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  1. #1

    Default PONK Module 3 - odour descriptions here (spoiler alert past post1)

    PONK is organised regular blind smelling practice for perfumers with a monthly mystery box.

    Those of you who do not wish to have a box can still join in but go to the last reveal first to get the right materials and then just join in the discussion on that thread. This is open house to learn and share information on BN.


    Module 3 is the third box in this series and this is the thread to post your smelling observations and any other random comments. Do not feel judged by anything you say or think. This is not a competition to find a nose. It is for practice and discussion amongst beginners and seasoned noses alike. Our noses are as good as any nose. This is to hone them like a good pair of scissors

    If you stay quiet when you have a question, then nothing gets gained.

    The aim is NOT to guess the mystery ingredients....but to use your nose to contemplate it fully without that pressure to recognise the material.

    For this who have ordered one then look out for these landing on your mat soon (I hope)



    As this is the third box, we now know of the timing differences between one country and the next. The Canadian, Brazilian and Australian ones are tracked because I feel better knowing where they are. I will give the numbers later. The rest are normal post.

    When you get yours, please do not spoil the fun for those without their boxes by saying what you think it is but by all means do post your thoughts and observations here.

    As last time, the reveal is within the box in a semi sealed document. Party for customs inspection reasons. Have a bit of fun and test yourself by smelling blind whilst making notes, but then open up freely to be able to make good comparisons in full knowledge.

    After this post, then don't read anymore on this thread if yours isn't there yet (unless you want to).

    Just adding this here too so you don't have to read further to get it.




    Press the nose... for the new evaluation sheet to download.

    BTW... Please do NOT test these on your skin but only on smelling strips.

    They are at 20% and full strength to give you a decent amount to use afterwards in your own perfumes. That strength is too strong for some of their recommended use in perfumes by EU and IFRA recommendations. These are concentrated chemicals at the end of the day and need respecting as such. Please only use smelling strips until you know what they are and how much to use.

    For those who might prefer to dilute in ethanol. I have put some solids in to dilute directly and also to look at the texture. Those that are @20% are because they were too viscous to test straight away, and could go down to 10% with another solvent for smelling purposes (by adding the same weight again 1:1 for those who don't know this).

    There is one vial (number 3) I am awaiting confirmation on the diluent amount. I didn't want to dilute it further without knowing what it already was and the company didn't get back to me in time, so I sent it as it came to me. You will need to warm it to get it out.
    Last edited by mumsy; 12th April 2016 at 04:09 PM.
    The PONK club - gymnosium for perfumers (NOTE:- All club matters still on hold whilst I care for my dad now.)

    Twitter - @PonkClub for regular twitter updates

    My Tincture list

    A perfumed life - Tinctures, perfumes, cordials, wines and ingredients

  2. #2

    Default Re: PONK Module 3 - odour descriptions here (spoiler alert past post1)

    Mine arrived yesterday! Will get to smelling tonight

  3. #3

    Default Re: PONK Module 3 - odour descriptions here (spoiler alert past post1)

    Excellent. I think many have arrived as I sent the furthest safely. This box is very on topic right now. Don't rush. Enjoy them.



    The company still haven't come back to me about the exact dilution of no 3. I will ask again but you might have to mix it at least half with ethanol to get it to move unless it's very warm. As soon as I know, then I will say so.
    Last edited by mumsy; 12th April 2016 at 04:11 PM.
    The PONK club - gymnosium for perfumers (NOTE:- All club matters still on hold whilst I care for my dad now.)

    Twitter - @PonkClub for regular twitter updates

    My Tincture list

    A perfumed life - Tinctures, perfumes, cordials, wines and ingredients

  4. #4

    Default Re: PONK Module 3 - odour descriptions here (spoiler alert past post1)

    Arrived in Utah today! I'm impressed yet again with the thoughtfulness and work that went in to these lessons! Thank you!

    First impression, number 3 blew me away. I just sat and sniffed for several minutes! Layers of scent - honey, molasses, toast, medicine cabinet, smoke...

    I had stuff happening after work tonight, and tomorrow night is laundromat night, so I won't be properly smelling them till this weekend. Crossing my fingers my hay fever doesn't flair up again before then! I react to spring pollens pretty badly, and it's hard to smell much of anything while in sneezing fits!

