06-12-2020, 09:11 AM
User Info
Oriental Fragrances

Oriental fragrances comprise one of the major perfume categories on the typical fragrance wheel. They are distinguished by the use of warm, rich, exotic, and sweet notes. Overall tones can be herbal, spicy, dry, powdery, and/or resinous. The perfumes generally are opulent, voluptuous, and seductive. The meaning of the term 'Oriental' has changed over the last several decades, especially with the growing influence of Arabian perfumery.

This perfume genre is called Oriental because it represents the Western fantasy of the mysterious and sensual East that arose in the 19th century. At that time French artists such as Eugene Delacroix and Jean Ingres captured this dream in their paintings of lounging odalisques, tiger hunts, and harem scenes, and French perfumers translated these stereotypical visions through rich notes of vanilla, amber, patchouli, sandalwood, and musk. Although embodying a fantasy image, the Orientals were rooted in perfume's history, using many of the same ingredients that were initially used in India and Arabia at the beginning of fragrance creation. The first contemporary Oriental fragrances were Guerlain Jicky (1889), and Coty L'Origan (1905), Ambre Antique (1910), and Emeraude (1921).

Classical Oriental fragrances have used natural ingredients like heliotrope, sandalwood, coumarin, orris, myrrh, anise, vanilla, musk, and gum resins, but the combinations have been tweaked to aim them to men or women or as 'shared' scents, and they have evolved over time with the changing needs of perfume users. Typically they have strong sillage and are quite long lasting, due to heavy use of the base notes. They are generally extracted and mixed in an oil base that makes the perfume stick well to the skin and allows it to evaporate slowly over a long time. Their prevailing character often is 'adult' and most suited to evening wear.

The most popular Oriental notes in modern products are:
bergamot (top)
pink peppercorn (top-middle)
rose, nutmeg, jasmine, tuberose, ginger (middle)
tonka bean, amber, cedarwood, vanilla, sandalwood, patchouli, orris (base)
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Well-known classical Oriental fragrances are Guerlain Shalimar and Habit Rouge; Calvin Klein Obsession; Frederic Malle Musc Ravageur; Cartier Must; and Annick Goutal Ambre Fetich and l'Artisan l'Eau d'Ambre.

There are defined and recognized Oriental subfamilies, the major ones being Floral Oriental (Floriental), Soft Oriental, and Woody Oriental, which generally represent transition areas blending into adjacent ones on the standard fragrance wheels, along with Fougere Oriental, which combines aspects of all the subfamilies. More recently described subgroups include Spicy Oriental and the minor Aromatic Oriental (usually considered a part of the Floral Oriental type), Vanilla Oriental, and Fresh Oriental (also often combined into the Floral Oriental group). Those Oriental fragrances with dominant amber are usually considered in a separate group due to their accentuated warmth and sensuality.

Obviously some fragrances will lend themselves to more than one subfamily, and there can be disagreement among perceptions. Thus some of the perfumes listed in the groups below appear more than once.

Floral Oriental

Bordering on the Floral category on the wheel, these typically have a sweet, warm, dark, powdery base, often harmonizing with flowers such as gardenia, tuberose, rose, jasmine, peony, magnolia, lily of the valley, or carnation. They have the softness of florals and the warmth of true Orientals.  The majority of them are primarily considered feminine or unisex.  Aromatic florals, one of the oldest groups historically, are considered part of this category.

Some of the recognized more masculine Floral Orientals include:

Abercrombie & Fitch Oud Amour
Acqua di Parma Colonia Vaniglia
Amouage Molook
Bvlgari Man in Black, Garanat, Opalon
Cartier Declaration Essence
Elysees Conviction Black
Fragrance Kitchen Man from Ipanema
Gritti 19-68
Hugo Boss Bottled Oud Aromatic
Korres l'Eau de Parfum 20
Oriflame Excite Force
Phebo Patchouli
Rasasi Junoon Satin
Roberto Cavalli
Sapientiae Niche Ofanins
Xerjoff Shooting Stars Modoc
Zara Gold Edition

Soft Oriental (Incense)

The base notes of these perfumes are not as sweet or heavy as those of classical Orientals, and they are less balsamic and animalic. Their blends of flowers, spices, and amber create a softer but still sensual style. Incense frequently is added for a darker and warmer composition.

