PONK module 10 - odour descriptions here (spoiler alert past post 1)


Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Jan 31, 2010
PONK is an organised regular blind smelling group gymnosium. Fun nose practice for any level of perfumers with a regular mystery box of untitled materials.

This is open house practice to learn and share information on BN. Those who do not wish to order a pre-prepared box, can still join in with a single module lag.... by going to the relevant reveal first to get the right materials for yourself, and then just join in the discussion on that thread. The timing and order don't really matter.

Module 10 is the tenth box in this series and this is the thread to post your smelling observations and comments.

It is purely for nose training practice and discussion amongst beginners and seasoned noses alike. You do not have to identify the material to join in. Just come on thread and say whatever you like. There are no barriers or judges. Just the encouragement to trust your own nose.

The aim is NOT to guess the mystery ingredients....but to use your nose to contemplate it fully without that pressure to recognise the material.

For this who have ordered one then look out for these landing on your mat soon (I hope).


And guess the nose..... for the nosy.

When you get yours, please do not spoil the fun for those without their boxes by saying what you think it actually is, but by all means do post your thoughts and observations. These modules are not about guessing the identity of the notes in the slightest, only observing them.

Each box contains the materials in numbered vials and the reveal is within the box in a semi sealed document. Partly for customs inspection reasons. Have a bit of fun and test yourself by smelling blind whilst making notes, but then wait and discuss before peeking.

In most modules, the contents are related to the nose image in a roundabout way. See what you think.

After this post, then don't read anymore on this thread if yours isn't there yet (unless you want to).

For an evaluation sheet, press this nose.

(Anyone can raid these for their own use. There is a different one for each module on the evaluation page here)

BTW... Please do NOT test these on your skin but only on smelling strips before knowing what they are.

They are at various strengths to suit each project module. These are concentrated chemicals at the end of the day and need respecting as such. Please only use smelling strips until you know what they are and how much to use.

The dilutions are at varied strengths in this box to suit the material.

For the non UK ones I used a diluent of 50% IPM to PA with most. I used the PA alongside the IPM to at least obtain some projection whilst toeing the line for flash points. I think this makes a good compromise for the postal restrictions. UK are ethanol.

Don't rush these. There is plenty of time, and learning to smell isn't a race. Enjoy them and post your thoughts whenever you like... or not.

Some people haven't opened their previous ones. Nothing matters. Smell them in any order you like or play using your own materials if you'd rather look up the reveals first. Or better still, get a friend to look them up to see if you have the materials or not so you really are smelling blind still.


Super Member
Oct 5, 2016
My take on module 10:

1. When initially applied on the mouillette, it's a pleasant green smell which makes me think of grass, even a bit of coriander/dirt-like astringency, along with a soft minty coolness (not toothpaste or anything strong). There's even a bit of banana peel-ish fruitiness. It then turns sweeter and more citrus-y fruity, and settles into a sweet-tart lemon with a herbal touch and a laundry-like clean feeling.

2. The very first smell reminds me of radish! That earthy, dirt-like smell with a bit of spicy bite and a juicy aquatic feeling. With time, the spicy bite disappears, and the dirt and aquatic feelings evoke petrichor and fresh wet earth to me, but soft, not pungent. And it continues to smell like radish, the some sort of root with a mineral nuance for hours. It then turns dryer and acre, like dried radish, and eventually becomes a green tart sap-like smell the next day.

3. This one smells like mint to me. At first I got the crushed leaves/vegetation feeling. Then I get the cool sensation of mint and the medicinal, diluted liquorice/anise-like sweetness. The next day, when the cool sensation and medicinal feeling disappear, it almost smells like diluted mint sugar water. ��

4. This one feels more muted than the previous ones. A sort of dough-y, enveloping feeling compared to the vivid, life-like feeling of the former 3. I initially get a green apple-like fresh green smell without much tartness, then It evokes a certain rotten vegetation or melon-like smell, but not faul-smelling. I also get a faint undertone of green spicy/peppery like celery/anis/fennel. And then, after a few hours, it turns into a balmy, dried fruit-like sweet-tartness with a faint bitter green spicy undertone and a laundry-like "white musk" feeling, which reminds me of fenugreek???

5. At first it smells like ginseng, bitter, medicinal yet ozonic, then it smells like mushroom but very airy, not intense. It also imparts a cool sensation. And then, for a few minutes, it really smells like meaty mushroom sprayed with ginseng medicine??? The more I smell it, the more I get the woody fragrance of cêpe mushroom, but it eventually settles into that woody, cool, medicinal smell of ginseng the next day. This one is so wierd yet the association is so vivid to me, I'm loving it! :D

6. Much woodier than the previous ones, like smoky campfire but with a cooling, nose-poking sensation in the nose. There’s also a gentle sweetness which keeps it from being overly acre. It remains this gently sweet, dry woody scent, reminding me of campfire smoke but much softer than the reality.

Edit: After checking the answer, I can kind of see why No.4 and No.5 smell as such, but I really thought about completely different things when smelling them blind. And when seeing No.6 and smelling it again, it's now quite evident and I can get a nutty and fruity nuance as well, but it completely escaped me smelling blind. :p
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Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Jan 31, 2010
Fabulous descriptions. Love it.

You know that I have to go through each persons comments with a smelly toothcomb and smell what you're smelling. It's so fabulous to be able to effectively smell with someone else's senses.


Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Jan 31, 2010
Edit: After checking the answer, I can kind of see why No.4 and No.5 smell as such, but I really thought about completely different things when smelling them blind. And when seeing No.6 and smelling it again, it's now quite evident and I can get a nutty and fruity nuance as well, but it completely escaped me smelling blind. :p

This is what these PONKS are all about... setting your mind free from any constraints and letting the olfactory senses go off on a magic trip with no holds barred. It doesn't matter what the material actually is... it only matters what your nose tells you it smells like.