  5. #5

    Default Re: PONK Module 3 - odour descriptions here (spoiler alert past post1)

    Excellent. I am thrilled these are arriving safely. I do wait with bated breath.


    Hay fever.... the bain of my perfumers summer life too.

    Some tips if you don't already know them all. Aside from the obvious choice of going around like a glazed moron drugged up to the eyeballs in antihistamines that stop working pretty soon anyway unless you vary them. My choice in summer = sneeze or be stupefied.

    Drink lots of water. I read that hay fever can be exacerbated by dehydration.
    Upon an onset of a sneezing fit, place a large vitamin C tablet under the tongue and let it dissolve slowly in the mouth (sister in law swears by this, but I haven't noticed any massive benefit)
    During a bad attack, fetch a hot flannel and place it over the whole face and breathe through the warm moisture until the flare up in the nose, eyes and mouth calms a little. At this stage of severity, a strong antihistamine tablet is a must.
    Iron tablets taken with vitamin C
    Stop drinking alcohol, particularly some red wines. I have noticed that wine seems to set it off for the next day. Could be the dehydration aspects... (unproven).
    Cant think of any more for now apart from avoiding obvious trigger areas/fields in bloom etc.
    Wearing a damped facemask might help. (Yes... I have been seen wearing a wet tea towel over my face. Such as when mowing the lawn or doing gardening during local fields blooming times.... It does work but you look stupid and it isn't comfortable)
    The PONK club - gymnosium for perfumers (NOTE:- All club matters still on hold whilst I care for my dad now.)

    Twitter - @PonkClub for regular twitter updates

    My Tincture list

    A perfumed life - Tinctures, perfumes, cordials, wines and ingredients

  6. #6

    Default Re: PONK Module 3 - odour descriptions here (spoiler alert past post1)

    Initial observations before I look at the reveal:

    #1 (20%)

    Balsamic (cinnamic - vanilla). Sweet. Cola. Something of a citrus facet (orange)? "Thick", warm, comforting, intimate. Slightly spicy, slightly dry.

    Colours suggested: Brown, orange, beige

    Very, very pleasant. More pleasant at start, but pleasant all the way through.

    Familiar - yes, I think it may be one of two things.

    Strength: medium-low.

    Projection: low

    No huge change in evaporation, although getting less of a cinnamic alcohol type note and more vanilla like as it evaporates.


    #2 (20%)

    More cinnamic-balsamic, less vanilla than #1. Olives! (cinnamic alcohol?) Vanilla facet too. Shalimar. Cinnamon. Slightly medicinal-floral (wintergreen?) type note? Ambery, almost an Iso E Super note?

    Colours suggested: Brown, orange, beige.

    Very pleasant indeed; I think I even prefer this to #1.

    Familiar: Yes, again I think it's one of two things. #1 and #2 are very similar.

    Strength: Medium

    Projection: Low

    Overall, I think a stronger cinnamic-balsamic note than #1, but becoming very similar on dryout, with a caramelic vanilla note.


    #3 (?%)

    Sweet, vanilla, slightly cinnamon. Dry, spicy, woody undertones. Balsamic. Caramel, slightly bitter burnt sugar undertone.

    Colour suggested: Beige, brown, orange

    Pleasant enough, a little bit cloying. I don't like this as much as #1 and #2.

    Strength: medium-low

    Projection: low

    Familiar: Yes, I think I know what it is.

    Not much change in odor over time.


    #4 (20%)

    Animalic (goaty, sebaceous). Fruity. Wine-like (reminiscent of port or vermouth). Complex. Tangy. Herbaceous (e.g. thyme - phenolic, armoise - thujonic). Resinous (like olibanum). Balsamic.

    Colour suggested: Brown, green.

    Pleasant aspects: balsamic cinnamic alcohol/olive type notes, herbal, leathery
    Unpleasant aspects: sour, sebaceous, terpenic

    Strength: medium +

    Strength: Starts quite strong, but becomes flatter and smoother.

    Familiar: Yes, I'm pretty sure I know what it is.

    Dry undertone becoming more evident with evaporation. Becoming a bit flat and faint towards the dryout but there are still tangy, fruity, animalic, balsamic and herbal notes.
    Last edited by Renegade; 16th April 2016 at 01:46 PM.

