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Thread: Eau de Titanic

  1. #1

    Default Eau de Titanic

    Hi all!

    I was at an exhibition today of artifacts that were recovered from the wreck of the Titanic. Included was a set of perfume vials that belonged to perfumer Adolphe Saalfeld. Sixty-four vials were recovered, many of them still intact. Of the selection on show, one had cracked allowing scent of the perfume to escape, and it could be smelled through holes in the side of its display case. This was an amazing experience for a perfume geek -regardless of what the perfume smelled like. As it happens, the perfume itself was fascinating. It really was the scent of a different era.

    I went unscented, as I didn't want my own fragrance to alter the way I smelled the perfume, which was just as well, as the scent was quite faint -although very distinctive. It took a while for my nose to really latch onto it and separate it from the usual smells of whatever the passers-by were wearing. Sometimes it was stronger than others, and after a couple of hours I was able to get a very clear picture of its various facets.

    At first I could smell flowers. The perfume has been described as smelling of roses and violets, and while I agree, I found it to be more complex and abstract than a simple floral. The floral bouquet had a sweetness that reminded me of Crown Heliotrope, along with something that seemed like a dark version of peach. Underneath all of this there was something with the "rootiness" of iris. I kept getting flashes of other perfumes, but I couldn't remember which ones, and then it dawned on me that they were all Crown Perfumery fragrances, especially Malabar and Matsukita. Yet the overall composition was quite different from the Crowns. The mood was more like Après L'Ondée with just a touch of that eerie solemnity –which seems perfect for a scent that finds itself cast in the tragic role of a long lost perfume. I also found the fragrance very grand, with a soft animalic base that was both deep and gentle.

    I don't know how much of what I smelled came from a single vial. Maybe the other vials altered the scent, but it smelled like a single perfume to me, and according to the tour guide the other vials on display were still sealed. I feel extraordinarily privileged to have smelled smelled this perfume, but now I want to know what's in the other sixty-three vials...

  2. #2

    Default Re: Eau de Titanic

    Great story.....Thanks for sharing!!!
    Gary

  3. #3

    Default Re: Eau de Titanic

    wow.
    See, thats the interesting part of Titanic history, they should have made a movie about Adolphe Saalfeld and try to reconstruct or at least imagine how he made all those fragrances, why he made them they way they smell and later on show us how they managed to recover them.

    Do you know are they planing to put those fragrances in production maybe?

  4. #4

    Default Re: Eau de Titanic

    Thanks for the first-hand sniffing account. I was a Titanic freak as a kid and I'd love to be able to visit that exhibit!

    Scents of Time was initially involved in the development of a re-creation of one of Saalfeld's perfumes. They later changed the concept because of ethical concerns. There's a brief article here on BN: http://www.basenotes.net/content/148...Time&nocache=1

    And here's a more in-depth article on - er - another site: http://www.fragrantica.com/news/Nigh...Time-1160.html
    Anakin: What was that all about?
    Obi-Wan: Well, R2 has been...
    Anakin: No loose wire jokes.
    Obi-Wan: Did I say anything?
    Anakin: He's trying.
    Obi-Wan: I didn't say anything!

    -ROTS


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Eau de Titanic

    Quote Originally Posted by Leukothea View Post
    wow.
    See, thats the interesting part of Titanic history, they should have made a movie about Adolphe Saalfeld and try to reconstruct or at least imagine how he made all those fragrances, why he made them they way they smell and later on show us how they managed to recover them.

    Do you know are they planing to put those fragrances in production maybe?
    2012 update:

    Quest International has acquired samples of the oils and is not only doing standard spectroscopic analysis, but due to the fact that these are almost certainly full naturals (I could imagine the synthetic Coumarin in there as that was the first and early synthetic according to Luca Turin) Quest is also doing a full DNA analysis to see exactly what and how much was in there. It is possible to see the Vials story and hear from the Man who first opens the leather satchel (He breaks down into tears describing the scent as being from Heaven, "The Scent of Heaven" he calls it) and get more info in the new 2-hour documentary that was on National Geographic called: "Titanic: The Final Word with James Cameron". A very good show and a fair amount of time is spent on the Perfumes and the life changing moment in a laboratory that was full of musty old death and sodden artifacts when suddenly as if a beam of sunshine the scent of Heaven itself wafted out and filled the room. It's quite moving. To see a grown man cry, but you can tell that ...He's down there with them... is what I thought when I saw it. That he's down there with them having been such a part of the rediscovery and to have this one more connection with them that is both tangible and positive, still 'alive'. I myself have fallen in Love with:-) natural plant essences and absolutes so in a very real way I see the plant oils holding their life energy intact through all those years. There is a reason Natural Essential Oils glow in a Kirlian Photograph and Synthetic Oils do not and here it is demonstrated in most amazing fashion! Like the many Amphora filled with aromatic Oman Frankincense found in Tut's tomb, it really shows the longevity of plant life essence as something quite special.

