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Frankincense

Frankincense is a resin that drips down the side of four different species of Boswellia, a small tree found in India, Arabia, and Africa. The resin hardens into translucent pearls, which can be converted into an absolute by extracting with a hydrocarbon solvent, but...

Oakmoss

There are few ingredients that play a more important role in the history of perfumery than oakmoss.  True oakmoss is a lichen that grows on oak trees. When it is extracted with a hydrocarbon solvent (usually petroleum ether or benzene) and the solvent evaporated...

Reconstructing Jasmin

I recently put together a chart with the names of flower complexes on one axis and compounds (and some naturals) on the other axis. This allows me to see at a glance the range of amounts of each chemical perfumers use to make flowers. Here, I’m using the chart to...

Roses (continued)

When rose is used in a perfume, be it in a dedicated rose perfume or another perfume to which it lends support, a synthetic rose is constructed and manipulated to create the particular nuances that contribute to the roses’ final character. In classical perfumery, a...

Roses

Whether we like them or not, roses in perfumes are ubiquitous. They support other florals and lend a general sense of body to a perfume. Most rose notes are now added with synthetics, but almost always a small amount of natural rose is added for support. Rose extracts...