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  1. #1

    Default ISO E Super as an Intensifier

    I was reading a few days ago about how ISO E Super is used as an intensifier in perfumery. I was made curious because I was trying to learn more about the frag I was wearing that day (a sample of Escentric 01). The following day, before going to work, I layered one spray of Escentric 01 with a couple of sprays of John Varvatos. By the end of the day, I couldn't get home fast enough to shower. I was extremely tired of smelling very strong JV all day. I don't think my co-workers were subjected to it (at least I hope not, and no one showed any reaction when I walked near them). While trying to shower off the fragrance, it just got stronger. I just had to let it wear off overnight.

    Today I again wore JV, this time without Escentric, and it behaved normally. For kicks, after work, I applied some Escentric to my arm, along with some M; Men. M; Men has very poor longevity on me, but when layered with the ISO E, it was a powerhouse, and didn't fade at all over several hours. As I am typing this, I am experiencing sickeningly powerful M; Men.

    I also get a peppery taste in my mouth when wearing frags containing this chemical.

    The moral of this story is to be careful when layering frags containing large amounts of ISO E Super (unless you want some unintended consequences). I suspect that TdH might show some of the same phenomenon. At the very least try your blend at home first.

    Of course, if you use it cleverly, perhaps you could increase the longevity of some of your perfumes that have problems with longevity. It seems to me that it is mainly the wearer whose nose is made more sensitive to certain aromachemicals, and not that there is substantially more sillage (but I may be wrong about this).

  2. #2

    Default Re: ISO E Super as an Intensifier

    I think you're on to something here. I have a big problem with Ormonde Jayne fragrances, all of them. Somehow they start out beautifully, then 10 minutes later, they amplify, and amplify, until I'm ready for skin grafts! (showers don't help, the stuff clings)
    I had the same problem with a sample of Lancome's Magnifique.
    All of these, I'm told, contain large amounts of Iso E Super in the base. Something about this molecule causes frags to go nuclear, at least to some people's noses. Terre d'Hermes contains it at a tolerable level, I don't mind that one. I think he used a lot in Kelley Caleche, which I can wear on occasion, but it's so strong!
    Perhaps it's good IFRA is trying to regulate Iso E Super....

  3. #3

    Default Re: ISO E Super as an Intensifier

    Quote Originally Posted by Elf View Post
    I think you're on to something here. I have a big problem with Ormonde Jayne fragrances, all of them. Somehow they start out beautifully, then 10 minutes later, they amplify, and amplify, until I'm ready for skin grafts! (showers don't help, the stuff clings)
    I had the same problem with a sample of Lancome's Magnifique.
    All of these, I'm told, contain large amounts of Iso E Super in the base. Something about this molecule causes frags to go nuclear, at least to some people's noses. Terre d'Hermes contains it at a tolerable level, I don't mind that one. I think he used a lot in Kelley Caleche, which I can wear on occasion, but it's so strong!
    Perhaps it's good IFRA is trying to regulate Iso E Super....
    Ah, so perhaps I am not crazy ;-)

    I also have some problems with AdP Colonia Intensa, Rive Gauche, and the CdG incense frags. It wouldn't surprise me to hear they have large amounts of Iso E Super. I have not yet seen a problem with Terre d'Hermes.
    Last edited by JonB; 21st November 2008 at 01:07 PM.

  4. #4

    Default Re: ISO E Super as an Intensifier

    Totally agree JonB. Fragrances like TdH, Black Xs, Light Blue for women, Eau Fraiche by versace and the escentrics all smell similar and are powerhouses on me because of their large doses of Iso E Super. I wore Escentric 01 once and had to scrub it off cuz it was INSANE. It was too chemically, and although I only used a drop, it had the sillage of 4 sprays of Black Xs. So I think Iso e Super definitely is an intensifier - I have hunch though that it depends on your own skin chemistry.

    ps. I can taste it too!
    Last edited by L'Aventurier; 21st November 2008 at 02:04 PM.
    Sales thread here

  5. #5

    Default Re: ISO E Super as an Intensifier

    Quote Originally Posted by JonB View Post
    Ah, so perhaps I am not crazy ;-)

    I also have some problems with AdP Colonia Intensa, Rive Gauche, and the CdG incense frags. It wouldn't surprise me to hear they have large amounts of Iso E Super. I have not yet seen a problem with Terre d'Hermes.
    There's no doubt that the CdG incense series fragrances (and GdG 2 Man) contain Iso E Super®, as does Rive Gauche Pour Homme, as does AdP Colonia Intensa. Jean Claude Ellena, co-perfumer with Bertrand Duchaufour of AdP Colonia Intensa, uses Iso E Super® liberally in many of his creations, including Terre d'Hermès (in which it makes up 50%* of the formulation!!) and Poivre Samarkande (in which it makes up 70%* of the formulation!!!!) (*source: 1000fragrances.blogspot.com, "Rumors: End of Minimalism?" post). Other recent fragrances overdosed with Iso E Super® are Juicy Couture's Dirty English (2008) and Tauer Perfumes Incense Extrême (2008),

    Since it was first introduced in 1972, Iso E Super® has become a major aromatic chemical in many aesthetically and commercially successful fragrances. An instance of the former is Shiseido's legendary Féminité du Bois (Iso E Super® at 43%) created by Pierre Bourdon and Christopher Sheldrake and overseen by Serge Lutens. Iso E Super® can also be found in some other of Serge Lutens' fragrances under Lutens’ own name. It is one of only four aromachemical ingredients that make up 80% of the formula for Sophia Grosjman’s 1990 reworking of Lancôme’s original Trésor. Other women’s fragrances in which Iso E Super® features prominently are YSL’s Paris, Chanel’s Coco, Chopard’s Casmir, Calvin Klein’s Eternity, and Givenchy’s Amarige and, more recently, as noted above, Dolce & Gabbana’s Light Blue. Some men’s fragrances that feature Iso E Super® are Dior’s Dune Pour Homme, YSL M7, many of the Armani men's fragrances, CdG 3, Celine Fever Pour Homme, to name a few. Quite simply, it's in many classic designer fragrances of the last 36 year and in a large number of niche fragrances; Cashmere for Men by Cristiano Fissore is one that comes immediately to mind. I am sure others could name a lot more if hard pressed. It's certainly in Dior Homme Cologne, and I am pretty sure it's used in Dior Homme EDT and Dior Homme Intense.

    My apologies to those who like to imagine that niche fragrances necessarily contain higher amounts of "pure essences" and less aromachemicals. The startling percentages of Iso E Super found in fragrances like Poivre Samarkande (70%) and Tauer's Incense Extreme, not to mention a large number of the fragrances in the Serge Lutens line, should really get people thinking about the facile, unproductive dichotomy between niche and designer, something I've been arguing for a long time now. See the_good_life's post below (post #49) for a list of fragrances that contain high percentages of Iso E Super.

    scentemental

    Last edited by scentemental; 23rd March 2012 at 02:37 AM.

