Where do I buy weird scents like cut grass or burning rubber?
January 10, 2017 4:52 PM   Subscribe

I want to make weird perfumes for fun. Like those Comme des Garçons colognes that smell like a gas station, or a dive bar, or whatever. Where would I find those types of scents (mown grass, burnt rubber, urine, rotten eggs, cigarette smoke etc)? Unsurprisingly, the essential oil suppliers don't stock them.

I saw this question, but I don't want to recreate a specific scent. I just want a few oils that don't smell of flowers, fruits, musk and so on.
posted by dontjumplarry to Grab Bag (13 answers total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: The Perfumer's Apprentice sells a lot of really unusual industrial scent molecules that are usually not available to consumers or home perfume makers. If you're willing to get something that's more traditionally end consumer perfume, the Demeter Library has single-note scents in unusual things, but not quite as unusual as the CdG notes you're thinking of. In addition, you've mentioned not being interested in essential oils, but the high end places like White Lotus have some unusual ones that might produce some of the novel effects you're looking for.

Sorry on phone so no links.
posted by joyceanmachine at 5:04 PM on January 10, 2017 [6 favorites]

Check out Demeter Perfume. They have fun and funky scents like cut grass, leather jacket, etc. I don't know if you just want the odd scents. They have a ton of unusual scents.
posted by bodgy at 5:20 PM on January 10, 2017 [8 favorites]

Best answer: Most of the flavors and fragrances industry is, unsurprisingly, dedicated to pleasant smells but you can search the Sigma-Aldrich Flavors and Fragrances catalog by organoleptic property. There are a few options that seem not so pleasant: smoky, burnt, etc. (Note: Sigma-Aldrich sells pure chemicals, not essential oils, and they may not sell to individuals. But it's kind of fun to browse.)

FYI: vomit = butyric acid. I highly do not recommend opening a bottle of this stuff!
posted by Quietgal at 5:20 PM on January 10, 2017 [3 favorites]

posted by bendy at 5:21 PM on January 10, 2017 [1 favorite]

You could burn grass or rubber and bubble it through some liquid to capture scents. That's how they make liquid smoke flavor.

Water, alcohol and oils will all grab their own mix of scent molecules.

Another diy approach is infusions. You know how infused berry vodka works? The same method can be applied to leather or old shoes or dirt or candy or whatever.
posted by SaltySalticid at 5:29 PM on January 10, 2017 [1 favorite]

More CJ I Hate Perfume scents here . I feel like there's a longer list somewhere, (like they don't sell them all online) but I can't find it. The single-scent things are called accords, but it seems like they don't have a list of all the accords online anymore.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 5:49 PM on January 10, 2017

CB I Hate Perfume stopped listing all of its accords online a few years ago, as well as which ones go into the fragrance collections, which is a pity. Archive.org keeps a record of them.

(Brosius was one of the founders of Demeter.)
posted by holgate at 6:10 PM on January 10, 2017 [2 favorites]

The GAP used to sell a perfume called "grass" back in the 90s that smelled just like cut grass. I all of a sudden remember it! Sorry that's all I had to add to the conversation.
posted by katypickle at 7:09 PM on January 10, 2017 [5 favorites]

Santa Maria Novella's Nostalgia had an intoxicating rubbery smell when I first sprayed it on but it was too intense for me.

There was also an episode of Nathan For You where he developed a poop flavored frozen yogurt. He talked to some industrial flavor compound people- maybe that's a lead?
posted by Queen of Spreadable Fats at 9:55 PM on January 10, 2017 [1 favorite]

Brosius videos are interesting
posted by BWA at 6:21 AM on January 11, 2017

Best answer: You want http://www.saveonscents.com/.

They sell fragrance oils that can be used to scent candles, bath products, perfume, etc. You can buy very small, sample-size amounts. AND they have a wide variety of the kind of thing you want. Pay particular attention to their "Eclectic and Avante-Garde" section (http://www.saveonscents.com/index.php/cPath/291_486) where you can get scents like Crayon Wax, Diesel, Exhaust, Glass Cleaner, Hay Bales, etc.

I have used their products to make wax melts and was very happy with them.
posted by oblique red at 6:56 AM on January 11, 2017

I still have a bottle of that GAP grass perfume! I'm rationing it out.
posted by culfinglin at 12:54 PM on January 12, 2017

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