  7. #7

    Default Re: PONK Module 3 - odour descriptions here (spoiler alert past post1)

    Perfect observations. Exactly the sorts of comments that are useful to compare between different people to see what their noses are actually finding.

    BTW I have just received the Citronellol by Takasago from Christine and it is so much softer than the original one in PONK module 1. If anyone wants to sample this in the next box, then say so. Otherwise it is so nice, then I totally recommend you actually get some from her anyway.

    Chris has also got some new Geraniol and Citronellol and I will be ordering some of those too very soon to compare my samples with the newer ones. I will report back.
    The PONK club - gymnosium for perfumers (NOTE:- All club matters still on hold whilst I care for my dad now.)

    Twitter - @PonkClub for regular twitter updates

    My Tincture list

    A perfumed life - Tinctures, perfumes, cordials, wines and ingredients

  8. #8

    Default Re: PONK Module 3 - odour descriptions here (spoiler alert past post1)

    I generally have horrid allergies for a month to 6 weeks straight in the spring, then off and on through the summer and fall. I started perfume exploration last october, so this is my first time realizing what a dent it can put in my sense of smell!

    Thankfully, I'm doing better this week. I still need to catch back up on modules 1,and 2, but am starting with 3, so I can participate with everyone else on this thread.

    Btw, even though I haven't formally evaluated module 2 (or read the reveal yet!), my quick sniffs of those vials did inspire an experiment this morning involving a perfume based around spearmint, that I'm actually really excited about! It had never occured to me to use the mints/eucalyptus oils in perfume. I only bought them for use in a vaporizer when I had a cold! And for making moth repellent sachets for my woolens.

    Back to module 3!

    I wrote up my impressions of vials 1 and 2:

    Sample 1:
    1st impressions: pancake syrup, sugar and vanilla, golden brown, pleasant, mild and comforting. Low projection.

    10 minutes: slight medicinal hint

    30 minutes: slightly alcoholic, but not so much alcohol itself, more like a hint of fermentation.

    60 minutes: hint of rotting fruit. Like when you are picking apples, and accidently step on one of last year's fruit, brown and squishy and fermented, but still sweet smelling. (Still pleasant, though I know that sounds weird. It's kind of a nostalgic scent memory from childhood in my parents orchard.)

    Sample 2:
    1st impressions: spicy caramel with hints of cinnamon and mocha. Definite medicinal edge to this one. Stronger and a bit more challenging than sample 1, but still pleasant.

    10, 30 and 60 minutes: still no change.

  9. #9

    Default Re: PONK Module 3 - odour descriptions here (spoiler alert past post1)

    The references to apples is extremely interesting. I think the cinnamic acid lends itself to the thoughts of apple pies. I shall go and sniff mine again and see what aromas of fermented apples are in there. Certainly fruity things would blend well with it. I might have to have a go at that thought.

    Minty and camphorous oils can add a superb lift in a fougere style perfume and add to the lifting area that aldehydes do when you are making all natural perfumes. They are invaluable. I thought that would be a nice box during the 'colds and germs' months. I'm so glad it has inspired a creation too.
    The PONK club - gymnosium for perfumers (NOTE:- All club matters still on hold whilst I care for my dad now.)

    Twitter - @PonkClub for regular twitter updates

    My Tincture list

    A perfumed life - Tinctures, perfumes, cordials, wines and ingredients

  10. #10

    Default Re: PONK Module 3 - odour descriptions here (spoiler alert past post1)

    It's interesting that you mention fougere. I didn't have that in mind - I was indulging in mad scientist style invention (with careful notes!). But the final mix I came up with was heavy on the Tonka and Oakmoss. No lavender, but now that I'm thinking about it, I can see it has a family resemblance.

  11. #11

    Default Re: PONK Module 3 - odour descriptions here (spoiler alert past post1)

    It's interesting that you bring up fougeres. I wasn't thinking fougere while composing - I was indulging in mad scientist style mixing (with careful notes!), but my final composition ended up heavy on the Tonka and oakmoss! Now that I'm thinking about it I can see the family resemblance!

  12. #12

    Default Re: PONK Module 3 - odour descriptions here (spoiler alert past post1)

    I'm just finding some fougere formulas for you. I'm just checking a translation and will be back when I have it... unless you speak German.

