A nose walked into a bar…

…and let the mouth do the ordering!

(I’m not known for corny jokes, people.)


The inspiration came from my experience with a makeshift “Monclin” smelling device, which my other half made by drilling holes into the bottoms of rounded glass yogurt containers (as I wasn’t yet ready to commit to buying cognac glasses for the purpose without verifying the drilling technique to make sure the glass wouldn’t crack or shatter [hint: tape over the area you want to drill and keep “lubricating” the bit with water to prevent overheating from the friction]). Leave a scented blotter inside for a couple of minutes and then pick the whole thing up. Sniff. The smell isn’t concentrated per se, but it’s more diffused and really does feel as though my nose has stepped into a room of its own.

The presence of the smelling strip within the dome helps keep the scent from getting inhaled all at once, and the smaller hole enables the air flow needed to detect top, middle, and base notes simultaneously, making this configuration much more forgiving than simply covering a scented object (eg, the same smelling strip folded to point upward into the air) with a closed dome. This is superior to sniffing straight from a blotter or from the vial, as I tend to do with ingredients and experimental blends.


This ability to smell more from the same amount of sprayed perfume also ties into the less is more philosophy that I’m revisiting, for work (“how can we deliver more impact for less cost?”) as well as in perfumery. Speaking from my own experience, I think a rookie mistake when starting to make perfume blends is using too much material for fear that less won’t be discernible. I’m getting more comfortable now with using low concentrations as appropriate and letting the invisible chemistry do its thing in the maceration. Some surprising discoveries for me (that are probably obvious to those more experienced):

  • Evernyl (Veramoss) 10% in alcohol looks to be a clear liquid as far as I can tell, but diluting it further to 1% brings out a purple tint
  • Aldehyde C12 MNA smells like a strong, soapy orange at 1%, but blossoms into a bright, clean fizz at 0.1% (and is much friendlier in a mixture, where it will be diluted another hundredfold or so)

In the meantime, I also have remnants of strong perfumes on clothes that have gone through the washer and dryer once, that I can still smell throughout the whole day!


That’s it for now. I hope whatever the mouth ordered at the bar was to the nose’s satisfaction.






2 thoughts on “A nose walked into a bar…

    1. YES! I had meant to include the similarity to smelling perfumes with mouth open – another way to increase the space and airflow – but forgot, so I’m very glad you brought it up!

      I was also nervous about the drilling. We bought special drill bits labelled “for glass and tiles,” and started with the smallest to make the initial hole and then move up to sequentially bigger sizes. Wear safety glasses (and protective gloves)!

      That joke was funny! 😃 Great artwork, too. I love realistic paintings of animals.

      Liked by 1 person

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