June 2, 2013

"I love when you talk dirty!"

A dialogue between 2 men in last night's open thread "At the Saturday Peony Café":
Palladian: A few years ago, "peony" was a very popular note in perfumery. Many perfumes used this note, which was generally done as a big, fluorescent, loud, fruity-flower odor of no particular interest. Givaudan makes 2-cyclohexylidene-2-phenylacetonitrile, an aroma chemical they call Peonile, which I always find hilarious. Say it: Peonile.

El Pollo Raylan: The name is apt. I see lots of structural rigidity in the linear nitrile portion which has a nitrogenous lone pair at one end. Then there's the cyclohexylidene portion which is quasi-floppy, but made stiffer by attachment to the olefinic core. The phenyl is of course rigid except for its rotational degree of freedom.

Palladian: I love when you talk dirty!
Also in the comments, a dialogue between 2 women:
Freeman Hunt: We had some new tile installed in our kitchen this week. One afternoon the installers washed their tools outside and left without coming back in. Because they did not come back in, they forgot to turn off their radio. The radio was across the newly laid tile that we were forbidden to walk upon. So we listened to popular, contemporary country music all that evening and for three hours the next morning. Heh. (That story is much funnier to people who know me in real life. I don't listen to anything in the background. Ever. No television. No music. Nothing. I only turn something on if I want to listen to it actively.)

Synova: I don't listen to "background" anything either. I can see you standing at the edge of the tile... yearning.

Freeman Hunt: "yearning"... Perfect word.
Intruding on this perfectly female dialogue was the aforequoted Palladian: "That's what a handgun and good aim are for."

Also in the vicinity was another man, Lem. Unlike Palladian, he wasn't commenting on the music and yearning, at least not directly. He just told his own story — "We went to see a new friend perform at a local establishment and I took a picture of a sign near the entrance" — and showed us this:

72 comments:

Ann Althouse said...

Dingbatz is less than 10 miles from where I lived when I was in high school.

rhhardin said...

Battery radio or plug-in? Just find the circuit at the electrical panel if plug-in.

A battery model can be silenced with a transmitter on its frequency that's locally louder than what it's listening to.

Little FM transmitters (I use one to broadcast what the computer streams to radios in the house, on the same frequency as an existing FM station but overwhelming it) are cheap. Just broadcast silence.

Lem said...

Dingbatz is less than 10 miles from where I lived when I was in high school.

As Mel Allen used to say... How about that!

I think play would have been a better word than perform.

Maybe I came to use the word 'perform' because of how alien the experience felt... and alien is not the perfect word either.

(thank you freeman)

Lem said...

I was the alien... ouch!

Rhythm and Balls said...

But in fairness, that first conversation was really kind of gay.

Ann Althouse said...

Freeman should have asked the Althouse commentariat what to do about the unrequited musical yearnings of country pop singers.

Ann Althouse said...

"But in fairness, that first conversation was really kind of gay."

What point are you attempting to make? What's more manly than 2 men having sex? It's all man.

Rhythm and Balls said...

Apropos of last night's discussion on the liberal arts, Pollo seemed to indicate his inoculation against postmodern intrusions into education by having majored in the "hard" sciences (his word not mine).

Can we now modify that promise by asking if he's, inadvertently or purposely, invented the field of gay chemistry?

Rhythm and Balls said...

"What's more manly than 2 men having sex? It's all man."

Yes, but their post- (and pre-) coital conversations certainly need to be taken into account, my Dear. ;-)

Rhythm and Balls said...

"What point are you attempting to make?"

It was more of a joke than a point, actually. Just kidding around.

Rhythm and Balls said...

Are you saying that Pollo and Palladian were in the throes of having sex?

Now that's hot. I mean, for Palladian, at least. ;-)

Ann Althouse said...

"I was the alien... ouch!"

Oh! That made me notice that I forgot to put your name in the part about you. I'd meant to. Genuinely sorry!

ricpic said...

chick's shoptalk poems got the real chemistry.

madAsHell said...

From the menu.....

