The Sniff Box – Perfume In Plain English

Tagged With ‘nasty’

The missing ingredient

I’ve been meaning to write a post for some time about an ingredient I thought I’d discovered in the majority of the men’s perfumes that have been launched in the last five years or so, which gives them all an intensely acrid, peppery, chemical smell, like a fire in an electricity substation.

For lack of any better information from the perfume companies themselves I was going to call it ‘cheapone’, since it makes anything it’s in smell so cheap and nasty, but now the estimable Lee Kynaston, men’s grooming guru and blogger extraordinaire, has identified it in a feature he recently wrote for the Telegraph.

Dihydromyrcenol is apparently the culprit, and I’m delighted to discover that Lee hates it as much as I do. The reason for its ubiquity, he explains, ‘is that creative briefs for men’s fragrances often require that they “last all day” because men, unlike women, tend to apply once and don’t bother to top up later in the day. The easiest way to deliver that longevity is to throw some dihydromyrcenol into the mix.’

In a way it’s nice to have one’s suspicions backed up at last by scientific evidence, but what would be even nicer would be if our perfume masters stopped using the revolting stuff and found a more attractive ingredient instead. Or even started using their imaginations again, like perfumers did in the days before dihydromyrcenol.

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