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  1. #61
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    Like the little brother running down the street after his sisters on their bicycles.... Wait for me! Wait for me!

    I just got my synthetics in the mail today. Yippee! Now I need to run out quickly for my everclear and a nice thick notebook. I will begin sorting out my rose and jasmine type components tonight.

    The synthetics box smelled nicer than my hodge-podge of naturals. I'll post my list later. But I agree - there's nothing like a garden of real flowers as study materials. Our few lonely flowers are just barely hanging in there.

    Thanks for the tips, purplebird. Coffee filters are great, and gloves sound like a really good idea. Forgot about those - very nice when working with hand-stinky stuff, not to mention sulfuric acid (batteries), weak nerve gas (phosphorus pesticides), and other household hazards.

    And while I'm thinking about safety, just in case people are forgetting, please remember goggles, or at the very least, your normal or reading glasses (poor glasses worn >> goggles on shelf). Accidents tend to happen when you're sure they won't. I think that most of our components are pretty tame, but a few of them are probably no fun in the eye. And remember that any chemical is potentially mislabeled, changed, altered, or in a wrong concentration. Not to insinuate anything about our kind suppliers, but we must act as if bad things might happen, just in case they really do. Have a plan for washing out an eye quickly if something gets into it. You may even want to practice. Remember - perfumes and colognes are generally dealt with at arms length, but we tend to bring these tiny vials close to our eyes.

    Hoping that this advice is pointless and unnecessary... -Your local safety nerd

  2. #62

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    Thanks, redneck, for the warning. Of course, I was being careless.
    *Holds vial away from face*
    I'll slow down on the reviews so you can catch up with rose and jasmine.
    Please forgive me for discussing orange blossom and the citrus group. I'll take a break then.
    (I am only thinking of the sheer number of samples I have, and I want to group them so that this thread does not go on so long as to bore people.)
    The Giving Tree - Bitter Orange
    From its fruit we get marmelade and the liquors of Triple sec, Grand Marnier and Curacao. From its blossoms we get orange blossom absolute and neroli. From its twigs we get petitgrain. What a gift of nature this tree is.

    Orange Blossom - Absolute, Tunesia - One of the most important notes in perfumery. This is a wonderful ingredient--one of my favorites. It, along with rose and jasmine, are the three most important, useful florals. It smells sweeter than rose, but not as sweet as jasmine. In addition, it has a unique characteristic, which I describe as a "dusty" topnote. I cannot find adequate words to describe it. It smells like dust--earthy, like actual particles of dried soil--not like the undesirable matter that collects on one's furniture each week. This quality is strange and endearing to me. I remember it from my childhood, from the old perfumes that my grandmother brought with her from Europe in the earlier part of the 1900s. This aroma is terribly quaint and nostalgic. In the middle, there exists a great, big, honeyed, fruity sweetness and above that there is the dusty, almost greenish top note. I adore orange blossom absolute. If I had a synthetic orange blossom accord, which I don't, I bet the chemists would have removed the dusty topnote. I bet they would have found it too wild, too uncontrollable, too strange and clashing with the honey and orange. However, I prefer this to the prettied-up version of orange blossom that makes its way into multitudes of shampoos and lotions but which is really more like simple orange essence.

    Neroli Extra - Morocco/Lebanon - On the other hand, we get neroli from the steam distillation of the very same blossoms, and what a different substance it is. Not anywhere near as floral as orange blossom absolute, it smells closer to the essences of citrus peels that make up most of the citrus notes in perfumery. Neroli is prettier than citrus peel essences, in my opinion. It presents itself as a woody, orangey, somewhat bitter cross between a flower and a fruit peeling. It has a teriffic campherous quality, like the strong aroma that rises from a crushed mint leaf. Importantly, it lends a citrus top note that lasts longer than bergamot, mandarin, or orange. If I were to extend the longevity of those topnotes, the addition of neroli would be how I would accomplish it. This is truly a wonderful substance.

    I am combining the orange blossom and neroli and, ah, how beautiful. They bring out the different, contrasting characteristics of the same plant. Now, if only I had some petitgrain... but I don't.

    Moving along, I would like to discuss more of the citrus family. Note that the scientific names are similar. All of these trees are imporant to mankind, keeping us healthy with vitamin C and happy with their amazing flavor. We are fortunate to have them.

    Citrus aurantium - Bitter orange, bergamot, citron,
    Citrus reticulatum - Mandarin
    Citrus sinensus - Sweet orange
    Citrus paradisi - Grapefruit
    Citrus limon - Lemon (I don't have any lemon essence, only lemongrass)

    Citrus Peels

    Mandarin, Italy - This most closely resembles neroli, only without the charming, campherous top. It sweet-tart and orangey, very interesting, and one of my favorite of the citrus peel notes. Not nearly as tenacious as neroli, but one of the more long-lasting of the peel scents.

    Orange Essense, Brazil - This is the sweetest orange aroma of the group; it smells like a glass of fresh orange juice. It is more edible and candylike than mandarin, but I find the mandarin with its alternating tartness more amusing.

    Bergamot, Italy- My life would be much worse if it weren't for bergamot. I drink Earl Grey tea every day. It is my absolute favorite flavor of tea. The majority of my perfumes are chypres and contain a large dose of bergamot, which I eagerly seek as soon as I spray them from the bottle. This lovely aroma falls halfway between orange and lemon. It is quite adaptable. I am surprised at how fast this natural bergamot fades. I wonder if a synthetic form of bergamot is used in most perfumes, because this one would not last very long. But while it does, it is lovely.

