How Aroma Ingredients Build a Scent (guest post)

The following is a guest post by Zanos.

Aroma ingredients come in lots of different forms – from natural essential oils to synthetic aroma chemicals, not to mention combinations of the two.

They range from bases that hold fragrances together for longer, to individual odour notes, to more complex accords that blend multiple notes into a unified aroma, and pyramid notes that are perceived differently over a period of time.

While manufacturers might make a big deal of using only natural aroma ingredients, the fact is that synthetic aroma chemicals are by far the larger proportion of the market, and with good reason.

Synthetic aroma chemicals offer benefits including:

  • Lower cost and consistent budgeting for commercially driven projects.
  • Consistent quality and less variation due to climate or location of source.
  • Large volume production means reliable supply even of large quantities.

Natural aroma ingredients have their benefits too – and the higher cost and scarcity of some is even seen as beneficial in markets like top-end fragrances, where it is helpful for products to be thought of as exclusive.

But for some applications, synthetic aroma chemicals are the only option, including developing new molecules that don’t occur in nature at all, and these massively expand the range of options open to the perfumer.

What are the key markets for synthetic aroma chemicals?

Synthetic aroma chemicals can be found in several key markets:

  • Household toiletries and cosmetics with high-volume production.
  • Markets transitioning from natural fragrance ingredients to synthetic aroma chemicals.
  • Rising use of artificial menthol reduces need for natural crops.
  • Vanilla substitutes tackle supply problems due to weather events.
  • Chemical processing can also transform natural raw materials.

This last point is an important one because the line between natural fragrance ingredients and synthetic aroma chemicals is increasingly blurred by the methods used by perfume chemists to process natural ingredients.

Perfume ingredients like Ambroxan are a fine example of this, helping to reduce the use of controversial natural aroma ingredients like ambergris, while still providing the kind of musky, complex scent that great perfumes are built on.

It also highlights how intricately connected perfumery and chemistry are – whether blending aroma ingredients to produce a unique perfume, or applying chemical processes to create something more than the sum of its parts.

Because of this, the expertise of modern aroma chemists and experienced perfumers means that synthetic aroma chemicals are found in every market, both alongside and often instead of their natural counterparts.

This post is in collaboration with Zanos which specialises in sourcing and supplying high-quality natural essential oils and aroma chemicals for the UK and European flavour and fragrance industry. Founded in 2000 and based on over 25 years’ experience in the chemical and allied industries, Zanos has extensive contacts and performs as a distributor, supplier and sourcing agent.

Helional

Common Name(s): Helional (IFF), Ocean Propanal

Chemical Name: 3-(1,3-benzodioxol-5-yl)-2-methylpropanal (IFF)

CAS#: 1205-17-0 (IFF)

Supplier: Perfumer’s Apprentice, Hekserij

Odour Note: Floral

Pyramid Note: Heart

Diffusion: Medium

Dilution: 10%

Blends well with: green algae abs., ambroxan, amyris wood eo., beeswax abs., benzyl benzoate, blood orange eo., bois de rose, boronia, cassie concrete, clary sage, clove bud, the damascones, fir needle eo., galbanum, etc. (TGSC)

Their nose: watery fresh green ozone cyclamen hay (TGSC)

My nose: opens… fresh, floral, soft, light, airy, clean with a touch of green, totally non intrusive and delicate. It’s a delight! 15min… watermelon, fresh, summery, thin, light and narrow in expression. It’s the only way I can describe it, it comes across as very focused and straight-forward. 30min… more grassy, green, leafy, the watermelon effect is moving towards the background now, and it seems to be revealing a more rounded quality. 45min… oceanic, watermelon, light, watery, sea breezy, translucent! That’s what this note is, sheer. 1hr… now I get cucumber (no surprise there), watermelon, fresh, light, summer — no, spring, bright and cool. 2hrs… sweeter now, thin, transparent, fresh and airy with a dreamy quality. 3hrs… a bit softer now, light and breezy, oceanic with a hint of wetness hovering above the surface. 7hrs… very much watermelon now, cucumber, clear, watery, much cooler in temperature now, almost cold. 10hrs… watered down watermelon impression at this point, just about gone but it remains light, airy and up-lifting nonetheless. 24hrs… it is quite present still on the strip, watermelon, watery, oceanic light and breezy remain the hallmark characteristics of this note.

I wish you a wonderful weekend and I’m off to babysit and smother my morsel with kisses and hugs! See you Monday :).

MC

Benzyl Acetate

Common Name(s): Benzyl Acetate

Chemical Name: Benzyl Acetate

CAS#: 140-11-4

Supplier: Hekserij

Odour Note: Floral

Pyramid Note: Heart

Diffusion: Medium

Dilution: 10%

Interesting Bits: Since benzyl acetate makes up 40% of the picked jasmine flower, it is widely used in synthetic perfumery. It imparts fruit flavors like those of banana, strawberry, pear and apple and is thus used in the flavoring industry. (The Role of Chemistry In History)

Very widely used and almost essential in jasmine and gardenia accords: should be in every perfumer’s palette. (Pell Wall)

“Very extensively used in perfumery, from the lowest priced industrial odors to the most highly appreciated cosmetic fragrances, often constituting the main ingredient in a perfume oil. It is almost inevitably the largest component in Jasmin and Gardenia fragrances, and it enters in a multitude of other floral fragrance types in smaller proportions. Its poor tenacity is usually compensated for by proper blending with higher esters of Benzyl alcohol, and with suitable fixatives. In the industrial odors, the volatility of Benzyl-acetate is often only an advantage.” (Arctander via Pell Wall)

Blends well with: since Benzyl acetate occurs naturally in ylang ylang, tuberose, strawberry, plum, osmanthus, neroli, narcissus abs., azelea, jasmine sambac abs., hyacinth, gardenia, champaca abs., cassie abs., and cananga eo., it is also available as a natural isolate. Considering all the aforementioned materials in which it is present, you can also use this as a jumping off point for blending possibilities.

But it also blends well with: woody acetate, vera moss, vanillin, aldehyde C-14, tuberose, tetra hydrojasmone, sandall, pheneleythyl acetate, mimosa, l-linalool, lavender abs., iso jasmine, ho wood, ho leaf, ginger root eo., etc. (TGSC)

Their nose: sweet floral fruity jasmin fresh (TGSC)

Powerful thin sweet fresh fruity floral of jasmin gardenia muguet. (Perfumer’s Apprentice)

My nose: opens… like nail polish, warm, sweet, soft, a hint of paint and floral. Weird, I know. 15min… sweeter, now berry, fruity, very much nail polish, sweet, somewhat heavy, I would probably dilute this down even more than 10% as I find it really intense. But that’s just me. 30min… piercing, almond-y, still sweet, floral, fruity, but bold now, not afraid to step forward is the impression I get. 45min… the diffusion is stronger, wider to me now, still almond-like, sweet and I feel it could dominate a blend, it feels thick and heavy in mass. 1hr… continues to be strong, powerful, but not as much as 30 minutes ago, softer, rounder, sweet, floral, fruity, juicy and the almond facet remains. 2hrs… now it’s much softer, warmer, bringing to mind geranium and lavender…hmmm… 3hrs… vanilla, almond extract, sweet and disappearing into a warm, glowing pillow of softness. 7hrs… slightly nail polish, cinnamic, soft and warm but definitely drying out quickly. 10hrs… a much more subdued version of vanilla now, almond still, almost not there but then I have to be very quiet for it to reveal itself and it comes across as soft, powdery and drier now. 24hrs… just a thin layer remains then a smidge of the nail polish effect appears briefly and it trails off to be slightly floral and fruity.

