Wednesday, March 28, 2007


How can bad, stinky smells turn into something wonderful smelling? In perfumery we not only use delicate wonderful smelling components, we sometimes use very stinky components too. For example Jasmine is a wonderful smelling flower, it's one of my favorite scents, but when you smell the single components of Jasmine on their own, like Indole, it doesn't smell so wonderful anymore. Pure Indole smells fecal but when it's diluted at 1% or less it becomes flowery like Jasmine or Orange flower.

A friend asked me for Cat Ketone (4-mercapto-4-methyl-2-pentanone), so I ordered it for him and received a bottle with a 1% dilution of Cat Ketone. Cat ketone occurs naturally in Black currant and Sauvignon grapes. When I opened the bottle to sniff, my head went backwards in a shock and the only words I could say were: "holy shit", it was unbelievable overwhelming and stinky, it smelled like cat urine!!!!

I left it in the bottle and quickly screwed the lid back on. But too late, my whole house stank like cat urine, it was unbearable. I opened all the windows and burned incense but the smell stayed. The day after I was drinking some juice of tropical fruits like Mango and guava, I smelled the juice and instantly recognized the smell of Cat Ketone, but strongly diluted. My plan was to take a little bit of the Cat Ketone for my self and give it to my friend, but I changed my mind and gave him the whole bottle.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Work in progress

I used another design for this blog and I'm still working on some things. Like the categories that you can see on your right. I like the posts to be grouped by category but I had to label every post I made in the past and I forgot how many posts I posted on this blog. Well still 50 posts to label and than it's done, I also will add the quotes that I have about perfume and add some nice photos with it. It takes a bit of time and I'm sorry for that.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

My second attempt to create The Kiss

I'm still working on my perfume inspired by the painting: The Kiss. First I work on the skeleton of this perfume, the notes that are the basics of this perfume. I used too much sandalwood the first time and toned it down a bit because I don't want the sandal notes go trough the top notes, I keep the rose I used the first time, but want to combine it with some jasmine, I'm not sure yet what kind of jasmine would be the best one to use. I think Indian jasmine is the nicest one in this case. I added some Geranyl acetate to the rose and that is working real nice, it gives some freshness and sweetness to the rose. I also added some carnation notes to compliment the rose notes. I like the iris in this perfume it's so nice soft warm and gentle, so that will stay as well.

For the base I used the sandal combined with guiacwood, I'm still thinking what else it would need, I'm thinking of cedar or vetiver or maybe some aroma chemicals to enhance the sandalwood, like Javanol a product of Givaudan. To give it some sensuality I added amber notes like labdanum absolute and different kinds of musks, I learned that it's better to use different kinds because some musks can work as boosters for the other musks. For the top note I used some fresh but soft citrus notes combined with a bit of spicy notes from nutmeg what combines real wonderful with the carnation which has also some spicy notes. So the basic notes of this perfume like it seems right now are: rose, iris, sandalwood and musks. The smell of this perfume is rosy, soft, creamy, warm woody, ambery and musky. I like it already but there is a lot to work on still.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

My first attempt to create The kiss

I already started with my perfume inspired by the painting The kiss (see post below). I started to create the main accord of this perfume, I used amber because I think amber translates the golden colors of this painting, one of the amber notes is labdanum absolute, sandalwood is for the comforting emotion of an embrace. To translate the white soft skin of the woman on this painting I used Iris what gives a warm soft creamy scent to this perfume, it combines perfect with the sandal. To give this perfume a romantic character I used rose. These notes all combine lovely with each other. I accentuate these notes with tolu, guaiacwood (champaca wood) which gives a great fixation to rose, patchouli and carrot seed oil which has an iris like note. I have to think what kind of top notes it will need.
The photo of the painting is from:

Friday, March 02, 2007

The kiss

On my Yahoo group: Perfumemaking we are doing 'perfume swaps'. In January we did our first swap, we sent each other our own created perfumes to get feedback from each other, this is real fun because we are very curious about the creations of each other and because we like to hear the thoughts and feedback for our own creations. Some perfumes that were sent in are real remarkable. I would love to talk about the perfume I sent in, but because we did an anonymously swap I can't tell you(yet), we are still giving feedback on all the perfumes but later I will reveal which perfume I sent.

We already are talking about the next swap, this will be a complete different swap. It will be an 'open' swap were we will share our formulas and discuss them to learn from each other. This swap is an experimental swap and we choose it to be a swap where we create a perfume based on a painting. The painting most of our members will use is The kiss by the Austrian painter, Gustav Klimt who lived from 1862-1918. The Art Nouveau (New Art also called Jugendstil) movement in Austria was called the Secession. Gustav Klimt was its founder and president from 1897 to 1905. His painting The Kiss is a symbol of Vienna Secession. Klimt's works of art were a scandal at his time because of the display of nudity and the subtle sexuality and eroticism. His best known painting The Kiss, was first exhibited in 1908. As everything coming out of Klimt's hands, it was highly controversial and admired at the same time.

The Kiss is a fascinating icon of the loss of self that lovers experience. Placed against a deep and vibrant golden background, a couple is locked in an embrace, only the faces and hands of this couple are visible; all the rest is great swirl of gold, studded with colored rectangles as if to express visually the emotional and physical explosion of erotic love under their feet a carpet of flowers. This painting gives me a protective, vournable and sensual emotion.

It's interesting to translate visual into smell. I'm thinking how I will create this perfume, what notes it needs. When I look at this painting I want of course a sensual perfume but it also has to evoke a protective emotion, like an embrace. When I look at the golden colors of this painting I'm thinking of using a note that can translate this color, for me amber would translate the golden colors. To translate the sensual parts of this painting I will use sensual notes like musks. Other sensual notes could be civet or castoreum although I think the castoreum is not the one I'm looking for. Rose is a romantic flower and would definitely be a note in this perfume. When I'm thinking of a kiss I think about sweet notes as well, like honey notes or chocolate notes even cherry notes, hmm have to think about it....