Code of Conduct
Results 1 to 38 of 38
  1. #1

    Default Smelling dirty and animalic

    Well, I need some sort of education here. I've heard people say this frag is animalic smelling, that frag is dirty smelling. However, I don't really know what the terms really are. Animalic means you smell like an animal????? Dirty means you smell like you don't take a shower in ages???????????

    Can you guys help explaining them to me?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Smelling dirty and animalic

    Your post reminded me immediately of this:
    http://www.basenotes.net/ID26121143/reviews.html
    I recommend Vibert's and Asha's review if you scroll a bit down!

  3. #3

    Default Re: Smelling dirty and animalic

    I too am puzzled as to what the actual definition of animalic means in terms of fragrances. I've searched the net, and have yet to see a straight up answer. The way I interpret it definition wise is something that turns on animals (as ridiculous as that sounds) and brings out ones pheromones. In terms of actual smell, I think of dryish metallic and somewhat synthetic stuff that smells like body odor such as Desire, Dirty English, etc.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Smelling dirty and animalic

    When a fragrance smells "animalic", basically it means that it smells like it contains oils that come from animals, such as civet (from the anal glands of a civet cat), musks (testicles or scrotum of a deer) or castoreum (scrotum of a beaver I think??). These scents tend to have a "sweaty" or somewhat "dirty" smell underlying them.

    The most common "animalic" scent people talk about is Kouros, which has civet, which in turn gives Kouros a sort of sweaty, dirty undertone and kind of raunchy feel. Tabu is another common one that is often called animalic due to its containing a lot of civet.
    Last edited by shamu1; 4th May 2010 at 10:36 AM.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Smelling dirty and animalic

    Quote Originally Posted by shamu1 View Post
    When a fragrance smells "animalic", basically it means that it smells like it contains oils that come from animals, such as civet (from the anal glands of a civet cat), musks (testicles or scrotum of a deer) or castoreum (scrotum of a beaver I think??). These scents tend to have a "sweaty" or somewhat "dirty" smell underlying them.

    The most common "animalic" scent people talk about is Kouros, which has civet, which in turn gives Kouros a sort of sweaty, dirty undertone and kind of raunchy feel. Tabu is another common one that is often called animalic due to its containing a lot of civet.

    I agree :P

    Dirty, I think, it smells like sweat ( in the good way) like Rose 31. Or scents that make people think about having sex :P

  6. #6

    Default Re: Smelling dirty and animalic

    The problem with these types of notes, though, is that they are in the nose and on the skin of the beholder and very much love 'em or hate 'em, dependent on the frag. For example, far from making me feel rasunchy or desire some bedroom gymnastics, I find most animalic notes to smell exactly like what they are - the thankfully short lived Jasper Conran musk to me smelt like very pungent animal piss and Kouros smells like BO. On the other hand, the similar (mostly fecal) notes in all of the Czech & Speake range don't appear at all for me and each C&S frag is very delicate on my skin, whereas a lot of people complain about smelling like animal shit after one spray.

    You basically need to test on a frag by frag basis to find out whether you like them or not.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Smelling dirty and animalic

    Imagine a good compost with natural fertilizers.
    Mmmm compost...

  8. #8

    Default Re: Smelling dirty and animalic

    Cumin (the spice) smells like a human sweat note. I'd recommend Alexander McQueen's Kingdom.
    "No sweet perfume ever tortured me more than this." Desert Rose by Sting and Cheb Mami, Album 1999.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Smelling dirty and animalic

    MKK, Oud 27, Hammam Bouquet and the like can be very surprising with their 'dirty' notes. I took a paper strip of MKK home, taking whiffs as I walked down the street, and I just laughed at the thought that someone could wear this without arousing suspicions about their lax hygiene. However, there are some where these notes are more subtly blended in with florals or spices. In the right proportion, these animalic notes can boost the richness and depth of a floral or spicy note, with almost no animalic impression (unless you search closely for it). I think Habit Rouge and many other Guerlains are like this. I think it is like the difference between cake icing made with water and sugar versus made with butter. In fact, butter is a kind of animalic note that enriches many foods. The Japanese, when Europeans and Americans first came to Japan many centuries ago, would mutter 'They stink of butter.' Well, now Japan is used to butter, no more problem. In the same way, if you try one of the 'easier' and richer animalics, you will come to appreciate the stronger ones like MKK. Using it on the skin instead of on fabric will also bring out a fuller range of notes.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Smelling dirty and animalic