If you’re getting the impression that I’m banging these out in rapid fire, I am! I’m preparing to head to my daughter’s place to babysit the little munchkin for a week so everything needs to be in order before I leave. Here it’s coming down in buckets, yeah!!! My kinda weather baby!

Be well!

MC

Givescone (Givaudan)

Common Name(s): Givescone, Rose Carboxylate

Chemical Name: ethyl 2-ethyl-6,6-dimethylcyclohex-2-ene-1-carboxylate

CAS# 57934-97-1

Supplier: Perfumer’s Apprentice

Odour Note: Floral

Pyramid Note: Heart

Diffusion: Medium

Dilution: 10%

Blends well with: Rose, carnation, aldehydes, chypre, fougere, aromatic and spicy notes. Tolu balsam, sandalwood, rose abs., rose concrete and rose eo., patchouli, petitgrain lemon, osmanthus, lavender abs., beta-ionone, genet concrete, geranium bourbon eo., the damascenes, etc.

Their nose:  floral, spicy, fruity, woody and even herbaceous nuances. Rose, oxide, warm, spicy, fruity, berry, damascone. (TGSC)

My nose: opens… fruity, floral, purple with a hint of zesty, feminine freshness, it’s a happy scent with a smile, berry nuances and an overall harmonious effect. 15min… very fruity, still berry but more like chewing gum, with a hint of the floral. 30min… mostly fruity, more of a splash, delicately feminine not overpoweringly so, elegant and refined. 45min… Fruity remains the predominant impression for me, berry still, but now with a hint of the mint, there is definite lift and bounce coming out now, it’s more radiant and generous. 1hr… there’s now just a pinch of cinnamon, light and bright, fruity, and the overall impression seems to be hanging back a bit, withdrawn. 2hrs… now there’s something cool, mint about Givescone that is totally surprising to my nose! A eucalyptus impression is coming forward, just a hint of it though, it’s now light but definitely fading. 3hrs… sharp, cinnamon, sweet, feminine, and … kind, which probably just means possessing a certain gentleness. 7hrs… ever so slightly peppery, then it disappears! Sharp but mostly just not there anymore. 10hrs… Gone with a faint peppery note fluttering in the background. 24hrs…again, the ghost of a peppery impression, then nothing.

I’m late in getting today’s post out but it couldn’t be helped. Sometimes, that’s just the way it goes. I’ll see you Wednesday and until then, have a wonderful Monday!

MC

Vetiver Coeur (Hermitage)

Common name: Vetiver Coeur (a vetiver essential oil fraction), Vetiver, Vetivert, Khus

Botanical name: Vetiveria Zizanoid

Supplier: Hermitage

Odour Note: Woody

Pyramid Note: Base

Diffusion: Medium

Dilution: 10%

Blends well with: agarwood eo and co2; allspice berry eo, co2 and abs; ambrette seed eo, co2 and abs; amyris eo; angelica seed eo; angelica root eo, co2 and abs; beeswax abs; benzoin abs; bergamot eo; bois de rose eo; cananga eo; carnation abs; cassia eo and co2; cinnamon bark eo, co2 and abs; cistus eo and abs; clary   sage eo and abs; cassie abs; clove bud eo, co2 and abs, coriander eo and co2; costus root eo and abs; fir balsam abs; frankincense eo, co2 and abs; genet abs; ginger root eo, co2 and abs; guiacawood eo;  gurjun balsam eo; ho wood eo; juniper berry eo, co2 and abs; labdanum eo and abs; lavender eo, co2 and abs; lavandin eo and ab; mimosa abs; myrrh eo, co2 and abs; patchouli eo, co2 and abs; oakmoss abs; opoponax eo and abs; orange flower abs; orris root eo, co2 and abs; pepper eo, co2 and abs; sandalwood eo, co2 and abs; tonka bean absolute. vanilla abs; violet leaf absolute (White Lotus Aromatics)

Cassie, Cedarwood, Cinnamon, Clary Sage, Clove, Cocao Absolute, Coffee Bean, Frankincense, Galbanum, Geranium, Grapefruit, Jasmine, Lavender, Oakmoss, Patchouli, Rose, Sandalwood, Tobacco Absolute, Violet Leaf, Ylang Ylang.  We also recommend blending the different types of Vetiver oils we carry to create a unique, complex Vetiver accord. (Eden Botanicals)

Both vetiverols and acetates have softer odours and fixative qualities, and are used as blender with high-class perfumery products. They blend well with ionone, linalool, cinnamic alcohol, oakmoss, vanila, sandalwood, patchouli and rose bases, and are frequently used in western type of fragrances having chypre, fougere, rose, violet and amber aldehyde base, and oriental fragrances and floral compounds. (Fragrantica)

Chemical components: benzoic acid, vetiverol, furfurol, a and b-vetivone, vetivene and vetivenyl vetivenate

Their nose: “…alluring and seductive scent that can range from smoked grasses, China caravan tea and monsoon rain gardens to sweet stripped willow, aged leather, freshly turned earth, gardening gloves, candied lemon peel, marijuana and cinnamon spiced apples.” (A Scent of Excellence)

Vetiver essential oil from Haiti is a golden viscous liquid displaying a warm, a balanced sweet, earthy, mossy, rooty bouquet with a fine precious woods undertone of great tenacity. (WLA)

Our organic Haitian Vetiver is deep and slightly sweet, with light smoky undertones. Its pronounced earth and root notes are well-balanced with its somewhat resinous character. (Eden Botanicals)

My nose: Vetiver Coeur opens soft, warm, grassy and very subtle. Even though I can perceive that it is a much thinner version of the essential oil it’s still very suggestive of Vetiver eo., low in projection, with a hint of leather and I am overwhelmed by the maleness of it. My nose and brain associate this note with the essence of masculinity. 15min: now it’s waking up! Fully grassy, to me uplifting, to another nose maybe not, but I am lifted off my feet and feel reassured! To me this is a timeless scent, discrete, tough and earthy. 30min: Smokey, hint of woodiness, it throbs and like a big yawn when you awake up slowly, stretching, it too eases you into the day. Narcotic, distinct, plump, nutty attributes. 45min: still warm, deep, plush, very down-to-earth, elementary and completely absorbing the senses with its round, fullness. I find it utterly bewitching and enigmatic. 1hr: grassy, root-y, and wet! How did I miss that before? Smells of nature, outdoors, sensual, of arousal, masculine and confident. 2hrs: Vetiver Coeur has no intentions of fading any time soon as it clings madly to the strip, lavish, stylish and damp without being cloying, but also very pensive. 3hrs: it’s now darker, recalling deep woods, now it’s even more enigmatic and brooding. I feel as though I’m being firmly led by the hand and heart down a lush path, entwining and binding together with each step. 7hrs: more dense if that’s at all possible, planted firmly, drier, displaying a strong character, bolder and heavier than in the opening. 10hrs: dry, grassy, thick still very intimate as it meanders along unhurriedly . This is where I feel the feminine quality express itself, revealing a soft, subtly, whereas in the beginning it was more unabashedly male. 24hrs: much darker and more dramatic, deeper and woodier, more grassy, too. The nuances have evaporated leaving a more stripped, naked scent.

