Aroma Profile: Nerol


Common name(s): Nerol

Chemical name: (2Z)-3,7-dimethylocta-2,6-dien-1-ol

CAS #: 106-25-2

Supplier: Hermitage Oils UK

Note: Heart

Family: Floral

Diffusion: 4

Dilution: 10

Blends well with: beeswax abs., benzyl alcohol, bergamot, blood orange oil, bois de rose, cassis bud, citral, citronellol, clary sage, ethyl phenyl acetate, flouve, gardenia concrete, geraniol, guaiacwood oil, immortelle, jonquil abs., leerall, linalool, mace oil, mimosa, neroli C02, nerolidol, sweet and bitter orange oil, peony alcohol, ylang ylang, violet leaf abs., etc. (TGSC)

Interesting bits: Nerol is the cis isomer: notice the similarity with Geraniol, which is the trans isomer of the same molecule. Occurs naturally in a vast range of flower scents as well as being present in fruit, herb and spice essential oils from artemisia to ylang ylang, via lavender and, of course, neroli. (Hermitage Oils UK)

…a monoterpene found in many essential oils such as lemongrass and hops. It was originally isolated from neroli oil, hence its name. This colourless liquid is used in perfumery. Like geraniol, nerol has a sweet rose odor but it is considered to be fresher. (Wikipedia)

Their nose: Floral, sweet, natural, neroli, citrus, magnolia. It is used in all types of fragrances especially rose accords and with other florals. (Hermitage Oils UK)

“rosy, refreshing and “wet” seashore odor of moderate tenacity. Dry notes vary with purity of material. A very pure Nerol will normally have more emphasis on the “fresh seashore” odor and less of the rosy notes, while products with high Geraniol content conceal their “maritime” notes in favor of the deep-rosy tones…This alcohol is widely and frequently used in perfumery, but not nearly in the volumes of Geraniol and Citronellol. It lends a fresh- ness to a rose base which cannot be obtained with the two other alcohols. But it also finds use in a variety of sweet-floral fragrance types Mimosa, Magnolia, Lilac, Neroli, Alpine, Violet, Jasmin, etc. or in Citrus colognes, Muguet, Orchid, etc. its effect is perceptible often at one or two percent in the composition. ” (Steffen Arctander)

Fresh, citrus, floral, green, sweet, lemon/lime and waxy with a spicy depth. (TGSC)

Despite the fact it was found in neroli essential oil nerol doesn’t have the characteristic neroli smell. Instead its scent reminds of fresh sweet roses. (Chemist In The Bottle)

My nose: Nerol opens barely noticeable at all, like rubbing alcohol, very subtle, floral, dry and ponderous. In 15min not much movement because it’s still barely there, soft, thick and almost juicy. Serene, and the smell is truly a simple pleasure and still somewhat fruity. 30min brings us to a peculiar quality of stillness that is captivating – that is when and if you are able to capture a whole impression like this because it is fugitive. It’s fluid and graceful, flushed too, like a young person blushing. After 45min Nerol now becomes warm, intriguing and intimate, drawing you in instead of fanning out to reach you. 1hr and there it is, that fruity, juicy vibe. Sure there’s the obvious floral tone but there is deninitely a layer of juiciness, of fruit that lingers on the branch because it’s just not ripe enough yet to let go. What you get at 2hrs is the impression that while it is still present it’s very much a background, supportive note, so it doesn’t scream, it murmurs. Now it’s all plump and plumes, airy, soft and round. Oddly though, at 3hrs this note is becoming more evident. There is a persuasive quality that lingers on the surface, leaving a definite impression. 7hrs and its fruity still but now a wonderful, harmonious mix of florals. This dies down to a smell not unlike my watercolour paper made of 100% cotton. Nice. 12hrs into the dry down and Nerol is beautiful still, warmer, more floral, rounder, more body, less skin and bones than in the beginning. It’s all grown up now. The final 24hr evaluation reveals a complete turnaround: what once started out as something to barely consider has turned out to be the belle of the ball! Long lasting, floral goodness and quite reliable, linear throughout. A total surprise.

Have fun mixing!



Aroma Profile: Ethyl Linalool


Common name(s): Ethyl Linalool

Chemical name: (6E)-3,7-dimethylnona-1,6-dien-3-ol

CAS #: 10339-55-6

Supplier: Perfumer’s Apprentice

Note: Top

Family: Floral

Diffusion: 6+

Dilution: 10%

Blends well with: Amyris, iso amyl salicylate, benzyl alcohol, bergamot, green cognac, decanol, galbanum, geraniol, heliotropin, immortelle, labdanum, leerall, litsea cubeba, nutmeg, santall, tonka bean absolute, raspberry ketone, ylang ylang, violet leaf absolute, patchouli, oakmoss, etc. (TGSC)

Their nose: Floral, oily, slight woody, green, soft odor, has a floral, fresh, bergamot character and is sweeter and less agrestic than Linalool. As with Linalool, it is used in a wide variety of notes for floral bouquets (Perfumer’s Apprentice)

Fresh, bois de rose, herbal, wet, green, lavender, bergamot (TGSC)

Fresh floral, herbal, rosewood, petitgrain: this has many similarities with the more widely used linalool, though this one has not yet been found in nature. (Hermitage Oils)

