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  1. #1
    Basenotes Member CaptainMiguel's Avatar
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    Default Why do some fragrances seem "bigger" to me than others?

    The best way I can describe it is this... imagine all of the individual notes of a fragrance represented as different foods placed on a very large plate, spread out and clearly separated from one another - not so far that they are totally disconnected (it's still a cohesive presentation) but the overall scent seems to be big and open, the portions are large and you can look around the plate and get a very clear understanding of what is there and how it is organized. The opposite of this, that I notice with some fragrances, would be the same foods presented on a much smaller plate, either placed tightly together or even stacked on top of one another and, in some cases, blurring together.

    This perception doesn't seem to have anything to do with the specific notes or the potency of the fragrance - It's more about some kind of a larger visual sense that I get when I smell the fragrance.

    Examples of fragrances that I notice this "bigness" with: Sycomore, Bleu de Chanel, Rive Gauche, Black Fleece, Aventus

    Examples of fragrances that seem "smaller" to me: Guerlain Homme Intense, YSL Live Jazz, John Varvatos Artisan, L'Eau D'Issey pour Homme Intense

    I would just love to know what characteristics may be causing me to have this perception so I can look for this when seeking out new fragrances.

    Thanks!
    Last edited by CaptainMiguel; 14th July 2014 at 06:37 PM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Why do some fragrances seem "bigger" to me than others?

    Interesting. I do not divide these scents in the way you do, but it is true that perfumers often try to create effects that somehow are not purely olfactory. Perfumes can appear big, or, rich, airy, transparent, watery, satiny, etc. There are materials that perfumers use not only for the smell itself, but because they change the feel of the other materials, make them breathe, so to speak. For instance, civet opens up and makes floral notes richer and more persistent. Some woody ambers give radiance, calone suffuses rooms.

    That said, I don't know what the specific material is that creates the effect you mention. Sometimes, we also perceive materials differently, so it's possible that you are more sensitive than others to certain materials (so that their effects is amplified).

    cacio

  3. #3

    Default Re: Why do some fragrances seem "bigger" to me than others?

    Depends on various factors difficult to point out at once, but it may include a certain range of notes but also their projection, the divide between the individual perceptions of these notes (whether the fragrances are more linear or more complex, but still with clearly discernible notes), but also the personal associations of these very notes and much more along these lines.

  4. #4
    Basenotes Member CaptainMiguel's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why do some fragrances seem "bigger" to me than others?

    Thanks... that helps.

    To further clarify, maybe it's a certain width and/or depth that I am sensing. I've seen folks using "3-D" to describe fragrances. Maybe that's part of it?

    Also, to be clear, it isn't necessarily a matter of being better or worse... I actually love Guerlain Homme Intense and Live Jazz even though they seem smaller than others to my nose. I'm just trying get better at identifying what I am smelling!

  5. #5
    hednic's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why do some fragrances seem "bigger" to me than others?

    That's a very interesting perception you have. Never thought about fragrances that way before.
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  6. #6
    Frag Bomb Squadron XVII
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    Default Re: Why do some fragrances seem "bigger" to me than others?

    Every aromachemical has its own evaporation profile. When they overlap, you get these blurred blended accord which may be hard to distinguish as a collection of individual notes. Interestingly you perceive this as a stack of ingredients on a small plate. By varying the amounts or concentration of individual chemicals you could reduce the overlaps between the profiles, resulting in greater degrees of separation or in your perception a 'spread of ingredients on a large platter'. I reckon different types of base fixatives interact differently with the top or heart notes, giving the perfumer greater flexibility to paint his canvas the way he wants, and vary its dimensions.

    Just my 2 cents. I'm sure the resident perfumers and DIY enthusiasts can chime in with more qualified explanations.
    Last edited by Diamondflame; 19th July 2014 at 04:24 PM.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Why do some fragrances seem "bigger" to me than others?

    Idk but you made me hungry. :-p

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