    It's hard to explain the appeal of animalic notes in words. Most of them smell rather unpleasant in concentration ( civet and castoreum especially ), but in dilution and with other elements they add a certain warmth and depth that's really enjoyable and doesn't "stink", even though in isolation, it might

    Now, sometimes it can take a while for a fragrance with a heavy animal content to become pleasant. I think there it a touch-too-much of a fecal top note in Paco Rabanne's La Nuit, however, it disappears into a blend of warm flowers and becomes creamy, pleasant, and not individually noticeable unless you're seeking it.

    How much of an animalic note is pleasant varies person to person. Sometimes what's gross to one is just fine for another.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Smelling dirty and animalic

    Scratch and sniff
    that's animalic

  12. #12

    Default Re: Smelling dirty and animalic

    As I've become more interested in perfumery and fragrance composition I have found that I'm more drawn towards fragrances with 'animalic' and 'dirty' elements. Civet, cumin, castoreum etc all seem to add depth and dimension to a fragrance which makes them smell more interesting and challenging than the fresher, cleaner fragrances without these notes. Maybe this is linked to the phenomenon many of us experience in that as we grow older our taste buds demand more challenging flavours - how many people who hated certain foods as a child now find that they love them. Olives are a good example of this! As taste and smell are linked closely I feel that this may offer some explanation.

    Or maybe it's the human element which attracts us towards these smells - fragrances such as Guerlain's Jicky and YSL Kouros smell slightly 'off' but I find them more interesting and 'moreish' than many of the modern aquatic or generic sweet smelling fragrances which currently dominate the market. Kouros is a great example of how something essentially soapy and clean smelling can be given an edge with the addition of a slightly animalic (or human!) note. Although some find it dirty and offensive it reminds me of a steamy shower room with smells of soap, shaving foam and cologne. It just happens to have an added note which evokes the smell of the human body after a workout which generates a photo-realistic image of the post-match locker room with all its associated odours! Without this human element I doubt it would be as popular and well loved as it is today.
    Last edited by Derbyman; 4th May 2010 at 03:10 PM.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Smelling dirty and animalic

    King Kouros by YSL & Dirty English

  14. #14

    Default Re: Smelling dirty and animalic

    To me the ultimate in animalic is the opening of MKK. It smells to me like you're standing in a barnyard next to a horse, or next to some sort of caged beast. But, the opening is brief and it gives way to a pretty mild musk.

    L'Ombre Fauve also has an interesting animal fur kind of note in it that lasts quite awhile.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Smelling dirty and animalic

    Quote Originally Posted by Derbyman View Post
    Civet, cumin, castoreum etc all seem to add depth and dimension to a fragrance which makes them smell more interesting and challenging than the fresher, cleaner fragrances without these notes.
    ^
    This, plus the fact that some kinds of fragrances don't smell very masculine unless you dirty it up and it also helps to make a scent more roguish. There are also other ways to dirty up a scent, for example with earthy/dirt notes like vetiver and patchouli or using smoky/incense notes. However while they do add to the masculinity, depth and sophistication of the scent, I don't really know anything like animalic notes to give it the dangerous, sexy vibe.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Smelling dirty and animalic

    This has really piqued my interest in MKK as I love all 3 notes that have been mentioned and a big fan of most Lutens , bit too risky for a blind buy tho I think !!!!

  17. #17

    Default Re: Smelling dirty and animalic

    Quote Originally Posted by Pour_Monsieur View Post
    This has really piqued my interest in MKK as I love all 3 notes that have been mentioned and a big fan of most Lutens , bit too risky for a blind buy tho I think !!!!
    DEFINITELY too risky to buy blind, IMO. I haven't made up my mind on this, but I may end up thinking it is too much for me. I still have enough left in my sample to give it yet another 2 tries
    Since you are from the UK, why don't you send an email to them (Serge Lutens site) asking for wax samples of the Exclusives. It took them, I think, 3 weeks to come up with them, but I got them and it gives you a fair idea of what it is (and the other exclusives) just not that intense as the liquid, of course.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Smelling dirty and animalic

    "Animalic" covers a lot of ground, from urine to sweat to shit to pig sty. I don't think of it as a specific set of odors so much as a general warning that you might be getting into challenging biological territory.