I have got to find a better way to end these letters less abruptly, at times it feels like I’m just jumping right off the side of cliff saying “see ya later!” But I guess that’s the way it is sometimes. There are moments when it’s like, here’s the stuff you asked for, gotta run! and other times it’s more, let’s sit down and catch up over a cuppa :). Today is more the former — gotta run! Love ya and have a great weekend!

MC

Elemi Coeur (Hermitage)

Common name: Elemi Coeur (an Elemi essential oil fraction)

Botanical name: Canarium luzonicum

Supplier: Hermitage

Odour Note: Citrus

Pyramid Note: Top

Diffusion: Medium

Dilution: 10%

Blends well with: cardamon, cinnamon, clove, frankincense, lavender, lemon, lemongrass, myrrh, nutmeg and rosemary (Quinessence)

The elemi resinoid on the other hand has the spicy peppery and woody-grassy facets more pronounced making it pair perfectly with pepper, woods (patchouli and vetiver especially), and sweet grass… (Perfume Shrine)

Chemical components: terpineol, elemicine, elemol, dipentene, phellandrene and limonene (Esoteric Oils)

The clear yellow liquid has a thin rather than thick consistency and it surprises with its lemony “clean” aspects which are exotic, yet fresh. This is accountable to limonene (a prime lemon molecule) that comprises more than half of the fragrant constituents of the material make-up. The odor profile of elemi is akin to a dill pickle, with a peppery and fennel facet, discernible citrus piquancy, but less tart than expected from that reference. For those reasons elemi oil blends perfectly with notes that share this uplifting fresh quality within their bouquet, be it materials classified as “aromatic” (such as lavender, clary sage and rosemary) or those in the “resinous fresh” category (such as frankincense—which also shares a lemony top-note—and myrrh). It has long being used to extend citrus products thanks to its higher resistance to heat. (Perfume Shrine)

Their nose: rose spicy marine berry peppery peony (TGSC)

At approximately 2%, it brings a very fresh, zesty, pink berry, pepper and peony top note to modern floral bouquets. (Robertet via TGSC)

My nose: The opening of Elemi Coeur is lemony, citrusy, high-pitched, cool, tangy, tart, fresh, incense-y too, clean, polished, thin, bracing and alert. Then 15min later it becomes very thin, reminding me of wood polish, lemon, citrus, simplistic, it seems stripped bare, luminous and zippy in character. 30min and it seems to evolve into a layer of transparency, a minimalism that is balmy and lemony, uplifting yet cautiously playful. At times it’s fizzy and a bit hollow like an echo of the Elemi resin. It begins to fade rather quickly around 45min becoming a veneer of polished politeness. Composure is what it represents to me now, succinct and smooth. It retains its lemony, tartness, but seems to have lost most of its bite, feeling more like a sip of warm lemonade on a hot day. At the 1hr mark I sense a cleansing quality about this oil as it clears my senses with a deep breath. Fresh, breezy, refined and tense although it’s light the movement is unexpectedly slow and not scattered. 2hrs later is’s still very thin, the fading has slowed down now, evolving into the dry down inch by inch, what struck me was that I was able to perceive this movement and yet it remained invigorating and light. 3hrs and all I get is one of it’s main chemical components, terpineol, it’s literally screaming this note, coming across a bit more shrill, citrusy, tart and sour. After 7hrs the evaporation has sped up again and now I can pick out a spice, not sure which one but one used in curry; I smell commonalities with Ambrette seed eo., too. It seems to be getting stale, paler and milder. I have to blow on it a few times at 10hrs to  wake it up, there’s still life left on the strip, and I can pick out the citrus, lemony quality floating around. There is a twiggy texture to it now and it’s not holding up well, quite honestly it seems to be falling apart structurally during the dry down, becoming much more vague. The final evaluation at 24hrs and the lemon note has just about disappeared but it still smells like Elemi, so it pulled itself together in the basenotes to reflect the core attributes of the Elemi resin.

Right! So that’s all for today, I hoped you liked the introduction to Elemi Coeur essential oil and can find wonderful uses for it in your perfumer palette.

Have a lovely day!

MC

Patchouli Coeur (Hermitage)

Common name: Patchouli Coeur (a Patchouli essential oil fraction)

Botanical name: pogostemon cablin

Supplier: Hermitage (but they no longer sell this version)

Odour Note: Woody

Pyramid Note: Base

Diffusion: Medium

Dilution: 10%

Blends well with: agarwood eo, amyris eo, ambret seed eo., benzoin siam abs., benzyl benzoate, benzyl salicylate, bergamot eo, cedryl methyl ether, cistus, clary sage, copaiba balsam, costus root, cypress eo, elemi eo, eugenol, fir balsam, galbanum, ginger, guaiac wood, hay abs., helichrysum eo., jumper berry eo., lavandin eo., lavender abs., etc. (TGSC)

blends beautifully with labdanum, vetiver, sandalwood, cedarwood derivatives, oakmoss, geranium, clove oils, lavender, rose, bergamot, neroli, orris… cassia, myrrh, opoponax, sage clary absolute, borneol, pine needle oils. (White Lotus Aromatics)

Patchouli blends well with vetiver, which contains the same earthy olfactory profile, sandalwood, cedarwood, clove, lavender, rose, labdanum, and so on. (Fragrantica)

Chemical components: b-patchoulene, a-guaiene, caryophyllene, a-patchoulene, seychellene, a-bulnesene, norpatchoulenol, patchouli alcohol and pogostol (Esoteric Oils)

Interesting bits: It is a bushy herb of the mint family, with erect stems, reaching two or three feet (about 0.75 metre) in height and bearing small, pale pink-white flowers. The plant is native to tropical regions of Asia, and is now extensively cultivated in China, Indonesia, Cambodia, Myanmar, India, Maldives, Malaysia, Mauritius, Seychelles, Madagascar, Taiwan, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, South America and the Caribbean. (Wikipedia)