    Pink Grapefruit, unknown origin - This is my daughter's favorite note. I have to admit, it adds a great deal of interest to perfumery. The bittersweet quality is remarkable. It smells realistic, like a thirst-quenching, cold glass of grapefruit juice. I'm not getting any of the off-notes that cause perfumers to turn to synthetics instead of natural grapefruit essence. Perhaps they occur when this substance is mixed with other ingredients.

    Lime, Mexico - The bitterest citrus note in my collection, lime is not my favorite aroma. However, it has a strong presence and better longevity than some of the other citrus peel notes. I think this ingredient would best paired with a sweet base. In fact, I think I would change my mind altogether if I found the right base for it. I wonder which one...
    Last edited by purplebird7; 4th June 2008 at 02:26 AM.

  3. #63

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    I'll start with a couple of synths:
    Methyl Pamplemousse
    - 2% aromachemical in carrier oil … a white grapefruit aroma. Very pleasant! At the start it is quite sweet and lacks the slightly bitter, tart nuance of natural graprefruit peel, but afterwards, it veers toward a more citrusy-bitter smell and becomes more “real”. Linda (Perfumer’s Apprentice) says this is used in a remarkable concentration in AA Pamplelune, but I detect neither cat pee nor body odour, which are often mentioned when discussing Pamplelune. It must be said that I didn’t smell them in the actual fragrance either.
    Mandarin Aldehyde
    - 2% aromachemical in carrier oil. Oh-la-la. I perceive this as being a VERY synthetic smell. I adore mandarin as a fruit, but this aldehyde has an inital rotten mandarin smell that doesn’t appeal to me. Then it turns to a plasticky mandarin. Waxed mandarin peel. The smell is bouncing with vitality and can probably have a lifting effect on tired head notes, but it is unmistakeably fake. While drying down, it smells green to me. It is the scent of a plant I know, a bushy shrub with tiny white flowers, but I can’t come up with a name. It is rather tenacious, still there while the methyl pamplemousse has long gone.


    On to Natural Bergamot – Italy : comparing a 2% concentration in carrier oil with a 10% concentration in alcohol…unfair, I know! Bergamot always reminds me of citron peel (citrus medica, which is very popular in Italy), although greener and more exhuberant. There’s nothing much to say apart from the fact that the higher concentration has a fresher, almost minty smell but evaporated quickly after the initial burst, while the lower concentration seems sweeter somehow and the oil keeps it anchored to skin a bit longer.


    I will write a separate post tomorrow for orange blossom, since my nose is fatigued already. I experimented and did the following: on Friday, I put 10 blossoms in full bloom from my sweet orange tree to macerate, barely covered with alcohol. I think I used an "old way" to create a perfumed cologne!
    Well, it's not neroli, but ok, it'll do!
    Two days ago, I dabbed a tiny bit on my skin and the smell was fabulous, although fleeting. More tomorrow

    BTW, I love your description of orange blossom, P-bird, although it's far from being a fave note for me. I'll look out for the dusty topnote.
    Last edited by Lady_in_Black; 4th June 2008 at 07:06 PM.
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  4. #64

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    for Citrus

    natural Bergamot – I expected it to smell more like Earl Grey tea. It is a bit sweeter and more mellow than I expected

    Dihydromyrcenol lime soap

    Methyl Pamplemousse almost grapefruit rind

    Mandarin Aldehyde – really strange stuff more bitter than citrus. It does suggest mandarin orange but it doesn’t smell like a real one.

    With the synthetics especially the last two it is harder to connect what I am smelling to a description. It’s like having to squint to figure out tiny print or a scribbled note.

  5. #65

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    LIB and whisperingleaves, I am going to send you this Pink Grapefruit from Perfumers Apprentice. She has it listed as a natural. It is very nice, bittersweet from the start, and oh-so-realistic. I bet it smells much better than the Methyl Pamplemousse . And the same with the Mandarin from Italy from Eden Botanicals. It's great, probably much better than the Mandarin Aldehyde .

    Just wait until this is over, I'll send these to you, along with a whole package of the ones I have here. Save this thread, and we can go back and look over eachother's comments while trading ingredients.

    My Bergamot was pretty but short-lived, also. I didn't like it as much as I thought I would, so I started wondering why. The only explanation I have is this: I always smell it in combination with other things--upon opening a foil packet of Earl Grey Tea (Twinings), upon spraying one of my Chypre perfumes, etc. Perhaps I have come to associate bergamot with full aromas, not only the singular note. So, when I finally smelled bergamot alone, it was thinner than I thought. Even full-bore, 100% bergamot is very high-frequency scent. It might be strong at this concentration, but it is still delicate, and fine. It needs support. It needs middle and base notes.

    whisperingleaves, I need to smell Dihydromyrcenol when you're done with it. Not that I would like it. Lime soap? Yuck. I don't like lime much, anyway. Here is what Chandler Burr's book The Perfect Scent says about it (please pardon typos; I hate transcribing and I don't have accent marks programmed into my keyboard):

    Ellena loathes dihydromyrcenol as much as I do. It's a molecule that smells like sink cleaner spilled on an aluminum counter. (Actually I've met few perfumers who don't dislike it--"I'm at war with this molecule" one of them e-mailed me when I brought it up with him--though often not because of the way it smells but simply because aesteheically it has become a huge eye-roll of a cliche.) Ellena identifies it (not enthusiastically) as opening what he calls "perfume's pase hygienique." (He simply noted, "Dihydromyrcenol was hugely used to scent laundry detergents," and stopped there.)...Now that that molecule has been dumped into 8 million masculine scnets, its a boring cliche.