  6. #6

    Default Re: ISO E Super as an Intensifier

    Is it listed as one of the ingredients on the fragrance box if it's used in such high amounts? If so, is there a chemical synonym for Iso E Super? I don't remember seeing "Iso E Super" listed as a specific ingredient.

    Thank you for the excellent thread and posts. This is a fascinating topic.

  7. #7

    Default Re: ISO E Super as an Intensifier

    Quote Originally Posted by seattlelight View Post
    Is it listed as one of the ingredients on the fragrance box if it's used in such high amounts? If so, is there a chemical synonym for Iso E Super? I don't remember seeing "Iso E Super" listed as a specific ingredient.

    Thank you for the excellent thread and posts. This is a fascinating topic.
    Iso E Super®

    a.k.a. Iso Cyclomene E-Woody amber

    a.k.a. 1-(1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8-octahydro-2,3,8,8-tetramethyl-2-naphthalenyl)-ethan-1-one (and isomers)

    a.k.a. 7-acetyl, 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8-octahydro-1,1,6,7-tetramethyl naphthalene

    It is not currently subject to fragrance allergen labeling requirements.


    Last edited by scentemental; 21st November 2008 at 03:24 PM.

  8. #8

    Default Re: ISO E Super as an Intensifier

    I have some trouble with Iso E Super--mostly I get headaches if the quantity is very high. I think Kenzo Amour also has a very large amount, but I am able to wear it if I don't apply heavily. And I am pretty sure that Hermes Vetiver Tonka has a huge dose of it, because I got a splitting headache when I wore it. Same with Terre d'Hermes. I was wondering about the OJ line--I tried a couple and they seem to have that tendency for me also.

    There is another chemical that smells like ammonia to me, and I can't figure out what that might be. When others mentioned AdP Colonia Intensa and Dirty English, I really perked up...but I think it is not the Iso E Super, otherwise a huge number of fragrances would smell like ammonia. I am starting to think it might be ambroxan. However, it seems to mostly happen when I smell fougeres, so I am wondering if there is a synthetic "fern" chemical that is the culprit.

    Help, scentemental!

  9. #9

    Default Re: ISO E Super as an Intensifier

    Quote Originally Posted by Asha View Post
    I have some trouble with Iso E Super--mostly I get headaches if the quantity is very high. I think Kenzo Amour also has a very large amount, but I am able to wear it if I don't apply heavily. And I am pretty sure that Hermes Vetiver Tonka has a huge dose of it, because I got a splitting headache when I wore it. Same with Terre d'Hermes. I was wondering about the OJ line--I tried a couple and they seem to have that tendency for me also.

    There is another chemical that smells like ammonia to me, and I can't figure out what that might be. When others mentioned AdP Colonia Intensa and Dirty English, I really perked up...but I think it is not the Iso E Super, otherwise a huge number of fragrances would smell like ammonia. I am starting to think it might be ambroxan. However, it seems to mostly happen when I smell fougeres, so I am wondering if there is a synthetic "fern" chemical that is the culprit.

    Help, scentemental!
    I would like to help Asha, but I have never got an "ammonia" like smell from anything I've smelled. More than likely, it might be an idiosyncratic way you are reacting to something in the fragrances you mention. If you suspect Ambroxan, why not sample Escentric Molecules Molecule 01 and Escentric 02, both of which feature Ambroxan front stage.

  10. #10

    Default Re: ISO E Super as an Intensifier

    Heya Scentemental,

    I am curious what other chemicals behave like ISO E Super, chemicals that are too large to be constantly detected. Specifically, are there any that smell more like laundry detergent? I'm curious as to what L'Antimatiere is made of - as I'm sure it is made of these "too large to smell constantly" chemicals (is there a specific name for chemicals of that size?) - but it doesn't have the woody, cedary characteristic of ISO E Super, but smells more like a fabric softener with a definite dose of (I presume synthetic) ambergris. Are there any ambergris aromachemicals that are too large to smell constantly? Whatever is in this stuff it's ridiculously strong to this nose. Its fuzzy musk drydown lasted over 76 hours and throughout 3 showers.

    Btw, I find it *really* fascinating how you are exposing niche frags for what (many of them) are. I've smelled a fair number of niche and many designer frags, and I really don't detect a significant quality difference between most niche and the best designer frags*. Of course, there are a number of overly 'synthetic' and rough designer frags out there and the niche brands worst tend not to be as bad as the designer's worst, but there really is not a significant quality difference in most cases.

    *(MPG is a definite exception here as their higher use of naturals is quite evident. Creed too, although to a lesser degree.)
    Last edited by SculptureOfSoul; 21st November 2008 at 05:20 PM.
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  11. #11

    Default Re: ISO E Super as an Intensifier

    How weird--I just smelled Escentric Molecule 01 the other day, and I thought "nondescript woody that disappears almost instantly". It vanished completely from the smelling strip after an hour.

    So does this suggest that it is a compound that in not intense in itself, but has a dramatic effect when added to other things? Like the monosodium glutamate of fragrance!

  12. #12

    Default Re: ISO E Super as an Intensifier

    MPG's and Creed doesnt exude the "natural" flavor the way a Profumum or a Strange Invisible Perfumes does

    Quote Originally Posted by andylama View Post
    How weird--I just smelled Escentric Molecule 01 the other day, and I thought "nondescript woody that disappears almost instantly". It vanished completely from the smelling strip after an hour.

    So does this suggest that it is a compound that in not intense in itself, but has a dramatic effect when added to other things? Like the monosodium glutamate of fragrance!
    Molecule 01 has excellent stayin power on me...maybe u shudnt judge it by a testing on a paper strip
    Last edited by jenson; 21st November 2008 at 05:37 PM.

  13. #13

    Default Re: ISO E Super as an Intensifier

    Quote Originally Posted by jenson View Post
    Molecule 01 has excellent stayin power on me...maybe u shudnt judge it by a testing on a paper strip
    Perhaps not. The impression I got from the strip did not make me want to put it on my skin. But I'll try it.

  14. #14

    Default Re: ISO E Super as an Intensifier

    Quote Originally Posted by SculptureOfSoul View Post
    Heya Scentemental,

    I am curious what other chemicals behave like ISO E Super, chemicals that are too large to be constantly detected. Specifically, are there any that smell more like laundry detergent? I'm curious as to what L'Antimatiere is made of - as I'm sure it is made of these "too large to smell constantly" chemicals (is there a specific name for chemicals of that size?) - but it doesn't have the woody, cedary characteristic of ISO E Super, but smells more like a fabric softener with a definite dose of (I presume synthetic) ambergris. Are there any ambergris aromachemicals that are too large to smell constantly? Whatever is in this stuff it's ridiculously strong to this nose. Its fuzzy musk drydown lasted over 76 hours and throughout 3 showers.

