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  1. #1

    Default Musk anosmia among perfumers

    How common is musk anosmia among perfumers, and how would it affect their work? I imagine that it would only affect their ability to work with the particular materials they can't smell.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Musk anosmia among perfumers

    I don't have data, but I assume it's just as common as in the general population. I remember reading anecdotes about perfumers not smelling certain things, but I don't remember the specifics.

    Note that the point is not that one person is more anosmic than another in general, it's just that each of us has his or her own specific anosmias to specific musks. I guess this will certainly affect a perfumer's choice of the musks he uses, either because he would prefer to use another musk, or because he might be led to overdose. In the past, I think perfumers would use a mix of musks to avoid this.

    I'm also not sure how the fixative property of musks work. That is, even if one doesn't smell a particular musk, he may still smell the other materials that the musk helps fixate. So in a way the musks still do have an effect.

    cacio

  3. #3

    Default Re: Musk anosmia among perfumers

    Thank you for the reply, cacio. I just got some Auratouch, and I only smell a faint fruity odor, which leads me to believe I can't smell the macrocyclic musks in it. I'll have to order one of them all on its own and see if that's the case. If I can't smell macrocyclic musks, I guess I'll just end it by not stepping aside when a carriage rushes past.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Musk anosmia among perfumers

    I just discovered I don't smell galaxolide much - so I wonder now if I've been missing something.

    cacio

  5. #5

    Default Re: Musk anosmia among perfumers

    Quote Originally Posted by cacio View Post
    I just discovered I don't smell galaxolide much - so I wonder now if I've been missing something.

    cacio
    I can smell the detergent note in Galaxolide, but not the blackberries. Personally, I wouldn't wear it on its own, but I like the effect it has in combination with other materials. I'd like to know if anyone else can smell blackberries in it.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Musk anosmia among perfumers

    ToddHuyett, there is also the chance of getting more sensitive to those materials.
    I fragrance I once loved, Cruel Gardenia by Guerlain, is now on the chopping block. I can't stand it no more. It's a musk bomb. And I think this perception is a result of training and getting to know the stuff.
    You cannot control your own population by force, but it can be distracted by consumption.

    Noam Chomsky

  7. #7

    Default Re: Musk anosmia among perfumers

    Quote Originally Posted by Graphite View Post
    ToddHuyett, there is also the chance of getting more sensitive to those materials.
    I fragrance I once loved, Cruel Gardenia by Guerlain, is now on the chopping block. I can't stand it no more. It's a musk bomb. And I think this perception is a result of training and getting to know the stuff.
    It's interesting that you mention that phenomenon, as it has happened to me quite a few times. When I first smelled beta ionone I couldn't smell a thing. Then after adding loads of it to a concoction I was working on (and a day or two later), it completely took over and I couldn't smell anything else. The same happened when I first smelled Mitsouko (aldehyde c-14). I couldn't smell any peach at all until after a few days.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Musk anosmia among perfumers

    Almost everyone is anosmic to some musks. Few people are anosmic to them all though and this is one reason why perfumers nearly always use musks in combination (and hence the popularity of pre-blended materials like auratouch).

    The reason musks are often not smelt is that they are at the upper edge of the size of molecule that humans can smell - much bigger and no one can smell anything - smaller and most people have no difficulty detecting them. Sandalwood synthetics are similarly affected.

    People regularly confuse two related but quite different phenomena with anosmia however and I think thatís whatís going on in this discussion.

    Ionones are notorious for causing one of those phenomena - olfactory fatigue - you smell something and your nose is overwhelmed by the amount of it so that you stop being able to detect it at all. With a pure ionone that can happen so fast that when you sniff the bottle you donít detect anything.

    The other, slightly less common phenomenon that is confused with anosmia is hyperosmia in which you are super-sensitive to a particular smell with the result that even a normal concentration causes olfactory fatigue. Iím hyperosmic to raspberry ketone - a strip dipped in a 1% solution seems scentless to me when other people can clearly smell the characteristic raspberry jam - but a month later I can clearly smell that strip. I once kept a strip for over a year before the scent finally become undetectable to me. After 6 months no one else I asked could detect the slightest trace of scent.

    Returning to your original question though, anosmia to a material clearly creates an extra challenge, but it does not prevent you observing itís effect in a blend. David has written here previously that he is anosmic to benzyl salicylate but can still detect its effect in a perfume quite easily. This is quite a common anosmia too (though presumably for different reasons from the musks as itís not a big molecule).

    Hope that helps.
    Chris Bartlett
    Perfumes from the edge . . .

    www.perfumedesigner.co.uk
    Twitter: @PellWallPerfume

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

  9. #9

    Default Re: Musk anosmia among perfumers

    Quote Originally Posted by ToddHuyett View Post
    I can smell the detergent note in Galaxolide, but not the blackberries. Personally, I wouldn't wear it on its own, but I like the effect it has in combination with other materials. I'd like to know if anyone else can smell blackberries in it.
    Hello,

    i have Galaxolide 50 IPM and first smelled i was in love.I often read that it has that typical laundry-smell but mine solved in Isopropylmyristate reminded me of berries which i like very much.
    The last months i got the typical Galaxolide 50 DEP and for me it smelled of that laundry often described with to me no berry-tonation.
    Maybe it has to do in what solvent the galaxolide is in but maybe my Galaxolide-IPM has another quality.
    i just can't say surely.

    for the ionones:
    i have that old perfumery-book which they described that the first perfumers who worked with ionones couldn't smell them cause they are overwelmed.
    They gave the hint to go out and come in again the violet aroma would be present instantly.
    But the really interesting reading was that on dry hot days the ionones are hard to smell and on humid days the smell would bloom and be easy detectable.


    Greetings:

    Hondo

  10. #10

    Default Re: Musk anosmia among perfumers

    Thanks to both of you for your replies. I recently acquired Muscone, Habanolide, and Exaltolide, and I can smell all three. I found that Exaltolide certainly does have a synergistic effect on other materials (vanillin in this case). I wonder if anosmic people still get the synergistic effect.

    It's interesting that you mention raspberry ketone, Chris. I have been looking for a berry note for a long time, but I can only detect a faint raspberry odor. Either I have your problem or simply can't smell it very well. I'd like a nice berry note without having to resort to perfume oil.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Musk anosmia among perfumers

    Quote Originally Posted by ToddHuyett View Post
    Thanks to both of you for your replies. I recently acquired Muscone, Habanolide, and Exaltolide, and I can smell all three. I found that Exaltolide certainly does have a synergistic effect on other materials (vanillin in this case). I wonder if anosmic people still get the synergistic effect.

    It's interesting that you mention raspberry ketone, Chris. I have been looking for a berry note for a long time, but I can only detect a faint raspberry odor. Either I have your problem or simply can't smell it very well. I'd like a nice berry note without having to resort to perfume oil.
    Just on the berry note: Raspberry Ketone wonít give you that alone - itís definitely jammy - cooked fruit rather than fresh berries. However traces of it along with some Ionone beta, isopropyl-methyl-2-butyrate, ethyl-2-methyl butyrate, fructalate and a little nectarate and perhaps a trace of strawberry glycidate can give you a reasonably good facsimile of the smell of fresh raspberries. Itís a fun thing to experiment with too.
    Chris Bartlett
    Perfumes from the edge . . .

    www.perfumedesigner.co.uk
    Twitter: @PellWallPerfume

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

  12. #12

    Default Re: Musk anosmia among perfumers

    50mg of Zinc will increase your ability to smell very large molecules ten fold. I do not understand how it works but its effects are drug like. It is like ecstasy for the nose. You, not might, but will be smelling like a blood hound. Get the Natures Bounty brand (Zinc Gluconate) and prepare yourself to smell like you have never smelled before. I can smell Muscone and Exaltenone clear as day ( very large molecules ) and Hedione is almost overpowering when I smell it in the air on someone else. I do not work for or get compensation from Natures Bounty. I am just shocked at how much it increased my sense of smell. Do yourself a favor, try it and report back.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Musk anosmia among perfumers

    Hello,

    thats very interesting with the zinc.
    How long one have to take the zinc-gluconat or do you smell better just after one pill say after 1 or 2 hours...?

    I also have a bit of trouble smelling some things like cedramber or benzylsalicylate.
    It depends for me sometimes a day i can smell nothing the other days i get a good smell.

    This lends me to another question:
    As i think that's a common thing one day we smell better and another not maybe it could come with our diet and the food we eat with more zinc ingested.
    (but for oat-flakes alone one have to eat about 500g to 1kilo to get to 50mg zinc.)
    But could it be that with our another food the ingestion of zinc will add up to the end of day and with alot of food high in zinc maybe we can smell better the next day...?

    Also i could imagine that this special zinc-gluconat is better adsorbed into the body and the dosis at once could be essential for the effect...?


    very interesting topic...

    Greetings:

    Hondo
    Last edited by Hondo; 30th May 2014 at 11:17 AM.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Musk anosmia among perfumers

    Very interesting thread. I wonder if the zinc helps you with things you ordinarily couldnt smell. I have trouble with smelling quite a number of things, so i get around that by working with someone and having them help by smelling it too for a second opinion.
    Jennie's Handcrafted Fragrances
    www.etsy.com/shop/jenniesfragrances

  15. #15

    Default Re: Musk anosmia among perfumers

    I'm not sure whether this trick works for everyone: I've never noticed the effect myself. It is worth noting that you can overdose with zinc though so experiment with care, especially if your normal diet has plenty of it.
    Chris Bartlett
    Perfumes from the edge . . .

    www.perfumedesigner.co.uk
    Twitter: @PellWallPerfume

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

  16. #16

    Default Re: Musk anosmia among perfumers

    Hello,

    i think i read that as well yesterday that 50mg of pure zinc could lend in poisoning over a longer period not to mention the addings of zinc with the normal food.

    but i think we have to ask BAGreat about his pills:
    What labelling do you have. Does it say 50mg zinc per pill or 50mg zincgluconat per pill...?

    That would be a huge difference cause the salt zincgluconat only contains 14.3 % elementary zinc.
    If you have a pill that contains 50mg zincgluconat that would be only 7.15mg of zinc.

    To come to the real zinc-content of 50mg one pill has to have 350mg of zincgluconat.

    Curios what is listed on your package, BAGreat...?


    Greetings:

    Hondo

  17. #17

    Default Re: Musk anosmia among perfumers

    I think this to be a serious matter for contemplation, and so am placing this into a new thread here:
    http://www.basenotes.net/threads/381786-Zinc-in-the-life-and-smelling-of-a-Perfumer

    I'm afraid that I have conflicting stories regarding Zinc and Perfumers...

    The active ingredients in all Zicamģ Cold Remedy products - zinc gluconate and zinc acetate

    And when used directly in the nose, via Zicam Products, some people experienced a loss of smelling capacity.
    http://www.basenotes.net/threads/381...07#post3162607

    Zicam Nasal Spray was removed from sale because partly of this problem.

    "Some research suggests zinc may be toxic to nerve receptors in the nose that are involved in smell, said Charles E. Lee, a medical officer with the FDA’s office of compliance, in a June 16 conference call with reporters. More than a dozen studies from an NIH database show that zinc causes loss of smell in animals." http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=aUjZT68DlqiI

    So, I am not advocating in a general sense that one imports higher dosages of Zinc into your body to enhance your smelling capabilities. I think that this is not a blanket statement that ZINC is Great for Perfumers.

    I think caution should be exercised in this matter.
    One Perfumer, I think from the Natural perfumers group a few years ago, DID lose her sense of smell for a period of time, after using Zicam sprayed in her nose.
    I immediately ceased taking all Zinc and Zicam products, waiting for better information before using this as a cold remedy.

    Fragrantly Yours Forever,
    Paul Kiler
    Last edited by pkiler; 1st June 2014 at 12:50 AM.
    Paul Kiler
    PK Perfumes
    http://www.PKPERFUMES.com
    Gold Medal for "Best Aroma"; Los Angeles Artisan Fragrance Salon

  18. #18

    Default Re: Musk anosmia among perfumers

    I should have followed up on my post. I only take the Zinc pill when I feel the need to (if my sense of smell has diminished). The effects take place around 1 min after ingesting the pill. I do not recommend taking it daily. It is a slight poison if overdosed and will have the reverse effects, as Paul and Chris have stated. Hondo google Zinc 50mg Natures Bounty for more info. One could also have Oysters to meet their Zinc requirements. I do advise giving the Zinc pill a try. One 50mg pill won't have any ill effects if taken once. Again give it a try. If you find the Zinc has decreased your sense of smell, discontinue use. It mostly likely will increase your sense of smell. In my opinion it is at least worth a try. If it does work for you, you will be astounded.
    Last edited by BAGreat; 1st June 2014 at 12:09 AM.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Musk anosmia among perfumers

    I have never used Zicam, and even when I am ill and have runny nose, I prefer to use gentle nasal sprays from children category; they work, if used sparingly, rarely, only when most needed.
    But that i think about zinc pills: some people have normal, some low level of zinc, or significant lack of it. And with many "magical" effects, if somebody get for their body that they really need, it works... According zinc.org, "Zinc activates areas of the brain that receive and process information from taste and smell sensors".
    I like this info source:
    http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/minerals/zinc/
    Last edited by Ramute; 1st June 2014 at 07:11 AM.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Musk anosmia among perfumers

    Hello,

    here i think i have the ingredient list:
    link
    But it is still arkward to me as it is sayd on the list:
    "Zinc(as Zinc Gluconat) 50mg" but i think they mean 1 pill has 50mg real zinc content.
    It is a bit irritating cause in germany such a ingredient list you won't see.
    Here by us the ingredient list would be like this:
    1 pill contains 350mg of zinc-gluconat which equals 50mg of zinc.

    but thats another story....to come back to the possible danger's:
    I think it is like Paracelsus said: " the dose makes the poison."
    Also i think its the way we apply something and i can imagine to directly put zinc-salts in the nose way close to the smelling receptors won't be good.
    But if i eat zinc-supplement it is diluted in my body.
    Naturally we have also chemicals in our bodies which have to stay in the part nature has called for.
    Think of taking one drop of our gastric juice in which is diluted hydrochloric acid and putting it in our eyes...also not good.
    Also i have to think of a joke very popular here by us were a man asks another why his mouth is foaming.
    Later they came to the conclusion the he had put the suppository in the wrong place...


    Greetings:

    Hondo
    Last edited by Hondo; 1st June 2014 at 12:56 PM.

  21. #21

    Default Re: Musk anosmia among perfumers

    If so, that appears to be above the RDA given in Ramute's very interesting link.

  22. #22

    Default Re: Musk anosmia among perfumers

    I think this thread is really interesting. I definitely agree with using caution and discretion with any drug, supplements etc. We all are unique and what may work.for one person may not work for another.
    Jennie's Handcrafted Fragrances
    www.etsy.com/shop/jenniesfragrances

  23. #23

    Default Re: Musk anosmia among perfumers

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Bartlett View Post
    Just on the berry note: Raspberry Ketone won’t give you that alone - it’s definitely jammy - cooked fruit rather than fresh berries. However traces of it along with some Ionone beta, isopropyl-methyl-2-butyrate, ethyl-2-methyl butyrate, fructalate and a little nectarate and perhaps a trace of strawberry glycidate can give you a reasonably good facsimile of the smell of fresh raspberries. It’s a fun thing to experiment with too.
    Thank you for sharing that information, Chris. You are quite generous with your knowledge. Yeah, I really like the smell of Raspberry Ketone, but it's definitely not the top/heart berry note I need. I guess it will have more of a supporting role. It would be nice if someone sold a raspberry or blackberry base.

  24. #24

    Default Re: Musk anosmia among perfumers

    Quote Originally Posted by BAGreat View Post
    50mg of Zinc will increase your ability to smell very large molecules ten fold. I do not understand how it works but its effects are drug like. It is like ecstasy for the nose. You, not might, but will be smelling like a blood hound. Get the Natures Bounty brand (Zinc Gluconate) and prepare yourself to smell like you have never smelled before. I can smell Muscone and Exaltenone clear as day ( very large molecules ) and Hedione is almost overpowering when I smell it in the air on someone else. I do not work for or get compensation from Natures Bounty. I am just shocked at how much it increased my sense of smell. Do yourself a favor, try it and report back.
    I'll definitely try it at some point. Sounds interesting. I didn't think you worked for them. I can't imagine Nature's Bounty employees prowling Basenotes looking for opportunities to convince aspiring perfumers to buy their pills :-)

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