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  1. #1
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    Default Dihydromyrcenol (formerly ambroxan). Can we get it banned as a fragrance ingredient?

    Hey guys,

    Yesterday I wore Paco Rabanne's Invictus. I got the SAME tangy smell that Sauvage had, only with a lower volume on the noise. From what people on here have said, Ambroxan is an ingredient that some people can be very sensitive to. It assaults my olfactory sense. It affords no subtlety for me.

    If this ingredient were in every fragrance, then I would never be able to enjoy this hobby. Is there a list of fragrances I can be forewarned to be careful in sampling/smelling?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Ambroxan. Can we get it banned as a fragrance ingredient?

    You might be smelling dihydromyrcenol instead of ambroxan. I haven't had a bad reaction to ambroxan myself, but I normally don't respond well to dihydromyrcenol which is an ingredient in Sauvage and probably also Invictus, but haven't smelled that one. It smells like lime/lemon with a metallic sharpness that adds great longevity to green and woody citrus notes, but the harsh metallic aspect hangs around for a long time. Lots of people have grown to expect it and like this smell in fragrances but to me it is the sure sign of cheaply done chemically insensitive composition.

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    Default Re: Ambroxan. Can we get it banned as a fragrance ingredient?

    As I don't have a very sensitive sniffer, I don't think I would be able to detect this if present.
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    Default Re: Ambroxan. Can we get it banned as a fragrance ingredient?

    Ambroxan is actually kind of hard to smell. It has a very warm light amber aroma that smells like clean skin but it radiates and isupercharges most other combined aromas by expanding their influence. You can smell it pretty well in Molecules 02 and in Excentric 02 you can see how it affects vetiver and orris. It makes a great middle note for fragrances and works as a fixative.

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    Default Re: Ambroxan. Can we get it banned as a fragrance ingredient?

    Quote Originally Posted by Buzzlepuff View Post
    You might be smelling dihydromyrcenol instead of ambroxan. I haven't had a bad reaction to ambroxan myself, but I normally don't respond well to dihydromyrcenol which is an ingredient in Sauvage and probably also Invictus, but haven't smelled that one. It smells like lime/lemon with a metallic sharpness that adds great longevity to green and woody citrus notes, but the harsh metallic aspect hangs around for a long time. Lots of people have grown to expect it and like this smell in fragrances but to me it is the sure sign of cheaply done chemically insensitive composition.
    Thanks. Change my subject to dihydromyrcenol instead of Ambroxan. Whatever that chemical is that ruins my experience. I cannot even enjoy common fragrances like I should be able to. It's disheartening.

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    Super Member Petrichor's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ambroxan. Can we get it banned as a fragrance ingredient?

    Quote Originally Posted by Buzzlepuff View Post
    You might be smelling dihydromyrcenol instead of ambroxan
    This was my instinct too.

    Ambroxan smells great (I'm an amateur perfumer, and I have it in crystallized form which is subsequently diluted). Ambroxan has a warm amber smell, slightly sweet, and very, very subtle metallic, mineral, and musky undertones.

    Dihydromyrcenol is a far more metallic, sharp, woody-citrus as Buzzlepuff mentioned.

    The association of Sauvage with ambroxan has gone too far in my opinion. It gets repeated ad infinitum on message boards, and so people assume that they must hate it. The problem is that ambroxan is in many, many fragrances.

    I've always stood by my claim that there's a ton of it in popular, talked-to-death stuff like Aventus.
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    Default Re: Ambroxan. Can we get it banned as a fragrance ingredient?

    I understand your pain, OP. Buzzlepuff's post is spot on IMHO.

    I also detect this base in quite a few Creeds - Aventus (yes!), VIW and OV to name but a few. I can't believe how prominent it is in these scents, yet it's there and does a good job of binding all the other notes together with it. I might even be picking some of it up in Dior Ambre Nuit but in much smaller doses.

