Aroma Profile: Nerolidol

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Musings on making scents with Nerolidol…I think this is quite a versatile ingredient and its performance impressed me both alone on the strip and together in pairs with Sandalwood absolute.

Common name(s): Nerolidol

Chemical name: 3,7,11-Trimethyl-1,6,10-dodecatrien-3-ol

CAS #: 7212-44-4

Supplier: Hermitage Oils UK

Note: Heart

Family: Floral

Diffusion: 2

Dilution: 10%

Blends well with: ambroxan, iso amyl salicilate, amyris, benzyl benzoate, benzyl salicylate, carraway seed oil, carrot seed, clove bud, black currant bud, fir balsam abs., guaiacwood, hay abs., geraniol, geranium bourbon, indole, nerol, patchouli, tonka bean, veramoss, etc. (TGSC)

Interesting bits: Nerolidol, also known as peruviol, is a naturally occurring sesquiterpene found in the essential oils of many types of plants and flowers.[1] There are two isomers of nerolidol, cis and trans, which differ in the geometry about the central double bond. Nerolidol is present in neroli, ginger, jasmine, lavender, tea tree, Cannabis sativa, and lemon grass. The aroma of nerolidol is woody and reminiscent of fresh bark. It is used as a flavoring agent and in perfumery. It is also currently under testing as a skin penetration enhancer for the transdermal delivery of therapeutic drugs. (Wikipedia)

A highly unusual material, rarely offered in small quantities, Nerolidol was used in the 1950s in only the most expensive floral and fine woody fragrances. Today it is in more widespread use but still less used than it could be in fragrance and only really popular in constructing certain fruity flavours. Nerolidol is a beautiful, but subtle material in it’s own right, but it also has excellent fixative properties that make it doubly useful. Occurs naturally in a vast range of fruit, herb and spice essential oils usually in very low quantities but occasionally forming a significant proportion of the oil. (Hermitage Oils UK)

Used in fragrances for woody, tea-like notes (Bedoukian)

“Mild and delicately woody-floral, slightly green odor with remote resemblance to Apple and Lily…an extremely useful chemical, not only because of its delicate and very versatile notes, but also, because of its fixative value and blending properties. The title alcohol is an excellent “fond” in Sweet Pea, Muguet, Honeysuckle, Peony, etc,, and a fine companion to Sandalwood, Oakmoss, Perubalsam, Tolubalsam, Clary Sage products, Ylang-Ylang, etc.” (Steffen Arctander)

Nerolidol, a natural isolate from France, is extracted from cabreuva essential oil. This base note has its greatest use as a fixative, prolonging a natural perfume without contributing much to the overall aroma. Nerolidol, with its weak apple and rose aroma, is a great blender orchestrating and rounding out other essences in a blend. (Aftelier)

Their nose: Floral, green and citrus like, with woody waxy nuances. (Hermitage Oils UK)

A woody, floral, green odor (Bedoukian)

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My nose: Nerolidol opens with a floral twinkle, this is even harder to discern than HydroxycitronellOL! It’s just a whisper. After 15min it finally begins to wake up a bit more! Floral, bright, light and nimble. 30min and it’s a fresh sort of floralness although a bit on the sharp side. 45min here the floral, sweet, delicate natural feels almost child-like, my impression is infant, baby, fragility. At 1hr this is now sweet, delightful, tawny and dewy fresh. For the 2hr mark I get a sense that Nerolidol could act like the underpinning, like the veins of a leaf, support for a soft, delicate effect that has bones. After 3hrs this is sweet, soft, floral and the impression remains that of being well-grounded. 7hrs on Nerolidol is floral with a hint of coolness, this note meanders and is quite clear even now. At 12hrs WOW, this seems to have exploded even strenghthened! In a soft way though, it retains it’s femininity by remaining floral and fresh. The final evaluation after 24hrs and it is still alive on the strip. Alive and fresh and still floral with a wonderful grip!

Nerolidol & Sandalwood Absolute: the opening of this pairing makes the sandalwood pristine! I get an image of a road that previously was overgrown with weeds that has been recently cleared. The Sandalwood appears more beautiful and pure, more precious. The floral of the Nerolidol seems to enhance the Sandalwood giving it a very interesting nuance. Around 1hr something warm and round comes out from this pairing, it’s multi-faceted, soaked in context and texture! After 2hrs the Sandalwood is much more direct, like being pierced by it intravenously. It is much more luminous than on its own, more gutsy and bold. 5hrs now and Sandalwood is creamy, fleshy, warm. I think Nerolidol isolates the main profiles of Sandalwood helping to show it’s “best side”. The effect is a Sandalwood that is more measured, timed and tempered. 10hrs, the final evaluation, and it’s like Sandalwood has been one long musical note that can just go on indefinitely! Soft, constant, pure, woody. This is simply captivating right now. Love it!

