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  1. #1
    Basenotes Junkie Sol invictus's Avatar
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    Default what notes do you struggle to detect?

    Are there certain notes which you regularly struggle to detect in a fragrance?

    My nose isn't very good to start with, but I especially struggle with woody notes; cedar, sandalwood , etc.
    I have to turn to frags like wonderwood to get any woods.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: what notes do you struggle to detect?

    Usually, for me, I have trouble with certain fragrances. I can pick up most notes in most fragrances but there are a few fragrances which elude my nose. LIDGE, Aventus, and Jubilation 25 are three of them.

    On the other hand, certain notes take a baseball bat to my nose. Patchouli, oakmoss, and certain leathers seem to jump out at me.

  3. #3

    Default Re: what notes do you struggle to detect?

    Patchouli sometimes.

  4. #4

    Default Re: what notes do you struggle to detect?

    Juniper berries for me

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  5. #5

    Default Re: what notes do you struggle to detect?

    Honestly, if I'm familiar with the way a certain ingredient smells, I can usually pick it up. At the same time, not every note in the pyramid is smelled in the fragrance. Tea is a bit of a weird note, I find it doesn't really have much of a smell, but adds more of a dimension to a scent.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: what notes do you struggle to detect?

    I'm like JiveHippo, I can't smell tea notes most of the time.

    Also musks. Many of them I do not smell at all.
    "One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple"

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  7. #7

    Default Re: what notes do you struggle to detect?

    Quote Originally Posted by mikeperez23 View Post
    Also musks. Many of them I do not smell at all.
    Absolutely! That's the answer to this thread. I've smelled musk in tons of fragrances, and I still don't know what it smells like. I could never detect it in a fragrance.
    Last edited by JiveHippo; 7th February 2014 at 12:47 AM.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: what notes do you struggle to detect?

    I have trouble with any fragrance that has a lot of Iso-E Super. I can barely smell TdH and Hermes Voyage at all.

  9. #9
    Basenotes Junkie Navyy8's Avatar
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    Default Re: what notes do you struggle to detect?

    Jasmine...seems every frag has it in their pyramid, but cannot detect it.
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  10. #10
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    Default Re: what notes do you struggle to detect?

    Quote Originally Posted by JiveHippo View Post
    Absolutely! That's the answer to this thread. I've smelled musk in tons of fragrances, and I still don't know what is smells like. I could never detect it in a fragrance.
    Musks, of one kind or another, are present in most perfumes.
    Some are sweet, some floral, some berry-like, some a bit spicy-woody, some powdery, some anise like, etc etc.
    Galaxolide, for example, is a commonly used musk and once you are familiar with it, you'll notice it everywhere.
    Last edited by gandhajala; 6th February 2014 at 03:52 PM.

  11. #11

    Default Re: what notes do you struggle to detect?

    I suppose the truth is that fragrances rarely have prominent single notes -- they use accords. So patchouli mixed with birch tar would be almost impossible to isolate and identify. It's sort of the same with say bergamot and neroli -- for me anyway.

    I'm ok with Amber, Sandalwood, Iris and obvious notes like mint and licorice but that's probably it.

    Luca Turin says he can identify a 'spinach' note in L'ame D'un Heros by Geurlain -- well I'm f....ed if I can

  12. #12
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    Default Re: what notes do you struggle to detect?

    Not really one note in particular but the so called precious stuff..
    Indonesian sandalwood
    Brazilian Cedar

    Are these really different from a tree in Iowa?

  13. #13
    Rüssel's Avatar
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    Default Re: what notes do you struggle to detect?

    Pepper. Never seems to smell like pepper to me.

  14. #14
    Basenotes Member CASUAL's Avatar
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    Default Re: what notes do you struggle to detect?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony T View Post
    Not really one note in particular but the so called precious stuff..
    Indonesian sandalwood
    Brazilian Cedar

    Are these really different from a tree in Iowa?

    Lol, what if they used the same trees for everything. I doubt it but what if? One day I would like to be able to distinguish different woods, I do pick them up though.

  15. #15
    Dependent CapriDog's Avatar
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    Default Re: what notes do you struggle to detect?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony T View Post
    Not really one note in particular but the so called precious stuff..
    Indonesian sandalwood

    Are these really different from a tree in Iowa?
    Way different, Tony. Indonesia is from the Far East and therefore stuff from there are exotic and hence smell way better.

    LOL

  16. #16
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    Default Re: what notes do you struggle to detect?

    Certain musks, most definitely.


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  17. #17
    Dependent Akahina's Avatar
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    Default Re: what notes do you struggle to detect?

