I got a mysterious little box this morning from an outfit called Ponk. It said Module 4 on it and contained five carefully wrapped, numbered little phials, well-sealed with what felt like Teflon tape, and a square envelope that said “The Reveal Inside.” I naturally opened it, whereupon it turned out the phials contained five raw materials. Aphermate (1-(3,3-dimethyl cyclohexyl) ethyl formate, see pic), an unusual ester of formic acid that smells typically dry and musty; massoia oil (somewhere between blood and tobacco); clary sage (cold cigar); fucus (seaside smell, accurate but underwhelming); and ambergris Oliffac, a purported IFF ambergris tincture replacement that replaces exactly nothing, least of all ambergris.
The deal is this: if you subscribe to the basic Ponk service for £10/month, you get what I got, different every month. More money gets you larger phials. The theme for Module 4 was the seaside, and it worked nicely. I can think of a lot of worse ways to spend £10 to tickle my nose, like a bottle of lousy Burgundy or two warm beers. This, by contrast, is a delightful opportunity to learn about raw materials in what looks like a cleverly arranged thematic sequence. What fun!
Categories: off topic