    I haven't experienced much of an inurement effect yet. Jicky and Oud 47 still seem disgusting to me, for example. On the other hand, I instantly loved a lot of things that some people consider "difficult", such as the cumin in Rose 31, the horsey barnyard smell in Oud Cuir d'Arabie, and MKK.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Smelling dirty and animalic

    Dirty or animalic are general description terms, and vary from one person to another. What you actually smell are specific molecules. The major smell molecule in cumin, for instance, is also common in human sweat, so some people think of that as animalic or dirty whereas I find it more closely resembling something from plants. There can be a lot of indoles in a frag that has a note of jasmine listed, and many say it smells "crappy." Generally, if your skin soaks up frags, the more pleasing these notes are, so you should do some experimenting if you don't already know. Until you know the difference between civet, cumin, "dirty" jasmine, castoreum, etc., you will just be able to think of it in the general terms. When you read a review, that person can have more or less knowledge about these things. This is something you really need to learn by yourself, and while you are doing it the reviews can sometimes be a helpful guide (or can be misleading).
    Last edited by Bigsly; 4th May 2010 at 08:28 PM.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Smelling dirty and animalic

    "Animalic" or "dirty" is also a matter of perception. Laundry detergents nowadays are often loaded with musks, so we tend to associate "musk" with "clean" more and more.

  21. #21

    Default Re: Smelling dirty and animalic

    What it means to me, smells like some form of animal hair in general.

  22. #22
    Basenotes Plus

    JaimeB's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    San Francisco, California
    Posts
    5,410
    Blog Entries
    140

    Default Re: Smelling dirty and animalic

    Derbyman is right: the animal notes that everybody talks about were originally there because they added projection and dispersion to perfume the way no botanicals could. They worked that way when they were really animal derivatives, but nowadays most "animal" notes come directly from the aromachemical labs. The real stuff is too expensive, or too dangerous, to gather, or the species that produce it are endangered to the point of near-extinction, or it constitutes some kind of animal cruelty to extract the materials.

    The only one that's still gathered without danger to the humans or the animals is ambergris, which floats on the ocean. It is very rare, and is only useful to perfumers if it has matured sufficiently through exposure for a long time to salt water and UV rays. That's why even it has been replaced with synthetics for the most part. "Amber" in the pyramid is far more likely to be Ambroxan™ than ambergris.

    The thing that all these materials have in common is that they smell hideous in high concentration,
    i. e., in their natural state, but wonderful in extreme dilution. They have a natural warmth, and, if properly handled don't really have a "bathroom" odor. That tends to come more from things like cumin and indolic white florals, such as gardenia, tuberose, jasmine, and so forth. I think in a lot of perfume discussions, the perfumes described as "animalic" are often not animal-derived at all, but indolic. Indole does have a slightly fecal note that may recall the human body in certain states of perspiration, postponed washing, etc.

    Who was that Frenchman who said that he loved those perfumes best which recalled "une femme qui a négligé sa toilette pendant quelques jours"?
    Last edited by JaimeB; 4th May 2010 at 11:35 PM.
    Yr good bud,

    JaimeB

    "Why spend life seeking that which does not satisfy? Why remain a slave, when freedom waits? Let your life shine; illumine the world with your truth!"

    My Wardrobe
    My Reviews

    Fiat justitia ruat cælum.

    Let justice be done, even if the sky should fall.

    Lucius Calpurnius Piso Caesoninus

    Qui nihil potest sperare, desperet nihil.
    Let him who can hope for nothing despair of nothing.

    —Seneca

  23. #23

    Default Re: Smelling dirty and animalic

    Not only are indolic materials used in fragrances, but they are also used to flavor foods: The smelly substance in excrement is skatole, not only is it used in fine fragrances, but it's also used in small amounts as flavoring in food, notably in vanilla ice cream. It has been also reported that without a small amount of skatole, vanilla ice cream just wouldn't taste right. It's all about the fact that we need to identify with odors and tastes or they will not appeal to us. I guess this, in a way, makes us all infantile narcissists!
    Last edited by Kevin Guyer; 5th May 2010 at 04:13 AM.

