Blending perfumes with nutmeg essential oil? If you’re learning to make your own perfumes then here’s an overview of a wonderful and versatile perfume ingredient.
Common name: Nutmeg essential oil
Genus name: Myristica fragrans
Supplier: Perfumery Art School (part of our kit)
Blends well with: woods and florals especially Ylang Ylang, ginger,
Chemical components: The chemistry of nutmeg is full of inspiration – either sabinene or camphene (pungent)account for 50% of the essential oil. Yikes! Then you have d-pinene 20%, dipenthene 8%, d-linalool 6%, d-borneol 6%, i-terpineol 6%, geraniol 6%, myristicin 4%, eugenol 2%, iso-eugenol 2% and safrole 0.6%.
Interesting bits: did you know another name for nutmeg is Mace? Apparently, nutmeg from Grenada is the one that sets the standards for all others. The nutmeg we are familiar with is the shelled kernel (who knew?!). Native to the Banda Islands in the Moluccas, Indonesia; but also cultivated on Penang Island in Malaysia, in the Caribbean and especially in Grenada and Kerala. The essential oil is obtained by steam distillation from the ground nutmeg. (Wikipedia)
Their nose: “the fruit of Myristica fragrans, it has a spicy sweet facet with earthy and more pungent base notes, and is used to provide an oriental spiciness that is subtler than the usual cinnamon-clove-vanilla bouquet of orientals, thus perfect for masculines and lighter woodies.” (Fragrantica)
“…warm, sweet spicy-aromatic bouquet with balsamic woody undertone.”-from Indonesia and “terpenic top-note…with fresh, warm, sweet, aromatic spicy body note and a woody undertone.”-from Sri Lanka (White Lotus Aromatics)
My nose: I started sniffing at 09:30 and I was met with a warm, pungent but soft aroma, slightly woody, hint of something light and green just around the edges. 15min and whoa! this is way more pungent! Like it’s leaping off the paper but I’m getting a slight medicinal note as well. After 30min this is a spice that sits firmly in place. Now more woody with much more character, a bit on the dark side, but grounded. 45min into it and there is a harshness, it’s like it doesn’t want to come out, just wants to rest in the background. Now it’s 1hr later and I smell something I can only describe as bitter lurking in the background, a tinge of acidity and it’s begun to fade rather dramatically. 2hrs later and a smell of rust?! Dry, totally hidden in the shadows, dusty, faded and antique. After 3hrs I get more fading, very dry, understated now, I like it because now it’s very discreet and indiscernible. Now 7hrs into the dry-down and it’s almost gone, a sort of metallic effect remains, cool metal or cool wood comes to mind. After 12hrs the smell is warmer even though it’s just about gone! Nice perk! it’s more interesting now, less rugged, more tame. And 24hrs later this note is still alive. Soft, still sweet, much more woody in the dry-down though it’s lost a lot of it’s pungency, but still definitely alive on the strip.
Musings on composition: mostly used to modify the spicy notes; my thoughts are that this note could hide out very well, tucked away neatly in a composition.
Now of course I have to source the Grenada version. Good grief, does it ever end?! Thankfully the answer is, no :).