Typical masculine Soft Orientals are:

Acqua di Parma Colonia Mirra
Cacharel Loulou
Diptyque l'Eau
Estee Lauder Youth Dew
Jean Patou Sublime 
Kenzo Jungle l'Elephant
Chanel Coco 
Serge Lutens Ambre Sultan
Robert Graham Valour

Woody Oriental

These have prominent wood notes that temper the sweetness of the vanilla, tonka bean, amber, and balsamics. Their accents provide what has been described as a 'luminous' effect, and they are sometimes considered 'artistic.'  They often contain warm sandalwood and rosewood and dry notes of cedarwood, patchouli, agarwood, or vetiver.  These are the most popular Oriental fragrances for men. Aromatic woods are generally included in this category.

Masculine Woody Orientals include:

Acqua di Parma Colonia Mirra, Colonia Oud
Alexandria Alexander the Great, Aromatic Conflict, Himalaya Mountains, Extreme
Alfred Dunhill Desire, Pursuit
Amouage Epic, Beloved, Figment, Interlude Black Iris, Interlude, Overture
Annick Goutal Sables
Ariana & Evans Khalifa
Axe Provocation
Azzaro Duo
Burberry Brit, London
Bvlgari Ambero, Notte, Man, Man Black Orient, Silver LE, Falkar, Gyan, Omnio
C.O. Bigelow Barber Cologne Elixir Black
Cacharel Nemo
Calvin Klein Contradiction, Dark Obsession, Encounter, Euphoria (various), Obsessed, Obsession
Carolina Herrera 212 (various), Insignia
Cartier Declaration, l'Envol de Cartier, Must Cartier, Santos
Cerruti 1881 Black
Chanel Allure (various), Bois des Iles, Egoiste
Chopard pour Homme
Christian Dior Faahrenheit 32, CC Patchouli Imperial, Dune
Crabtree & Evelyn Sandalwood
Creed Bois du Portugal, Himalaya, Santal Imperial
Davidoff Horizon Extreme, Silver Shadow, Brilliant Game, Game Intense, Zino
Dolce & Gabbana By, One Royal Night, Velvet Incenso
Donna Karan Chaos
Dzintars My Version (various), Ridzinieks, Strong Man
Emanuel Ungaro for Him
Ermenegildo Zegna Amber Gold, Indonesian Oud, Roman Wood, Zegna New York
Fendi Theorema Uomo
Floris Patchouli
Fragonard Eau de Hongrie, Zizanie
Geoffrey Beene Grey Flannel
Giorgio Armani Code (various)
Givenchy Gentlemen Only Intense, Pi (various), Very Irresistible
Gucci Envy, Guilty Absolute
Guerlain Habit (various), l'Homme Ideal (various), Samsara
Halston Man Amber
Hugo Boss Bottled Oud, Scent Private Accord
Hermes Eau de Merveilles, Terre d'Hermes
Issey Miyake l'Eau d'Issey Or Encens, Nuit d'Issey Polaris
Jean Paul Gaultier Le Male
Jequiti Malte, Portiolli, Stame, Thiaguinho, Uzon
John Varvatos for Men, Dark Rebel, Oud
Joop! Homme Black King, Homme
Jovan Ginseng NRG
Karl Lagerfeld Classic
Korres Black Pepper Cashmere Lemonwood, Saffron Tobacco
L'Occitane en Provence Eau des Baux
Masaki Maatsushima Aqua Mat Homme, Art Homme
Michael Kors for Men, Extreme Night
Molinard Habanita
Montale Red Vetiver
Mugler A*Men (various), Alien Man, Taste of Fragrance
Nikos for Men
Oleg Cassini for Men
Oriflame Dark Wood, Eternal Man
Paco Rabanne 1 Million, Black XS (various), Ultraviolet
Pecksniff's Cardinal, Tompion
Penhaligon's Hammam Bouquet
Pierre Cardin Centaure Cuir Casaque, Collection Cedre-Ambre, Revelation Energy
Prada Luna Rossa Black, l'Homme Absolu, l'Homme Intense
Ralph Lauren Polo (various)
Remy Latour Cigar Black Oud, Cigar Mystic Scent, Manes
Roger & Gallet l'Homme Vetyver
Royal Copenhagen 1775 Noble, 1775 Valor, 1775 Rival
Santa Maria Novella Opoponax
Tom Ford Noir Extreme
Versace pour Homme, Oud Noir, Versus Uomo
Viktor & Rolf Antidote
Yardley 442 Active
Yves Rocher Ambre Noir, Hoggar
Yves St. Laurent l'Homme Intense, Collection M7, La Nuitde l'Homme, Opium Eau d'Orient
Zara (various) 

