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  1. #1

    Question Wood smoke as a room spray?

    Iíve just put this up on my own blog, but I suspect I may get a better informed response here:

    Anyone who has ever sat around a campfire will have memories associated with the smell of wood-smoke, hopefully good ones . . .

    If like me you also have the good fortune to have an open fire at home, you may have shared my disappointment that you donít really ever get the same effect indoors - in fact I find myself going outside on winters evenings just to appreciate the scent of the wood burning in our fire as it drifts across the night-time garden. OK so that is slightly barmy I admit, but I bet Iím not the only one.

    And of course if you do end up with the smoke indoors - when a log rolls off the grate and onto the hearth for example - you quickly appreciate what a fine job the chimney is doing after all and hastily get the tongs and put the log back where it belongs.

    Iíve been working for a while on making a fragrance that would give the ability to have that lovely scent of wood-smoke indoors without any . . . well, smoke. Iíve got it as a Room Spray at the moment and Iím wondering about a Reed Diffuser too - any views?

    Am I the only one who thinks this is a good idea or is a there a real market for it?
    ďA person who is nice to you, but rude to the waiter, is not a nice person
    ― Dave Barry

    Chris Bartlett
    Perfumes from the edge . . .

    www.perfumedesigner.co.uk
    Twitter: @PellWallPerfume

    If you are looking for a perfumery consultation Iím happy to quote: if you want free advice, thatís what these forums are for
    You can also join my blog if you wish to ask questions of me.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Wood smoke as a room spray?

    I would like to see something like this on the market. Perhaps such a thing already exists, but I haven't seen/smelled it. Of course there will be some people who give the knee-jerk "I don't want the smell of smoke in my house!" reaction, but it seems like a lot of people enjoy the waft of leaf/wood smoke in the cool fall air. Yankee Candle tried to capture something like what you're talking about in their "Fireside" scented candle, but I think they missed it.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Wood smoke as a room spray?

    Thanks - yes I’ve seen a couple of candles and I agree they don’t really do it. I’m not yet certain I’ll be able to make the smoke effect come off with a reed diffuser, but it does work with a spray.
    ďA person who is nice to you, but rude to the waiter, is not a nice person
    ― Dave Barry

    Chris Bartlett
    Perfumes from the edge . . .

    www.perfumedesigner.co.uk
    Twitter: @PellWallPerfume

    If you are looking for a perfumery consultation Iím happy to quote: if you want free advice, thatís what these forums are for
    You can also join my blog if you wish to ask questions of me.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Wood smoke as a room spray?

    Interesting concept. Are you thinking a smoke only smell, or are you thinking of adding a touch of something to it (a la Creed's idea with their Aventus scent of smoke and pineapple)?

    I just can't see that a smoke only smell would a successful carry over to something in the house. We can appreciate certain smells, but many are particular to the setting. We've learned to associate smells our whole life. So even if someone found the smell of a campfire appealing, it's still an outside smell. That same person might be appalled to have that same smell in their house.

    A smoke only smell, to me, isn't pleasant. For instance, after I barbecue outside, I can invariably smell the smoke from the fire very strongly on me while I'm eating and I don't like it at all. But if that smell was toned down a bit and and another fragrance was added (pineapple or what have you), it might make the next great perfume.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Wood smoke as a room spray?

    Thanks for that Red, you’ve set me off down a new track now.

    This started because I’m working with an education group who wanted to have some scents to illustrate stories and examples - one of those they asked for was wood-smoke and when I’d made it I found I really liked it and wanted to use it round the house: so then I wondered if it might be worth developing into a product to add to my range . . . hence the question here.

    Now I’m thinking the same basic mix, with an added extra, might make a really interesting personal fragrance too. I’ll have to re-forumulate to make it skin-safe and IFRA compliant but that’s not too hard to do.

    I know exactly what you mean about the post-barbeque smell on your clothes and I also hate it, but that isn’t at all what fresh wood-smoke smells like, which is what I’ve tried to capture. So far people who’ve smelt it seem to like it, but of course that isn’t the same as saying it will sell.

