Scented Advent, December 4

Scented Advent, December 4

Day 4’s Advent SOTD is an odd one: it is Monoscent G, from A Lab On Fire. It is literally a wearable version of a synthetic scent molecule, Galaxolide S, in a denatured alcohol solution. A Lab On Fire first launched it as a stand-alone fragrance in 2015 or 2016, then re-launched it in 2019 with different packaging and in a larger size. Galaxolide S is an IFF “captive molecule”, i.e. IFF created it and owns the rights to it (as well as the original Galaxolide). I really can’t explain it any better than A Lab On Fire‘s website:

The original Galaxolide® was discovered by IFF’s Dr. Beets in 1957. Trying to simulate the odor of Nitro-musks it took many years of research to get from an idea to a commercial ingredient. The resulting Galaxolide® proved to be an outstanding musk with a very good price performance ratio.

The 1990s launch of Trésor, which marked a turning point for the personalization of perfume, kickstarted galaxolide’s worldwide success.

Introduced internally at IFF in 2007, the Galaxolide S molecule is an evolution the long-lasting and clean properties that made the original the most popular fragrance in the world. It boosts product quality by offering tremendous performance in all categories. Particularly in fragrance, it is able to fill out fragrances.

Interestingly, Fragrantica quotes a study as saying that about 3 in 10 people are anosmic to this molecule, i.e. they can’t smell it. I’m not one of those people, I can smell it on my wrist. Apparently it is used to add “bloom, lift, and longevity” to a wide range of fragrance accords.

I’m actually quite happy to try a sample of this, because I’ve been somewhat curious about these so-called molecular scents, but I’m afraid I don’t really get it. I’ll have to wave my wrist around my husband’s nose to see if 1) he can smell it, and 2) he perceives it as an appealing scent. I may also try layering it with something else, maybe one of the light Zara Emotions line, to see if it has any effect.

Have you tried any of the scents that are basically a captive molecule in solution? What do you think of them?

Molecular structure of IFF molecule Galaxolide
Galaxolide molecule, by IFF; image from