aromatic profile: safraleine


Sceintific name: 2,3,3-trimethyl-2H-inden-1-one

a.k.a.: Safraleine

CAS#: 54440-17-4

Supplier: Perfumer’s Apprentice

Note: Base – leathery, spicy, woody, warm (Givaudan)

Family: Leather

Diffusion: High

Their nose: Safraleine exhibits warm, powerful, leathery and tobacco facets but its complexity also reveals characteristics of spices reminiscent of natural saffron, enriched by rose ketone-like floral aspects. (Givaudan)

This is a very versatile ingredient: in low doses you can add a spicy undertone to any fragrance, while higher doses will give you a distinct leather note. Blends well with Suederal but can also be used effectively with traces of birch tar in leather compositions. The effect is softer than suederal, more like skin and less like leather depending on what you use with it. (Hermitage)

…a combination of shoe polish/black cherry/air conditioning refrigerating fluid. (Perfume Shrine)

My nose: opening notes are of new leather, a hard leather surface, pristine office space, dentist office, contemporary, minimalism, plastic, rubber(?), hint of something pungent like peppermint (what the heck?!). After 30min I get the peppermint aspect even more, not as harsh to my nose as the first time I introduced my nose to this a year ago, so it’s really interesting to see how my brain has adapted to this aroma chemical to give me a more rounded impression. 1hr later and I get something sharp but not unpleasant, dry, I actually think it’s beautiful  now, I smell this with mint! 2hrs into the dry-down and the projection is still strong, I can smell it above the others when I walk into the studio. I marvel that there is definitely another side to Safraleine that goes beyond harshness, there is also an uplifting side to it. 3hrs later it’s still sharp, but now I get cold steel, more cool, seems to be receeding now a bit, if I could give it a colour it would be grey, steel grey. After 7hrs it smells more constructed, something of mechanical grease, fading the mintiness is almost gone. 11hours later and it’s now more plastic-like in the dry-down but there’s also a brighter side to this and I am convinced there is a camphor-esque quality to it that makes it uplifting.

Blends well with: although I haven’t used this in a blend to date, I have discovered that it is can support the building blocks of the leather family such as Castoreum (real or synthetic), Tobacco and Birch Tar rect’d. I certainly want to try this with something minty, peppermint, spearmint, whatever, I’ve got to appease this curiosity!

Considerations: the TGSC recommended dilution for smelling is 10% or less. My dilution is also at 10%.  Not to exceed 3% in your fragrance concentrate.



aromatic profile: cashmeran


Scientific name: 1,2,3,5,6,7-hexahydro-1,2,3,3-pentamethyl-4h-inden-4-one

a.k.a.: Cashmeran

CAS#: 33704-61-9 155667-06-4

Supplier: Perfumer’s Apprentice (USA)

Note: Base

Family: Woods, Amber

Diffusion: The real benefit, as per Fragrantica and my evaluation can back this up, is it has a medium potency in volume projection but a long trail that surpasses a full day’s length, my experience is more like two full days!

Interesting Bits: Cashmeran is commonly referred to as Blond Woods. It’s part of the musk family and is fairly inexpensive, a 1 oz bottle from Perfumer’s Apprentice is $18. “it’s scent profile takes over a vast sea between woods and ambers, abstract and indefinable,” says Fragrantica.

Cashmeran is hydrophobic (insoluble in water), it’s therefore a prime target for use in functional perfumery since it won’t rinse out, so you’ll find in anything from detergents to fabric softners.

Their nose: According to Fragrantica, it’s reminiscent of concrete (especially the abstract woody scent that concrete gives when hit upon by rain…) also lightly spicy lightly powdery…. It is, however used as a powerful floralizer, as it aids in the expansion of those notes, especially accords of Jasmine. TGSC calls it rich, spicy, musk, woody, clean.

My nose: Cashmeran never screams, it whispers. This opens up soft and powdery, youthful with a hint of what Ambergris is to me, musky, airy, light, spacious and a puff of clouds w/a hint of sweetness. 30min later it’s even more pronounced like its woken up; there’s a hint of an edge there which is interesting, like something bitter and dry. After 1hr now there’s a sharper quality to it and it’s even more peppery, definitely still soft and smooth, oh and the dry, woody part I get now! 2hrs later and Cashmeran gets softer and softer at times there’s a peppery quality to it but that edginess remains, still airy and powder but not overwhelmingly so. After 3hrs now there seems to be more sparkle and shine! It’s more luminous on the intake a hint of incense which reminds me of Sandalwood? so much more powdery and warm now! 7hrs into the dry down and now soft wood is the main impression, it’s drier and more of a background note, now it’s whispering. After 11hours Cashmeran is definitely dwindling but its softness persists, drier and more woody, more musky (but in a good way!).

