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  1. #1

    Default Curious: "sad" smells?

    A comment by mikeperez in another thread set me thinking: many of us have experienced certain fragrances smelling "sad" - but which are the notes that tend to evoke that emotion? I've heard heliotrope and iris mentioned, and for me it's patchouli. Would there be any common "sad" notes or is it purely cultural or personal? Please share.
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  2. #2

    Default Re: Curious: "sad" smells?

    Do not know whether it is cultural or personal, I think it is personal.

    To me the traditional smell of churches is sad, in its many incarnations: CdG Incense Series, Heeley Cardinal, weirdly delicious Etro Messe de Minuit, etc.

    A combo of sandalwood and ylang ylang is somewhat sad, if not poignant: Chanel Bois des Iles, Hermes Caleche, many others.

    Yours?

  3. #3

    Default Re: Curious: "sad" smells?

    Mine is very emphatically patchouli. The earthy, wet kind - Coromandel specifically. I have no prior association with patchouli, so I have no clue where it comes from, but it's very inescapable. Annoying, as I find Coromandel quite gorgeous, but I can't possibly wear it. It feels like a dreary, hopeless autumn day to me. :S
    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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  4. #4

    Default Re: Curious: "sad" smells?

    "Edible" aromas, such as notes that smell like spices, candies, or fruits, will trigger a universally happy response due to our survival instincts--with the exception of foods we personally dislike.
    On the other hand, the trigger for sadness might be more due to experience or cultural influence.

    L'Heure Bleue is sad to me. But it is a good kind of sadness--evocative and nostalgic. I think it reflects upon the genius of Guerlain that it was named so appropriately.

    Generally speaking, I think anise is a melancholy note because it is cool and bittersweet.

    Patchouli can be sad because it smells like decay. However, the earth that is dug for graves is also dug for gardens.

    Leather, tobacco, and booze in combination regresses me into a young child smelling her father's friends, which is sad due to the loss of the innocence of childhood, but it also makes me feel like a woman in a bar, which is something quite different!

    Vetiver can impress a certain aloofness on a fragrance for me. Djedi was very sad for me. That one was like the breath of air from an archaeological dig, full of generations of lost time. Mitsouko sometimes smells like a museum to me, full of old, precious woods, perfumed silks, and oil paintings from bygone eras.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Curious: "sad" smells?

    Oh I think it's entirely personal.

    A perfumer who uses sadness as a touchstone in many of his fragrance creations is Christopher Brosius (CB I Hate Perfume). I've heard from many people who have literally been brought to tears, smelling a few of his fragrances. I find that fascinating.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Curious: "sad" smells?

    Sienne L'Hiver by Eau d'Italie was a very sad scent to me -- make is SAD (seasonal affective disorder) inducing. Reminded me of wet embarkment in a cold December with sunset at 3 PM.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Curious: "sad" smells?

    I tried Geo. F. Trumper's Wild Fern once and I found it for some reason a very depressing smell. I have no idea why, or which specific note would be responsible.
    Jan Pieter

  8. #8

    Default Re: Curious: "sad" smells?

    That is fascinating.. I don't think, within my array of feelings and emotions, I've ever had a fragrance evoke sadness. Excitement, energy, charisma, happiness, curiosity.. but never sadness unless the particular fragrance was associated with a very tragic event in my life.

    Quote Originally Posted by mikeperez23 View Post
    Oh I think it's entirely personal.

    A perfumer who uses sadness as a touchstone in many of his fragrance creations is Christopher Brosius (CB I Hate Perfume). I've heard from many people who have literally been brought to tears, smelling a few of his fragrances. I find that fascinating.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Curious: "sad" smells?

    I agree with Sienne L'Hiver and would add Apres L'Ondee.
    The latter reduced me to tears the first time I smelled it!
    I think with me it's heliotrope that adds a sad feel to a scent.
    I get the same melancholic vibe in Lullaby by Jeffrey Dame
    and that has heliotrope listed as a note too.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Curious: "sad" smells?

    Can't quite put my finger on why, but Terre d'Hermes evokes melancholy for me.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Curious: "sad" smells?

    Hmmm what an interesting concept,
    but personally I think it has to be personal

    Patchouli generally makes me happy,
    I've never associated sadness with it.
    Although in Karma, it nearly made me cry,
    it just wouldn't wash off no matter how hard I tried!
    And I tried very hard, I promise!