Fougere Oriental

This represents the blending of nearly all the major Oriental components (warm, woody, spicy, and sweet accords) along with refreshing aromatic notes of lavender, rosemary, coumarin, and oakmoss.  This group is especially popular with men.

Men's Fougere Oriental perfumes:

Alexandria Ete Sauvage, Greek Horse, Mr. Sillage, Royalty
Alfred Dunhill Desire Black, London
Amouage Jubilation XXV Man
Axe Africa, Anarchy for Him, Dark Temptation, Musk, Phoenix, Signature Rogue
Azzaro Amber Fever, Elixir Bois Precieux, Naughty Leather, Solarissimo Favignana
Burberry Element
Bvlgari Kobraa
Calvin Klein Eternity Flame, Eternity Now, Euphoria Gold
Carolina Herrra 212 (various)
Caron Impact pour un Homme
Cartier Pasha 
Cerruti Si
Chanel pour Monsieur
Chopard Heaven
Christian Dior Sauvage
Claus Porto Musgo Real Agua de Colonia No. 1 Orange Amber
Crabtree & Evelyn Moroccan Myrrh
Dana Canoe
Dzintars Lucky No. 10
Emanuel Ungaro Apparition Homme Intense, Ungaro
Fila for Men
Fiorucci Extreme Sport
Giorgio Armani Attitude, Eau de Nuit, Stronger with You Intensely
Givenchy Play Intense, Xeryus Rouge
Gritti Decimo
Hermes Equipage
Hugo Boss In Motion
Jean Patou 
Jean Paul Gautier Le Male (various), Ultra Male
Jequiti l'Attitude Musique, Prive Homme Fortune, So Voce Fabio Jr. Momentos
Jo Malone Amber & Lavender
Johan Varvatos JVxNJ Crimson
Joop! Homme (various)
Kenneth Cole Mankind Hero
Lacoste Elegance
L'Acqua di Fiori 310, U.Man
Lancome Hypnose
Montale Sliver Aoud
Mugler A*Men (various)
Nikos Sculpture
Oleg Cassini
Oriflame Full Moon, Possess Man
Penhaligon's Agarbathi
Pierre Cardin Bleu Marine
Pino Silvestre Deep Charisma
Rasasi Al Wisam Day
Rochas l'Homme, Monsieur Rochas
Salvatore Ferragamo Acqua Essenziale Blu
Swank Jade East
Thera Cosmeticos (various)
Versace Dreamer
Yves St. Laurent Jazz Prestige, La Nuit, La Nuit Eau Electrique
Zara (various)

Spicy Oriental

The term Oriental applies especially well to this group, since they often have multiple strong, balanced ingredients rather than a specific or signature accord. Hot, sensual, and with a typical zesty and adventuresome spirit, they are a favorite with both genders, especially in the cold winter season. Popular notes include cinnamon, clove, pink pepper, mace, thyme, and nutmeg, and common floral additions are mandarin, bergamot, and orchid, which give the perfume an added Eastern flavor. Amber sometimes is added for more warmth. Men seem to prefer Spicy Orientals that also mix vanilla and resins. This group is has remained popular and less changed than some of the others.

