eyeliner on a cat

eyeliner on a cat
beauty, scent & style scrutinized for pleasure

Saturday, August 6, 2011

The Saturday Sillies: What note do you want to smell in perfumery?

We've all thought of them: scents we come across in our everyday lives that instantly make us wistful... "If only I could smell this in a perfume!", usually followed by, "Why hasn't anyone thought of this yet?" and then, "Well, maybe they have, I'd better Google it."

This happened to me yesterday, and the inspirational culprit was none other than a Pluot.

The Flavor Queen variety of Pluots

Technically, it's a hybrid of a plum and an apricot, but it's much more plum-like in flavor and the Flavor Queen variety is sharply verdant in smell and taste at the outset. In short, it's utterly exhilarating. It reminds me of something Kedra Hart of Opus Oils could do something really fun and interesting with in a perfume blend. I can imagine essence of yellow Pluot married to mimosa or fleur d'oranger, some earthy jasmine sambac, a dry wood base and a touch of musk. 

What about you, are there any scents you've encountered in your day-to-day life that have made you think of how incredible they would be in a perfume? Dish. 

25 comments:

  1. One of my favourite smells is the smell of wood fires on a crisp fall night. I've smelled plenty of woody smoke perfumes but it's never been exactly right. Diptyque's Feu de Bois candle is close.

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  2. There are certain people in my life (ok, men!) whose scent I want bottled. I actually found a pretty close replication of one in Bond No. 9 Harrods Amber.

    Otherwise, you know what I would really like? Some sort of interpretation of strawberry that manages to capture both the sweetness and tang of the fruit's flavor and smell. Fresh's Strawberry Fields was just...not satisfactory. I wonder if it would need to be balanced by a sharp green note and maybe a labdanum base to give it a softer feel. This sounds weird, but I'd like something that'd start off reminiscent of a real, fresh strawberry (leaves and stem as well), but mellow into something like homemade strawberry ice cream (sweeter, more powdery, comforting but a bit sexy).

    Can you tell I have a food craving?

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  3. I'll always stop to sniff anything basil-related. Always.

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  4. Krista: I'm totally with you. In fact, if you ever find a wood-smoke scent that measures up to what you imagine, please DO let me know, I will want some of that.

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  5. Joey: I really like the sound of your strawberry perfume, actually. I have Fresh Strawberry Flowers, and I agree that it's not exactly right, but it's good. I think a true strawberry scent would have to have a good amount of green in it, there would need to be some wizardry involved.

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  6. Liz- I'm not really big on basil unless I'm having a caprese panini. But I do understand the appeal of it.

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  7. I'm with Liz! Basil, for sure!

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  8. Carrie, I'm with Liz. Basil is lovely. Is there a neroli basil out there?

    Ah, Strawberry Flowers haha! That's what I get for typing while listening to The Beatles. Oops. I just thought it was too citrusy. I didn't get enough actual strawberry from it.

    I wonder if anyone would take up the challenge of my strawberry perfume!

    Also if kjanicki finds her perfect woody smoke, I want some too. Diptyque Feu de Bois is amazing. It should be made into a fragrance.

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  9. Ooh la la Carrie your Pluot Daydream sounds amazing from top to bottom! Definitely Food 4 thought ;~)...

    And Joey-there is a "secret Strawberry project"I have in the works w/ Monica Miller (Perfume Pharmer)that just might satisfy your craving...

    Cheers, Kedra

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  10. Kedra, I just squealed! OMG! Really?! I'm so curious now. How exciting!

    xox

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  11. Recently, when Birgit asked a similar question (well, a question was about two notes but I could come up with only one) I thought of a flower (bush) that I wanted to smell in a perfume - Daphne odora. But today while thinking on your question I decided to look for something different. And I remembered that recently, while drinking a very nice whiskey at a friend's house I thought that I wouldn't mind the perfume that smells exactly like the drink in my glass. Unfortunately I can't remember the name.

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  12. There are several varieties of wines I'd love to see translated into perfumes. How about a Savignion Blanc - a green scent with blackcurrant leaves and nettles. Or a Reisling; citrus, peaches and soil, offset by petrolium. Or Gewurztraminer; lycees and roses offset by black pepper. I could go on and on..... :)

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  13. And, there is one more that I've not been able to stop thinking about during the last few days. I really really want a "Bread and Roses" scent.

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  14. There are two fragrances that I would love to have available in a bottle but I am afraid they are too delicate. The perfume of mock orange bush and the smell of loquats.

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  15. I love pluots too. We get two types, the greenish one you picture and also a purple one that looks like a plum, but when you bite into it has the bright orange color and sweetness of apricot flesh. White peaches, too -- any stone fruit really -- I've never smelled a synthetic replication that comes close. Real leather -- sorry, IBQ doesn't cut it imho. Four o'clock flowers.

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  16. Liz Larie and Joey, have you tried the new Eau d'Italie Jardin du Poete? If has a big, very realistic basil note with citrus. I really like it. It dries down to a musky angelica.

    I also own an old bottle of Isabella Rossellini Manifesto, which opens with black pepper and basil.

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  17. Wow, pluots, I've learned something today then. What I want to know Carrie is have you ever considered creating perfumes yourself? You seem to intuitively know what would go with what.

    As for me I pass a building site every lunchtime that smells of sweet burning dust and I'd be very happy if someone could bottle that!

    To Joey, Atelier Cologne's Trefle Pur has basil and neroli and it's wonderful.

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  18. Carrie - Haha! I don't mind smelling like an Italian kitchen. :)

    kjanicki - Thanks for the recommendation!

    Undina reminded me that I also wouldn't mind smelling like a nice single malt. Not like a drunk reeking of alcohol but... I think you know what I mean! Chanel has a splash that has notes of gin but it ended up reminding me of some godawful wedding receptions of yesteryears.

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  19. I think I'd love someone to reproduce the smell of quince - not that awful synthetic note that is referred to as such, but the actual amazingly complex fragrance of three or four cooking into a compote. It's never happened.

    We don't have pluots here, but we do have something called Reine Claude plums, which are yellow gold and very honey-tasting. They'll be available soon!

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  20. flavourfanatic: keep an eye out for Kelly & Jones perfume that will be launching soon, all of the scents are based on wines!

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  21. Olfacta: I think there is a real gap in the market for fruit-based perfumes that don't smell horribly synthetic and candy-like. Sometimes it's a matter of lending the right greenness to the blend, but that doesn't always work either. I would love to see some faithful renditions of stone fruit scents.

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  22. tara: I have not considered becoming a perfumer myself, no. I consider myself to be strictly on the consumer/press side of things, and I love what I do. I'm not saying that if I were given the opportunity to tinker around with essences just to satisfy my need for more knowledge and a deeper understanding of perfume that I wouldn't take it, but I leave creating to the experts, the true artists.

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  23. Black caraway (nigella) and black mustard seeds (rai)-- two of my favorite spices, which perfume food beautifully, but rarely appear in fragrances.

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  24. I answered a similar question on Victoria's blog yesterday.. I said I would be curious to smell tamarind (with cilantro and mint) in perfume..
    But I think I'd also love to smell a perfume that mimics the smell of sage frying in butter. I don't really like coconut in perfume- but the scent of star anise, cinnamon and clove sizzling in coconut oil is an amazing scent.

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  25. @olenska - I love nigella as a seasoning in food, too! I think it would be an interesting alternate to the cumin note in perfume

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