note evaluations: the green family

greenToday I’m evaluating the Green Family: galbanum, rose abs. (yep, believe it or not it’s also got some pretty cool green aspects to it), hexanal C6 aldehyde & proprionate for class. I have other raw materials within this family but these are the ones that came with the study materials so I have to stick to these within the context of the course.

Don’t get freaked out by the names, they’re just natural isolates. The course I’m following only uses naturals or natural isolates, no synthetics.

The first stage of evaluation was just about getting to know all of them, getting the nose acquainted with a new scent. The objective this round is to evaluate them with 3 criteria in mind: Volatility, to further imprint the olfactory impression upon the brain and to get to know the chemical components.  Here are my impressions:

Galbanum: starts off green, piercing, bright, golden, light, summer, innocent, paper undertones, crisp, clean, honest, it sort of jumps up and slaps you in the face, doesn’t even ask permission.

Proprionate: this is a natural isolate found in mango fruit.  Off the top I got rose (!), floral, bright, limpid, pink (this could be the way my nose interprets the fruity aspect at this stage in my olfactory training), lush, sleek, almost abstract.  I did get, the green aspect too, laced with an edgy, aggressive quality.

Rose absolute: started off light, greenish, floral of course, like a spring garden, delicate and creamy.

Aldehyde C6: a natural isolate of Angelica seed, but also occurs naturally in artemesia, ginger root, guava fruit and rose otto.  I got fresh, green grass, pungent, pear, leafy, watery, water(melon), cucumbery.

I’m letting each dry down for 6 hours before evaluating for volatility, but these were my first impressions.

The scentual collage I included sort of looks like an exclamation mark and though it was not intentional it is so fitting.  The green notes for me are like an exclamation mark, used to exaggerate another note, I can see these really needing restraint.


single note evaluations


Part of the fundamental work to be completed for the perfumery course are the weekly single note evaluations that I have to do of each and every one of the perfume ingredients I have.

Now, apart  from training the nose and the brain to create associations and memorize different, single odours, this exercise is also a building block of great importance when it comes to formulating.   This I figured out while trolling the Basenotes DIY Forum and it has to do with timing.

Basically, they explained it thus: let’s say you’ve got a fabulous essential oil but you can’t stand the top note it expresses so you’d like to “hide” it behind another.  What you do is choose another that lasts about as long as the unpleasant top note aspect of your essential oil and by the time the favourable odour ends the more pleasant aspects of your chosen note can then make its entrance.

Cool, huh?  If you’re interested you can find the link to the thread here.

This week I’m going to be evaluating Oakwood concrete, Davana eo, Cognac, white eo, and Elemi eo.  I was in heaven when I saw that Hermitage Oils started carrying Oakwood, I ordered 2 bottles!  Typical.