Musings on making scents with Nerolidol…I think this is quite a versatile ingredient and its performance impressed me both alone on the strip and together in pairs with Sandalwood absolute.
Common name(s): Nerolidol
Chemical name: 3,7,11-Trimethyl-1,6,10-dodecatrien-3-ol
CAS #: 7212-44-4
Supplier: Hermitage Oils UK
Blends well with: ambroxan, iso amyl salicilate, amyris, benzyl benzoate, benzyl salicylate, carraway seed oil, carrot seed, clove bud, black currant bud, fir balsam abs., guaiacwood, hay abs., geraniol, geranium bourbon, indole, nerol, patchouli, tonka bean, veramoss, etc. (TGSC)
Interesting bits: Nerolidol, also known as peruviol, is a naturally occurring sesquiterpene found in the essential oils of many types of plants and flowers. There are two isomers of nerolidol, cis and trans, which differ in the geometry about the central double bond. Nerolidol is present in neroli, ginger, jasmine, lavender, tea tree, Cannabis sativa, and lemon grass. The aroma of nerolidol is woody and reminiscent of fresh bark. It is used as a flavoring agent and in perfumery. It is also currently under testing as a skin penetration enhancer for the transdermal delivery of therapeutic drugs. (Wikipedia)
A highly unusual material, rarely offered in small quantities, Nerolidol was used in the 1950s in only the most expensive floral and fine woody fragrances. Today it is in more widespread use but still less used than it could be in fragrance and only really popular in constructing certain fruity flavours. Nerolidol is a beautiful, but subtle material in it’s own right, but it also has excellent fixative properties that make it doubly useful. Occurs naturally in a vast range of fruit, herb and spice essential oils usually in very low quantities but occasionally forming a significant proportion of the oil. (Hermitage Oils UK)
Used in fragrances for woody, tea-like notes (Bedoukian)
“Mild and delicately woody-floral, slightly green odor with remote resemblance to Apple and Lily…an extremely useful chemical, not only because of its delicate and very versatile notes, but also, because of its fixative value and blending properties. The title alcohol is an excellent “fond” in Sweet Pea, Muguet, Honeysuckle, Peony, etc,, and a fine companion to Sandalwood, Oakmoss, Perubalsam, Tolubalsam, Clary Sage products, Ylang-Ylang, etc.” (Steffen Arctander)
Nerolidol, a natural isolate from France, is extracted from cabreuva essential oil. This base note has its greatest use as a fixative, prolonging a natural perfume without contributing much to the overall aroma. Nerolidol, with its weak apple and rose aroma, is a great blender orchestrating and rounding out other essences in a blend. (Aftelier)
Their nose: Floral, green and citrus like, with woody waxy nuances. (Hermitage Oils UK)
A woody, floral, green odor (Bedoukian)
My nose: Nerolidol opens with a floral twinkle, this is even harder to discern than HydroxycitronellOL! It’s just a whisper. After 15min it finally begins to wake up a bit more! Floral, bright, light and nimble. 30min and it’s a fresh sort of floralness although a bit on the sharp side. 45min here the floral, sweet, delicate natural feels almost child-like, my impression is infant, baby, fragility. At 1hr this is now sweet, delightful, tawny and dewy fresh. For the 2hr mark I get a sense that Nerolidol could act like the underpinning, like the veins of a leaf, support for a soft, delicate effect that has bones. After 3hrs this is sweet, soft, floral and the impression remains that of being well-grounded. 7hrs on Nerolidol is floral with a hint of coolness, this note meanders and is quite clear even now. At 12hrs WOW, this seems to have exploded even strenghthened! In a soft way though, it retains it’s femininity by remaining floral and fresh. The final evaluation after 24hrs and it is still alive on the strip. Alive and fresh and still floral with a wonderful grip!
Nerolidol & Sandalwood Absolute: the opening of this pairing makes the sandalwood pristine! I get an image of a road that previously was overgrown with weeds that has been recently cleared. The Sandalwood appears more beautiful and pure, more precious. The floral of the Nerolidol seems to enhance the Sandalwood giving it a very interesting nuance. Around 1hr something warm and round comes out from this pairing, it’s multi-faceted, soaked in context and texture! After 2hrs the Sandalwood is much more direct, like being pierced by it intravenously. It is much more luminous than on its own, more gutsy and bold. 5hrs now and Sandalwood is creamy, fleshy, warm. I think Nerolidol isolates the main profiles of Sandalwood helping to show it’s “best side”. The effect is a Sandalwood that is more measured, timed and tempered. 10hrs, the final evaluation, and it’s like Sandalwood has been one long musical note that can just go on indefinitely! Soft, constant, pure, woody. This is simply captivating right now. Love it!
Above, my colour interpretation of this pair using Rose Madder and Gamboge watercolours.
I hope you’ve enjoyed the first pairings as much as I’ve loved doing them. See you Monday and enjoy your weekend!