    I hope Quest international does not apply I.F.R.A. draconian standards to their eventual product(s) and use synthetic ingredients. Well perhaps a little coumarin... ;~}

  6. #6

    Default Re: Eau de Titanic

    Fascinating! A ship of dreams, and nightmares, and now something of an aromatic heart rising from the deep to touch the living again. I find the perfumes recovered to be like beacons. The documentary captured their impact quite well.
    Beauty is an ecstasy; it is as simple as hunger. There is really nothing to be said about it. It is like the perfume of a rose: you can smell it and that is all.
    W. Somerset Maugham

  7. #7

    Default Re: Eau de Titanic

    QVC are selling the fragrance and its called Titanic Legacy. They give the Adolphe Saalfeld story as its base.

    As we say in Belfast, "We built the Titanic, she was perfect when she left us. An English man sank her." Well actually Captain Smith nearly sank the Olympic the year before, think someone should have taken the hint about the man.
    DONNA

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Eau de Titanic

    Quote Originally Posted by WoodyBois View Post
    2012 update:

    Quest International has acquired samples of the oils and is not only doing standard spectroscopic analysis, but due to the fact that these are almost certainly full naturals (I could imagine the synthetic Coumarin in there as that was the first and early synthetic according to Luca Turin) Quest is also doing a full DNA analysis to see exactly what and how much was in there. It is possible to see the Vials story and hear from the Man who first opens the leather satchel (He breaks down into tears describing the scent as being from Heaven, "The Scent of Heaven" he calls it) and get more info in the new 2-hour documentary that was on National Geographic called: "Titanic: The Final Word with James Cameron". A very good show and a fair amount of time is spent on the Perfumes and the life changing moment in a laboratory that was full of musty old death and sodden artifacts when suddenly as if a beam of sunshine the scent of Heaven itself wafted out and filled the room. It's quite moving. To see a grown man cry, but you can tell that ...He's down there with them... is what I thought when I saw it. That he's down there with them having been such a part of the rediscovery and to have this one more connection with them that is both tangible and positive, still 'alive'.
    It was incredibly moving to see this man Bill Sauder talking of the perfume vials and the smell of 'heaven' amidst the smell of death. I saw the documentary last night. Wonderful .
    Donna - The new Titanic perfume- I wonder how much it really resembles Adophe Saalfeld's perfume ? I think I saw it on QVC for $69 ....
    http://www.basenotes.net/threads/370...o-Profumo-Onda
    For sale. Carnal Flower and Vero Profumo Onda.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Eau de Titanic

    Quote Originally Posted by donna255 View Post
    QVC are selling the fragrance and its called Titanic Legacy. They give the Adolphe Saalfeld story as its base.

    As we say in Belfast, "We built the Titanic, she was perfect when she left us. An English man sank her." Well actually Captain Smith nearly sank the Olympic the year before, think someone should have taken the hint about the man.
    Quest usually deals with the highest end brands such as Guerlain, Chanel, Gucci, etc. I can't imagine them doing business with QVC,..

    At only $69 it certainly seems it is made entirely of synthetics. I expect to spend $180-$350 on anything special these days.

    Plus (unfortunately) it is being described as a Lemon and Neroli fragrance. I say Impossible! Lemon and citrus oils in general are by far the Most Volatile and Shortest Lived oils in the parfumeurs pallet . Citrus oils last only A few years and that's if you keep them in the Fridge! Lemon perfume under the sea for 80+ years would come up making Pledge furniture polish smell like Heaven. I am highly suspect...

    Plus who would spend the requisite thousands even millions of dollars of DNA Research and restructuring to sell to QVC.

    They may have a product and they may have attached it to the story, but I would be most surprised to find it was contracted with the biggest perfume manufacturer in the world. I mean LEMON and Neroli? No one who has smelt it has said Anything about those volatile oils being in the scent profile.

    (Nothing against You Donna) and I agree there was nothing wrong with that ship! I kept saying That during the documentary too :-)

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Eau de Titanic

    The Banana Theory .I will never view a banana in the same way again. James Cameron used a banana to show how the Titanic broke up .


    Re. the Titanic Perfume. I agree with you , WoodyBois. Anyways, they have a 'saleable' product at a price most people are willing to pay for, for a slice of the Titanic's centennial. I wouldn't mind smelling it but I won't buy it. I also think it's a bit morbid .The Titanic is a massive grave site .
    http://www.basenotes.net/threads/370...o-Profumo-Onda
    For sale. Carnal Flower and Vero Profumo Onda.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Eau de Titanic

    Legacy is in the directory now, notes listed are lemon, neroli, rose and amber. I hope someone will sniff & review it: http://www.basenotes.net/ID26135063.html

  12. #12

    Default Re: Eau de Titanic

    I saw that there was a tub of something made by Truefitt and Hill. A men's toiletry?

