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  1. #1

    Default Please help me find this special hidden ingredient

    Hi all,

    I really need some help finding a particular ingredient that I seem to be missing.

    I've been producing DIY cologne for a few years now but I just can't ever seem to get that commercial/designer smell I've been trying to replicate. While I can produce a fragrance that is not bad smelling, it doesn't come anywhere close to being as nice as some of the fragrances I would buy e.g. the eau de toilette colognes from the likes of Armani, Hugo Boss & A&F etc.

    They all seem to have this certain ingredient that I am missing and I'm finding it very difficult to put my finger on what it is exactly.


    I'm going to do my best to describe this missing ingredient:

    • As I bring my nose towards the bottle, I can smell it first and foremost, before anything else.
    • It's unlike any natural smelling substance I've ever known.
    • Very synthetic and a bit ashy/spicy/woody possibly (but this could be other ingredients giving it an accent).
    • It's sort of a cold smell. It tricks me to believe that the bottle, or spray-top at least, is ice cold and that cool air surrounds it.
    • I feel that it's the top part of the inside of my nose that receives the scent best.
    • It appears to be the exact same scent/ingredient for all men's designer colognes. It's a strong dose that doesn't appear to be used sparingly by any of the brands.



    My best way to sum up this popular commercial ingredient would be: 'A strong synthetic coldness'.

    Does anyone know what this is?


    P.S. My fragrances typically comprise of around 3-5 EOs', ISO E Super & perfumers alcohol.
    I buy all from Perfumers Apprentice.
    Last edited by Sprayer; 26th April 2014 at 11:35 AM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Please help me find this special hidden ingredient

    I have no idea what this "magic" ingredient is; however I do know that most (if not all) commercial fragrances will comprise of very many more components than your attempts do. The average number of ingredients in a fragrance will be in the 30s, if not more. There are exceptions of course, but generally you would expect to find that number. These ingredients will be a mixture of Essential Oils , bases and individual synthetics. Thus, each fragrance will be made of many hundreds of individual chemicals. It may be, that this special something you are trying to find is composed of complexity of ingredients together with experience of the Perfumer who created it.

    It is rarely true that there is a magic something that fixes the problem.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Please help me find this special hidden ingredient

    Musk. Are you using some kinds of musks? Maybe not magic ingredient, but most commercial perfumes have many.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Please help me find this special hidden ingredient

    Quote Originally Posted by Ramute View Post
    Musk. Are you using some kinds of musks? Maybe not magic ingredient, but most commercial perfumes have many.
    Which musk would you recommend?

    I have White Musk but I found that it gave a kind of feminine feel to the fragrance.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Please help me find this special hidden ingredient

    Quote Originally Posted by David Ruskin View Post
    I have no idea what this "magic" ingredient is; however I do know that most (if not all) commercial fragrances will comprise of very many more components than your attempts do. The average number of ingredients in a fragrance will be in the 30s, if not more. There are exceptions of course, but generally you would expect to find that number. These ingredients will be a mixture of Essential Oils , bases and individual synthetics. Thus, each fragrance will be made of many hundreds of individual chemicals. It may be, that this special something you are trying to find is composed of complexity of ingredients together with experience of the Perfumer who created it.

    It is rarely true that there is a magic something that fixes the problem.
    Do you know how I could obtain a full ingredient list of one of the popular brands so that I could learn from it?

  6. #6
    Basenotes Plus

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    Default Re: Please help me find this special hidden ingredient

    That isn't going to happen, is it?

    You could read this 'though.
    https://sites.google.com/site/perfumerecipes/
    Last edited by lpp; 26th April 2014 at 12:41 PM.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Please help me find this special hidden ingredient

    Quote Originally Posted by lpp View Post
    That isn't going to happen, is it?

    You could read this 'though.
    https://sites.google.com/site/perfumerecipes/
    Thank you

  8. #8

    Default Re: Please help me find this special hidden ingredient

    Quote Originally Posted by Sprayer View Post
    Which musk would you recommend?

