Description and usage notes:
At this dilution Skatole has a similar profile to Indole and can be used in similar contexts. Skatole is a useful alternative or addition to indole and is used in fragrances of animalic and white flower types in a similar way.
Skatole can be particularly helpful when creating flower-types where the natural material contians a very high amount of indole that cannot be replicatied using the synthetic product due to the ‘mothballs’ note that can appear: adding a small amount of skatole can create a more powerful indolic quality without producing that synthetic off-note. It can also be used to add realism to fruity accords, though only in the smallest of traces.
It is offered here as a 1% solution in ethanol since the pure solid material requires extremely careful handling to avoid contamination of people, places and other perfumery materials.
Arctander describes some of the uses of this material: “Skatole is used in perfume compositions and in artificial Civet bases. Minute traces of this material may introduce just that natural note of ‘overmature flower’ or ‘forest-floor’ or other natural decomposition matter, which can be not only tolerable to a fragrance, but sometimes make it much more attractive.”
He goes on to say that, at the time of his writing in the late 1960s, “Many perfumers have never used Skatole, and others have had poor results with it. It takes considerable patience to study the full and final effect of a certain amount of Skatole in a fragrance. The material seems to ‘grow’ after some time of ageing, and it produces more obnoxious odors with certain materials than with others. Skatole gives interesting effects with Sandalwood materials.”