    LIB, your orange blossom tincture sounds divine. I have some mock-orange blossoms on a bush here, and I was going to do the same, but we keep having huge rainstorms every night, and they take all day the next day to build up their scent again.
    I bet there is no "dusty" note to the tincture but, rather, it is sweet all the way through. The process of extraction must put that strange note into the orange blossom absolute.

  6. #66
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    For grapefruit I have:
    Citrus paradisi EO (organic) from Frontier
    I believe it is cold-pressed from the peel, I put 3 drops on a cotton and wafted

    What I smell is pretty much grapefruit skin, and it is quite nice. It is sour and bitter with a little bit of sweetness, same as you would expect if you were to peel a fresh grapefruit.

    For bergamot I have:
    Citrus bergamia EO from Aura Cacia
    I do not know the extraction method, wafted 3 drops on a cotton

    Well, I smell Earl Gray tea...also quite nice. It is slightly medicinal and powdery, with an aromatic wood-like component. Not really delicate, but I can see why purplebird would make the comment about needing "support" from other notes. I think most citrus notes are really "top".

    I have many, many more citrus scents, but these two have occupied my nose for now

  7. #67

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    When I read your last post, whisperingleaves, I said to myself, girl, you have missed one of the citrus synths. Then I smelled the dihydro-myrcenol and remembered! It doesn't smell like lime or any citrus on my skin...it smells of cheap men's cologne first, and then of lavender, quite powdery and a little sweet. That's why I put it under florals in my list

    Sweet orange blossom tincture - origin: my balcony, Italy
    Two days have made a difference! Sadly, the alcohol is still very much there, but as it evaporates, the smell is honeyed and densely floral. Then the delicate fragrance of orange blossoms shines through, sweet and powdery and suave. Very true to the real blossoms. Still short-lived . P-Bird, you're right, no dusty note that i can smell, but my tree is a sweet orange tree and not a bitter orange one, thus the scent of the blossoms might be different.
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  8. #68
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    Grapefruit and Bergamot update, approximately 4 hours later:

    The grapefruit has mostly bitterness, as most of the sweet and sour has evaporated. This is probably where the perception of urine or BO comes from as it smells sort of "off". I can see why something else in the heart or base would have to take over at this point....

    The bergamot still smells mostly like Earl Gray tea, but much less intense and a bit more fresh, tangy and fruity than before. My EO lasts a very long time on the cotton, apparently! It still smells very pleasing, unlike the grapefruit. So far, the help the bergamot needs from heart or base I think is mostly due to fading.

    The two aromas diffused and mingled in my office, and is a nice combination, actually.

  9. #69

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    Hello to all! I just joined the Basenotes Community to be a part in this discussion. i hope i am still in time. just having returned from a course in natural perfumery and smelling the different raw materials and describing them was the most important part for me.

    i was looking for a good supplier, googled a lot using the names of raw materiaterals, found the Perfumer's Apprentice kits and next thing i found was this discussion. i think this is an excellent idea!

    so what i have right now at home is not really much but here it is:
    Bergamot
    Lemongrass
    Orange
    Litsea Cubeba
    Petitgrain
    Rosewood
    Clove
    Teetrea
    Lavender
    Lavandin
    Sandalwood
    Cedarwood
    Ylang-Ylang
    Patchouli
    Rosemary
    Peppermint
    Laurel
    Frankincense
    Niauli
    Clary Sage
    Rose
    Lotus
    Geranium
    Neroli

    will do the sorting and specifying later.

    starting with neroli:
    orangey but a certain freshness, i also smell a little green note, also a little animalic at the end.

    petitgrain: smells like neroli, but greener, herbaceauous.
    Last edited by tamora; 9th June 2008 at 08:43 PM.

  10. #70

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    Welcome Tamora, great to have you aboard as a member. What a great thing that you joined us, and gave your 1st post on Purplebird's project.

    I have been reading this thread with a lot of interest , sorry I could not join in , I have been involved in some other projects that have kept me busy. I do have this thread subscribed , and everytime somebody writes a post I do read it. Just wrote a post to welcome Tamora.

    Thank you Purplebird for starting this and thank you everyone that is participating. We are learning from you, at least I am .
    Vijay"Maisonstinky"

  11. #71

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    Welcome, tamora, it's nice to have you join the project and our Basenotes community as well. I've got your ingredients on my spreadsheet, and you're really caught up with the discussion so far.
    When this is done, I'll get you on the list to smell all the ingredients. I plan to send them to the participants. I'd like to try your petitgrain, for sure.

    Hi, maisonstinky! I always enjoy it when you drop by.
    Please have some tea (from my teacup there.) Lovely day. So what's new with you?

    Aside from that, this is such an interesting and important project for me because I know that the only way my opinions and reviews of perfumes will earn any respect is if I know what I am describing. Everybody listens when a perfumer speaks, because that person has a laboratory full of ingredients to reference. That person knows what 1000 things smell like. Me? I have about 60 ingredients. And many of them are very surprising to me. Indeed, I am shocked to find out how some of these things, that I thought I knew how they smelled, like actually smell.

    But we'll get to that later.
    Right now, I'd like to say thanks to everyone for his or her interest.
    Thanks, even more, for the company of those of you who are helping along. I really enjoy reading about your experiences.
    To all of you who are reading, I hope that, someday, you will be curious enough to buy a few samples of your own, based on what you read here, and be surprised at what you smell.

