Scent Information

Think something is wrong with your Original or Sphinx products?
Is one of your concerns listed below?
  • Can you smell the scent on someone else but not yourself?
  • Do you think your bottle is scentless and from a "bad batch"?
  • Have you worn this scent before and think your new bottle is scentless or not as strong as your first one?
  • Do you have an older or someone else's bottle that you are comparing to a new one and think the new one is scentless?
  • Have you asked multiple people to smell your bottle and everyone agrees that it doesn't smell like anything?
  • Do you think your scent smells rancid or off?
  • Do you think your layering products don't smell like your roll-on?
  • Do you think your product randomly lost its scent?

If you identify with one of the above points, you are not alone, obviously (we wrote a whole page on them).
To be clear, these two scents are our top sellers with a fanatic following. The issues surrounding them are minimal compared to the number of people that never have issues with their product; we wouldn't be in business otherwise.
However, the above issues still arise and require some education. We hope that after understanding the nature of these scents and your sense of smell, you can decide if these scents/pheromone oils are for you. They are not for everyone, and that's okay.

Let's talk production..
We manufacture our fragrance oils and bases in batches large enough to fill thousands of our scented products at a time, which means that the concentrated fragrance oil in your roll-on is the same in all other products scented with that fragrance.
We produce our formulas in a facility that maintains a GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) certification. GMP is a system for ensuring that products are consistently made and controlled according to high-quality standards. Our formulas are not approved to move forward to manufacturing in our end products until they are run through the lab and signed off on appearance, color, odor, flashpoint, specific gravity, and refractive index. We then go a step further and send samples of each scent to our HQ for our master smeller to sign off for the final approval.
Needless to say, a "bad batch" is nearly impossible. So why are you not smelling your fragrance?!
First, let's back up a little..
Our founder, Chelsea Voge, wanted a scent more like a deodorant. She wanted something that didn't seem like a fragrance at all. She wanted to create something unique and in a category of its own. She also noticed an added benefit: she wouldn't get fragrance-related headaches and sneezing that would often accompany many other fragrances she wore. 
When she first created Original, she would wear it every day and often experienced people turning their heads in an attempt to figure out what it was that they were smelling. Some people would stop her and ask if she was wearing something, and others would tell whoever they were with that something smelled amazing. She would quietly smile, knowing that it was her fragrance oil they were picking up. To this day, we receive customer reviews constantly saying the same experiences happen to them.
She knew Original was unique, and she decided to begin offering it to other people. Soon after, word of mouth took off, and she started making batches in her apartment in Venice, CA. and selling it to her friends and friends of friends.
She quickly noticed that not everyone's experience was the same. Some thought it had a strong aroma; some thought it was perfectly subtle, and others couldn't smell it at all. Then other people could smell it on others but not themselves. This quality is the origin of the name Riddle.
She knew that she needed to learn more about the mysterious nature of the ingredients. She needed to understand why some people were obsessed and others thought those people were certifiably crazy.
She knew there had to be an answer to this Riddle and discovered that it lies in the science of scent itself.
We ask you to keep an open mind and learn about that special oil in your bottle. Not everything in life is as simple as it may appear on the surface.
Why are the Original and Sphinx different than most fragrances on the market today?
Our Original and Sphinx fragrances are BASE NOTE ONLY formulas.
Original - Musk and Amber
Sphinx - Eqyptian Musk

What are base notes?

