I received a sample of Secretions Magnifique (thanks Lizzie !!!) and tentatively tried out a swipe of the applicator after I made sure I had a clear run to the bathroom for when the waves of nausea and inevitable scrubbing would occur.
I precariously sniffed the forbidden fragrance and .... was extremely disappointing. I found it to have a floral note and none of the unpleasantness that people talk about.
I asked a close female friend (an OR nurse who deals in blood everyday) and she said it smelled nice. I asked her if it smelled like blood to her and she laughed and laughed. I asked her teenage daughter to smell it , and she said it smelled nice (and believe me they tell me when they don't like the way something smells).
This is the Secretions Magnifique of legend? I find it very hard to believe that this is the fragrance that has people feeling nauseous and is considered by many to be the worst fragrance ever?
There is a light floral scent to it, that although not unpleasant is not something that I would consider wearing regularly. I worked in the ER and in Trauma in hospitals previously, this smells nothing and I do mean NOTHING like blood or sex.
In reading the many reviews it would appear that either many Basenoters have not smelled real blood and sex before or that their preconceived notions, delicate constitutions and creative imaginations get the best of them
If my close friends who dislike or are indifferent to much of my fairly extensive wardrobe like this and I enjoy it as well, it definitely gets a thumbs up
Last edited by Diverdown; 6th April 2009 at 11:49 PM.
"Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart: so doth the sweetness of a man's friend by hearty counsel."
I think ELO fragrances are always about the total experience of words, associations and scent, and how they play together to create an overall impression--and I don't mean that in a cynical way, though I do understand the skepticism about their tactics.
The fragrances are not necessarily literal renditions of the scents suggested in the names. So those names that would seem to offer the worst smells often do not (Charogne, for example).
That said, I still find the overall scent of Secretions "icky." I never had a chance to blind test it, but I did encounter the test strip in purse (among others) for weeks, could always ID it immediately, and always wanted to throw it out. I am told it is quite different, and more pleasant on the skin.
I did have three (male) friends smell the test strip without ID-ing it (along with several other more mainstream scents on scent strips) and all three recoiled and called SM "nasty" , "vile", and I forget what else.
I still find it to be a bit fecal (and it is intened to smell "anal"--not quite the same) and to have a metallic note that reminds me of old, dried blood.
I'm not convinced people who smell blood or "sex" are just highly suggestible, or overly influenced by the name.
People who detect blood are detecting blood as they know it--which is probably not from the ER. Blood can smell different in differnet contexts--and most women (especially) know this well.
Saying it smells like sex is a bit saying like something smells like flowers: rose? frangipani? jasmine? gardenia?
In any case, I'm sure it smells like someone's scent memory of some kind of sex.
I hope a bunch of us can get blind tester reports!
It would be fun to discover it smells like a run-of-the mill floral oriental to most unbiased sniffers.
I got a sample of this the other day and found it very strange. I didn't really smell the "bodily fluids" in it, mainly at first a strong hit of albumen/raw egg. I did spray it on my hand and although I had to wash it off because I felt quite nauseous, enough remained for me to experience the dry down, which was quite a thin floral. What I found so strange was that, although it sounds so disgusting in description, I did not really smell any of those grosser ingredients. Yet it really made me feel sick, but I can hardly say why, because apart from the albumen smell, which I have never liked, I can't put my finger on anything that actually smelt that bad. I sprayed some on a piece of fabric about 24 hours ago to see what that went like, and the answer is still that it's a thin eggy floral that to me, has nothing obviously offensive, but yet makes me feel distinctly uneasy...
An interesting experience, but I don't recommend buying a full bottle unless you are trying to lose weight, as certainly I found wearing it an excellent appetite suppressant due to the low grade nausea I felt for much of the afternoon...
I too took the SM plunge.
My girlfriend was over when the samples arrived so of course I had to subject her to it, too. That, my friends, is love. Well, it should be noted, she's becoming a perfumista herself!
