemon, Lotus, Osmanthus, Petitgrain, Rosemary, Rosewood, Spikenard, Ylang Ylang, and many others.

    So, grab some. Get on board. Who knows where we'll go?
    Last edited by purplebird7; 2nd February 2009 at 12:09 AM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Note Identification Project - Please Join In!

    I would like to join if it also applies outside the States.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Note Identification Project - Please Join In!

    I'll be joining the fray with some stream of conciousness type notes I've taken while sniffing various aromatics for the first (or first couple) times. Actually, this is good as it'll motivate me to resniff some that I haven't given a fair chance or accurately taken notes of.
    ***For sale:

    Iris Pallida 50ml

    Ungaro I 75ml

    and more!
    - http://www.basenotes.net/threads/301...n-Man-and-more

  4. #4

    Default Re: Note Identification Project - Please Join In!

    Ooh awesome. I'll join in! I don't have very much - a few fragrance oils and essential oils but I have suspicions that the essential oils are fragrance oils. Except the petitgrain... that's definitely essential oil!

    Also have Sumatra Benzoin (hmm should have gotten Siam Benzoin too for comparison), a few dried flowers and Mum's spice cupboard Awhile ago I found a little bookshop selling a bunch of resins, leaves and dried flowers... should go back and find it.

    Great idea Purplebird!

  5. #5

    Default Re: Note Identification Project - Please Join In!

    It's defintely important to dilute the raw botanicals to say, 10 or 20% (something uniform amongst all of them) and smell them on the skin, as some change quite rapidly (galbanum for instance.)

    Heh, do we have to wait until June? I've got too many to post - one a day would take months.
    ***For sale:

    Iris Pallida 50ml

    Ungaro I 75ml

    and more!
    - http://www.basenotes.net/threads/301...n-Man-and-more

  6. #6

    Default Re: Note Identification Project - Please Join In!

    Lol I like to sniff natural materials... can then try to identify notes better. Man, I have a long way to go!

    Yeah I think this could be an ongoing thing?

  7. #7

    Default Re: Note Identification Project - Please Join In!

    I'm so excited! I've got company!
    Sure, use whatever you have. Essential oils or perfume oils--it doesn't matter. Naturals or synthetics--it doesn't matter. Spice cabinet, flower garden--anything you have.
    As long as you can name the note and describe it (pull out your thesaurus, it's time for the adjective challenge) or compare it to something else, you're in the game.

    Let's discuss:

    What notes do you like? We're used to talking about what perfume compositions we like, but this will help us pinpoint why we are drawn to certain perfumes or olfactory families.

    Why do you think perfumers these particular notes? (Because they are salty, bitter, fresh; they balance out the florals, adds sweetness, open up the fragrance.)

    About dilution, yes, I'm going to dilute mine in Everclear in perfume vials. I think 10% should be enough of a dilution. Some can be smelled full strength.

    However, if you plan to put them on skin, they need to follow some rules:

    This is a list of essential oils from the Good Scents Company. Click on each one, and it will give you a reference sheet with the recommended maximum amount for each oil. Example:
    recommendation for ambrette seed oil usage levels up to :
    0.5000 % in the fragrance concentrate.

    http://www.thegoodscentscompany.com/essentlx.html


    I might give in and start later this month, but this week is definitely too busy. Besides, we need to give people time to accumulate some samples. Thanks.
    Last edited by purplebird7; 13th May 2008 at 01:28 PM.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Note Identification Project - Please Join In!

    Hi purplebird,

    I have a large stash of essential oils, so will probably join you when I am able to. I do not have all the same ones in your list, but have quite a bit of overlap.

    My experience with the oils has mostly been to dilute in a carrier oil--this is an acceptable way to dilute for wearing on the skin. The best oil that will not impart a scent of its own is jojoba, which is available in most health food stores.
    Last edited by Asha; 13th May 2008 at 03:32 PM.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Note Identification Project - Please Join In!

    Yep. There's the jojoba school and the alcohol school.
    People seem to prefer one or the other. The only problem with jojoba is that absolutes and resins will not dissolve in it.

    Otherwise it is wonderful stuff, and I use it every day. Far better than any other product for moisturinzing skin and occasionally conditioning hair. Some people have even replaced it for furniture polish to get away from petroleum products. But I digress.

    Get those old essential oils out, people. They have a shelf life and are going to go bad if you don't use them. We are going to have a good time.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Note Identification Project - Please Join In!

    I have only a very little stash of EO's and some resin crystals, but I won't miss the fun and join! It is way too late to make tinctures out of my resins, so I will sniff them in their current state and try to report as well as I can.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]Sniffing around
    I'll stop wearing black when they make something darker

  11. #11

    Default Re: Note Identification Project - Please Join In!

    Quote Originally Posted by purplebird7 View Post
    Yep. There's the jojoba school and the alcohol school.
    People seem to prefer one or the other. The only problem with jojoba is that absolutes and resins will not dissolve in it.
    Hi Purplebird,

    I have diluted absolutes with no problem, but I have found that extracts will not dissolve in oil, probably because of the alcohol content. The resins I have are actually in liquefied form, probably from an unknown solvent, so they do disperse in oil (even though they are not really "pure").

    My Labdanum is just plain *thick* (I am pretty sure this one does not have a solvent), and will dispense into oil if I warm it by holding the bottle in my hand

  12. #12

    Default Re: Note Identification Project - Please Join In!