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    Default Re: Ambroxan. Can we get it banned as a fragrance ingredient?

    Quote Originally Posted by Petrichor View Post
    This was my instinct too.

    Ambroxan smells great (I'm an amateur perfumer, and I have it in crystallized form which is subsequently diluted). Ambroxan has a warm amber smell, slightly sweet, and very, very subtle metallic, mineral, and musky undertones.

    Dihydromyrcenol is a far more metallic, sharp, woody-citrus as Buzzlepuff mentioned.

    The association of Sauvage with ambroxan has gone too far in my opinion. It gets repeated ad infinitum on message boards, and so people assume that they must hate it. The problem is that ambroxan is in many, many fragrances.

    I've always stood by my claim that there's a ton of it in popular, talked-to-death stuff like Aventus.
    Boom! Spot on again. Sauvage definitely has a lot in it and after doing a side by side with Molecule 02, the base of Sauvage is almost pure ambrox to my junior nose. I have been saying ofr ages now that Aventus is based on this.

    Perhaps the amateur creates of "that pineapple scent" over on the Aventus sub-forum alogn with Chris Bartlett can shed some light?

  9. #9

    Default Re: Ambroxan. Can we get it banned as a fragrance ingredient?

    Quote Originally Posted by Buzzlepuff View Post
    You might be smelling dihydromyrcenol instead of ambroxan. I haven't had a bad reaction to ambroxan myself, but I normally don't respond well to dihydromyrcenol which is an ingredient in Sauvage and probably also Invictus, but haven't smelled that one. It smells like lime/lemon with a metallic sharpness that adds great longevity to green and woody citrus notes, but the harsh metallic aspect hangs around for a long time. Lots of people have grown to expect it and like this smell in fragrances but to me it is the sure sign of cheaply done chemically insensitive composition.

    Interesting. I think you might have described the one note that I really can't stand. Do you know if it's present in Carolina Herrera 212? I get this metallic sharp and sweet citrus that caused an instant headache. This has also happened with Encre Noire Sport and Acqua Essenziale Colonia (which I like but only in light doses).

    I think it probably is ambroxan however that he's smelling in Sauvage and Invictus; it's that very sweet very synthetic woods. I always thought Sauvage smelled like 20% Invictus 80% Masculin Pluriel (minus the quality of Pluriel).

  10. #10

    Default Re: Ambroxan. Can we get it banned as a fragrance ingredient?

    Quote Originally Posted by Buzzlepuff View Post
    You might be smelling dihydromyrcenol instead of ambroxan. I haven't had a bad reaction to ambroxan myself, but I normally don't respond well to dihydromyrcenol which is an ingredient in Sauvage and probably also Invictus, but haven't smelled that one. It smells like lime/lemon with a metallic sharpness that adds great longevity to green and woody citrus notes, but the harsh metallic aspect hangs around for a long time. Lots of people have grown to expect it and like this smell in fragrances but to me it is the sure sign of cheaply done chemically insensitive composition.
    Excellent, thanks for that note clarification as I'd smelled it in so many compositions and you've described it perfectly and I agree with your sentiments on its cheapness.

    Also Ambroxan is very heavily featured in Aventus as mentioned before, huge quantities along with a chunk of musks and Iso.

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    Default Re: Ambroxan. Can we get it banned as a fragrance ingredient?

    To test whether this is the culprit, which I also suspect, try out some fragrances with over-the-top amounts of dihydromyrcenol, like Creed GIT, Cool Water, and Eau de Grey Flannel.

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    Default Re: Ambroxan. Can we get it banned as a fragrance ingredient?

    Quote Originally Posted by Petrichor View Post
    This was my instinct too.

    Ambroxan smells great (I'm an amateur perfumer, and I have it in crystallized form which is subsequently diluted). Ambroxan has a warm amber smell, slightly sweet, and very, very subtle metallic, mineral, and musky undertones.