  12. #72

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    Quote Originally Posted by purplebird7 View Post
    Hi, maisonstinky! I always enjoy it when you drop by.
    Please have some tea (from my teacup there.) Lovely day. So what's new with you?
    Thanks Purplebird. Always enjoy your posts. I will PM you on what's new with me soon .
    Vijay"Maisonstinky"

  13. #73

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    I must decide which direction to go--to continue with the rest of the fruits (having discussed citrus) or the florals (after rose and jasmine.) This is what I propose to do: Set aside the flowers (because they are a huge category) and finish off the fruits first. Then we can return for the rest of the florals, which includes amazing aromas.

    Please make any more comments you would like to make about rose and jasmine.
    Redneck Perfumisto, you have some jasmines in your palatte that you haven't discussed. Which do you like better, the grandiflora or the sambac?
    Jillsy, you have a rose that you haven't weighed in on. In your opinion, in what way does the scent differ from a live rose? Do you wear rose perfumes? Do you associate rose with soaps or other products?

    Fabulous Fruits!
    In the fruit category, I have one other entry:
    Nectaryl - A synthetic peach-apricot accord by Givaudan.
    I had a hard time deciding which peach note to try. Peach in all its incarnations thrills me; Mitsouko, Coco, Diorella, Nahema, Calyx, Cristalle, I even find a certain peachiness about Rush, Maubaussin, and 24, Faubourg, all fragrances that I love.
    This Nectaryl is a peasant cross between apricot and nectarine, slightly tangy, comfortingly sweet. It is nowhere near as assertive or strong as I thought it would be; rather it is soft and milky. (It's more like Gucci Rush than Mitsouko.) It seems to be made for combining with other notes to veer in the direction of one's own personal taste. If I had some, I'd try C-14, or another peach or apricot accord. It smells good with mandarin and orange essences, and it smells very good with neroli.

    I'm was tempted to put Lemongrass in the fruit category, because it is commonly used as an extender for lemon peel essense. However, I will hold it out and put it in a category with other aromatic and herbal ingredients such as juniper berry, lavendar, mint, cedar, and kitchen herbs.

    Jillsy, you've got a peach. Is it synthetic? What perfume does it smell like? Or does it remind you of candy instead?

    LIB, you have the fruitest collection of all of us here. Those that remain in your palatte are:
    Cassis - Black current.
    Melonal - I don't know this one. Dare I suggest, melon?
    Aldehyde C14 – Peach. (Famous note, long used in perfumery.)
    Methyl Heptine Carbonate - Green, leafy, violet, cucumber. (Should we save this for the green category? I have lots of hard-to-classify scents in there, like clary sage, atlas cedar, hay, mate, vetiver, and others.)
    Allyl Amyl Glycolate - Fruity, green, galbanum, pineapple.
    I look forward to your impressions of these ingredients.
    Last edited by purplebird7; 6th June 2008 at 02:09 AM.

  14. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by purplebird7 View Post
    Redneck Perfumisto, you have some jasmines in your palatte that you haven't discussed. Which do you like better, the grandiflora or the sambac?
    Sorry - I'm getting my house and work in order, and got distracted by both places. I'm ready to begin playing this weekend. I'll start dropping results Friday night or Saturday. I have some samples from The Different Company that I want to use for comparison as well. Very Exciting. Had to get some containers to keep the strong odors of my naturals tolerable - especially if I want to work outside the den or garage. More soon...

  15. #75

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    Hi tamora, and welcome to both Basenotes and this thread. The fact that you've just finished a course on natural perfumery renders your comments even more interesting. I am really looking forward to your and our "little brother" redneck perfumisto's impressions.

    P-bird, I am going to send you some C-14 and anything else you wish from my palette. I wholeheartedly agree on what you said about thinking to know how some notes smell. I had a kind of epiphany on a couple of things myself.

    I don't remember why I listed the Methyl Heptine Carbonate under "fruity". I'll check again, but probably because it smelled more fruity than anything else to my nose.
    _____________
    Later: yes, MHC is definitely more fruity than green to my nose. On the other hand, Allyl Glycolate has been misplaced under fruity...no fruit in there whatsoever, but very strong and green - off to the green list it goes. Of course, these are personal evaluations - the MHC might smell green and the Allyl fruity to some, but for me it's exactly the other way round
    Last edited by Lady_in_Black; 6th June 2008 at 07:41 PM.
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  16. #76

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    Melonal : 2% in carrier oil = fresh, light, watery melon smell. In fact, it smells more like watermelon than like melon. The fruity side doesn't last long, the impression of something watery remains on skin.

    C-14 Peach Aldehyde aka Gamma-Undecalactone : 2% in carrier oil. I was pretty excited to smell this historic aldehyde, and my expectations were more than fulfilled. Imagine shiny, golden, juice-dripping slices of a peach which is so ripe it almost borders on overripe. That's what C-14 smells like. It is wonderfully fruity-sweet, milky, creamy, and oh so smooth I just love it. Does it smell natural? I don't think so. It's as natural as a perfect picture of a perfect peach. Time passes but this velvety peach just keeps going.

    Now I'd be rather curious to smell the Nectaryl described by P-bird and to compare them. And I will have to revisit Mitsouko, which I dismissed a long time ago, with this note in mind.

    I don't want to smell anything else tonight. C-14 will be my SotE.
    Last edited by Lady_in_Black; 6th June 2008 at 08:10 PM.
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  17. #77

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    Oops I'm back. Bit late but here's my thoughts on the some of the smells discussed so far.

