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  1. #1
    Super Member Petrichor's Avatar
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    Default The "best" fragrances have something "foul" or "nasty" about them?

    I've been writing a blog post about a response to a scene from the movie "American Hustle," and I wanted some feedback from Basenotes members. In the movie, Jennifer Lawrence's character says: "Historically, the best perfumes in the world - they're all laced with something nasty and foul."

    I really laughed out loud, and nearly fell out of my chair in agreement with this statement.

    Civet. Some musks. Indoles. Castoreum. Baby poop (so the rumor goes). Etc.

    My question for anyone: what fragrances immediately come to mind for you as both one of the "best" fragrances, but also with something slightly "nasty" or "foul" about it? How do you explain the attraction of the nastiness?

    I'm curious about some good examples of this and other people's impressions.

    As for a few that immediately came to my mind: Mouchoir de Monsieur, Jicky, Kouros, Shalimar. Love them all. All are just the right bit 'o nasty.

    What are some other good examples of a fragrance that is BOTH great and a little bit foul or nasty? How do you account for the attraction?
    Check out my personal blog: http://stayathomedadfindsacologne.com

    "Perfume and incense make the heart glad..."

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  2. #2

    Default Re: The "best" fragrances have something "foul" or "nasty" about them?

    Carnal Flower!!! Wheeeew! My wife told me to never put that shiznit on again!!! It's just collecting dust!
    My Starting Lineup: MI, Pure Malt, GIT, LIDGE, Clive Christian C, LaNuit, Royal Oud, Aventus, Guerlain Homme Intense, L'Humaniste, VIW, D & G PH, Dior Homme Sport, DHI, Allure Edition Blanche, Bentley Intense, Bois du Portugal. Signature Scent: L'homme

  3. #3

    Default Re: The "best" fragrances have something "foul" or "nasty" about them?

    The tar note in A*Men is pretty harsh. Not as bad as other fragrances described on basenotes. The only one I tolerate so far.

  4. #4

    Default Re: The "best" fragrances have something "foul" or "nasty" about them?

    Serge Noire certainly comes to mind. The reviews speak for themselves ( top notes association with sweat etc), though i have yet to find one single person in my real life entourage that dislikes it ! (and trust me, they usually openly tell me if they don't ).

    For me, it's a top 10 scent.
    Hypocrites will always be a thorn in my back....and my middle finger will always be the best remedy.....

  5. #5

    Default Re: The "best" fragrances have something "foul" or "nasty" about them?

    Mouchoir de Monsieur was the first thing that came to my mind.

    I add Chanel Cuir de Russie, Dior Leather Oud, Muscs Khoublai Khan, L'Air de Rien to the list.

    "Animalics" are sexy; I think it's as simple as that.

    Would you rather have a cold beauty, or a hot one?
    Behemoth cut a slice of pineapple, salted it, peppered it, ate it, and then tossed off a second glass of alcohol so dashingly that everyone applauded.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: The "best" fragrances have something "foul" or "nasty" about them?

    Many don't like the opening of Versace Dreamer

  7. #7

    Default Re: The "best" fragrances have something "foul" or "nasty" about them?

    Basenotes certainly seems to have a very large group of people who enjoy the skank. The concept is still completely foreign to me. I don't want to smell skanky. I don't want to walk past people who look back at me like I just passed gas. I don't want to smell like feces. I once thought that was a normal human desire. BN has changed my perception of what people want. I still don't believe that is a majority (or even large minority) of people in the "real" world, but it sure seems to be a large percentage among the Basenotes people.

    So, no. In my opinion, I think almost all of the above mentioned fragrances are not good (with the exception of Chanel Cuir de Russie). I don't want to smell them on myself, and I don't want to smell them on my wife or anyone I get on an elevator with.

    There are some exceptions (incense for one), but most fragrances I wear are ones that make me feel fresher or cleaner than I already feel. I can see occasionally throwing on something a little rougher (today I am wearing Interlude Man). But I sure don't want people thinking I crapped my pants or had chili for lunch. So, while I respect people's love for the dirty ones, I can't really understand it. I am intrigued that this theme is a recurring topic on Basenotes.

    I wonder, since I really don't understand the attraction... is it just fragrances that draw so many toward the fecal note, or is it all fecal notes - real or bottled? Do many people walk into public bathroom and take an extra deep breath with a little smile? I always held my breath if I ever had the misfortune of stepping into a Porta John. Do those of you who like dirty and fecal scents also kinda enjoy those also? Just curious.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: The "best" fragrances have something "foul" or "nasty" about them?

    Mouchoir de Monsieur

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    Remember that while it is perfectly acceptable to criticize the content of a post - criticizing the poster is not.
    Mean spirited, nasty, snide, sarcastic, hateful, and rude individuals don't warrant or deserve other individuals' acknowledgement or respect.

  9. #9
    Super Member Petrichor's Avatar
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    Default Re: The "best" fragrances have something "foul" or "nasty" about them?