    Btw, I find it *really* fascinating how you are exposing niche frags for what (many of them) are. I've smelled a fair number of niche and many designer frags, and I really don't detect a significant quality difference between most niche and the best designer frags*. Of course, there are a number of overly 'synthetic' and rough designer frags out there and the niche brands worst tend not to be as bad as the designer's worst, but there really is not a significant quality difference in most cases.

    *(MPG is a definite exception here as their higher use of naturals is quite evident. Creed too, although to a lesser degree.)
    There are some very interesting questions here SculptureOfSoul. I don't have time to put together a response right now that would do justice to such questions, but I will post a detailed response when I get some time.

    I am happy to hear you find the demystification of niche fascinating. It's amazing how much resistance and personal animosity those of us interested in such demystification have encountered over the years. It took me and some others two years of relentless posting just to get Creed heads to feel even remotely self-conscious about sounding like Creed advertising copy every time they said something about Creed. I think with the inevitable proliferation of knowledge and information out there and with people like yourself who have experience with essential oils and absolutes a lot of the uniformed shibboleths about niche fragrances will mercifully fade away. At least, I hope so; although, I won't hold my breath. I see the proliferation of many blogs and blog reviews these days as free advertising for both designer and especially niche fragrances. Very little of it is well-informed or even illuminating on anything but the most superficial level. Again, to me, at least, it sounds like advertising copy for the respective designer and niche houses. I think Chandler Burr's excellent book The Perfect Scent unflinchingly exposes just how little veracity there really is in fragrance company advertising and "information releases" these days or, in fact, how little there has been since the beginnings of the industry.


    Cheers,

    scentemental
    Last edited by scentemental; 23rd March 2012 at 02:36 AM.

  15. #15

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    Default Re: ISO E Super as an Intensifier

    Quote Originally Posted by andylama View Post
    How weird--I just smelled Escentric Molecule 01 the other day, and I thought "nondescript woody that disappears almost instantly". It vanished completely from the smelling strip after an hour.

    So does this suggest that it is a compound that in not intense in itself, but has a dramatic effect when added to other things? Like the monosodium glutamate of fragrance!

    E-01 works much better on skin, and then not just sampled but fully worn, then it does on paper.


    Scentimental - I love having you on this board. Your knowledge is very helpful.

    Is it possible that Iso E Super reacts differently on different skin? I happen to enjoy E-01 (I'm in the minority, I know), and I love Poivre Samarcade, but I don't get the 'intensifying' effect described by other people. In fact, with Poivre, my main complaint is that it's not strong enough and needs better longevity. I don't have those problems with E-01, but I'd just credited that to perhaps the concentration of the non-Iso E Super components.

    Any insight into the reaction between this aromachemical and skin would be appreciated.

  16. #16

    Default Re: ISO E Super as an Intensifier

    Quote Originally Posted by bbBD View Post
    E-01 works much better on skin, and then not just sampled but fully worn, then it does on paper.


    Scentimental - I love having you on this board. Your knowledge is very helpful.

    Is it possible that Iso E Super reacts differently on different skin? I happen to enjoy E-01 (I'm in the minority, I know), and I love Poivre Samarcade, but I don't get the 'intensifying' effect described by other people. In fact, with Poivre, my main complaint is that it's not strong enough and needs better longevity. I don't have those problems with E-01, but I'd just credited that to perhaps the concentration of the non-Iso E Super components.

    Any insight into the reaction between this aromachemical and skin would be appreciated.
    I personally love E01, but if I wear it, I can't apply any other fragrance for at least 24 hours afterwards. I think the issue is not with peoples skin, it's with the sensitivity of a persons nose to the intensifying effect. At least this is my sense of it.

  17. #17

    Default Re: ISO E Super as an Intensifier

    Quote Originally Posted by jenson View Post
    MPG's and Creed doesnt exude the "natural" flavor the way a Profumum or a Strange Invisible Perfumes does



    Molecule 01 has excellent stayin power on me...maybe u shudnt judge it by a testing on a paper strip
    Haven't had the pleasure of sniffing a Profumum or SIP yet, although I'm *sure* the SIP's smell quite natural as they are all natural .

    And I don't mean to imply that I think Creed or MPG utilize naturals in truly significant quantities. My guess is < 20%. I think with MPG they are just formulated to be rougher and smell more "natural" - but their longevity and strength (especially longevity of certain naturally fleeting notes) expose their synthetic nature.
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  18. #18

    Default Re: ISO E Super as an Intensifier

    I hate the stuff. It drives me nuts how it is in almost everything released these days. It is just like MSG - once I noticed it in food it really started to irritate. It is the partly the feeling of being hoodwinked into thinking something much more complex is going on. It is the main reason that T d'H smelled blah to me.
    "Don’t try to be original. Be simple. Be good technically, and if there is something in you, it will come out. ” - Henri Matisse.

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  19. #19

    Default Re: ISO E Super as an Intensifier

    Quote Originally Posted by scentemental View Post
    Iso E Super®

    a.k.a. Iso Cyclomene E-Woody amber
    Woody amber ! Vibert, where are you??

    Thanks to scentemental for a detailed exposure of this aromachemicals use - I was aware of its higher than normal use in TdH and many Lutens fragrances but the Poivre Samarcande statistic was a shocker. Scentemental, any ideas how liberally its used in Guerlain Homme
    Last edited by zztopp; 22nd November 2008 at 12:37 AM.
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  20. #20
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    Default Re: ISO E Super as an Intensifier

    Quote Originally Posted by Asha View Post
    I have some trouble with Iso E Super--mostly I get headaches if the quantity is very high. I think Kenzo Amour also has a very large amount, but I am able to wear it if I don't apply heavily. And I am pretty sure that Hermes Vetiver Tonka has a huge dose of it, because I got a splitting headache when I wore it. Same with Terre d'Hermes. I was wondering about the OJ line--I tried a couple and they seem to have that tendency for me also.

    There is another chemical that smells like ammonia to me, and I can't figure out what that might be. When others mentioned AdP Colonia Intensa and Dirty English, I really perked up...but I think it is not the Iso E Super, otherwise a huge number of fragrances would smell like ammonia. I am starting to think it might be ambroxan. However, it seems to mostly happen when I smell fougeres, so I am wondering if there is a synthetic "fern" chemical that is the culprit.

    Help, scentemental!
    Asha, I'm so glad that you were willing to share your personal experience with headaches from Iso E Super®. I have a friend - a fragrance lover - who cannot stand certain perfumes which give her - exactly as you describe - a splitting headache. She is not a migraine sufferer, nor does she get headaches from other environmental causes. She says that she can sometimes tell if a perfume will give her a headache by the smell alone, but usually she tests this emipirically by a few whiffs. She did not get perfume headaches as a child or young adult, but she finds that modern perfumes give her headaches more often than not. She has gravitated toward fragrant oils and away from alcohol-based perfumes for this reason.

    Here are the structures of (1) Iso E Super®, (2) Δ9-THC, and (3) Incensole acetate (the latter is a neuroactive/psychoactive terpenoid found in frankincense). Although not all that similar in their specific structures, my point is simply this - it's not unbelievable that a bicyclic terpenoid of roughly similar size and structure would have a minor side effect such as headaches in some part of the population.