    Coolness

    And thanks for the link - useful! *Bookmarks*

  13. #13

    Default Re: Note Identification Project - Please Join In!

    Quote Originally Posted by Lady_in_Black View Post
    It is way too late to make tinctures out of my resins...
    Nah, they dissolve in a matter of days. Not completely, but who cares? It's good enough LIB.

    Quote Originally Posted by Asha View Post
    My Labdanum is just plain *thick* (I am pretty sure this one does not have a solvent), and will dispense into oil if I warm it by holding the bottle in my hand
    Easy! I suppose a hot water bath would speed it up, too.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Note Identification Project - Please Join In!

    Quote Originally Posted by purplebird7 View Post
    Nah, they dissolve in a matter of days. Not completely, but who cares? It's good enough LIB.
    Really? Great! I've not tried myself at tincturing resins yet, but I think I've read somewhere that they need months to mature. I am going to grind my resins tonight
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]Sniffing around
    I'll stop wearing black when they make something darker

  15. #15

    Default Re: Note Identification Project - Please Join In!

    What kind of alcohol are people using for their tinctures?

  16. #16

    Default Re: Note Identification Project - Please Join In!

    I'm using Everclear. Only $5 for a flask from the liquor store.
    It should be 190 proof, but if it isn't, don't worry.
    We're not striving for perfection, here. We're not perfumers.
    Every day, ordinary people steep flowers and plants in alcohol to extract their scent, which is not particularly long-lived, nor is it a commercially viable product. That's not the point.
    The point is, we love scent. We love to experiment. We love to learn. And we love to share.
    We will accomplish all of these things.
    For example: I made resin tinctures. They were sticky and unsuitable to wear as fragrance--unless I want to turn into human flypaper--but they did allow me to fully experience the fragrance of the resin by itself, without other notes of perfume, and (most importantly) without burning them as incense. I am not a fan of smoky scents. By crushing the resin and dissolving it, I was able to spread it out and smell it by itself. Prior to that, I was left puzzling as to, "What is this myrrh note in Etro Sandalo?" I had to mentally tease the note out of the fragrance by eliminating all the notes that I knew, "It's not that orange note, it's not that honey, it's not that cinnamon..." I got tired of that routine, went out and bought some actual myrrh, opoponax, copal, olibanum, siam benzoin, and pine resins. They were inexpensive. I ground them up and smelled the dust, I dissolved them in alcohol, I burned them, I did everything I could to learn what they smell like.
    I had fun. So I got some essential oils, and I plan to do the same with them--dilute, sniff, mix, drag Kumquat into it (as usual) and have a good laugh. The results might make interesting reading, so I'm going to do it live, here on the forum.
    Too bad I can't get some synthetic components, too. They seem to be sold in bulk only. Maybe some of the DIY board members can chime in and talk about what their synthetics smell like.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Note Identification Project - Please Join In!

    Jillsy, I also use 95° ethanol (190 proof grain alcohol) for tincturing and diluting essential oils. And yesterday eve I prepared small vessels with Siam benzoin (styrax tonkinensis) and Turkish Storax (styrax officinalis) tinctures maturing for Purplebird's project.

    P-bird, do you know this site (I am not affiliated)

    http://www.perfumersapprentice.com/Perfumery_Supplies/

    Plenty of reconstituted notes and synthetics in small quantities (2,5 ml being the smallest vial).
    How I would like to order from them - just look at those KITS!
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]Sniffing around
    I'll stop wearing black when they make something darker

  18. #18

    Default Re: Note Identification Project - Please Join In!

    Yes, I do know this site. Thanks for reminding me.
    I think I'll order some of her synthetics. Those are exactly the small samples that I'm looking for.
    I'll try some of the animalics--civit, musk, castoreum, leather--and perhaps some peach, some ozone, some marine. All the things I can't get in naturals.
    Great!

  19. #19

    Default Re: Note Identification Project - Please Join In!

    I second Perfumers Apprentice as an excellent source for small quantities of aromachemicals. She may even be willing to ship overseas. The owners name is Linda, send her an email or call her at the shop.

    With aroma chemicals, many are so potent that they need to be greatly diluted to get an idea of how they smell in a composition. I like using a nonvolatile solvent to fix the aromachemical, alcohol evaporates to quickly. I often use benzyl cinnamate since it has only the faintest odor of its own. Benzyl cinnamate is (just barely) a solid at room temperature but it will dissolve at up to 20% in Everclear. Other people will use benzyl benzoate or dipropylene glycol. So, for example, to evaluate something like alpha-ionone I would use 1% alpha-ionone in a 20% solution of benzyl cinnamate in Everclear. Snowdrift Farm's Artisans Alcohol already contains hexylene glycol which will act as a fixative like benzyl cinnamate; it is just unfortunate that Snowdrift Farm does not reveal the percentage of hexylene glycol in their formulation.
    All these moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Note Identification Project - Please Join In!

    Wow... interesting reads. I've been diluting oils in Jojoba (hmm oughta find some more of that soon) since I cannot legally buy alcohol - can't even find any alcohol around here that's greater than about 46%. All this talk about tinctures is making me wish I were 18 and lived in America... I keep hearing of Everclear but it seems to be an American thing (?)

  21. #21

    Default Re: Note Identification Project - Please Join In!

    The 190 proof Everclear is not even available in all the states in the US--I live in NY and can't get it.

