Aroma Profile: Sweet Gale

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Musings on making scents with Sweet Gale…did you know that the word myrica comes from the Greek which means “fragrance”? Sweet Gale is one of those notes that I am keenly motivated to do justice by, I hope one day to execute an accord that at the very least hints at her hidden splendour. I am in love with this note.

Common name: Sweet Gale, Bog Myrtle

Botanical name: Myrica gale

Supplier: Hermitage Oils UK

Note: Heart

Family: Herbaceous

Diffusion: 5

Dilution: 10%

Blends well with: hop, cannabis, lemongrass, mastic, schinus molle, juniper, nutmeg, most citruses, lavender, coriander, thyme, ho, neroli bigarade, lavandin, bergamot, osmanthus, geranium bourbon, petitgrain, genet abs., clove, black pepper, ylang ylang…and that’s a pretty good start!

Chemical components: Alpha Terpineol 11%, D-Limonene 53%, Geranyl Acetate 5%, Linalool 4%, Linalyl Acetate 4%. (Hermitage Oils UK)

Aromatic components in the essential oil prepared from the leaves of cultivated Myrica gale var. tomentosa were compared with those from oil derived wild plants by using gas chromatography-mass spectroscopy (GC/MS). We found that essential oils from both the wild and cultivated plants contained similar aromatic components such as β-elemenone, selina 3,7(11)-diene, myrcene, limonene, cymene, 1,8-cineole, and β-pinene, but the content ratio of the oil was significantly different, which might yield differences in the aromatic properties. The aroma impact components of the essential oils were also determined using GC/MS-Olfactometry (GC/MS-O) and aroma extract dilution analysis. Eight aromatic compounds, including linalool, limonene, and 1,8-cineole, were shown to contribute to the aromatic properties of cultivated M. gale var. tomentosa. The strongest aromatic note was defined as linalool, followed by limonene, 1,8-cineole, and β-elemenone. (PubMed.gov)

Interesting bits: “This is very special material supplied to Hermitage by a Scottish artisan distiller.” (okay, so I was hooked after that) “Clear in colour, of a thin viscosity and produced via steam distillation of the flowers and leaves with twigs featuring sparingly in this particular distillation.” (Hermitage Oils UK)

Sweet gale rarely occurs as a single plant, more usually forming dense thickets from numerous suckers…Sweet gale thrives in acid soils along the margins of lakes and ponds and in peatlands and swamps (BC Living)

A natural predator of bog myrtle is the sheep and the deer; the young tender shoots presumably are a welcome change from their normal diet…Bog myrtle likes to be near running water, from where it derives much of its nourishment…you can still find high class restaurants that prepare fish and chicken dishes when it’s young and in season, though its culinary uses are now generally quite rare. There are breweries that use it to make a sweet heather ale, and some home or small brewers do the same according to their own handed down recipe, though unless they have bog myrtle growing nearby they find it difficult to buy. It’s got a very pleasant and very different taste to regular ales, even real ales, and if you’re lucky, you’ll find a heather ale even on your supermarket shelves, as well as on tap in a surprising number of pubs in Scotland. (Bog Myrtle From Scotland)

Their nose: The top notes of this material are candy-sweet and ice water fresh. In the heart a suave floral-sweetness takes charge, the sweet notes reminiscent to me of a Bergamot Mint and Bois de Rose infusion. Slowly but surely I unearth a really gentle sweet-herbaceous note that playfully wonders in and out of detection. For the perfumer the value is chiefly within the top note, imparting distinctive freshness that would be of extra value to anyone creating an oriental themed perfume. Sweet Gale is a marriage made in heaven with most spice materials along with fruits such as Bergamot and Cedrat and with floral and herb materials including Lavender, Lavandin, Rosemary, Hyssop and Clary Sage. (Hermitage Oils UK)

My nose: Sweet Gale opens — sweet, with a strong note of nutmeg, spicy, pungent, full-bodied, happy, alive, and very warm. It’s like a big warm hug! 15min later it’s more like honey, thick and delightful. It’s nutmeg and light and warm and comforting. I look like an addict inhaling so deeply, greedily; I just can’t get enough of this scent. 30min on and it’s soft now, a hint of pencil shavings is coming through but the main impression is nutmeg and “sweet”, sticky and golden if I could give it a colour. At 45min it’s warm, honied, glowing, golden and all I can “see” is honey being poured out slow and deliberate as it spreads out to claim a surface. 1hr now and it’s still sweet and unhurried, woody now, it’s like a nuzzle you get from your pet when they want you to caress them; sweet nectar of life. After 2hrs we’re into the heart notes now and Sweet Gale is like a golden liqueur, balmy, creamy, seductive, like honey on tap, close by always. 3hrs later and now it’s sweet heaven, dwindling but ever so slowly, still thick. After 8hrs I can still describe it as sweet, soft, not as thick but very much what it was 5 hours ago only softer, more whimsical and I find that sort of tough to pull off for something that at its heart is spicy. At 12hrs it’s still so warm and approachable, inviting, feminine, round, curvy, spicy but now only just a bit. The final drydown after 24hrs is still soft warm and sweet on the strip! Great tenacity but also something definitely spicy makes itself felt toward the end.

12/24 comparison: This 12hr strip is lush, vibrant, spicy and even now it’s warm and inviting. At 24hrs on the other hand, although definitely weaker, it maintains the warm glow effect nonetheless, drying out in a very integral way, very uniform in the way it exists.

Ahhh, feels good to be back. Happy sniffing and a wonderful weekend!

MC


Aroma Profile: Ethyl Linalool

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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!

In-joy,

MC


Aroma Profile: Fructalate

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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!

MC