Iso E Super: inspired invention or chemical horror?
The aroma chemical Iso E Super is probably best known for striking commercial gold as the strong, dry cedar accord in Jean Claude Elena's creation, "Terre d'Hermes". Elena has also used Iso E in several other Hermes fragrances. I find his use of Iso E successful because he typically pairs it with equally strong yet contrasting essences, especially citruses.
Unfortunately, success breeds imitators so it's not surprising that the smell of Iso E has become ubiquitous. An acquaintance of mine wears some fragrance -I don't know what it is- and the main components are Iso E paired with a very strong animalic accord. It is the definition of the perfume insult, "It smells like a hamster cage." To make matters worse he often wears the same clothing for a couple of days in a row so things get a little ripe. Now I can't get that smell out of my head so I rarely wear any Iso E fragrances.
So, Iso E Super: inspired invention or chemical horror?