    Quote Originally Posted by cadenz View Post
    Carnal Flower!!! Wheeeew! My wife told me to never put that shiznit on again!!! It's just collecting dust!
    I have a sample of Carnal Flower somewhere. I’ll have to dig it out – now I’m curious.

    Quote Originally Posted by sjg3839 View Post
    The tar note in A*Men is pretty harsh. Not as bad as other fragrances described on basenotes. The only one I tolerate so far.
    Yeah, I think it’s exactly the tar note that makes A*Men good. Who knew that adding tar to candy allegedly turned things masculine?

    [QUOTE=tdwctdwc;3037072]Serge Noire certainly comes to mind. The reviews speak for themselves ( top notes association with sweat etc), though i have yet to find one single person in my real life entourage that dislikes it ! (and trust me, they usually openly tell me if they don't ).

    Great to know. Adding Serge Noire to my sample list. I’d probably like it.

    Quote Originally Posted by zatarain View Post
    Mouchoir de Monsieur was the first thing that came to my mind.

    I add Chanel Cuir de Russie, Dior Leather Oud, Muscs Khoublai Khan, L'Air de Rien to the list.

    "Animalics" are sexy; I think it's as simple as that.

    Would you rather have a cold beauty, or a hot one?
    Haha. See? This is EXACTLY the question that I’m also asking. The answer here seems to be that the funk makes a “hot” beauty—that a bit of funk animates and livens things up. Is that the answer here?


    Quote Originally Posted by dougczar View Post
    Basenotes certainly seems to have a very large group of people who enjoy the skank. The concept is still completely foreign to me. I don't want to smell skanky. I don't want to walk past people who look back at me like I just passed gas. I don't want to smell like feces. I once thought that was a normal human desire. BN has changed my perception of what people want. I still don't believe that is a majority (or even large minority) of people in the "real" world, but it sure seems to be a large percentage among the Basenotes people.

    So, no. In my opinion, I think almost all of the above mentioned fragrances are not good (with the exception of Chanel Cuir de Russie). I don't want to smell them on myself, and I don't want to smell them on my wife or anyone I get on an elevator with.

    There are some exceptions (incense for one), but most fragrances I wear are ones that make me feel fresher or cleaner than I already feel. I can see occasionally throwing on something a little rougher (today I am wearing Interlude Man). But I sure don't want people thinking I crapped my pants or had chili for lunch. So, while I respect people's love for the dirty ones, I can't really understand it. I am intrigued that this theme is a recurring topic on Basenotes.

    I wonder, since I really don't understand the attraction... is it just fragrances that draw so many toward the fecal note, or is it all fecal notes - real or bottled? Do many people walk into public bathroom and take an extra deep breath with a little smile? I always held my breath if I ever had the misfortune of stepping into a Porta John. Do those of you who like dirty and fecal scents also kinda enjoy those also? Just curious.
    Thanks so much for the different perspective. I personally don't like the smell of a Porta John, but I still love some fiercely animalic fragrances. That's exactly what I don't understand. I hope somebody who loves the funk can respond intelligently to you, dougczar. Because I can't really explain it. PS: Interlude Man is one of my favorites--bravo.
    Check out my personal blog: http://stayathomedadfindsacologne.com

    "Perfume and incense make the heart glad..."

    -Proverbs 27:9

  10. #10

    Default Re: The "best" fragrances have something "foul" or "nasty" about them?

    @Dougczar, good points but it all depends on perception.

    When a scent (just giving an example i relate to) has literally pepper and woods in it, some people will really say : "This smells like pepper and woods" , while others will say : " ewww, this smells like sweat". The problem lies when other people listen to the latter crowd before smelling the scent and therefore have a prejudgemental perception of the sweat factor in the back of their head (or nose) when smelling it , while in reality all they're smelling is simply : pepper and woods .

    Now if someone doesn't like pepper and woods, then we're talking taste and preferences
    Last edited by tdwctdwc; 7th January 2014 at 07:37 PM.
    Hypocrites will always be a thorn in my back....and my middle finger will always be the best remedy.....

  11. #11
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    Default Re: The "best" fragrances have something "foul" or "nasty" about them?

    Not a fan whatsoever. Dougczar stated my sentiments on the subject perfectly.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: The "best" fragrances have something "foul" or "nasty" about them?

    For me it'sMusc Ravageur. I love the dry down but that strong musky, clove-y open is pretty rough to my nose

  13. #13

    Default Re: The "best" fragrances have something "foul" or "nasty" about them?

    Quote Originally Posted by Petrichor View Post
    Thanks so much for the different perspective. I personally don't like the smell of a Porta John, but I still love some fiercely animalic fragrances. That's exactly what I don't understand. I hope somebody who loves the funk can respond intelligently to you, dougczar. Because I can't really explain it.
    Well, I'm glad in a way that you can't answer it - because I was thinking maybe it was a stupid question when I posed it, but was always a bit curious, so I figured I would ask!


    Quote Originally Posted by tdwctdwc View Post
    @Dougczar, good points but it all depends on perception.