Patchouli, an evergreen subshrub, is a tropical aromatic plant that thrives in the rich, shady soil of its native land of Indonesia. Along its upright stems are large, velvety green leaves containing the precious fragrance of patchouli. The name even honors the foliage: “patchouli” comes from the Tamil patch which means “green” and ilai which means “leaf.” The essential oil accumulates in the leaves’ secretory glands, principally in the young leaves, meaning that only the more recent above-ground portions of the plant are harvested for extraction, providing better yield during distillation and letting the plants regenerate faster. Patchouli heart is obtained after traditional patchouli essential oil has undergone rectification. This method is used to enrich the extract’s patchoulol content, the molecule responsible for the characteristic patchouli odor. This scent of the heart is therefore more powerfully woody and earthy, as well as nobler. (Albert Vieille via TGSC)

 Patchouli Heart is a “Fractionation of patchouli oil in order to blend the very noble part of the heart patchoulol notes.” (Robertet via TGSC)

… is a large perennial that is a member of the labiatae family, which includes lavender, mint and sage. (Eden Botanicals)

Properly matured leaves that have been distilled in stainless steel vessels in particular display very soft, subtle, precious woods-herbaceous notes that few associate with this plant. Those oils are also very light in color as compared to the darker colored oils that come from crude iron distilling vessels….”The art of distilling patchouly involves considerable experience and is of paramount importance for producing a high grade of oil. Each lot of leaves requires special distillation methods, according to its condition. A lot containing much stalk material must be treated differentlh from consisting mostly of leaves. A lot containing much dust resulting from too brittle leaves again requires a different treatment.. There exists no general and fixed rules by which a high-grade oil of patchouly can be obtained, the working methods depending upon the type of still employed and upon the condition of the plant material. It can only be said that too short a distillation gives oil of low specific gravity ; whereas too high steam pressure or to long distillation may yield oils that contain resins of disagreeable odor. The difficulty lies in finding the optiumum and the proper point at which distillation should be stopped. (White Lotus Aromatics)

Their nose: woody old wood dry earthy weedy balsamic spicy minty (TGSC)

more powerfully woody and earthy, as well as nobler  (Albert Vieille via TGSC)

Patchouli heart is very clean, ambery, earthy, woody, patchoulol, oriental (Robertet via TGSC)

… possessing an extremely rich, sweet herbaceous, aromatic spicy and woody-balasmic odor. An almost wine-like ethereal floral sweetnessin the initial notes is charcteristic of good oils although this topnote can be absent of masked in freshly distilled, otherwise good oils. The odor should remain sweet through all stages of evaporation. Patchouli will remain perceptible on the perfume blotter for weeks or even months.* Dry or tarlike notes should not be perceptible throughout the first hours of study of the oil on a blotter, and cade-like, dry cedarwood like odor which may appear in the topnote should rapidly vanish and give way to the rich sweetness…Many perfumers have never-or rarely- have ever smelled other types than the dry,phenolic, cade-like type(*Obviously Arctander is describing a patchouli oil that is well aged and well distilled and this type of oil is not very common. It is rare in the first place to encounter an oil that is aged for two years) This type may be their standard of evaluation or they may actually like to use this type. In both cases it can be said that the bodynotes of patchouli should display an outstanding richness, a root-like note with a delicate earthiness which should not include “mold like” or musty dry notes… Tenacity in odor is one of the typical virtues of patchouli oil and is one of the reasons for its versatile use. (Stephen Arctander via WLA)

Patchouli oil is obtained by steam distillation or CO2-extraction of the dried leaves. The oil has a rich, balsamic and herbaceous flavor with a minty-woody undertone. Patchouli absolute is a dark green liquid obtained by the solvent extraction of dried leaves. The absolute has a rich, pronouncedly sweet and herbaceous aroma with woody-balsamic undertone.  (Fragrantica)

The scent of patchouli contains the same earthy element that is also present in vetiver, making it a dark and rich scent. It has an interesting structure, comprised of sweet herbaceous top notes, rich winey heart and balsamic woodsy base.  (Bois de Jasmin)

My nose: OMG! I love this note! Its opening is warm and inviting, cozy with a hint of smokiness, fans out immediately with a medium projection, lighter than Patchouli essential oil and moves with a sure-footedness around me. There is also a balmy quality about it, too. 15min and this is a light-hearted Patchouli, there are tendrils of softness that waft around the room producing a thought-provoking mood. It swells like a round wave and challenges my senses with its sultry seductiveness. There is a texture present that I can’t quite identify. 30min and there is an airy quality, like it has room to breath, less tight than the other Patchouli, unburdened, less cluttered somehow. It is truly mesmerising now, a nuzzle to my nose. 45min and now there’s a dusty facet emerging. I smell a tobacco blend, smoky. It’s as if a beautiful dialogue with someone close; it’s an elegant note, captivating, lush and languid. Ahhh! Did I mention I love Patchouli? 1hr into it’s evolution and the smell is like dry, warm, embers. It’s the feeling of shade, tranquility. Something else I’ve noticed is that it’s a tranquil, deliberate note. It’s ponderous, that’s it, Patchouli does not rush, it’s heavy, sure and firm. After 2hrs it moves from dry to wet, rainy, soaked, and still the heaviness and tobacco thing continues to strike me…it’s mellow and rich. 3hrs on and Patchouli Coeur is thick, and velvety warm. I feel it in full expression now as it fills my nostrils. This is a classy note, woodsy and lush, I could also describe it as one long drawn out moan. That wetness I picked up at 2hrs led me down a curious path but for a moment, but it was just that, a moment. At 7hrs I found this note doubling back and reassuming the much drier character that seems to be it’s dominant expression but now with much stronger, it seems to be simmering with sensuality. There is a primitive manner to this particular material and I am now able to pick up a green twist. After 10hrs it remains dry, warm and now sharing much more in common with Vetiver. It’s a lingering note, lush, perhaps a bit more insistent than the Vetiver. Leafy and secluded, protective even. The final evaluation at 24hrs I get a hint of camphor, and it’s much, much drier and significantly lighter, brighter and with quite a bit more subtlety about it.

Exploring Patchouli is always a trip for me and I love to let it lead me wherever it wishes to go. I chose three Coeurs to explore this week, Patchouli, Vetiver and Elemi Coeur, could be an unconscious desire to get to the “heart” of things. But I wanted to shed a bit of light on what the term Coeur could mean in the world of perfumery. So what is Coeur? Most obviously it is meant to infer “heart” the core of an natural raw material, but I also found some interesting thoughts on the Basenotes DIY Forum that expand further and provide food for thought as we envision our formula taking form:

  • “Take an Essential oil and distill out the bits you don’t want, keeping the bits that you do. That is the Coeur.”, – member of Basenotes Perfume DIY Forum
  • “The truth is adding Coeur to a material name is just marketing – it doesn’t mean anything consistent – except that the starting material was natural and something has been done to it. Some suppliers routinely use this term for what another supplier would call MD (for molecular distilled) or Rectified: so with any given material you’re going to have to look at the technical specification and smell it to know what you’re dealing with.” – Member of Basenotes Perfume DIY Forum
  • “It can mean the smoothed refined version, with some effort being spent upon removal of the original natural’s harsh parts, or undesired molecules, call it a fractionated natural.” – Member of Basenotes Perfume DIY Forum

That’s all for today, have a good one!

