It’s been a busy week and I’ve not done much blending, but this evening I’m finally working on the woodsy amber. I plan to work on Bouquet Blanche tomorrow.
I always find it interesting to see the variation in how people perceive aroma ingredients, so I enjoyed reading Luca Turin’s October Duftnote about an aromachemical he worked on that was meant to be like dihydromyrcenol but more lasting. Dihydromyrcenol is a pleasant, fresh, citrusy topnote that is often used in men’s cologne (and in fact is so common that people may be tiring of it, at least when used in the standard ways). The idea was to try to manipulate the structure of the chemical to create a citrus note that lasts longer than a typical citrus topnote. They succeeded in making something that smelled very much like the dihydromyrcenol chemical they had altered but with excellent lasting power. The problem came when they gave it to ten perfumers to sniff and although eight of ten loved it, two thought it smelled of skunk instead of citrus! The genetic differences in how people smell things caused two of eight to smell it differently. To create the new chemical they had added sulfur to the structure and some people were able to pick up on the sulfur in the form of a sulfide and interpret it as skunky (sulfides are typically described as smelling of rotten egg or skunk). Interesting!
I’ll never forget a camping trip we took to the Mt. Lassen area when I was young. We visited Bumpass Hell and I loved seeing the rnudpots and interesting geologic activity, but I held my nose the whole time, lol, because the sulfur-rich fumes were so powerful.