    When a scent (just giving an example i relate to) has literally pepper and woods in it, some people will really say : "This smells like pepper and woods" , while others will say : " ewww, this smells like sweat". The problem lies when other people listen to the latter crowd before smelling the scent and therefore have a prejudgemental perception of the sweat factor in the back of their head (or nose) when smelling it , while in reality all they're smelling is simply : pepper and woods .

    Now if someone doesn't like pepper and woods, then we're talking taste and preferences
    Very true. And that is a case with things like Dior Leather Oud. Some people love it because they don't get any skank from it, while some people do get the skank from it - and that's a big reason they love it.

    I suppose my question wasn't really for those who don't get the fecal association with certain fragrances, but was more directed at those who do get a fecal note from certain ones, and love them for that reason.

  14. #14

    Default Re: The "best" fragrances have something "foul" or "nasty" about them?

    Quote Originally Posted by timmy-j View Post
    Not a fan whatsoever. Dougczar stated my sentiments on the subject perfectly.
    I sometimes feel like I am the only one. Glad to see I am not alone!

  15. #15

    Default Re: The "best" fragrances have something "foul" or "nasty" about them?

    Quote Originally Posted by dougczar View Post
    I wonder, since I really don't understand the attraction... is it just fragrances that draw so many toward the fecal note, or is it all fecal notes - real or bottled? Do many people walk into public bathroom and take an extra deep breath with a little smile? I always held my breath if I ever had the misfortune of stepping into a Porta John. Do those of you who like dirty and fecal scents also kinda enjoy those also? Just curious.
    In my experience, animalic, "skanky" musk notes (like civet, castoreum, sometimes honey or cumin) are not fecal at all -- as in, they don't smell anything like human feces, gas, etc. Not sure where that idea comes from, honestly. Yes, they can smell a bit "dirty," but the actual effect is more like a warm (even aroused) human body, or at the very least a sense of warmth and slightly lascivious sensuality. I suppose Jicky is the one case where I got a bit of a "poopy" feel, but not in a very literal sense, more as an association.

    Anyway, my point is, the appeal of these notes is not that they're fecal, because mostly they aren't at all. So it's not a matter of folks secretly wanting to smell like excrement. I would think very, very few people would want to smell like that.

    A bit naughty, a bit warm, a bit sensual, a bit reminiscent of heated human body, yes. That has a definite appeal. Two of my favorite examples, and which are much friendlier in wearing than they first appear sprayed on paper, are Dior Leather Oud and MFK Absolue pour le Soir. Both end up being alluring and sexy.

  16. #16

    Default Re: The "best" fragrances have something "foul" or "nasty" about them?

    Very nicely said, onethinline; I think you've addressed the heart of the matter.

    I'll only add that, aesthetically speaking, there is beauty in contrast between "pretty" smells (like the florals in Cuir de Russie) and "earthy" smells like civet, castoreum, etc. But this is really secondary to the sensual appeal you described so well, which I believe appeals directly to instincts built into our DNA.
    Behemoth cut a slice of pineapple, salted it, peppered it, ate it, and then tossed off a second glass of alcohol so dashingly that everyone applauded.

  17. #17

    Default Re: The "best" fragrances have something "foul" or "nasty" about them?

    I thought I had a pretty high tolerance for skank until I smelt some real aouds last year. Wow !

  18. #18

    Default Re: The "best" fragrances have something "foul" or "nasty" about them?

    It isn't on my list of favorite notes, but I don't seem to mind cumin in perfume, and it seems to be a deal-breaker for most others. Some examples are Claudie Peirlot Mon Premier, SL Santal de Mysore and Dinner by Bobo. They seem to have just enough stank to keep it interesting without making it revolting.

    Adding: Anya McCoy wrote an excellent article about stanky animalics last fall. It's here in case you missed it: http://www.basenotes.net/content/171...t-Its-Stank-On
    Last edited by socalwoman; 7th January 2014 at 08:32 PM.

  19. #19

    Default Re: The "best" fragrances have something "foul" or "nasty" about them?

    Kouros comes to mind. I love it. Leather Oud is also great as is Absolue
    Pour le Soir.
    Current Top Ten:
    1) Polo Crest
    2) Chypre Palatin
    3) 34 Boulevard Saint Germain
    4) One Man Show Gold Edition
    5) Kouros (Vintage)
    6) Mamluk
    7) Tobacco Vanille
    8) Interlude Man
    9) More than Words
    10) Ungaro II (Vintage)

  20. #20

    Default Re: The "best" fragrances have something "foul" or "nasty" about them?

    Quote Originally Posted by onethinline View Post
    In my experience, animalic, "skanky" musk notes (like civet, castoreum, sometimes honey or cumin) are not fecal at all -- as in, they don't smell anything like human feces, gas, etc. Not sure where that idea comes from, honestly. Yes, they can smell a bit "dirty," but the actual effect is more like a warm (even aroused) human body, or at the very least a sense of warmth and slightly lascivious sensuality. I suppose Jicky is the one case where I got a bit of a "poopy" feel, but not in a very literal sense, more as an association.

