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Thread: Indolic?

  1. #1
    bokaba's Avatar
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    Default Indolic?

    When people speak of a fragrance or notes being indolic what do they mean?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Indolic?

    It's usually used in the context of flowers. Certain flowers have a rather over-ripe quality that smells slightly "off" and animalic, due to chemicals called indoles. Apparently they smell quite foul on their own, but in most florals they just add a warm depth, I've found.

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    Default Re: Indolic?

    If I may quote Luca Turin, who described indoles quite nicely his 'Perfumes: The Guide' review of Olene by Diptyque:

    Quote from page 267: 'One of the many difficulties that nature has strewn in the path of perfumers is the vexed problem of indole. Indole is a small molecule made up of a hexagonal ring and a pentagonal ring fused together and nitrogen. It and its kissing cousin skatole are breakdown products of the digestion of food and are therefore found in feces. They are also found in large amounts in white flowers such as jasmine, ylang, etc possibly to attend to the eclectic tastes of pollinating insects. In the textbooks, their odor is described as, 'fecal, floral in dilution', which is nonsense: they smell like shit when in shit and like flowers when in flowers. By itself indole smells like ink and mothballs; skatole smells like bad teeth and that wonderful tripe sausage called andouilette. What, you ask, is the problem? If you measure the amount of indole in, say, jasmine oil and make up a synthetic mix with the same amount of the pure stuff, it will smell of mothballs whereas the natural one doesn't. Why? Nobody knows. But that is the main reason why white-flower reconstitutions seldom have the back-of-the-throat rasp of the real thing. Perfumers put in as much indole as they dare, but usually stop short of the full dose.'

    More info on my thread from May last year here: http://community.basenotes.net/showthread.php?t=210392
    Last edited by mikeperez23; 10th September 2009 at 03:17 AM.

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    Default Re: Indolic?

    Thank you Mike and Suga for your answers and bokaba for asking.

    I have often wondered what it means and even wrote reminders so I could ask on BN myself - Wikipaedia is no help on this matter.
    Now I know exactly what it means as I have a strain of jonquil and huge bushes/vines of jasmine at the bottom of my front garden.
    My husband doesn't like me bringing too much of either into the house because of that lovely fecal note.

    Sorry to those who are peeved that I revived an old thread but I was looking for this answer - perhaps others are too.

    Cheers big ears!
    He isn't poor because he lacks money but because everything he wants is unobtainable ...

    My name is KaL - EL - EL - L - L - L ! D:

  5. #5

    Default Re: Indolic?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kal View Post
    Thank you Mike and Suga for your answers and bokaba for asking
    Agreed. Great thread!

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    Basenotes Member nascia's Avatar
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    Default Re: Indolic?

    Thank you for the wonderful explanation mikeperez23
    ~~~~ www.nascio.com.au ~~~~

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    Default Re: Indolic?

    I think it refers to a pee-pee smell for lack of another descriptive, slighty urine-like, sweet and pungent. Unfortunately for me TV dries down to strong indoles on me
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  8. #8

    Default Re: Indolic?

    In my opinion, the combination of jasmine-based florals, neroli, citrus and leather found in e.g. Eau Sauvage

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    Default Re: Indolic?

    The most indolic floral I've ever smelled is Carnal Flower -- imo it doesn't stop short of the proper amount of "mothball" which gives it a very realistic 3D character. Like sticking my face into a bag full of tuberose blossoms.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Indolic?

    My Poo Smells Like...Flowers?

    I've recently read Scent Trail by Celia Littleton. It's been my crash course on perfumery. An easy read.

    Anyway...enough pure indole will smell like like fecal matter. I trace amounts will smell floral. Nature's joke.

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    Default Re: Indolic?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sensual View Post
    My Poo Smells Like...Flowers?

    I've recently read Scent Trail by Celia Littleton. It's been my crash course on perfumery. An easy read.

    Anyway...enough pure indole will smell like like fecal matter. I trace amounts will smell floral. Nature's joke.
    Repeating again, INDOLE DOES NOT SMELL LIKE FECES OR URINE. IT SMELLS LIKE MOTHBALLS.

    If you don't believe me, go to a lab and smell some pure indole. Wikipedia is simply wrong. I have also smelled some other indole-based compounds of a somewhat ahem ... different nature ... which also smell of mothballs. I never liked the smell, but I must say in combination with heady floral sweetness it's divine.
    Last edited by MonkeyBars; 26th December 2011 at 03:40 AM.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Indolic?