They are the densest molecules in a fragrance and take around 30 minutes to meld with your chemistry and heat up enough to evaporate into the air. Some commonly used base notes are musk, amber, vanilla, oud, sandalwood, and patchouli. 
A perfume or cologne is typically created by layering top, middle and base notes. What differentiates these is the weight of the molecule. The top is the lightest and evaporates quickly, the scent you receive right out of the bottle. The middle takes around 10-20 minutes to evaporate, and the base comes out about 30-45 minutes later and lasts the longest.
Understanding this, you see that a base note only fragrance may run into issues without the accompaniment of the top and middle notes. However, this is what makes people who love these scents LOVE these scents. Not everyone can agree on top and middle notes; some people don't like floral or citrus, and some people don't get past the initial whiff of the top of the bottle before writing off a scent as "not for them."
We live in a fast-paced, overstimulated environment. People rarely have the patience to feel, smell, taste, listen, or read. We want answers, and we want them now. We want to be sure and not allow mystery. Original and Sphinx are sadly not for you if you are this person.
Original and Sphinx being only base notes requires a little patience in the beginning, but the base note pays off and, in the end, is what keeps people coming back. 
Now, it's time to understand a bit more about your body and how your nose works.

  • Our sense of smell works to be an aid in our survival, not for cosmetic purposes. When your nose picks up a new scent, it is highly sensitive to it. It takes in all molecular information and decides if it is safe or unsafe. If your limbic system determines that the scent is harmless, it will begin to ignore it to continue hunting out new potential dangers.  
  • We all have our unique body odor type, like our scent fingerprint, and our polymorphic genes determine it. Musks can often amplify those smells, so if you are naturally attracted to a particular person's scent, you may be able to pick up the musk's aroma, acting as a pheromone enhancer.  
  • When you smell a scent on someone, you smell the scent's base molecules mixed with their natural scent. This is why you can smell the same perfume on two different people, and after about an hour of wearing it, it smells like a slightly or dramatically different scent altogether. Because the base note becomes a part of the wearer and they are used to their natural scent, it is easy for them to begin not to smell it and think it "wore off" quickly.  
  • Your scent cells are renewed every 4-6 weeks and therefore have a "new nose."
  • A small percentage of the population has musk anosmia, which means they aren't able to detect these aromas at all.

Riddle Original and Sphinx become a part of you and enhances your natural scent and pheromones. You are not as sensitive to it because it is you and because you don't have the top and middle note, you think it is scentless.
How often are you aware of your scent?
Consider the person that walks past you and assaults your nose with pungent cologne/perfume. I assure you that they don't know how strong it is. Their scent receptors begin to ignore the scent they wear, so they layer it on, believing that it's gone.
Riddle Original and Sphinx are still there. You may not be sensitive enough to pick up their subtle nature, but they still make you smell great and will come back to you in waves. This subtle factor is why most people love Riddle Original and Sphinx so much; it isn't overpowering but more of a fresh and clean presence. They trust that it is there and are often reminded when people stop them to ask what they are wearing.  
It is a lot to take in, but our sense of smell is a very complex system. Riddle Original and Sphinx are always there, keeping you fresh and smelling great...we promise.
We guarantee that your Original and Sphinx oil accurately represents our product. We've had plenty of returning customers run into this issue and continue to purchase it. Unfortunately, someone will experience nose fatigue or musk anosmia and start asking people around them if they smell anything. People will start agreeing that they don't smell anything because of how the question is presented or because they are musk anosmic.
Also, because the scent is already very light and requires body heat to evaporate, it is easy to say that it is scentless right out of the bottle. Then we end up with an issue of people in this situation agreeing there is no scent. Learning about confirmation and affinity bias will help explain what is happening in these situations. 
Meanwhile, we make large batches and ship hundreds of bottles a day from the same batch; if there were a problem with the batch, we would know very quickly across the board. The issue is not our product's potential lack of consistency ("bad batch"); it's simply that while our batches are super consistent, our noses and perceptions are not.
Our Original and Sphinx scents are intimate personal scents. They require some patience; I recommend continuing to wear your fragrance alone and see how it develops on you. Unlike most scents, you're not always going to get instant gratification, but I'm sure it will grow on you.


Additional Resource Videos:

How do we smell? - Rose Eveleth

What is anosmia?

Why do we like different perfumes

Why you can't smell your own perfume, olfactory adaptation

Why you go nose-blind to a fragrance

Skin type matters | Why your fragrance does not last | What you can do