The words ‘be careful what you wish for’ sprung to mind today. I have been back in the labs sporadically since the beginning of the year, mostly creating product perfumes (yes it’s already time to make xmas products again!). However, I have had one burning desire to create a fragrance inspired by the sea. Not one of these ‘aqua’ or ‘marine’ style mens’ sports deodorants but an authentic smell of the sea. If you couple this with too much time reading Heston Blumenthal recipes you quickly get to a chemical called dimethyl sulfide. I read somewhere on the internet (uhoh!) that this is the material most commonly associated with the sea. It’s a chemical produced in digestion by plankton. Its also the smell of rotting death. When the sample turned up Agnes had to wrap it in a plastic bag, inside a black pot just to keep it in the same room.
I hadn’t realized quite how poky a scent it could be. In concentration its like decomposing onions cooking in cabbage. I actually recognized the gagging stench as that of durian fruit, the south east asian fruit synonmymous with love hate reactions. Apparently elephants can smell it from half a mile away, I’m not surprised. Anyway, I decided to dilute it and put the remaining concentrated stuff in the loo, by an open window, inside several sealed containers. The final joke was on Rowena who opened it this morning thinking it was handcream, her nose is the most sensitive of anyone I have ever met and so she stormed into the lab furious and repulsed having had a nose full of it. Smell of the sea is on the back burner for now : )