  22. #22

    Default Re: Note Identification Project - Please Join In!

    can't even find any alcohol around here that's greater than about 46%.
    Have you tried this?
    http://newdirections.com.au/shop/pro...ex.php?id=5390
    All these moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain.

  23. #23

    Default Re: Note Identification Project - Please Join In!

    The 190 proof Everclear is not even available in all the states in the US--I live in NY and can't get it.
    It is available in New Jersey.
    All these moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain.

  24. #24

    Default Re: Note Identification Project - Please Join In!

    Quote Originally Posted by dcampen View Post
    Awesome Just you wait til I have money
    Last edited by jillsy; 16th May 2008 at 10:26 AM.

  25. #25

    Default Re: Note Identification Project - Please Join In!

    Thanks, dcampen, for the tip on fixative.
    In addition, I think most of the natural essential oils will benefit from being put into a sweet, diffusive base, like musk or sandalwood.
    Which of the many listed on PerfumersApprentice do you like?
    jillsy, just get some jojoba oil and use that instead of alcohol.
    Last edited by purplebird7; 16th May 2008 at 01:42 PM.

  26. #26

    Default Re: Note Identification Project - Please Join In!

    Quote Originally Posted by dcampen View Post
    It is available in New Jersey.
    LOL, well it is too bad NJ is over 300 miles away

    Next state over is PA, and they are quite strict, so I doubt they have it.

    Not sure if Canada might...and that is a bit closer

    EDIT: dcampen, I was mistaken--I CAN buy the 190 proof here in NY...if anybody was selling it!
    Last edited by Asha; 16th May 2008 at 07:53 PM.

  27. #27

    Default Re: Note Identification Project - Please Join In!

    I think jojoba is lovely. If I didn't have absolutes, I would use that instead. It's just that you have to pick one or the other--alcohol or jojoba--and alcohol works with both essential oils and absolutes, but jojoba doesn't dissolve some things.

  28. #28

    Default Re: Note Identification Project - Please Join In!

    Good musks that Perfumer's Apprentice carries are - Ambrettolide, Ethylene Brassylate, Exaltolide, Galaxolide, Habanolide and Velvione.

    Ambrettolide, Exaltolide, Habanolide and Velvione are in the same chemical classes as natural musks.

    Ambrettolide, Exaltolide and Habanolide are macrocyclic lactone musks like those from Angelica and Ambrette seeds.
    http://www.bojensen.net/EssentialOil...1.htm#Ambrette

    Ethylene Brassylate is not found in nature but approximates the chemical structure of the macrocyclic lactone musks. Its use began before chemists learned how to make the nature identical macrocyclic lactone musks. It is still widely used because it is very inexpensive.

    Velvione is a macrocyclic ketone musk, similar to those from animal sources.
    http://www.bojensen.net/EssentialOil...ils20.htm#Musk

    Galaxolide is a polycyclic musk, these are not found in nature. Galaxolide is _widely_ used. I smell it everywhere. J Lo Love At First Glow that was discussed here recently has probably about 1/3 of its fragrance materials being Galaxolide.
    Last edited by dcampen; 16th May 2008 at 06:58 PM. Reason: Correct name of J. Lo fragrance
    All these moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain.

  29. #29

    Default Re: Note Identification Project - Please Join In!

    David, you're a treasure chest of knowledge - thank you for all the information! And it's decided: I'm going to contact Linda from the Perfumer's Apprentice for one of those kits.
    Last edited by Lady_in_Black; 16th May 2008 at 06:45 PM.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]Sniffing around
    I'll stop wearing black when they make something darker

  30. #30

    Default Re: Note Identification Project - Please Join In!

    Thanks for the recommendations, dcampen.

    My goal is to get some synthetic florals, too, and compare them to the naturals, see how close they come to eachother in terms of aroma, and puzzle over each one's contribution to perfumery. Plus, I'll try a few animalics, florals, fruits, woods, etc.

    I'm not going into the perfumery business, so I won't buy the basic building blocks (damascones, aldehydes, hedione, etc.) I'll just get the pre-made synthetic accords. (Although I am curious about how every chemical smells, the investment in time and money would be too great.)

    Anyone who has anything, join in. Say why this ingredient has pleased you or disappointed you, if it worked for you or not.

    LIB, welcome aboard. I appreciate anyone here playing this game with us. It's all light-hearted, lots of laughs involved. Positive and negative opinions encouraged, but no flaming.
    Last edited by purplebird7; 17th May 2008 at 03:04 PM.

  31. #31

    Default Re: Note Identification Project - Please Join In!

    Quote Originally Posted by purplebird7 View Post
    Thanks for the recommendations, dcampen.

    My goal is to get some synthetic florals, too, and compare them to the naturals, see how close they come to eachother in terms of aroma, and puzzle over each one's contribution to perfumery. Plus, I'll try a few animalics, florals, fruits, woods, etc.
    I think...probably not close at all

    I love flower absolutes (rose and jasmine especially), and when I first started exploring floral perfumes, I wondered why I did not smell the same scents I got from the natural oils. I did not know how pervasive the synthetic florals were...and how their goal seems to be more like a duplication of the scent while the flower is still in bloom. In contrast, the absolutes really have a side to them which is slightly like a decaying, fermenting or "preserved" smell. I love it, and actually prefer it, but can understand why most people would rather smell a fresh flower!

