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  1. #1

    Default I Need To Recreate The Smell Of Stale Sex For My Thesis…

    I'm currently working on my thesis, the topic of which being Scent as an Artistic Medium. In addition to the written component, I'm presenting an installation that attempts to communicate purely through scent. When viewed (smelled) as a whole, the individual scents in the installation will (hopefully) form a narrative.

    Most of the scents aren't proving terribly difficult to produce (big thank you to De Hekserij, Hermitage Oils, and The Perfumer's Apprentice), but there is one scent that has been giving me trouble.

    I need to reproduce the smell of stale sex. Currently I'm working with a mixture of cumin, black pepper, sulfurol, stemone, celery seed, sandalwood, costausol, lime, and exaltolide. I'm trying to hunt down some tonquitone and animalis, but haven't had any luck thus far.

    Any suggestions for additional materials would be very greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
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    pkiler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Southern California

    Default Re: I Need To Recreate The Smell Of Stale Sex For My Thesis…

    Are you thinking of Animalis the Costus replacer, or Animalid, the Musk?

    If you are in the USA, as your location Icon says, You can buy the Tonquitone from John D. Walsh Co. I have a sample.
    Paul Kiler
    PK Perfumes
    Gold Medal for "Best Aroma"; Los Angeles Artisan Fragrance Salon

  3. #3

    Default Re: I Need To Recreate The Smell Of Stale Sex For My Thesis…

    Quote Originally Posted by pkiler View Post
    Are you thinking of Animalis the Costus replacer, or Animalid, the Musk?

    If you are in the USA, as your location Icon says, You can buy the Tonquitone from John D. Walsh Co. I have a sample.
    Animalis is an old base that used to be made with real animal products and synthetics, which has a decidedly animal smell. There are two versions now, neither I believe containing real animal products, but both giving an animal impression, one moreso. Surprisingly, a lot of cedar-related ingredients help create the effect. The old version was a great product, and mixed well with andrane, which has some animal and cedar traits. I can't vouch for the newer versions, as I just used the older ones. But I think they're well worth trying.

    I'm going to give you a lead not really used much if at all in perfuming. I like it. It's called Essence of Woman (EW), and was based on research by Astrid Jutte. It contains human copulins, substances produced by young women (and monkeys) in vaginal secretions around ovulation. Mixed in a floral context it creates I think quite nice animal effects, although very few if any mainstream perfumers use it. It smells nasty and must be diluted. It tends to mellow with age. That's all you need for the female version of stale sex. It contains things like acetic acid and butyric acid, which are copulins (human anal-genital substances). It also contains indole (contained in jasmine and human excrement), as well as some things less used in perfumery. You could add scatole to make it even more fecal. It can be ordered from

    Obviously all animal products all work for this purpose. Castoreum in particular can be coaxed into a stale sex direction, with an aggressive male effect. Cheap deer musk will do it too, no sense getting good quality stuff for that. Civet, ambergris. Muskrat, mink, goat musk. There are a lot of options to get a nasty barnyard smell. Then you combine that with something nicer, leaving it be a little gross smelling.

    You can use all synthetics, if you want as well, civetone, etc.

    Another product to try is vertofix coeur, which gives a sweaty impression. Cedramber mixes with with it well, to give a male impression -- to me a slight animal note. Iso-e-super is another option.

    With synthetic musks, I'd try exaltone, a constituent of muskrat musk that is animalic. But I have yet to find it. Chris uses it, but I have no idea how to get it in small quantities, or else I'd be using it currently as well. You could mix that with iso-muscone, from deer musk.

    Cumin is a nice touch, as is valerian root.

    I'd use an amber-woody-floral theme to create a unisex vibe, to imply both male and female.

    Obviously you can't use too much sandalwood for this kind of thing. Labdanum. Costus. If you want to go synthetic sandal, balinol and ebinol are worth trying. I'm giving you chemicals with hormonal resembling suffixes on purpose.

    You could also try the popular purported pheromones, androstenol, androsterone, and androstenone. Androstenone may well sour your perfume, but who cares? That would be a stale note, sort of urinous. It's not supposed to be pretty.

