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.


aromatic profile: lavender maillette

lavender maillette essential oil

Common name: Lavender Maillette (France)

Genus Name: Lavandula augustifolia “Maillette” a.k.a. English Lavender “Maillette”

Supplier: John Steele

Note: mid-top

Some interesting bits: This variety is used extensively in the production of perfumes and essential oils.  Considered one of the most precious types of lavender.

It is drought tolerant, resistant to deer and attractive to bees — in fact, we bought the most most amazingly fragrant lavender honey while in Croatia this year and anyone who tastes it can’t believe it wasn’t altered by the locals with lavender essential oil.

Has a shelf life of up to three years.

It is a French variety of lavender which also grows in England

Main Chemical Components: Linalool, linalyl acetate, 3-octanone, d-limonene, Trans-B-ocimene, Cis-B-ocimene, Camphor, Terpinen-4-ol, a-terpineol, Lavandulyl acetate.

Their nose: This essential oil has a soft, sweet, fruity, spicy, herbaceous bouquet with an green, woody undertone. (White Lotus Aromatics)

My nose: This is so light!  This is my first impression. Bright and uplifting like the first warm spring days, sweet.  Cool, luminous, pungent, even tart!  I can pick out the linalool in this.

After the 1st hour it smells more like dried twigs, has lost most of its zing which was probably due to the alcohol effect (not me, the dilution), sweeter, paler, beginning to exit.

After 3 hours strange, but, do I smell coconuts?! Dry, brittle, still faintly sweet, now beginning to fade into the paper, I can smell the smell of paper (is that even possible?!).

1 day later it is still noticeable but now only a whisper remains.