    I have White Musk but I found that it gave a kind of feminine feel to the fragrance.
    “White Musk” is a widely used and mis-used term but I think in this case what you’re talking about is a fragrance in its own right, rather than an individual ingredient. Have a look at my blog post on musks for some ideas of which musks to try for what purpose.

    The other thought that struck me reading your description is that you’re probably detecting something like Ambroxan / Ambrofix, Cedramber, Vertofix, Bornafix, Fixateur 505 or any of a number of other ambergris substitutes that are widely used in modern perfumery (usually in combination).

    Hope that helps.
    A person who is nice to you, but rude to the waiter, is not a nice person.”
    ― Dave Barry

    Chris Bartlett
    Perfumes from the edge . . .

    www.perfumedesigner.co.uk
    Twitter: @PellWallPerfume

    If you are looking for a perfumery consultation I’m happy to quote: if you want free advice, that’s what these forums are for
    You can also join my blog if you wish to ask questions of me.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Please help me find this special hidden ingredient

    Quote Originally Posted by Sprayer View Post
    Do you know how I could obtain a full ingredient list of one of the popular brands so that I could learn from it?
    I think the nearest equivalent you might get to that would be the formula IFRA produced and published as part of it’s lobbying campaign, which has the added advantage of explanations for the ingredients used in language everyone can understand. Again I’ve provided details on my blog of how to get hold of a full copy of the formula and explanatory article.
    A person who is nice to you, but rude to the waiter, is not a nice person.”
    ― Dave Barry

    Chris Bartlett
    Perfumes from the edge . . .

    www.perfumedesigner.co.uk
    Twitter: @PellWallPerfume

    If you are looking for a perfumery consultation I’m happy to quote: if you want free advice, that’s what these forums are for
    You can also join my blog if you wish to ask questions of me.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Please help me find this special hidden ingredient

    I can't reccomend; because you, maybe, can't feel some kinds of musks. "White musk": isn't clear that is in it. It is more often bright, light (and female) a description of musks blend, and not any particular vegetable, animal or synthetic musk. Read here: http://pellwall-perfumes.blogspot.com/2012/08/musk.html and
    http://pellwall-perfumes.blogspot.co...cation-of.html

    Oh, Chris, we think identical. Only my english are slow and terrible.
    Last edited by Ramute; 26th April 2014 at 01:57 PM.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Please help me find this special hidden ingredient

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Bartlett View Post
    “White Musk” is a widely used and mis-used term but I think in this case what you’re talking about is a fragrance in its own right, rather than an individual ingredient. Have a look at my blog post on musks for some ideas of which musks to try for what purpose.

    The other thought that struck me reading your description is that you’re probably detecting something like Ambroxan / Ambrofix, Cedramber, Vertofix, Bornafix, Fixateur 505 or any of a number of other ambergris substitutes that are widely used in modern perfumery (usually in combination).

    Hope that helps.
    What a great blog post you have! Very helpful.

    I just ordered some of those musks and most of the ambergris substitutes you mentioned so that I can try them out. Thank you.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Please help me find this special hidden ingredient

    Quote Originally Posted by Ramute View Post
    I can't reccomend; because you, maybe, can't feel some kinds of musks. "White musk": isn't clear that is in it. It is more often bright, light (and female) a description of musks blend, and not any particular vegetable, animal or synthetic musk. Read here: http://pellwall-perfumes.blogspot.com/2012/08/musk.html and
    http://pellwall-perfumes.blogspot.co...cation-of.html

    Oh, Chris, we think identical. Only my english are slow and terrible.
    Ha! amazing - the same two links as well - thank you!
    A person who is nice to you, but rude to the waiter, is not a nice person.”
    ― Dave Barry

    Chris Bartlett
    Perfumes from the edge . . .

    www.perfumedesigner.co.uk
    Twitter: @PellWallPerfume

    If you are looking for a perfumery consultation I’m happy to quote: if you want free advice, that’s what these forums are for
    You can also join my blog if you wish to ask questions of me.