MC

Javanol ® Givaudan

Common name(s): Javanol ® Givaudan, Sandal cyclopropane

Chemical name: (1-Methyl-2-(1,2,2-trimethylbicyclo[3.1.0]-hex-3-ylmethyl)cyclopropyl)methanol

CAS #: 198404-98-7

Supplier: Perfumer’s Apprentice

Note: Base

Family: Woody

Diffusion: High

Dilution: 10%

Blends well with: ambroxan, kohinool, beeswax abs., castoreum abs., citronellol, clove bud eo, costus root, black currant bud abs., alpha and beta damascone, dihydrojasmone, eugenol, fir balsam abs., frankincense eo, hay abs., cistus landiferus resinoid, lavender abs., mimosa abs., nutmeg eo, patchouli eo, rose abs., tobacarol, tuberose abs, vetiver Haiti eo, etc. (TGSC)

Interesting bits: the Javanols are a group of fragrance ingredients which are mostly being used for sandalwood notes. Javanols are described as flowery, rosy, milky, lactonic and sandal-woody. The trade name Javanol® is registered for Givaudan. (Perfume.net)

The growing scarcity—and resulting increased price—of sandalwood oil explains the fragrance industry’s continuous search for synthetic substitutes. Javanol (Givaudan), prepared from naturally occurring α-pinene, represents a new tool in terms of performance and naturalness of scent. (Perfumer&Flavorist)  

This is a powerful material best used in combination with another sandalwood replacer or as a booster for the natural oil, use about one tenth as much as you would the natural oil. Javanol has a rosy, cologne like note in the background that makes it exceptionally good for use in fragrances of these types. (Hermitage Oils)

“Javanol is the only sandalwood chemical that smells of sandalwood alcohols and sandalwood aldehydes. It is therefore extremely natural since both contribute to the great and mythical smell of the south Indian oil”. He goes on to describe it as “perhaps the best of all” the sandalwood chemicals and “impossible to replace” and also mentions that it is used to very good effect in Truth for Men by Calvin Klein and Chic for Men by Carolina Herrera as well as being a vital component of Sandalwood Givco. (Arctander via Pell Wall)

“Javanol is my favorite fragrance. I wish that the whole world could smell Javanol. I can’t get enough of it and if the idea wasn’t already there, then I would think about creating a fragrance from just this one chemical. For me Javanol is the most indescribable and irresistible fragrance.” (Erik Kormann, perfumer via Fragrantica)

Javanol, Ebanol, Sandela, Santaliff (IFF sandal mysore core), and Santalore are extremely powerful and true to sandalwood synthetics. In fact this might explain the curious effect one experiences when handling them: it was enough to smell a 10% dilution to anesthetize my nose for several hours later, a state I was taken out of by squeezing fresh lemon juice. A perfumer must be cautious and restrained when using them in order not to end up making the wearer of the finished fragrance tired and anosmic to them. Extreme dilution (even lower than 0.5%) is recommended, as alongside Iso-E Super (woody cedar) and methyl ionone (violets) those notes cause rapid nose fatigue. (Fragrantica)

I found Elena Vosnaki’s article on the a selection of Sandalwood synthetics including Javanol to be very interesting but what resonated with me most was this truth about the masses not taking well to change found buried at the very end of the article: “More than allergy concerns or repletion of natural resources, consistency is the magical word here. A mass produced product, like fine fragrance inevitably is (unless you’re making your own or have the hip artisan across town compose one for you), cannot afford to smell different from batch to batch. Consumers do not respond well to change. The quest for sandalwood substitutes continues as we speak, with several patents from Japanese companies under way, and is only going to accelerate in the coming years despite the ethically sustained sandalwood farm in Australia (after all, it is but a single farm).” (Fragrantica)

Their nose: tropical woody fatty sandalwood herbal cologne floral (TGSC)

Sandalwood, Creamy, Rosy, Powerful (Givaudan via TGSC)

My nose: From the outset Javanol is a beautiful Sandalwood impression! It’s woody, with innuendos of creaminess, a bit thin, and not a all dominating but giving lift. As it begins to fill the air in the first 15min it’s so much warmer, very Sandalwood but with a dry mark and it is surprisingly delicate. As the note begins to enter the first 30min it brings to my mind a creamy, tawny colour. There are intimations of Cashmeran revealed in the unfolding. It’s a very relaxing scent, in a way highlighting the calming and reassuring expression of Sandalwood. 45min into the evaluation and now this note is a hush as it hovers intimately throughout the space in my studio. I sense it more as a Sandalwood memory with a minimalistic quality that really I only find with the aroma chemicals. At 1hr Javanol is woody, like a grouping of dense woods and very linear. It’s also dusty and hot. My impression is of a sanctuary somewhere far away, like high upon some unspeakable Tibetan mountain, hidden by mist and clouds. Unreachable. Unnameable. Impenetrable. After 2hrs my main reaction is more that of a sheath at the moment, a note that could wrap itself around you. And yet…and yet, there is something piercing about it, almost metallic but not quite. 3hrs and this material is sharp, dry, woody, velvety and warm. It’s becoming quite one dimensional in the dry down, however and I note that this is neither good nor bad, just an aspect of its character. 7hrs sees this evolve into a sleek and tailored smell very much like watching someone walk gracefully, with beauty and rhythm. This note is unfolding into a creamy delight. The textural quality after 10hrs is velvety soft, deeply warm now, draped in rich, creamy layers; it’s a captivating precipitation of Sandalwood. The 24hr evaluation leaves me stumped! I don’t know how but this material seems to have evolved, matured somehow, it’s much more interesting, revealing greater depth and character. Can an aroma chemical even do that?! Well I guess if it’s prepared from naturally sourced components it is quite possible. Javanol has an absolutely stunning drydown!

MC

Delta Damascone

Common name(s): Delta Damascone

Chemical name: 1-2,6,6-trimethyl-3-cyclohexen-1-yl-2-buten-1-one

CAS #: 23726-91-2

Supplier: Pell Wall

Note: Heart

Family: Fruity

Diffusion: High

Dilution: 10%

Blends well with: amiris, angelica root, benzyl acetate, blood orange eo, bois de rose, iso butyl quinoline, cassia bark eo, black currant bud abs., beta damascenone, alpha and bata damascone, fir balsam abs., grapefruit eo, linalool, oakmoss, tobacarol, veramoss, violet leaf abs. (TGSC)

Interesting bits: Damascones are a series of closely related chemical compounds that are components of a variety of essential oils. The damascones belong to a family of chemicals known as rose ketones, which also includes damascenones and ionones. beta-Damascone is a contributor to the aroma of roses, despite its relatively low concentration, and is an important fragrance chemical used in perfumery (Wikipedia)

This is a very cost-effective rose ketone, that is unusual in that it has not been found in nature. Just as high-impact as the others, this is exceptionally useful for fruity fragances and can also be used to impart a metalic quality that isn’t evident in the others. Note that the IFRA restriction applies to all rose ketones combined. (Pell Wall)

Compliment these bits with a beautifully written article by Victoria of Bois de Jasmin on the Damascones:  ….If the light pouring through stained glass windows, dancing in vibrant red and orange and flickering on the skin, had a scent, it would be the fragrance of damascones…” see what I mean? Her writing is simply poetic.