    Dihydromyrcenol is a far more metallic, sharp, woody-citrus as Buzzlepuff mentioned.

    The association of Sauvage with ambroxan has gone too far in my opinion. It gets repeated ad infinitum on message boards, and so people assume that they must hate it. The problem is that ambroxan is in many, many fragrances.

    I've always stood by my claim that there's a ton of it in popular, talked-to-death stuff like Aventus.
    Thanks for correcting things. I honestly don't know for sure which ingredient is doing this, but it's in more than one mainstream fragrance for sure. It gives me a vision of the color purple, but really overpowering. A tangy sensation in my nose. It's repulsive. When wearing Sauvage, the smell lingered for hours and actually made me feel a bit agitated.

    I'll keep trying to figure this out and maybe keep a list of fragrances that I have this response to.

    So far the following seem to have this problem that I can remember off the top of my head:
    Bleu de Chanel (minor discomfort)
    Invictus (moderate discomfort)
    Sauvage (unbearable)

    I'll form a list and eventually post it and then hopefully that will help isolate what the ingredient is that is messing with me.

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    Super Member Petrichor's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ambroxan. Can we get it banned as a fragrance ingredient?

    Quote Originally Posted by schnozz View Post
    To test whether this is the culprit, which I also suspect, try out some fragrances with over-the-top amounts of dihydromyrcenol, like Creed GIT, Cool Water, and Eau de Grey Flannel.
    This is actually a great idea to test one's tolerances to dihydromyrcenol. As with what rum was saying, sniffing Molecule 02 might also help one sort possible sensitivities to Ambroxan/Ambrox/Ambroxide, or just to get a good idea of how ambroxan smells and how it works in a fragrance.
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    Default Re: Ambroxan. Can we get it banned as a fragrance ingredient?

    Quote Originally Posted by schnozz View Post
    To test whether this is the culprit, which I also suspect, try out some fragrances with over-the-top amounts of dihydromyrcenol, like Creed GIT, Cool Water, and Eau de Grey Flannel.
    I own Green Irish Tweed, but I suspect that I don't notice the problem directly because it's a rather minty/fresh fragrance. However, GIT has a very mono-olfactory smell to it. I hardly get any of the "green" notes that people talk about. I also find that when something "smells like GIT", it smells precisely like it and I get that same mono-olfactory "fresh" note overriding anything else in the mix. So, we might have our culprit. I think the horrid smell I get from other colognes could maybe be this chemical making lavender (or some other smell) get distorted or just overpowering.

    I don't get the horrid note though from GIT, so maybe that's not it? Let me build a list of the fragrances that have that 'kapow' awful smell/sensation. Then we can maybe know more.
    Last edited by tspencer; 21st July 2016 at 05:28 PM.

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    Default Re: Ambroxan. Can we get it banned as a fragrance ingredient?

    Quote Originally Posted by Buzzlepuff View Post
    You might be smelling dihydromyrcenol instead of ambroxan. I haven't had a bad reaction to ambroxan myself, but I normally don't respond well to dihydromyrcenol which is an ingredient in Sauvage and probably also Invictus, but haven't smelled that one. It smells like lime/lemon with a metallic sharpness that adds great longevity to green and woody citrus notes, but the harsh metallic aspect hangs around for a long time. Lots of people have grown to expect it and like this smell in fragrances but to me it is the sure sign of cheaply done chemically insensitive composition.
    I agree about dihydromyrcenol; disgusting stuff !

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    Default Re: Ambroxan. Can we get it banned as a fragrance ingredient?

    I quite dislike both too, when overdosed. And I do find ambroxan relatively woody sharp too - as many other woody ambers.

    Unfortunately, they're overdosed in most modern masculines. Indeed, I think these two ingredients, plus the even more disgusting marine note of calone, have come to define modern masculine perfumery.

    cacio

  17. #17

    Default Re: Ambroxan. Can we get it banned as a fragrance ingredient?

