making perfumes with velvione


Perfume making as art can set the imagination free and if you’re looking for a musky amber quality to boost a facet of your composition then let your imagination take in the possibilities of Velvione:

Scientific name: (5E)-cyclohexadec-5-en-1-one

a.k.a.: Velvione

CAS#: 37609-25-9

Supplier: Perfumer’s Apprentice

Note: Base

Family: Amber

Diffusion: 8

Their nose: “dry, powdery, musk, amber, civet” (TGSC).  “A powdery macrocylic musk that is powerful, highly substantive and stable, as well as biodegradable. Velvione has a nitro-musk aspect that is not found either in other commonly used macrocylic musks.” (Perfumer’s Apprentice). “very fine musk of great diffusion, rather like ambrettolide but less fruity and even softer.” (Chris Bartlett on musks)

My nose: at 09:30 Velvione has an opening that is predominantly sweet, soft, velvety, instantly fanning out all neat and tidy, easy, early morning, it skims gracefully and glides like a hand over smooth marble. By 09:45 it’s much more structured, sheer, I get an impression of a gracious host showing you around the premises. There is an impression of superficiality about Velvione, because it comes off elaborate and deliberate, methodical even.  10:00 and I get a connection with cinnamon, to me it’s unavoidable! I tried not to write it but I can’t leave it out, this note is like the guy or girl at the party that you just can’t ignore. Piccante, staccato. 10:15 and to me this still shimmers sensually. Like the night, it is there but you can’t touch it or get away from it, it has you, teasing and uncomplicated. At 10:30 the hold is persistent, candid and hovering over the whole like a luke-warm blanket, much more hushed now. 2hrs into the drydown we’re now into the heart of the note and it’s succinct, contemporary, it’s also an illusionist but playful with a hint of damp and dirt but elegant with clean lines. 3hrs and now it’s ripe, lift, just beginning to fade a bit but still assertive, there’s a touch of something leafy in the background, something reminiscent of dried leaves almost. 7hrs and now Velvione seems to be warming up even more, more earthbound, clearer more still and present as it slips into a lush and elegant nap. 12hrs and this note communicates comfort, luxury and pampering to me. Still suggestive, beginning to make an exit, drier and now I’m getting the musky ambergris animalic quality. Only now! After a full 24hrs Velvione is much softer, more gentle, mellowed, not as expansive as in the beginning, still very much “here”. There is a touch of a dry, green note on the inhale, dry leaves still…hmmm. Well, that was an experience.

Blends well with: costus root, davana, damascone beta, frankincense, guaiac wood, hay absolute, linalool, mimosa absolute, nutmeg, tobacco absolute, osmanthus absolute, etc. (TGSC)

Considerations: Perfumer’s Apprentice notes that Velvione is a large molecule and often can be hard to pick up a scent straight out of the bottle. Then later, while tripping through Basenotes, I found someone else commenting about how it can tend to resonate at the same “frequency” of certain notes producing a cancelling effect of the other note so you don’t smell it (this has inspired a whole new post around this topic!), this was with Vetiver and Velvione, that it sort of drowns out other base notes. Chris Bartlett also adds that, Velvione is a great exalting agent which can have a big effect in a blend and gives a distinct powdery effect. My nose would have to agree.


2 thoughts on “making perfumes with velvione

  1. Hi there, once again i get to learn from your posts.. actually i was working on a violet leaf composition that contains both gayac and vetiver, and since you said ‘vetiver tends to drown out other base notes’ I went back to it and yes, it does, especially after some time, it is very much vetiver that remains in the fragrance. Typical.. so i added more violet leaf and some lavender officinalis essential oil. What strikes me is that a drop of violet leaf remains present, its character is still there even though it seems to mainly streamline the other components.. i can’t really pick out the actual fragrance itself, but it has an effect on the whole. the moment I write this down, pop! there it is… haha – I never really was aware at this level. Writing about it also helps, doesn’t it? Struggle to get words on the page/screen, to get at this.. pretty subtle stuff. Beautiful to work with, how lucky are we
    Thanks again,


    1. Good morning, Eline! Yeah, Vetiver can be a rat sometimes, just like Galbanum, they both need a really judicious hand and some serious lovin’. Now, Violet leaf (absolute right?) is something I’ve got to get my nose into, it’s on the list. Interesting how it sort of herds everything together and makes them all behave. You’re right, writing things down, our impressions, the dry down evolution, all of it helps us become better perfumers. I feel lucky every single day, I swear! But thanks for the reminder, nice to know I’m in similar company!
      Have a fantastic day!


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