    Leather never ever smells like real leather. I get some of the leather accords but none smell like the real deal.
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  18. #18
    Dependent bigbz's Avatar
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    Default Re: what notes do you struggle to detect?

    Definitely patchouli.(although my GF never has a problem letting me know Also some muskys as well.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: what notes do you struggle to detect?

    For me it’s ISO E Super. I cannot smell perfumes at all if they contain a lot of ISO E Super. First experience was with Dirty English from Juicy Couture. It’s supposed to be a spicy fragrance, but it was like I sprayed water on my arm. After a while it started to sting my eyes and nose, but I still could not smell anything. Had a similar experience with Narciso Rodriguez For Him, but here I could smell some sweet at least. Both times I also got a headache. I can’t understand why ISO E Super is legal to use.

    I also have problems with musk. A friend gave me Alyssa Ashley Musk to try because he loved it so much, but I could hardly smell anything, and what I did smell made me a little queasy. Still trying to approach some musk fragrances, but haven’t had much luck. Tried Musc Ravageur from Frederic Malle a few times, and while I enjoy the dry down more, it’s still very challenging.

    What I do smell easily is anything sweet. The sweetness hit me like a brick every time. But then I have a sweet tooth to.

  20. #20

    Default Re: what notes do you struggle to detect?

    I don't seem to pick up on Sandalwood. Musk is also tricky because it seems to be in so many forms and smell differently.

    Also ambergris is not something I can smell because I have no previous association with it, considering what it is I would be surprised if many people have smelt this in its natural state. I can smell Creed drydowns but I cannot pick out any individual notes.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: what notes do you struggle to detect?

    I have trouble defining oakmoss as a note. I have it in the form essential oil and it actually smells quite putrid.
    " If you obey all the rules you miss all the fun ". Katharine Hepburn.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: what notes do you struggle to detect?

    Musks, definitely. Most of them I don't get at all, but in some fragrances I can definitely tell there's musk - just don't ask me to describe the note. It still eludes me.

    Also, some variations of sandalwood, if you can believe it. Some fragrances I picked up that were supposed to be sandalwood heavy, I get absolutely no sandalwood from whatsoever (Tam Dao EDT and EDP = cedar bombs, no sandalwood in sight. C&E Sandalwood EDT = nice soapy vibe, also no sandalwood in sight). A few days ago I ordered some mysore sandalwood attar oils from India and Malaysia to see if I can learn more about the real thing, and get to know sandalwood more.

  23. #23

    Default Re: what notes do you struggle to detect?

    Musks. Narciso Rodriguez Musc for her is a faint whisper of a fragrance and sometimes I can smell (what I believe is) musk in Musc Nomade, but it usually just smells like chicken soup.

  24. #24
    Dependent remik's Avatar
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    Default Re: what notes do you struggle to detect?

    Quote Originally Posted by gmstrack View Post
    Narciso Rodriguez Musc for her
    Oh yes, Narciso Rodriguez for Him - same issue. All I get is a wet concrete note from it. No redeeming qualities. Gave it away.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: what notes do you struggle to detect?

    Iso super E. People swear every fragrance is loaded with it, but I still don't know what it smells like. Also benzoin, can't make that out either

  26. #26
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    Default Re: what notes do you struggle to detect?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rüssel View Post
    Pepper. Never seems to smell like pepper to me.
    Opus 1870 & Bang smell like traditional pepper (black). But sometimes perfumers use pink pepper which doesn't smell like black pepper.

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  27. #27

    Default Re: what notes do you struggle to detect?

    I know that anosmia is lack of functioning olfaction, for example, not being able to detect certain musks.
    On the other hand, not being able to pick out an accord in a composition might be an entirely different situation. About six months ago I suddenly realized that rose accord is everywhere and now I recognize it in several perfumes--CdG EDP = rose bomb. Pepper is another accord that often eludes me; I can sniff a fragrance several times and not detect pepper and then then one day--wham, pepper detection.

  28. #28
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    Default Re: what notes do you struggle to detect?

    Oud, in almost any fragrance, simple because I have too little olfactory experience with it.

  29. #29

    Default Re: what notes do you struggle to detect?

    M7 has a reputation as a powerhouse, yet I find it to be quite feeble (this includes vintage M7).
    This suggests I must be anosmic to whatever is creating the perception of power to other Basenoters.
    Perhaps it is the "oud" used by YSL? Not really sure...

  30. #30
    Dependent remik's Avatar
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    Default Re: what notes do you struggle to detect?

    Quote Originally Posted by musky_monkey View Post
    M7 has a reputation as a powerhouse
    Hmm, I've never heard it described as such... M7 is pretty soft and very low key actually. It's an awesome fragrance, but a powerhouse scent it definitely is not.