    Funny thing is that Thierry Mugler's B*Men was ahead of its time in the heavy use of ambroxan in the base. It was a massive failure, but now scents like Sauvage and Versace's new Dylan Blue have similarly heavy usage of ambroxan to B*Men. And Sauvage is a mega-seller in my neck of the woods. You smell it EVERYWHERE, often in "cologne guy" doses.

    Maybe Mugler was just ahead of their time, and if B*Men was relaunched today (maybe as an A*Men flanker... Pure Amber?), it would do far better.
    It's really quite pleasant, except for the smell (...)
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    Default Re: Ambroxan. Can we get it banned as a fragrance ingredient?

    I guarantee ambroxan is used in some of the scents in your wardrobe.

    Like yourself, I can't handle an ambroxan overload, but used in moderation, I don't mind it.

    When you sit down to dinner tonight, stop and think about what's really in your meal. Think about each of the ingredients including any spices. Consider how many ingredients that are important to making the meal taste great could easily ruin everything if used too heavily. Imagine that, while adding a dash of pepper, the lid came off and 1/4 cup of pepper was added instead. The meal would be ruined. That's how I feel about ambroxan.

    I don't think ambroxan is the biggest issue with Sauvage. Dior is using something - some other aroma chemical - to add weight and depth to the ambroxan, to give the base a thicker, heavier texture. I don't enjoy the ambroxan in Sauvage, but it's that thickener that I find literally revolting.
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    Default Re: Ambroxan. Can we get it banned as a fragrance ingredient?

    Quote Originally Posted by MFfan310 View Post
    Funny thing is that Thierry Mugler's B*Men was ahead of its time in the heavy use of ambroxan in the base. It was a massive failure, but now scents like Sauvage and Versace's new Dylan Blue have similarly heavy usage of ambroxan to B*Men. And Sauvage is a mega-seller in my neck of the woods. You smell it EVERYWHERE, often in "cologne guy" doses.

    Maybe Mugler was just ahead of their time, and if B*Men was relaunched today (maybe as an A*Men flanker... Pure Amber?), it would do far better.
    OMG! Thierry Mugler! That's another one that torched my nose instantly! I saw a video where a chick said she really liked Pure Malt and at Macy's when I smelled Pure Malt, it smelled 'off', burned my nose, smelled nothing like what the reviewers said it would and then I couldn't smell ANYTHING for over an hour after that.

    That's it. My nose is cursed. I might have to stick to natural fragrances only.

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    Default Re: Ambroxan. Can we get it banned as a fragrance ingredient?

    This is the video by Francois Demachy explaining the inspiration and each of the primary notes involved in making Dior Sauvage. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RGFxGig6Jv0 With each ingredient/note listed on the video as a word, the video illustrates the reason for that note with several images from the world. Interesting video. The primary chemical notes listed are: dihydromyrcenol (washing machine laundry soap), Ethyl Maltol (popcorn and candy at the fair), Ambrox (driftwood on the beach), Hivernal Neo (hay, grasses). The primary natural notes and their inspirations are: Lavender (barbershop), Sechuaun Pepper (dried peppers), Vetiver (grasses), Cistus Labdanum (high plains New Mexico desert), Elemi (more arid desert), Bergamote (?), Patchouli (rain falling dry thirsty land), Virginia Cedar (chopped firewood). Interesting overview of the inspiration and ingredients which make up Sauvage by the creative director of Dior fragrance. Dihydromyrcenol is shown to represent washing machine clean smell, and Ambrox is shown to represent the scent of sun bleached driftwood. Interesting interpretations.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Ambroxan. Can we get it banned as a fragrance ingredient?

    Hi, Mind if a Perfumer pokes his nose in here?
    :-)

    Dihydromyrcenol (DHM) is more top to middle note, and is likely the most overused molecule used in male scents, especially anything fresh or sporty.