Their nose: Fruity, sweet-rose, natural cassis & tobacco; Similar to alpha-Damascone but more fuity and less rosy. (Pell Wall)

Fruity  sweet  rose  natural  petal  currant bud black currant bud  tobacco

Woody, minty, sweet and fruity, with a brown herbal nuance

A diffusive rosy note. More fruity and less rosy than DAMASCONE ALPHA (Firmenich via TGSC)

Blackcurrant (cassis), fruity note of exceptional diffusion. Very good in trace amounts a rose/tobacco effect. Member of the rose ketone family. A fruity, apple, rose earthy note (IFF via TGSC)

“quite similar to alpha-damascone, but with a more striking metallic fruity nuance and less “cinnamic” impact. I say cinnamic because many shades of cinnamic alcohol are found in the diverse damascones  I like this chemical, although it is less linear and less clean than the other isomers. However it is quite useful because of its striking fruity impact” (Arctander via Pell Wall)

delta damascone and alpha damascone seem less rosy and plumy and more appley to me. (Sonoma Scent Studio)

My nose: the doors of Delta Damascone open wide to reveal a sweet, fruity note with a hint of something sharp and silvery, not a heavy scent at all, it’s very pleasing and smells of plums. 15min fly by and I get light, almost a camphorous quality. Is that even possible? I do find that interesting that even while my brain notes what I smell there is still a dubious part of me questioning some evaluations because to me one impression can’t occupy the same space of a particular note, which is really just my prejudice getting in the way. Must be mindful or rather, observant of it flowing in and out. So, to continue, I smell commonalities with Eucalyptus. It’s a very bright quality, oddly pungent, very direct and refreshing! 30min now and it’s airy, fruity and totally light and whimsical. There is a fresh, cool splash about this material that is completely disarming, it’s really taking me by surprise. After 45min the uplifting, camphor element is now foremost, then it beats out the fruity note rhythmically, not with a constant bashing. I feel this material can add youth and excitement to a formulation. 1hr later it’s a bit parched and seems to be drying out. It remains sweet and fruity, still holding onto its bright, shimmery quality. Interestingly, I can also sense a very harmonious marriage with certain animalic notes like Ambergris, Castoreum or Civet. 2hrs finds Delta Damascone to be much more arid in quality, the glimmer is fading to become thinner. It still smelling of fruit, but less radiant than before. Now, after 3hrs, it’s very fruity, but this could be because I left the room, went outside and my nose came back refreshed. The character is spirited yet cool in temperature, with a hint of sweetness. 7hrs on this is more berry, fruity, more whole as an impression, more linear as it begins to meld now with the paper strip. 10hrs and the berry, fruity attribute is now simply a murmur. It’s much more understated, softened and demure. After being on the strip for 24hrs I have to blow on it with my nose to wake it up in order to cajole any sort of an impression out of it that I can pick up, but after a few sniffs I realize it’s still alive only fast asleep, still sweet, berry and fruity.

I had in mind another article I wanted to post for today but that can wait for Friday. Today I wanted to help you and I get started on a sweet note, as a reminder to never stop planting seeds of sweet-smelling fruit in our lives.

Have a wonderful start to your week and see you Wednesday!

MC

Birch Tar Rectified 1% essential oil (White Lotus Aromatics)

Common name: Birch Tar rectified essential oil

Botanical name: Betula pendula roth

Supplier: White Lotus Aromatics

Note: Base

Family: Wood

Diffusion: High

Dilution: 1%

Blends well with: iso amyl phenyl acetate, cananga oil, costus valerolactone, guaiyl buterate, indole (TGSC)

Ambrette seed eo, co2 and abs; ambergris melange; amber sweet melange; angelica root eo, co2 and abs; aruacaria eo; buddha wood eo and co2; cabreuva eo; cassia eo and co2; cinnamon eo, co2 and abs; cedarwood eo’s and abs’s; cedar leaf eo; cistus eo and abs; coffee eo, co2 and abs; costus eo and co2; cypriol/nagarmotha eo and co2; frankincense eo, co2 and abs; galbanum eo, co2 and abs; guiacwood eo; juniper berry eo, co2 and abs; mastic eo and abs; muhuhu eo; mushroom abs; myrrh eo, co2 and abs; oakmoss abs; opoponax eo and abs; palo santo eo; patchouli eo, co2 and abs; peru balsam eo and abs; pine needle abs; seaweed abs; stryax eo and abs; vetiver eo, co2 and abs (White Lotus Aromatics)

Interesting bits: Produced by destructive distillation of the twigs and leaves of Betula sp. and then rectified by steam distillation to remove most of the phenolic elements and meet the IFRA standard: crude Birch Tar should not be used in fragrances….Russian leather smells of birch tar because the leather is tanned with the tar products which also preserve this special type of leather…. (Steffen Arctander via Pell Wall)

In natural perfumery is used in leather accords, amber notes, musk accords, incense perfumes, woody compositions, fougere, chypre, spice accords, after shave lotions. (White Lotus Aromatics)

It adds a leathery note to men’s perfumes. Birch tar oil is widely used in suede and leather tannery in Russia…The name ‘betulae’ has its root in the Latin verb ‘batuere’, meaning ‘to strike’. (Ozmoz)

A definition here, for russian leather, is “a smooth leather tanned with willow, birch, or oak, and scented on the flesh side with birch oil.” The ancient legacy of the drawn resin extends to the stone age, “Birch-tar was used widely as an adhesive as early as the late Paleolithic or early Mesolithic era. It has also been used as a disinfectant, in leather dressing, and in medicine.” And the method of its production is as “a substance (liquid when heated) derived from the dry distillation of the wood of the birch. It is therefore pyroligneous — compounded of guaiacol, phenols, cresol, xylenol, and creosol. These, to the fragrance aficionado offer further intimations — is there a familiarity, to guaiac, or creosol?

Guaiacol is present in wood smoke, resulting from the pyrolysis of lignin. The compound contributes to the flavor of many compounds, e.g. roasted coffee. Creosol is an ingredient of creosote. Compared with phenol, creosol is a less toxic disinfectant. But powerful indeed, an distant in history, their applications. Cresols have an odor characteristic to that of other simple phenols, reminiscent to some of a “coal tar” smell. (Girvin)

It wouldn’t be right to dive deeper into Birch Tar without expanding our knowledge to include how it was used in leathers. The Perfume Shrine has a wonderfully concise introduction into this series as well as The Vintage Perfume Vault.

