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  1. #1
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    Thumbs down What is it I can't stand about these fragrances?

    Most men's fragrances I like. Some I love. Three I hate (so far.) They all have an odd smell to me and it seems, to my nose, to be the same smell. I can't for the life of me find what it could be when I read lists of notes for each of the scents.

    Those three are:

    1) Polo original
    2) Grey Flannel
    3) Creed Aventus

    All three remind me of a burned-out apartment building my dad and I visited when I was a kid. It had burned down just a couple of days earlier and was a still-warm hulk with pools of firefighter water in which we spent about 10 minutes carefully walking around. The odor was so pungent that my mom had to wash our clothes multiple times to get it out and I had to scrub down with Lava soap to get it off my skin.

    It's more than a cigarette butt smell. It's different than a forest fire smell because it seems more toxic. It's a smell that I can only describe as "recently burned-down tenement" because that's the exact memory it conjures up for me. And it's in all three -- the top-notes of the first two and the drydown of the third.

    Any ideas?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: What is it I can't stand about these fragrances?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shlorpy View Post
    It's a smell than I can only describe as "recently burned-down tenement" because that's the exact memory it conjures up for me.
    LOL!
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  3. #3

    Default Re: What is it I can't stand about these fragrances?

    It's the campfire in your head...we call that illusion!

  4. #4
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    Default Re: What is it I can't stand about these fragrances?

    For Aventus, you're smelling the birch which gives off that smokey accord. One of my least favorite Creeds.
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  5. #5

    Default Re: What is it I can't stand about these fragrances?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shlorpy View Post

    All three remind me of a burned-out apartment building my dad and I visited when I was a kid. It had burned down just a couple of days earlier and was a still-warm hulk with pools of firefighter water in which we spent about 10 minutes carefully walking around.
    Seems like an odd place to visit.

    In response to your question, I'd ask you whether your impression is of those scents in the air or a situation where you sniff very closely to where it was sprayed?
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: What is it I can't stand about these fragrances?

    I'm not sure about POLO, but the other two I think you're picking up a note of smoke in them.
    "Ducks eat for free at Subway."
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: What is it I can't stand about these fragrances?

    They all share oak moss, but oak moss doesn't smell smokey to my nose. I'm weird and think oak moss smells like sunflower seeds.

    I really like Polo Green and Aventus quite a lot. However I cannot seem to get along very well with my bottle of Gray Flannel. The opening blast is nice, but once it settles in, all I get is the smell of wet metal. It's very odd, and off putting to me. I have had my GF and a cousin of mine give it a whiff, but they do not get the wet metal smell that I do.

    All of our noses are quite different, and i have come to discover that people just interpret scents different from one another.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: What is it I can't stand about these fragrances?

    There's an ashy quality in Polo, but I don't know what's responsible for it.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: What is it I can't stand about these fragrances?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Krycek View Post
    Seems like an odd place to visit.
    Don't worry, we weren't looting the place or anything. He was tasked with looking over the situation and had determined it was safe (enough) to bring his kid on-site. Maybe to impress upon me not to play with matches?

    In response to your question, I'd ask you whether your impression is of those scents in the air or a situation where you sniff very closely to where it was sprayed?
    Good point, it was definitely pretty up-close, not on somebody else.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: What is it I can't stand about these fragrances?

    Quote Originally Posted by painted_klown View Post
    They all share oak moss, but oak moss doesn't smell smokey to my nose.
    At first I thought it was oakmoss as well. However, there are other men's fragrances which I enjoy greatly that also have oakmoss. Unless it's just super amped-up in these and less-so in the others. ?

  11. #11

    Default Re: What is it I can't stand about these fragrances?

    I'd guess a phenol is responsible, or evernyl.

  12. #12

    Default Re: What is it I can't stand about these fragrances?

    Quote Originally Posted by N.CAL Fragrance Reviewer View Post
    For Aventus, you're smelling the birch which gives off that smokey accord. One of my least favorite Creeds.
    Birch was my first thought, too. Not an easy note for me, especially in large doses. Same with cade.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: What is it I can't stand about these fragrances?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shlorpy View Post
    All three remind me of a burned-out apartment building my dad and I visited when I was a kid. It had burned down just a couple of days earlier and was a still-warm hulk with pools of firefighter water in which we spent about 10 minutes carefully walking around. The odor was so pungent that my mom had to wash our clothes multiple times to get it out and I had to scrub down with Lava soap to get it off my skin.