  13. #13
    Paul Kiler
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    Default Re: Please help me find this special hidden ingredient

    Quote Originally Posted by Sprayer View Post
    Hi all,

    I really need some help finding a particular ingredient that I seem to be missing.



    • It appears to be the exact same scent/ingredient for all men's designer colognes. It's a strong dose that doesn't appear to be used sparingly by any of the brands.



    My best way to sum up this popular commercial ingredient would be: 'A strong synthetic coldness'.
    I would start with Dihydro Myrcenol, it is very popular and often overdosed with Men's scents.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sprayer View Post
    Do you know how I could obtain a full ingredient list of one of the popular brands so that I could learn from it?
    Pay $100 and get Perfumers Apprentice to GC analyze it.


    PK
    Paul Kiler
    PK Perfumes
    http://www.PKPERFUMES.com
    Gold Medal for "Best Aroma"; Los Angeles Artisan Fragrance Salon

  14. #14

    Default Re: Please help me find this special hidden ingredient

    Maybe if you would give a few specific examples of perfumes, someone will be able to guess the common denominator.. Any idea how long that note lasts on paper/skin? Could really help distinguish between musks and those fresh volatile aromachemicals..

  15. #15

    Default Re: Please help me find this special hidden ingredient

    Quote Originally Posted by Nizan View Post
    Maybe if you would give a few specific examples of perfumes, someone will be able to guess the common denominator.. Any idea how long that note lasts on paper/skin? Could really help distinguish between musks and those fresh volatile aromachemicals..
    Well, I really like the fragrance 'Fierce' by Abercrombie & Fitch (even though it gets quite a bad rap here lol).
    I'd love to be able to create something like this. Even something one tenth as nice would be great for me.

  16. #16
    Paul Kiler
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    Default Re: Please help me find this special hidden ingredient

    Quote Originally Posted by Nizan View Post
    Maybe if you would give a few specific examples of perfumes, someone will be able to guess the common denominator.. Any idea how long that note lasts on paper/skin? Could really help distinguish between musks and those fresh volatile aromachemicals..

    His first descriptor says"
    • As I bring my nose towards the bottle, I can smell it first and foremost, before anything else.


    This is highly unlikely to be a musk. More like a fresh Volatile.

    PK
    Paul Kiler
    PK Perfumes
    http://www.PKPERFUMES.com
    Gold Medal for "Best Aroma"; Los Angeles Artisan Fragrance Salon

  17. #17

    Default Re: Please help me find this special hidden ingredient

    Volatile hmm - What are the types of benzene commonly used and what do they smell like? (/effect the blend)
    I've never used benzene.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Please help me find this special hidden ingredient

    Paul - that's what I was suggesting
    Sprayer - the more perfumes you mention with that note you like, the larger the chance someone will guess it.. Mentioning one perfume probably leaves too may options (but maybe not.. never smelled it).

  19. #19

    Default Re: Please help me find this special hidden ingredient

    Quote Originally Posted by Sprayer View Post
    Volatile hmm - What are the types of benzene commonly used and what do they smell like? (/effect the blend)
    I've never used benzene.
    Oh you really should, benzine is amazing.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Please help me find this special hidden ingredient

    Quote Originally Posted by Nizan View Post
    Paul - that's what I was suggesting
    Sprayer - the more perfumes you mention with that note you like, the larger the chance someone will guess it.. Mentioning one perfume probably leaves too may options (but maybe not.. never smelled it).
    OK, I can smell this same thing in all of these:

    Code by Giorgio Armani
    One Million by Paco Rabanne
    Fierce by Abercrombie & Fitch
    Only The Brave by Diesel
    Hugo Just Different by Hugo Boss
    Break Line by Hollister Co

  21. #21

    Default Re: Please help me find this special hidden ingredient

    Quote Originally Posted by David Ruskin View Post
    Oh you really should, benzine is amazing.
    OK David. I'm also in North London. Where would you recommend I buy from and which type?