  32. #32

    Default Re: Note Identification Project - Please Join In!

    Quote Originally Posted by Asha View Post
    I wondered why I did not smell the same scents I got from the natural oils. ...the absolutes really have a side to them which is slightly like a decaying, fermenting or "preserved" smell.
    Absolutely!I couldn't have put it better.
    That is the reason why I'm doing this. I don't know how things are supposed to smell! So, here's this all-natural, expensive rose absolute, and it smells like apple pie, and here is this cheap synthetic, and it smells like a fresh rose, except that it also smells like bathroom deodorant and....
    See what I mean?
    So, yes, lets' talk about all that on this thread.

  33. #33
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    Redneck Perfumisto's Avatar
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    Default Re: Note Identification Project - Please Join In!

    OK, I took the plunge and just ordered a bunch of naturals and synthetics from Eden Botanicals and Perfumer's Apprentice. While it set me back the equivalent of several frags, I figure this is as a golden opportunity to extend my note vocabulary, and have some fun doing it, too.

    In addition to wanting to hang out with other fragrance fans, I have to admit that I'm a bit jealous of the experienced basenoters who can spot a dozen notes in a new fragrance. I'm usually lucky if I get two, and a lot of the time, they're not much better than "citrus" or "woody"!

    I think this discussion could save me years of learning the hard way (fragrance by fragrance, a note or two at a time). Thanks for starting such a great thread, Purplebird!

  34. #34

    Default Re: Note Identification Project - Please Join In!

    It is the best way to learn Redneck Perfumisto, for sure, and you'll be able to pick out notes much better, but it's still a difficult and ongoing process. It's analogous to music in a way - if you don't know the sound of a dominant 7th chord, you'll never pick it out in a song (although you may be able to pick out the fact that the same basic chord is used in different frags, without being able to put a name to it) but even knowing the sound of the dominant 7th, it can be quite hard to pick it out in a dense musical arrangement. Of course, I am speaking solely in regard to natural oils as I have no real experience with synthetics outside of the few ubiqituous synthetics that can be found at craft stores and such.

    Given the relative rarity of a natural oil appearing in a frag (I'm assuming, based on the obvious profit maximization that I'm sure occurs with so many over focus tested designer frags.. and even niches will avoid them when they can I'm sure - not only to save on cost but to further increase longevity and sillage), I don't know exactly how useful this is for dissecting anything but all natural frags, but many a time I've been able to sniff a frag and say something like "Well, this smells like galbanum, but less resinous and without the sharp piney opening" or "Hmm, they've got sandalwood listed in the base and I detect traces of it, but it's too thin and saccharine sweet to be anything like real Mysore oil." So even if it doesn't grant you superman like powers to dissect a frag into a list of notes, it does give you a much better perspective of what you are smelling and consequently allows you to better evaluate the reviews of others and see how well they align with your own nose.

    That being said, I really do feel it's a worthwhile and, most importantly, enjoyable endeavor. Just beware that afterwards you'll be looking at the listed pyramids for frags with much more skepticism. Of course, that's not necessarily a bad thing.
    Last edited by SculptureOfSoul; 21st May 2008 at 05:37 AM.
    ***For sale:

    Iris Pallida 50ml

    Ungaro I 75ml

    and more!
    - http://www.basenotes.net/threads/301...n-Man-and-more

  35. #35

    Default Re: Note Identification Project - Please Join In!

    Ok, I contacted wonderful Linda at the Perfumer's Apprentice and placed my order for the Perfumery Notes kit, which includes:
    Aldehyde C12 MNA, Aldehyde C14 ( Persicol ), Ambrox DL/Ambrofix/Ambroxan, Birch Leaf, Calone, Civet, Coumarin, Dihydromyrcenol, Galaxolide, Habanolide, Hedione, Helional, Heliotropin, Isobutavan, Iso E Super, Kephalis, Leaf Alcohol, Lilial, Linalool, Lyral, Mandarin Aldehyde, Melonal, Methyl Heptine Carbonate, Methyl Pamplemousse, Muguet (Hydroxycitronellal), Musk Ketone (Nitro musk), Quinoline, Tonalide(Macro musk), Vanillin, Vertofix Coeur
    and a small selection of naturals: Bergamot, Frankincense, Galbanum, Jasmine Absolute, Myrrh, Petitgrain, Rose Absolute (Bulgarian), Sandalwood, Vetiver, Wormwood.
    I also ordered a small vial of ambergris tincture.
    Well, one must start somewhere!
    Now I am hoping the package arrives in time for the project.

    Edited: forgot to say that these notes are pre-diluted...ready to sniff, in other words.
    Last edited by Lady_in_Black; 21st May 2008 at 07:36 PM.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]Sniffing around
    I'll stop wearing black when they make something darker

  36. #36

    TaoLady's Avatar
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    Default Re: Note Identification Project - Please Join In!

    (......:galumphs in, panting heavily, all agog - late again!)

    Wow!! What a wonderful project you have organized, Dear Bird. And what a galaxy of smart noses here on BN.

    Will probably copy-cat Christine and go for the Perfumery Notes Kit...but have got company coming first week in June so may continue to galumph.

    This is so exciting.....feel like a wide-eyed kid again!!
    "The world is ruled by letting things take their course. It cannot be ruled by interfering." Lao Tze

  37. #37

    Default Re: Note Identification Project - Please Join In!