Popular men's products:

Acqua di Parma Colonia Quercia
Alexandria La Dolce Vita, Ovation
Alfred Dunhill Moroccan Amber
Amouage Lyric, Fate
Aramis Classic Reserve, Havana, JHL
Azzaro Decibel
Boucheron Homme Fraicheur 2008, Jaipur
Burberry Brit New Year, London
Bvlgari Man in Black Essence, Le Gemme Yasep
C.O. Bigelow Barber Cologne Elixir, Bay Rum
Calvin Klein Heat, One Shock, Eternity, Obsessed
Carolina Herrera Bad Boy, CH Men, CH Men Grand Tour
Cartier Must, Santos Concentree
Cerruti 1881 Signature
Chanel pour Monsieur Concentree
Christian Dior Fahrenheit, Sauvage
Claus Porto Real Black Edition
Dana English Leather Spiced
Davidoff Hot Water, Hot Water Night
Dolce & Gabbana ll La Force, The One Collector, One Mysterious Night
Emanuel Ungaro pour l'Homme II, Power, U Fever
Ermenegildo Zegna (various)
Floris Palm Springs for Spencer Hart
Fragonard Desert
Giorgio Armani Code (various), Attitude Extreme, Gio 2015
Givenchy Gentlemen Only Absolute
Gucci Made to Measure
Hugo Boss Soul, Scent Absolute, Dark Blue, Red
Jequiti Champs Velocite
Jovan Satisfaction
Karl Lagerfeld Homme, KL, Photo
Korres Saffron Amber Agarwood Cardamom
L'Occitane en Provence Au Bresil - Cumaru
Lacoste Timeless
Maurer & Wirtz Tabac Fire Power
Narciso Rodriguez Intense
Nikos Sculpture Homme God's Night
Oriflame Be the Wild Legend, ID Player, Intense Embrace Him, Manful, Signature Heritage, Voyager
Paco Rabanne Pure XS Night
Panama 1924 Sport, 2.0
Paul Sebastian Silver, Kinetic
Pecksniff's Charismatic
Penhaligon's Endymion, LP No. 9, Uncompromising Sohan
Pierre Cardin Revelation
Rasasi Daarej, Tasmeem
Roja Enigma, Madison
Royal Copenhagen 1775 Rival, Noble
Shulton Old Spice Original
Viktor & Rolf Spicebomb Extreme
Xerjoff Coffee Break Golden Dallah, Shooting Stars Kobe
Yardley Bond Street, Cougar
Yves St. Laurent Body Kouros, Opium (various)
Zara (various)

(Vanilla Oriental)

With warm gourmand characters, this group blends already sweet perfumes built on Oriental notes (the usual woods, flowers, spices, and resins) with other sweet components, such as caramel, vanilla, chocolate, almond, honey, and burnt sugar. Products of this type is especially popular among women, but several of them are aimed at men:

Axe Provoke
Carolina Herrera 212 VIP
Ermenegildo Zegna Strength
Frederic Malle Monsieur
Giorgio Armani Night
Guerlain l'Initial
Inessance Terre d'Evasion
Jacques Battini De l'Ambre Shady
Jean Paul Gaultier Kokorico by Night
John Varvatos Rock Volume 1
Joop! Wow!
Mugler A*Men Pure Havane, Angel Glamorama
Oriflame S8 Night
Remy Latour Cigar Vanilla Tonka
Ralph Lauren Ralph Hot
Ted Lapidus Intenso
Thera Cosmeticos Amatus
Yves St. Laurent Black Opium Storm Illusion 