    It's more than a cigarette butt smell. It's different than a forest fire smell because it seems more toxic. It's a smell that I can only describe as "recently burned-down tenement" because that's the exact memory it conjures up for me. And it's in all three -- the top-notes of the first two and the drydown of the third.
    The problem lies NOT with the fragrances but with the personal association you have with the ‘ash tray’ vibe these 3 fragrances seem to share. I’m curious though; why did your dad take you to that burned out apartment? Were you caught goofing around with lit matches or something?
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  14. #14

    Default Re: What is it I can't stand about these fragrances?

    Polo always smells a bit like meat to me. Aventus is known to smell like an ashtray. Grey Flannel seems to offend a lot of people but I remember it smelling mostly of violets and green but I've not worn it in ages.

    Your thread reminded me of doing a holiday job (for one day...) which involved gutting a house that had burned down over Christmas.

  15. #15

    Default Re: What is it I can't stand about these fragrances?

    Birch/cade/smoke was my first thought. Personally if I detect any of these it's a non starter
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  16. #16

    Default Re: What is it I can't stand about these fragrances?

    It sounds like you might just not like a certain ashy-smoke vibe.
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  17. #17

    Default Re: What is it I can't stand about these fragrances?

    All I can say is -- don't blind buy Lutens' Serge Noire

  18. #18
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    Default Re: What is it I can't stand about these fragrances?

    Quote Originally Posted by Diamondflame View Post
    The problem lies NOT with the fragrances but with the personal association you have with the ‘ash tray’ vibe these 3 fragrances seem to share. I’m curious though; why did your dad take you to that burned out apartment? Were you caught goofing around with lit matches or something?
    Yeah, I was going to pretty much say the same thing. It's just the scent association. Whenever you smell them it reminds you of this memory.
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  19. #19

    Default Re: What is it I can't stand about these fragrances?

    Oakmoss was my first thought.

  20. #20

    Default Re: What is it I can't stand about these fragrances?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaern View Post
    All I can say is -- don't blind buy Lutens' Serge Noire
    Dunno, Serge Noire is all about the spices and skank for me, not necessarily smoke.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: What is it I can't stand about these fragrances?

    Quote Originally Posted by Diamondflame View Post
    The problem lies NOT with the fragrances but with the personal association you have with the ‘ash tray’ vibe these 3 fragrances seem to share.
    I love the ashtray note. In Bleu de Chanel, the original edt, there's an ash tray note early on and it goes away, and the rest of the wearing isn't the same. The Amouage Tribute attar smelled like an ash tray, and it was amazing. Polo has that a little. Aventus - I wish it had it way, way more - a famed smoky batch.

  22. #22

    Default Re: What is it I can't stand about these fragrances?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nastka View Post
    Dunno, Serge Noire is all about the spices and skank for me, not necessarily smoke.
    ok, not necessarily smokey -- I think there is a burnt aspect to it -- kinda ashy with the cumin and incense

    That might just be me though -- I love it anyway

  23. #23

    Default Re: What is it I can't stand about these fragrances?

    My house burnt down several years ago and I couldn’t wear anything smoky for at least two years after without feeling kind of agitated, so I understand your predicament. It’s an awful smell and the way it sticks to you is unreal.

    My guess is that it’s a combination of the oak moss and woods that are creating this sort of dry, smoky chemical aroma. Oakmoss goes through quite a cutting, chemical moment when it evolves on my skin, and combined with a smoky type of wood (like birch or dry sandalwood) it can give off that effect.
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  24. #24

    Default Re: What is it I can't stand about these fragrances?

    As a fan of all these three scents and owning two of the three, might lack the possibility to identify with this but can still understand aspects found in all three that might displease.
    Luckily (at least from a personal standpoint alone) happening to love both their outstanding performance and the fact that they can project heavily, almost to the point of overpowering- however trying to also grasp and to relate to the fact that this or many other aspects about these can turn each and every one of these 3 into love and hate polarizing scents.