    Thanks for the input - I really appreciate it.
    ďA person who is nice to you, but rude to the waiter, is not a nice person
    ― Dave Barry

    Chris Bartlett
    Perfumes from the edge . . .

    www.perfumedesigner.co.uk
    Twitter: @PellWallPerfume

    If you are looking for a perfumery consultation Iím happy to quote: if you want free advice, thatís what these forums are for
    You can also join my blog if you wish to ask questions of me.

  6. #6
    NEW SPLIT - Tom Ford Lavender Palm 50ml in Atomizer - DISCONTINUED!. .

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  7. #7

    Default Re: Wood smoke as a room spray?

    Thanks very much for that collection of links - I’d seen some of the candles before but not the room spray.

    I did know that CB did a burning series, but his fragrances are rather specialised - bottles of memory more than background atmospherics - and it’s the latter I’m hoping to create.

    The Sonoma though looks quite similar in concept to where I was going - happily they have it as a personal fragrance rather than a home one, so perhaps I can capture that market yet. Clearly I’m neither alone in the idea nor bonkers though so that’s reassuring.

    Enlightening!
    ďA person who is nice to you, but rude to the waiter, is not a nice person
    ― Dave Barry

    Chris Bartlett
    Perfumes from the edge . . .

    www.perfumedesigner.co.uk
    Twitter: @PellWallPerfume

    If you are looking for a perfumery consultation Iím happy to quote: if you want free advice, thatís what these forums are for
    You can also join my blog if you wish to ask questions of me.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Wood smoke as a room spray?

    You really need to get some Diptyque Feu de Bois , it is a perfect wood smoke , elegant and refined , doesnt smell like the kitchen is on fire ! The other product you would really love is some wood burning blocks , from http://www.inscents.com/ who sell Incienso de Santa Fe products . I use these and one block will fill the house with the sweet smell of woodsmoke , everyone comments how nice it smells when they come in . I have ordered them in bulk as the shipping is a little steep but it is well worth it ! Message me if you want some more info on them , not affiliated to them though just a passionate customer .

  9. #9

    Default Re: Wood smoke as a room spray?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Bartlett View Post
    Thanks for that Red, youíve set me off down a new track now.

    This started because Iím working with an education group who wanted to have some scents to illustrate stories and examples - one of those they asked for was wood-smoke and when Iíd made it I found I really liked it and wanted to use it round the house: so then I wondered if it might be worth developing into a product to add to my range . . . hence the question here.

    Now Iím thinking the same basic mix, with an added extra, might make a really interesting personal fragrance too. Iíll have to re-forumulate to make it skin-safe and IFRA compliant but thatís not too hard to do.

    I know exactly what you mean about the post-barbeque smell on your clothes and I also hate it, but that isnít at all what fresh wood-smoke smells like, which is what Iíve tried to capture. So far people whoíve smelt it seem to like it, but of course that isnít the same as saying it will sell.

    Thanks for the input - I really appreciate it.
    Iím giving this a quick bump to say that Iíve done the Room Spray version and itís now available to buy (with thanks to a Basenoter who gave me the necessary final push to put it onto the site!).

    Reed diffusers Iím still working on and ditto the personal fragrance (which will be combined with other, as yet secret, things), which I plan to release in the Autumn if all goes to plan.

    Once again thanks for all the help everyone who commented, it really makes a difference.

    Chris
    ďA person who is nice to you, but rude to the waiter, is not a nice person
    ― Dave Barry

    Chris Bartlett
    Perfumes from the edge . . .

    www.perfumedesigner.co.uk
    Twitter: @PellWallPerfume

    If you are looking for a perfumery consultation Iím happy to quote: if you want free advice, thatís what these forums are for
    You can also join my blog if you wish to ask questions of me.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Wood smoke as a room spray?

