PONK module 7 - odour descriptions here (spoiler alert past post 1)


Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Jan 31, 2010
PONK is organised regular blind smelling practice for many levels of perfumers with a monthly mystery box of untitled materials.

This is open house practice to learn and share information on BN. Those of you who do not wish to have a pre-prepared box can still join in.... but go to the relevant reveal first to get the right materials yourself, and then just join in the discussion on that thread.

Module 7 is the seventh box in this series and this is the thread to post your smelling observations and comments.

It is for 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 here.

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)


Guess the nosy 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 is, but by all means do post your thoughts and observations here. These modules are not about guessing 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 this module, 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.

BTW... Please do NOT test these on your skin but only on smelling strips.

They are various strengths to suit each project module. These are sometimes 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 a perfume strength of 20% in this box. This time I used a diluent of 50% IPM to PA. 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. I did this for number 1, but then realised it wasn't necessary for the UK ones, so the UK versions are just perfumers alcohol in vials 2 - 6 @ 20%.

Don't rush these. There is plenty of time, and learning to smell isn't a race. Enjoy them.

I apologise for the long delays with these latest modules. As some of you may know, I had a badly broken wrist that developed into Sudeck's/CRPS which prevented me from doing anything for a while, and now is just slowing me down considerably. It will hopefully resolve in time with some good physio and plenty of patience. Anyone with monthly payments edging too far in advance are being refunded some modules to even up until I can catch up with myself in the new year.


Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Jan 31, 2010
I'm going to give a slight clue for these. I know some people had colds this January so haven't been smelling theirs.

One of these is a gigantic fibber.....

There, that's all you're getting for now.....


Super Member
Oct 5, 2016
Here's my impression of module 7:

1. At first I could almost smell nothing, if I had to stretch, I’d say very faint flour-like sandalwood. A few hours later, it becomes a bit easier to smell, and feels more like milky sandalwood. Overall, I had the most difficulty to smell this one among this module.

2. Screechy, nail polish-like spicy at first, and it's the easiest one to smell among this module. Later on, it smells metallic and vegetal spicy/tart at the same time, like a metallic chili pepper. :D

3. It smells of vague creamy sandalwood, with a spatial, metallic/ozone feeling. I also smell tiny bit salty nuance.

4. This one is a bit closer to No.2 than the others. It's metallic and dry/bitter in a mineral way, kind of like metallic gun powder note in some perfumes. When it becomes fainter with time, it sometimes smells a bit bitter/herbal/dirt-like, too.

5. This one is creamier and thicker than the previous ones, which initially makes me think of yeasty/bread/sour sandalwood cookie although not gourmand in an obvious way. Later on, it also develops a sharp bracing woody backbone enveloped by the sandalwood comfort.

6. At first, it smells a bit like burnt wood, not sharp though. Then it gets more unctuous, milky sandalwood, and the burnt wood becomes a dry woody/peppery edge, sometimes even like a subtle yet fiery chili pepperiness.


Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Jan 31, 2010
Wonderful first post there. Your nose is being trusted to pick up what it wants to and it has done a good job.You have identified the fibber there with your nose, even though perhaps your mind hasn't yet worked out which it is.

The freedom of smelling blind is a wonderful thing because it releases your nose from any mind constraints. It allows the nose to become almost bloodhound Sherlock Holmes like and sniff without any preconception of anything. What the eyes see, the mind wants to interfere with. It just cannot do so this way. It is a very good way of delving into the tinier facets of odours.

Once you have smelled these, then open your reveal and read the descriptions online. Then smell yours again in the duel knowledge of our own discoveries alongside the manufacturers descriptions.

Don't post any actual identification on this thread. I will provide a separate reveal thread on each module for such discussion because some people like to follow these threads and use their own materials after each module.

As for being hard to smell.... this was an incredibly difficult box. I do not make these easy in the slightest. Sometimes, leave some space between one and another so that the nose does not get confused. I shall intersperse the comparison modules with contrasty ones sometimes. However I genuinely do think comparison of similar materials is often something one cannot do alone because there is little point buying too many samey materials normally. It is so important to know the nuances of such choices.