    Anyway, my point is, the appeal of these notes is not that they're fecal, because mostly they aren't at all. So it's not a matter of folks secretly wanting to smell like excrement. I would think very, very few people would want to smell like that.

    A bit naughty, a bit warm, a bit sensual, a bit reminiscent of heated human body, yes. That has a definite appeal. Two of my favorite examples, and which are much friendlier in wearing than they first appear sprayed on paper, are Dior Leather Oud and MFK Absolue pour le Soir. Both end up being alluring and sexy.
    Excellent post. I don't make that connection with animalic or so called "barnyard" scents either. I wear Leather Oud often, and I've never had someone tell me I smell like poop. Actually, I've never even had a negative comment. I think it's pretty obvious that most people don't like the smell of sh!t, and would never want to smell like that.

  21. #21
    Super Member Petrichor's Avatar
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    Default Re: The "best" fragrances have something "foul" or "nasty" about them?

    To dougczar's point: Mouchoir de Monsieur smells a little poopy (just a little), and I feel like that specific skankiness gives it a depth and allure that it might otherwise lack. Still, I wouldn't say I like the smell of poop. So the problem remains unexplained. I DO smell poop in it, and I still like it.

    Onethinline is right to bring up certain "skanky" animalics that don't smell anything like feces, though. Socalwoman brings up cumin, and tdwctdwc talks of similarly sweaty smells, and the power of psychological suggestion (pepper plus woods). Good points.

    So it sounds a bit like the emerging consensus is along the lines of zatarain's description of a lively warmth whose appeal is inbuilt into our DNA, and onethinline's thoughts on sensuality: "a bit naughty, a bit warm, a bit sensual, a bit reminiscent of heated human body..." Is that right?

    Still, dougczar and timmy-j don't appear to gravitate toward any "animalics" whether they're fecal or sweaty or whatever. Surely the explanation can't just be DNA, since they presumably have most of the same DNA we all share.

    So I have to wonder about the role of time and cultural conditioning too. Is it a coincidence that (leaving aside a bunch of contemporary niche fragrances) most of those dirty masterpieces seem to be old, and French?
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  22. #22
    Super Member Petrichor's Avatar
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    Default Re: The "best" fragrances have something "foul" or "nasty" about them?

    Oh, and I should say that I haven't said anything about Leather Oud because I've never actually smelled it (I know--for shame). I am well aware of MFK Absolue pour le Soir, though, and I think it's pretty great.
    Check out my personal blog: http://stayathomedadfindsacologne.com

    "Perfume and incense make the heart glad..."

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  23. #23
    Super Member TurnerIII's Avatar
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    Default Re: The "best" fragrances have something "foul" or "nasty" about them?

    Animale - by Animale

    Has enough cat piss in it to match my mood sometimes

  24. #24

    Default Re: The "best" fragrances have something "foul" or "nasty" about them?

    Kind of ironic this came up right after I put on Oud 27. As onethinline said it very well...they don't ACTUALLY smell like feces...much more like a true animal smell. A little insight for dougczar: There's something grounding about scents like these. Something real about them. It's nice to not smell pretty sometimes, and instead smell of something from nature. I for one, like abrasive things.

  25. #25

    Default Re: The "best" fragrances have something "foul" or "nasty" about them?

    Quote Originally Posted by Petrichor View Post
    ...
    Still, dougczar and timmy-j don't appear to gravitate toward any "animalics" whether they're fecal or sweaty or whatever. Surely the explanation can't just be DNA, since they presumably have most of the same DNA we all share.

    So I have to wonder about the role of time and cultural conditioning too. Is it a coincidence that (leaving aside a bunch of contemporary niche fragrances) most of those dirty masterpieces seem to be old, and French?
    These are good points. Considering my own cultural conditioning, I grew up in New Orleans (ever smelled the French Quarter?) and I love the food, which has many earthy tastes, especially if you like things like catfish and boudin. I also like cheese (though I am not a robot, paging mesaboogie). So you may be onto something here.
    Behemoth cut a slice of pineapple, salted it, peppered it, ate it, and then tossed off a second glass of alcohol so dashingly that everyone applauded.

  26. #26
    Super Member Petrichor's Avatar
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    Default Re: The "best" fragrances have something "foul" or "nasty" about them?

    Quote Originally Posted by zatarain View Post
    These are good points. Considering my own cultural conditioning, I grew up in New Orleans (ever smelled the French Quarter?) and I love the food, which has many earthy tastes, especially if you like things like catfish and boudin. I also like cheese (though I am not a robot, paging mesaboogie). So you may be onto something here.
    Hahaha point well-taken! THAT is exactly something I hadn't considered: an analogy between cultural/geographically-conditioned tastes for food and "tastes" for fragrance. Super interesting. I'll definitely be thinking more about that...
    Check out my personal blog: http://stayathomedadfindsacologne.com

    "Perfume and incense make the heart glad..."