    The hard word is Birkenknospenol??
    The PONK club - gymnosium for perfumers (NOTE:- All club matters still on hold whilst I care for my dad now.)

    Twitter - @PonkClub for regular twitter updates

    My Tincture list

    A perfumed life - Tinctures, perfumes, cordials, wines and ingredients

  13. #13

    Default Re: PONK Module 3 - odour descriptions here (spoiler alert past post1)

    My notes on samples 3 and 4.

    Sample 3 - initial impression was of smoke, and sweet pipe tobacco. And of old dry paper, chared brown but not quite ready to burst into flame. Like when I was I kid playing with invisible ink, and would hold the secret message to a light bulb to make the writing appear, and the paper would start to get brown a crackley.

    The paper impression was so strong that I had to sniff an unused smelling strip to make sure I wasn't just smelling the strip!

    My color impression was of a brown so dark it is verging on black. Pleasant, very pleasant! I want to keep sniffing this one. After 10 minutes it was slightly sweeter but otherwise unchanged.

    Sample 4 - sickly sweet fermenting fruit. Much stronger even that sample 1. Sample 4 was being on a compost bin, three days after you dumped all the peels and pits from canning fruit and making jam!

    Color impression was medium brown, like old applesauce. The odor was strong but medium to low projection. Verging on unpleasant.

    I'm not quite sure how to work with the two solids. I'm not up to doing more dilutions today, after just managing to spill my agarwood I was melting and diluting (from my last eden botanicals order).

    I only spilled maybe a third of the 10% dilution I was in the process of mixing. And I managed to siphon quite a bit of it back off the counter into a spare bottle with a pipette. I'm not sure how well that bit will keep - my counter could have stood to be cleaner!

    Gah! Why is it the expensive bottles that get knocked over!!!
    Last edited by Elizf; 30th April 2016 at 10:52 PM.

  14. #14

    Default Re: PONK Module 3 - odour descriptions here (spoiler alert past post1)

    The solids were in there just for observation really and for your use later when you wanted some more but in ethanol. If you weigh them, (or i think i did put the weights on them), then add four times that weight of ethanol for a 20% solution, or nine times that weight for a 10% solution. It gives you some to play with that isn't goopy.

    The vial 3 was neat, so that can have the same treatment in ethanol to use it well.

    I found that the mixture needed some warmth to persuade it to dissolve well if you are impatient or just time if you are patient. Lots of agitation until it is absolutely dissolved then just leave it for ages. Some of the cruder matter will precipitate out and you can either pipette off the clear, or filter it.

    (Filtering will solve your grubby spilt matter too if any counter crumbs got in.)
    Last edited by mumsy; 1st May 2016 at 01:50 PM.
    The PONK club - gymnosium for perfumers (NOTE:- All club matters still on hold whilst I care for my dad now.)

    Twitter - @PonkClub for regular twitter updates

    My Tincture list

    A perfumed life - Tinctures, perfumes, cordials, wines and ingredients

  15. #15

    Default Re: PONK Module 3 - odour descriptions here (spoiler alert past post1)

    Some fougeres as promised. I meant to translate them for you but time has got the better of me. Better to have them.

    , , and
    Last edited by mumsy; 2nd May 2016 at 02:13 PM.
    The PONK club - gymnosium for perfumers (NOTE:- All club matters still on hold whilst I care for my dad now.)

    Twitter - @PonkClub for regular twitter updates

    My Tincture list

    A perfumed life - Tinctures, perfumes, cordials, wines and ingredients

  16. #16

    Default Re: PONK Module 3 - odour descriptions here (spoiler alert past post1)

    Now I just got told that one of the PONK 3's hadn't got to it's destination in the UK and it was one of the big ones. Knickers... but another will be on it's way. I hope it was the only one that went missing. Please say if you didn't get one because I will need to order some more of one particular special material in for that box.

    Ponk 4's are coming soon. I have been busy preparing an art exhibition so too much on one plate to be efficient this month. Quality will not be affected, only timing.
    The PONK club - gymnosium for perfumers (NOTE:- All club matters still on hold whilst I care for my dad now.)

    Twitter - @PonkClub for regular twitter updates

    My Tincture list

    A perfumed life - Tinctures, perfumes, cordials, wines and ingredients




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