    Quote Originally Posted by LisaOlivia View Post
    I think it refers to a pee-pee smell for lack of another descriptive, slighty urine-like, sweet and pungent. Unfortunately for me TV dries down to strong indoles on me
    Quote Originally Posted by Ken_Russell View Post
    In my opinion, the combination of jasmine-based florals, neroli, citrus and leather found in e.g. Eau Sauvage
    It's not very helpful when people jump in after a question's been reasonably well answered and add in totally conflicting opinions with no supporting evidence. "What it means to me" is really useless, when "what it means to everybody" is being sought.

    you can get an idea of what people mean by "indolic" by smelling some powerful jasmine at dusk, and then smelling your poo until one day you do a really indolic one. Not all poo smells indolic (being diplomatic for the angry mothball guy above, but also because it's very true), halitosis doesn't always smell that way, but once you smell some that have a common link with Jasmine, you'll know what it means.

    The smell is not to everyone's taste and smells unpleasant to a lot of people, probably because of the toilet association. Maybe because of the mothball association also (?)

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Indolic?

    Yes halitosis can be very indolic! Good example.

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    Default Re: Indolic?

    Charogne by ELdO is a great example of an indolic fragrance that's more than a little reminiscent of halitosis. (It's a great fragrance, btw!)

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    Default Re: Indolic?

    Quote Originally Posted by pawful View Post
    It's not very helpful when people jump in after a question's been reasonably well answered and add in totally conflicting opinions with no supporting evidence. "What it means to me" is really useless, when "what it means to everybody" is being sought.

    you can get an idea of what people mean by "indolic" by smelling some powerful jasmine at dusk, and then smelling your poo until one day you do a really indolic one. Not all poo smells indolic (being diplomatic for the angry mothball guy above, but also because it's very true), halitosis doesn't always smell that way, but once you smell some that have a common link with Jasmine, you'll know what it means.

    The smell is not to everyone's taste and smells unpleasant to a lot of people, probably because of the toilet association. Maybe because of the mothball association also (?)
    Wow. clearly there's some measure of confusion over the term so why not petition to close the thread if it's been "reasonably well answered?"

    Welcome to BN!
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  16. #16

    Default Re: Indolic?

    Quote Originally Posted by pawful View Post
    you can get an idea of what people mean by "indolic" by smelling some powerful jasmine at dusk, and then smelling your poo until one day you do a really indolic one
    I think I was better off not knowing.

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    Default Re: Indolic?

    Quote Originally Posted by brian chambers View Post
    i think i was better off not knowing.
    lol!

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    Default Re: Indolic?

    Quote Originally Posted by pawful View Post
    It's not very helpful when people jump in after a question's been reasonably well answered and add in totally conflicting opinions with no supporting evidence. "What it means to me" is really useless, when "what it means to everybody" is being sought.

    you can get an idea of what people mean by "indolic" by smelling some powerful jasmine at dusk, and then smelling your poo until one day you do a really indolic one. Not all poo smells indolic (being diplomatic for the angry mothball guy above, but also because it's very true), halitosis doesn't always smell that way, but once you smell some that have a common link with Jasmine, you'll know what it means.

    The smell is not to everyone's taste and smells unpleasant to a lot of people, probably because of the toilet association. Maybe because of the mothball association also (?)
    hahahaha!!!

    Seriously though, if you get a chance to smell Mario Valentino's Ocean Rain, it will give you a good idea about all things indolic...

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    Default Re: Indolic?

    Quote Originally Posted by LisaOlivia View Post
    I think it refers to a pee-pee smell for lack of another descriptive, slighty urine-like, sweet and pungent. Unfortunately for me TV dries down to strong indoles on me
    Thats pretty cuckoo. Tobacco Vanille ( Tom Ford ?) smelling indolic. I'm not saying you are losing by not having it work out for you ( as it is not the be-all that it is made out to be), but I can't imagine something like that being indolic.

    Quote Originally Posted by KMF View Post
    hahahaha!!!

    Seriously though, if you get a chance to smell Mario Valentino's Ocean Rain, it will give you a good idea about all things indolic...
    Plus One. I have sampled this fragrance and agree. The reviews are well written as well and give a good picture.
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  20. #20

    Default Re: Indolic?

    Thanks for the question and answers!!!
    Gary




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