    Quote Originally Posted by purplebird7 View Post
    jillsy, just get some jojoba oil and use that instead of alcohol.
    Yep got some I presume you can only make tinctures in alcohol though right?

    Wow... very exciting!

  38. #38

    Default Re: Note Identification Project - Please Join In!

    I ordered the notes kit too. I would love to join in and this will make it easy to get started.

  39. #39

    Default Re: Note Identification Project - Please Join In!

    I just ordered some synthetics and updated the list of materials that I have at the top of this thread.

  40. #40
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    Default Re: Note Identification Project - Please Join In!

    My botanicals just arrived. Even though they are tightly sealed and there were no leaks, the box had a powerful scent, and drowned out my SotD (Bulgari pH). The samples all seem fairly substantial - even the "tiny" ones - more than enough for note identification purposes.

    This is going to be really interesting!

  41. #41

    Default Re: Note Identification Project - Please Join In!

    Quote Originally Posted by Redneck Perfumisto View Post
    This is going to be really interesting!
    Yes, indeed.
    Take several obsessed perfumistas (perfumistos), add perfume making kits, and what do you get?
    We will see...
    I think we should pass around our experiments afterwards.

  42. #42

    Default Re: Note Identification Project - Please Join In!

    Iralready received my notes kit from the Perfumer's Apprentice! Wow, fourty+ small promising bottles and a booklet chock full of most interesting information. Don't mean to advertise here, but Linda is REALLY a lovely person.
    I have to restrain myself and not start right now. I am feeling like a witch, ready to concoct love potions. Now, gimme my pointed hat
    My tinctures are still reeking very much of alcohol, but the resin notes come out very clear. It is exciting - again, what a great idea, purplebird!
    Last edited by Lady_in_Black; 28th May 2008 at 07:32 PM.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]Sniffing around
    I'll stop wearing black when they make something darker

  43. #43

    Default Re: Note Identification Project - Please Join In!

    Is everybody ready?
    Please post your finalized lists of notes.
    Mine are posted at the top of this thread--please scroll up to the top to see my list.
    They are categorized this way:

    Citrusy
    Minty, campherous
    Sweet floral
    Non-sweet floral
    Green, diffusive
    Green, heavy
    Spice
    Fuity or Milky
    Animalic
    Sandalwood
    Vanilla
    Sweet resin

    Let me know when to start the party.
    Last edited by purplebird7; 31st May 2008 at 02:53 PM.

  44. #44

    Default Re: Note Identification Project - Please Join In!

    P.S. ScultureofSoul, I know exactly what you are talking about. The more I know, the less sense the note pyramids make. With synthetics (a.k.a. modern perfumery) the only thing that matters is the intent of the perfumer and the chemists. Molecules can be tailor-made to combine characteristics that don't exist in nature. If I smell a grapefruit, and someone else smells an apple, it doesn't matter who is right and who is wrong. When used to balk at the idea of an accord called "tactile woods." I wanted to know: Was it a cedar accord? Or sandalwood? Or vetiver? Now I have accepted that names do not apply to man-made aromas. In fact, it is the newest, most original, most unique aromas that the perfumers wait for the chemists to make, so that they can buy them and put them into the newest, most original, most unique fragrances.

  45. #45

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    I have probably all of the chemicals and most of the naturals on your list.
    Last edited by dcampen; 31st May 2008 at 09:28 PM.
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  46. #46

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    still waiting for my kit to arrive but I will join in as soon as it does.

  47. #47
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    Default Re: Note Identification Project - Please Join In!

    I'm still waiting for my synthetics, but they have been shipped. Linda said that she even threw in a couple of extras to make up for the (short) delay! I'm really looking forward to those.

    Here is my list of naturals from Eden Botanical - unsorted at the moment. I'll sort it later. Because of varying availability, I was able to get some interesting things, but couldn't get some others. I guess we just have to make do.

    Bergamot
    Agarwood - CO2
    Benzoin Siam
    Angelica Root - CO2
    Amyris
    Balsam of Peru Oil
    Sweet Basil - Linalool
    Black Pepper - Essential Oil
    Atlas Cedarwood
    Himalayan Cedarwood
    Texas Cedarwood - wild
    German Blue Chamomile
    Roman Chamomile
    Citronella
    Cocao Absolute
    Cypress Leaf
    Vetiver - Surinam
    Violet Leaf
    Ylang Ylang #1
    Vanuatu Sandalwood
    Spearmint
    Spikenard, Green
    Tagetes
    Thyme - Linalool
    Tuberose Absolute
    Turmeric
    Aust. Sandalwood Abs.
    Bulgarian Rose Absolute
    Rose, Moroccan - Absolute
    Rosemary - 1,8 Cineole
    Rosemary - Verbenone
    Orris Butter - 15% irones
    Palmarosa
    Peppercorn - Pink
    Peppermint
    Pine - Scotch
    Pine Needle
    Muhuhu - Wild
    Myrrh - Wild
    Myrrh/Saffron
    Green Myrtle Leaf
    Nagarmotha
    Neroli
    Blue Gum Eucalyptus
    Sweet Fennel
    Fir Balsam Absolute
    Frankincense EO - Somalia
    Geranium Bourbon
    Hay Absolute
    Hazelnut - CO2 Select
    Helichrysum - Organic
    Hyssop decumbens
    Immortelle Absolute
    Jasmine Absolute - India
    Jasmine Grandiflorum CO2
    Juniper Berry - CO2
    Labdanum Absolute #1
    Labdanum Absolute #2
    Lavender - High
    Lemon Essential Oil
    Lemon Tea Tree
    Lemongrass
    Linden Blossom Absolute
    Lotus Absolute (Pink)
    Liquidambar (Styrax)

    One interesting note - the combination of all of these is strong, piercing, and hideous - in a beautiful sort of way. Like a multi-headed matinee monster with the faces of George Clooney, Helen Mirren, Halle Berry, Reese Witherspoon, Usher, Grace Park, and Hugh Jackman. What the heck - let's throw in Paris Hilton for good measure. It's clear that the perfumer's hand is needed to let the genies out of the bottles, carefully, and in an organized fashion. Otherwise, an ugly chaos of beauty does indeed erupt!

