Musings on making perfumes with Ledon essential oil: Hmmm, this would be a tricky note to master within an accord but satisfying once achieved. I love the many hidden qualities that seem to jump out at you unexpectedly with Ledon – this note can definitely spark a fire to try something new.
Common name: Ledon essential oil, Ledum, Labrador Tea, Marsh Tea
Botanical name: Ledum Groenlandicum
Supplier: Florihana (organic, wild, country of origin Canada, steam distillation from the flowering plant)
Blends well with: Citruses, nutmeg, black pepper, carrot seed, fennel, Elemi, Cistus, Bergamot, Ylang Ylang, Geranium, lavender, clove, ginger, vetiver, helichrysum, myrrh, patchouli…
Chemical components: The monoterpene family is represented by sabinene as a major product. The limonene concentration depends sharply on the vegetative period, being more important during the flowering period. Terpinen-4-ol and myrtenal are the main compounds of a variety of oxygenated monoterpenes (Wingedseed.com)
Some of the most prominent chemical components straight from the Florihana Chromatography sheet are: alpha/beta-pinene 8% each, sabinene 25%, a-terpinene 3.5%, g-terpinene 10%, limonene 1.6%, p-cymene 2.7%, b-selinene 7%, a-selinene 2%.
Interesting bits: Florihana is a great company. Not only are their products organic or of wild origin of superior quality, but they provide all the necessary documentation you could ever need: MSDS, IFRA certificate, and chromatography.
Their nose: Ledum has a very complex odor profile, herbaceous with cuminic notes and a dry, leathery backnote, as well as faint Citrus notes. It is a very pleasant, strong aromatic, somewhat similar to the Rhododendrons. Dryout is cuminic, seedy and soapy with woody aspects. (Wingedseed.com)
My nose: The opening of Ledon is somewhat like cypress, pencil shavings-ish, thin, warm, and sharp. Outdoors, cool, but with something floral to it. After 15min I find that something goes straight inside and touches me deeply with this note, it’s direct. There is still the suggestion of a floral with the pencil shavings, only slightly though, a faint sweetness and it’s calming and soothing. 30min into the top notes and Ledon is pristine, sheer, light, enigmatic, perhaps because it’s unfamiliar, exciting and titillating, which I attribute to it’s cool effect. 45min now and I get warm, sharp, spicy, but which spice? More like a carrot seed spicy. Cumin spicy. There’s something peppery about it, even slightly citrusy and astringent. 1hr on and you get this wonderful peppery-ness that gives a feeling of expansion and opening, it rustles like dry leaves in the fall, it’s a fall retreat in the mountains. 2hrs and we’re heading into the heart notes which start off soft, romantic and luscious. I sense this now opening up and becoming confident, like it’s spreading its wings and it’s delightful. Just around the corner, a few steps beyond the sharp quality there is serious side to this note. At 3hrs I find it absolutely gorgeous! It is still pulsating with life and feels wonderfully content. Entering the base notes after 8hrs there is something more interesting going on here than just the obvious pencil shavings quality, there’s a hint of the citrus, tart and tangy, that add depth and interest. 12hrs later and what the hell? Holy pencil shavings and cumin! Sharp, spicy, pungent, fast, thinner now with a lot of character. But, aren’t these notes supposed to die down after 12 hours?! The final 24hr mark still reveals a spicy, peppery side, like cumin. Quite strong still but the sweetness, the soft floral-ness is gone, leaving just a sharp note. Wow. Totally wasn’t expecting that.
12/24 comparison: The 12hr strip is very cumin-like, pungent, cool, dry and brittle even. The 24hr strip in contrast, is almost imperceptible, the predominant aspect is the pencil shavings effect.