Anyhow, I held the vial with extreme trepidation, taking a good thirty seconds to get the top off in a manner that would ensure non got on my skin, and slowly lifted it for us both to sniff. Alas, no dead dogs came screaming out of the vial, no sociopathic serial killers with a tendency for self pleasure, no bloody knives.. nope, just a very beautiful white floral with a shimmering crystalline note behind it. My girlfriend quite liked it, too!
Thinking I was just being fooled by the top notes, I put some on paper, but alas, still nothing too weird. There is a slightly weird texture to it.. kind of unpleasantly thick, and yes, protein/albumen/raw egg like.
I haven't been brave enough to test it on skin yet.. well, mostly just because I've been too excited to try other samples, first. I'm debating putting it on a few hours before bed tonight.. should I?
I am joining the camp of those who have found sampling SM an unpleasant experience. In the beginning it smellt metallic but not exactly as blood. Then some milkyness joined in and the smell became at the same time strangely and invitingly familiar (some ancient, deeply imprinted smell, such as the smell of your mother's body or of her milk's) and repulsive (like an unwanted body too close to you). I resisted the urge to wash it off in the hope that the semen accord will also appear and maybe save the composition, lending it more warmth and a pleasant kind of familiarity. Nope, did not happen.
Overall, an interesting olfactory experience which I don't want to repeat.
I found it horrid on the scent strip (blood, vomit, iodine, salt, milk?) and could not bring myself to apply it to skin-- particularly as I was testing other perfumes in NYC and didn't want to risk smelling revolting all day!
So, the controversial thread reappears! I once sprayed this on a strip at Bendel's. I had it in my purse and consulted it from time to time over a couple of days. I thought it was both a fascinating intellectual exercise in punk perfuming and an unwearable horror. Mostly, i thought: If I wanted to smell like the end of a guy's thing, I'd smear a real one on me, thank you. Much cheaper and much more fun.
Retesting it on paper I can clearly smell the wet dog accord now. What happened to that beautiful floral I smelled the first time?
It will go on skin but.. not until my next day off.
This "fragrance" is an absolute gag-reflex for me. It's not scary bad...but simply disgusting smelling and cannot imagine anyone ( of their own free will) desiring to smell like this for the better part of the day.
On me this one was very scary, a smell that reminded me of blood, rotten eggs, dog`s vomit. And the scent refuses to go away if you wash it, even if you scrub alcohol, it doesn`t go completely alway. I woudn`t even give it to my enemies, since they can wear it and chase me to give me a hug full of this nasty thing.
I tried SM today on blotter first. Nice scent it is. It reminds me of "early dessert apple variety" or "Yellow Transparent" - sorry didn't find something else in the dictionary. It is in some way rather specific, as this apple lacks fruit acid and as its counterpart it lacks sweet honey too to be really satisfying in my book. Of course there is some "bilge" in SM, but that fits the situations I know the apple from, something foul, windfall?! The "gagreflex" is just that what I feel when biting into a foul spot on an apple, hmm ...
Skarb of H&G has been compared to SM in the directory. I think this is wrong. Skarb of H&G is HELIONAL and not much else, no immortelle. I recently blended a fresher variant of immortelle with helional, from which I know the difference - and similarities - pretty well. Maybe I became very sensitve to that chemical, but, so it is. The SM is by far more elaboarted, no comparison.
Skarb is mostly helional?
I'm going ot have to track some helional down and see if that's true. Skarb smells surprisingly natural to me, and the bottle clearly states it is a 20% concentration. I would think 20% helional would be rather.. strong. Does helional also provide the lovage/celery like notes and saltiness? there's also a brown sugar like note present - is that possibly from the helional as well? All I can find about helional is that it smells ozonic with hints of new mown hay and cyclamen.
On the other hand SM is quite interesting and a well done composition. I can't get how both are considered comparable quality wise. I will give SM a full wear within the next days. Skarb didn't live up even the critical expectations so far. "Star shaped pyramid", ah ha ... Emporors new clothes would be an other reading for me.