  48. #48

    Default Re: Note Identification Project - Please Join In!

    Phooey! All these lists put my dozen or so fragrance/essential oils to shame! Wow! Mine are the common types mostly used to train my nose (in no particular order) - rose, vanilla, patchouli, ylang ylang, violet, sweet orange, basil, petitgrain, chamomile, lavender, tea tree, rosemary, geranium, cedarwood, eucalyptus, coffee, coconut, chocolate, peach, rose geranium.

    Also have access to a bunch of spices (cinnamon, ginger, pepper, allspice, star anise, etc), fresh lavender outside and dried flowers (rose, violet, cherry blossom I think - boy they smell good!)

    Edit: Oh yeah and those benzoin crystals I have not opened and sniffed yet.

    Orris Butter - 15% irones
    Hmm I've seen these floral butters before... what's the deal with them?


    Really looking forward to seeing people's opinions, on the synthetics especially
    Last edited by jillsy; 2nd June 2008 at 06:10 AM.

  49. #49

    Default Re: Note Identification Project - Please Join In!

    I am ready! Here's my palette (mixed naturals & synths, EOs, tinctures, dilutions - I'll specify for each one as we go ahead):

    Fruity
    Bergamot
    Cassis
    Mandarin Aldehyde
    Melonal
    Methyl Pamplemousse
    Aldehyde C14 – Peach
    Methyl Heptine Carbonate
    Allyl Amyl Glycolate
    Floral
    Ylang Ylang
    Rosa Damascena
    Jasmine
    Helichrysum (immortelle)
    Lyral
    Lilial
    Hydroxy-citronellal
    Heliotropin
    Dihydro-Myrcenol
    Hedione
    Ionone Alpha
    Linalool
    Spicy-Gourmand
    Vanilla
    Ginger
    Cinnamon
    Black pepper
    Iso-Butavan
    Woody-Earthy
    Rosewood
    Sandalwood
    Cedarwood
    Patchouli
    Vetiver
    Vertofix
    Green
    Birch Leaf
    Galbanum
    Wormwood
    Leaf Alcohol
    Animalic
    Ambergris
    Ambrox DL
    Civet
    Quinoline
    Musk Ketone
    Habanolide
    Galaxolide
    Tonalide
    Resins
    Benzoin Siam
    Frankincense
    Myrrh
    Turkish Storax
    Marine-Ozonic
    Calone
    Miscellaneous
    Aldehyde C12
    Coumarin
    Iso E Super
    Kephalis
    Helional
    Adoxal


    Plus, I have geranium, thyme, mint, orange blossom, lemon blossom, mandarine blossom and lilies in their natural form on my balcony

    This will be FUN!
    Last edited by Lady_in_Black; 1st June 2008 at 05:15 PM.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]Sniffing around
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  50. #50

    Default Re: Note Identification Project - Please Join In!

    I'm going to have to join this party a bit later ($$$$ is a bit tight). I DO like Jillsy's approach of tackling the spice cabinet. I reckon since I like to compare notes to things found in nature (spices, flowers, fruits, that sort of thing), that maybe it would be interesting to start with the actual nature things (because I'll be purchasing those anyway), then move to the botanical oils, then synthetics. Can't wait to see everyone's notes!
    Sakecat's Scent Project
    "Wardrobe" and Reviews of everything I've tried to date. Please come visit and let me know what you think.

  51. #51

    Default Re: Note Identification Project - Please Join In!

    Since there are often oils with the same name that are actually different species or sub-species of the plant (i.e. I've seen Artemisia Absinthium, Artemisia Scoparis, and Artemisia Vulgaris all referred to as "Wormwood"), we should all include the botanical name of the ingredient when we discuss it, so there can be no ambiguity. Listing the supplier would be helpful, too.
    ***For sale:

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  52. #52

    Default Re: Note Identification Project - Please Join In!

    This is great.
    You people are impressive.
    Those of you with ingredients are well-prepared.
    And those of you without are using actual substances--very resourceful.
    So, let's get this party started.

    I defer to the dcampen to correct me if I'm wrong on the following advice:

    Basic Procedure:

    1. Dilute each ingredient with your choice alcohol (Everclear, perfumer's alcohol, or the like) or jojoba oil until it reaches a level that is comfortable to smell--usually 10% or less. The concentrates are usually too strong.

    (If you have "perfume oils" that are intended for use on the skin, you can skip this step. Essential oils, absolutes, concretes, and aromachemicals need to be diluted.)

    If you intend to use this substance on your skin, please refer to the safety data posted online by The Good Scents Company for maximum percentage to be used in fragrance.
    I have gone back and edited my list (refer to top of thread) showing the maximum recommended percentage of each ingredient for use in fragrance.