    Petitgrain - very strong, greenish citrus. Can't explain too well but it definitely needs diluting! I'm more of a fan of the other citruses methinks.

    Sweet orange (synthetic/fragrance oil) - nothing like real orange. I have no clue what it smells like but there's something vaguely citrus. Maybe it's too old now. "Orange and vanilla" fragrance oil smells much more realistic (used it to make scented soap - smelled very much like the fruit)

    Comparing the rose fragrance oil I have to Tea Rose (Perfumer's Workshop) and Fleurs de Bulgarie. It smelled just like the Tea Rose, hardly anything like the Creed (lot of musk in that one). After about 5min it changed though to green, spicy tea rose. Not bad, but not sweet enough for me to appreciate by itself :P

    Yes the peach is synthetic (I'm not too sure what's in it though) and it smells rather like the fruit, but bordering peach lollies. Vaguely reminds me of Peach Hyacinth by Bathed and Infused but other than that I don't really have much to compare it to. I know Mitsouko has a peach note but I can't smell it (yet).


    Wow I love this thread, it's so informative!

  18. #78

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    Cassis
    - Givaudan reconstitution - 2% in carrier oil : it smells very much like black currant berries taste, with a tiny citrusy (acidic) nuance and a deeper inky facet.

    Methyl Heptine Carbonate - 2% in carrier oil : Interestingly, my nose picks up an intensely fruity smell, a mixed fruit salad where I am not able to identify single notes. The fermented fruit pulp smell in Black Orchid comes to mind but, while I love that note in BO, MHC didn't really impress me.

    More to C-14. In his book "The Secret of Smell", Luca Turin says that the one used in Mitsouko is delta-undecalactone, also called Persicol, which he places in the lactones chapter. Also, when talking about aldehydes, he doesn't consider those with a number above C-12. No mention of C-14, C-16 (strawberry aldehyde) and C-18 (coconut aldehyde). SO, are the true aldehydes only those from 1 to 12 and the others lactones? It puzzles me - I'm no chemist and no expert either, so I'd love those in the know to chime in. Please?
    Last edited by Lady_in_Black; 7th June 2008 at 08:47 AM.
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  19. #79
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    NIGHT OF THE LIVING JASMINES

    Well, it's almost that bad. Living in an everclear-free state, I'm waiting for my perfumer's alcohol to arrive by post. Thus, I've had to do my experimentation with various mixtures of 50% vodka and 70% isopropanol. I sort of think that the fact I'm getting any results at all is pretty neat. Still, poor solubility and rubbing alcohol topnotes are making this experiment into a sort of beauty pageant between plant monsters, robots, and Miss France. Miss France? That requires some explaining...

    I decided that I needed a control for my experiments. The only jasmine scent that I have is... Jasmin de Nuit by The Different Company - a creation of Céline Ellena. Wow! I didn't fully realize just how good her work is until I smelled that "positive control" in comparison with my simple naturals and single-molecule synthetics. It's clear that Céline was able to take a jasmine of some kind (Egyptian according to the web site: http://www.thedifferentcompany.com/S..._62/index.html), and turn it into something even better than nature. Way better. Just beautiful. Wow! I never appreciated modern floral perfumes as much as I am tonight. It's easy for us woodchucks (TGL's term - I love it!) to get fairly detailed and perfumista over our woody scents, but to dismiss a lot of floral scents as simply "floral", or whatever flower is front and center. Well, there's some serious olfactory technology going into floral, boys.

    I'm seeing the same thing as other people in terms of my Jasmine Grandiflora (India, CO2) versus my normal Jasmine Absolute (India). The Grandiflora CO2 is much nicer and sweeter than the normal absolute. Definitely less of the fecal, musty, and earthy stuff. Although in drydown the Absolute was quite nice. I would love to have a sample of the Egyptian, which Purplebird preferred over both the Grandiflora and Indian absolute, but if it's anything like the Egyptian jasmine in JdN, then it has to be good.

    I pulled out a couple of my jasminy synthetics, hoping that if I was unable to find close agreement of JdN with my jasmine naturals, I might find agreement with a synthetic. I tried hedione, both as a 12% solution and as pure liquid. It had a nice odor, a little floral, but not strong to me (?). Not sure if my nose is simply dead at this point. I was reaching for the coffee quite a bit. Fresh ground is awesome in that respect. And then I pulled out benzyl acetate. Wow! Powerful, fruity stuff, it resembles ethyl acetate (paint & household solvent) and the other acetates used in gunpowder solvents. Lots and lots and lots of volume. Maybe a bit jasminy, but not really. It's totally unlike the naturals, and has major penetration. It's not listed on the bottle of JdN, but a similar substance is - benzyl salicylate - which I'll try later. Now I'm seeing how you could seriously alter a natural odor with something synthetic, and make a ton of money doing it. Robots are lookin' really good right now. But to be completely honest...maybe not as good as Miss France!

    All in all, like my first day in organic lab. I don't know what I'm doing, but I'm getting the lay of the land. Starting out at the bottom. And I think I appreciate better now the huge effort - both as art and science - that must go into creating a beauty like Jasmin de Nuit. Perfumery ain't for wimps, amigos.

  20. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lady_in_Black View Post

    Cassis
    - Givaudan reconstitution - 2% in carrier oil : it smells very much like black currant berries taste, with a tiny citrusy (acidic) nuance and a deeper inky facet.

