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  1. #1

    Default Best way to dirty up a fragrance?

    So, I have been experimenting with some EOs I picked up a little over a year ago to see what kind of fragrance I can make. So far most of my stuff has been pretty simple (blends of oakmoss, bergamot, leather, cinnamon, etc) and I would like to try my hand at a dirtier fragrance as dirty fragrances are kind of my thing. I tried something with a cumin oil, and I was disappointed, I didn't get dirty from it at all. I thought I might try Civet or Castoreum, but thought I would see if there were any specific recommendations from you guys. Also, are there any good books that are aimed more at the hobbyist, but that venture in to some detail about using aroma molecules without getting overly technical/chemistry heavy? Thanks for any help!

  2. #2

    Default Re: Best way to dirty up a fragrance?

    What do you mean by dirt?
    Dirt as in waste?
    Or dirt as in this-does-not-smell-nice scents?
    I've books full of perfume formulations that did not succeed and i could qualify as DIRT

    Your'e welcome to visit my formulation blog, with a dozen of perfume formulations and accords to share!

  3. #3

    Default Re: Best way to dirty up a fragrance?

    i suspect you are not looking for dirty as in 'smells like dirt (soil)' but rather the animalic type?

    in that case, civet and castoreum are vastly different and both excellent ideas to start with. they are available as naturals (very expensive) or artificial bases (i use and recommend civet hx and castoreum givco). you need to dilute this stuff down in order to work with it, especially the civet. use gloves and great care when you deal with the neat stuff, you don't want a drop of this to spill on your wooden bench.

    after that, there are many single aroma-chemicals you could play with, too. indole immediately springs to mind, but there are many more.

    please browse http://www.thegoodscentscompany.com/allodor.html to get some ideas.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Best way to dirty up a fragrance?

    Yeah, I was going for animalic. Thanks for the link, I will check it out.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Best way to dirty up a fragrance?

    Im no pro but Cade oil and Birch tar are seriously dirty, in a meaty smokey kinda way. Potent stuff!

  6. #6

    Default Re: Best way to dirty up a fragrance?

    please browse http://www.thegoodscentscompany.com/allodor.html to get some ideas.
    I just had to say, this is a mind melting good link! Tons of information, thanks for it!

    Im no pro but Cade oil and Birch tar are seriously dirty, in a meaty smokey kinda way
    Birch tar has been on my "must check out list", I will have to add Cade oil. Who doesn't like the smell of meat and smoke? Thanks for the tip.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Best way to dirty up a fragrance?

    Try vetiver, tobacco, black pepper

  8. #8

    Default Re: Best way to dirty up a fragrance?

    Since "Dirty" is a poorly defined term, and you have modified that description with "Animalic", Then to fit these two descriptors, I'd suggest these:

    Tonquitone
    Animalid
    Castoreum (of some type, synth replacement or not)
    Goat hair Tincture
    Hyraceum Tincture
    Paul Kiler
    PK Perfumes
    http://www.PKPERFUMES.com
    Gold Medal for "Best Aroma"; Los Angeles Artisan Fragrance Salon

  9. #9

    Default Re: Best way to dirty up a fragrance?

    I was coming back to this thread to update my list of civet hx and castoreum givco with tonquitone, but i see that paul has beaten me to it! Tonquitone is a musk tonkin (deer musk) base. Unlike most single musk molecules it is strongly animalic. I did get a small sample of this from janmeut, he might (or might not) add it to his stock in April. Remarkably, it smelled exactly as I had imagined it would.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Best way to dirty up a fragrance?

    If you are not restricted to Oils and Absolutes, you could try to get hold of some:- Phenylacetic Acid ( a solid that smells, to some,of honey and, to others, of pee); some para Cresyl Acetate (smells like horse pee); some para Cresyl Phenyl Acetate (like horse pee and honey); some Indole ( a solid found inJasmin, Honeysuckle and Tuberose, amongst others); some Skatole (a solid. Careful smells strong and unpleasant; a bit like poo. Used in synthetic Civet bases). Some Costus Oliffac (bas made by IFF to replace the now banned Costus Root Oil. Smells like wet dog).

  11. #11

    Default Re: Best way to dirty up a fragrance?

    Para Cresol is a good one too. Similar to para Cresyl Acetate but longer lasting, I think. Apparently excreted by pigs, elephants and humans.

    I came across this snippet of a book too which talks about perfume materials reminiscent of human body odor - click on the "Look Inside" link.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Best way to dirty up a fragrance?

    Interesting thread. Fabulous snippet. Thank you.

    You won't need to buy much cade or birch tar as they are incredibly powerful.