    The ammonia smell could be an amine, or (as scentemental suggests) an idiosyncratic perception of something which could be an amine or not. I recall the chemical Martima® ("wet dog smell") being discussed on the note identification thread. That is an example of an amine. Indole and skatole are more well-known amines in the fragrance world. Since amines are generally strong aroma substances, but (at least in my opinion) typically unpleasant, they make good suspects in this case. Martima® is described as fresh air, ozonic, and marine - presumably in small amounts where it doesn't reek of wet dog hair. I can't tell if there is any Martima® in Dirty English, but it wouldn't surprise me.

    I did look at "fern" chemicals - picking on oakmoss as a likely source since it seemed like the most complex component of fougères. These chemicals appear to be mostly phenolics (which are not amines). If these are the culprit, it could be that you perceive them a bit differently (more like amines or ammonia).

    Interesting thread, people. I was particularly struck by the prevalence of Iso E Super® in so many places and in such large amounts. Thanks for that info, scentemental.
    * * * *

  21. #21

    Default Re: ISO E Super as an Intensifier

    Thanks so much Redneck! I really hope to get to the bottom of this someday.

    I have been keeping a list of fragrances that smell like ammonia to me:

    Juicy Couture Dirty English
    Caron Pour un Homme
    Acqua di Parma Colonia Intensa
    Bois 1920 1920 Extreme
    Nasamotto China White (drydown)
    Parfum d'Empire Iskander
    Serge Lutens Gris Clair
    Montale Red Oud
    Perfumes Raffy Mogul
    Guerlain Vetiver (new formula...drydown)

    Dirty English and AdP Colonia Intensa are extreme offenders. I wonder if I am hyperosmic to something, such that I smell ammonia rather than what most people typically smell. Could be an overdose of IsoE, but as I said, I have other frags with IsoE and they are fine if worn with caution. I noticed my Tide laundry detergent does it also (when the clothes are wet), so it must be something synthetic.

    For what it's worth, I am in agreement with your friend. When a fragrance smells like chemical cocktail, it is rather unpleasant. Add a headache to that, and you have a fragrance that is more of a nose assault.

    EDIT: PS, natural oakmoss is a bit irritating, but does not smell like ammonia. I smelled synthetic oakmoss in the note identification project, and did not get any ammonia.
    Last edited by Asha; 22nd November 2008 at 05:46 AM.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: ISO E Super as an Intensifier

    Quote Originally Posted by Asha View Post
    Thanks so much Redneck! I really hope to get to the bottom of this someday.

    I have been keeping a list of fragrances that smell like ammonia to me:

    Juicy Couture Dirty English
    Caron Pour un Homme
    Acqua di Parma Colonia Intensa
    Bois 1920 1920 Extreme
    Nasamotto China White (drydown)
    Parfum d'Empire Iskander
    Serge Lutens Gris Clair
    Montale Red Oud
    Perfumes Raffy Mogul
    Guerlain Vetiver (new formula...drydown)

    Dirty English and AdP Colonia Intensa are extreme offenders. I wonder if I am hyperosmic to something, such that I smell ammonia rather than what most people typically smell. Could be an overdose of IsoE, but as I said, I have other frags with IsoE and they are fine if worn with caution. I noticed my Tide laundry detergent does it also (when the clothes are wet), so it must be something synthetic.

    For what it's worth, I am in agreement with your friend. When a fragrance smells like chemical cocktail, it is rather unpleasant. Add a headache to that, and you have a fragrance that is more of a nose assault.

    EDIT: PS, natural oakmoss is a bit irritating, but does not smell like ammonia. I smelled synthetic oakmoss in the note identification project, and did not get any ammonia.
    That's awesome, Asha! Nothing like a crib to break the code! (I sometimes jokingly call it "differential aromanalysis" ) With that list of fragrances, it should be possible to isolate the offending note and possibly what produced it. I have Mogul and Dirty English samples, and plans to sniff several of the others. I'll get cracking on it.

    The Tide may be a hint, or it could be a red herring - some olfactory chaff. When researching wet dog smell earlier, it was clear that it's a complex natural accord, which bears striking resemblance to the odor of Martima® (or vice versa), but is unrelated. Martima® also smells like wet cardboard, damp ground, and a bunch of other wet-n-stinky things. Wet clothes was one of the things that Indie Guy likened it to. But before thinking that it must be Martima®, I should mention that perfumes are often added to cleaning products to remove the scent of amines, so adding wet clothes smell to Tide would probably be a rather self-defeating exercise!
    * * * *

  23. #23

    Default Re: ISO E Super as an Intensifier

    Wow, thank you so much for taking and interest, Redneck!

    I did read in The Guide that there is an aromachemical that can smell like urine to a small percentage of women. I have not been able to find that passage again, but I will keep looking.

    EDIT: I still have Whisperingleaves' single note swap package, so I can smell some individual synthetics. It has IsoE and Ambroxan to start...
    Last edited by Asha; 22nd November 2008 at 04:01 PM.

  24. #24

    Default Re: ISO E Super as an Intensifier

    Is it true that Versace Eau Fraiche has a large does of Iso-E Super ?
    Cause Eau Fraiche smelled literally like nothing on me.
    And normally I can pick apart scents, synthetic or natural, very well.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: ISO E Super as an Intensifier

    The timing of this thread was perfect. I had a meeting with the lady I mentioned this morning, and casually suggested she sniff a fragrance of mine (TdH) to see what happened. [It was a blind study, but not double-blind. ] She got the headache in under 15 seconds. It cleared 25 minutes later. I noted several subconscious behaviors during that time, (motions, facial expressions, difficulty reading and concentrating, etc.) indicative of a headache.

    She also told me that there is a fragrance which does NOT give her one. Estée Lauder Cinnabar.

    Interesting point, Dullah. I will try out Versace Eau Fraiche today - perhaps I'm as much of an "olfactory MSG" lover as I am of the other one.
    * * * *

  26. #26

    Default Re: ISO E Super as an Intensifier

    Dullah: I'm 99% sure Eau Fraiche has a large quantity of Iso E super. It would be nice to get some confirmation from a chemist or perfumer on this though. This isn't a bad thing - it's actually what makes it so enjoyable... As long as the Iso E Super doesn't give you a headache. TdH is amazing for me, until a few hours in, when I get annoyed and feel like I'm in a chemical cloud - so I don't wear it.

    Asha:
    Quote Originally Posted by Asha View Post
    Thanks so much Redneck! I really hope to get to the bottom of this someday.