(Fresh Oriental)

Often considered a part of the Floral Oriental family, this newer group has a lighter interpretation, with citrus oils included to brighten and lift the aroma, making them more applicable to daytime use while still having an underlying exotic beauty.  Examples include:

10 Corso Como Uomo
Acqua di Parma Colonia Mirra
Baldessarini Black
Bvlgari Le Gemme Garanat, Man Black
Davidoff Cool Water Intense
Kenzo Aqua Kenzo Neo
Lacoste Timeless
Paco Rabanne 1 Million, Invictus Legend, Pure XS 
Prada Luna Rossa Sport
Rasasi La Yuqawam Ambergris Showers, Relation, Truly, Xtraordinaire Musky
Roja Madison
Royal Copenhagen 1775 Valor
Zara Amber, Blue Spirit, CC Sydney, Denim Couture Red, Weekend Hoodie, Tobacco Intense Dark

(Aromatic Oriental)

This is generally deemed a part of the Floral Oriental collection but is thought to be significantly separate by a few. The fragrances typically possess a very intensive grassy-spicy tone provided by sage, rosemary, cumin, lavender, and other plants, which often is combined with uplifting citrus notes.  They seem to be especially popular with men.  Included in this group are:

Abercrombie & Fitch First Instinct
Bvlgari Le Gemme Opalon, Man Black Orient
Chanel Allure Sport
Chopard 1000 Miglia Chrono
Giorgio Armani Code A-List
Hugo Boss The Scent
Jean Paul Gaultier Le Male, Le Male Aviator
Karl Lagerfled Bois de Cedre
Lacoste Land
Mugler Alien Man
Panama 1924 Espresso Napoletano
Rasasi Power Plus
Roja Risque
Taylor of Old Bond Street Platinum
Xerjoff Coffee Break Golden Moka
Zara C4shmer4n, For Him

Oriental Perfume Name/Concept Controversy

Many experts consider the term 'Oriental' to be misleading and vague or worse.  Although there are old and sophisticated fragrance traditions in North Africa, the Middle East, and the Far East, the typical modern perfume of this type has little in common with their classical forms.  Amouage Gold, a well-known modern fragrance from the company founded by the Omani royal family, does exploit and typify the cliché, with a signature powdery-mossy accord built around Omani rose and frankincense. But the Oriental family of French perfumery initially grew as part of the stereotypical orientalist Western arts movement of the 19th and early 20th centuries, and like the widely varying philosophies of the artists of that time, the word came to mean many things, often seemingly conflicting. This confusing state has been worsened by the necessity of many of the fragrances being constantly reformulated to keep them in compliance with various governmental regulations.

'Oriental' possibly was used at first to describe perfumes actually made with ingredients from or associated with the Orient, especially the Middle East, and subsequently ingredients that approximated or suggested those 'warm' scents. The first product to use the term in print was Guerlain Shalimar, launched in 1925 in Paris at the International Exhibition of Decorative Arts and described as Oriental "because its suave gourmand notes recall the sweet balsams of the lands of the One Thousand and One Nights." It was said to have been inspired by a maharaja visiting Paris who told Jacques and Raymond Guerlain the story of the gardens of Shalimar, which sheltered the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan and his Persian wife Mumtaz Mahal, for whom he built the Taj Mahal.

Outside the perfume world, 'Oriental' is a word not only reflecting Western fantasies, but also suggesting 19th century and early 20th century European colonialism. In his book Orientalism, Edward Said described it as "a sign of European-Atlantic power of the Orient" and an artificially constructed understanding of what Westerners believed the Orient to be: an exotic, mysterious, and culturally opposite place from the West. The word was used to simultaneously fetishize and degrade Eastern cultures thought to be less sophisticated or 'advanced' than Western ones, and it painted a culturally homogenous image of a vast group of people whose only true similarity was that they were non-European. More recently, it has become clear that when the term is applied to people, it is seen as politically incorrect and insensitive. In 2016 President Obama signed a bill eliminating all uses of the term Oriental from federal law. Grace Meng, a member of Congress from New York who sponsored the bill, called the term "outdated" and "offensive." She said, "Many Americans may not be aware that the word 'Oriental' is derogatory. But it is an insulting term that needed to be removed from the books."