These mind journeys will allow a perfumer to make associations and connections to ingredients within a composition. Random connections, that with their name attached might not occur. Freedom really.


Super Member
Jan 23, 2011
Ponk 10:

1: Soap. Floral with a tang. Reminds me of a kind of Italian bath soap bar. Felce Azzurra.

2: Leafy, fishy almost, dry, sharp, crushed tree leaves.

3: Green, more minty, grassy, sage-like.

4: Reminds me of L’Eau D’Issey, watery green, also a bit soapy, more powdery

5: More faint than the others, soft light green, fresh slightly ozonic

6: Vetiver almost certainly, earthy, warm, musky,


Super Member
Jul 19, 2016
When I first opened the box I smelled something that felt like a big green plush monster. So I guess that Module 10 must be about the greens. Let's see.

Sample 1:
An interesting one, I might even have not met it before. It starts out as a cousin to lime oil with its green nearly citrus-like freshness, but then there comes a rather soapy undertone, which strangely is mouthwatering to me. (Trust me, I don't have the habit of eating soap. :D )
The citrus and soapy aspects seem to flip-flop, that makes me think that it could be a little branched linear alcohol or aldehyde. Since the soapiness is not pungent, it could be rather an alcohol than an aldehyde. Maybe the main chain has a length with an uneven number of carbon atoms.

Sample 2:
Must have been a top note: by the time I got to it, it was already off... redip.
Ah, now I understand, it all makes sense :D
Maybe the 5% solution we are given is already dosed too high. At that concentration the material takes on a very suffocating aspect: you inhale and your breath stops nearly automatically as if your system does not want to breathe that in.
Apart from that it is very green, nearly grassy, but it has also herbal-spicy aspect to it (at this concentration).
If you keep the strip a bit further from your nose, you get a nice airy-green note that is very refreshing, but does not keep for long. It also gets rather transparent, so that you can have the freshness without disturbing other top notes.

Sample 3:
This is also a very nice green note, this time it also has something grassy, but it rather leans to the spicy-vanilla side. It is very creamy and I can definitely make out an impression of vanilla in there.
It might be Hyacinth Body, but somehow I'm completely lost with all the greens now. It will fall back to order tomorrow. See also Sample 5.

Sample 4:
A very pleasing sample. At first it is only creamy green, but then also airy and petal/tea like aspects appear. Although being very nice, it reminds me of shampoo or a shower gel. I seem to get whiffs of single materials like methyl tuberate, some muguet material and probably also something rather ozonic. I don't know if one material alone can fulfil all these aspects (how amazing if it was possible), but I slowly get dragged into suspecting it being a base, a bit fresher but not a million miles away from "Tommy Girl".

Sample 5:
This one is less intense and smells more like a single material. It is not very strong but densely green in a good way. Some greens have a very suffocating aspect to them, but not this one. It is confidently and pleasingly green and has some minty aspects. The green is rather one to find in a flower shop or an orchid, jungle even. It doesn't have the refreshing innocent aspects that cis-hexenol or nonadienal-like Materials have.

Sample 6:
This one makes me smile instantly, it's easily recognisable, at least the plant of origin. Then it gets harder, because there are so many different materials that differ in geography and processing. But first things first: I appreciate it greatly to find this materials with the greens, because usually it is treated within the woody notes, which just doesn't make it up to this material.
If you have ever smelled vetiver, you cannot forget it. The smell is so characteristic with its facets of green, smoky, vanillic and frankincense. This one seems to be fairly well balanced: a good nearly nutty green note surrounded by smoky side-notes, which have a slight tendency to vanilla, and all that overlaid with a frankincense-like airy background. It does not show what I would remember of vetiveryl acetate (flatter profile) or vetiverol (wetter), so I would go for Haitian Vetiver oil.

So it was the greens after all. Very nice. With perfumery I have discovered that I must be really fond of green notes. I would never admit it, but I always return to the green notes and this can also be found in my compositions. Somehow I find them fascinating, original, untamed, deeply moving. - And I still have to recompose that one green project of mine.


Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Jun 23, 2017
Well this is my very first PONK Box and it's been an eye opener.

Two lessons I've learnt.

1. My 'nose' has only just been born as it were. I don't smell half of what anyone else smells and its obvious that I need to develop.
It's all very one dimensional at the moment. Any advice?

2. I need to stop running after 'bright shiny objects' - the next note, the next accord, I feel like a kid in the supermarket. Ooooo Ahhhh.

Anyways here's my very novice take

Sample 1
Fresh, Cucumber, Grapefruit. Green, Light, a bit yellow. Pleasant and familar. Develops and the cucumber still there for me, quite citrusy.
Drydown to faint grapefruit.

Sample 2
Initial impressions were of drains and garden peas. A kind of ochre nuance. Slightly unpleasant. Not familar with it. It develops into a quite earthy smell
and an hour later I can't smell it at all.

Sample 3
Pear Drops and Menthol. I get a colour of turquoise. Quite strong and unfamiliar. Hints of menthol coming through even 4 hours later. Overnight it's gone.

Sample 4
An immediate hit of floral. Very pleasant. I see Pink. Develops well - I get custard (not vanilla) - a kind of 'Birds Instant Custard' - a while later it gets grassy with a hint of violet

Sample 5
Obviously an immediate chemical smell but I smell ..... Nothng

Sample 6
Ooooo Tobacco and vegetable leaf coming through / Amber? Strong. Nice
What would you mix this one with?

Great fun

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