Cheese Fries $3.50
Served with Bacon Bits .25

Good God!!
I cannot imagine what cheese fries might be.

edutcher said...

Uh, oh.

Something bad for the Lefties must be coming on the talking heads if they had to wake up Ritmo.

madAsHell said...

....but I will assume that Chris Christie has seen his fair share of cheese fries with bacon bits!

Darrell said...

Off hand, I could think of a dozen ways of retrieving that radio without disturbing the tile job. But I know how women feel offended when a man offers a real solution.

http://vimeo.com/66753575

TML said...

My wife's peonies are busting some major moves right now. White and magenta-y color. The white ones smell amazing. The magenta-y ones just smell "fresh". They're beautiful flowers. I always thought the ants I always see crawling over the "bud balls" helped them open up by eating a "glue" that held them together. But, no. Nothing to do with blooming. I was disappointed. Seemed a pretty cool bit of symbiosis

TML said...

MadAsHell, if you want amazing cheese fries, you gotta hit Muskies on Lincoln in Chicago. Real Merkt's crock cheddar slathered on delicious crisp fries. Their burgers are quite excellent too. Muskies.

El Pollo Raylan said...

Rhythm and Balls said...
Are you saying that Pollo and Palladian were in the throes of having sex?

Hardly. Palladian is just one of the few around here who appreciates chemistry. I'm quite open to talking about it, even it means sexing it up. You all do the same for practically everything else. Why are the hard sciences sacrosanct?

TML said...

Is all that fancy chemistry talk real? Pretty damned impressive.

I think fake peony would be a horrid smell. Like fake sugar is a horrible taste.

I accidentally purchased sugar free tonic the other day and didn't realize it until I had already constructed my G&T. It was a hateful first sip. It was also the last sip. That'll teach me to go Schweppes rather than Fever Tree or Fentimans tonic.

TML said...

El Pollo Raylan, wow! I'm not a "member" naming guy, but if I were, I'd name him "Hard Science". That made me laugh pretty loud (in context, of course)

betamax3000 said...

Just wanted to say that I regularly enjoy and appreciate the Comments of all Five of these People. One of the Many Great Reasons for visiting Althouse Land.

Phil 3:14 said...

OK, I went Googling and found my answer:

Why ants on peonies

Inga said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Inga said...

Hey, I said botany had chemistry and that was sexy, but oh well I get no mention.

Maybe jokes by liberals don't register? Ok, probably not funny.

Inga said...

Peonies smell heavenly.

El Pollo Raylan said...

TML said...
El Pollo Raylan, wow! I'm not a "member" naming guy, but if I were, I'd name him "Hard Science". That made me laugh pretty loud (in context, of course)

Here's a humorous anecdote about what happens when chem geeks get together at Gordon Conferences: link. In retrospect, I gotta wonder if the old guy offended the few women present, trying to present themselves as serious scientists.

El Pollo Raylan said...

On the flip side of rigid, linear molecules are things like cyclodextrins which have been stylized as onion rings: link.

Cyclodextrins' exteriors are festooned with attractive stickiness in the form of hydroxyl moieties which enable them to swim with facility in aqueous milieu. But inside cyclodextrins present two differently-sized invaginations leading to their softer, less harsh interior which non polar molecules are fond of entering and becoming reversibly entrapped, exemplifying the so called "host-guest" chemistry. They find use in drug delivery formulations.

Rhythm and Balls said...

Is all that fancy chemistry talk real? Pretty damned impressive.

I actually understood about, 70% of it. Or maybe more. Nitrogen loves those triple bonds, which makes flexibility an issue.

Rhythm and Balls said...

Hey, I said botany had chemistry and that was sexy, but oh well I get no mention.

Botany and chemistry actually is pretty sexy. As an undergrad, I worked around the corner from a guy who studied the evolution of the volatile compounds that plants give off to attract insects, which have the advantage of both smelling pleasant to (at least) humans and helping them spread their seed from flower to flower. It was an example of "co-evolution", where the plants developed to the extent that the insects simultaneously developed to fly to them, feed off them, and fertilize them.

