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  1. #1
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    Default Aroma Chemicals hardly smell?

    Hi All,
    I'm really having fun experimenting with my aroma chemicals.
    One thing I've noticed is that some are almost unnoticable when smelled.
    For instance, Ethylene Brassylate is so mild it seems...why is that?
    Are they gonna "pop" when introduced to other chemicals?

    Other chemicals that I have are very pronounced...like Ultrazur, Black Agar, etc.

    Why are some or many of my chemicals (purchased from Perfumer's Apprentice) seemingle weak?
    TIA

  2. #2

    Default Re: Aroma Chemicals hardly smell?

    Ethylnene Brassylate is a musk. Not all people smell musks equally. You might be anosmic to EB, many people are anosmic for some of the musks.

    Do Not perceive apparent weakness as a topnote as a weakness if it is supposed to be a bottom note. Since these are often single molecules, they don't necessarily have a perceptible topnote.

    Place them on a strip, and get to know them over the course of a day, two days, a week, etc.
    Paul Kiler
    PK Perfumes
    http://www.PKPERFUMES.com
    Gold Medal for "Best Aroma"; Los Angeles Artisan Fragrance Salon

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Aroma Chemicals hardly smell?

    Quote Originally Posted by pkiler View Post
    Ethylnene Brassylate is a musk. Not all people smell musks equally. You might be anosmic to EB, many people are anosmic for some of the musks.

    Do Not perceive apparent weakness as a topnote as a weakness if it is supposed to be a bottom note. Since these are often single molecules, they don't necessarily have a perceptible topnote.

    Place them on a strip, and get to know them over the course of a day, two days, a week, etc.
    Hi Paul,
    Great info, thanks. I guess what I'm asking is if YOU or anybody else think that there isn't much to smell, right from the bottle. I do smell a mild vanilla/musk smell but very mild. Now, on the dry down, I can smell it but it sits very close to my skin.

    I realize that I have so much to learn but I'm trying to to think in simple terms of say, if I mixed Ultrazur (probably wouldn't?) and Ethyl Brassylate together, I'd never be able to discern the Ethyl Brassylate?

    The smell of musk from the EB is nice at first sniff and quickly hides if I sniff 2, 3 or more times...until I back off and sniff again..pretty wild.
    TIA

  4. #4

    Default Re: Aroma Chemicals hardly smell?

    If you read the organoleptics info on TGSC, you'll find this about EB:

    Odor Type : musk
    Odor Strength : medium
    Odor Description:
    at 100.00 %.
    powdery sweet floral ambrette musk woody
    Luebke, William tgsc, (1987)
    Odor sample from : Emery Chemicals
    Odor Description: Powdery, sweet, floral and ambrette-like with woody, spicy and vanilla nuances
    Mosciano, Gerard P&F 23, No. 1, 33, (1998)
    Taste Description:
    at 0.50 ppm.
    Musky, sweet, powdery, floral, vanilla and perfumey
    Mosciano, Gerard P&F 23, No. 1, 33, (1998)
    Substantivity : 208 Hour(s)


    So you're catching the vanilla, and not much more. But many musks are not there for their own scent so much as to underline others, and support/round the other scents. And then that the musks are really, pretty big molecules, so your receptors tire easily when sniffing them, esp from the bottle.

    Every aromatic material is used for what it does, AND also for what it smells like.
    Paul Kiler
    PK Perfumes
    http://www.PKPERFUMES.com
    Gold Medal for "Best Aroma"; Los Angeles Artisan Fragrance Salon

  5. #5

    Default Re: Aroma Chemicals hardly smell?

    In addition to all the good things written, i noticed that i'm not always anosmic to the same scents; it depends on the time of day, time of year, whatever. Sometimes for instance, i can't smell ambrettolide, sometimes i can.
    What makes a huge difference to me is diluting to 10% to 25% in ethanol. It makes, especially the heavier molecules, more volatile and easier to detect without getting scent fatigue. Placing the dilution on a smelling strip is, for me, a huge difference and much better than smelling from the bottle.

    Happy perfuming!

    Jeroen.

    My formulations

  6. #6

    Default Re: Aroma Chemicals hardly smell?

    Never smell from the bottle, always use a smelling strip. People are anosmic to certain chemicals, many to Musks. It is a strange thing but you can learn to smell something that, at first, appears odourless. I cannot explain how or why this happens, I only know it does. Perfumery takes a long time, you have to be patient.

    Diluting some chemicals makes them smell stronger. This may sound like utter nonsense, but is true.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Aroma Chemicals hardly smell?

    Quote Originally Posted by David Ruskin View Post
    Never smell from the bottle, always use a smelling strip. People are anosmic to certain chemicals, many to Musks. It is a strange thing but you can learn to smell something that, at first, appears odourless. I cannot explain how or why this happens, I only know it does. Perfumery takes a long time, you have to be patient.

    Diluting some chemicals makes them smell stronger. This may sound like utter nonsense, but is true.
    Thanks everyone..

    I guess I'm going from a cologne smelling mentality to an aroma smelling situation, thinking that these aromas will smell like colognes. So it's normal for these molecules to NOT smell as strong or even minutely as strong as an EO, say.

