Sending Out Traveling Musk Packages

I’ll send out two identical traveling musk packages Tuesday the 24th.  The first two people can sniff, report back their results via email to info@sonomascentstudio.com or to my personal email (given in the package), and then send on to the next two people.  We have the first six or so in line already.

Here are the questions I’d love for you to answer:

— For each vial, dab a little on your skin or on a scent strip and sniff it on and off for a couple of hours.  How strong would you rate the scent on a scale of 0 – 5 with 0 being none at all and 5 being very strong?  Which ones seem to last longest to you?  Do they come and go or stay steady?

— For each vial, jot down a couple words that give your main impressions, such as powdery, sweet, fruity, clean, animalic, herbal, musty, earthy, woodsy, honeyed, floral, dry, etc.

I’ll tabulate the results.  No names will be associated with the data; all data will just be tabulated so we can look for patterns. 

Let’s start a thread below this post for questions and reporting back on this experiment.  Many people are anosmic to at least one musk, so don’t be surprised if you can’t smell all of these.  I diluted them down to a very skin-safe level which will make some seem soft; this experiment will require unperfumed skin before you start or else the musks would get lost mingling with your regular fragrance of the day.  A number of the musks are similar and a couple are more unusual.  Musks do their work partly in conjunction with other ingredients so sniffing them in isolation is not giving the full story, but it will help see which ones you can smell directly.

In addition to the musks, I included vials of ISO E Super and Ambroxan since people are commonly partially anosmic to those as well and because they’re fun to sniff if you can smell them.

Tess, if you read this I need your address to get you in line for a package.  You can send me an email.

Have fun sniffing and thanks for participating!


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  1. Ooh, thanks for adding in Iso E and Ambroxan. I’ve been curious about what these smell like (or don’t, as the case may be!) and didn’t really want to have to order samples of the Molecule line to find out. I’m really looking forward to receiving one of the packages!

    BTW, I’m not a huge rose perfume fan (smells great on the flower, but kinda sour on my skin), but I really like the Vintage Rose sample you sent. Kinda boozy and yummy 🙂

  2. Hi Gail! Yes, I thought those two would be fun for people since they’ve been made famous by Escentric Molecules.

    ISO E is nice and strong and steady to my nose, but it can vary a lot from one person to the next. You may not like it since it’s cedary and cedar isn’t your favorite note, but it’s different than real cedar oil so it’ll be interesting for you to try. Ambroxan is more subtle but very nice and dry; it adds a wonderful touch to a lot of blends (it’s also pricey at close to $1000/kilo).

    Glad you enjoyed the sample of Vintage Rose!

  3. Hi, I got the package today. I haven’t opened any of the vials and I can smell one or two of them!

    I will give specific feedback tomorrow.

  4. Great! Thanks for letting me know the first one has landed! 🙂 You may need to do it in sessions, maybe half at a time. You’ll probably recognize some of them, like ISO E, from fragrances you’ve smelled. Hope it’s interesting!

  5. I love ISO E super. It smells like a mix of cedar, a tiny hint of benzoin, and “clean.” I wish I could have a shower gel purely based on this aromachemical. It makes the perfect base for nearly any floral, woodsy, or incense scent. I’ll give you my specifics with the others.

    In addition, I have been wanting to try Paradisone for a while. I heard it’s a very striking and unusual musk. Maybe at a later date?

    Thanks for letting us try these! 🙂

  6. A question – I heard that one of the the reasons for asnomia is the high molecular weight on some musks?

  7. Hi Cheri! I love ISO E too.

    Yes, current theory is that if a molecule is too large to fit the receptors it can’t be smelled. The topic of anosmia is more complex than that alone, but many musk chems are large molecules and that may be one reason they can be hard for some people to smell. Specific anosmias to certain chems seem to have a genetic component.

    Paradisone is not actually a musk, but is related more to hedione, a jasmine type of chem. You’ve smelled hedione in lots of fragrances, including mine. I have the regular and the special hi cis form. Hedione gives wonderful lift and volume along with jasmine and fresh, almost citrus, nuances. It does a lot even at very low levels. Paradisone is methyl dihydroepijasmonate whereas hedione is methyl dihydrojasmonate. I don’t think I’ve tried paradisone. You may have heard about it through a quote from an article by Arcadi Boix Camps that was published on a blog; I have some papers by that author and he writes enraptured of many aroma chems the same way. He is very enthusiastic and fun to read, but he makes you lust after all these ingredients, lol.

  8. I just checked on the paradisone and apparently it is like the high cis hedione I have but even purer. The high cis is more expensive than regular hedione and I’m sure the paradisone must be pricier still. The high cis is interesting, but I actually like regular hedione quite a lot too.

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