The 5* in The Guide are well deserved. SM is a work of a genius as to say. It iterates the French concept of perfumery. Stain a pleasent smell with something odd to keep it interesting: civet in Jicky, tar in Shalimar, leather scents, musks, indole in flowers, the noble rot oud is, and more with food, mind the cheese the French celebrate, oysters and so on. Delicacy. Of course a traditionalist will have his difficulties with SM. That never stould in question, alone from the packaging.
Alas, summer is near to it's end on nothern hemishere. That prevents me from enjoying the grassy dewy fresh qualities of SM in the next time to the fullest. May be I'll take it with me on vacation southwards over christmas. By now I'm more after that warm feel that ELDOs "Like This" (is it meant as a comparison or is the exclamation mark missing, namely is it an imperative?) evokes. But first I'll try to satisfy my desires with vintage Shalimar, though, eager for it's oddities.
big PS: SM is easily washed from skin leaving nearly nothing behind. It is NOT a "scrubber" as many told us and which is known for instance from vetiver, iso E super the like. Again, a trick of the mind as everybody without knowledge of the name teached me.
Last edited by WildThingy; 16th September 2010 at 09:06 AM.
Are you really saying that people are making up the fact that they can't wash this off the skin? So, you are basically calling everyone liars.. or just delusional? Wow.
Well, it takes a LOT of effort to get this off of my skin. Perhaps you are anosmic to the particular chemical that persists and persists, or perhaps it just fades on your skin. But please, don't call everyone delusional or a liar just because your experience was different.
The first time I tested this I was basically doing a blind test from an unlabelled vial. I must confess I liked it, to me it was more or less a strangely metallic, woody iris plus *something*. Yes, it was unusual, but somehow very pleasant, and I was intrigued enough to track it down (and possibly even get a larger decant). When I found out what it was and read what it was supposed to smell like (blood, semen and the like) I suddenly started to recognize those smells within the scent and my attitude toward the frag changed completely. All of a sudden it didn't smell as compelling anymore.
There, the power of marketing.
On topic of Secretions Magnifique people might connect a specific odor to a certain chemical that once detected won't go away. The less as it is doomed as nauseating. That hasn't to do with lying or being stupid. Human attention varies, and constructing a mental picture from the senses information is a matter of selective weighting and interpreting.
To see how imagination altering conception is an all to common matter of fact look up Darren Brown on Youtube. No offense here! edit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Vz_YTNLn6w
Today I had a first negative reaction from a younger girl aged 20. She couldn't stand the foul. But what for? She didn't new it from childhood! She couldn't deal with it. I'm an old fart, when a kid ran through the woods, knowing any garden around, especially those who comprised trees with ripe fruit: self service. The faint foul smell of windfall is connected to a situation well known and pleasing due to its meaning. If one has grown up in the city never have been touching a (living) cow or climbing trees, the foul is alarming, and that is it. Jicky's civet does remind me of shit, which in fact it is. The youngster mentioned above has the same feelings about that, same with exaltolide, a synthetic musk as with SM. She likes "Naomi Campell": unambitious, utterly and overt synthetic fruit/amber/fresh to exemplify well adapted grooming rituals.
I admit SM ain't a prim US-American fragrance. It is of genuine French provenience and some kind of old school. Anybody to his taste.
Last edited by WildThingy; 16th September 2010 at 09:13 PM.
Where can I buy this?!
I so wanna own it now,
and I bet I'll be one of
the few who'll like it..!
PS: Knowing the frags you like, Grand Duke, the ELDO I'd recommend you try is Charogne. It's an indolic sweet oriental and hey, it's supposed to smell like corpses, so there's your weird factor.
Secretions, on the other hand, just smells bad.
