Each mystery scent bottle is labeled with a number, and there are no clues as to what the fragrance is supposed to be. This is so that the testers won't be biased and can give honest assessments. And also because it's fun.
Since this is the spring S.O.A.P. panel, the scents are mostly fruity, floral, or outdoorsy. The day I received the FOs, I did an initial sniff test and took some notes. A few days later, I returned to the scents and my notes and sniffed again, hoping to deepen my interpretation of each fragrance.
It can be tough to identify scents when you don't know what you are sniffing. It's kind of like trying to figure out who is doing a voice-over in a commercial. Maybe you think you've heard the voice before, or maybe you think you haven't. But then when someone says, "Hey, that sounds like so-and-so," you're like, "Oh, yeah, that's totally who that is!" Same with mystery scents. You may identify some notes or maybe think, "I've smelled this before, but I can't put my finger on it ..." If someone hands you something that is Brown Sugar and Fig-scented and says, "Here, smell this. It's Brown Sugar and Fig," you'll smell it and be all like, "Hey, this totally smells like brown sugar and figs!" But if someone hands you something that is Brown Sugar and Fig-scented and says, "Here, guess what this is," you might be all, "I have no idea, dude."
So, here are my first takes on the fragrances. And I did purposely avoid reading about the other panelists' impressions until I had organized my own thoughts so that I would not be influenced by their opinions of the scents.
|The mystery S.O.A.P. fragrances|
Okay, here we go:
Scent #1: This fragrance reminded me of something I had smelled before. I immediately detected citrus, but also something else. After much sniffing and pondering, I realized that the other note was fir-like and that the scent makes me think of a Balsam & Citrus FO that I bought from another supplier a couple of years ago. This scent makes it into my top three of favorites.
Scent #2: This one smells strongly of watermelon with maybe a hint of apple. Very yummy.
Scent #3: Strong floral scent. Again, I thought, "I've smelled this before." Sniff, sniff, sniiiiiiiiiff. Ah, it's honeysuckle! This fragrance is my second favorite of the bunch.
Scent #4: This one is very sweet and candy-like. To me, it smells like sour apple with a touch of pear or maybe pineapple. It reminds me of a green apple Jolly Rancher.
Scent #5: I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings, you guys, but I didn't like this fragrance out of the bottle at all. It smells kinda grassy and green, which I usually like, and it also has earthy notes, which I also usually like. But the notes in this scent smell musty and damp, not like the lovely fresh-dirt earthiness of patchouli that I adore. And this may sound weird, but to me it also sorta smells a bit like canned corn. I think it is supposed to be some sort of garden scent. This is my least favorite fragrance. Maybe it will smell better after I've soaped it.
Scent #6: Initially this fragrance made me think of Sweet Tarts, but as I kept sniffing, the scent grew sharper and cleaner. Once again, I found myself thinking, "I've smelled this before, what is this?" And then it hit me - grapefruit! And something else - something sweet, like sugar.
Scent #7: Another floral scent. This one smells like delicate baby roses. It is a good, subtle, true rose scent. Not powdery or perfume-y at all.
Scent #8: This is my favorite fragrance. It is a fresh, clean masculine scent, like cologne or aftershave. Very sporty. I kept thinking that it smells like a men's cologne I've smelled before, but I couldn't remember which one. Then I realized that it reminds me of the scent that wafts out of Abercrombie & Fitch stores.
With the exception of Scent #5, I enjoyed all of the fragrances. Of course, these are out-of-the-bottle impressions. The scents might be somewhat different in the finished product. Sometimes scents can fade, especially in cold process soap. Or the scent may change a bit, with some notes becoming stronger or mellower in the final soap. It will be interesting to see how each scent holds up after it's been soaped.
I have already begun testing each fragrance in cold process soap, and I may also experiment with melt-and-pour soap, too. I am taking lots of notes, photos, and video. Later this month, I'll share the results of my testing!