Their nose: smoky, woody, burnt wood, leathery, phenolic (at 1%) (TGSC)

displaying a potent, penetrating, phenolic, smoky (charred wood, tar-like) with bouquet with a sweet ambery-balsamic-resinous undertone of very good tenacity. (White Lotus Aromatics)

One might find, as well — in even the opening research on birch tar — that there’s a potential for this being a hidden, dark and revealing note, (Girvin)

“… distinctly phenolic, very penetrating and diffusive, obviously reminiscent of tar, charred wood and smoke (all of which have their odor from components of the birch tar oil!) However, the most characteristic feature in the odor pattern of birch tar oil is the sweet-oily undertone which appears distinctly on the smelling blotter when the first empyreumatic notes have faded away. These notes caught the immediate interest of perfumers long ago… ” (Arctander via Pell Wall)

My nose: Birch Tar rectified essential oil opens smelling of leather, intensely phenolic, vibrant and lustrous. To me it gives the impression of luxury. Warm, golden. Pungent, definitely, but it’s so much more, it’s hard-edged, tarry and raw. After 15min the foremost impression is smoky then tarry. This note is unapologetic, like a dark grey colour and I feel like thick, winter sweaters. It’s a provocative and pressing note. 30min on and it’s smoky, fire, protection, it’s a very grown up mature scent. Sleek, and devoid of frivolity – this scent does not joke around. 45min sees it express a hard, indifferent side, direct in its conversation with me, it seems to be more commanding, more tarry and ever more a part of the shadows. It continues to echo a burnished quality after 1hr, even though less phenolic now, and a more earthy note is introduced. I can smell a clear commonality with three other smoky notes I love, Choya Ral, Choya Nakh and Choya Loban! Gorgeous. For me this smell is like embers, it glows and lurks about. 2hrs on and Birch Tar rectified is still very brash, even now and at only 1% it remains a very dominating note, sober, sensible and satisfying, with smoky trails that billow forth and invade the room. It is warm and drier after 3hrs, more tarry, less smoky, earthy and now there is a vague heaviness about it with a hint of camphor, deep in the belly of this note. Odd the impressions we pick up. At the 7hrs mark it’s still edgy, rugged and evocative. I smell my Lapsong Souchong tea in this note only now, burnt, gloomy and haunting. 12hrs into the dry down and this note continues to emit a very strong presence, and it remains phenolic in its dry down, smouldering, fuming and earth-bound. It’s like a warm nuzzle to me, this scent, like most phenolic scents I find them narcotic. After 24hrs the scent is still very present on the scent strip; bold, throbbing and still smelling of smoke, burning as well as leather, too.

Birch Tar rectified essential oil is simply a beautiful note, I adore the smell of burning wood and this totally plays into this love I have. While evaluating this note it became clear to me that it is more an accessory note, to be used in very, very small amounts, I can’t see myself ever over-dosing this note…well, not until I have a very good grasp of what I’m doing, and that’s not for some time yet :).

Have a great weekend!

MC

Bergamot, organic essential oil (White Lotus Aromatics)

Common name: Bergamot, organic, essential oil

Botanical name: Citrus bergamia/Citrus aurantium var. bergamia

Supplier: White Lotus Aromatics

Note: Top

Family: Citrus

Diffusion: High

Dilution: 10%

Blends well with: jasmine, chamomile, lavender, neroli, rosemary, benzoin siam resin, blood orange eo as well as most other citrus oils, boronia, citral, clary sage, clove bud, dihydrojasmone, ethyl linalool, geraniol, geranium bourbon eo, cis jasmine, jonquils, mimosa, patchouli, etc. (TGSC)

African bluegrass; amber sweet melange; anise star eo and co2; apple melange; apricot melange; basil eo and abs; bay leaf eo; benzoin abs; bois de rose eo; blood orange eo; boronia abs; cananga eo; cardamon eo, co2 and abs; cassie abs; chamomile english/roman eo and abs; chamomile wild eo and abs; chamomile blue eo, co2 and abs; champa white flower eo; champa white leaf eo;  citronella eo; clary sage eo and abs; clove bud eo, co2 and abs; clementine eo;  coriander see eo, co2 and abs; cubeb eo; cypress eo and abs; davana eo and co2; elemi eo and abs; erigeron eo; eucalyptus lemon ironbark; eucalyptus citriodora; fir balsam eo; fir silver eo; fir douglas eo; frankincense eo, co2 and abs; grapefruit eo;  galbanum eo, co2 and abs; geranium eo and abs; gingergrass eo; ginger eo, co2 and abs; galangal eo;  hay abs; hinoki eo; hiba eo; juniper berry eo and co2;  ho wood eo; jonquille abs; lemon eo; lemon essence eo; labdanum eo and abs; lavender eo, co2 and abs; lavandin eo and abs; lime eo; lemon eo; lemon essence eo; lime essence eo; mandarin eo;  mimosa abs; myrtle eo; neroli eo; orange sweet eo; orange bitter eo; opoponax eo and abs; pine eo and abs;  peach melange; pear melange; pineapple melange; petitgrain eo; patchouli eo, co2 and abs; plai eo; raspberry melange; sandalwood eo, co2 and abs; spruce eo and abs; tea green abs; tangerine eo; tangerine essence eo;tonka bean abs; turmeric eo and co2; vanilla abs and co2; ylang eo and abs; yuzu eo; zdravetz eo and abs  (White Lotus Aromatics)

Chemical components: some of the main volatile compounds are: Limonene (37.2%), Linalyl acetate (30.1%), Linalool (8.8%), gama-terpinene (6.8%), beta-pinene (2.8%); the minor volatile compounds make up 14.3%. Some of the major non volatile compounds are Bergamottin (21.42%), Citropten (2.58%) and Bergapten (2.37%).

Interesting bits: You can make an oriental or even a cologne without bergamot, but the classical chypre family is impossible without this citrus note. Bergamot offsets the inky, bittersweet roughness of oakmoss and prevents you from smelling like a moss festooned tree. (Bois de Jasmin)

*** Bergamot is a photosensitizer (increases the skin’s reaction to sunlight and makes it more likely to burn).

“Bergaptene is the naturally occurring chemical constituent found in cold pressed Bergamot Essential Oil that makes the cold pressed oil highly phototoxic. Varieties of furocoumarin-free (FCF) cold pressed Bergamot Essential Oil are available that have the bergaptene synthetically removed. Bergamot Essential Oil is also sometimes available as a steam distilled oil.” (Aromaweb)

Bergamot essential oil is a cold-pressed essential oil produced by cells inside the rind of a bergamot orange fruit. It is a common top note in perfumes. Bergamot essential oil is a major component of the original Eau de Cologne composed by Farina at the beginning of the 18th century. The first record of bergamot oil as a fragrance ingredient is from 1714, found in the Farina Archive in Cologne. One hundred bergamot oranges will yield about three ounces (85 grams) of bergamot oil.[1] The scent of bergamot essential oil is similar to a sweet light orange peel oil with a floral note.[2]

“Earl Grey tea” is a type of black tea that contains bergamot essential oil as a flavouring.