    BTW, I left some diluted Ethylene Brassylate on my hand last night and I woke up smelling a nice Musk. Mild and fleeting but always coming back as soon as I stopped sniffing.

    I purchased these aroma molecules from PA. Is it safe to assume that I'm not getting some watered down stuff from them? Because the only way for me to compare is to purchase from someone else and compare. Is it safe to say that it would be a silly notion to think I'm getting junk from PA...and that it's my lack of knowledge that is the culprit?
    TIA

  8. #8

    Default Re: Aroma Chemicals hardly smell?

    Hi Numberz,

    i've placed a lot of orders at PA, and i trust them for 100% delivering 100% good quality stuff. No doubt here.

    As stated before, it's an intriguing part of nature how one can actually develop a sense of smell by doing, in different amounts, different settings and different combinations. Take your time; it took me about three years to gain mental access to the scents of some musks. Teaching my nose not to be anosmic anymore. Detecting small differences over time. And noticing that molecules suddenly become undetectable again to be detectable again weeks later. It's a weird world of aroma molecules.

    Happy perfuming,

    Jeroen.

    My formulation blog

  9. #9

    Default Re: Aroma Chemicals hardly smell?

    I've always been happy with PA's products. I think your lack of experience with the chemicals is the culprit. There are things that I couldn't smell before that I can detect better now (ambroxan, Exaltolide), and I think it's due to exposure/experience. There are other materials that I can smell, but it took a while before I smelled all the variations in them that people talked about.

    It's odd the way smell works. I love every variation of eugenol that I come across. ...except the acetate, which I've never been able to smell. It could be a matter of expectation.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Aroma Chemicals hardly smell?

    Our sense of smell, the way we perceive odours is still a mystery. I'm not talking about the various theories (such as Luca Turin's) as to how our sense of smell is made to work, but our perception and analysis of various odours. The part that works in our brains, not our noses. I have heard of, and experienced many oddities when learning Perfumery. When I first smelled Hyddroxycitronellal ( synthetic chemical that smells of Lily of the Valley; originally used in Diorissimo ) it was odourless. After many smelling sessions, and discussion with other Perfumers as to what this chemical smelled like , I finally cracked it. I think it is sometimes difficult to describe a smell (to oneself) when it has never be smelled before, and when there is no description of it. Once you can describe it, you can smell it. Never "got" Benzyl Salicylate though, although I can recognise its presence in a fragrance.

    Some materials are just too damn strong they flood your nose and almost paralyse it. Diluting that sort of chemical, to reduce the power, often helps in being able to smell it. I find that a 1.0% solution of Ambroxan smells stronger than a 10.0%; just bizarre.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Aroma Chemicals hardly smell?

    Quote Originally Posted by edshepp View Post
    I've always been happy with PA's products. I think your lack of experience with the chemicals is the culprit. There are things that I couldn't smell before that I can detect better now (ambroxan, Exaltolide), and I think it's due to exposure/experience. There are other materials that I can smell, but it took a while before I smelled all the variations in them that people talked about.

    It's odd the way smell works. I love every variation of eugenol that I come across. ...except the acetate, which I've never been able to smell. It could be a matter of expectation.
    Ed, I may have not explained well. I DO smell these molecules. I am quite good at distinguishing notes and everyone who knows me well gives me the distinction of being the guy who is able to tell what flavors or smells are in things, lol.

    But I am finding it hard to believe that I could get away with putting some Galaxolide in alcohol and selling it. People would come to me and say "Hey, I don't smell much in this bottle"

    Bottom line question here is "how does turn a "little smell" into a "big smell"? I'm guessing that though Galaxolide and Ethyl Brassylate, etc. are definite nice nuances, there is obviously some heavy hitters in most colognes and perfumes to cause people to say things like "she wears too much perfume".
    TIA

  12. #12

    Default Re: Aroma Chemicals hardly smell?

    Yes, the Aldehydes are strong impact chemicals. Ambrocenide 10% can be used at a mere 0.01% and it's impact is noticeable, at 0.1% amazingly present even art this tiny amount. And Lord Help you if you put a pyrazine in your perfume that isn't ALREADY Diluted down to 1000% or 10,000%.

    I'm using a Perilla Essential oil that is in a quiet graceful formula, a "Fresh" formula, and even at 0.4%, it is strong and noticeable for much of the life of the fragrance.

    Some are strong, some aren't, and it is the learning of your tools, and combining them artfully, and pleasingly, and marketable, that makes you a perfumer.
    Paul Kiler
    PK Perfumes
    http://www.PKPERFUMES.com
    Gold Medal for "Best Aroma"; Los Angeles Artisan Fragrance Salon

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Aroma Chemicals hardly smell?

    "Some are strong, some aren't, and it is the learning of your tools, and combining them artfully, and pleasingly, and marketable, that makes you a perfumer."


    Fantastic!

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Aroma Chemicals hardly smell?

    I have a lily fragrance oil that smells nice out of the bottle, when I add literally any amount of it to a perfume (traces of it from a stainless steel rod for example), it takes over the entire perfume sample and turns it green. I also have an ocean note that when I add it to anything, the whole sample gets deodorized. Haven't figured out how to use that yet.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Aroma Chemicals hardly smell?

    Maybe dilute it to 0.1% and then add it?

    -

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