Rhythm and Balls said...

Cyclodextrins' exteriors are festooned with attractive stickiness in the form of hydroxyl moieties which enable them to swim with facility in aqueous milieu.

You really do have a way of stating this very poetically. I notice that's something chemists do. Making their craft artistic helps alleviate the dryness of its language and advances an appreciation for its ubiquity in so many of the interesting things in life.

As for cyclodextrins, carbohydrate chemistry is another particularly interesting and modern aspect of pharmaceutical development.

TML said...

El Pollo, you had me at "invaginations"

I know we're being treated to some way inside-baseball chemsexery, but it's awesome. (and it's awesome?)

Rhythm and Balls said...

"invaginations"

Yup. I've heard that term before, too. But it was in describing biological structures.

Chickie: You tried to go all sexual with the talk of cyclodextrins, but I noticed, well, a twist... The "softer, less harsh interior" is the hydrophobic part, and therefore "drier", as well. Your invaginated part is not as wet as the exterior. That's some inside-out sexiness on the part of the Chickie.

El Pollo Raylan said...

@R&B: From a chemical POV, there's really nothing there but protons and electrons, which are hard and soft, respectively and oppositely charged. Protons cluster and electrons organize. The notions of filled and empty orbitals add a "sexual" element. Neutrons just add gravitas and diversity. The stories write themselves.

From a materialistic POV, if there is more to life, it must be at a deeper, subatomic level, or at a higher, less well understood level.

El Pollo Raylan said...

The "softer, less harsh interior" is the hydrophobic part, and therefore "drier", as well. Your invaginated part is not as wet as the exterior.

Lubricity typically involves non aqueous molecules or moieties. Not to mention adipose in the right places.

Lem said...

Oh! That made me notice that I forgot to put your name in the part about you. I'd meant to. Genuinely sorry!

Not mentioning me by name is ok too.

I like how you connected the sign with the other conversations.

Its something I like to do.

Lem said...

I changed the picture tag from 'Unsure' to 'Yearning'.

Rhythm and Balls said...

Protons cluster and electrons organize.

Well said.

The notions of filled and empty orbitals add a "sexual" element.

Never saw that before but I did like the shapes of all the d and f orbitals. That was the part of inorganic chemistry that I actually found as interesting as I did challenging.

Neutrons just add gravitas and diversity.

Gravitas, yes. But I guess you're thinking of diversity in a radioactive way. I thought different isotopes still all have the same chemistry.

The stories write themselves.

I'll leave that to you! You do a better job of it than I would.

From a materialistic POV, if there is more to life, it must be at a deeper, subatomic level, or at a higher, less well understood level.

Or just in the richness of it all.

Lubricity typically involves non aqueous molecules or moieties. Not to mention adipose in the right places.

Well, that's a fun word I've not heard before. I'm used to adding "-ication" to the root, which in the biological context in question is necessarily aqueous. Not that non aqueous lubricants don't have their place in much of our "extended" (artificial) machinery. The appeal of adiposity is mainly for visual effect, as with the curves on a car, unless your sexual factor is focused on the nutrition provided by pregnancy and afterward.

The Godfather said...

Women have repeatedly told me that when a woman complains about a problem what she does NOT want is for the man to suggest a solution. She wants sympathy, empathy, something like that. But because men evolved over millions of years to solve problems, I just can't help myself. Palladian, too, couldn't help himself, he had to suggest a solution to playing radio. Pretty good solution too. But what he should have said is, You poor dear.

El Pollo Raylan said...

Never saw that before but I did like the shapes of all the d and f orbitals.

Who doesn't like a well-filled d or f orbital or the attendant unfilled cups?

El Pollo Raylan said...

"Lubriciy"

Well, that's a fun word I've not heard before.

Try to write a ribald riff on tribology. It's harder than you think.

Lem said...

The 'alien' referred to my presence at Dyngbatz... not anything you a law professor did.

And alien is not the right word... and uncomfortable is not the right word... because I was not.

I don't know.. it will come to me later I'm sure.

