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!



note evaluations: the citrus family


This has got to be the most used group in perfumery, the most versatile and the most instantly recognisable and since my interests and tastes veer towards either perfum extraits or colognes (rarely does my character take me down the middle of the road) these materials capture my attention driving me via an intense curiosity to figure out how to make them last longer.

As often happens when I am more in synch with my life, Life meets me exactly where I am to send me messages, gestures of support and inspiration and it didn’t miss a beat today.  While evaluating the citrus family LV picked a lemon from our lemon tree for me and of course it became the willing model for my photo session and the Lemon Lady images above are the result.  So…

Petitgrain bigrade: opens the conversation with a sharp, fresh, clean quality. Out of the right nostril I can barely get a sense of it after many waftings, but finally the fruity aspect, the dry quality comes through.  The softness comes and goes, lemony.  After 6 hours it is still quite dry, present, with a faint lemony dusting, weak impression. Volatility: high. (***as an aside, when I began this exercise in the morning I drank an espresso and it blocked my sense of smell for a bit!  Oh, the fool things I do! But I have to find out what my olfactive limits are with certain foods.  I figure it’s best to enter into it with a heavy dose of consciousness rather than blindly.)

Citral (extracted from Litsea Cubeba): a strong, lemon, fresh odour breaks the ice with this Nature Identical raw material. Reminds me of Pledge. It’s clean, lemon woody, summery.  6 hours into the dry down and this is still strong, lemony, but softer. Volatility: Medium.

Mandarin, red: begins fresh and light, zingy, zesty, “zaftig”, fruity, bright and green. This note is tempting playful and cajoling.  After 6 hours it’s still there, smells like mandarin, not as fresh, a bit stale.  Volatility: medium.

Bergamot: I love this note!  Earl Grey tea has always been a favourite tea and when years ago I found out that Bergamot is what gives it its odour the attraction was complete.  This note opens with facets of lavender, sharp and citrusy, it’s happy and sunny and if it were a colour it would be yellow. Reminds me of linen, fresh, light, lime.  I notice I have to slow down my breathing to get a full impression of this note and I am once again thankful for my years of yoga classes.  After 6 hours this is soft, almost spicy warm, still citrusy, definitely noticeable.  Volatility: medium

Grapefruit: in the beginning it has a very light grapefruit impression, airy, free and citrusy of course.  I get a very light impression of citrus, it doesn’t knock me over, more lemony than grapefruit, soft citrus. This note I have to approach gently, quietly, it’s another I have to slow right down to perceive.  Volatility: very high.

Lemon: this note is a punctuation mark, it’s penetrating, uplifting, clean and goes straight for my gut.  Does my nose actually perceive commonalities with Cardamom or is it another layer of my consciousness telling me that they could be a very good pair??? Light, sunny, bright colours, summer-liscious, a balm, clears my thoughts.  After 6 hours I can barely smell lemon, just a faint citrus odour. Volatility: very high.