The main compounds in the oil are limonene, linalyl acetate, linalool, γ-terpinene and β-pinene,[4] and in smaller quantities geranial and β-bisabolene.

Linalyl acetate and linalool are qualitatively the most important components of the bergamot oil.

The bergamot essential oil is particularly subject to adulteration being an essential oil produced in relatively small quantities. Generally adulteration is to “cut” the oil, i.e. adding distilled essences of poor quality and low cost, for example of bitter orange and bergamot mint and/or mixtures of terpenes, natural or synthetic, or “reconstruct” the essence from synthetic chemicals, coloring it with chlorophyll. Worldwide, each year, around three thousand tonnes of declared essence of bergamot are marketed, while the genuine essence of bergamot produced annually amounts to no more than one hundred tons. (Wikipedia)

Bergamot orange (Citrus aurantium var. bergamia) is a small, roughly per-shaped citrus fruit, which grows on small trees known as bergamots. It is a cross between pear lemon and Seville orange or grapefruit. Production of bergamot is mostly limited to the Ioanion, coastal region of the province of Reggio Calabria, South Italy, where the soil and climatic conditions are very favourable for its cultivation. It is also cultivated in Ivory Coast, Argentina and Brazil, but in no other part of the world does it fructify with the same yield and quality of essence. Bergamot is named after Italian city of Bergamo, in which its oil was first sold, and it has become a symbol of the entire region and city.

This fruit is not edible and is cultivated for production of its essential oil. The essential oil of bergamot is expressed from the ripe fruit peel and is used extensively in perfumery for its sweet freshness. Bergamot oil is also used for flavouring purposes, e.g. Earl Grey tea and the so called althea drops, candy-making, in aroma therapy to treat depression, and also as digestive aid. (Fragrantica)

Their nose: Fresh, orange/lemon/citrusy, slightly floral. (Aromaweb)

citrusy, bitter and sour, elegant light note, complex with nuances of fruit and aromatic elements, reminiscent of eau de Cologne, flavors Earl Grey tea. (Fragrantica)

complex citrus, tangy-green, sweet, fresh and clean, slightly floral and spicy (Floracopeia)

citrus woody orange linalyl acetate (TGSC) 

citrusy, agrestic, reminiscent of lavender (Albert Vieille SAS via TGSC)

a fine, rich, juicy, sweet, fruity bouquet with an elegant herbaceous, balsamic undertone. (White Lotus Aromatics)  

My nose: Bergamot, organic essential oil starts off uplifting, invigorating, revitalising but also tense and terse, fever-pitched, feeling like it bursts out and grabs you as it wakes up with it’s battle cry I’m alive! A scant 15min later I’m getting a sense of a cool, bracing and frozen temperature. It’s lemon-lime in scent too and I get the sense that this would pair very well indeed with a spicy, peppery note. It’s movement is quick-paced and zesty. After 30min this note is beginning to lessen in intensity but it still has a strong lemon-lime characteristic. The impression is becoming thinner, simpler, less exuberant and drier. Just heading into 45min and it’s a light, lime, lemon, note as it fans out. Also as it heads into the dry down it becomes much more one-dimensional. The 1hr mark opens up a less dramatic landscape and it’s much more mellow in tune, dwindling now it reminds me of the petals of a fading rose, and with it a sense of warmth. 2hrs in and what I get is a dry, almost stale impression. It’s slightly translucent and beginning to expire, as if it’s flickering on and off. It’s still present on the strip after 3hrs, although in an isolated way and with scant reference to the beginning impression. Now it’s minimalist and pristine. 7hrs sees this note to be much more stale, dry and oddly herbaceous totally not what I was expecting in the dry down, now I can pick out commonalities with Lavender. 10hrs into its evolution and the scent is almost gone, just a faint breath remains and that impression is dry, lemony, smelling faintly of cleaning product. The final evaluation at 24hrs reveals a hint, just a whiff that seems very pale and bleached out, but I’m amazed that it’s still on the strip! Holy cow!

While I originally purchased this from WLA they don’t currently have the organic version as they like to deal with fresh product so when that runs out that’s it until they stock more. So if you’re interested keep an eye on their shop for when it becomes available. As I am a lover of Earl Grey tea, you can well imagine how much I adore the smell of Bergamot essential oil and even when you think you know a material because you’ve heard about it so often as is the case with many citrus oils, or you smell it every single day in your tea, like me, there is always some new, undiscovered facet that reveals itself upon closer observation, living with the scent around you for longer, such was the case with Bergamot, organic, essential oil.

Take good care, make lots of scents and I’ll be back on Friday with an evaluation of Birch Tar rectified essential oil.

MC

Galbanum Coeur 1%

Common name(s): Galbanum Coeur, Galbanum Replacer

Chemical name: 2-methyl-4-phenyl-2-butyl acetate

CAS #: 8023-91-4

Supplier: Pell Wall

Note: Heart

Family: Green

Diffusion: 4

Dilution: 1%

Blends well with: Now it stands to reason that since this is a synthetic galbanum replacer, it should blend well with those notes that galbanum absolute blends with such as: ambroxan, green algae absolute, benzyl benzoate, bois de rose, cistus, clary sage, costus root, ethyl linalool, fir balsam absolute, flouve absolute, ho wood, linalool, lavender absolute, mimosa absolute and so on… (TGSC)

Their nose: dry, green, balsamic, galbanum, herbal/herbaceous

My nose: right away in the opening the obvious impression is green, but as I scrutinise this smell further there is a youthful, early springtime joyful feeling to it. There are elements of sharpness, it’s high-pitched, vibrant and happy. A scant 15min later and now I smell similarities with castoreum! What the heck?! Still green and dry. 30min into the evaluation and the impression is more a faded green and it’s beginning to seriously morph and retreat right before my consciousness. It leaves me question if it’s off, gone bad, or stale? Now it’s 45min and there is still a hint of the animalic, less luminous than before, and the green is still prevalent. After 1hr it seems I’ve sort of lost the thread of this note. How does that happen I wonder…and then it strikes me that this could be a characteristic to be exploited this weaving in and out, disappearing act that this note could perform in a blend. 2hrs and all I can get is a sweaty armpit odour and nothing else. Just a hint of green remains. One sniff of green is all I am able to capture 3hrs later. I feel so let down, I expected a lot of this material. Had constructed a whole impression in my head only to be “disappointed” by the real thing. 7hrs into the dry down and nothing. I can no longer smell this on the strip. There seems to be something but I’m afraid I could be making it up in my mind and so I hesitate. After 10hrs there is a thin veil of green galbanum and then it’s gone, poof! Invisible to my nose. 24hrs have passed now and I can pick up a hint of the green characteristic of galbanum, reminding me of a cool autumn day. Odd that this came alive again and accompanied with a cooler temperature impression.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my getting to know Galbanum Coeur and I would love to hear what your impressions are of this interesting material if you have it in your scent library.

Until Monday, have a wonder-filled week-end!

MC