Sunday, June 22, 2008


A lot of things happened while I wasn't posting on this blog. One thing is that my hubby Mo is operated on his back for the second time. He had a double hernia in his lower back, they were huge. Two years ago he was operated as well, but it didn't work, and the hernia's came back. He was a bit afraid to do a second operation, but he simply had to, the pain was too much. He's now back at home, and he is doing pretty well. He already can walk quit a long bit, but has to lay down every time. The operation was only one and a half hour, and he could go home the next day. Now we are hoping that it will not come back and that his back will get better.

Here a photo of us when his back was a bit better:

Monday, May 12, 2008

Basmati rice and Jasmine

It's been a while since I posted something on my blog. I was very busy with doing other stuff, which I enjoyed very much so though. Well, I'm back!

I'm working on a new perfume, based on Egyptian Jasmine absolute combined with the scent of Indian Basmati rice. This idea was playing a long time in my head and I finally started with it. I'm recreating the scent of basmati rice myself with different materials. One of the materials I use for the basmati rice is 3-METHYL-2-CYCLOHEXENONE which gives a nutty scent. I also used Hexanal (aldehyde C6) and Hexanol (alcohol c6) among others. I want to see if carrot seed oil will work in this fragrance, I guess it only would need just a little. A key odorant in fragrant rice is 2-acetyl-1-pyrroline, I still have to get my hands on this material.

I combine the jasmine and basmati rice with musks and woods. I used a lot of sandalwood which combines so wonderful with Jasmine, it makes the scent of jasmine more warm and intense. It's a very interesting experiment at least.

Friday, April 04, 2008

I love you Ida

Ida (Chaya) is a remarcable lady. I met her through this blog where she comment often. She is a warm loving person, so easy to love, she always know how to use the right words, how to encourage people. It gives her pleasure to make other people happy and let them feel good. There is something about her that touch me deeply, and I'm not the only one who has this experience.....

Read a post about Ida at Perfumesmellingthings

Saturday, March 29, 2008

The M. factor

Andy always talk about the W. factor, so this time I will talk about the M. factor. The perfume for the new perfume swap of our perfume group is ready, it's a men's fragrance this time. I needed the M. factor to test it, and I listened to his suggestions. M. once was a professional soccer player, and he loves the smell of fresh cut grass, it reminds him of the soccerfield, so I put in a lot of this scent. A material which smells like fresh cut grass is 'leaf alcohol', I combined this scent with the scent of violet leaf and other green notes. Some of you know that I love the green scent of galbanum, but I didn't use it in this fragrance, it didn't combine well with the other notes.

In the heart-notes I used carnation and clove. The base-notes contains a lot of sandalwood which I combined with the sandalwood materials; Javanol, Bangalol and Aldron. I used the ambernote of Ambrox DL, which to me smells very masculine and finished it with different sorts of musk.

I'm excited because tonight we have a big party from work, there will be something like 1500 to 2000 people. I will go with my friend, it will be so much fun. My camera is broke, but if I can get some photos of the party from my colleagues I will post some of them.

Have a great weekend!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter everyone! In the meantime, I'm working on the perfume I will send in for our new 'Perfume Swap' at our Yahoo group. I will send in a men's perfume this time. It's a perfume based on green notes with a lot of fresh green grass notes, a heart of carnation and a base of amber, musk and sandalwood. More about that later....

Sunday, March 02, 2008


Finally I had a long weekend, I had 4 days off! I looked forward to it the whole week, but when it finally was there, I got sick...... I had a terrible cold and was so sleepy that I could sleep for hours, I only watched some TV or sat behind my PC a bit. Not very exciting is it? But today I feel a bit better and even worked on a perfume again. I worked on my perfume that I sent in for the first 'Perfume Swap' that we did on my Perfume making group at Yahoo. It is a perfume based on animalic notes, with oudh and other woods, honey, rose and jasmine. I added less cedarwood and a lot more sandalwood. I can't smell a lot right now because of the cold I have, but I will leave it like it is and smell it when I have a 'better' nose.

That makes me think......