  31. #31
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    Default Re: what notes do you struggle to detect?

    Tea usually stumps me more than any other note. Also cardamom and coriander; and the musk notes used as fillers for base notes in many fragrances; often times, not the more expensive ones, as their musk tones tend to smell more animallic and distinguished.

    Another one that is a bit confusing to me is saffron. I think because of its rarity, and the fact that I have not smelled it enough. But I do think it's one of the most amazing smells ever.
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  32. #32

    Default Re: what notes do you struggle to detect?

    Quote Originally Posted by remik View Post
    Hmm, I've never heard it described as such... M7 is pretty soft and very low key actually. It's an awesome fragrance, but a powerhouse scent it definitely is not.
    My nose agrees with your description... M7 does not strike me as a powerhouse.
    However, M7 is often promoted by Basenoters in threads that discuss powerhouse fragrances.
    Perhaps we are equally anosmic to its brutal side?

    http://www.basenotes.net/threads/212...cho-fragrances
    http://www.basenotes.net/threads/249...werhouse-frags
    http://www.basenotes.net/threads/269...-the-80-s-90-s
    http://www.basenotes.net/threads/267...(2005-present)

  33. #33
    Super Member DanHD's Avatar
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    Default Re: what notes do you struggle to detect?

    Aldehydes. Actually, I can usually detect that they're present, but it's allmost like a lack of smell or sort of like humid weather - a presence. Not entirely unpleasant but a little disorienting.


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  34. #34

    Default Re: what notes do you struggle to detect?

    Cardamon usually tricks me, and amber sometimes.

  35. #35
    Super Member ace11's Avatar
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    Default Re: what notes do you struggle to detect?

    Quote Originally Posted by musky_monkey View Post
    My nose agrees with your description... M7 does not strike me as a powerhouse.
    However, M7 is often promoted by Basenoters in threads that discuss powerhouse fragrances.
    Perhaps we are equally anosmic to its brutal side?

    http://www.basenotes.net/threads/212...cho-fragrances
    http://www.basenotes.net/threads/249...werhouse-frags
    http://www.basenotes.net/threads/269...-the-80-s-90-s
    http://www.basenotes.net/threads/267...(2005-present)

    Count me in . For me M7 (vintage) is (after an hour from application) really soft and far from being powerhouse.

  36. #36
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    Default Re: what notes do you struggle to detect?

    For me, it's cedar, or I should say, "cedar," as I think most of the time its listing as a note is shorthand for iso-E-super. I like the smell of real Atlas Cedar, and here and there I've encountered the real thing in a fragrance, but usually "cedar" seems to me abstract vaguely-woody.

  37. #37

    Default Re: what notes do you struggle to detect?

    Definitely cedar and leather for me as well. It isn't that I don't find these notes to contribute to their respective scents, but more that I can't detect them individually based on the real life examples I have found (cedar furniture, hangers, etc., leather jackets, furniture again). I also have a difficult time discerning bergamot from other citrus, though I can differentiate between lemon, lime, and orange. Any tips for picking out bergamot?

  38. #38
    The_Cologneist's Avatar
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    Default Re: what notes do you struggle to detect?

    Quote Originally Posted by King Michael View Post
    Definitely cedar and leather for me as well. It isn't that I don't find these notes to contribute to their respective scents, but more that I can't detect them individually based on the real life examples I have found (cedar furniture, hangers, etc., leather jackets, furniture again). I also have a difficult time discerning bergamot from other citrus, though I can differentiate between lemon, lime, and orange. Any tips for picking out bergamot?
    I think bergamot is more of a binding type of note, rather than a note used for smell itself. The note itself smells like more than just citrus in many cases, it can be herbal, floral, and resinous. I've heard people say bergamot oil itself smells like Earl Gray tea. To me, it just smells like an herbal, tangy, orange/lemon. Because it's such a complex note, and can smell a little like this, and a little like that, that's why it's so often used in perfumery, because it's so versatile. Same goes for musk in base notes.
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  39. #39
    Basenotes Junkie saminlondon's Avatar
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    Default Re: what notes do you struggle to detect?

    Quote Originally Posted by King Michael View Post
    Definitely cedar and leather for me as well. It isn't that I don't find these notes to contribute to their respective scents, but more that I can't detect them individually based on the real life examples I have found (cedar furniture, hangers, etc., leather jackets, furniture again). I also have a difficult time discerning bergamot from other citrus, though I can differentiate between lemon, lime, and orange. Any tips for picking out bergamot?
    It's true that 'perfume' leather and the real thing are often not that close. But can you at least detect a similar accord in the leather fragrances you've tried?

    As for bergamot, find yourself some fresh Earl Grey tea - then you'll know what it smells like.

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