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Thread: The Marine Note in Perfumes.

  1. #1

    The Marine Note in Perfumes.

    I was learning about perfumes because i kinda wanna do one DIY and i get lost on the Internet and ends up in a french website call Olfastory which gives a lot of information about french perfumes it's history, industry and it's tendencies and then i end up on the page of the marine facette of perfumes and i was thinking that maybe someone else would be interested in more info about it here. Now i'm not sure if it's belongs to other mermaid stuff, non mermaid topics or science but well i was guessing that since it's sea related it was the better category, correct me if not.

    In that website i learned that the marine facette of perfume is a really recent invention that comes from the dreaded Big Pharma initially. They invented the main ingredient of the marine note of perfume in 1966, we did wait till 1992 to have the first sucessful water themed perfume, it was "l'Eau Dissey" (hononym of the Odissey, a play pun...i did have to wait a long time to get that one joke) but apparently since then because they are seen as fresh, pure and natural with the big tendency in perfume of nowadays to sell on the "nature" argument they become very popular.

    Even tough this was initiated from Pfizer to give a sea perfume to medical products with synthetized chemical scents nowadays more "natural" ways of giving the same olfactive sensation are used like blue cypres, lotus and sea bass, most marine themed perfumes seeks mostly to have the scent of iod and as of now one of their major catch-theme for sell is "feel the scent of the sea everywhere".

    Well for sure it's in fact really artificial but most of the time the imitation isn't bad. Sometimes they do the marine note with fruits that are very watery like melons and watermelons but the most often used processus for fabrication of a marine facette to a perfume is an artificial molecule called calone commercialized in 1951 which is in dozens of sea-themed perfumes it is very well liked by most but it have the inconvenient that it is irritative. It's also frequent to have a sea-themed perfume with an artificial imitation of mineral notes of scents also that kinda scent like a pebble beach (at least that the intention) together with calone. Now having your not every time sea themed but very often aquatic themed perfume had become almost a preriquisite to anyone who wants to get any credit as a serious and noted nose/perfumer.

    That was what i've learned about it in their Olfastory website and i thinked that might interest someone else than me here. I'm not working for them and except DIY i'm not a perfumer or working in a perfumery that is not my job and they didn't pay me for any adds i was just curious and satisfied to learn more and wanted to sum up and share the information they have about it here for people who might be curious about it.

    Now for everyone who have zero money and is very into natural and DIY like me there is another method to have a sea scent for your body that most probably was already used in prehistory and from which Big Pharma can't take no benefits froms which is probably way more ecological but also a bit hardest to do in a urban setting since a real sea is needed around for it, it consists in taking a bottle of sea water and sprikling yourself with it contains. That maybe a bit weird and not last very long but it's work and it's used since ages to have that effect of giving you a sea scent for sometimes not very persistent but at least it's works, it's 100% ecological if you use a glass bottle for it (i think correct me on that if i'm wrong) and it's way more cheap than the industrial perfumes and less strong in scent so it have a more delicate and tasty note and feel more spontaneous.
    Probably it's still the number one free method to get a sea scent for a human body in term of popularity as it's so intuitive. Ephemere maybe but few good things in life are not.

    Well, i hope all that will be of interest to some people here.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Pod of Oceania Mermaid Jaffa's Avatar
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    I don't know if they still do, but at one point in time, they used to use whale poo or whale vomit. I can't which one. It came from whales, to make perfume and other cosmetics. In modern times, some companies use seaweed.
    Formerly known as ireneho

  3. #3
    Member Euro Pod
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    Feb 2018
    the netherlands
    yep! I believe it was a special substance that coated the squid beaks or other sharp objects, to prevent them from penetrating the stomach or intestines of the sperm whale.
    it's also known as ambergris or grey amber.
    it wasn't really used for the scent I thought, just to let the parfume stay on longer

    it takes mutiple years to form, and only about 1% of the sperm whales produce it, it has been replaced nowadays, but it's still pretty valuable

  4. #4
    Yes indeed. I have gathered more info about it :

    Ah yes it was whales vomit, more poetically named "ambre gris" (grey amber) letting the client imagine some less repulsive mineral provenance. To be more precise it cames not from whales strictly speaking but from other cetaceans, sperm whales intestines rejects a very perfumed substance when they vomit. It scent was very caracteristic (source Wikipédia article ambre gris on that one). Yellow amber "real mineral amber" if you will had only one thing in common with sperm whale vomit "ambre gris" it was that both can be picked up either on beaches nor floating around the sea waves. Well...nature is dirty. Here a photo from it really looks like a stone therefore pretends it was of mineral origin was easy :

    At first it stinks a lot but it can be infused. The sperm whale vomits this when it eats too much octopuses and squids. It could give with little chemical operation a scent that can go from wood to animal to musk even if the initial scent is more like a mix of tobacco and human vomit but well perfumery has it roots in alchemy and they was for a long time therefore a strong tendency in it's to take "horrible" scents and transforms them in beautiful ones like metaphorically transforming kind of a "lead" scent to a "golden" one was more or less the initial idea so that is why some scent are disgusting to most people but still used in a lot of perfumes.
    The "ambre gris" is very old of use in perfume but it as always been a luxury product and still is. Very rare and very expensive it is now more often replaced with an artificial scent reproducted in laboratories that imitates its original scent.

    Even more the sperm whale is now considered a vulnerable protected specie since the Washington Convention of the 1 July 1975 therefore since then it is illegal to use real "ambre gris" or any part of a sperm whale in any products. Now it's artificial imitation is still one of the most basic notes in perfumery but it's no longer (at least legally but the perfume industry is self-controlled so it's sometimes hard to know the truth behind ethical statements) extracted from real sperm whales but produced as a laboratory artificial scent that imits the original one. It can be used in marine notes but that is not the most common in general it is used more in the olfactory famili of woods and musk for giving a scent of nature and can be use in marine note for a seaweed scent indeed but it's not well liked by some people who thinks it's more like stinks dead fish than anything else...this people probably have a more sensitive nose than most because well technically that is the original scent, vomit of dead octopuses and calmars.

    Still it was very popular also as a jewel for ladies until mid XXth century and lot of old romantic poetry praise the beauty of necklaces made in "ambre gris". Also "ambre gris" was popular in the past for having the same curative proprieties as a cure of oestrogene now and they were very popular because they do have active pheromone that do product an aphrodisiac effect and therefore it was easily well liked by clients as it really helped seduction. It was use first by the chinese and then by the arabs as mostly a medical cure but when it arrived in europe it was so expensive there that it was always been used mostly as a perfume in the old continent.

    It's true that as of now seaweeds are more and more used in the marine note in perfumery but it's still a rare and very recent tendency at least in french perfumery and within the limit of my own knowledge which is really not all that big. Some also but it's even more recent and rare use marine salt to the marine note.

    A last thing that i know about "ambre gris" is that well there is a classical formula in perfumery with a head note, a heart note and a base note and of course most of the time "ambre gris" is a base note and it was a lot used in fact for it's strong scent that made the perfume way more persistent.

    Well as of now it's kind of old-fashioned and very rarely used in french perfumes but it's still in artificial forms a basic of luxury perfumes but most perfum for normal people don't have that in it it's more or less a sign of wealthiness to scent the artificial ambre gris even know.
    Last edited by Mermaid Fina; 03-03-2020 at 05:12 AM.


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