What if a perfumer can't smell anymore? Is it possible to create perfumes anyway? I think so, if I recall correctly, there was a perfumer who couldn't smell anymore, but still created perfumes, I don't remember who it was. Well, if you think of the fact that Beethoven was deaf when he composed music, a perfumer could only by remembering the smell and the combination of materials, compose a perfume too. Without actually smelling the result, the composing would be done in his memory, in his mind.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Far away, yet so close

This morning I was reading the post on Andy Tauer's blog. He wrote about how the Internet brings so many people close to each other. And I can't agree more, it's amazing how many wonderful, beautiful, interesting, inspiring, creative, lovely, sweet, caring people I've met through Internet. Internet gives us the chance to meet people with the same interest from all over the world. How would it be if the little 'home perfumers' were living in a time when there was no Internet? We would probably be sitting in our home creating perfume and could only share it with a few people who would live close to us. Now thanks to the Internet, we can share it with people from far away places, far away but yet so close. I was surprised to read my own name in his post, Andy wrote: "The world villagers are waiting for yours, Jenny!" I'm working on it dear Andy, I'm working on it.......

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Scent and memory

It's strange that sometimes when we smell something, we can't find the right words to describe what it is. We have the feeling that we should know what it is, because it smells familiar, but if we search in our brain to find the answer the answer comes slowly or not at all. I guess we all have experienced this once, I experience this a lot of times, because I work with a lot of scents. Sometimes I smell a material and the only thing that my mind tells me about it is that it smells earthy, floral or fruity. But it takes more time to search in my mind for a memory where I smelled this scent before to finally get the 'aha' moment. I once had this experience when I smelled the fragrance material: Butyl Quinoline Secondary, I recognized the smell of soil and earth, but I knew that I smelled a more specific scent. It took a while before I recognized the smell of red beets which also smells like soil and earth but was a more specific description of what the materials smells like.

Smell for the most part aggravates the lymbic system and the right side of our brain, where Episodic connections are received. Our right hemisphere is associated with memory of events, times, places and emotions. It looks at wholes not at parts of certain things. It's subjective, uses feeling and it's creative.

We use our left hemisphere of our brain to recognize and rationalize things Here are the Semantic connections received. We use it for meaning, analyzing, understanding, knowledge and language. It sub-divides and reconnect things. It looks at parts and it's objective. It uses logic.

Of course it's not as simple as this, there are grey areas in this field, but it's a rough explanation of how our right and left side of the brain works.

These two parts of our brains communicate with each other. Our right hemisphere send information to our left hemisphere, where the received information will be 'labeled', 'packaged' and analyzed. If we mostly use our right hemisphere if we smell something, then it's logical that it's hard to describe in words what it is, we need our left hemisphere to help us with it.

For example, if we are in traffic. Our right side of the brain tells us that an object which is going fast, that it is coming close to us. It doesn't tell us what exactly is coming close to us, but it's something that is going fast. Our left side of the brain however, recognize the object and tells us that it's a car and explains to us that we have to be careful. The same with scent, our right side of the brain 'looks' at things as a whole. So it will provide us with rough information such as; it smells floral, earthy, fruity. The left side of our brain will look at it as in parts such as; it smells like jasmine or it smells like peach.

A perfumer needs to recognize scents and needs to train his or her brain to do so. Using words to give a name to a certain scent is very useful. If something is named, it will be more recognizable. If people have to distinguish different nuances of colors for example, it will help if they know the names of the colors, to concentrate more on these colors, to distinguish them from the other colors. If they are confronted with these color nuances and their names a couple of times, their recognition of these nuances are getting better and better over time. The same with scents. It helps the brain to receive more than one 'code', in this case smell. The trick is to give your memory more than one way of remembering. You can do this by using more than one sense, (touch, sight, hearing, taste and smell).

