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Weirdest Perfume Ingredients Ever

Posted by: Shopgirl, on: Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Whoever said that perfume is all about flowers frankly has absolutely no idea what is actually happening right under the perfumer’s nose. Here is a list of some of the weirdest perfume ingredients ever.

Mundane, boring stuff

Tennis Ball,
Nothing like a freshly popped tennis ball can evoke the memory of victory. Soft Lawn by Imaginary Authors will have every tennis aficionado remembering that game of tennis where they won the bet.

Brown scotch tape, industrial glue and cardboard,
Who would have thought that drab packages could smell so sweet? The very rare 2011 Comme de Garcons features notes that could take you back to memories of opening packages. Why that would appeal to anyone is just about as weird as its ingredients.

Miss Dior Chérie by Dior offers film buffs something right up their aisle. If you like hanging out at the cinemas and you want the whole world to know about it, this is probably the scent for you. We wonder how this scent would fare with the popcorn guy though.

How is this appealing? Well, let’s see. Highway maintenance is progress, right? So progress is always good. So maybe smelling like it is good? Are we on the right path of logic here? Anyone?

Animals and their “by-products”

Ever wondered how they infused a perfume a scent with starfish note? And why would they do it in the first place? No one would probably ever know aside from the perfume nose of Calvin Klein’s Crave. It does have an air of mystery in the concept that would probably interest the most serious perfume collector out there.

Goat Hair,
We know that most perfumes take their inspiration from nature. But one must really wonder how a perfume nose stumbled upon goat hair and thought that it should be one of the main notes in Anya McCoy’s perfume called Anya’s Garden. Well sure, goats do linger in the garden. But really, do I need to smell like them?

Hyrax Droppings,
Using poop to perfume humans can’t be any less weird than it sounds. The fossilised droppings found in caves apparently give off musk that develops well into scents. Well at least they let the hyrax live, right?

Civet Droppings,
Another member of the poop family belongs to the civet cat. This ingredient has become famous as one of the primary components for Guerlain’s Shalimar. So next time you smell sex in the air, thank the civet for the natural aroma of its droppings.

Ambergris (Grey Amber),
One of the most expensive ingredients in the world, this “secretion” (read: vomit) from a sperm whale’s intestine does more than just help facilitate the digestion of big preys. When washed up ashore, it can be collected and be used as a fixative in the perfume base. The earthy and clean notes of the ambergris make it as precious (more precious than gold) as it is weird.

The Castor beaver, though not always great-smelling as a whole, is the producer of this ingredient which has been used for perfumes the likes of Cuir de Russie by Chanel. Coming from the beaver’s abdominal gland, Castoreum actually smells a lot like fruits on leather.

Musk Deer,
The Musk Deer is not called musk for nothing. The deer’s sheath gland, whatever that is, secretes a musk that has long been used as a popular perfume ingredient since the musk deer ever matter.


As manly as it sounds, this ingredient is actually one of the mixes in the unisex perfume Love by MCMC Fragrances.

This African ginger is also known as a bringer of good luck and charm of protection. So when perfumes like Opium by Yves Saint Laurent used it, we can only assume that they would like to spritz every user with the same hoodoo. That or they just love the smell of the kitchen.

Finally, has anyone ever tried smelling a cactus ever? The thorns probably discouraged a lot of people who tried to do it. With the use of this ingredient, one of the greatest mysteries of the olfactory world is thus solved.

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 Very concise and informative article... Thankyou, Francis. Always useful to learn anything new regarding fragrance.. Pity a lot of these ingredients are taken out of perfume classics these days.. 😔 Bring back the classics!!!! I say or at least explain why these gorgeous elements were deleted & maybe offer some alternative fragrances that may at least come close... Thanks Feeling Sexy. Fragrances.