Does anyone know why or how this happens? It's such an odd phenomenon. I know that in most cases, the more volatile and usually stronger smelling aromachemicals burn off in the first few minutes of wear, and the heavier, more stable molecules project with heat and stick around longer.
When a fragrance seems to "lack topnotes" (i.e., it literally smells almost like alcohol or nothing), what is going on? Do the volatile compounds used in that particular blend just not have a smell? And the heavier compounds that show up later haven't "warmed up" enough to project yet?
I'm thinking specifically of Floris Sandalwood...it goes on with a very faint waxy smell, and oddly strengthens over time on the skin, eventually smelling like a very nice, creamy sandalwood. Prada Amber PH may do this to a certain extent as well. Perhaps others can think of more examples.
I rather like this stealth approach...anyone have some insight into this? Perhaps [edit: not limited to] some of our amateur perfumers?
Last edited by LiveJazz; 9th June 2011 at 02:01 AM. Reason: clarity
"It's not what you look like when you're doing what you're doing; it's what you're doing when you're doing what you look like you're doing."
Bulgaris for men are like that: the nose behind them chose aromachemicals known for their restrained character, for he wanted to stress the mid and base notes. It is somehow a new approach to perfume blending. On the other hand, bodyheat might do the trick.
I think that's exactly what you were saying, drydown notes require more heat to come out, so until they has been warmed up by the skin, they don't appear.
I think the phenomenon is particularly strong with oil perfumes (such as the arabic ones), or even more with those in solid forms. There, you cannot really even smell them if you don't apply to the skin. An example I have in mind is Breath of God sticks. When I first put the stick on skin, Ismell only the fresh, vetiver-y part; but when I go to the gym, I start smelling also all the darkeness and smoke. In that case, just skin is not enough, I need extra heat.
Santa Maria Novella Ginestra (excellent stuff, btw) seems to do this, too; smells like nothing on the strip for the first few minutes, before slowly coming to life in the hours that follow.
At the time, I assumed the problem was either A) me being sniffed out; B) spraying on paper rather than fabric or skin; or C) really weak top notes, from an old tester or the composition itself.
This happens to me with Prada Amber. When I first put it on, I can barely smell it, but over its development, it gets louder and louder...
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