Scent | Notes We Hate

First things first: our scent group has an Instagram account! Check us out and follow along at

At our August meeting, which I hosted, I suggested the theme of notes and elements we hate in scent. We had a lively discussion complete with samples. Some of the most repellent scents as judged by our members are below. Try them if you dare.

  • Carvacrol: Often used as a food additive, it smells like oregano to some, burning rubber to others. Apparently Comme des Garçons occasionally uses it in their fragrances.
  • Rose oxide: This smelled quite astringent and geranium-y.
  • Iso E Super: Piney and resinous, it is the main ingredient in Escentric Molecules 01 as well as Elevator Music, a collaboration between Byredo and Virgil Abloh. On the body it seems to amplify one’s own personal scent. It’s added to a lot of cosmetics, cleaning products, and fragrances for its fresh and clean character.
  • Melonal: Smells like melon and cucumber and usually added to green scents. It didn’t bother me, but others disliked its vegetal fragrance.
  • Cassis: This one was mine. I just hate its cloying fruity sweetness. I feel like it adds an artificial-grapey scent to perfume. Yuck.

Of course when combined with other molecules or essences, these can completely transform, “disappearing” and contributing to the whole of a scent.  I don’t have the best nose or a great understanding of the science behind perfume, so to me it’s like magic. I hope that sense of wonder never goes away.



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