    I have been keeping a list of fragrances that smell like ammonia to me:

    Juicy Couture Dirty English
    Caron Pour un Homme
    Acqua di Parma Colonia Intensa
    Bois 1920 1920 Extreme
    Nasamotto China White (drydown)
    Parfum d'Empire Iskander
    Serge Lutens Gris Clair
    Montale Red Oud
    Perfumes Raffy Mogul
    Guerlain Vetiver (new formula...drydown)

    Dirty English and AdP Colonia Intensa are extreme offenders. I wonder if I am hyperosmic to something, such that I smell ammonia rather than what most people typically smell. Could be an overdose of IsoE, but as I said, I have other frags with IsoE and they are fine if worn with caution. I noticed my Tide laundry detergent does it also (when the clothes are wet), so it must be something synthetic.

    For what it's worth, I am in agreement with your friend. When a fragrance smells like chemical cocktail, it is rather unpleasant. Add a headache to that, and you have a fragrance that is more of a nose assault.

    EDIT: PS, natural oakmoss is a bit irritating, but does not smell like ammonia. I smelled synthetic oakmoss in the note identification project, and did not get any ammonia.
    Asha, I faintly remember reading a post where you mentioned a cinnamon floor cleaner smell in (I think) some L'artisan Parfumeur fragrances.. Well I get this too, and it's really weird because L'artisan boasts a high percentage of raw natural materials. Does anyone else get this too? Have you figured out what chemical accounts for that off-putting smell?
    Sales thread here

  27. #27

    Default Re: ISO E Super as an Intensifier

    I don't know but I don't smell much if anything natural in Timbuktu. I don't think L'Artisan universally uses a high level of naturals.
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  28. #28

    Default Re: ISO E Super as an Intensifier

    More threads like these on BN, please!!

  29. #29

    Default Re: ISO E Super as an Intensifier

    L'aventurier...I don't know what the cinnamon floor cleaner chemical is. I have noticed it in quite a few L'Artisan's and Diptyques. One I tried recently was Tea for Two. It starts great, but then dries down to that floor wax smell. That note is more nauseating than anything else, although it can give me a headache too.

    Cinnamon wax fragrances:
    L'Artisan Tea for Two
    L'Artisan Safran Troublant
    Lancome Cuir
    Lancome Magnifique
    Estee Lauder Sensuous
    Guerlain AA Figue Iris
    Kenzo Amour Indian Holi

    While I'm at it, here are fragrances that have a hairspray note:
    Estee Lauder Private Collection Amber Ylang Ylang
    Balmain Ambre Gris
    Coty Wild Musk (modern formulation)

    This morning I put some diluted Ambroxan and IsoE on cotton pads to smell them. Got a headache (no surprise), but neither smelled like ammonia on the cotton. I did not try them on skin.
    Last edited by Asha; 22nd November 2008 at 11:42 PM.

  30. #30
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    Default Re: ISO E Super as an Intensifier

    Far more interesting thread I ever read in BaseNotes.

    Excuse me for posting an off topic question, but reading so many interesting comments by fellow Bnoters, I would feel guilty if I would skip this chance: is there any technical book / reading material or whatever on a guide on aromachemicals and natural ingredientes and their use in the cosmetic industry?

    Should you think I should post this question in the Industry section, please do tell me that I will folow suit. And excuses in advance to the moderators.

  31. #31
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    Default Re: ISO E Super as an Intensifier

    Quote Originally Posted by Pollux View Post
    Far more interesting thread I ever read in BaseNotes.

    Excuse me for posting an off topic question, but reading so many interesting comments by fellow Bnoters, I would feel guilty if I would skip this chance: is there any technical book / reading material or whatever on a guide on aromachemicals and natural ingredientes and their use in the cosmetic industry?

    Should you think I should post this question in the Industry section, please do tell me that I will folow suit. And excuses in advance to the moderators.
    Great question. Let me recommend 4 books, in order of increasing technical detail:

    (1) Roja Dove, The Essence of Perfume, ISBN 978-1-906155-49-0 (2008)

    If there was a college course called Chem 145, Introduction to Perfumery, this would be the text they would make you buy. It strikes a beautiful balance between the art, history, and science of fine fragrance. It is brilliantly cross-disciplinary, teaching art to scientists and science to artists. It presumes very little knowledge of the science. Jaime has reviewed this on his blog, and I plan to review it later from a scientist's viewpoint. I steal my own thunder by saying that it's wonderful. It is not a "how to make perfumes", more like "how to understand what in the heck senior BNers are talking about". Dove explains only the essentials of the science, and in a way that should be a joy to people who don't think they can like it. Even as a scientist, I'm learning some fascinating science from Dove. Read Jaime's review here. And all this from a coffee-table book with pictures of bottles that will make your heart swoon.

    (2) Host Surburg & Johannes Panten, Common Fragrance and Flavor Materials, ISBN 3-527-31315-X (5th ed, 2006)

    This book emphasizes the chemical components of natural and synthetic aroma substances. This is more or less an encyclopedia of chemicals - synthetics, components of naturals, and natural mixtures. The organization is probably obscure to non-chemists, and there are light spots and reference holes that are obvious to a chemist, but these are minor quibbles which should not detract from the fact that this is an essential text for anybody who wants a modern review of aromachemicals. You don't have to know chemistry to get a lot out of this book, but if you do, then it's a treasure-map and you can understand every word of it.

    (3) Charles Sell, Ed., The Chemistry of Fragrances, ISBN 0-85404-824-3 (2nd ed, 2006)

    This book deals more with chemistry than with chemicals per se - at least compared to the above book. History, naturals, synthetics and their manufacture, fragrance companies, fragrance perception, fragrance application, safety and toxicology, physical chemistry, analytical chemistry, the sense of smell, aromachemical design, and economics. There is a broader range of information in this book than the one above; that one deals more with aromachemicals and less with aromachemistry. A very useful book, also highly recommended.

    (4) David J. Rowe, Ed., Chemistry and Technology of Flavors and Fragrances, ISBN 1-4051-1450-9 (2005)

    This is a much more technical book. It covers history, component identification, flavors in food, chemical references, synthetic aromachemicals, natural aromachemicals, taste and sensation, aromachemical stability, odorant design, and fragrance applications. It's pleasant reading for people with some science background, but might be harder for others. It does have good technical explanations of technologies like headspace and whatnot. I would be remiss not to mention that Luca Turin is one of the contributors.

    I think that serious BNers could deal with any of these. If one is willing to learn, these books will teach.

    There are also industry technical mags and journals and whatnot. I'm thinking about subscribing to one or two. I'll post more on that when I know more.

    Thanks for asking about this. A great opportunity for me to fawn over some of my favorite books!
    * * * *

  32. #32

    Default Re: ISO E Super as an Intensifier

    The Dove book looks great RP--thanks for the recommendation

  33. #33

    Default Re: ISO E Super as an Intensifier

    I'm currently working my way through Charles Sell's "Understanding Fragrance Chemistry." It's very technical, but everything is explained for the chemistry novice. A good way to learn the fundamentals of the science of perfumery.

