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.


chaya ruchama said...

Lieve Jenny-

I loved the information- how it makes me laugh !
[Asks self: "Hmmmm....NOW, have they been able to create my personal favorite 'gangrene ' ?"

Going to the Sniffa !
I'll fill you in when I get back !


Ellen said...

Hummm...I'll take note of your 'kiity' smell in my house inquite enough for me!!!

I have a question for you Jenny.....have you ever mixed anything using CARDAMON oil....or HONEY absolute?....Any suggestions?....I love both scents but not sure what might work & since they are expensive ones...don't want to wast it.....& looking for your expertise if you hav any ideas to share!

Thanks! *_*


Jenny said...

Lieve Chaya,

Well it's funny but at that time I didn't find it funny at all. What would people think when they smell this stinky stuff all over in my house.LOL It's strange isn't it that stinky smells can create a wonderful perfume?

Een dikke kus

Jenny said...

Hi Ellen,

Cardamom is a lovely oil and it combines with a lot of other oils. I like the combination of cardamom with citrus fragrances but it's also real nice in woody fragrances like cedar, patchouli and sandal. It combines with rose, jasmine and other flowers as well, I even used it in my perfume based on magnolia. Because cardamom has a fresh scent it also makes sweet fragrances more fresh, I know that in some countries people drink coffee with cardamom and I think it would make an interesting combination to try.
Honey absolute is wonderful with musk but also leather kind of fragrances. It combines wonderful with rose but you only have to use a little. It's also nice with olibanum(frankincense) and patchouli. It's an important note to create honeysuckle.
Sometimes you can even think how you use these ingredients when you cook and find interesting combinations.
Hope this helps.


Ellen said...

Thank you, was very helpful & also confirmed some of the mixes that I thought would go well too.
I LOVE cardamon in my coffee.....(I believe it's a custom in the Middle East)....& never thought about using coffee, but will play with that idea as well!

Again, Thanks!

Happy sniffing!


Jenny said...

I tinctured coffee once and it smelled really good. Well good luck with our creation.

francesca said...

Please , can you tell me where do you buy your materials to make perfumes? Thank you!

Jenny said...

Hi Fransesca,

I think you want to know where you can buy the materials in small quantities. It depends on where you life if they will send them to you but here are some places where you can buy fragrance materials in small quantities:
The good scents company doesn't ship to Europe

If you life in Europe you could order the basic aroma chemicals from Omrikon in Germany:
There are big companies like IFF, Givaudan and Firmenich that sells aroma chemicals to large fragrance companies, but they only sell in real large quantities, like 10 or more kilos per item. On my group 'Perfume making' at Yahoo
we sometimes buy these items together so we will reach the kilos as well, it will be devided between the members, so if you want 100 grams and the other member wants 500 and another wants a kilo and so on, we can reach even 10 kilos sometimes.

Hope this helps.

francesca said...

I live in Italy , thank you very much Jenny for your help.

Jenny said...

You are welcome Francesca, I hope it helped you.