    I have always wondered about tincturing skunk musk if it is so powerful. I read that it is a group of chemicals called Thiols which happen in chopped onions, petroleum and natural gas. What is it actually like? Is it just too revolting?

  13. #13

    Default Re: Best way to dirty up a fragrance?

    Quote Originally Posted by mumsy View Post
    Interesting thread. Fabulous snippet. Thank you.

    You won't need to buy much cade or birch tar as they are incredibly powerful.

    I have always wondered about tincturing skunk musk if it is so powerful. I read that it is a group of chemicals called Thiols which happen in chopped onions, petroleum and natural gas. What is it actually like? Is it just too revolting?
    I have never smelled Skunk musk. Part of me wants to, part of me is disgusted that part of me wants to.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Best way to dirty up a fragrance?

    I suppose if it were of the slightest use in perfumery, then it would have been done. It is probably safe to assume that either skunks are very evasive or it just isn't worth further contemplation.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Best way to dirty up a fragrance?

    We have skunks here, and if the dilution of the odor is enough, like by wind, distance, or time, from the site of the dead skunk on the road, I have had a slight attraction to the scent. But I've never been able to gather a sample for experiments...
    Paul Kiler
    PK Perfumes
    http://www.PKPERFUMES.com
    Gold Medal for "Best Aroma"; Los Angeles Artisan Fragrance Salon

  16. #16

    Default Re: Best way to dirty up a fragrance?

    You are the perfect person to describe the smell. How lucky we are. If you had to dissect the aroma of skunk into top, middle and base notes. What might those words be?

  17. #17

    Default Re: Best way to dirty up a fragrance?

    Quote Originally Posted by Renegade View Post
    Para Cresol is a good one too. Similar to para Cresyl Acetate but longer lasting, I think. Apparently excreted by pigs, elephants and humans.
    that link! next time you'll go camping near a swamp, or in the tropics, please don't bring those leather perfumes! or you will be eaten alive.


  18. #18
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    Default Re: Best way to dirty up a fragrance?

    Quote Originally Posted by pkiler View Post
    We have skunks here, and if the dilution of the odor is enough, like by wind, distance, or time, from the site of the dead skunk on the road, I have had a slight attraction to the scent. But I've never been able to gather a sample for experiments...
    That's so gross. It would need to be concentrated by like 1 billion times at least

  19. #19

    Default Re: Best way to dirty up a fragrance?

    i have to admit that i'm a bit curious about the skunk scent. the only skunk scent i have ever smelled is the one wafting from the so-called coffee shops here in town.

    if you were to make creams, lanolin (at least the natural stuff, which is wool fat) has a pronounced animalic (and rather dirty!) odor aspect.
    Last edited by gido; 14th March 2013 at 11:07 PM.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Best way to dirty up a fragrance?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ambolt View Post
    That's so gross. It would need to be concentrated by like 1 billion times at least
    That is why it ought to be useful (and realising you meant diluted). All the valued smells in perfumery have something of that quality.

    But can someone describe it for us please?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by gido View Post
    i have to admit that i'm a bit curious about the skunk scent. the only skunk scent i have ever smelled is the one wafting from the so-called coffee shops here in town.
    That is likely to be civet.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Patchouli and some smokier Vetivers are useful. Also mitti for clean dirt.
    Last edited by mumsy; 15th March 2013 at 08:07 AM.

  21. #21

    Default Re: Best way to dirty up a fragrance?

    Oh mumsy, how naive! gido was talking about an entirely different sort of skunk.

  22. #22

    Default Re: Best way to dirty up a fragrance?

    Lol.... at myself..... How daft a bint am I? Gido knows that. I didn't look at the poster.

  23. #23

    Default Re: Best way to dirty up a fragrance?

    Mumsy, I'm sorry, but it has been quite a long time since I smelled skunk really up close, maybe even before I started perfumery, recently only faintly, and most often when driving through an odor cloud that has wafted from somewhere. So I haven't really smell analyzed it with my current level of knowledge and experience. I would really need a fresh animal to take a sample from, and then to dilute the heck out of it... even much more so than I have to many Pyrazines, or even like Geosmin which is perceptible in the low ppb odor thresholds.

    My attraction to the highly diluted odor comes from say 40-15 years ago in time...

    Years ago, I posed this question in the Yahoo Natural Perfumers group, and Anya pontificated her opinion about why it wouldn't work, which I never knew then how to validate this opinion/knowledge, or invalidate it.
    It just hasn't been a pressing matter, and the opportunity hasn't presented itself.