So is the use of the term Oriental a problem in perfumery?  Dr. Amy Hanser, Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of British Columbia, says in somewhat typical sociological language, "It points to the ways in which we are sensitive to (negatively) racializing language when applied to people, but we might fail to recognize racializing discourse that is not directly applied to human bodies. But the idea of a perfume being an 'Oriental' fragrance might indeed be drawing upon stereotypes about a region (and its people) that make the term problematic when applied to people."  

To some it seems bizarre that it still is being used to describe fragrances.  Alexa Nishimoto, a freelance fashion designer with the Japanese American Museum in Los Angeles, says, "It feels like [brands] attempt to use one universal word to convey all Asian cultures, which is reductive to those who know that the nuances of each culture can be vastly different and don't fall under just one umbrella term."  Dana El Masri, an independent perfumer, agrees: "[The term Oriental] is outdated and unnecessary. It also doesn't say much about the fragrance family and has become more of a reference to a 'spice' structure that was created in the 1920s than anything else. It is too broad a reference and perpetuates a typically Western/Occidental point of view."

But to traditional perfumers and perfume aficionados, it remains an 'official' classification. Says Marian Bendeth, a fragrance expert and perfumery owner, "It's where it originates, and it's a beautiful thing and certainly helps me because I deal with classifications all the time." She sees the term not as cultural but as geographical, denoting the origin of certain commonly-used fragrance notes.

The non-profit Institute for Art and Olfaction (IAO) refrains from using Oriental as a perfume classification, referring to it only if absolutely necessary as "the category most commonly known as Oriental, which needs renaming." One member of its board of directors, Julianne Lee, says, "I understand that the term is not one that is easy to sidestep for those in the fragrance community as so-called 'Oriental' perfumes are crucial to perfume history. However, I do find it lazy and harmful terminology." El Masri has suggested breaking down the single fragrance family into subfamilies based on geographical regions: "There are huge differences between a fragrance created in Malaysia by Malay people and a Japanese one, obviously, so why not classify it as such?"  But many modern perfumes that have evolved from those created a century ago do not fit into geographical definitions at all, which has prompted some experts to propose coining terms such as 'ambery' that describe the actual olfactory notes, although there is wide disagreement about how this could be accomplished. Lee has noted that in terms of primary olfactory notes, so-called Oriental fragrances can generally be divided into two categories: those that incorporate an 'ambreine' accord (bergamot, vanilla, rose) and those that use a 'mellis' ('honey-sweet' or 'pleasant') accord (benzoin, eugenol, lily-of-the-valley, spices), but she also recognizes that many contemporary Oriental scents have branched out and mutated so much that they may not even warrant use of the Oriental label or accord labels at all. "Oftentimes, they are mere attempts at populating the 'Oriental' category, clearly visible from the marketing narrative and strategy."

So the controversy continues.