  25. #25

    Default Re: What is it I can't stand about these fragrances?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shlorpy View Post
    Most men's fragrances I like. Some I love. Three I hate (so far.) They all have an odd smell to me and it seems, to my nose, to be the same smell. I can't for the life of me find what it could be when I read lists of notes for each of the scents.

    Those three are:

    1) Polo original
    2) Grey Flannel
    3) Creed Aventus

    All three remind me of a burned-out apartment building my dad and I visited when I was a kid. It had burned down just a couple of days earlier and was a still-warm hulk with pools of firefighter water in which we spent about 10 minutes carefully walking around. The odor was so pungent that my mom had to wash our clothes multiple times to get it out and I had to scrub down with Lava soap to get it off my skin.

    It's more than a cigarette butt smell. It's different than a forest fire smell because it seems more toxic. It's a smell that I can only describe as "recently burned-down tenement" because that's the exact memory it conjures up for me. And it's in all three -- the top-notes of the first two and the drydown of the third.

    Any ideas?
    Quote Originally Posted by N.CAL Fragrance Reviewer View Post
    For Aventus, you're smelling the birch which gives off that smokey accord. One of my least favorite Creeds.
    Quote Originally Posted by Nastka View Post
    Birch was my first thought, too. Not an easy note for me, especially in large doses. Same with cade.
    Quote Originally Posted by DEdestroyer77 View Post
    Birch/cade/smoke was my first thought. Personally if I detect any of these it's a non starter
    Quote Originally Posted by Buysblind View Post
    My house burnt down several years ago and I couldn’t wear anything smoky for at least two years after without feeling kind of agitated, so I understand your predicament. It’s an awful smell and the way it sticks to you is unreal.

    My guess is that it’s a combination of the oak moss and woods that are creating this sort of dry, smoky chemical aroma. Oakmoss goes through quite a cutting, chemical moment when it evolves on my skin, and combined with a smoky type of wood (like birch or dry sandalwood) it can give off that effect.
    Interesting comments here because I am very sensitive to cade myself. It always smells like burnt meat to me, which could easily come across as a tenement fire to some. That said, I enjoy Aventus, which I own, and I have tried samples of Grey Flannel and I quite like it. I get citrus, geranium, rose, violets, clary sage and bright galbanum that almost smells of pine. I don't get any smoke and definitely not cade. Aventus and Flannel may have some birch tar as an ingredient to create smoky notes although I never got it from GF. I could imagine that some people have a sensitivity to birch in the same way that I do to cade. But they are definitely different, and I have no sensitivity to birch, only cade. For whatever reason!

    Polo Green the original was my first scent, in like 5th grade I think, but haven't smelled it since to note anything about it.
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  26. #26
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    Default Re: What is it I can't stand about these fragrances?

    Thanks guys I appreciate the sophisticated analysis. I'm not criticizing the fragrances -- I know tons of people dig 'em -- I'm just wondering if they share a chemical (or note) that causes that memory-specific revulsion in me.

    I will look more into the notes specified in this thread. Thanks a lot!

  27. #27
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    Default Re: What is it I can't stand about these fragrances?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brooks Otterlake View Post
    It sounds like you might just not like a certain ashy-smoke vibe.
    This would be my guess.

  28. #28

    Default Re: What is it I can't stand about these fragrances?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shlorpy View Post
    Thanks guys I appreciate the sophisticated analysis. I'm not criticizing the fragrances -- I know tons of people dig 'em -- I'm just wondering if they share a chemical (or note) that causes that memory-specific revulsion in me.

    I will look more into the notes specified in this thread. Thanks a lot!
    There's a big difference between a note or accord vs. an ingredient. Most fragrances don't reveal the ingredients.


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  29. #29
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    Default Re: What is it I can't stand about these fragrances?

    They may not but lots of people can identify things like ambroxan and calone, sometimes timbersilk etc

  30. #30

    Default Re: What is it I can't stand about these fragrances?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shlorpy View Post
    They may not but lots of people can identify things like ambroxan and calone, sometimes timbersilk etc
    I'm just saying that it is likely not an accord or a note that disagrees with you, but a particular aromachemical. For example, some smoke accords are made with cade, while some are not. So some smell properly like smoke to me and others burnt meat. It took me a long time to figure out what ingredient I was sensitive too because most fragrances don't even list cade when it's an ingredient...but some do.


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