I'm putting in an order at the Perfumer's Apprentice. Feeling inspired by the Molecule series, I'm mostly looking for things that could be worn by themselves (diluted, of course) or part of a very minimal combination.
So far, I'm pretty sure I want these:
- Iso E Super
- Black Agar
I realize most here are probably interested in rich, complex scents, but are there any notes that you occasionally whip up a batch of to wear by themselves? I'd love to add a few things to my list, and DIY is really uncharted territory for me, so the idea of minimalism is even more appealing as a starting point. Not sure if it matters, but I'll be using everclear.
"Follow your nose. It always knows." -- Toucan Sam
I heard of an old frag called Velviona, which was also just one single material. But I've never smelled it.
as for aromachemicals i love rose oxide, methyl benzoat and leaf alcohol - don't think i could wear them alone though but i lovvveee sniffing them!
I absolutely, 100% agree with hirsch duckfinder.
Those three are MUST buy. You will not be let down. The Norlimbanol is weird and beautiful stuff. It plays well with the Black Agar if you feel so inclined to make a simple blend. The Black Agar from PA is ok...if you have smelled real good OUD than you will know that it leaves much to be desired. But for the purposes of testing and experimenting, Black Agar is quite nice.
Iso is good too but nearly invisible to the nose, especially when working with it in the raw state. I personally would buy Ambroxan crystals over the Iso...or buy both! Ambroxan is a much more robust scent. Closer to norlimbanol than Iso.
Some other good choices from PA are... BOIS AMBRENE FORTE, INDIA VETIVER, VETIVERYL ACETATE, KOHINOOL, METHYL CEDRYL KETONE, CEDREAMBER.
If you want scents that are dynamic and interesting enough to stand on their own...those listed can do just that.
You should also check out Saveonscents they have a really good selection of stuff.
You will be in great shape so long as you use everclear. It's as good (or better than the stuff you will get from perfume making sites online) So long as you don't mind the judgemental looks when you are asking to buy the max number of bottles of grain alcohol at the liquor store.
Thanks so much for the advice all! I really appreciate it!
Here's the thing... I love projects, and I especially like the idea of creating a year-long project. So, that's what I'm going to do in 2013. I'll spend the next month and a half gathering supplies, and then I'll spend an entire year seeing what I can do with them. Worst case scenario, I waste money and learn a lot. I'll be honest - if I didn't waste the money on this, it'd be on something else And who knows. I could really learn something here.
If I buy Ambroxan crystals, what proportion would I need to dilute them in? X ml of crystals to Y ml of everclear? And, for how long? I suspect we're talking months, right? That's A-OK by me.
"Follow your nose. It always knows." -- Toucan Sam
Some people are more sensitive to Ambroxan than others. I think that a 1.0% solution would be plenty strong enough; others would say 10.0%
Personally I work with ambroxan at 10% and I think it's a superb single molecule scent, but certainly don't try to make it any stronger (not least because you'll find you start to have solubility problems). There is no need to let it mature for months either - single molecules don't change over time unless they have something to react with and this one is very stable anyway. It will be fine freshly made.
A thought on some of the other suggestions: there is the world of difference between a single material and a single note. All the naturals are single materials but emphatically not single notes. Each consists of a blend of many aroma chemicals. The same is true of Black Agar - it's a proprietary blend of chemicals made to imitate natural oud - quite different from the single chemicals like ambroxan, MCK, cedramber, kohinool or iso e super (ignoring for the moment the issue of stereo isomers).
There is of course nothing wrong with making a simple dilution of a single material (natural or otherwise) - just keep in mind it will be much more complex (less minimalist if you will) than the single molecule ones or even than blends of two or three molecules.
Some other suggestions you might like to order to play with are safraleine and methyl diantilis - both fascinating materials.
A few of my personal favorites: Coumarin, methyl diantilis, Habanolide. I've actually made dilutions of Habanolide in alcohol and water (to be shaken before spraying--it didn't need to look glamorous), and I always liked it. It really does have that 'hot-ironed' smell in dilution! I've experimented a bit with coumarin but not with MD on its own.
I'm wondering what are people's thoughts on melonal, floralozone and hedione?
Also, does anyone know what the IFRA restrictions are on these, if any?
You can access the IFRA web site very easily; just type IFRA on Google. There you can find all the materials that are banned and/or restricted. From memory there are no restrictions on Melonal, Floralozone or Hedione; but things change so rapidly.
my blog entry summarising the rules may help. There are no restrictions currently on the three materials you mention and so far as I know none are planned.
Melonal is very distinctive melon / cucumber, relatively short-lived and extremely fresh and clean. It's claimed to last 4 hours on a strip which means only half an hour or so on skin so it's a top note shading towards middle.
Floralozone is pretty much as the name sounds quite floral and quite ozonic. I wouldn't use this alone myself as I just don't like it enough. When pure it has a truly horrible chemical smell, but diluted in a blend it works wonders for adding lift and brightness not only to florals.
Hedione is one of the staples of the industry, it can be used in very large amounts - half the concentrate isn't uncommon - and has a very mild scent of it's own. Somewhat reminiscent of jasmine it's certainly floral but it's real magic is the exalting, smoothing effect it has on other materials in a blend. Adding some to almost any blend will generally see an improvement: an amazingly versatile material. Hedione is also a very useful fixative and some difficult-to-dissolve materials can be helped into solution with it too. As a single note it would perhaps be interesting for layering but I think it would be disappointing used on it's own.
All of the above are correct and to the point L'Homme Blanc Individuel. Black Agar, once well diluted, is fine for an evening or a night out (I wore it a few times, last year, at the discoteca).
For a gentleman, Kephalis is fine too (a coming trend as my instinct implies). Floralozone upsets me for some reason and as Chris suggested alone or in anything but in a small dilution won't work or will overshadow the rest. Melonal is absolutely fabulous but short-lived. Iso-E is sexy but better make a hign concentration of it. Norlimbanol usually takes time to shine in all its erebus-like glow (rather oxymoron) I'd suggest Okoumal as it does the same job in a more evident way. Myrrh and sandalwood I find too earthy and thick almost seeking for something else to lift them up and show their true colours but usually a sandalwood accord works better in this regard.
For a natural, chinese geranium is a clean, complex and always modern smell and a personal favourite.
Lastly never underestimate vanillin or e.vanillin. People never say no to vanilla! ;-)
"I have the sun in my pocket"
Since you mentioned vanilla, I've always wanted to make a dilution of Isobutavan to wear, ever since I smelled it on my hands once after handling a bottle and thought, "That smells like a creamsicle!" (sans the orange, of course)