Just because I have a deep affinity for a smell doesn’t mean I feel the need to douse my body with it before leaving the house. Some of my absolute favorite scents rarely appear in fragrance formulas, and I’m fine with that. I can enjoy the smell of brown butter, chlorine-stinking pools, and faux lemon all-purpose spray cleaner whenever I encounter it without pressing it into an oil and dabbing it on my wrists.
Gasoline is another scent that falls into the “I love it but I don’t need it as a scent do I?” category. Stock for me until recently when the Curls The office learned that Snif was launching a perfume that smelled like gasoline. Yes, you read it right. Snif’s Dead Dinosaur scent (which also comes in a $9 air freshener if you want to try it first) is an “ode to the addictive smell of gasoline, garage clutter and simpler times,” according to the brand’s website.
Most of the notes in the fragrance are popular scents that keep popping up in perfumes, such as pink pepper, cedarwood, magnolia, and amberwood. What sets this fragrance apart is the distinctive aroma of gasoline that comes from the gasoline accord. A very important note: this perfume does not contain real petrol – but the olfactory recovery is really impressive.
Dead Dinosaur is Snif’s newest (and currently unique) addition to its Secret Menu sub-brand, which specializes in unusual and anti-traditional fragrances. The Snif team knew they had a tough task ahead of them when their community requested a gasoline-inspired scent. “There’s a reason you don’t typically see petrol notes in fragrances – it’s difficult to showcase them in a way that’s recognizable but wearable,” notes Bryan Edwards, co-founder and co-CEO of Snif.
“If you’re working with an odor that’s as high-pitched and pungent as a solvent or gas, use pleasant smells that are completely opposites but have similar volatility to make the overall scent more palatable,” advises Frank Völkl, chief perfumer Firmenich, the world’s largest privately held fragrance and flavor company. “The contrast between the two extremes helps to smooth out the excess and thereby find a balance.” The Snif team worked with perfumers for over a year to find the balance between traditional fragrance notes and their unconventional key ingredient.