Inga said...

Whew! Is it getting hot in here? ;)

El Pollo Raylan said...

The appeal of adiposity is mainly for visual effect, as with the curves on a car, unless your sexual factor is focused on the nutrition provided by pregnancy and afterward.

The intercourse between light and matter was first described in an explicit way by Max Planck. And his life story was otherwise touching in a human way: link

Jeff Teal said...

the really fun orbitals are the sigma and deltas that are causd by the sharing of electrons commonly called covalent bonds.Hey what about when two protons go whapping into each at extremes of heat and pressure?Is that subatomic gay sex?

El Pollo Raylan said...

Hey what about when two protons go whapping into each at extremes of heat and pressure? Is that subatomic gay sex?

When two hadrons collide, they're really looking to get lepton.

Palladian said...

If you're into length, this is one of the longer molecules used in perfumery. It smells sort of like soap and candle wax, except with a sharp, penetrating quality that all its perfumery aldehyde brothers possess.

The other aldehydes commonly used have between 6 and 12 carbons. Interestingly (up to and including C-11), the even-numbered aldehydes smell citrusy, sort of like mandarin orange peels, and the odd-numbered aldehydes smell like candles or crayons. The 12 carbon aldehydes used in fragrance, the aforementioned C-12 lauric and C-12 MNA don't follow the pattern for some reason. I'm unfamiliar with C-13, and it's not frequently used, and C-14, one of my favorite aroma chemicals, isn't really an aldehyde at all.

This is from the perspective of a non-chemist perfumer, so my understanding of the proper chemical nomenclature and the complexities and subtleties of the chemistry of these materials is limited.

Palladian said...

If you've ever smelled Chanel No 5, especially when it's freshly sprayed, you're familiar with perfumery aldehydes. It's the prototypical "aldehydic floral". It's especially heavy with C-12 MNA.

My friend Luca Turin brilliantly describes the smell of the original formula of the perfume concentration of Chanel No 5 in his book of perfume reviews:

... No. 5 is a Brancusi. Alone among fragrances known to me, it gives the irresistible impression of a smooth, continuously curved, gold- colored volume that stretches deliciously, like a sleepy panther, from top note to drydown. Yes, it contains rose, jasmine and aldehydes in the same way that a perfect body contains legs and arms. But I defy anyone who smells this to keep enough wits about them to worry about the parts.

El Pollo Raylan said...

The "dodeca" (C-12) acids and aldehydes have the commoner name lauric which I'm supposing is related the bay tree (laurel). Perhaps Meade knows something about this, being nominally related. Also, amusingly, an older disused synonym for lauric acid is vulvic acid. Gotta admire the acerbic wit.

El Pollo Raylan said...

I'm fascinated by the -ous/-ic nomenclature in chemistry. The suffix -ic connotes a greater degree of -ous. Example: ferrous v. ferric where the latter is more oxidized.

"-ous" and "-ic" are common suffixes (suffices?) but I can't think of a non chemistry example of the usage.

Anyone?

El Pollo Raylan said...

It would be like saying that person is bilious but that other person is "bilic."

There has to be a working example outside of chemistry.

El Pollo Raylan said...

@Palladian: I don't understand reasons for the striking differences between even and odd number fatty acid homologs (that's not an oblique reference to Titus' loaves). It is fascinating that they appear to be made by the same enzyme by adding acetates (2 carbon building blocks) to either a 2-carbon or 3-carbon starter substrate. link.

Anglelyne said...

Palladian: My friend Luca Turin brilliantly describes the smell of the original formula of the perfume concentration of Chanel No 5 in his book of perfume reviews:...

I never noticed that you were the first name in the acknowledgements of that book 'til my husband (also an Althouse fan) was flipping through it and said, "hey, isn't that Palladian?"

Anyway, cool.

Palladian said...

It is fascinating that they appear to be made by the same enzyme by adding acetates (2 carbon building blocks) to either a 2-carbon or 3-carbon starter substrate.

Rat brains!

El Pollo Raylan said...