    If you only intend to dip a test strip into the substance and smell it, you can exceed the maximum percentage for use in fragrance, but don't forget to dilute it down to a safe level before you get it on your skin.

    2. I am putting your lists into Excel Spread Sheet to determine which notes we have in common.

    3. I'll give you the rest of the day to do your dilutions.

    4. Start writing down your impressions while you are doing this.

    5. Categorize your notes. Suggest your categories in this thread. This will give me an idea of what you are most interested in talking about first.


    P.S. I love that crazy, combined aroma that I am getting from the whole mass of mine, together. I think it smells spicy and earthy.
    Last edited by purplebird7; 1st June 2008 at 03:00 PM.

  53. #53

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    I am in the process of preparing for a cross-country move, so I may have to join in sporadically. I have only natural EO's and absolutes, and my collection is a subset of that listed by purplebird.

    If I may give a suggestion, perhaps we should start with notes which are more ubiquitous in perfumery, and then branch out into the less-used ones. Or, start with typical ingredients for a chypre or amber, two frequent base combinations which act as the foundation for many fragrances. A third idea would be to go by note category.

  54. #54

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    How about Rose and Jasmine - The Heart of Perfumeryfor our first notes?

  55. #55

    Default Re: Note Identification Project - Please Join In!

    Why are rose and jasmine called "the heart of perfumery?'
    I think it is because they are the sweetest ingredients in my natural palate, except for labdanum and vanilla. And they are clear, offering room for other aromas in their headspace. (To be sure, there are other sweet ingredients--but many are thick and complicated, difficult to pair with other notes.)
    Their position, squarely in the middle of the pyramid, causes them to have average duration, neither disappearing nor overlasting other accords.

    Of the two, jasmine is far sweeter. Rose tends to be woody and spicy in addition to being sweet.

    Rose is a note that people feel strongly about. Some men avoid it because they consider it to be feminine (in our culture). Some people avoid it because they consider it to be "soapy," but I believe that is due to its historical overuse in soaps, lotions, and more recently, bathroom spray.

    I have three types of rose scent:

    Rose Absolute - Rosa damascena, Egypt - A natural rose absolute. This does not smell like a live rose. Certainly it smells like rose, with a velvety sweetness but, to me, there is a bit of a fermented quality like wine, and a strong component of fruit and spice, like apple and cinnamon.

    Rose de Mai Absolute - Rosa centifolia, Egypt - Personally, I like this better than the damascena. It has a greenness, like a tea rose, and more spiciness. Seems livlier than the damascena, but probably would not mix as well with other notes and therefore not be as useful in actual perfumery.

    Rose Accord - synthetic, Givaudan - Intensely rosy. Lacks the woody harshness of natural absolute, as though it had been excised with a knife. Incredibly fruitier. Better sillage. Lasts longer. However, it presents itself in a one-dimensional, solid manner, not wavering from sweet to woody as you inhale, the way the natural presented itself.

    Just to mention, I don't think any of these smell like live roses, not even the synthetic, which surprises me. All of them lack the cool, gentle caress of real roses. They are edgier, sharper. They smell hotter and drier. Also this makes me respect all the perfumers who create rose perfumes. For example, all the variations of Les Parfums de Rosine. They breathe life into this accord.

    Jasmine is one of my all-time favorites, naturally sweet beyond belief, clear and mixable with other notes. I tried to get a synthetic jasmine accord, but it failed to show up with the rest of my order. As I remember from past experience, it is easy to make a horrible jasmine accord--with off-notes in abundance. Sometimes itpicks up a penetrating anise note, sometimes it smells volatile and sulfuric.

    I have three natural jasmines to discuss:

    Jasmine Grandiflora Absolute - Jasminum grandiflora, Egypt - This is my favorite of the three. Strong, penetrating, rich and fruity. Smells like a floral version of Juicy Fruit chewing gum. Has a bit of an indolic note, but nothing off-putting, only warm and a tad bit fecal. This could be a perfume all by itself. I find it eminently wearable. It is my favorite of the three.

    Jasmine Grandiflora Absolute - Jasminum grandiflora, India - A weaker version of the above. Not as sweet, nor as heady, but still pretty.

    Jasmine Sambac Absolute - Jasminum sambac, India - Opens on a greener note but settles into a heavier floral quality. This is more indolic than the grandiflora, and I find that it has a bit of a salty, fleshy quality. It, too, is truly beautiful and could stand on its own as a perfume. It has a more singular fruitiness than the grandiflora, as though the fruit note is focused on one fruit, not tutti-fruiti like the grandiflora.

    I have never smelled live jasmine flowers. I cannot tell you if any of these approximate the aroma.

    When I combine the rose and jasmine accords together, something interesting happens. They are no longer easily identifiable as rose or jasmine, but come across as a floral bouquet. Especially agreeable are the rose damascena and jasmine sambac together, as though the pairing forms the basis for many floral accords.

    Interstingly, I don't think the synthetic rose pairs as well with the natural jasmine as the natural rose absolutes. It falls flat. By itself, it is very pretty, but it doesn't combine well with either of these jasmines.

    And I cannot see why anyone would even seek a synthetic jasmine accord when the naturals are so drop-dead gorgeous. Except, that is, to save money. So, if it is at all possible, look for natural jasmine in a perfume. Absolutely gorgeous.