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  27. #27

    Default Re: The "best" fragrances have something "foul" or "nasty" about them?

    Quote Originally Posted by zatarain View Post
    I'll only add that, aesthetically speaking, there is beauty in contrast between "pretty" smells (like the florals in Cuir de Russie) and "earthy" smells like civet, castoreum, etc.
    Yep, that's a very good point; these musky notes often do add just the right contrast to lighter, more floral, or sweeter notes. Complexity and contrast are usually what give fragrance interest to last beyond the first few sniffs (and remain after the next thousand). Of course, such contrast is also achieved with deep woods, resins, patchouli, or really anything that's set against the other primary notes.

    Quote Originally Posted by cwill View Post
    There's something grounding about scents like these. Something real about them. It's nice to not smell pretty sometimes, and instead smell of something from nature. I for one, like abrasive things.
    "Grounding" is a great way of putting it, cwill. I'm often drawn to fragrances that have an element of being "of the earth" (not in the sense of literal soil, but a sort of, well, grounded quality). That may be why I'm so often drawn to resins and earthier vetiver. If that grounds us to the earth itself and what grows there, I think animalic notes ground us in our human bodies, with some fundamental (and, intimately appealing) smells of being human.

  28. #28

    Default Re: The "best" fragrances have something "foul" or "nasty" about them?

    This discussion would not be complete or fair without mentioning onda Vero. My goodness, I think if kouros ever needed to go back to school, then onda would be the natural choice as tutor
    Chic is all about humor. Which means chic is about intelligence. And there has to be oddness-- most luxury is conformist, and chic cannot be. Chic must be polite and not incommode others, but within that it can be as weird as it wants.” - LT

  29. #29
    Super Member Petrichor's Avatar
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    Default Re: The "best" fragrances have something "foul" or "nasty" about them?

    Okay, that's good too. I also like the explanation (of cwill and onethinline) that some perfumery ingredients have the capacity to "ground" us both in nature and within our own human bodies (or our own humanness), and so we are drawn to those ingredients. That makes sense to me. It also goes to show that what many consider the very "best" fragrances have to do a whole lot more than just "smell good."

    Onda is a good mention, stanmar. It just occurred to me that I'd also probably add ELdO's Rien to the list.
    Check out my personal blog: http://stayathomedadfindsacologne.com

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  30. #30

    Default Re: The "best" fragrances have something "foul" or "nasty" about them?

    I love the skanky scents, Kouros, Mouchoir de Monsieur , Givenchy Gentleman are all in at least my top ten.
    It's just the fecal note in Rive Gauche that I draw the line at

  31. #31

    Default Re: The "best" fragrances have something "foul" or "nasty" about them?

    I have to chime in on this one. Im a recent frag addict. The more I read on here the more I realized I was supposed to like "challenging" frags. And I tried them and a few I actually liked. Of those I liked, I wore them around my sister who knew of my frag obsession. Her response....."eww, what are you wearing?" I read somewhere that perfumery was created to mask body odors with good smells because a bath wasn't available. Now, how in the world did perfumery turn into a clean, fresh body masked with 'foul' smells? What an ironic twist.....

  32. #32

    Default Re: The "best" fragrances have something "foul" or "nasty" about them?

    Oud in a nutshell

    Once you become accustomed to it (which isn't very hard) it's incredibly addictive but it always has that barnyard note. Most people's reaction to a decent oud is "that's weird" or "foul"... Then watch as their opinion is turned on it's head.

    Sent from my HTC One

  33. #33

    Default Re: The "best" fragrances have something "foul" or "nasty" about them?

    Quote Originally Posted by martinijo View Post
    It's just the fecal note in Rive Gauche that I draw the line at
    Reminds me a lot of that fecal note in Mugler Cologne!

  34. #34
    Super Member Petrichor's Avatar
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    Default Re: The "best" fragrances have something "foul" or "nasty" about them?

    Quote Originally Posted by mossyoakpenn View Post
    I read somewhere that perfumery was created to mask body odors with good smells because a bath wasn't available. Now, how in the world did perfumery turn into a clean, fresh body masked with 'foul' smells? What an ironic twist.....
    Yes, I know that's the stereotype, but I'm pretty sure it just isn't true. Perfumery is thousands of years old (not a couple hundred), and no doubt there a a million and one different motivations behind people wearing various oils and extracts and balms, etc. To cover allegedly "bad" body odors may be one motive, but it certainly isn't the only one. Kings were anointed with fragrant oils, royalty bathed in scented baths, etc. Some recent science seems to think that people have chosen to "scent" themselves throughout history for biological reasons: to actually enhance their natural odor (see this OUP article: http://m.beheco.oxfordjournals.org/c.../12/2/140.full). Interesting stuff to consider.
    Check out my personal blog: http://stayathomedadfindsacologne.com

    "Perfume and incense make the heart glad..."

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  35. #35

    Default Re: The "best" fragrances have something "foul" or "nasty" about them?