    I think the marketing may prove challenging. The idea I love.

    In 2006, I was shopping at a discounter and picking up a basket full of high end room sprays that were being sold for $10 each. I ended up with practically the entire line of Catherine Memmi sprays and candles among others, but sitting in one corner was a stack of room sprays from Miller Harris, a brand I was completely unfamiliar with at the time. The main fragrance in the stack was a room fragrance called "Bois Fume". I sprayed it, immediately understood it to be woodsmoke, but didn't really know what to make of it and decided to pass. Weeks later, my mind kept returning to that scent, but by the time I returned to the store it was sold out. And of course, it has been long discontinued and I have regretted it ever since. And it is one of the reasons I continue to circle the Cire Trudon "Empire" candle every time I am at the candle store: it reminds me of the scent of "Bois Fume." (And if I am not mistaken, "Empire" is one of the scents that Cire Trudon did not attempt to translate into a room spray.)

    So I guess the moral of the story is that even Miller Harris and Cire Trudon have had some difficulty getting customers on board with this idea.

    I think one of the challenging aspects is that people associate smoke with something dirty, damaged, or unclean, which is the opposite of the impression most people strive for. Most people want fresh and clean homes. It may serve you to wrap the "woodsmoke concept" in a name that allows people to approach the idea from a more receptive association: something like "Lapsang Souchong Tea" or "Tarry Souchong" conjure associations which, while rich with that very same woodsmoke, give the idea a more comforting, "inside the home" context. (This is not about changing the scent itself, only contextualizing it in a way that alllows customers to be more receptive.) A name change might also allow you to differentiate your product from the "Feu de Bois" Diptyque line.

    In any case, I think the idea of a woodsmoke based interiors fragrance is a great one. If it lands at a retailer in Los Angeles, let me know. I'd love to give it a sniff!

  11. #11

    Default Re: Wood smoke as a room spray?

    Thanks for this fascinating and detailed analysis, which I really appreciate and largely agree with.

    As far as marketing the room spray is concerned, I suppose I take two different views of this:

    1) Iím in business to make fragrances that appeal to me and that some people will love. I donít mind if that means some people hate them or just donít want them: one of the joys of being a small, independent player in this business is that I donít have a marketing department or focus groups that I have to satisfy.

    2) On the other hand if it does not sell I wonít be making much of it and if nothing sells Iíll soon go out of business so . . . Iíve been giving this some thought and Iím currently talking to a hotel about using the smoke fragrance in public areas that are adjacent to the outdoor smoking stations, where the sweet, incense, smoky smell helps to cover the smell of stale tobacco drifting in from outside, more effectively than a conventional room-spray would do.

    I do agree itís not an easy sell and it may prove impossible to sustain, but for now itís a part of the range Iím rather pleased with.

    I love your idea of the name and I think the next batch will go out as Lapasang Souchong room spray - thank you!

    I donít currently sell through any mass-market retailers - only direct and through other small businesses like my own - and I donít sell to North America for insurance reasons. Nevertheless Iím happy to send you a sample if you drop me a PM with your address.
    ďA person who is nice to you, but rude to the waiter, is not a nice person
    ― Dave Barry

    Chris Bartlett
    Perfumes from the edge . . .

    www.perfumedesigner.co.uk
    Twitter: @PellWallPerfume

    If you are looking for a perfumery consultation Iím happy to quote: if you want free advice, thatís what these forums are for
    You can also join my blog if you wish to ask questions of me.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Wood smoke as a room spray?

    Chris: I received your "Woodsmoke" sample and...wow! I actually think you have something special here and, to my nose, it has a very different profile from "Feu de Bois" or "Bois Fume." What makes it stand apart is, for lack of a better description, the underlying "cleanliness." Behind the very accurate, dry and predominate woodsmoke, there is a hint of freshness that I associate with clean, new leather and a slightly green and water-y element that adds a trace of clean air and the outdoors. You have managed to avoid the cold, dirty, ashy quality that first fed my hesitation when I tried "Bois Fume" and you never veer into the sweet "bacon" territory of "Essence of John Galliano".