    Methyl Heptine Carbonate - 2% in carrier oil : Interestingly, my nose picks up an intensely fruity smell, a mixed fruit salad where I am not able to identify single notes. The fermented fruit pulp smell in Black Orchid comes to mind but, while I love that note in BO, MHC didn't really impress me.

    More to C-14. In his book "The Secret of Smell", Luca Turin says that the one used in Mitsouko is delta-undecalactone, also called Persicol, which he places in the lactones chapter. Also, when talking about aldehydes, he doesn't consider those with a number above C-12. No mention of C-14, C-16 (strawberry aldehyde) and C-18 (coconut aldehyde). SO, are the true aldehydes only those from 1 to 12 and the others lactones? It puzzles me - I'm no chemist and no expert either, so I'd love those in the know to chime in. Please?
    Greetings, Lady! I don't know much about perfumes yet, but I know a lot about aldehydes and lactones. The way it works doesn't have anything (really) to do with size (the number after C). You could have C-200 aldehyde. It just wouldn't smell like much - way too heavy. C-1 aldehyde (formaldehyde) has a powerful volatility, and it just gets less and less as the number goes up.

    Aldehyde means it has a carbon on the end of a chain with just one oxygen double-bonded to it, like this:

    R-CH=O

    (Both the H and the O are bound to the C - it's just drawn that way to keep it on one line)

    The R can be anything that makes up the rest of the molecule. Now if you add another oxygen and another R group (I'll call it R') where you had a hydrogen, you get this, which is called an ester:

    R-C=O
    ....|
    ...OR'

    (I've used periods to space things to the right - hope it works in your font).

    A simple ester is ethyl acetate, which you get from linking ethyl alcohol and acetic acid:

    CH3-C=O
    ........|
    .......O-CH2-CH3

    Acetic acid is CH3-C(=O)-OH when drawn on one line. Parentheses are used to show that two things to the right are connected to the carbon - the first oxygen (2 bonds) and the second oxygen (by one).

    Ethyl alcohol is CH3-CH2-OH and is easily drawn on one line.

    The top part is the acetic acid part, minus an OH The bottom part is the ethyl alcohol part, minus an H. That's actually how a lot of esters are made - by reacting an acid and an alcohol and removing a water molecule (H-O-H).

    And if the R and the R' are hooked together, you get a lactone:

    CH-CH-C=O
    |...........|
    CH-CH-O (I had to use periods to space out the vertical bonds and other stuff)...

    or more clearly (it's called delta-valerolactone) .

    Basically, lactones are esters with a ring instead of two separate R pieces. Esters have a nice, fruity odor. I haven't smelled a lot of lactones, but I imagine they're pretty much like other types of esters. Here's the one you were mentioning in Mitsouko, delta-undecalactone:



    It's beautiful, but not as much as Mitsouko!

  21. #81

    Default Re: Note Identification Project - Please Join In!

    Just checking in. I would love to trade samples it will be fun to smell some other notes.

    I am away from my samples for the weekend but will sort out the fruits and try to sniff them and report on Sunday when I get back. I need to leave again on Monday (flying that time) If anyone has a thought for a direction to go next I'll take a few things along with me so I can keep playing.

    thanks for the chemistry primer redneck perfurmisto

    Welcome tamora I'm glad you are joining in on the fun.

  22. #82

    Smile Re: Note Identification Project - Please Join In!

    thank you for the warm welcome you gave me here! i feel i have come to the right place for me. because it really is fun to share olfactory impressions and i am very impressed with all the knowledgeable posts here. concerning my experience i must confess i am an absolute - if determined - beginner. until some weeks ago i had no experience at all about perfume (will this get me expelled?) let alone the raw materials. it was a kind of new years resolution for me: "this year i want to get acquainted with the world of fragrances." and so i started.

    litsea cubeba (eo, china): first impression pure bigsized lemon, after some seconds it develops into something pleasantly mellow, and with some zesty notes. the odour intensity of it is enormous i would give it an 9 out of ten.

    orange (eo, california) warm and sweet but delicately so. made me smile immediately.

    bergamot (eo, italy): halfway between lemon and orange, very suave. also a little waft of damp herbs. definitely there is more to is than just "earl grey".

    concerning fragrance oils, i have omitted them from my first list. but in stock are:

    peach
    tobacco
    heather
    frangipani
    tuberose
    lindenblossom
    musk
    amber

    peach: fragrance oil. it smells nice and peachy only for the fraction of a second. then immediately to be overlayered by a soapy-metal-like smell. like somebody has dug into a fruit bowl full of ripe peaches and afterswards washed his hands frantically with a type of soap they use in trainstations.
    Last edited by tamora; 7th June 2008 at 03:47 PM.

  23. #83

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    Oh, gosh, LIB that's what I was really looking for in a peach, your description of C-14 is it. Nectaryl is a subtle peach. It is much more milky. It's a "sneaky" peach like that found in Gucci Rush. In the presence of other ingredients, it recedes into the background. But a day and a half later, the test strip is still filling the room with milky peach aroma. That's what I call soft but tenacious. Yes, indeed, we will trade and compare.

    jillsy - I liked neroli, so I wonder probably will like petitgrain more than you. You will have to smell the entire family of natural orange products (orange blossom absolute, neroli, sweet orange, and mandarin) which you will do when I send these samples around at the end of the project. Chandler Burr doesn't like natural orange blossom and neroli. Please read his opinions on scents in this interview from our own Basenotes:
    http://www.basenotes.net/articles/20...materials.html

    That Perfumer's Workshop Tea Rose is amazing and plantlike. I tried it and t hought it came very close to a real rose, although too uncompromising to be an actual perfume that I would enjoy wearing for long. I still entertain thoughts of buying a bottle and layering it with musk or vanilla or patchouli, but I have had unpredictible results with layering that I think have to do with chemical interaction. In reality, I put one scent on one arm and another scent on the other arm and call it good.