    You can find a comparative GC-MS analysis of four skunk sac odor samples here:
    http://www.msb.unm.edu/mammals/publi...s/Wood2002.pdf

    Here is the table of constituents:


    TABLE 1.
    COMPOSITION OF MAJOR VOLATILE COMPONENTS OF ANAL SAC SECRETION
    FROM FOUR SPECIES OF NORTH AMERICAN SKUNKS (a)
    Amount (%)
    Compound
    Hooded skunk(b) (First number), Striped skunk (c) (second number), Spotted skunk (third number), Hog-nosed skunk (fourth number)
    (E)-2-Butene-1-thiol 32 38–40 30–36 71
    3-Methyl-1-butanethiol 39 18–26 48–66
    S-(E)-2-Butenyl thioacetate 16 12–18 X 17
    S-3-Methylbutanyl thioacetate 7 2–3 X X
    Phenylmethanethiol 0.3 X 0.2–0.8 1
    2-Phenylethanethiol 1.4 X 2–5 X
    2-Methylquinoline 2.3 4–11 0.3–0.9 2
    Bis[(E)-2-butenyl] disulfide trace X trace 3
    S-Phenylmethyl thioacetate trace X X X
    (E)-2-Butenyl 3-methylbutyl disulfide 0.5 0.2–1.6 0.2–0.6 X
    Bis(3-methylbutyl) disulfide trace X 0.1–0.2 X
    S-2-Phenylethyl thioacetate 0.2 X X X
    2-Quinolinemethanethiol 1.3 4–12 0.2–0.3 0.5
    S-2-Quinolinemethyl thioacetate trace 1–4 X X


    a In order of increasing retention times. Data from Wood (1990) and Wood et al. (1991, 1993).
    b Variation of composition for the two anal sacs was small and disappeared on rounding to two figures.
    c Compounds less than 1% were not identified in this study.
    Paul Kiler
    PK Perfumes
    http://www.PKPERFUMES.com
    Gold Medal for "Best Aroma"; Los Angeles Artisan Fragrance Salon

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Best way to dirty up a fragrance?

    Haha cool. You could probably just use this for the skunk odor http://www.thegoodscentscompany.com/data/rw1129941.html

  25. #25

    Default Re: Best way to dirty up a fragrance?

    Thanks for that Paul. Lots of Sulphur containing chemicals; so a mixture of bad onions, garlic and bad drains. Nice!!

  26. #26

    Default Re: Best way to dirty up a fragrance?

    Grisalva smells exactly like the scent of a skunk. If your looking for a skunk scent this is it. It has some urine and ambergris like qualities to it also. The downside is it is rather expensive. Here is a link to the site to purchase Grisalva.

    http://shop.perfumersapprentice.com/...-grisalva.aspx

  27. #27

    Default Re: Best way to dirty up a fragrance?

    Not sure if the Grisalva you smelled was off, but in my experience there is nothing unpleasant or sulphurous about it. It is a synthetic Ambergis accord; warm, amber, dry, woody and slightly aquatic. Not in the least unpleasant (my opinion, obviously); the very opposite, in fact.

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Best way to dirty up a fragrance?

    Quote Originally Posted by David Ruskin View Post
    Not sure if the Grisalva you smelled was off, but in my experience there is nothing unpleasant or sulphurous about it. It is a synthetic Ambergis accord; warm, amber, dry, woody and slightly aquatic. Not in the least unpleasant (my opinion, obviously); the very opposite, in fact.
    David, I'm glad that you replied because I have 15ml on my list for my next order with PA. I was wondering how a skunk would enter the picture here.

  29. #29

    Default Re: Best way to dirty up a fragrance?

    Yes, I can't agree that Grisalva smells anything like a Skunk...

    Interestingly, my perfumer friend that I drove to the San Francisco Artisan Fragrance Salon event last weekend, had received a package of Skunk Essence from another perfumer, who is looking to try to make perfumes with the skunk stuff, to see what they can do...

    I'm going to ask for a vial of the same, and then I can continue this discussion, if I get it...
    I'll most likely start a new thread if I do that...
    Paul Kiler
    PK Perfumes
    http://www.PKPERFUMES.com
    Gold Medal for "Best Aroma"; Los Angeles Artisan Fragrance Salon

  30. #30

    Default Re: Best way to dirty up a fragrance?

    Hope you are successful Paul; but be careful with it.

  31. #31
    Basenotes Member Albion9's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best way to dirty up a fragrance?

    Just a heads up, and I haven't tried any of the offerings...yet, but you should look into lures and lure ingredients for trapping/fur trapping. Profumo.it also offers some natural animal tinctures.