Blends well with: other modern components like Ambroxan, the damascones, ethyl maltol etc. as well as naturals like Frankincense, Clary Sage, citrus, geraniol, linalool, Patchouli, Tonka bean Vetiver, etc.

Arcadi Boix Champs says that Cashmeran combines very well with green grass notes, “…it’s interesting to note the effects of Cashmeran with subtle, fruity chemicals and … absolute Maté,” in his book Perfumery: Techniques In Evolution 2nd Edition.

TGSC: Check out there, oh-so-useful “Blenders” tab for a host of other suggestions like Carrot seed eo(!), and Costus root.

Considerations: TGSC recommends smelling at 10% dilution or less, in fact 99% of all my synthetics are at this dilution. Cashmeran has a shelf life of up to 36 months or longer if stored safely, according to TGSC.

Have a beautiful Friday!

aromatic profile: Isoamyl Salicylate


Hmmm, think I got this one too from Perfumer’s Apprentice. The industry description is herbal, floral, clover, azalea, green, sweet, chocolate.

Right off the cap there is a roundness to this smell that is almost natural for a synthetic, it’s so soft it almost meanders as it trails along.

1 hour later and wow, I’m still loving this one, it’s even sweeter now, still feminine.  Nice.

3 hours into it and this is pervasive almost all I can smell when I walk into the room, but still stout, light and playful, really lovely.

1 day later and it’s almost one dimensional and without character but still pleasant.

Probably the first synthetic that I’d say I’d use in a formulation…there’s lots more to explore but for this week we’re done with the synthetics and next week I can get into the more complex, much more involving naturals.

I’ve also got some skin serums that I’ve got to get making, some more Lichen and Spruce and Cedarwood resin I need to get tincturing that we collected on our walk last Sunday, and last but not least do a dry (so to speak) run of the distillation to get it ready for my first try which will be Linden flowers!…and of course there’s still the day job.

Have a great weekend!

aromatic profile: Lilial


Source: Perfumer’s Apprentice. What’s on the bottle as a description: muguet, watery, green, powdery, cumin.  Part of the group of green fragrances and to my nose a top note.

To me the first time I smelled it, it had a lightly floral, white aspect, fresh and clean; some people say they smell a slight watermelon note and I can see how you can get that too.

1 hour later it’s even lighter than before, hidden almost.  There’s a slight sweet sigh going on and it’s dry too.

3 hours later and it’s almost not there to my nose, but I can still detect a light floral aspect.

1 day later and if I blow on it with my nose I can smell something faint.

aromatic profile: alpha-terpinyl acetate


Above is the chemical structure of the molecule Alpha-terpinyl acetate. Again, I got this one from Perfumer’s Apprentice, and and have also diluted it to 10%. Here’s how it’s described as smelling by the industry and what I’ve got on the label of my bottle: herbal, bergamot, lavender, lime, citrus.  It’s an obvious top note.

My first impression is sharp, thin, and it immediately becomes clear that I’ve smelled this in detergent before, and for my nose it’s much too harsh smelling of synthetic.

After 1 hour it’s even more detergent-like, with hints of floral, fresher than the immediate impression. Dry.

3 hours into the dry down and the note is almost unnoticeable.

1 day later and I can’t detect a thing.

As you can tell I’m not thrilled. Moving on.

aromatic profile: Lyral


Most of my synthetic aroma chemicals I get from Perfumer’s Apprentice in America.

Here’s the description of it I keep on the bottle of Lyral or Leerall: floral, muguet, cyclamen, rhubarb, woody. Perfumer’s Apprentice says: extraordinary tenacity and diffusivity. A powerful blending agent giving richness throughout all dryout phases of a perfume composition. Lyral is widely used to create a “lily-like” effect.

The odour can last up to 400 hours and the shelf life is 24 months. Usually used as a base note and fixative.

Here are my thoughts: immediately dipping the smelling strip this is the trip I get: clean, fresh, soapy.  There are some floral aspects to it; I get an impression of open space, white.

After 1hr the note is much softer now, drier, with a definite synthetic feel to it, like I said soapy.

3 hours into the dry down and it’s now super dry, sharper somehow too, fading out.

1 day later it’s very light, soft, still present but after a few sniffs my nose can’t detect it anymore!

This is not one of my favourite synthetics to work with, but then, as is my philosophy that I’ve adopted in formulating, perfumery is like art in that no artist would want to limit their palette to just one colour. If I decide to not use synthetics I want to at least try them before making such a move.