I’ve always wanted to smell like the beach, not a crowded beach with its overtones of suntan lotion and salt water on skin, but a solitary beach with a scent like steamed mussels and freshly cracked oysters. On top of this irresistible sea-fresh quality I… Read More »Marine Aromas: The Smell of the Sea
So-called exaltants amplify other smells. Truffles do this by enhancing the flavors around them– an egg cooked with truffles tastes more like an egg. The same thing happens with mature ambergris tincture when it amplifies the smell of the finished perfume; it gives life and… Read More »Exaltation: Odors and Odor Effects
Often when confronted with a new problem, I suddenly get sleepy. I thought this was a defense and just a way of procrastinating, until I realized that during a 15-minute nap, I get a lot of work done. I’ll often awake with solutions to problems… Read More »Fixation III: The Big Bummer
It’s one thing to make a satisfying combination of top notes, but it is far trickier to coordinate them with the underlying facets in a perfume. After working on a top-note combination of grapefruit and red peppercorn essential oil, I added aldehyde C-11 enic. for… Read More »The Top Notes: Will They Behave?
Top notes—the most volatile and evanescent compounds in a perfume—give an immediate impression and help sell the product. Whether you like them or not, the top notes in today’s fragrances are incredibly smooth. However, the top notes may not smell like the heart notes, which… Read More »Top Notes
I pilfered my first glass of wine when I was 7 years old. Parents and guests seemed to enjoy it so, and since it was forbidden, it was essential to try. I diligently cleared the table, taking away unfinished bottles to the kitchen, to be… Read More »Wine, Sauces, and Perfume: My Olfactory Education
I want to see how Serge Lutens solves the problems of longevity and projection in his fabulous perfume, Iris Silver Mist. The opening iris accord is much like mine and, like mine, evaporates sooner than I, and apparently, he, would like. Lutens creates another series… Read More »Sandalwood III: Faking It, Continued
Let’s say, right off the bat, that sandalwood can’t be replicated accurately. Perfumers have been trying for centuries and, now that the real oil has gotten so expensive, the effort has accelerated. Not knowing better, making a viable sandalwood was my first effort at perfumery.… Read More »Sandalwood: Faking It