    EDIT:

    I discovered that it was men's hair pomade.
    "No sweet perfume ever tortured me more than this." Desert Rose by Sting and Cheb Mami, Album 1999.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Eau de Titanic

    I watched the James Camerson documentary last night. A guy from the Titanic historic society was talking about finding the perfume vials. He said the lab usually smells very bad stuff under the sea for long time does not equal pleasant, usually like sh*t etc. He described opening the vials and this smell of flowers and fruit filled his nose. He actually started to cry describing the scene suddenly in this death and decay the smell of heaven, he used the words smell of heaven.

    So the fruit smell he talks about could be bergamot(lemon and neroli(oranges).

    Don't forget Titanic did not go down in warm water but below freezing. The ice flows from Greenland which has not green on it at but ice and snow.
    DONNA

  14. #14

    Default Re: Eau de Titanic

    Quote Originally Posted by Mimi Gardenia View Post
    The Banana Theory .I will never view a banana in the same way again. James Cameron used a banana to show how the Titanic broke up .


    Re. the Titanic Perfume. I agree with you , WoodyBois. Anyways, they have a 'saleable' product at a price most people are willing to pay for, for a slice of the Titanic's centennial. I wouldn't mind smelling it but I won't buy it. I also think it's a bit morbid .The Titanic is a massive grave site .
    I also agree here with Mimi. The Titanic sinking was a tragedy. It's morbid to cash in on something like this unless the proceeds go to a memorial or a museum.
    "No sweet perfume ever tortured me more than this." Desert Rose by Sting and Cheb Mami, Album 1999.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Primrose View Post
    The Titanic sinking was a tragedy. It's morbid to cash in on something like this unless the proceeds go to a memorial or a museum.
    True, Primrose .
    http://www.basenotes.net/threads/370...o-Profumo-Onda
    For sale. Carnal Flower and Vero Profumo Onda.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Eau de Titanic

    Cool story.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Eau de Titanic

    Okay you really want to see cashing in come to Belfast!!!!

    Thompson Tea tv ads and large billboards Thompson put the T in Titanic. Now they are an old company and perhaps did supply tea to the ship? But really offensive.

    Next I was walking into Victoria Centre a large shopping centre in Belfast heading for House of Fraser. Suddenly I looked up and there hanging from the glass ceiling a very large Titanic model made of coloured balls. I did stop and go "What the F*ck!"
    DONNA

  18. #18

    Default Re: Eau de Titanic

    What a lovely story, and how interesting that the perfume can still be enjoyed!

    When I read the title, ''Eau de titanic'' my imagination immediately provided me with the smell of salt, burning engines, and fear. This is much better! I do hope they will really do a good analysis of the fragrances.
    “Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the clouds of war, it is humanity hanging on a cross of iron.”
    ― Dwight D. Eisenhower

    www.aafke-art.com

  19. #19

    Default Re: Eau de Titanic

    Quote Originally Posted by donna255 View Post
    Okay you really want to see cashing in come to Belfast!!!!

    Thompson Tea tv ads and large billboards Thompson put the T in Titanic. Now they are an old company and perhaps did supply tea to the ship? But really offensive.

    Next I was walking into Victoria Centre a large shopping centre in Belfast heading for House of Fraser. Suddenly I looked up and there hanging from the glass ceiling a very large Titanic model made of coloured balls. I did stop and go "What the F*ck!"
    Wow, Donna, that's wild. I think it's important to remember the tragedy, but with a solemnity and not so much exuberance.

    Thank you for sharing.
    "No sweet perfume ever tortured me more than this." Desert Rose by Sting and Cheb Mami, Album 1999.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Eau de Titanic

    I would have expected this frag to be an aquatic......








    too soon?

  21. #21

    Default Re: Eau de Titanic

    Posts like this reminds me of why I'm so thankful for bn. For a long time I've wondered if any perfume went down with Titanic, and if those bottles might still be intact. I've mentioned this thoughts to my partner, but he laughed at me and said "who THINKS about that stuff?"
    And now, without any expectations, I typed Titanic in the search box. And this post is what I find! Thank you all for writing and sharing! The idea of sample vials brought up to our time after being preserved in a 100 year long 1912, then opened and described as "the smell of heaven" makes my heart ache. It is beautiful and very, very sad.
    Last edited by SusyQ; 17th December 2012 at 07:57 AM.

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