I’ve always been intrigued by the methods behind things that seem like magic to me when done well (aspects of musical performance and chemistry mostly) but one thing I’ve not really explored is perfume. Never really got round to finding a scent I like as the choice seems bewildering and the costs seem excessive. But there is something quite special about how smell links to the brain in such a powerful and subtle way conjuring up thoughts and memories. I’m also interested in that massive industry near Paris that is shrouded in secrecy with technicians mixing hundreds of substances procured from exotic places forming a solution that is extremely valuable to people.
I started thinking about this today as I was using a compound called isovaleraldehyde in the lab today and it stank of smelly socks. However when in an extreme dilution (when I was cleaning it off my reaction vessel) it smelt of sweet chocolate.