    - - - Updated - - -

    As to skunk, it is very STRONG, pungent, lasting. From a distance it has a somewhat pleasant character, so in an extreme dilution and mixed with the right ingredients it could be of use....outstanding sillage. It has a kind of rubbery like scent....really hard to describe, but certain strains of cannabis are named after it for a reason...very similar. Then again, since it is used as a weapon for protection by the skunk, it may be hardwired into our brains as an offensive odor. On the other hand, indoles and other fecal/animal notes have to be diluted greatly before humans find them pleasant.

    - - - Updated - - -

    The antidote for skunk essence is a quart of FRESH hydrogen peroxide
    1/4 cup baking soda
    1-2 teaspoons of grease dissolving dish detergent

    Mix in a large open container and use immediately.

    I am doing this from memory so you may want to google it.

  32. #32

    Default Re: Best way to dirty up a fragrance?

    It's not animalic, but the fossilized amber oil from Eden Botanicals is all the "dirty" you could ask for, and one of the best natural fixatives I've ever used. It kicks butt all over ISO E Super, even diluted to 5%, and it's not any more expensive. When combined with even some of the more delicate musks you get a earthy complexity that can turn any fragrance to the dark side, and with even trace amounts of oak moss it like, well.....living, and perfectly dirty. Castoreum, in small amounts, comes off like leather to me (and butt in larger amounts). Ambergris is one of those unpredictable components at times, but along with musks can make your scent into something alive. I notice a lot of French perfumes feature prominent animal notes. I've never understood the obsession with jasmine (which smells like a floral fart to me), but when used with the same discretion as the true animal notes, can do some neat things to an otherwise boring fragrance (same with narcissus). As a novice (in the most humble sense of the word) I am consistently amazed how truely narcotic results can be achieved by blending several things that, on their own, smell like poop (I know....duh. Still, its a big part of why creating GOOD perfume is not something that can be done easily, or casually.) Awesome thread, and great information...thank you.

  33. #33

    Default Re: Best way to dirty up a fragrance?

    Quote Originally Posted by david ruskin View Post
    i have never smelled skunk musk. Part of me wants to, part of me is disgusted that part of me wants to.
    lmao!!!!!!!
    Zanshin

  34. #34

    Default Re: Best way to dirty up a fragrance?

    I rely on civet to dirty up florals. I haven't had luck with any of the artificial substitutes which smell aggressively fecal to me. I find that benzyl phenyl acetate adds an animalic and honey-like component.

  35. #35

    Default Re: Best way to dirty up a fragrance?

    Definitely had some experience with skunk over the years!

    I am wholeheartedly interested in it's perfumery applications and I've thought about it more than once! But god would I want SOMEBODY ELSE to do the dilutions (or tincturing?)!!

    A pooch of mine got skunk-blasted a number of times.. never seemed to learn his lesson! And the smell of far-off skunk I've known since I was young, so I've experienced a number of dilutions.

    From far-away, the odd pleasantness I'd liken to that of petroleum.. not really the smell per se, but the effect. Truly though, the closest thing for the uninitiated is marijuana of the skunk lineage... very aptly named, as is the 'skunkiness' present in certain beers like Heineken. I've also experienced something like it in certain plants.. but I believe that is called 'foxiness'? I am really lacking the vocabulary for this one... I would call it animalic, but never fecal. Very idiosyncratic animalic, like wet dog but very much something else.

    Up close, this stuff is a whole new beast. Unbelievably powerful, very repulsive. It is so ...thick and heavy, 'smelling' and 'tasting' become merged in the sensory onslaught it packs. Sorry to say though, I'm finding it impossible to really 'remember' the smell enough to throw out comparisons, it's been a few years. Now that spring is coming, I might be able to report back with better notes!

    I'm sure it's merit (if any) lies in EXTREME dilutions.

  36. #36

    Default Re: Best way to dirty up a fragrance?

    I was lucky because at the time a fellow base noter kindly sent some skunk. I would have laughed if customs stopped that one.

    It wasn't as vile as I had thought it would be, but it would take a brave person to use it in a perfume. Like sort of dead cabbage and sulphur. I don't know that the one I had was the real thing or a lure mix. I will have to go and smell it again... but maybe not tonight.

  37. #37

    Default Re: Best way to dirty up a fragrance?

    mumsy, wow! does that mean... people are selling the stuff??

    hehe...cabbage sort of rings a bell in distant memory... but i definitely don't remember making as many rotten veggie comparisons as have been made in this thread.

    Have you tried smelling it highly diluted?

    If you happen to care enough, I'd be happy to weigh in on the authenticity (though I'm sure pkiller is a more qualified nose). You could seal up a smelling strip and send me a letter. Come to think of it, that could be the basis for a fantastic prank.

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