    And this, friends, is why they are called the "heart of perfumery."
    Last edited by purplebird7; 2nd June 2008 at 10:55 PM.

  56. #56

    Default Re: Note Identification Project - Please Join In!

    In addition, I would like to report on some:
    Problems and Solutions
    1. What I bought as "sample" or "tiny sample" size does not lend itself to easy dilution. The sample is too small to pour out and suck up into a dropper. Many of my dilutions, therefore, will not be accurate enough to use on the skin. Rather, they will be for test strips only.

    2. I didn't wear gloves the first time I tried this, any my fingers became distractingly fragrant. Next time, I will put them on so that I can take them off and have fragrance-free hands.

    3. Coffee filters, cut up, make great, inexpensive test strips.

  57. #57

    Default Re: Note Identification Project - Please Join In!

    I have the notes kit from the Perfumer's Apprentice.

    It has Rose Bulgarian Absolute and Jasmine Grandiflorum

    The jasmine is wonderful not sure where it is from but this is a very sweet, very strong jasmine. Lovely.

    This bulgarian rose doesn't smell like a live rose to me either. Fermented? Possibly. It is a bit like a big bold rose cabernet or somesuch. Complex and full of substance. I also get the hints the apple and spice perhaps cinnamon.

    I have not tried mixing them yet. Need to organize my supplies and find a safe place play before I do more than smell these.

    Thanks for starting this project. My time is going to be limited and I have to travel next week but it will be fun to play when I can and then try to catch up later on what I will miss.

  58. #58

    Default Re: Note Identification Project - Please Join In!

    I am smelling the the same jasmine as whisperingleaves, from The Perfumer's Apprentice. If it is grandiflorum, I guess the source is Egypt.
    It is 2% jasmine absolute concentration in carrier oil (whisperingleaves, I believe yours is in alcohol). I agree that it is strong enough and lasting on skin, even at this relatively low concentration. And yes, it's lovely, so much so that I would wear it as a soliflore without hesitation.
    The smell is very fruity and sweet - like ripe banana - at the start. It them mellows and takes on a more animalic/indolic facet (probably what Purplebird calls slightly fecal) without losing its extreme floralcy. After about twenty minutes, it becomes also slightly smoky
    To my nose, this is the kind of jasmine forming the main note in Serge Lutens' Sarrasins.

    I can only compare the smell of this diluted absolute to the real jasmine blossoms on my balcony. My jasmine is a different, more rustic variety however - it's a polyanthum, also called pink jasmine.
    The smell of the polianthum is less sweet, but much more indolic than the grandiflorum. It doesn't have the fruity aspect...it's almost leathery. To give you an idea, it smells like the jasmine in Mona di Orio's Carnation, where it is mixed with ylang-ylang (to my nose, the latter has also a leathery aspect in its undiluted form).

    I confess that I am tempted to mix the absolute dilution with a tiny bit of quinoline for a leather effect...but that's off topic for the moment

    More later on roses!
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]Sniffing around
    I'll stop wearing black when they make something darker

  59. #59

    Default Re: Note Identification Project - Please Join In!

    I have two different rose notes here, but both are Rosa damascena.

    Rosa damascena – Iran (Persian Rose), 10% in alcohol: I smell slightly dried rose petals, like the ones used in a potpourri, or slightly decomposed ones, as if the flowers were picked a couple of hours ago and then left on their own to “mature”. There’s also a peppery aspect to it when it dries down, and a dry hay note. I guess the concentration is too high to really appreciate it on its own, although it fades rather quickly due to alcohol evaporation. I have smelled this rose note before in a couple of all-natural perfumes and I am not a fan.

    Rosa Damascena - ? (Bulgarian rose), 2% in carrier oil: compared to the above, it smells more like a living rose, but it’s true, it has a wine-y facet. Apple cider? Fermented fruit? Hmmm…could be. I can’t come up with a more elaborate description right now. I have to test it again tomorrow morning with a “fresh” nose.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]Sniffing around
    I'll stop wearing black when they make something darker

  60. #60

    Default Re: Note Identification Project - Please Join In!

    Quote Originally Posted by Lady_in_Black View Post
    The smell is very fruity and sweet - like ripe banana - at the start. ...it becomes also slightly smoky

    ...I confess that I am tempted to mix the absolute dilution with a tiny bit of quinoline for a leather effect...but that's off topic for the moment
    Yes, banana! That's it. I said Juicy Fruit gum, but I get the banana aroma, too.
    And yes, smoky. Uh-huh. That's what I picked up as "volatile" like something that can burn, even a bit sulfurous.

    And LIB, go ahead a mix. That's part of this experiment. I already mixed the jasmine grandiflora and the rose damascena. And I'm going to try lemon with rose, and geranium with rose and a whole bunch of other things as soon as I get through smelling the notes alone. But if you're ready now, go to it.

    So, whisperingleaves and LIB, all three of us agree that rose undergoes a "fermented" effect when processed. I can understand how the heat from distillation would cause this, but I truly believed that the synthetic would escape the same fate and smell realistic. Not so. Although it smelled less woody and fermented, it in no way approached the freshness of a real flower. In fact, the rose centifolia absolute came the closest to approximating "fresh," even though it was far off. So, how do perfumers make realistic rose approximations?

    dcampen? Any input?
    Last edited by purplebird7; 4th June 2008 at 12:38 AM.

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