    Peach and hyacinth together sound like something I would like. The aspect of the Mitsouko peach that makes it so good to me is that it is more aromatic than edible. I get tired of fruit scents that smell like candy. They must have a floral, woody, musky, or other overriding characteristic in order for me to enjoy wearing them. I think I just get hungry if they smell like lollies.

    LIB I am intrigued by cassis. It has been described by some as smelling slightly "rancid" and I wondered how that came into play. I doubt if I could identify black current in a perfume yet. I need to go smell my daughters AA Grosselina.

    I bet I would like the Melonal. One of my favorite fruity florals (on an extremely short list of this genre) is Guir Ness Laila which has watermelon and wildflowers, although it claims to be all-natural.

    Redneck Perfumisto thanks for the information about aldehydes.
    Now, plese bear with my ignorance.
    Can one physically take acetic acid (which smells like vinegar) and ethyl alcohol (which is grain alcohol) and put them together and get ethyl acetate? Merely by mixing?

    Don't laugh. I mixed rice vinegar with Everclear and didn't get anything that smelled like fruit (ester) or milk (lactone.)
    O.K. I admit, even I am laughing at myself.

    Another question for you: Why are most fruit notes synthetic?
    Last edited by purplebird7; 7th June 2008 at 04:03 PM.

  24. #84

    Default Re: Note Identification Project - Please Join In!

    Quote Originally Posted by purplebird7 View Post
    Oh, gosh, LIB that's what I was really looking for in a peach, your description of C-14 is it.
    ...........
    ...........
    LIB I am intrigued by cassis. It has been described by some as smelling slightly "rancid" and I wondered how that came into play. I doubt if I could identify black current in a perfume yet. I need to go smell my daughters AA Grosselina.
    Yeah p-bird, C-14 is one of the molecules I really loved in my palette. It is a creamy note more than a milky one. Not that I dislike milky notes. For instance, I love milky jasmine.
    The C-14 molecule has definitely an edible smell and of course, a scent based only on C-14 would tire the nose in no time.
    Speaking of Mitsouko, this afternoon I smelled Mitsouko in EdP and parfum, seeking the peach note. Hmmm....it was a little more evident in the parfum but all in all, it was only another confirmation that I'm not a Mitsouko girl. I find the other notes extremely disturbing
    If I should mention off the top of my head which scent features a peach note similar to C-14 I'd say Clive Christian X for women (peaches and cream).

    As to cassis, it smells fruity-inky to me...rancid? Nope, not that I can tell.

    Redneck Perfumisto
    , thank you so much for the "technical" explanation! Do you also know if gamma and delta-undecalactone smell the same? The question arises because the one I have is "gamma-" and he speaks about "delta-"
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]Sniffing around
    I'll stop wearing black when they make something darker

  25. #85

    Default Re: Note Identification Project - Please Join In!

    p-bird: as far as i know fruits do not contain essential oils with the exception of citrus fruits. same thing with vegetables with the exception of carrots(seeds). therefore you have do to a kind of workaround with synthetics.

  26. #86
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    Default Re: Note Identification Project - Please Join In!

    Fennel and celery produce essential oil, as far as I know. It is probably also from the seeds.

  27. #87

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    tamora, I understand--no essential oils in most fruits=no ability to distill anything. It makes sense.

    Redneck Perfumisto, I apologize for not picking up on the fact that you didn't have Everclear. I could've shipped you a bottle a long time ago.
    Night of the Living Jasmines, indeed. Besotted flowers.
    Fortunately your samples are heavy on the herbs and woods, so you haven't missed much of the action yet.

    I agree that the role of synthtics are to work together with the naturals.
    Alone, the naturals are often too "busy" with undesirable traits occurring along with the desirable traits. Mixing a number of naturals together (as evidenced by the aroma of a full palatte of natural ingredients) can yield a revolting mess. Historically, the same essences were overused because of their known suitability in combination.
    On the other hand the synthetics, alone, can smell dull, flat, or one-dimensional. They can also be high-pitched and overdone in certain aspects. Or they can be unpleasant in their presentation--coming on too strongly, fading suddenly, or persisting too long.
    But together, they support eachother. Each makes up for the shortcomings of the other. It is as it should be.

    Have we discussed our fruites now?
    Is it time to move onto the florals?

    Next category:
    Strange Florals - Some Common and Uncommon Flowers
    I'll try to take this slowly so that Redneck Perfumisto gets his alcohol.
    *Back to the laboratory*

    We have the following florals remaining:
    tamora: frangipani, tuberose, heather, linden
    LIB: Yang-ylang, Helichrysum (Immortelle), Lyral, Lilial, Hydroxy-citronellal, Heliotropin, Dihydro-Myrcenol, Hedione, Ionone Alpha, Linalool.
    jillsy - violet, geranium, rose geranium, lavendar, ylang-ylang, cherry blossom
    Redneck Perfumisto - German blue Chamomile, Roman chamomile, Geranium Bourbon, Ylang-ylang, Spikenard (in the valerian family), Tagates (in the daisy family), Helichrysum/Imortelle, Linden, Lotus.
    purplebird7 - Lavendar, Champaca, Genet (Broom), Linden, Geranium Bourbon, Tuberose.