    "Woodsmoke" brings to mind a favorite store of mine in Los Angeles (sadly, no longer with us since the 2008 crash) that sold furniture imported from Asian and Africa. The store was, itself, pristine and contemporary, a gallery really, but the air had a smokey ambiance from the way the woods had been finished and treated. So the store would carry this lovely duality of fresh, modern, and new along with an air of something dark, woody, and smokey that spoke to the history of the pieces and the world from which they had been created. The combination was really striking and always left an impression.

    In addition to homes, I can see this working quite well in any public space that wants to impart a subtle sense of "history" without coming across as unkempt or run down, because the overall impression isn't at all blunt or heavy handed. It creates a lovely ambiance that suggests fires once enjoyed that still linger in the fresh air, rather than, as with "Bois Fume", standing straight over an active chimney. You might even want to look into developing your own version of the Frederic Malle "Scent Gun" for public space use, because I can see this working very nicely in a designer hotel lobby (like The Clift San Francisco or The Hudson NYC) or bar.

    Great job!

  13. #13

    Default Re: Wood smoke as a room spray?

    Thank you so much for this review - Iím very pleased that you like it.

    Do feel free to spray some in your favourite hotel lobby and refer them to me if they like it too! Iím not (yet) in the business of supplying international hotels direct, but Iím sure an arrangement could be made with a larger fragrance manufacturer if there was demand. The perfume gun is interesting too - Iíd not previously considered anything on quite that scale, but if could certainly be done.

    The story you describe of the furniture store is very evocative - do you write for a living?
    ďA person who is nice to you, but rude to the waiter, is not a nice person
    ― Dave Barry

    Chris Bartlett
    Perfumes from the edge . . .

    www.perfumedesigner.co.uk
    Twitter: @PellWallPerfume

    If you are looking for a perfumery consultation Iím happy to quote: if you want free advice, thatís what these forums are for
    You can also join my blog if you wish to ask questions of me.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Wood smoke as a room spray?

    Chris, This fascinates me. Smoke is a fragrance that needs to be approached delicately. The smell of a distant wood fire on a winter evening is wonderful. I drink Lapsang Souchong tea, and it is wonderfully subtle. Incense such as balsam, while pleasant, is often too overpowering in a home, so a spray would be great. I have wanted to smell the diptyque smoke scented candle, but am not willing to pay $60 for something I have never smelled. I saw your website with the larger bottles for sale. There may be a real market for this here in America where the "rugged camping idea" is embraced. Do you sell small samples?

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Wood smoke as a room spray?

    I've been following my nose through a few smoky fragrances over the last couple of years, and this afternoon I smelled a whiff of autumn bonfire drifting through my open window. I have always adored the smell of smoke, right back to being a child at my grandparents house with their open fire in the drawing room. I decided to google for wood smoke room scents and came across a link to this thread - what a wonderful thing to find out that I'm not the only one who craves such a thing!

    Chris, I've had a look at your site and I must say I'm very impressed. I wonder - might it be possible to have a tiny sample of the Woodsmoke room fragrance?

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Wood smoke as a room spray?

    Quote Originally Posted by itsthepens View Post
    I've been following my nose through a few smoky fragrances over the last couple of years, and this afternoon I smelled a whiff of autumn bonfire drifting through my open window. I have always adored the smell of smoke, right back to being a child at my grandparents house with their open fire in the drawing room. I decided to google for wood smoke room scents and came across a link to this thread - what a wonderful thing to find out that I'm not the only one who craves such a thing!

    Chris, I've had a look at your site and I must say I'm very impressed. I wonder - might it be possible to have a tiny sample of the Woodsmoke room fragrance?
    Thanks for "bumping" this thread...I too have tried alot of smoke scents that have fallen short. Since my above post 4 months ago, I have bought some candle scents called Campfire and log cabin, both fell short in the subtle outdoorsy smell. I want to try diptyques smoke candle...Fue de Bois
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  17. #17

    Default Re: Wood smoke as a room spray?