    Sadness? For me, perhaps melancholia,
    is more appropriate but I guess a mix of
    incense frankincense, and greenish/fresh rose smell...
    Autumn treasures: Magnetism, Midnight Orchid, Tea for Two,
    Aimez-Moi, Chinatown, Dzongkha, Five O'Clock Au Gingembre,
    Cittá di Kyoto, Jasmin de Nuit, Jasmin Full, Kelly Calèche, Venezia,
    Douce Amère, Eau de Charlotte, Falling In Love, Chergui, Prada,
    Rose Alexandrie, Hypnôse, Omnia, Flowerbomb, Poivre Piquant,
    Cuir Beluga, 7:15am in Bali, Lolita Lempicka, Fumerie Turque,
    Datura Noir, Songes, Gaultier², L'Ombre Fauve, Kors, My Couture,
    Ligea "La Sirena", Red Aoud, Rose Absolu, Cèdre, Milk, No. 23

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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    "Our life is shaped by our mind; we become what we think."
    Dhammapada

  12. #12

    Default Re: Curious: "sad" smells?

    Apres l'Ondee is one that I completely agree with as well. Guerlain's AA Ylang & Vanilla does it for me too but I can't think of why. Finally, CdG's fantastic Incense Series: Avignon makes me very nostalgic which can induce tears as well. Smell has everything to do with association,eh?

    Excellent topic, thank you

  13. #13

    Default Re: Curious: "sad" smells?

    Quote Originally Posted by jpkunst View Post
    I tried Geo. F. Trumper's Wild Fern once and I found it for some reason a very depressing smell. I have no idea why, or which specific note would be responsible.
    I will have to think more about the sad or even introspective notes aspect ... that is a good question.
    I do want to comment about Wild Fern. How interesting! It produces the exact opposite reaction in me. It is pure joy, vitality. If I feel down I put on some WF and instantly feel happy!
    odysseusm

    "The force that through the green fuse drives the flower // drives my green age..." Dylan Thomas

  14. #14

    Default Re: Curious: "sad" smells?

    L'Artisan's Voleur de Roses invokes a melancholic state when I wear it.

    Want to hear something ironic? Clinique Happy makes me sad when I smell it. An ex-girlfriend use to wear this fragrance. Good and bad memories are tied to it.

    It's amazing how smells can affect our emotional state, especially when they are tied to particular memories.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Curious: "sad" smells?

    Sienne l'Hiver- wearing it right now... its so reflective, so very reminiscent of a sad, lonely evening- walking through a crowded, snowy square in London... *sigh*

    Definately one of the more emotive frags I've ever gotten my hands on.
    As above, so below.

    'In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.'
    Martin Luther King Jr.

    Sa Majeste La Rose and Green Irish for sale- P.M. me

  16. #16

    Default Re: Curious: "sad" smells?

    I feel terrible when I wear L'Heure Bleue or Le Parfum de Thérèse.
    L'amour fait songer, vivre et croire. Il a, pour réchauffer le coeur, un rayon de plus que la gloire; et ce rayon, c'est le bonheur. (Victor HUGO)

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Curious: "sad" smells?

    For me, it's not the heliotrope. L'Heure Bleue and Apres l'Ondee both leave a melancholy feeling but Etro Heliotrope does not. Quite the opposite, actually.
    I've trademarked the color bleu

  18. #18
    auburnette
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    Default Re: Curious: "sad" smells?

    Apres L'Ondee definitely smells sad to me. I think it's something to do with the cold feel of the scent. Mitsouko is more contemplative, I wouldn't call it sad per se, but it does leave me thoughtful.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Curious: "sad" smells?

    Well, I'm probably in the minority, but I don't think I've ever associated a fragrance with sadness or melancholy. If I did, I certainly would never buy it!

  20. #20

    Default Re: Curious: "sad" smells?

    For me it's iris or a combo of violet and vetiver.

  21. #21

    Default Re: Curious: "sad" smells?

    Sad for me: L'Heure Bleu and Apree L'Ondee DEFINITELY. Quite 'melancholic.' And Shalimar, surprisingly, but only because it reminds me of old things (in a good, but wistful way), and my beloved grandmother.
    Must ponder, because I think Ayala Moriel makes several of sad fragrances. I'll have to go and check my samples. That are also EXCELLENT I should add.....

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