  24. #24

    Arrow Re: Smelling dirty and animalic

    Quote Originally Posted by JaimeB View Post
    Who was that Frenchman who said that he loved those perfumes best which recalled "une femme qui a négligé sa toilette pendant quelques jours"?
    I don't know but it could not possibly have been SSC Napoli chairman and egomaniac loudmouth Aurelio de Laurentiis, who bizarrely chimed in on the subject of his players potentially leaving for English clubs with the following:


    "We made these players; two years ago nobody knew who they were. If they want to go to England then in the end they're going to go, but they need to understand this: the English live badly, eat badly and their women do not wash their genitalia. To them, a bidet is a mystery."

  25. #25
    Basenotes Institution
    mikeperez23's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Miami, FL
    Posts
    26,574

    Default Re: Smelling dirty and animalic

    When I use the word 'animalic' to describe a fragrance note, to my nose it smells like I am around an animal - smelling it's hair, perhaps the animals breath, the smell of where they sleep, etc.

    I do agree that the word 'dirty' can be easily misunderstood. To me, dirty means it smells like dirt. But of course, this is not the case with all comments on BN.

  26. #26

    Default Re: Smelling dirty and animalic

    Quote Originally Posted by mikeperez23 View Post
    I do agree that the word 'dirty' can be easily misunderstood. To me, dirty means it smells like dirt. But of course, this is not the case with all comments on BN.
    Yes - when I use "dirty" in reviews, I usually mean in the sense of animal or body-odor notes. I use "earthy" for dirt itself.

  27. #27

    Default Re: Smelling dirty and animalic

    Quote Originally Posted by M.David View Post
    King Kouros by YSL & Dirty English
    kouros baby!!!!!!!!!!!!

  28. #28

    Default Re: Smelling dirty and animalic

    Try some Kouros on and then you'll know.

  29. #29
    Dependent

    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Singapore
    Posts
    8,224

    Default Re: Smelling dirty and animalic

    Quote Originally Posted by StylinLA View Post
    To me the ultimate in animalic is the opening of MKK. It smells to me like you're standing in a barnyard next to a horse, or next to some sort of caged beast. But, the opening is brief and it gives way to a pretty mild musk.

    L'Ombre Fauve also has an interesting animal fur kind of note in it that lasts quite awhile.
    Spot on, StylinLA! Those 2 are my absolute favorite animalic scents. Extremely addictive huh!! Throw in the vintage Givenchy Gentleman (the newer one just smells of patchouli mostly, hardly much civet) and I think I have my Holy Trinity of Animalics.

    @Jason: I do feel that MKK can resemble certain sections of a zoo, and thus I find it animalic; and yes at times it reminds me a little of dried sweat. But yet, in a way, both MKK and L'Ombre remind me of soap (much more so in L'Ombre), probably because of the musk, and thus I hardly associate them with "dirty". If anything, I find Dzing to resemble 'dirty' much more.

    Yeah I too tend to use "earthy" for dirt/soil kind of smells.

    Not sure how much this helps, but I think you should give some of the mentioned scents a sniff, and see if you can make a similar connection....

    Quote Originally Posted by Pour_Monsieur View Post
    This has really piqued my interest in MKK as I love all 3 notes that have been mentioned and a big fan of most Lutens , bit too risky for a blind buy tho I think !!!!
    Risky, but damn worth it!! =D
    Last edited by MFJ; 5th May 2010 at 09:42 AM.

  30. #30

    Default Re: Smelling dirty and animalic

    Quote Originally Posted by shamu1 View Post
    When a fragrance smells "animalic", basically it means that it smells like it contains oils that come from animals, such as civet (from the anal glands of a civet cat), musks (testicles or scrotum of a deer) or castoreum (scrotum of a beaver I think??). These scents tend to have a "sweaty" or somewhat "dirty" smell underlying them.
    yes, but musk isn't one of them. musks do not smell very animalic and are the opposite of dirty! musks smell soft and clean. civet is very dirty (it smells a bit like shit) and so is indole (jasmine contains indole) and skatole (this is actually found in shit). ambergris is an animalic smell too, among other things. but the most animalic of them all is castoreum.

    btw. close and related to animalic is leather.
    Last edited by gido; 5th May 2010 at 09:49 AM.

  31. #31

    Default Re: Smelling dirty and animalic

    I don't usually like dirty smelling fragrances. But I smelled MKK the other day and absolutely loved it! I'm seriously considering buying a bottle, I just don't want to get comments like, "you smell like SHIT!". Maybe I should wait until I'm a little older. Great scent, though!