    OTOH, Ambrox / Cetalox is overdosed in Aventus, and Ambrox is a very close molecule to Ambroxan, BTW.

    But really, I think your nose jumps around much more, and you are objecting to DHM.
    For instance, when I went to the LaCoste boutique in South Coast Plaza, Costa Mesa, to smell their scents, due to a client that has commissioned me to make a similar scent to one of theirs, ALL of their scents were filled to overflowing with DHM.
    I have had the LaCoste White 12.12 GC tested, and it had almost 7% DHM. For my version of it, I took DHM down under 2.75%, and it is still prominent.

    I can't really stand DHM myself either. At lease at high dosages as we currently see in the Mass market. (Creed, I include in Mass market too. Just that they get to charge a lot for them)

    I have a note to myself on my DHM bottle to keep under 3% in the formula.

    Have a super smelly day...

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    Default Re: Ambroxan. Can we get it banned as a fragrance ingredient?

    Quote Originally Posted by tspencer View Post
    That's it. My nose is cursed. I might have to stick to natural fragrances only.
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    Default Re: Ambroxan. Can we get it banned as a fragrance ingredient?

    Quote Originally Posted by Buzzlepuff View Post
    Ambroxan is actually kind of hard to smell. It has a very warm light amber aroma that smells like clean skin but it radiates and isupercharges most other combined aromas by expanding their influence. You can smell it pretty well in Molecules 02 and in Excentric 02 you can see how it affects vetiver and orris. It makes a great middle note for fragrances and works as a fixative.
    I agree. An appropriate and elegant use of it can be exampled in Dior Ambre Nuit.

    Like ISO E- Super, I can identify it's use in many perfumes of today.

    It seems to have the effect of amplifying and volumize (ing) the other notes.

    I suspect that is what the OP is identifying negatively. Other ingredients that are of poorer quality being amplified.
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    Default Re: Ambroxan. Can we get it banned as a fragrance ingredient?

    Maybe it's the Ambroxan I'm reacting badly to... some people seem to love it though (if the popularity of Sauvage is anything to go by ....)
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    Default Re: Ambroxan. Can we get it banned as a fragrance ingredient?

    Quote Originally Posted by Buzzlepuff View Post
    Ambroxan is actually kind of hard to smell. It has a very warm light amber aroma that smells like clean skin but it radiates and isupercharges most other combined aromas by expanding their influence. You can smell it pretty well in Molecules 02 and in Excentric 02 you can see how it affects vetiver and orris. It makes a great middle note for fragrances and works as a fixative.
    I wish that was my experience with ambroxan. I've seen other people say it smells like clean skin, but to me, it smells like if you took shavings of driftwood and ground them into dust. It smells dry and dusty, and it hits my nose like big pieces of dust. As soon as I smelled Molecule 02, I found it easy to pick up ambroxan in fragrances, and though I'm not a fan, it's not always something I mind. I love Millesime Imperial, and MI wouldn't be the same without it.


    Quote Originally Posted by tspencer View Post
    That's it. My nose is cursed. I might have to stick to natural fragrances only.
    I assume you're kidding & I can understand why of course, but just in case you're serious... keep in mind, there isn't a single natural fragrance in your wardrobe - or in mine, for that matter. Not only are there tons of synthetics in fragrance formulas, there are even synthetics in the alcohol (perfumer's alcohol typically contains isopropyl myristate & monopropylene glycol).
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    Default Re: Ambroxan. Can we get it banned as a fragrance ingredient?

    Quote Originally Posted by pkiler View Post
    Hi, Mind if a Perfumer pokes his nose in here?
    :-)

    Dihydromyrcenol (DHM) is more top to middle note, and is likely the most overused molecule used in male scents, especially anything fresh or sporty.

    OTOH, Ambrox / Cetalox is overdosed in Aventus, and Ambrox is a very close molecule to Ambroxan, BTW.