    Obviously any number of things smell urinous, and are easy to find.

    I could make it work with these ideas.
    Last edited by DrSmellThis; 7th May 2013 at 10:36 PM.

  4. #4

    Default Re: I Need To Recreate The Smell Of Stale Sex For My Thesis…

    @pkiler, The costus replacer. Now that you mention it, I have a sample of animalid lying around somewhere, but as I recall (and I may be remembering incorrectly), it went in a bit of a floral direction.

    Unfortunately I'm currently in Germany, so ordering from the States is a bit of a last resort. Right now I'm begging Ventós for samples, but if that doesn't work, John D. Walsh Co. might be a good alternative.

    - - - Updated - - -

    @DrSmellThis, Thank you so much for the info, this is endlessly helpful!

    The Essence of Woman sounds quite interesting. I've been scouring the internet looking for GC/MS breakdowns of human genital secretions (not a lot to be found, and my google history now looks suspect at best), so this is perfect, and certainly a lot easier than sourcing the individual copulins (androstenol and androstenone are easy enough, but when it comes to things like butyric acid and furfural it gets a bit tricky).

    For the animal products I'm thinking of using a touch of natural civet and a castoreum reconstruction, then rounding them out with a bit of ambergris and filling in the gaps with some muskier notes. I've had some luck with samples from ACS International, and they offer exaltone, so I'll pursue that. In addition, I figured that animalis and tonquitone might round it out nicely, then I would add a couple of balsamic notes and a hint of celery to give it a salty edge. Androstenone could work nicely in this context, I think

    I hadn't thought of valerian and cedar, but they do seem like it would work nicely, I'm trying to construct a sweaty skin accord to compliment the genital component. For this, I figure that hints of cumin and black pepper with spikenard, a touch of sandalwood, sulfurol (milky, not meaty) and a bit of ebanol. I considered javanol, but found it to be a bit too sweet.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Portland, Oregon

    Default Re: I Need To Recreate The Smell Of Stale Sex For My Thesis…

    Black currant absolute smells, to me, kind of like... urine and sweat. It's sour and hormonal smelling almost like cat spray. I haven't used mine yet because I haven't quite found an application for it. Indolene 50 smells fecal with a floral aspect, it's a bit softer than straight indole. Valerian smells like dirty socks. Jasmine has indole in it so it might help in small amounts. Turmeric and Fenugreek would provide a spicy curry note if you're looking for the kind of smells that come out through your skin from diet... Hyssop has a honey aspect going on almost like sweet skin but theres an aromatic top note that just barely peaks out so maybe not quite the right fit. Bees wax absolute has sweet, warm, waxy and animalic qualities.

  6. #6

    Default Re: I Need To Recreate The Smell Of Stale Sex For My Thesis…

    o-Cresol and p-Cresol are components in human sweat, so a trace amount of Birch tar or Cade oil could help, which contain o and p-Cresols. Or you could perhaps buy the isolated compounds. If you can't find the isolated compounds then you can use Lysol BP, a disinfectant containing 50% Cresols in a liquid soap base. I wouldn't recommend that you apply it to the skin, although it is used in some wash off products like Carbolic soap.
    Last edited by Pears; 4th November 2013 at 11:49 AM.

  7. #7

    Default Re: I Need To Recreate The Smell Of Stale Sex For My Thesis…

    Costus Ollifac is a good Costus substitute (from IFF). Part of the smell of "Stale Sex" is , I think, a fatty metallic note. Secretions Magnifique has it is spades. Maranil from BASF could be used, as well as Ultrazure . However, I think they may well be captive.

    If you can think of fatty, metallic; it would be of use.

  8. #8

    Default Re: I Need To Recreate The Smell Of Stale Sex For My Thesis…

    Certain ouds leave me smelling like I've been in bed all day and very busy at that. In general, the cheaper the ouds, the more funky. I have some very cheap ones that when put in a blend leave me with that "having had sex all day" smell. I absolutely love it.

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