    Yep. There's a whole approach to perfume which is more about working with natural body odors (as in, the alluring and sorta sexy kind) rather than against them. My understanding is that's a perspective of classical French perfumery. The usual observation here is that the French are less obsessed with being constantly sanitized and free of all body odor, as Americans are, and are more prone to welcome natural manly or womanly scents as desirable. That's a big generalization of course. I'm personally no fan of significant B.O., but I do appreciate the warm intimate smells of a lover's body, and I think it's that sort of intimacy and sultriness that these musky notes we're discussing evoke.

  36. #36
    Dependent Arij's Avatar
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    Default Re: The "best" fragrances have something "foul" or "nasty" about them?

    Pheromones elicit a powerful subconscious effect on behavior, nuff said.

  37. #37

    Default Re: The "best" fragrances have something "foul" or "nasty" about them?

    Its rough of the top but Mazzorlori-Lui is excellent

    +1-MR-FMalle
    +1-APLS-MFK
    Last edited by trex57; 7th January 2014 at 11:07 PM.

  38. #38

    Default Re: The "best" fragrances have something "foul" or "nasty" about them?

    Quote Originally Posted by onethinline View Post
    Reminds me a lot of that fecal note in Mugler Cologne!
    No feces in MC, perhaps you mean semen?

  39. #39

    Default Re: The "best" fragrances have something "foul" or "nasty" about them?

    I'm not into that stuff at all.

    The only fragrance I like that has a bit of a dirty skank (ha!) behind it is Vikt, by Slumberhouse, and it's pretty far back there and muted.

    Stuff like APLS, 1740, MKK, Kouros, etc, I have an intense aversion to. And I wouldn't want to smell that way either.
    Last edited by Buysblind; 8th January 2014 at 12:32 AM.

  40. #40

    Default Re: The "best" fragrances have something "foul" or "nasty" about them?

    Musc Ravageur
    Kouros

    Skankiness, both of them.

  41. #41

    Default Re: The "best" fragrances have something "foul" or "nasty" about them?

    Quote Originally Posted by JiveHippo View Post
    No feces in MC, perhaps you mean semen?
    I meant that there's as much feces in Mugler Cologne as there is in Rive Gauche Pour Homme.

  42. #42
    Super Member Petrichor's Avatar
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    Default Re: The "best" fragrances have something "foul" or "nasty" about them?

    Quote Originally Posted by onethinline View Post
    Yep. There's a whole approach to perfume which is more about working with natural body odors (as in, the alluring and sorta sexy kind) rather than against them. My understanding is that's a perspective of classical French perfumery. The usual observation here is that the French are less obsessed with being constantly sanitized and free of all body odor, as Americans are, and are more prone to welcome natural manly or womanly scents as desirable. That's a big generalization of course. I'm personally no fan of significant B.O., but I do appreciate the warm intimate smells of a lover's body, and I think it's that sort of intimacy and sultriness that these musky notes we're discussing evoke.
    Well said, I think. This is exactly the sort of explanation I was after, and really helps as I think through WHY I (and others) seem to particularly enjoy some of these fragrances.
    Check out my personal blog: http://stayathomedadfindsacologne.com

    "Perfume and incense make the heart glad..."

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  43. #43

    Default Re: The "best" fragrances have something "foul" or "nasty" about them?

    Quote Originally Posted by onethinline View Post
    I meant that there's as much feces in Mugler Cologne as there is in Rive Gauche Pour Homme.
    I know man, just jokin around.

  44. #44
    Dependent Akahina's Avatar
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    Default Re: The "best" fragrances have something "foul" or "nasty" about them?

    If you want to smell fresh and clean there are plenty of fragrances that smell like fresh laundry of flowers and fruit. But a little stank adds deapth and allure to a perfume. I for one love a touch (or more) of a dirty note in a perfume. It adds allure and a bit of mystery to the scent and to the wearer. Many of my favorite scents have already been mentioned so I will not repeat them, but everyone should try some of those mentioned stink scents. Leather Oud for one has a reputation for being naughty and dirty but it is by far my most complemented scent. Most common reaction from my co-workers is a hug, a big sniff and "you smell wonderful!"
    My Favorites

    1. Amouage Epic man
    2. Dior Leather Oud
    3. Perris Monte Carlo Oud Imperial Black
    4. Le Labo Patchouli 24
    5. Amouage Opus VII
    6. Byredo Bullion
    7. Norma Kamali Incense



    Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.


    The IFRA can bite me!

  45. #45

    Default Re: The "best" fragrances have something "foul" or "nasty" about them?

    Quote Originally Posted by dougczar View Post
    Do many people walk into public bathroom and take an extra deep breath with a little smile? I always held my breath if I ever had the misfortune of stepping into a Porta John. Do those of you who like dirty and fecal scents also kinda enjoy those also? Just curious.
    Agreed with your entire post, but especially LOL'd at this part.

  46. #46

    Default Re: The "best" fragrances have something "foul" or "nasty" about them?

    Quote Originally Posted by JiveHippo View Post
    I know man, just jokin around.
    Figured you were.