  34. #34

    Default Re: ISO E Super as an Intensifier

    Is the note you refer to in Hermes Equipage as well ?
    It is a thick waxy/greasy note I really dislike, I smell strongly in tea for two and Equipage.
    Quote Originally Posted by Asha View Post
    L'aventurier...I don't know what the cinnamon floor cleaner chemical is. I have noticed it in quite a few L'Artisan's and Diptyques. One I tried recently was Tea for Two. It starts great, but then dries down to that floor wax smell. That note is more nauseating than anything else, although it can give me a headache too.

    Cinnamon wax fragrances:
    L'Artisan Tea for Two

  35. #35

    Default Re: ISO E Super as an Intensifier

    Quote Originally Posted by DULLAH View Post
    Is the note you refer to in Hermes Equipage as well ?
    It is a thick waxy/greasy note I really dislike, I smell strongly in tea for two and Equipage.
    I have never tried Equipage, so I can't say. Hopefully some day I'll find out.

  36. #36

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    Default Re: ISO E Super as an Intensifier

    Although I've owned a bottle of Escentric 01 for a couple weeks, I hadn't felt the urge to wear it until yesterday. I gave it my usual application (1 spray each shoulder, 1 chest, 1 front neck, 1 back neck). It's still going very strong this morning, about 20 hours after application.

  37. #37

    Default Re: ISO E Super as an Intensifier

    Quote Originally Posted by bbBD View Post
    Although I've owned a bottle of Escentric 01 for a couple weeks, I hadn't felt the urge to wear it until yesterday. I gave it my usual application (1 spray each shoulder, 1 chest, 1 front neck, 1 back neck). It's still going very strong this morning, about 20 hours after application.
    Wow, for me that would be way, way too much. One, or at most two sprays keeps it going for longer than I want it to.

  38. #38

    Default Re: ISO E Super as an Intensifier

    This is a brilliant and fascinating thread. I am gripped. Thank you so much for all this erudition.
    And Scentemental - some of us really enjoy understanding about ALL the ingredients in our fragrances, not just the natural essences. After all, those essences are themselves chemical compounds. Thank you for powering through and giving us the hard facts. Like I say, I'm gripped.
    "A woman who doesn't wear perfume has no future." Coco Chanel

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

  39. #39
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    Default Re: ISO E Super as an Intensifier

    Well, hitting Amazon for books... Thanks, RedNeck!

  40. #40
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    Default Re: ISO E Super as an Intensifier

    Quote Originally Posted by Indie_Guy View Post
    I'm currently working my way through Charles Sell's "Understanding Fragrance Chemistry." It's very technical, but everything is explained for the chemistry novice. A good way to learn the fundamentals of the science of perfumery.
    That looks like an amazing book. I just put in a request for a Kindle version. Thanks for the pointer. I would also recommend it not only for non-chemists who are interested in knowing about fragrance chemistry, but possibly even for chemists who want to know what sorts of finer points matter in the fragrance chemistry world.
    * * * *

  41. #41

    Default Re: ISO E Super as an Intensifier

    Let me be a sober opinion here

    Looks like we are observing the launch of The New Urban Legend!
    Something like: evil-minded perfumers found out The Powerful Intensifier Of Every Fragrance, and hiding it from Consumers and Perfumaniacs suffered from short-living perfumes! LOL!

    First of all - there`re no Universal Intensifiers, I believe. Like there`re no Universal Catch Phrase or Universal Seducing Perfume.

    Second - Iso E Super has a long time of evaporation, and by that it lives on skin for a long time. So it is just some synthetic note better working in sillage. Not for intensifying, but for long-lasting.
    Some people are very perceptible to it, while others (like me) are not. I feel Iso E Super like violet and dry wood and some machine oil. And I could smell it for a long time, but not as harsh or repulsive scent. It`s light scent, almost `invisible vapour` - I should concentrate to smell it.

    Third - as any sillage note (natural or synthetic), Iso E Super does work best with some group of fragrance (maybe flowery, fougere, woody frags) and works not so good with others (like aldehyde, or chypre, or...).
    I`ve seen in web some article about sillage notes and fixative ability of some sillage notes and bases. There`re no Universal Bases with Universal Beauty...

    But anyway I should mention that this thread is very informative and encourage to make some perfume experiments and more googling about Iso E Super
    Thanks for that, guys!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Asha View Post
    Wow, thank you so much for taking and interest, Redneck!

    I did read in The Guide that there is an aromachemical that can smell like urine to a small percentage of women. I have not been able to find that passage again, but I will keep looking.

    EDIT: I still have Whisperingleaves' single note swap package, so I can smell some individual synthetics. It has IsoE and Ambroxan to start...
    Asha, maybe you are perceptible to coumarin-tonka?
    Vetiver The Great!!!

  42. #42
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    Default Re: ISO E Super as an Intensifier

    More developments with Iso E Super® itself. I prepared a controlled test consisting of a series of vials for my friend to sniff. It will be interesting to see if the headaches correlate with Iso E Super® or not. It is possible that this effect is not specific to a single chemical, but is rather a more generalized reaction to a range of substances. I.e., more dictated by the individual than by the chemical.

    In that regard, Asha, I'm wondering if you get headaches from Ambroxan alone, and if so, how they compare with those from Iso E Super®.

    I just want to mention that, in preparing samples, I was able to get a good olfactory impression of Iso E Super® by itself. I have to say, this stuff is definitely one of the things I most love about Terre d'Hermès!

    No urban legends desired here, moon_fish! I think aromachemicals get a bad enough rap for allergies - we certainly don't want to compound that with more FUD (fear, uncertainty & doubt), or character assassination of Iso E Super®. Nevertheless, we must never be afraid of where the facts take us. In the end, I hope that we simply have a better understanding of this wonderful substance.

    Also, I really like your description of the scent of Iso E Super® - that's exactly how it smells to me. It is a very light scent, but very nice. I think it has the perfect volatility. In that respect, I guess it can not only ensure its own sillage and longevity, but add to that of other substances in the role of a fixative.

    I guess another question would be: are there actually such things as "aroma potentiators", in the same sense as antibacterial, anticancer, and insecticidal potentiators? Molecules which increase, by biochemical means, the perception of other aroma substances. And I'm not talking LSD or THC, either! I suppose I mean peripherally acting substances. But basically something like MSG.
    * * * *

  43. #43

    Default Re: ISO E Super as an Intensifier

    Quote Originally Posted by Redneck Perfumisto View Post
    I guess another question would be: are there actually such things as "aroma potentiators", in the same sense as antibacterial, anticancer, and insecticidal potentiators? Molecules which increase, by biochemical means, the perception of other aroma substances. And I'm not talking LSD or THC, either! I suppose I mean peripherally acting substances. But basically something like MSG.
    hehehe!
    I doubt if this `universal aroma potentiator` could be useful in a society when politcorrectness is one of the main rules. We should wear pale humble things and unscented scents in offices...

    I suppose that those potentiators should be prescribed by doctors for anosmic patients.
    and it should work like glutamate indeed

    but... I could see one feature of universal potentiators - it could lessen the amount of chemicals and naturals in the scent, so cheapen the prices (or bring more profit to producers)!

    Good question!
    Vetiver The Great!!!