Wildthingy, you yourself mentioned that you were quite possibly sensitive to the chemical Helional. I think it's unfair to claim that X is mostly Y when you know you are (or may quite likely be) sensitive to Y. I've suffered sensitivities before, too, and they have made certain frags seem unwearable or brought out a specific note in a very pronounced way, but that isn't how it smelled to most.
Anyhow, Helional doesn't have the substantivity for Skarb to be composed only of it. Maybe the top is mostly helional, I don't know, but there is definitely some lovage and myrrh that shows up in the drydown - lovage especially, likely natural, as it does not project much but lasts forever (and the Goodscents Company rates Lovage with > 400 hour substantivity, which is as high as their ratings go, and is also the same rating given to other common basenote materials such as sandalwood, vetiver, etc).
Anyway, it's a bit hypocritical for you to make that claim, given your sensitivity, when you are lambasting others for making the claim that SM has extreme longevity when you are claiming that is only due to their imagination induced sensitivities.
My personal expertise with helional is a bit different from anybodys anoyance with SM and the infamous disgusting "note", namely male semen, female blood, queer saliva whatever one might imagine thinking of the downside of sex, hygienic wise.
I have helional at hand right here and now. With SM nobody knows what horrible aromachemical it is, which makes it stink. So anybody dislikeing it will take a resemblence to whatever. In desperation it is easy to believe what the ad copy says. Once a smell has been doomed as to be avoided it will for sure become hard to get rid of it. The mind remaines focused on what is the (not so) great unknown.
Both cases show easily that an olfactory sensation is prone to exterior influences. One of it is association from memory. As I'm a country bumkin the rot in SM doesn't bother me to much. The shallow complexity of Skarb bores me as it is all known from pure helional.
Well, I'm not opposed to you disliking whatever you want to dislike. And I can't say, with any true assurance, that it's not mostly helional, but I do think it is more complex than you credit it for. Many reviews have picked up on a number of its facets.. earthy, salty, celery, meaty, woody, sweet. I can see why many would dislike Skarb - it's not really sexy in any way (except for the impression it gives of freshly dried sweat from the salty woodiness), it's too odd to be a completely casual scent, and yet it's not as refined or elegant as most of the dressy scent out there. It truly fits a weird niche - a fragrance that smells of many natural things (dry hay, dry and fresh sweat, hints of meat/beef stew) that does not comfortably fit into one of the well defined categories of fragrance, the categories that a normal person may look to fill with a modest wardrobe. That is actually its appeal to me, that and its very very natural smell (the fragrance has the shortest ingredients list I've ever seen with no known synthetics listed... just things like limonene, geraniol, etc. that appear in so many natural oils). Now, I know that many synthetics need not be listed on a fragrance label, but still, I've never seen a label without numerous listed. Its natural smell and relatively short longevity (well, it has a short longevity where projection is noticeable.. it lasts much longer with very minimal projection) indicate to my nose that it is surprisingly natural. Its projection pattern (very high at first, quickly tapering off) follows that of my own natural blends, which are also at 20% dilution (the same as Skarb), and that's another factor that leads me to believe that it's highly natural (even if, as you propose, helional makes up for a good portion of its early character). I've read though that helional tends to have a melony top note and.. well, there's definitely NO melon whatsoever in Skarb. One of these days I'm going to order myself some helional just to see what it's all about.
Now, regarding SM, I don't find that the wet dog-like note actually lasts that long, but I do find the sandalwood/iris/musk to persist for a long long time. I actually LIKE that part of SM quite a bit - it's the part that I smelled on my first sniff and found quite beautiful. It's also eerily similar to an accord in the dry down of Amouage Reflection Man. I find in both of those scents that the dry down lasts for a long long time. I don't think that my perception of longevity with SM is tainted by my dislike of it. There are other scents I dislike that don't last half as long. I don't think SM is a horrible scent but I am not sure I can get past the wet dog aroma. If I could somehow sniff around that.. well, I do think the rest of the scent is quite pretty.
Looking forward Your helional experience, have fun!