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  1. #1

    Default note identification question

    Okay, I have (to my mind at least) an odd question, and would love some help from more sophisticated noses than mine. I have been sampling many perfumes lately, and have noticed a particular note that is very “high” and pronounced – almost like the smell of permanent markers (big favorite from childhood). I recently noticed it in By Kilian’s Straight to Heaven and remembered that I had also smelled it in YSL’s Parisienne (maybe also in Malle’s Une Rose, but more subtle here).

    In trying to think of other similar smells, I thought of Victory V’s – a cough lozenge I used to love when I was a kid (grew up in the UK). My brother swore that Victory V’s contained ether (as well as chloroform), and that was the taste we liked so much. I’m pretty sure they had gotten rid of the ether and chloroform by the 1970’s (I hope!), but that slightly “nail polish-y” scent/taste was really appealing and addictive.

    Anyway, my question is – what is this ingredient in perfumes? I’m assuming it’s not ether or cholorform

    I’m guessing it’s a particular aromachemical (or a combo), but would love to know exactly what it is…

    Thank you!

  2. #2
    Heartwood's Avatar
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    Default Re: note identification question

    I wonder if it's the mentholated quality of the cedar note? You might try Caron L'Anarchiste for comparison, as it has this accord going on in spades.
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  3. #3

    Default Re: note identification question

    Thanks very much -- I'll check that out!

  4. #4

    Default Re: note identification question

    I haven't smelt those frags, but Petitgrain smells a bit like a victory V.

  5. #5

    Default Re: note identification question

    Thanks! I'm off to see if I can find some more samples....

  6. #6
    Neurosis's Avatar
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    Default Re: note identification question

    shot in the dark here but maybe youre smelling the alcohol?

  7. #7

    Default Re: note identification question

    Yes! That's similar to what it smells like, but it lasts a whole lot longer than I would expect alcohol to linger (at least a half hour or so, sometimes much more). Are there certain scents that retain their alcohol-y-ness for a long time?

  8. #8
    Neurosis's Avatar
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    Default Re: note identification question

    well im assuming what youre smelling is the alcohol mixed with the actual notes, hence the "marker" smell instead of straight up alcohol. i remember i used to think every fragrance was AWFUL...until i realized i was smelling alcohol lol. a half hour? thats very unlikely for alcohol to last that long. in fact 30 SECONDS would be very long

  9. #9

    Default Re: note identification question

    Spray or dab a little on your wrist area, don't breathe in while doing this (inhale deeply first), then blow on that area gently for as long as possible. Then move to another room and shut the door behind you. Walk as far as you can while continuing to blow on the area. Then keep your wrist as far away from your body as you can and waft the scent over to your nose with your other hand. If you still smell it, it's likely the note rather than something else.

  10. #10

    Default Re: note identification question

    My first thought was camphor, too, but I'm not so sure. Unfortunately, I haven't smelled either of the fragrances mentioned so I'm of no use. There have been a few that I've smelled that immediately brought to mind "nail polish" but it's been too long to remember anything other than that they had prominent floral notes. Sometimes I think high quality floral ingredients - because they use a more sophisticated method of extraction (which might be the wrong word to use in the first place) - have a sharp quality similar to nail polish. At this point I'm probably just confusing you!
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  11. #11

    Default Re: note identification question

    It could actually be one of so many things. Rosemary has a sharp medicinal smell too, and clove. Nail polish remover is acetone and that smells like pear drops. I'm sure I read of one of the aromachemicals that smelt of those. Iso-Amyl Acetate or Ethyl acetate?

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