  28. #88
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    Default Re: Note Identification Project - Please Join In!

    Quote Originally Posted by purplebird7 View Post
    Redneck Perfumisto thanks for the information about aldehydes.
    Now, plese bear with my ignorance.
    Can one physically take acetic acid (which smells like vinegar) and ethyl alcohol (which is grain alcohol) and put them together and get ethyl acetate? Merely by mixing?

    Don't laugh. I mixed rice vinegar with Everclear and didn't get anything that smelled like fruit (ester) or milk (lactone.)
    O.K. I admit, even I am laughing at myself.

    Another question for you: Why are most fruit notes synthetic?
    Great questions! I'm not laughing - your question is often asked by college kids taking organic chemistry.

    And I admire your experimentalist nature. Few students would simply go off and try something like that on a hunch. But that is the way scientists keep each other honest. If you're thinking of a second career, I can tell you that you would be great - and probably a thorn in the side of less careful scientists!

    Generally speaking, esters are NOT made simply by mixing acids and alcohols neat (I don't know, but I don't ever recall seeing this as a practical method for any instance). For direct esterification (what you're doing), you need to add an acid catalyst or some kind of reagent, and often heat, and usually taking some kind of action to assure the removal of water, such as distilling out either the ester product or the water byproduct. Now if you were actually intending to manufacture ethyl acetate, I can tell you that you've picked a hard case. But you can use your case to demonstrate formation of ethyl acetate. Let me refer you to an example student laboratory exercise: http://www.chemheritage.org/Educatio...vity/ester.htm. In this case, you use a small amount of sulfuric acid (concentrated and present in excess, it absorbs water) to simply create the fruity odor of the ester product. This type of experiment, typically using a solid acid like benzoic acid, is often the first experiment that people do in organic laboratory.

    But I caution you not to try this without proper safety equipment, procedures, etc. Concentrated sulfuric acid is nasty stuff. (I would not have to warn most people about this, readers, but purplebird shows all the signs of being a a home chemist - like I was in my youth!)

    Lactones often form more easily, since the parts of the molecule which are reacting are basically right there already, and because they often form very favorable rings. But not all lactones are so favored, and so more difficult methods may have to be undertaken.

    Your question about fruit notes being mostly synthetic is interesting, and would also have a group of scientists debating and arguing almost immediately (including whether it was true at all!). Let me say it this way - "fruity" notes are easy, because all you have to do is make a small ester, and it's bound to smell like some sort of fruit, although not necessarily one on this planet! Add to this the fact that real fruits have a lot of chemicals (including many that are not esters) that are smelly and readily isolated and separated in good quantities, and you have a recipe for over-abundance of fruit-reminiscent "synthetic" notes in the perfumer's palette. It's important to remember that many "synthetics" are actually most easily isolated from natural sources, possibly with some kind of subsequent reaction. The border between natural and synthetic is blurry. Once you deviate from pure, natural isolates, you get into complexity fast. There are a limited number of fruit essences, but there is a treasure trove of fruit components, fruit-reminiscent synthetics, and small mixtures of these things.

    Working with only natural substances or things directly isolated from naturals is a hard row to hoe. It's like certain restrained forms of rock climbing, where things like pre-set anchors and even ropes are forbidden. We admire greatly those who can do difficult climbs this way, but harder climbs require ropes, and the hardest climbs require things like bolts. Neither form of climbing is less admirable than the other - they just solve different classes of problems. Likewise, the natural perfumer is restrained to a smaller palette. But when they create beauty, there is a certain extra admiration for having done it the hard way. This does not mean that we cannot also love the work of the unrestrained artist, who with a bigger palette creates things we didn't even think were possible.

    You are quite right - the naturals and synthetics support each other. As it should be.

  29. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lady_in_Black View Post
    Redneck Perfumisto, thank you so much for the "technical" explanation! Do you also know if gamma and delta-undecalactone smell the same? The question arises because the one I have is "gamma-" and he speaks about "delta-"
    By experience (having smelled neither), I can tell you nothing - but by science, I can tell you most certainly that they do not smell the same. The gamma and delta tell you how big the ring of the lactone is. The ring sizes are alpha (3), beta (4), gamma (5), delta (6), epsilon (7), etc., and omega (generalized end). Gamma and delta form nice rings (5 and 6), so they're most common.

    The only fragrance substances with almost the same properties are mirror images, and even those smell different to people (because our specifically right or left "handed" biomolecules can "see" the difference in handedness of other molecules, just as your right hand detects another person's right or left hand upon a handshake). But when you make a really big change in the molecule, like a bigger ring, it's essentially guaranteed (pun intended) that there will be a difference in odor. If there was not at least some difference, that would actually be really interesting.

    You folk are asking the most interesting questions! I just love it.

  30. #90

    Default Re: Note Identification Project - Please Join In!

    I've got Aldehyde C-14 - I am not quite getting the dreamy peach that others have. I am not smelling much of anything. I'll have to get someone else to smell this and see if it is me or it.

    Allyl amly glycolate - pineapple definitely. a bit synthetic but definitely pinapple.


    Cassis
    - lots of fruit. not sure I can place it as cassis but wonderfully fruity I am getting peach as part of this, berry too.

    For the other florals it looks like I have
    synthetics:
    3 muguets (hydroxycitronella, lilial, and lyral) a violet alpha ionone
    natural Immortelle (helichysum italicum)

    I may try to take them along so I can keep playing. They are small so they and a few samples to tide me over for the week ought to fit in one of the small bags TSA will pass.

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