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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...

Ambrette Seeds

Hibiscus seeds, also called ambrette seeds, smell like musk. In fact, they provide the only source of musk aroma that isn’t from an animal or synthetic. So, for anyone making a vegan perfume, ambrette seeds are the way to go. I’ve found them in three forms: the...

After Shave

Many of us, especially men, who have little experience with perfume, are likely to have encountered eau de cologne, often called “after shave.”  Eau de cologne is used in a different way than perfume and is meant as a refreshing encounter with some persistence,...

Oriental perfumes: The Mellis Accord

In perfumery, the word “oriental” denotes a rich, dense and complex perfume. Shalimar is probably the best-known example.  According to J.S. Jellinek, in Perfumery: Practice and Principles, oriental perfumes can be divided into those such as Obsession and...

Chypre

Pronounced SHEEPra, the word refers to the island of Cypress, known for its oakmoss, but Cypress has little to do with the evolution of the modern chypre. Instead, the classic chypre style was introduced in 1917 by Francois Coty who created a perfume by that name...

Natural Musk

As a small boy, I got scared when my mother went out for dinner or to a party and left me alone with my bullying teenage brothers. This angst is forever coupled by the delicious aroma of her 1940s Vol de Nuit. No sooner would she put it on, getting ready to go out,...

Quandary

When I finished composing Green Iris, I ran over to The Twisted Lily, a perfume boutique just a few blocks from me, to get their opinion. One salesperson exclaimed “Iris!” while another said, “Well, that’s certainly outside the box.” Since, I’ve been thinking about...

Violets

No doubt because of the intense labor needed to accumulate enough violet flowers, violet flower absolute disappeared from the market many years ago. Perfumers use violet leaf absolute instead. While violet leaf has a nice green aspect that fits well with the...

Fixation

For some perfumes, the greatest challenge is getting them to last. Natural floral aromas, especially, evaporate quickly—they last no more than an hour or two on the skin—and need to last longer to be viable.  It has long been the supposition of perfumers, master and...