  44. #44

    Default Re: ISO E Super as an Intensifier

    Quote Originally Posted by moon_fish View Post

    Some people are very perceptible to it, while others (like me) are not.

    Hmmm I might be crazy, but I USED to not be able to smell ISO E Super (Versace's Eau Fraiche smelled bland to me), whereas now I can detect copious amounts of it in (Eau Fraiche and) many other fragrances. I either developped a sensitivity to it through exposure or my nose is more sophisticated, but I doubt the latter.

    Anyone else suddenly start to smell Iso E super everywhere?

    I also have to mention that Iso E Super is presently speculated to be a pheromone intensifier.. This kind of fits into our topic. Whether this is just marketing or real science is another question.. Personally, whenever I smell light blue for women on someone I'm almost instantly more pleased to be around them...
    Sales thread here

  45. #45

    Default Re: ISO E Super as an Intensifier

    Quote Originally Posted by moon_fish View Post


    Asha, maybe you are perceptible to coumarin-tonka?
    Well, I wear Shalimar and Jicky with no problems (so far), and I am pretty sure both have coumarin. I do not smell anything close to ammonia in any Guerlain I have tried.

  46. #46
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    Default Re: ISO E Super as an Intensifier

    Well, Asha - the results of my almost double-blind study of various components in my perfume-headache-plagued friend are in ("almost" double-blind... because I forgot the numerical codes on the samples and had to look them up! )

    Iso E Super® is found....NOT GUILTY!

    My friend did, however, finger (and I mean singled out) her culprit from one of the positive controls. Benzyl salicylate, the EU bad-boy. A hooligan if there ever was one! And, interestingly, I queried her later about pain relievers. Turns out that she has had bruising-type reactions to aspirin (also a salicylic acid derivative). So perhaps there is a connection there. In any case, I'll leave that for somebody else. Dr. Rosenstein is hereby done with human experimentation!
    * * * *

  47. #47

    Default Re: ISO E Super as an Intensifier

    Very interesting read, this thread. Thanks for all the insightful comments!
    What I wouldn't give to be your next lab rat, Redneck. Some perfumes have the same effect on me as on your ladyfriend, and I haven't yet been able to discover a pattern. I doubt Iso Super E is the culprit, as the fragrances mentioned have no detectable headache-effect on me. Redneck, if benzyl salicylate is one of the EU-regulated substances, that means it should appear on the ingredient list, correct?

    Quote Originally Posted by scentemental
    I am happy to hear you find the demystification of niche fascinating. It's amazing how much resistance and personal animosity those of us interested in such demystification have encountered over the years.
    Next step: demystification of "naturals". Everything is a chemical. The marketing ploy of "natural" cosmetics and perfume makes my brain itch.
    It is known that there are an infinite number of worlds, simply because there is an infinite amount of space for them to be in. However, not every one of them is inhabited. Any finite number divided by infinity is as near nothing as makes no odds, so the average population of all the planets in the Universe can be said to be zero. From this it follows that the population of the whole Universe is also zero, and that any people you may meet from time to time are merely products of a deranged imagination.

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  48. #48

    Default Re: ISO E Super as an Intensifier

    Quote Originally Posted by veuve amiot View Post
    [COLOR=Blue]
    Next step: demystification of "naturals". Everything is a chemical. The marketing ploy of "natural" cosmetics and perfume makes my brain itch.
    You just made my brain itch!

    Well Veuve, saying everything is a chemical is TRUE. Whether or not naturals are better, or in any case, different than synthetics is another story.

    Naturals in a chemical sense, have different chemical bonds (and form) than synthetics, and that's why a fragrance will smell "natural" or "synthetic."

    Although synthetic recreations of naturals, like ambroxan, which mimicks ambergris, are very similar in chemical form, the synthetics are missing the extra chemical "details" of the natural chemistry of say, ambergris, which are too expensive and time-consuming to produce.

    Thus, naturals don't quite equal synthetics.

    More importantly, synthetic fragrance molecules are sometimes NOTHING like the natural ones, and are often non-biodegradable, toxic and cause allergies in people who's immune system does not recognize the "synthetic chemical composition" as a friendly one (the recognition is not built into our DNA, nor are our bodies used to them)

    So although I'm also fed up with companies touting their horns for natural ingredients, I wouldn't say they are bullsh*tting in terms of quality... (even though sometimes they lie about percentages).

    In conclusion, saying naturals are just chemicals too is like saying that plastic is just a chemical, therefore it can't hurt you, even though some plastics cause cancer, thus have been outlawed. At the same time, saying naturals won't hurt you either is a myth, since some natural compounds may cause allergic reactions too.

    The point is know the differences and similarities, and do some research on which of the synthetics and which of the naturals will bother you. Some synthetics may smell spectacular AND be harmless in the end.

    Sorry for ranting
    Sales thread here

  49. #49

    Default Re: ISO E Super as an Intensifier

    Iso-E-Super: The top ten concentrations



    honorable mention for early adopting:
    Shiseido Feminité de Bois 42%
    Cartier Declaration 40%

    Source: Geza Schön, " 'Escentric molecules,'" Chemistry & Biodiversity, 5.6 (July 2008), 1154 - 1158
    Last edited by the_good_life; 16th December 2008 at 02:34 PM.
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  50. #50

    Default Re: ISO E Super as an Intensifier

    Quote Originally Posted by L'aventurier View Post
    You just made my brain itch!
    My apologies.

    Well Veuve, saying everything is a chemical is TRUE. Whether or not naturals are better, or in any case, different than synthetics is another story.
    Ah. Note how I didn't elaborate on that count.
    The essence of my pet peeve is the unspoken suggestion (in marketing speak) that "natural" equals better, or more harmless. The actual truth is much more complicated than that, as you are obviously well aware.

    Thus, naturals don't quite equal synthetics.
    That depends on your definition of natural and on the substance in question. In your ambergris/ambroxan example: obviously, they are chemically different substances with different properties. Naturally occurring H2O, on the other hand, is chemically no different from H2O derived as a by-product from some chemical reaction or other. In some definitions, the second H2O would be considered a synthetic.

    More importantly, synthetic fragrance molecules are sometimes NOTHING like the natural ones, and are often non-biodegradable, toxic and cause allergies in people who's immune system does not recognize the "synthetic chemical composition" as a friendly one (the recognition is not built into our DNA, nor are our bodies used to them)
    Some natural fragrance molecules do the same.

    The point is know the differences and similarities, and do some research on which of the synthetics and which of the naturals will bother you. Some synthetics may smell spectacular AND be harmless in the end.
    Quite agree, and that was, in fact, the motivation behind what I wrote.
    Sorry if I was unclear on that account.
    It is known that there are an infinite number of worlds, simply because there is an infinite amount of space for them to be in. However, not every one of them is inhabited. Any finite number divided by infinity is as near nothing as makes no odds, so the average population of all the planets in the Universe can be said to be zero. From this it follows that the population of the whole Universe is also zero, and that any people you may meet from time to time are merely products of a deranged imagination.