Also sometimes I feel the IPM is muting the aromas. I've had to use half and half with PA to make these compliant for postage yet still allow some projection. I'm still debating the worthiness of dilution on some materials. I may start sending them neat when relevant. Perfumers alcohol projects the aroma but IPM and DPG dampen in my opinion. We'll see.


Super Member
Oct 5, 2016
Now the paper strips have been sitting there for almost a week. The smell of No.1 becomes much more concrete and stronger, and it confirms my initial impression. No.4 also remains very easy to detect, while No.2, 3 and 5 now are very faint. No.6 now has a recognisable cumin note, while the other facets that I previous smelt seem to fade.

After reading the reveal, I can make sense of 1 and 6. But 2, 3, 4 and 5 I'm not very familiar with. Seeing that I come back to a term over and over again to describe them, I suppose that after smelling the No.1, my brain already started to have a preconception of the rest.


Basenotes Junkie
Jul 30, 2011
Blind tested, all at 20%:

First impression: practically odourless
1 min: Thought I got a sense of a sandalwood synth, but only for a microsecond; probably an olfactory hallucination
5 min: again, only very faint (solvent?) odour; possibly extremely faint sandalwood
10 min: more clear sandalwood note, but still difficult to smell
30 mins: sandalwood/oriental/amber
2 hrs: very faint sandalwood – muted by solvent?
12 hrs: same
48 hrs: woody, slightly smoky - gaiac , easier to smell now, but still very subtle
96 hrs: possibly very faint flat sandalwood odour; but really as good as odourless

First impression: solvent
1 min: sharp dry woody solvent
5 min: dry woody musty heavy incense patchouli
10 in: quite strong now, familiar, I've probably smelled this before, but not sure what it is as I don't think use it...
24 hrs: dry woody incense, weaker but still easily detectable
Not very long lasting

First impression:
Sandalwood synth, strong, slight sharp woody overtone, somewhat chocolate/cocoa powder-like facet
5 mins: sour, plastic and rubber facets emerging
Strong and diffusive
10 mins: same
Lasts over a week on strip: sandalwood, cocoa, smooth ambery balsamic

Dry woody, slightly floral, slightly incense
2 hrs: dry woody musky creamy, perhaps slightly metallic, slightly animal, musty patchouli, popcorn nuance
4 hrs: clearer, thick, patchoulol, soft, downy, pine/fir effect
Lasts over a week on strip: soft dry musty peppery woody incense

Sandalwood, slightly sharp overtone, oily
Strong and diffusive.
Slight animal-floral/urinaceous undertone.
6 hrs: still very strong
24 hrs: still strong, sandalwood, sweet, slight maple/fenugreek facet
48 hrs: still strong and diffusive*
72 hrs: still quite strong and diffusive, almost a powdery association
- More pleasant when wafted, or smelling the trail

Cedarwood; natural, complex, sharp dry-woody facet, smokey leathery phenolic notes, soft musky notes, warm, ambery-woody notes like Ambroxan or Iso E Super, richly textured
6 hours: still strong. less sharp, less smokey, quite dry
24 hrs: weaker, cleaner, more orris-like, creamy, powdery
48 hrs: significantly weaker. Very elegant, pleasant dry powdery woody musky undertone.
72 hrs: only very faint odour left
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Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Jan 31, 2010
Oh my! You really do have a good nose. You've picked up all the right nuances and even the liar. I wonder if you know or knew which the fibber was when you were smelling them. Your nose certainly did.

If you haven't got no 1, then I will send you a 100% vial over as well if you like. It doesn't smell much stronger even at full strength but it does have the right effect in a blend as an underpinning facet with an estimated longevity of 400hrs.
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Basenotes Junkie
Jul 30, 2011
Just reading the reveal now.

I was beginning to wonder if you had just included some odourless solvent to test us, and I was experiencing an olfactory mirage? Then I thought maybe the nuances I picked up might have been contaminants from the other strips.

Actually, I don't think I have #1 – if it is in fact what the reveal says it is... :wink: – so maybe I'll get a sniff of the 100% next time, thank you!


Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Jan 31, 2010
The fibber vial could have been a blank one but actually I don't think I could be quite so mischievous..... well maybe if I'd thought of it first...:evil:

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