@R&B: Vulvic acid (vide supra) may be an example of a lubricity enhancer.

Palladian said...

Indeed, that's me, Anglelyne. Luca met me (and the woman who would later become his wife and co-author) because we were both frequent commenters at his (now long-defunct) blog.

Palladian said...

Funny how blogs bring people together.

El Pollo Raylan said...

Probably a pheromone too.

Darcy said...

Wow. That was pretty hot comment from El Pollo Raylan. Science-y innuendo. I used to wonder whether the innuendo was deliberate but I think I know better now. Or...do I? :)

He is crazy brilliant and I think it's likely that much of his stuff has gotten missed over the years here in the comments.

Cheers, El Pollo Raylan. You are the Raylan Givens of the science set.

El Pollo Raylan said...

Thank you Darcy. Hugs. Some of it has been goofing off--but a fair amount has been inspired by you and others.

Palladian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Palladian said...

The structure of synthetic musk materials interests me as well. There are many aroma chemicals classified as "musks", all from their relationship (however distant) to the odor of natural musk, which was obtained from a gland extracted from an unfortunate little animal called the musk deer.

Because of the rarity and price of natural musk tincture, synthetic versions have been long sought-after. Some of the earliest synthetic aroma chemicals were musk materials, the first of which were discovered by "accident" and used to sometimes cause explosions during synthesis. Most of this group of early musks have been banned from use in perfumery because some of them are neurotoxic, which is a shame because they smell great, and to my nose come close to the character of natural musk tincture. My favorite of these early musks is musk ketone, which is one of the only "nitromusks" still used.

For some reason, a lot of people think "musk" smells "sexy", but it doesn't really, at least not to my nose. Many of the synthetic musk materials actually smell like laundry, because huge quantities of them are used in detergents, apparently because they are some of the few aroma materials that can survive the wash and dry cycle intact, which also apparently makes some of them persistent environmental pollutants. I understand that the hardiness of some of these chemicals is due to their giant ring structures, but maybe I'm wrong about that.

My favorite musk materials are Muscone (for some reason it's quite expensive), Velvione, and Cashmeran. Many people can't smell some of the musk aroma chemicals, and some people can't smell any of them. Perhaps this is because they're heavy and/or large molecules and are near the upper size limit of the olfactory system's ability to detect them.

It's general practice for perfumers to put several different musk materials in a composition to make sure that most people will at least be able to detect one of them. I'm one of the apparently rare individuals who can smell all of them (or at least all the ones I use or have sampled).

To me the materials that smell like "sex" are the ones that are reminiscent of body odors, things like Costausol (which smells like dirty hair) and skatole and civet bases. But smelling of sex and smelling sexy are, to most people, totally different things, and I am not at all interested in the popular notion of fragrance as an attractant.

Anglelyne said...

Palladian: Indeed, that's me, Anglelyne. Luca met me (and the woman who would later become his wife and co-author) because we were both frequent commenters at his (now long-defunct) blog.

Great story. I'm sorry he stopped blogging before I re-discovered my inner scent-hound. (Exquisite scents and organic chemistry. What's not to like?)

I stumbled upon Victoria Frolova's site a couple of years ago, on an entirely unrelated search-mission. Then...well, I now have a drawer full of little vials in test-tube racks and a need to abjure visits to ebay auctions. Are there other good perfume/perfume chemistry sites where you hang out now?

Palladian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Palladian said...

I stumbled upon Victoria Frolova's site a couple of years ago, on an entirely unrelated search-mission.

Interestingly, I met Victoria (and Victoria met Luca) through Luca's blog as well. She and Tania Sanchez (Luca's wife) already knew each other and the three of us occasionally shared meals, drinks and perfumes.

Victoria and I both voraciously collected perfumes on eBay, right before the demand for and prices of everything got really out of control. Victoria had more financial resources than I did at the time, so she got a lot of amazing things. I got a little money later on, and I spent a quite a bit of it collecting perfumes (and much more of it on the development of my own perfumery enterprise). All I really wanted was samples of the perfume itself, so in many cases I extracted a bit for myself and re-sold the rest of the bottle on eBay. I've since sold most of my collection of full bottles, but I now have hundreds of ampules with samples of every important commercial fragrance ever made, dating back to the 19th century.