    Gents,
    Thanks for the interest.

    Sorry I've not been paying attention to this thread for a while - if you'd like a sample I'm happy to send a small amount as long as you can cover the cost of postage it's yours with pleasure (or in your case itsthepens perhaps we can meet in London - I'm there again next week).

    Just drop me a line here or through my website with your details and I'll sort out the details with you.
    ďA person who is nice to you, but rude to the waiter, is not a nice person
    ― Dave Barry

    Chris Bartlett
    Perfumes from the edge . . .

    www.perfumedesigner.co.uk
    Twitter: @PellWallPerfume

    If you are looking for a perfumery consultation Iím happy to quote: if you want free advice, thatís what these forums are for
    You can also join my blog if you wish to ask questions of me.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Wood smoke as a room spray?

    i like to burn Japanese incense when i want my home to have a clean wood smoke smell. my favorite brand is Shoyeido. they have a few different scents but my go to is called "Great Origin." it's the darkest and most dry of the bunch. think of it like CDG Kyoto but smokier.

    now that i think about it, they all smell like a variation of Kyoto, since Kyoto was designed to mimic Japanese incense in the first place lol.

    keep in mind, these are a far cry from the overly sweet, cheapy nag champa that you get from the grocery store. i buy the Shoyeido Daily Incense line and they run between $2.50-$4.00 (35 sticks that last about 45 min) depending on the scent, and then they have one that has a bit of agarwood that will run about $10.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Wood smoke as a room spray?

    Quote Originally Posted by sbbbjm View Post
    i like to burn Japanese incense when i want my home to have a clean wood smoke smell. my favorite brand is Shoyeido. they have a few different scents but my go to is called "Great Origin." it's the darkest and most dry of the bunch. think of it like CDG Kyoto but smokier.

    now that i think about it, they all smell like a variation of Kyoto, since Kyoto was designed to mimic Japanese incense in the first place lol.

    keep in mind, these are a far cry from the overly sweet, cheapy nag champa that you get from the grocery store. i buy the Shoyeido Daily Incense line and they run between $2.50-$4.00 (35 sticks that last about 45 min) depending on the scent, and then they have one that has a bit of agarwood that will run about $10.
    Thanks, Sbbbjm, I'll have to try that. My stepdaughter is in Nagano, Japan teaching English, Maybe I should have her keep her eyes and nose open for the scent I want...

  20. #20

    Default Re: Wood smoke as a room spray?

    Chris - I certainly think you are on to something with the woodsmoke idea. I thought of you the other day when I tried Naomi Goodsir's "Bois d'Ascese" for the first time: billowing clouds of woodsmoke, very, very dry, built around a bit of incense and a few other elements to make it wearable. But the woodsmoke is definitely at the center of everything, it is the star player, and this particular woodsmoke did remind me a lot of your work on the room fragrance. It certainly isn't an exact duplication, but it is close enough to bring you to mind when I smelled it.

    Everyone seems to be raving about "Bois d'Ascese" so you may indeed be onto the next big thing!

  21. #21

    Default Re: Wood smoke as a room spray?

    Well, I guess I might as well put my 2 cents in. There's absolutely a market for a scent that gets woodsmoke right. I've always liked Feu de Bois by Diptyque, and I've also liked the Henri Bendel Firewood candle, although I also think that smells more in the leathery direction. It reminds me of Helmut Lang's Cuiron. My sister once told me that she'd been looking for a smell that could recreate the fireplace smell and never found one that smelled very true.

    On a side note, I did own Burning Leaves by Demeter a long time ago. It was fine until I smelled it one day while thinking of barbecue-flavor potato chips. From that moment on it smelled like smoke flavor, as it were, instead of dry smoke in the air. Just an illustration of how one needs to be careful with his smoke notes. :P

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