I have two library pieces containing creosote in two dilution ratios, each in a different menstruum. There is creosote in jojoba and grapeseed at a low dilution ratio (not specified, but the liquid is pale golden yellow) and it smells slightly leathery and tarry, a bit greasy, like a barbeque grill four days after the barbeque. On the skin it changes almost completely -- the tarry and greasy notes disappear and leave only a brush of scent which can only be described as sweet, supple leather. I would have never thought that creosote could smell this way, or have any kind of application in perfumery. The scent is much less aggressive than, say, choyas, which to me smell acrid and burnt and their application in perfumery has to be very diligently and gently dealt, and the results about 80% determinable. This creosote 'feels' as if it could camouflage itself in a composition, kind of Vulcan mind meld itself to certain elements within a composition and round them out, smooth them out, make them better, give them a little kiss and a pat on the bum.
The other creosote is dark and reddish and is diluted into organic grape alcohol. Something about that grape alcohol does beautiful things to the creosote -- it is fruity sweet with soft leather notes with a very faint smoky burnt note in the background. It is lovely. There is also a hint of cassia in there, or tolu, it has that same minty-cinnamon character, but again, that could be the result of the creosote marrying the grape alcohol. For whatever reason it is there, it's no matter, it is gorgeous! Who'd have thunk it? Creosote smelling so damn beautiful and potentially useable in perfume?
What this makes me want to do is go back and revisit my burnt oils, the choyas and such, and dilute them way down into treated and infused organic alcohols -- like a lightly tinctured gardenia in organic grain with a 1% dilution of nakh, or loban in a peach tincture, or ral in a raisin tincture. Possibilities.
I don't know if these samples are wood-tar or coal-tar creosote, but my instincts say wood-tar. Correction: It has been confirmed the creosote in question is from the creosote bush ~ I should have known that. Here is an interesting article about Creosote Rings Preserve in Lucerne Valley, California.
*From the box of aromatic marvels.