Hey, Posse! Let’s talk Potato! Specifically Hot Potatoes, about which I am Musing.
So… awhile ago I was at the bowling alley (where all the cool cats go) and a server walked past, carrying a tray full of freshly cooked french fries.
Ladies & Gentlemen, I am here to tell you: Time Stood Still. And I’m only NOT in a holding cell because my mama taught me how to behave in public. But…MAYNE! Those fries. Those fries called to me. And I was like a dog, sniffing a scent on a breeze. I think my nose quivered (for real).
I’m trying to drop that last half dress size, so I did. not. answer. that call. But it was close.
French Fries. Why are they so compelling to so very many (nearly all) of us (though there are a few fiends out there who do not like them, neither the smell nor the taste. FIENDS!)? I did some quick Goog research to determine what it is about fries and got some surprising answers. From Discover Magazine “What’s so enticing about those French fries cooking around the corner? New research from England finds that the aroma of fries is actually a complex combination of scents including butterscotch, cocoa, onion, flowers, cheese and, yes, ironing boards. (I wonder if the ‘ironing board’ smell is the smell of a hot iron on the padding, which would make sense. Hot fabric, especially cotton/cotton blend, often smells starchy. If you use sizing (or actual starch) it accumulates on the board and oooh! yum! Hot Starch.) Apparently a Certain Arches Company, whose fries entice millions! (perhaps billions) daily to cough up their hard-earned simoleans for those golden sticks, used to use beef tallow to fry the potato goodness. When that fell out of favor they started using a flavor additive to replicate that smell & taste that has ensnared so many humans. Hey, if it works, it works. And twice-cooked fries have an even more complex smell profile than fries cooked once (on the rare times I’ve made fries I fry them, then oven bake them. Perfection!). So… is it the oil? Or the potato? Or an inexplainable alchemy of the two (probably) – and the salt? Where does the salt come in? We all know that food tastes are generally enhanced by a touch of salt. And that definitely goes for the potato. so..
….and why the hell am I yarking on about this? Welp! I present to you:
This little nugget of fabulousness was a promotional effort by the Idaho Potato Commission to replicate the smell of French Fries from distilled Idaho Potatoes. Were they successful??? Well, yes. And no.
Here’s the thing: fries smell amazing!!!. But maybe it’s not the thing you want to smell like..? So this perfume addresses that, with the ‘idea’ of french fries, comprised of a floral surround with a bread/potato note base, probably from the distilled potatoes, which would give off a sweetish aroma, like corn liquor. Interestingly it does not smell anything like vodka, which is the best-known iteration of distilled potatoes. And yes, vodka does have a scent. I did an impromptu focus group at Country Morning Coffee (did not tell them anything about the perfume). Not one of them could identify the fries ‘tone’…. until I told them the pefume name and where it’s from. Then, all of a sudden, they could smell it, though only a little bit. Huh. I’m not actually that surprised, though, because what, persackly, is the smell? As I said above, is it the potato? fat? alchemy of both? Such a glorious smell. But would you really want to smell like that? The beef tallow, which is the essence of Everything Good about the Arches fries….. I cannot imagine spraying beef tallow scent on my poitrine – it’s like bacon fat, sounding excellent in theory (and magical in the air) but… on my neck? So in making the perfume Idaho Potato correctly erred on the side of not smelling like hot grease.
But I’mo let 2 lucky winners figure it out on their own. Here’s the deal – back when I was chatting with IPC we discussed the idea of this French Fry scent being developed by a ‘real’ perfumer (I think they did this in-house) – my vote is for Christopher Brosious because what he does with quotidian smells is nothing short of alchemical!! But that’s me. What about you? Who do you think would take this idea and knock it out of the park? You can nominate any perfumer in the world (and for any version of fries – for example, had I gone ‘frites’ instead of fries I would choose Mme. Laurent!) , just tell me why! I’ve still got the Giant Pup, M. Jacques, here. He’ll poke the living daylights out of random and I’ll get a scrab out to two winners.
THIS PERFUME IS NOT AVAILABLE FOR SALE. This was a promotion and it’s GONE. HOWEVER!!! I just learned that they will be doing a giveaway for National French Fry Day, July 13. So check in on www.potato.idaho.gov for further intel. Just an fyi. In the meantime, gimme a Perfumer who/why for a chance to smell this!