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  51. #51
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    Default Re: ISO E Super as an Intensifier

    Thank you everyone for such an informative thread. It is a welcome and nice change of pace from the inane "Creed sucks", "Kouros smells like urine", and "Men shouldn't wear women's fragrances" threads/posts.
    Last edited by petruccijc; 16th December 2008 at 04:04 PM.
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  52. #52

    Default Re: ISO E Super as an Intensifier

    Quote Originally Posted by Asha View Post
    I did read in The Guide that there is an aromachemical that can smell like urine to a small percentage of women. I have not been able to find that passage again, but I will keep looking.
    It's in the review of Malle's Une Rose
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  53. #53

    Default Re: ISO E Super as an Intensifier

    Yes, fascinating thread. I am wondering, though, can we draw any pragmatic conclusions yet about scents to avoid in the interest of sparing our friends allergic reactions? Should we avoid non natural ingredients because they are more likely to cause allergy? I myself am so highly allergic to natural poison ivy that I have had to stop eating cashews because they are botanically related. So is all-natural a solution? Is there one?

  54. #54

    Default Re: ISO E Super as an Intensifier

    Quote Originally Posted by Chestnut View Post
    Yes, fascinating thread. I am wondering, though, can we draw any pragmatic conclusions yet about scents to avoid in the interest of sparing our friends allergic reactions? Should we avoid non natural ingredients because they are more likely to cause allergy? I myself am so highly allergic to natural poison ivy that I have had to stop eating cashews because they are botanically related. So is all-natural a solution? Is there one?
    If you consider that synthetics tend to be single molecules, while natural oils can consists of hundreds of components, it is actually easier to pinpoint and avoid allergic reactions with the former. While I have little confidence in the self-regulatory zeal of any industry I would suppose that standard laws (in Europe at least) require extensive testing of new materials unknown in nature - but there is inevitably the risk that harmful aspect will only be discovered after some time. A natural-synthetic dichotomy will not solve the issue of allergies. Asceticism is always a "solution" , but not a very attractive one.
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  55. #55

    Default Re: ISO E Super as an Intensifier

    Quote Originally Posted by Redneck Perfumisto View Post
    Well, Asha - the results of my almost double-blind study of various components in my perfume-headache-plagued friend are in ("almost" double-blind... because I forgot the numerical codes on the samples and had to look them up! )

    Iso E Super® is found....NOT GUILTY!

    My friend did, however, finger (and I mean singled out) her culprit from one of the positive controls. Benzyl salicylate, the EU bad-boy. A hooligan if there ever was one! And, interestingly, I queried her later about pain relievers. Turns out that she has had bruising-type reactions to aspirin (also a salicylic acid derivative). So perhaps there is a connection there. In any case, I'll leave that for somebody else. Dr. Rosenstein is hereby done with human experimentation!
    Hmm. Interesting. I wonder if that chemical is in the kit I have here from the note identification project. I did sniff pure Iso E Super and it gave me the same headache that Terre d'Hermes does. Even Feminite du Bois can give a headache if I am heavy handed with it.

    I'll have a look when I have some time.

  56. #56

    Default Re: ISO E Super as an Intensifier

    I am returning my bottle of Dirty English to Sephora because of this chemical I believe. It actually sears my nostrils a bit and makes me feel a bit sick to the stomach. Terre D'Hermes does the same thing to me.

  57. #57
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    Default Re: ISO E Super as an Intensifier

    Quote Originally Posted by Chestnut View Post
    Yes, fascinating thread. I am wondering, though, can we draw any pragmatic conclusions yet about scents to avoid in the interest of sparing our friends allergic reactions? Should we avoid non natural ingredients because they are more likely to cause allergy? I myself am so highly allergic to natural poison ivy that I have had to stop eating cashews because they are botanically related. So is all-natural a solution? Is there one?
    Personally, I would agree with what the_good_life said, and add this. I think it is important that neither individuals nor society operate in the dark about which components of perfume compositions cause individual problems. Thus, I think that more extensive disclosure of some kind is not just a good idea - I think it's good for business.

    I myself (with no real allergies) have never been put off by the fine print on the back of my favorite frags. So I think it may be safe for "Fragrance" and "Parfum" to be expanded upon, just a wee bit.

    Yes, I have a dream....

    As for natural versus synthetic, I think it's clear that neither can get away from responsibility. Non-naturally occurring synthetics tend to have a smaller number of chemical components, but they are, to varying degrees, biochemically alien. Naturals tend to be much more complex, with larger numbers of potential troublemakers. Both have their weak points. The real question is which fragrances have which components, and to which of those a particular individual is sensitive. Until that data is in the hands of people and possibly their doctors, they will not be able to predict which fragrances will be problematic. However, if the growth in knowledge and prevention of food-related medical problems is any indication, that time will come, and the industry will not suffer for it, in my personal opinion.

    PS - and perhaps the "failure to properly label and/or supply component data in a truthful manner" could be used as a more powerful, international, legal sledge-hammer against counterfeiters and rip-off artists - with the possiblity of real jail time. Just a sugary idea that might help the medicine go down...
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  58. #58
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    Default Re: ISO E Super as an Intensifier

    Quote Originally Posted by Asha View Post
    Hmm. Interesting. I wonder if that chemical is in the kit I have here from the note identification project. I did sniff pure Iso E Super and it gave me the same headache that Terre d'Hermes does. Even Feminite du Bois can give a headache if I am heavy handed with it.

    I'll have a look when I have some time.
    My suspicion at this point is that such experiences are very individual. Different culprits for different individuals. Quite analogous to foods. The biochemical diversity of a single species never ceases to amaze me.

    I think it would be interesting to test a series of salicylate esters against a single sensitive individual.

    Oh yes - almost forgot to mention. I ran across a Luca Turin patent application for analogs of benzyl salicylate where the benzene ring of the benzyl function was replaced by thiophene. The point being that these had a more potent odor, and might be usable at lower levels which would not cause sensitization. I've seen several of his patents and/or applications that apparently followed that strategy. That document can be viewed for free here, after you get a free login ID.
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  59. #59

    Default Re: ISO E Super as an Intensifier

    Quote Originally Posted by scentemental View Post
    There's no doubt that the CdG incense series fragrances (and GdG 2 Man) contain Iso E Super®
    In another recent thread, a lot of Basenotes members remarked that CdG 2 Man had poor longevity for them.

    Is Iso E Super an intensifier, but a candle that burns bright but short?

  60. #60

    Default Re: ISO E Super as an Intensifier

    I'm going to have to take some time to resniff TdH and Jaisalmer side by side to try and pinpoint what Iso E super smells like, since those are the only two I have available to me to sniff from the list of the top ten posted above. Maybe I should just order a sample of Molecule 01.

    That being said, TdH does have a tendency to give me a headache. The Jaisalmer I'm not sure about, I've only dabbed it and not given it a full and proper wearing yet.
    ***For sale:

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

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