  32. #32

    Default Re: Smelling dirty and animalic

    Quote Originally Posted by boosh View Post
    I'm seriously considering buying a bottle, I just don't want to get comments like, "you smell like SHIT!". Maybe I should wait until I'm a little older. Great scent, though!
    better be careful with the application, then.

  33. #33

    Default Re: Smelling dirty and animalic

    My Perfumed Court sample of MKK had a faint poopiness I just couldn't get over.

  34. #34

    Default Re: Smelling dirty and animalic

    Quote Originally Posted by Romantic Warrior View Post
    My Perfumed Court sample of MKK had a faint poopiness I just couldn't get over.
    Try just a little bit on your skin, and see how people react. Looking at the reviews, it is surprising how many times people receive unexpected compliments for these kinds of scents.

  35. #35

    Default Re: Smelling dirty and animalic

    Quote Originally Posted by JaimeB View Post


    Who was that Frenchman who said that he loved those perfumes best which recalled "une femme qui a négligé sa toilette pendant quelques jours"?
    I think it was Jacques Guerlain and if not, he said other things along those same lines.
    Last edited by Zizanioides; 6th May 2010 at 12:15 AM.

  36. #36

    Default Re: Smelling dirty and animalic

    I suppose that the "fritos" (cottonseed oil) smell of the soft skin between a clean dog's toes would count as animalic, and I truly wonder if there has been an attempt to use that in a scent?

    Kidding, sort of. Interesting idea. Yes, I have smelled the dog's feet, and precisely because someone else told me that's what they smelled like. And yes, it does.
    Last edited by actiasluna; 5th May 2010 at 11:24 PM.
    [URL="http://www.basenotes.net/fragrancereviews/38140"][B]Actias luna's fragrance reviews[/B][/URL] | Now blogging with [i]AromiErotici, Carrie Meredith, Mimi Gardenia, Sugandaraja, Asha, bluesoul, shamu1, Redneck Perfumisto and Daly Beauty[/i] at [URL="http://aromierotici.blogspot.com/"][B]Il Mondo di Odore[/B][/URL] [URL="http://www.ebsqart.com/Artist/Kathleen-Harper/3794/Art-Portfolio/1/"]
    [B]Art[/B]: Actias luna's other hobby[/URL] - along with some impromptu [URL="http://www.basenotes.net/threads/268480-Why-Mouchoir-de-Monsieur-Act-III-Resumed"]"performance writing"[/URL] here on Basenotes!

  37. #37

    Default Re: Smelling dirty and animalic

    Well, we grow up, get toilet trained and then playing with our own feces becomes taboo. I think the famous noses through out history have never grown up and still, psychologically, roll around/play in their own sh*t. I love them for this reason - it's the creative stage that almost everyone, except for artists, are beaten out of.
    Last edited by Kevin Guyer; 6th May 2010 at 05:54 AM.

  38. #38

    Default Re: Smelling dirty and animalic

    I don't know... even if it's not taboo to play with faecal matter, there's no way it's going to smell good to me. I think part of the animalistic appeal is that it renders a primitive, unwashed, bestial vibe. Sort of the opposite of the cultured, smooth and maybe straight-jacketed feel one gets from gentle society. Of course, nobody wants to be totally primitive, unwashed and bestial, because instead of standing out, they would be isolated from society, so the use of animalistic notes have to be done very delicately.

Similar Threads

  1. Dirty English is just, well, Dirty...
    By Kerosene in forum Male Fragrance Discussion
    Replies: 20
    Last Post: 4th March 2010, 04:41 PM
  2. What non-animalic notes can cause a frag to smell dirty?
    By mtgprox05 in forum Male Fragrance Discussion
    Replies: 30
    Last Post: 22nd January 2010, 05:08 PM
  3. Animalic lemon vs Animalic soap
    By BillyBudd in forum Male Fragrance Discussion
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 5th August 2009, 08:46 PM
  4. Dirty dirty musk -- love it or hate it? (In your SO's view)
    By moltening in forum Male Fragrance Discussion
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: 24th October 2008, 08:47 PM
  5. Dirty English -- wild, animalic, sexy or what?
    By KiatBkk in forum Male Fragrance Discussion
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 21st May 2008, 08:47 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •