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  1. #1

    Default Communicating dark colors

    Another thing I'm finding difficult - making a scent that somehow communicates the color black, dark purple or indigo. I know it's individual (though it seems from papers I've found that there's some agreement on the colors associated with specific scents in a specific culture).
    For me vanilla is black, violet is dark purple.. And I have no ideas on dark blue..
    Would be greatful if you could share your experience and insight!

  2. #2

    Default Re: Communicating dark colors

    Where the reason for the connection is synesthesia -- sensory input from one sense being interpreted by the brain in terms of another sense -- don't think you'll be able to communicate colors reliably to others, as that is very individual.

    Where the reason is a connection connected by habit and experience, where a person thinks about color at all from a smell, there is the obvious of for example the fragrance "orange" suggesting the color orange, what we call green fragrances suggesting green, etc. For your vanilla example the reason might be a visual association on your part between the smell and color of vanilla beans, or vanilla extract, both of which are very dark. But for me, for example, it's a sunny fragrance suggestive of very light colors, I suppose very light yellow. Probably not as a synesthesia, but perhaps from association with smelling it while seeing light colored foods. Though to some extent, it could be from effect on mood. Don't know.

    Anyway, that would be an example of different perception between persons.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Communicating dark colors

    I think there's some consistency across populations of the same culture..
    Anyhow, I'm looking for something that will work for me, and people's ideas might be helpful.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Communicating dark colors

    Could you share the papers, if they're available online? Sounds interesting.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Communicating dark colors

    Sure. I closed them, but will reload when I get home.. At least the nice looking ones.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Communicating dark colors

    Thank you!

  7. #7

    Default Re: Communicating dark colors

    A recent one that's been in the news
    http://www.medicaldaily.com/smelling...re-pink-294002

    Original paper here:

    Cross-Cultural Color-Odor Associations

    Abstract

    Colors and odors are associated; for instance, people typically match the smell of strawberries to the color pink or red. These associations are forms of crossmodal correspondences. Recently, there has been discussion about the extent to which these correspondences arise for structural reasons (i.e., an inherent mapping between color and odor), statistical reasons (i.e., covariance in experience), and/or semantically-mediated reasons (i.e., stemming from language). The present study probed this question by testing color-odor correspondences in 6 different cultural groups (Dutch, Netherlands-residing-Chinese, German, Malay, Malaysian-Chinese, and US residents), using the same set of 14 odors and asking participants to make congruent and incongruent color choices for each odor. We found consistent patterns in color choices for each odor within each culture, showing that participants were making non-random color-odor matches. We used representational dissimilarity analysis to probe for variations in the patterns of color-odor associations across cultures; we found that US and German participants had the most similar patterns of associations, followed by German and Malay participants. The largest group differences were between Malay and Netherlands-resident Chinese participants and between Dutch and Malaysian-Chinese participants. We conclude that culture plays a role in color-odor crossmodal associations, which likely arise, at least in part, through experience.

    http://www.plosone.org/article/info%...l.pone.0101651
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  8. #8

    Default Re: Communicating dark colors

    Thank you Irina!

    Looking at a figure from the study itself, my conclusion would be different. While the cultures may have differed from each statistically significantly in some way by some strained analysis of patterns, within each culture there was nothing like reliability of color communication from the scents provided:



    With regard to Nizal's question, strikingly only "soap" or "candy" ever evoked blue, and even then only as very much a minority perception.

    The paper avoids specifying the particular materials used to provide the scents, which would have been good information. (Sadly, many researchers deliberately avoid publishing sufficient information for their work to be replicated or invalidated, or built on to greater depth.)

  9. #9

    Default Re: Communicating dark colors

    I have always thought of anise as dark blue.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Communicating dark colors

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Roberts View Post
    The paper avoids specifying the particular materials used to provide the scents, which would have been good information. (Sadly, many researchers deliberately avoid publishing sufficient information for their work to be replicated or invalidated, or built on to greater depth.)
    You're welcome

    I know the author(s) and the scents, I'll ask permission if I may share that with you

    The study is pretty sound statistically & methodologically imho but I may be biased...
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  11. #11

    Default Re: Communicating dark colors

    That paper was one of them.. Nice figures

  12. #12

    Default Re: Communicating dark colors

    Quote Originally Posted by Irina View Post
    You're welcome

    I know the author(s) and the scents, I'll ask permission if I may share that with you
    It was just a general comment. It's a general issue that I run into all the time. For example in this instance thorough detail is given to materials and methods that are of very little importance to replication, such as the exact model of cell phone used (HTC Desire Z, Android 2.2 (Froyo) with HTC Sense) or the exact software package used (Xperiment software package, version 0.0.12). But utterly key details that would be needed to replicate the work, are deliberately left out.

    In general, scientific papers are supposed to provide all information necessary for replication.

    Further it's desirable for a paper to provide the reader as much understanding as reasonably possible. For example, in this instance was the "fruity" scent that of a specific red fruit, or a specific yellow fruit, or some blend or what? That could be relevant to getting some insight into what was found. Likewise the flower scent might or might not have been of flowers physically having a given color. Might not a lavender scent, for example, give a different color impression than a marigold scent or a rose scent? Why choose not to publish the specific flower scent? Such a choice would not have been for the benefit of the reader's understanding.

    I cannot speak to these particular researchers but yes, in general when absolutely needed information for replication is omitted from a paper, this is deliberate and is not for the benefit of science or the reader. It was just an aside due to this practice being a constant issue in my own work, a frequent source of impediment, rather than my needing the aroma materials used. Sorry for the ramble and digression!
    Last edited by Bill Roberts; 25th July 2014 at 08:44 PM.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Communicating dark colors

    I totally get it, Bill I need to deal with such things on a daily basis. Sometimes it's just not possible to publish every little details, jme as a scientist. That's why the information can always be asked/gathered from the authors. Ime it works fine and it's great networking

    You're right though, that why science communication is a whole different cake (aka degree)
    Customized consultancy on perfume formulation, safety, training and marketing & olfactory research
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  14. #14

    Default Re: Communicating dark colors

    Blue:

    Best I can do is this, Suggestions:

    Blue Chamomile
    Blue Eucalyptus

    And I seem to associate Blue to some extent with Beta Ionone. (Although, also to purple, but blue and purple sit next to each other on the spectrum...)

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

  15. #15

    Default Re: Communicating dark colors

    There was also this one :

    http://psych.mcmaster.ca/maurerlab/P...tor_Scents.pdf

    Irina - I would still like to know what chemicals they were using for that study.. Do you happen to have access to those obscure journals that publish GCs? I wasn't able to access something where I work..

    Paul - I'm not sure about Blue Chamomile - the dry down is very yellow Chamomile tea for me. Maybe the top notes..

    There was one of those CK's which were unisex which smelled dark to me. Can't recall which one.

  16. #16

  17. #17

    Default Re: Communicating dark colors

    That one (http://psych.mcmaster.ca/maurerlab/P...tor_Scents.pdf) seems to support my intuition that learned associations might be fairly reliable for communication -- in their example, lemon scent being associated with the color yellow -- but unlearned ones not being perceived consistently among different persons.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Communicating dark colors

    Quote Originally Posted by Nizan View Post
    There was also this one :

    http://psych.mcmaster.ca/maurerlab/P...tor_Scents.pdf

    Irina - I would still like to know what chemicals they were using for that study.. Do you happen to have access to those obscure journals that publish GCs? I wasn't able to access something where I work..

    Paul - I'm not sure about Blue Chamomile - the dry down is very yellow Chamomile tea for me. Maybe the top notes..

    There was one of those CK's which were unisex which smelled dark to me. Can't recall which one.
    Nizan I'll ask and get back to you. As far as closed access publications go, I'm afraid I can't offer them openly & publicly for free... Most university libraries offer access for private citizens though for a small fee.
    Customized consultancy on perfume formulation, safety, training and marketing & olfactory research
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  19. #19

    Default Re: Communicating dark colors

    I'm working at a research institute.. The problem is that we don't have access to that obscure
    journal, and the only friend of mine that does, has access to paper published from a later date.
    Pretty frustrating

    Paul - I'm a bit confused.. Are all Globulus species considered Blue Eucalyptus?
    Last edited by Nizan; 25th July 2014 at 09:10 PM.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Communicating dark colors

    Quote Originally Posted by JDBIII View Post
    I have always thought of anise as dark blue.
    Seems like it's usually associated with the colder colors. As are the cherry-type scents.
    My only problem is that Star Anise EO lacks this association for me. It's less deep and sweet
    than the stars themselves.

  21. #21

    Default Re: Communicating dark colors

    If you want to replicate a study you have to contact the authors. There is almost always a much, much more detailed version of the published paper, as journals often just want easily readable summaries, or an article about one aspect of the parent study(ies); and have no interest in publishing the whole study anyway. So it's not always deliberate withholding of information by researchers.

    I love the topic of synaesthesia. For me ambrettolide is a bright avocado green, maybe with a splash of yellow like in an avocado, but I don't usually work backwards from the colors. That is interesting, but I have to think more about it. Nature provides some of those associations for us, as well as culture.
    Last edited by DrSmellThis; 25th July 2014 at 11:02 PM.

  22. #22

    Default Re: Communicating dark colors

    Quote Originally Posted by Irina View Post
    Most university libraries offer access for private citizens though for a small fee.
    My Local University of California Riverside, I just go into the
    library, and grab a computer and start locating files to download onto my USB Flash drive, no muss no fuss, no money...

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

  23. #23

    Default Re: Communicating dark colors

    Quote Originally Posted by Nizan View Post
    I'm a bit confused.. Are all Globulus species considered Blue Eucalyptus?
    The Blue Chamomile the Blue Eucalyptus simply have "blue" in their name, but here's thescoop on the Blue Euc.

    EUCALYPTUS BLUE MALLEE AUSTRALIA
    EUCALYPTUS POLYBRACTEA
    http://www.libertynatural.com/bulk/362.htm

    http://www.thegoodscentscompany.com/data/es1062131.html



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

  24. #24

    Default Re: Communicating dark colors

    Spirambrene smells literally like a clear moonlit night. It smells like a mystical dark blue.

  25. #25

    Default Re: Communicating dark colors

    Quote Originally Posted by BAGreat View Post
    Spirambrene
    Don't know this one, do you have more than a sample?

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

  26. #26

    Default Re: Communicating dark colors

    Quote Originally Posted by DrSmellThis View Post
    If you want to replicate a study you have to contact the authors. There is almost always a much, much more detailed version of the published paper, as journals often just want easily readable summaries, or an article about one aspect of the parent study(ies); and have no interest in publishing the whole study anyway. So it's not always deliberate withholding of information by researchers.
    Nizan, here is your answer

    Quote Originally Posted by pkiler View Post
    My Local University of California Riverside, I just go into the
    library, and grab a computer and start locating files to download onto my USB Flash drive, no muss no fuss, no money...

    PK
    Lucky you, Paul! In the Netherlands we have to pay for everything. As a private citizen you are not even allowed to a digital copy, just a print (for an extra fee). Even if you work for the university, you need to pay for articles from a journal that they're not subscribed too...
    So I guess it depends on the country?

    I prefer to always contact the authors, aside from being enlightening, it's a lot of fun.

    As for the color dark blue I associate smokey incense and blackcurrant odors with it.
    Customized consultancy on perfume formulation, safety, training and marketing & olfactory research
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  27. #27

    Default Re: Communicating dark colors

    My scent associations are more about textures than colours. Dark blue is a velvety texture to me, not glossy or shiny. I'd say violet leaf absolute.
    Our greatest evils flow from ourselves. Jean-Jacques Rousseau

  28. #28

    Default Re: Communicating dark colors

    By smokey incense you mean Myrrh and some smokey phenols? It's always confusing when people say incense, because they could mean a lot of things. In those papers I've posted it seems like minty scents were associated with torquise.. Maybe if I find a phenolic spearmint molecule..

  29. #29

    Default Re: Communicating dark colors

    I would associate iris with a dark purply blue and obviously violets for that colour.

    @Nizan. Thank you very much for starting this thread. I am doing a project for our local school using scent and colour for very autistic children and this research has lots of exactly what I need in it. You have saved me hours and hours of work that I had only just begun. What fate and good chance.

  30. #30

    Default Re: Communicating dark colors

    Oh its quite beautiful stuff Paul. It is what gives Kenzo Pour Homme its slight mysticism and is a building block for that magnificent wood accord in the drydown. Yes I only have a sample. I do not think you will have any trouble receiving a sample from Vigon. It is sparkling (Woody-Amber as in the case of a toned down Ambrocenide) yet effortlessly silky smooth. Words cannot accurately describe what you feel when you smell Spirambrene, but a dense dark blue mystical aura and crystal clear moonlit night do the job well. Its the only chemical I have experienced thus far to paint such a beautiful and vivid picture in my head. Anyway just try it .

  31. #31

    Default Re: Communicating dark colors

    Maybe I should ask Christine for some as well, though I'm starting to feel uncomfortable..

    Mumsy - the scent lab where I work did some research on autism and smell. It's the Weizmann Institute, and the professors's name is Noam Sobel.

  32. #32

    Default Re: Communicating dark colors

    Quote Originally Posted by Nizan View Post
    Maybe I should ask Christine for some as well, though I'm starting to feel uncomfortable..

    Mumsy - the scent lab where I work did some research on autism and smell. It's the Weizmann Institute, and the professors's name is Noam Sobel.
    Go for it bud. You deserve it.

  33. #33

    Default Re: Communicating dark colors

    Quote Originally Posted by Nizan View Post
    Mumsy - the scent lab where I work did some research on autism and smell. It's the Weizmann Institute, and the professors's name is Noam Sobel.
    Perfect. Our local school is a specialist school. I shall contact him. Thank you very much indeed.

  34. #34

    Default Re: Communicating dark colors

    Cool job, Nizan Prof Sobel is an awesome pioneer in the field!

    Sorry for being cryptic earlier, I actually mean a couple of natural ingredients like really good frankincense CO2 (boswellia sacra), but also some phenols (guaiacol for example). I made a blend a while ago that smelled just like the Orthodox church incense from my childhood, dark blue indeed. Fragrantica has this nice pic of 'incense' that visualizes what I mean

    f.68.jpg
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  35. #35

    Default Re: Communicating dark colors

    I don't think Church Incence smells " Blue". So , what are you going to do?

    The connection between Smell and Colour is tenuous, at best.

  36. #36

    Default Re: Communicating dark colors

    It's not my job.. I'm working on quantum field theory..
    Apparently Anisole evoked black, but I don't really like volatile molecules.. You like Guaiacol? It smells too plasticy to me when diluted.

  37. #37

    Default Re: Communicating dark colors

    David - just gathering ideas. I realized that Bois Ambrene evoked blue for me, and I would have never checked if it weren't for BA.

  38. #38

    Default Re: Communicating dark colors

    Even cooler, Nizan Anyways, yes I like the smell of burnt plastic or burnt hair well burnt anything LOL Ow and Choya Loban too!
    Customized consultancy on perfume formulation, safety, training and marketing & olfactory research
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  39. #39

    Default Re: Communicating dark colors

    Quote Originally Posted by Nizan View Post
    It's not my job.. I'm working on quantum field theory..
    Apparently Anisole evoked black, but I don't really like volatile molecules.. You like Guaiacol? It smells too plasticy to me when diluted.
    To whom? If you don't like "volatile molecules", how can you like Perfumery? It is all about Volatile molecules. Guaiacol does not smell of Plastic.

  40. #40

    Default Re: Communicating dark colors

    I just knew you were going to say that, but I have a feeling you know what I meant from Anisole's vapour pressure. I see no point in using molecules that last 5 minutes on my skin. And as for Guaiacol, it does to me.. As do some Sandalwood molecules. Maybe it's the wrong descriptor, but at least I know what I mean when I read it. Next thing you'll say Atlas Cedar doesn't smell like cucumbers

    Choya Nakh is pretty dark to me.. But it'll be hard to use. I've only found one use for it in marine accords.

  41. #41

    Default Re: Communicating dark colors

    So you see no point in using Top notes? OK, good for you.

    back to the original. Of course one describe odours in terms involving the other senses, indeed it is all we have. Colour and texture are two ways that can be used. What I am doubting is that there is a universal connection between colour and smell. I have not read the papers mentioned above, so I cannot really criticise them, but the graphs shown seemed pretty poor. Surely the association between colour and smell has to be influenced by all sorts of things including one's life style, and the society one lives in. Apparently the ancient Greeks did not have a word to describe the colour Purple. If they didn't have the word for the colour they could not have described a smell using that colour. If you associate the colour Pink with a particular drink, anything that smells like that drink will remind you of Pink. It could be that in another country the same drink is coloured Blue, so the same smell will be described as Blue. I'm not explaining myself very well, but I hope you understand my meaning.

  42. #42

    Default Re: Communicating dark colors

    David, you mean those associations are culturally implemented and not genetically determined?
    Our greatest evils flow from ourselves. Jean-Jacques Rousseau

  43. #43

    Default Re: Communicating dark colors

    Quote Originally Posted by Graphite View Post
    David, you mean those associations are culturally implemented and not genetically determined?
    Absolutely.

  44. #44

    Default Re: Communicating dark colors

    I do. There was even a word for this type of association in the book I'm reading. I'll try finding it when I get home. Anyhow, as I said, this is just brainstorming. And I find value in it, even though it doesn't seem you do, as already I've gotten a couple of ideas I didn't think about. Like with emotions, there's a fine line between experiencing smells and labeling them. But labeling, just as with emotions, is useful. Also, surrendering to the sensation without putting words on it is also useful (not sure useful is the right word)..

    So if a customer came to you with a dark blue product and told you they want a fragrance that goes with it, to evoke mystery, night, etc', how would you go about? Or would you kick them off the stairs?

  45. #45

    Default Re: Communicating dark colors

    Just flinging some completely random thoughts in.

    Dark blue suggests a softer aroma than for instance brown or black would. It suggests a dark still starry night after a sunny day rather than a dark blacker night after a stormy day. So a comforting and deep smell but not earthy. Darker florals releasing their scent into warm and balmy darkness.

    Or the other side might be deep ocean blue, so marine tones of a darker nature than shallow ozonic types. Darker ambergris mixed with heavy iris tones and softened by warm but not brown woods. So not cedar and not agar, but more towards sandalwood.

  46. #46

    Default Re: Communicating dark colors

    Nizan I used to receive briefs like that all the time, as did my fellow Perfumers. I bet if you gave that brief to 10 perfumers, you would get 10 very different fragrances. We each of us associate colours and smells differently.

    Of course brainstorming works wonders. I'm glad that this thread has already given you lots of new ideas.

    mumsy, sorry to seem to be deliberately argumentative, but I don't agree with your take on a dark blue fragrance. I would do something else. Neither of us are wrong, we each interpret the colour and smell in a different way. That's what I'm talking about.

  47. #47

    Default Re: Communicating dark colors

    I don't take it as argument. Brainstorming is just that. Lots of different ideas in order to trigger another.

  48. #48

    Default Re: Communicating dark colors

    Actually the top notes of cedar are kind of blue-ish for me. But then they disappear quickly.
    Balmy darkness - I think Benzoin is sometimes like that.. I see how it could work with dark blue..

    So David, how would you go about it?

  49. #49

    Default Re: Communicating dark colors

    I might be about to confuse the issue further! I have an association between dark purple and a velvety texture.



    So if you got me to smell a note that reminded you of a velvety texture and asked me what colour am I thinking of, I'd say dark purple. Benzoin would be a good candidate.



    Black is definitely burnt, smokey or peppery (peppercorns, not chillies) smells.