Perfumers do not only have to recognize the scent of one single component, they sometimes need to recognize this single component in a blend as well. Some perfumers can, if they smell a perfume, recognize many of the components of this fragrance. A trick to recognize some of the components is called 'smelling in patterns'. Let me first give another example to explain it a bit more:

Most people can only remember 7 numbers in a random order, for example the numbers:


It's getting more difficult to remember 14 numbers in a random order like:


But if we would group the numbers in meaningful groups like important dates of events like:

12.6.1941 (bombing on Pearl Harbor) or
7.21.1969 (the first landing on the moon)

We remember the numbers a lot easier. The same with recognizing components in fragrances. If the perfumer can group some single components and recognize these groups, it will be much easier to recognize the different components. The perfumer can group these components if he or she knows how certain combinations of single components do smell. For example, if the perfumer recognize a Fougere note (perfume family) in the fragrance, he or she knows that the Fougere has to have Amyl Salicylate, Coumarin, Lavender and Oakmoss. Once this group of components is recognized, the perfumer can put this group 'aside' in his mind, and smell around this group.

It's said that the right side of the brain is dominant with creative people, here is a test to find how creative you are.

I found something incredible at YouTube. Some people see the girl turn clockwise and some see her turn counter-clockwise, some people even don't see her turn but see her swing from left to right. I had to try it a couple of times before I could 'make' the girl turn every way around and let her swing from left to right. They say that if you see the girl turn counter-clockwise you use more of your left brain(analytical) and if you see her turn clockwise you use more of your right brain(creative). The first time I watched the video, I saw the girl turn counter-clockwise and at the end of the video I saw her turn clockwise. Strange that I see her turn counter-clockwise what means that I use more of my left side of the brain, while I always am creative. I should have seen her turn clockwise, but I didn't. I wonder if it's because I watched it as an analytical experience and forced my left brain to give attention. I don't know how much this test proofs. Which direction do you see the girl move? If you like to know how to let her move all kinds of directions I will let you know.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Chypre, indolic flowers, fruit and spices

It's wonderful that I have more time for the creation of my perfumes again. The whole weekend I was busy with experimenting. I took a closer look at my new friends, some materials I didn't study yet. I mixed unexpectedly combinations of materials, some of these mixes turned out stinky combinations, and some of them were surprisingly nice. I smelled my Velvet Blossom again, and I love the result very much. A very satisfying feeling to have accomplish exactly what I had in mind for this fragrance. A tender, fresh, but oh so velvety floral fragrance, based on Magnolia and Lilly of the Valley. I also worked on my fruity/chypre again. A perfume based on a Chypre accord made of oakmoss, labdanum, pathouli, vetiver, cedar and a little bit of castoreum. I combined this accord with fruity notes of bergamot, lemon and lychee.

I added a herbal green note of basil, a material I love very much, it gives a fresh green and a bit minty note to the fragrance. I also used watercress which gives a wonderful green leafy and very fresh note. The perfume so far smelled of course like Chypre, but also fruity green and floral. One of the flowers I think I always will use in my fragrances is jasmine, so also in this fragrance....

I used a jasmine absolute from Egypt, a very high quality absolute which smells wonderful. I also used may rose and gardenia. There is no such thing as a gardenia absolute so I had to reconstruct the scent of this flower. The floral notes are real nice, but I wanted them to smell even more indolic, so I added some more indole, and after testing the fragrance, I added even more of it. I just love indolic perfumes. The perfume smelled very nice, but I wanted to add some spicy notes to give more character to the fragrance.

So I added coriander seed, which works real fine. But I wanted the fragrance to smell even more spicy. I started with adding a tiny bit of cumin, a note that overpowers a fragrance real easy. So I had to be careful. But it was safe, I could use more of it, so I did. I wanted the fragrance to have a more dry spicy note, so I added some black pepper as well. Yes, that was a good idea. The black pepper is really nice in combination with the lychee. I also added some cardamom to give an effect to the citrus notes. It gives a very fresh spicy dry citrusy and even a bit bitter green note to the bergamot and lemon. And finally I added a tiny bit of clove. So the list of spices that I added is rather long: coriander seed, cumin, black pepper, cardamom and clove, but a nice combination of spices, which works really nice with the fruity notes. I have to remember this combination of spices when I want to cook......