Above, my colour interpretation of this pair using Rose Madder and Gamboge watercolours.

I hope you’ve enjoyed the first pairings as much as I’ve loved doing them.  See you Monday and enjoy your weekend!

MC


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Aroma Profile: HydroxycitronellOL

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Musings on making scents with HydroxycitronellOL… this is one of those synthetics that you just have to do a lot of your own research to discover what it’s all about. I could barely find anything at all on the net about HydroxycitronellOL. The product description on the Hermitage Oils UK site made me curious enough to purchase a small amount because I would really like to create a rose accord that thrills me so I was on the hunt. But that’s not enough with the synthetics, it’s important to throw the net a lot wider when experimenting with these tools.

Common name(s): HydroxycitronellOL

Chemical name: 3,7-dimethyloctane-1,7-diol

CAS #: 107-74-4

Supplier: Hermitage Oils UK

Note: Heart

Family: Floral

Diffusion: 3

Dilution:10%

Blends well with: bergamot mint, bois de rose, ethyl linalool, farnesol, ho wood, leerall, mughet ethanol, petitgrain, ylang ylang, linalool, etc.

Interesting bits: Very mild (weak) clean-sweet, floral odour of considerable tenacity. The floral type is Rose-Peony, typically less green, less Lily or Muguet than the aldehyde. This alcohol, now often manufactured as an intermediate in the production of Hydroxycitronellal, is used in perfume compositions originally with the intention of stabilizing Hydroxycitronellal and prolonging the odour life of that aldehyde in composition. However, there are other uses for this alcohol, not always obvious from a brief glimpse at the odour, which is, truly, not immediately impressive. It has an excellent fixative effect upon many types of delicate floral fragrance, and as a blender/modifier for other types. (Steffen Arctander)

Their nose: Odour type is floral with a low odour strength has a mild, clean, floral note and is very long lasting and closer to rose than muguet, with aspects of lily and peony. (Hermitage Oils)

mild clean floral lily green peony (TGSC)

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My nose: HydroxycitronellOL opens barely noticeable, quiet, slightly floral with a faint berry quality to it. At 15min it’s still floral, there seems to be hardly any movement, soft. 30min on this is plummy, jammy and juicy and oh, there’s the rosiness! Sort of sweet, too. 45min brings on a definite soft, floral note like linen sheets, becoming more present now and a bit metallic in quality tucked away somewhere. 1hr now and it’s clean, floral and fresh. 2hrs later there’s a much softer, more yielding, feminine, and pliable side to HydroxycitronellOL that reminds me of a mother. 3hrs now and it seems to be fading ever so quickly, I can barely get a good sniff. But there’s definitely still some of the floral soft quality hanging around. 7hrs, it’s base notes time, and our subject is a clean, clear and wispy floral note; wonderfully comforting now, inviting and intimate. The 12hr mark sees this one finally fading, getting quite thin , but I still have a good grasp, a good sense of the quality. Finally at 24hrs HydroxycitronellOL is gone. I can’t discern a thing other than a faint metallic smell that is thin.

HydroxycitronellOL & Rose Absolute, from Marocco: in the beginning the rose note is clean, the rough edges are all smoothed out, whimsical, titillating, I find it makes the rose much more “readable”, you’re clear about what you’re smelling – like it’s giving the rose a sense and structure. After 1hr the rose is much more subtle and compelling, it feels more grounded, more refined. At 2hrs the combination seems to have made the rose a lot more transparent, simplified it a bit and therefore making it much more approachable. It’s still quite present on the strip. After 5hrs there’s a wonderful crumpled, worn effect that reminds me of our roses when they are dying on the branches, there is still life held in their soft folds, they still want to give you something. It’s now soft and warm and yes, HydroxycitronellOL I think helps rose be more generous toward the end, very satisfying and earthy. After 10hrs the rose is there still on the strip, integral and totally identifiable.

Above, my colour interpretation of HydroxycitronellOL and Rose absolute. I used Prussian Blue together with Carmine.

Have a great Wednesday!

MC