250 14,673
 06-17-2020, 09:25 AM
User Info

Sandalwood is a classic fragrance. It has an Oriental woody-floral odor profile, creamy, smooth, soft, and sensual. As a single fragrance, sandalwood is sweet, green, and nutty in its top aspects and warm and rich in later phases. It blends well with almost all oils, and it pairs well with floral or other wood scents such as violet, rose, orange blossom, jasmine, ylang ylang, cypress, patchouli, and oakmoss. It frequently is combined with musk, amber, tea, cumin, and spices such as cinnamon, clary sage, coriander, fennel, pepper, and clove. It complements and balances frankincense and myrrh especially well. Like vetiver and amber, it is used primarily as a base note for perfumes in the Oriental, Woody, Fougère, and Chypre families. It lacks the sharpness of rosewood, cedarwood, and vetiver, and to some noses it is perceived as animalic. At higher concentrations, sandalwood can overpower other components of a composition, but at lower levels it adds softness, fullness, and roundness, as well as acting as a fixative for more volatile head note ingredients, enhancing their longevity. 
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Initially during the Georgian era of perfumery (ca. 1714-1835), sandalwood was considered to be a masculine scent, but in 1796 the perfumer James Floris developed Staphanotis, a feminine fragrance that blended base notes of sandalwood and musk with orange blossom, staphanotis, and lily of the valley. Subsequently sandalwood has become much more popular in feminine perfumes, used in the base of almost half of them produced since that time.

The name comes from the Sanskrit chandanam (also meaning 'soothing') or sandanam in Tamil. Sandalwood is a medium-sized parasitic evergreen tree (getting nutrients from other trees in its early stages) with slender drooping branches and brown or red bark. The leaves are 3-4 cm long and elliptic, and the small unscented flowers are numerous and pale straw to brownish-purple. The tree produces fruit, and birds disperse its seeds. It grows relatively slowly and can live up to 100 years. The wood is hard and fine-grained, with the sapwood pale green or white and odorless and the heartwood yellowish-brown and strongly scented. The concentration of fragrant oil increases with the tree's age, and unlike many other aromatic woods, it retains its fragrance for decades if stored properly.
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Indian sandalwood (Santalum album, sometimes called 'East Indian sandalwood' since colonial times) is thought to be indigenous to southern India and East Timor and introduced to Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, China, Australia, Hawaii, and other Pacific islands. It belongs to the family of woods that includes rosewood, cedar, and cinnamon tree. Other Santalum species are native to many other regions. The highest quality tree has been Mysore white sandalwood from southern India and Tamil Nadu, now reduced almost to extinction by overharvesting. At one time 70-90% of the world's sandalwood oil production was in India, but the majority now comes from Australia. All sandalwood trees in India, Pakistan, and Nepal now are government-owned, but despite some measures of government protection, illegal logging and trading continue on a large scale (partly due to law enforcement corruption), as does associated clandestine dilution, which makes the oil less desirable.
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Native Australian sandalwood (S. spicatum), a different species with a sharper, more resinous, and earthy but still quite pleasant odor, has replaced S. album for most perfumery. Production of Australian oil peaked in 2009 and has continued at significant levels. However, with increasing use of synthetic sandalwood substitutes in perfumery and personal care products, a growing proportion of Australia's natural oil production has been diverted to the chewing tobacco industry. 
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Overall, there are at least 25 species in the genus Santalum. New Caledonian sandalwood (S. austrocaledonicum), growing on that archipelago and on Vanuatu, produces a very high-quality oil that is quite similar to the Indian oil. Species grown in Hawaii also have been of high quality and were actively exploited in the late 18th and early 19th centuries until the tree supply finally dwindled. Others that have been used intermittently include red sandalwood, false sandalwood, camwood, and bastard sandalwood. Typically they lose their aroma more quickly than the Indian or Australian species. African sandalwood and the so-called 'American sandalwood' or sea torchwood have nothing in common botanically with S. album, and their oils are chemically quite different; but they are several times cheaper than Santalum species, and although their oils differ considerably in smell for most people, they are similar enough to have been used, sometimes surreptitiously, in products called 'sandalwood,' especially niche products.
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Sandalwood essential oil is most often obtained from the wood through steam distillation. It can also be extracted less efficiently through water distillation, solvent extraction, and vacuum co-distillation. Because it can regenerate from the stump, the tree was cut down for harvesting in the past, but now it more often is completely uprooted during the rainy season. Consequently the oil can be distilled from all the wood, including the trunk, branches, and roots, in order maximize profit. The wood is ground to powder and soaked in water for about 48 hours before distillation. The four-step steam-distillation process (boiling, steaming, condensation, and separation) takes 18-36 hours to complete, longer than nearly all other essential oils. 
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In the past, only trees older than 40-80 years and at full maturity, with the highest concentration of fragrance in the heartwood, were used for oil, but today the average age of trees commercially harvested is 8-16 years (or a minimum of 15 years in Australia). The pale gold-brown, moderately viscous oil retains fragrance for a long time when stored. The source of the fragrance is santalol, in its alpha and beta isomers. Australian sandalwood oil contains 35-40% santalol, while Indian sandalwood has had 70-90%, with the superior Mysore type having a minimum of 90%. Eugenols provide a minor additional 'smoke-dried' aspect, and carbonyl compounds add flowery undertones. The overall sandalwood oil composition depends on the species, region grown, soil location, age of tree, and possibly the season of harvest and extraction process, and thus there can be significant variability.
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The S. album species population is now recognized as 'vulnerable,' and since 2004 Indian sandalwood has been listed on the IUCN Red List. Other than the oil produced by its own governmental growers, India has banned extraction of oil and export of sandalwood materials. Efforts are underway internationally to save the trees from extinction and regenerate S. album production. In addition to the subsidized government farming in the Indian state of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, Indian sandalwood, including the Mysore type, now is grown on large plantations in western Australia alongside the indigenous Australian variety. With newer techniques of irrigation and fertilization, tree growth has been boosted so that a 15-year-old tree has the same oil levels as a 30-year-old tree did in the past. Australian producers in Kununurra are increasingly planting Indian trees, but whether establishment and growth of new plantations there can significantly restore the groves as a source of oil remains to be seen.