“Floral, only slightly woody-green, soft odor of moderate tenacity. The odor type compared to Linalool indicates that ‘Ethyl Iinalool’ is softer, more waxy, less volatile, less woody-green and overall more floral. It is more Coriander-like, less Bois-de-Rose-like. This alcohol has been suggested for use in perfume compositions as a modifier for Linalool with certain advantages over that material. Ethyl linalool has a somewhat slower rate of evaporation and is easier to work with, needs only normal fixation, and blends with more materials. It introduces softer, more floral-woody, less citrusy notes, according to the composition in which it is used. Along with Ethyl linalyl acetate, it forms a pleasant Bergamot-type background note even in soap perfumes, a combination which is more stable than Bergamot oil itself. The alcohol is also an interesting item in Muguet, Lilac, Lily, Appleblossom, etc. as well as in fantasy creations.” (Steffen Arctander)

My nose: Ethyl linalool opens sharp, a bit lavender, sweet, round, happy, simple scent, summery and light. 15min and I find myself really liking this note! It rises above the other three I’m profiling at the moment. Yes, lavender, woody, twiggy, pristine and clean. The 30min mark displays a sharper lavender impression, bright and sunny and alive, like a really cold glass of water on a hot day – quenching, that’s what it is. 45min later Ethyl linalool is dry, summery, bright, laundry hanging out on the line, candid and luminous. After 1hr this is simply a very joyful scent for me! Gleeful, happy, bouncy, radiant and transparent. 2hrs and now we’re just into the heart note and it’s beginning to fade, it seems more parched now, the lavender glow is still there and it’s just as herbaceous and pleasant. 3hrs now and it’s definitely dry, lavender – weaker, but it is alive on the strip. After 7hrs it’s just about over but makes an impression nonetheless. It’s now very dry, very faint and the lavender effect is still the one that remains. 24hrs later and it’s just a very thin layer, nothing more, but I just can’t call it over…

And there you have it, my impressions about Ethyl Linalool. I can totally see myself using this in a summer floral that I’m inspired to try just as soon as I can get into the lab full-time after teaching in June. Until then, I will remain inspired and allow the scents to pacify my impatience just by being around their aroma. Yes, I am grateful.

Wising you a most beautiful start to this first week of Spring! Yeah!



Aroma Profile: Fructalate


Musings on making scents with Fructalate: It was fun one to evaluate this aroma chemical; just like stepping back into my childhood again when company came over. They would give me and my brothers money because they hadn’t seen us in ages, and we hopped the back fence, and ran off as fast as our 10 year old feet would take us to the Short Stop (the equivalent of a 7Eleven in the States) for all the Gob Stoppers, Jolly Ranchers, Big Bubble and Popeye Cigarettes money could buy…ah, good times, good times!

Common names: Fructalate

Chemical name: 1,4-cyclohexanedicarboxylic acid, diethyl ester, raspberry dicarboxylate

CAS #: 72903-27-6 (Firmenich)

Supplier: Perfumer’s Apprentice

Note: Heart

Family: Fruity

Diffusion: 6

Dilution: 10%

Blends well with: Citruses or fruity notes. 

Interesting bits: can give volume to fragrance compostitions with it fruity, raspberry, apple, ethereal notes. (Perfumer & Flavorist)

Fructalate is amazingly versatile – in small doses you can use it to enhance diffusion of almost any fragrance – larger proportions will give you a fruitiness that is dry rather than sweet and can be pushed in the direction of almost any fruit. It is especially good at enhancing room fragrances. (Hermitage Oils)

Fructalate is a remarkable performer when you’re searching for unbelievable boost…a fruity lift, says Master Perfumer Gary Marr. “It stands out among other fruity notes for its longlastingness, which reaches well into the middle of the fragrance to achieve remarkable diffusion.” Perfumer Etienne Bouckaert identifies Fructalate as the ultimate enhancer. “A chameleon among the fruity family. Fructalate magnifies the unique character, effortlessly pushing the bloom of a wide spectrum of fruity notes.” Perfumer Wessel Jan Kos adds, “Personally, I like to use it with citrus notes for liquid media to achieve outstanding freshness and pulpy juiciness.” (Perfumer & Flavorist)

Their nose: “Fruity, raspberry, apple, ethereal. Non−edible fruity note with good tenacity and volume. A long lasting fruity, berry note, which is powerful, affordable, and stable. The product is great in aircare and liquid applications for bloom and is used frequently for its boosting effects on fruity, citrus and herbal notes.” (Firmenich)

My nose: Fructalate opens fruity (no, duh!), sweet, berry, chewing gum, round, makes an instant impression. 15min into it and I am slapped with the memory of Jolly Ranchers! That’s the candy smell I couldn’t remember before. Fruity and juicy now. 30min later and it’s now drier, less juicier, fruity yes, the berriness is till there but it’s becoming much more hollow. After 45min it’s sweeter but much drier now, less generous, and a bit more ‘weathered’. After 1hr Fructalate’s fruitiness is fading quite quickly, it has slowed down quite a bit. 2hrs now and it’s a much softer fruit, more like a berry juice than a candy, less child-like, kiddy stuff, a bit more grown up fruit (if that makes any sense at all). Beginning to beat a steady retreat now. The smell after 3hrs is still fruity, soft and somewhat sweet, holding up okay event though fading. At the 7hr mark it’s still fruity – that impression doesn’t budge – but now its lighter, drier, and much more simpler. I missed the 12hr evaluation, rats! And the 24hr profile is still nice and fruity; it’s not as fresh as in the beginning, but still alive and well as a berry.

Enjoy the wonderful memories experimenting with scent brings your way today!


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.

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: 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.