    But really, I think your nose jumps around much more, and you are objecting to DHM.
    For instance, when I went to the LaCoste boutique in South Coast Plaza, Costa Mesa, to smell their scents, due to a client that has commissioned me to make a similar scent to one of theirs, ALL of their scents were filled to overflowing with DHM.
    I have had the LaCoste White 12.12 GC tested, and it had almost 7% DHM. For my version of it, I took DHM down under 2.75%, and it is still prominent.

    I can't really stand DHM myself either. At lease at high dosages as we currently see in the Mass market. (Creed, I include in Mass market too. Just that they get to charge a lot for them)

    I have a note to myself on my DHM bottle to keep under 3% in the formula.

    Have a super smelly day...

    PK
    Very informative. Thanks. I would bet that you can find even more than 7% DHM that you found in the inexpensive Lacoste in some far pricier offerings. I've become indirectly sensitive to it because my wife flips out about high DHM fragrances and says they smell like unpleasantly like a dentist's office.

  27. #27

    Default Re: Ambroxan. Can we get it banned as a fragrance ingredient?

    I'd guess that with Savuge it's a lot of ambroxan in combination with certain musk aroma chemicals (also in large amounts) that makes it seem so much like "migraine in a bottle" to me. Those who like it might not be able to detect those musk molecules. Yesterday I wore Berlin by Playboy and my thought was that other than not seeming to be as marine as Sauvage the main difference might be the lack of the musks used in Sauvage (or they might be used in much smaller amounts). If Berlin does have quite a bit of ambroxan, as I think it does, I still don't find it particularly enjoyable (in large amounts) but at least it's not atrocious and probably works very well when used as a "background player" (in terms of my preferences).

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    Default Re: Ambroxan. Can we get it banned as a fragrance ingredient?

    Quote Originally Posted by tspencer View Post
    I own Green Irish Tweed, but I suspect that I don't notice the problem directly because it's a rather minty/fresh fragrance. However, GIT has a very mono-olfactory smell to it. I hardly get any of the "green" notes that people talk about. I also find that when something "smells like GIT", it smells precisely like it and I get that same mono-olfactory "fresh" note overriding anything else in the mix. So, we might have our culprit. I think the horrid smell I get from other colognes could maybe be this chemical making lavender (or some other smell) get distorted or just overpowering.

    I don't get the horrid note though from GIT, so maybe that's not it? Let me build a list of the fragrances that have that 'kapow' awful smell/sensation. Then we can maybe know more.
    The interesting thing with GIT is that it has that Creed millesime base that is very dependent on ambroxan. This is the reason there are often threads saying GIT = SMW = MI = Himalaya. To my nose they all share very similar qualities in the base.
    It may be that you are sensitive to whatever chemical above certain levels. We all love to just decry our favorite culprit (iso e super, especially) but I suspect it's often more complex than the inclusion of whatever scapegoat we've chosen.

    DHM above certain levels bugs me.
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    Default Re: Ambroxan. Can we get it banned as a fragrance ingredient?

    I believe the op is describing Ambroxan. A sour, synthetic, metallic, woody, musky smell. Sauvage is loaded with it, but to be sure, op should smell these...

    Versace Eros
    Prada Luna Rossa
    Juliette Has a Gun Not a Perfume
    Escentric Molecules Molecule 02

  30. #30
    Dependent MegaMav's Avatar
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    Dec 2013
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    Default Re: Ambroxan. Can we get it banned as a fragrance ingredient?

    Dihydromyrcenol (non-descript green freshness), Ambroxan (Salty, dry, cotton ball musk) and ISO-E Super (dry splintered texture) are the future of perfume bases.
    It doesnt matter whether the materials appeal to those with good taste, as long as it appeals to the mass market and its cheap to produce.
    I have very little interest in modern era perfumes.
    The direction of the mainstream market is going the way of current societal values. Clean, sweet, inoffensive, uninteresting, emasculated.
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