  50. #50

    Default Re: Communicating dark colors

    Suederal then?

  51. #51

    Default Re: Communicating dark colors

    Isn't it strange about association? Benzoin says a caramel, warm colour to me, not at all blue or purple. Some types of darker Myrrh might maybe.

  52. #52

    Default Re: Communicating dark colors

    Same for me with benzoin.

  53. #53

    Default Re: Communicating dark colors

    Quote Originally Posted by Nizan View Post
    Actually the top notes of cedar are kind of blue-ish for me. But then they disappear quickly.
    Balmy darkness - I think Benzoin is sometimes like that.. I see how it could work with dark blue..

    So David, how would you go about it?
    The mention of texture is important I feel. Is it Dark Blue velvet, or Dark Blue satin? One would be powdery, the other metallic. I think Indigo, Prussian Blue and even Ultramarine have a stone like quality about them. Hard, and flinty. Dry earth, or possibly damp. Norlimbanol with a touch of Geosmin. Dark skies, and seas. The coast at night. Marine notes, such as Calone, Floralozone, Maritima, Canthoxal, or Floral Super. Myrrh, and Canthoxal. Flowers that evoke Blue (to me, always to me) Hyacinths, Bluebells, Narcisse Absolute, Mimosa Absolute, Blue Veined Petunias which have a cresylic animalic fragrance. Some dark fruits such as Black Berries, so Blacurrent Buds Absolute, or Buchu Absolute. Peonile, Adoxal have an inky smell; dark blue ink. Patchouli, and some Woods such as Pine Needle, Cypress and Juniper. Lavender, of course.

    The complimentary of Blue is Orange, so maybe something Orange smelling to boost all the Blue. Mandarinal, Mandarin Aldehyde, Aldehyde C8.

    Make notes, to start off the creative process. Imagine yourself in a Dark Blue environment, and imagine the smells you would experience there.

  54. #54

    Default Re: Communicating dark colors

    Wow!
    That was an intense fantasy trip.. So many possible directions.
    Thanks!

  55. #55
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    Default Re: Communicating dark colors

    Coincidentally, I found this yesterday
    Scroll on to Mood Indigo...
    http://shop.folie-a-plusieurs.com/pa...inema-olfactif
    Last edited by lpp; 28th July 2014 at 10:01 AM.
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  56. #56

    Default Re: Communicating dark colors

    Just use your imagination. There were other areas I could have covered, but it's not my Project

  57. #57

    Default Re: Communicating dark colors

    Quote Originally Posted by Nizan View Post
    I'm working at a research institute.. The problem is that we don't have access to that obscure
    journal, and the only friend of mine that does, has access to paper published from a later date.
    Pretty frustrating
    I am curious about what obscure journals publish GCs. Can you enlighten me about some of their names?

  58. #58

    Default Re: Communicating dark colors

    The one I couldn't find was Journal of Essential Oil Research. There was also another paper on Cestrum Nocturnum in some Chinese journal I definitely had no access to.. Not sure I can find the reference now.

    David - I just got Anisyl Propanal.. Definitely dark blue or purple.. And Dihydro Lavandulal is pretty purple as well

  59. #59

    Default Re: Communicating dark colors

    Nizan, do you intend to make a blend or just exploring aromatics that you may associate with dark blue purple? It's nice to read all the suggestions indeed
    Customized consultancy on perfume formulation, safety, training and marketing & olfactory research
    I also offer individual online personalised advice on perfume making to anyone eager to learn how to smell and design like a pro
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  60. #60

    Default Re: Communicating dark colors

    I might do a blend.. I'm working on an agrestic/musk base accord right now, so the blues will
    have to wait till I'm feeling blue.. It's just that it has been bugging me, since I couldn't really think
    of ways to do blue and purple.

    Btw, I've contacted Carmel.. Since she responded with a Shalom, I'm guessing she speaks Hebrew
    Last edited by Nizan; 30th July 2014 at 07:05 PM.

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    By primetime34 in forum Fashion and Style
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Loving perfume on the Internet since 2000