Are there other good perfume/perfume chemistry sites where you hang out now?

Not really. I am mostly interested in the chemistry side of it, and this site, run by a very nice chemist named William Luebke in Wisconsin (of all places!) is a great and thorough database of aroma materials.

I never followed perfume blogs, other than Luca's, because most of them are horrible. Even the non-horrible ones generally discuss fragrance from a romanticized and/or fashion perspective, which doesn't interest me. A lot of perfume writers also seem to be really derivative, consciously or not, of Luca's perfume writing.

Which reminds me, does that dreadful Chandler Burr still misinform the public about perfume?

Rhythm and Balls said...

"I don't understand reasons for the striking differences between even and odd number fatty acid homologs"

Probably has something to do with the olfactory receptors - not the enzymes that made them.

El Pollo Raylan said...

My favorite musk materials are Muscone (for some reason it's quite expensive)...

15-membered rings are hard to make using traditional chemical methods. Typically, you'd make a 15 carbon chain with an electrophile (female) at one end and a nucleophile (male) at the other end and coax them to couple with each other to close the ring. But the promiscuous nucleophile reacts equally well if not more rapidly with a electrophile on a different molecule and you get a 30-membered chain instead. This is great for making polymers because the 30-membered chain will more likely find another 15-membered singleton to make a 45-membered chain.

The trick to avoid this is to do the chemistry in high dilution which requires lots of solvent and more time so that the reactive 15-chain only sees and has eyes for its own tail (cf ouroboros).

There are other methods such using expensive ruthenium-based catalysts invented by Bob Grubbs at Caltech: link

El Pollo Raylan said...

Not just 15-membered rings I should add, but large annulation reactions fight entropy in general

El Pollo Raylan said...

The synthesis of catenane was quite a feat when it was done more selectively in higher yield.

Anglelyne said...

Palladian: ...(and much more of it on the development of my own perfumery enterprise).

Is that existent yet or still in the development stage?

I've since sold most of my collection of full bottles, but I now have hundreds of ampules with samples of every important commercial fragrance ever made, dating back to the 19th century.

Impressive. Though as I beginner I can probably entertain myself for a while yet with the range of undiscovered (by me) vintage stuff, more affordably obtainable from sellers of wee samples.

I am mostly interested in the chemistry side of it, and this site, run by a very nice chemist named William Luebke in Wisconsin (of all places!) is a great and thorough database of aroma materials.

Interesting place. Thanks for the link. (I'll check out his book list, too - I've been poking around for a good basic fragrance chemistry text; dismayed at the reminder of how bloody expensive textbooks are.)

I never followed perfume blogs, other than Luca's, because most of them are horrible. Even the non-horrible ones generally discuss fragrance from a romanticized and/or fashion perspective, which doesn't interest me. A lot of perfume writers also seem to be really derivative, consciously or not, of Luca's perfume writing.

Hooh yeah. Like bad wine writing, only worse. Not that I don't enjoy beautiful and entertaining writing about perfume- like Turin and Sanchez's reviews - but I'm no kind of fashionista. I luxuriate in the smells but I'd enjoy geekier analysis.

It would be great if firms had something like a "nose camp" for interested laymen. Non-professional, but not candy-ass. Hey, I could make room for a gas chromatograph in my office at home. Though I am somewhat saddened at the knowledge that I've come to this interest when my olfactory powers, like all sensory powers with age, are no doubt on the downslide.

Which reminds me, does that dreadful Chandler Burr still misinform the public about perfume?

I glanced through the previews of his stuff at Amazon when I was looking for textbooks, but it didn't interest me. So now I know to continue avoiding it!

stlcdr said...

Men do and talk men stuff; women do and talk women stuff. And there will always be an uncomfortable silence when two straight guys' conversation strays into gay talk...

(not that I know the personal habits of these guys in question, but these are the facts, ma'am).