  47. #47
    Super Member Petrichor's Avatar
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    Default Re: The "best" fragrances have something "foul" or "nasty" about them?

    Quote Originally Posted by Akahina View Post
    If you want to smell fresh and clean there are plenty of fragrances that smell like fresh laundry of flowers and fruit. But a little stank adds deapth and allure to a perfume. I for one love a touch (or more) of a dirty note in a perfume. It adds allure and a bit of mystery to the scent and to the wearer. Many of my favorite scents have already been mentioned so I will not repeat them, but everyone should try some of those mentioned stink scents. Leather Oud for one has a reputation for being naughty and dirty but it is by far my most complemented scent. Most common reaction from my co-workers is a hug, a big sniff and "you smell wonderful!"
    Really appreciate these thoughts too, Akahina. I'm also starting to feel left out of the Leather Oud club by this point, so I guess I better move Leather Oud to the very top of my "to sample" list. Sounds like I've been missing out
    Check out my personal blog: http://stayathomedadfindsacologne.com

    "Perfume and incense make the heart glad..."

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  48. #48

    Default Re: The "best" fragrances have something "foul" or "nasty" about them?

    Quote Originally Posted by Akahina View Post
    Leather Oud for one has a reputation for being naughty and dirty but it is by far my most complemented scent. Most common reaction from my co-workers is a hug, a big sniff and "you smell wonderful!"
    In a way this says a lot in itself. I've worn Leather Oud to work any number of times, and when I've asked coworkers (whom I'm friends with) to smell it up close, as I was afraid it was indeed too dirty or naughty smelling, invariably the response was, "that smells good!" For all its reputation as "stinky" or "skanky," Leather Oud wears well and gets compliments from non-fragrance nerds.

    That leads to another thought: many of the animalic-tinged fragrances mentioned here tend to develop and calm down once worn on actual skin -- the dirty musks tend to soften, and the fragrance tends to meld more with the wearer's skin and body chemistry. Doubtless this is exactly what's intended by the perfumers and houses, who extensively test on skin. Yet we are in an era and culture which wants a quick judgement on everything as a buyable commodity, so we spray one of these on a card, sniff once or twice, form a very quick negative (or at least, surprised) impression, and that's it. Too bad, as we're missing out on some of the better fragrance experiences and a whole side of what scent can do. Doesn't help when you add in preconceptions formed by reading too much on Basenotes (and smelling too little), either.

  49. #49

    Default Re: The "best" fragrances have something "foul" or "nasty" about them?

    I too am no fan of animalic fragrances. Just too barnyard for me. Probably the most animalic-leaning fragrance I'd be willing to wear is Musc Ravageur, and I don't think I'd be wearing it to work. Just too risky.

    I sampled Leather Oud when it came out some time ago, totally not for me. Wayyyy too animalic, can't picture myself ever wearing it. I don't understand how someone can enjoy wearing those types of fragrances, but I respect it. To each their own.

  50. #50

    Default Re: The "best" fragrances have something "foul" or "nasty" about them?

    I've been trying to find out for more than a year what the French term for the slightly rotten or animalic facet of a perfume is. I read a particular French perfumery term for just the thing that is under discussion here but can't remember. Can anyone tell me?
    '...And you'll carry me down on your dancing
    To the pools that you lift on your wrist...'

  51. #51

    Default Re: The "best" fragrances have something "foul" or "nasty" about them?

    Quote Originally Posted by Strollyourlobster View Post
    I've been trying to find out for more than a year what the French term for the slightly stinky animalic facet of a perfume is. I read a particular French perfumery term for just the thing that is under discussion here but can't remember. Can anyone tell me?
    I think the word you are looking for is pudeur.
    Behemoth cut a slice of pineapple, salted it, peppered it, ate it, and then tossed off a second glass of alcohol so dashingly that everyone applauded.

  52. #52

    Default Re: The "best" fragrances have something "foul" or "nasty" about them?

    Quote Originally Posted by zatarain View Post
    I think the word you are looking for is pudeur.
    I'm sooo grateful, zatarain. I've been wracking my brain and googling in vain for a year! And because I don't speak French I thought maybe it was 'poudre' and had been looking that up again and again. Thanks!
    '...And you'll carry me down on your dancing
    To the pools that you lift on your wrist...'

  53. #53

    Default Re: The "best" fragrances have something "foul" or "nasty" about them?

    Glad I could help!
    Behemoth cut a slice of pineapple, salted it, peppered it, ate it, and then tossed off a second glass of alcohol so dashingly that everyone applauded.

  54. #54

    Default Re: The "best" fragrances have something "foul" or "nasty" about them?

