Saturday Question: What Are The Strangest Notes In Perfume You Encountered?

I came up with this question a couple of weeks ago when I told you about the gasoline accord in Parfumes Quartana Ierofante. But it was right before Valentine’s Day, so chocolate seemed like a better idea. And then I forgot.

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

Saturday Question #154:

What Are The Strangest Notes In Perfume You Encountered?

It can be a note in the perfume pyramid you own or tried. Or something you read about. Or a weird note you smelled in perfume even though it wasn’t listed.

My Answer

If I were to sift through my database, I could find more strange notes. But that would have been cheating: most of my readers do not have a database to check. So, I’m going with the note I remembered without looking: Instant film accord in Vogue 125 by Comme des Garcons.

I didn’t read notes before trying it for the first time, so this note surprised me. I didn’t recognize what it was. It reminded me of acetone, and I wondered what it was. But when I read about that note, it fit just perfectly matched what I smelled. And it has the ink note, which also isn’t the most common or expected. I don’t want to wear it, so a small sample is all I have. But it was interesting to smell.


How about you?


What Are The Strangest Notes In Perfume You Encountered?


27 thoughts on “Saturday Question: What Are The Strangest Notes In Perfume You Encountered?

  1. The butter note in January Scent Project’s Selpurniku, The first time I smelled it my nose got rancid butter and apricots and it made me queasy. However subsequent wearings the fragrance started to grow on me.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The vinyl in Quartana’s Hemlock smells like the LPs I once owned. Also had a sample of the brand’s Bloodflower which had a blood note, not pleasant. Passed that one along quickly. Although the strangest is perhaps the burning meat smell I got from Zoologist Tyrannosaurus Rex – fortunately had not sprayed that sample on skin. I’m sure all of these smell great on someone, just not me!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, and many of Filippo Sorcinelli’s perfumes smell unpleasantly barbecuish to me, with fatty, meaty smoke. But of course, it’s not listed.

      Did you know, there was a Burger King line of perfumes? They smelled officially of grilled meat.


  3. I guess many niche houses clamor for attention with unusual note lists. There once was a perfume that had rice paper, savoy cabbage, onions and glass noodles (Dragonflies by Fyrinnae). That’ll be hard to better.

    Closer to home, among the perfumes that I have tried myself, it gets no stranger than homely goat hair in Häxan (Parfum Prissana).

    Liked by 1 person

    • It certainly seems to be one way for niche houses to get attention!
      Shifting from perfumery to olfactory art, David Seth Moltz (of D.S. and Durga) had an exhibit at Olfactory Art Keller last summer called Religious Vegetables, in which some scents showcased onion, spinach, or parsnip. I didn’t go to that one so don’t know how accurate they were.


      • I can imagine that! Are they Barbies or other fashion dolls? The Barbie Expo in Montreal is a large exhibit of every kind of Barbie through the decades of fashion—something you might like!


      • I get “doll’s head note” from Gres Cabaret, Rochas Tocade & Lush Rose Jam. Guessing it’s created by certain rose & vanilla molecules. It’s not unpleasant but smells adjacent to Sam Smith’s body suit at the Brits!


  4. Blood in that range of perfumes based on different blood groups, then those magnificent secretions of course, and printer toner! I also thought I detected embalming fluid in Dioressence, or how I imagine it to smell. Then there are the burning tyres of Creed’s Love in Black, and as others have mentioned, lighter fuel – in Tauer Lonestar Memories, for example.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Speaking of barbecue, the, I think, birch tar in HG Hyde made it one of the most memorable, strange perfumes I’ve sampled. I found it a realistic barbecue “morning after” smell, burnt fat and ash. I was too confused to further sample it to see what it would do next, but I will. A pleasant example was ink in Miller Harris Tender, which also has tulip listed. After I saw Tender’s notes, I did see how the faint, appealing scent of tulips is ink-like.

    Liked by 1 person

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