    And is it benzine or benzene?
    Last edited by Sprayer; 27th April 2014 at 06:52 PM.

  22. #22

    Default Re: Please help me find this special hidden ingredient

    Quote Originally Posted by Sprayer View Post
    OK David. I'm also in North London. Where would you recommend I buy from and which type?

    And is it benzine or benzene?
    Only if you like the smell of diesel (the petroleum product, not the fragrance)

  23. #23

    Default Re: Please help me find this special hidden ingredient

    Just to be on the safe side, it might be a good idea to include a good whopping dose of Patchouli to round out the Benzine note.

    Edit to add: I feel cruel having just posted that...Sprayer, David was only joking, as was I.

  24. #24

    Default Re: Please help me find this special hidden ingredient

    Cashmeran came to mind.
    You are the sky. Everything else is just the weather.
    –Pema Chödrön


    liaison carbone
    RAW MATERIALS FOR PERFUMERY

  25. #25

    Default Re: Please help me find this special hidden ingredient

    Quote Originally Posted by Sprayer View Post
    OK David. I'm also in North London. Where would you recommend I buy from and which type?

    And is it benzine or benzene?
    Oh God; I was joking!!!!! Benzene is banned. It is an extremely unpleasant chemical. As I was told when at University, if you can smell Benzene (and forgive my spelling error) you are inhaling it in dangerous amounts.

    Interesting that you can reply to a joke but made no comment when I posted the first time. I still maintain that there is never a magic fix. No single ingredient will solve your problem, and that to compare a mix of a few Essential Oils with commercial fragrances is daft.
    Last edited by David Ruskin; 28th April 2014 at 09:31 AM.

  26. #26
    Basenotes Plus

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    Default Re: Please help me find this special hidden ingredient

    We were even warned about it at school

  27. #27

    Default Re: Please help me find this special hidden ingredient

    Quote Originally Posted by lpp View Post
    We were even warned about it at school
    It's funny; one of the last Chemistry experiments I did at school was to do with the reduction of freezing point of solutions (e.g. adding salt to water reduces water's freezing point to below 0deg C) and involved using Benzoic Acid and Benzene. The first thing I had to do when I arrived at University was attend a lecture on Safety in the Laboratory , where we were warned about the dangers of Benzene.

  28. #28

    Default Re: Please help me find this special hidden ingredient

    Not sure he's looking for a magic fix.. Sounds like he's sounding for some common note between those perfumes.. But since I'm not familiar with any of the ones he mentioned, nor with enough chemicals, I can't offer any real help.

  29. #29
    Paul Kiler
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    Default Re: Please help me find this special hidden ingredient

    I think I've made the starting point clear.

    PK
    Paul Kiler
    PK Perfumes
    http://www.PKPERFUMES.com
    Gold Medal for "Best Aroma"; Los Angeles Artisan Fragrance Salon

  30. #30

    Default Re: Please help me find this special hidden ingredient

    Nizan is correct. I'm quite aware that their wont be a magic ingredient that will bring my fragrance up to full commercial high-street level.

    I'm looking for a certain something that I believe to be missing from my formula, a particular common something that I recognise in many male fragrances.

    Was just trying to get some help from people with more knowledge and years of experience than myself but I guess mocking can be more fun for some. I haven't started University yet so my technical knowledge is basic. How else is a young noob suppose to learn if he doesn't ask the 'silly' questions first?

    Anyway, I've ordered a few different types of Musk, some Dihydro Myrcenol and some different types of Synthetic Ambergris and I'm very much looking forward to trying these out so thank you to all those that tried to help out.
    Last edited by Sprayer; 29th April 2014 at 09:49 AM.

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