    Quote Originally Posted by Petrichor View Post
    Yes, I know that's the stereotype, but I'm pretty sure it just isn't true. Perfumery is thousands of years old (not a couple hundred), and no doubt there a a million and one different motivations behind people wearing various oils and extracts and balms, etc. To cover allegedly "bad" body odors may be one motive, but it certainly isn't the only one. Kings were anointed with fragrant oils, royalty bathed in scented baths, etc. Some recent science seems to think that people have chosen to "scent" themselves throughout history for biological reasons: to actually enhance their natural odor (see this OUP article: http://m.beheco.oxfordjournals.org/c.../12/2/140.full). Interesting stuff to consider.
    I think it's unlikely that scent evolved in order to cover up bodily odours. The places where fragrance evolved - Egypt, the Middle East - all had highly evolved traditions of cleanliness. Perfume came to the West via the Crusades - the Frankish soldiers where horrified and revolted by the cleanliness of the Byzantines and Saracens. This is well documented: they regarded it as effeminate and ungodly. But they gradually picked up these very habits, and brought them back to Europe.

    I also think that one of the reasons we associate these scents with 'stank' and 'skank' is that, in the main, we're largely divorced from activities that bring us into contact with strong natural aromas. A lot of these fragrances that get labelled with the vague dismissive 'skank' don't smell like body parts at all, but they do invoke things many of us don't experience on a day to day basis: raw spices, freshly cut wood, aged cheese and meats, saps and resins, livestock. These are in-your-face fragrances of the natural world, but perhaps we shy away from them because we recognize our own animal nature in them, and we seem prepared, as a species, to go to almost any length to deny that we are, in fact, animals...

  55. #55

    Default Re: The "best" fragrances have something "foul" or "nasty" about them?

    Blue sugar

  56. #56
    Dependent Francolino's Avatar
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    Default Re: The "best" fragrances have something "foul" or "nasty" about them?

    Complex by Boadicea
    Red for Men by Giorgio BH
    Givenchy Gentleman

  57. #57

    Default Re: The "best" fragrances have something "foul" or "nasty" about them?

    Odilon and onethinline have made some excellent observations here. I think it boils down to the fact that a certain number of 'animalic' scents are comforting, sensual and, yes, grounding. After all, in terms of DNA there's not much percentage-wise to distinguish us from dogs or even fruit flies.

    I do detect a certain fear of physicality (or is it mortality) coming from some cultures - the US in particular - exhibited in a liking for fresh, soapy, squeaky-clean scents. And in a near obsession with 'skank', which is not something I'd ever heard of before reading Basenotes (the word doesn't exist in British English, as far as I am aware.).

  58. #58
    Super Member Petrichor's Avatar
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    Default Re: The "best" fragrances have something "foul" or "nasty" about them?

    Quote Originally Posted by OdilonRedon View Post
    These are in-your-face fragrances of the natural world, but perhaps we shy away from them because we recognize our own animal nature in them, and we seem prepared, as a species, to go to almost any length to deny that we are, in fact, animals...
    Quote Originally Posted by saminlondon View Post
    I do detect a certain fear of physicality (or is it mortality) coming from some cultures - the US in particular - exhibited in a liking for fresh, soapy, squeaky-clean scents.
    Exactly right, I think. Elsewhere, I've wrote about a possible correlation between hyper-cleanliness (and its acceptance of, and accommodation towards, inexpensive aromachemical-laden cleaning-product fragrances) and a youth obsessed, death-denying culture (and so also denying our animal nature). Jean-Claude Ellena discussed the shift toward squeaky "clean" fine fragrance that occurred in the late seventies to mid-eighties in his first book. Incidentally, he also discusses that this was exactly the time period when the entire perfume industry moved to an American, market-driven business model rather than the older French luxury-goods model.

    Americans allegedly just wanted to smell clean. The perfume industry gave them what they wanted.

    That's why I think there is some link with time and culture that influences our (supposed) like/dislike of animalic notes in perfumery. It's why the topic of food perception and preference is a fascinating analogy.

    This entire thread has been very helpful in thinking through the reasons why funky/skanky/nasty or animalic notes can be polarizing, and also why many find them so irresistible.
    Last edited by Petrichor; 8th January 2014 at 04:46 PM.
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  59. #59

    Default Re: The "best" fragrances have something "foul" or "nasty" about them?

    Some quick work on Google revealed this fascinating entry on the word pudeur as used with regard to fragrance. Pudeur means modesty, discretion, shame, so it's interesting that in the context of perfume it refers to adding a bit of naughtiness. In the blog entry the author suggests that hiding something sultry and dirty in the context of pretty florals or whatnot offers a cover of modesty over what is a lascivious intention. I love the tension and dynamic in that construction. Another reason to find these sort of compositions fascinating.

  60. #60
    Super Member Petrichor's Avatar
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    Default Re: The "best" fragrances have something "foul" or "nasty" about them?

    Quote Originally Posted by onethinline View Post
    In the blog entry the author suggests that hiding something sultry and dirty in the context of pretty florals or whatnot offers a cover of modesty over what is a lascivious intention. I love the tension and dynamic in that construction. Another reason to find these sort of compositions fascinating.
    Thanks for the article reference. I'm definitely on board with your summary, too.
    Check out my personal blog: http://stayathomedadfindsacologne.com

    "Perfume and incense make the heart glad..."

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