04-10-2017, 05:49 AM
#1
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Man, one thing I have learned in my short time enjoying the new experiences of wet shaving is that the description of the soap, cream, croap, etc is not always on point. Sometimes it smells nothing like the description in a disappointing way, and sometimes it is fantastic. I like my sapone di paulo cremoso. But it is not what I expected at all. I was a little disappointed. Now the Uncle Jon's Pipe tobacco smells WAY better than it is described. I cant be the only one. Right?

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 04-10-2017, 05:58 AM
#2
  • Steve56
  • Senior Member
  • Knoxville, TN
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That's true, but I'm not sure how much of it is the actual scent and how much of it is our noses and brains. Some people love the scent of Arko and others cannot abide it in the same room, but it's the same scent. I've also found that if a scent is unappealing, to set that product aside and revisit it in a month or three, my perception of many such scents changes over time.

Cheers, Steve

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 04-10-2017, 06:15 AM
#3
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(04-10-2017, 05:58 AM)Steve56 Wrote: That's true, but I'm not sure how much of it is the actual scent and how much of it is our noses and brains. Some people love the scent of Arko and others cannot abide it in the same room, but it's the same scent. I've also found that if a scent is unappealing, to set that product aside and revisit it in a month or three, my perception of many such scents changes over time.

Cheers, Steve
Sure that makes total sense. If we all liked the same thing, there would be precious few soap choices. I am talking more about the soap not smelling at all like the description. Even some of the standard scents. Sort of the same thing i guess.

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 04-10-2017, 06:33 AM
#4
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Perhaps our soap artisans will post and give us the benefit of their expertise.  

My sense is that what you describe is partly due to two factors.  First, a lack of uniformity in the various essential/fragrance oils available to soap makers. Second, there is also a lack of uniformity in the inherently vague and subjective vocabulary for describing scents.

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 04-10-2017, 08:35 AM
#5
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The sense of smell is tied to emotion, because of how and where it is processed in the brain.  If you have positive or negative associations with a smell, that is going to influence how you perceive it.  I have noticed that people perceive and interpret scents very differently -  some seem to have a more acute sense of smell  but that can change or diminish over time, and with changes in health.  If you are using essential oils for your fragrance, there can be minor differences from batch to batch since it's a natural product (weather, storage conditions, proper distillation or pressing, different sources).  For example, there will be a difference between lavender angustifolia, latifolia, lavender hybrids, standardized lavender 40/42, and lavenders grown in different regions, but lavender will never smell like, say, lemongrass.  It will always be recognizable as lavender.  But describing scents is very difficult and subjective - we associate it with something else, "It smells like a forest floor", or give it an emotional weight "It smells sunny and cheerful".  If a description tells you what's actually in the soap, and you know what those scents smell like and can imagine them together, fine, but when the description draws you a picture, who's to say that what you think that thing/situation/image smells like is what other people think it smells like?

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 04-10-2017, 10:28 AM
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(04-10-2017, 08:35 AM)Mystic Water Wrote: The sense of smell is tied to emotion, because of how and where it is processed in the brain.  If you have positive or negative associations with a smell, that is going to influence how you perceive it.  I have noticed that people perceive and interpret scents very differently -  some seem to have a more acute sense of smell  but that can change or diminish over time, and with changes in health.  If you are using essential oils for your fragrance, there can be minor differences from batch to batch since it's a natural product (weather, storage conditions, proper distillation or pressing, different sources).  For example, there will be a difference between lavender angustifolia, latifolia, lavender hybrids, standardized lavender 40/42, and lavenders grown in different regions, but lavender will never smell like, say, lemongrass.  It will always be recognizable as lavender.  But describing scents is very difficult and subjective - we associate it with something else, "It smells like a forest floor", or give it an emotional weight "It smells sunny and cheerful".  If a description tells you what's actually in the soap, and you know what those scents smell like and can imagine them together, fine, but when the description draws you a picture, who's to say that what you think that thing/situation/image smells like is what other people think it smells like?
That brings a lot to light. Thank you for taking the time to respond. I guess I was more or less trying to understand what I don't know. I suspect that soap making is a complex sciencey art!
DB

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 04-11-2017, 04:30 PM
#7
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With complex scents, it gets really hard to describe what you'll be smelling.  We've got some scents with over a dozen fragrance ingredients.  I can tell you what the main notes are, but with that much stuff in it, if it's blended well, it becomes more than the sum of its parts - something that's hard to describe and hard to predict.  One scent I'm thinking of in particular, a reviewer said something that's stuck with me - that he had no idea that the combination of main notes we listed would smell like it did.

Also, I think people sometimes might not have a clear idea of what a particular note smells like.  For example, a lot of people say they like vetiver. What many mean is they like Tom Ford Vetiver, which has a lot of other things going on in it besides vetiver.

Plus, people do prefer and perceive scents differently.  I guess all this is why we sell samples.

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