With decreasing stocks of Mysore and other Indian sandalwood, perfumers have had to reformulate their perfume products, some of which - especially the most renowned - were purported at one time to contain up to 40% natural sandalwood. Scientists have tried unsuccessfully for decades to develop protocols for the commercial synthesis of organic sandalwood oil, but efforts continue with new developments in biotechnology that raise hopes for the future. Companies also have been trying to find synthetic substitutes that imitate the chemical structure and scent of the natural oil. The first substitute molecule was discovered in Germany in 1947, with subsequent further evolution, including development of Santalidol in the Soviet Union. Santalidol, a mixture of several substances with similar structures, was mass produced commercially beginning in 1956. Since then, variations of it having somewhat differing ingredient ratios and smells have been marketed, with Sandalore and Bagdanol being the most common by the 1970s, as use of natural sandalwood oil began to decrease. The alternative probably best-known historically is Sandenol, whose chemical structure is most closely related to the santalol isomers and which was said to have an aroma quite similar to that of the natural oil. Among other widely used alternates are Javanol, Polysantol, Firsantol, Levosandol, Ebanol, Fleursandol, and HomoPolysantol. Javanol, Ebanol, Sandela, Santaliff, and Santalore have been claimed by their users to be the strongest and most true to natural sandalwood, but there is disagreement, and none can exactly match the complexity and richness of true sandalwood. Due to its unique technical properties (lasting power, strength, diffusivity, and ability to mix well with other compounds), Javanol from  Givaudan has become the favorite among modern perfumers. A major advantage of synthetic oils over the natural form is that they provide consistency of composition and quality from batch to batch.  

The documented use of sandalwood goes back about 4000 years to India, Egypt, Greece, and Rome.  Ramayana, an Indian epic poem written in the 4th century BCE, first mentions the ancient burning of sandalwood slivers as incense. When sandalwood was abundant, especially in the 15th to 17th centuries, many temples and other structures were built with its timber, as were sculptures and furniture. In Egypt, it was an embalming ingredient and was believed to release the souls of the dead in reincarnation. It has been highly prized for wood carving, including creation of religious icons, rosaries, fans, sewing boxes, and toys, and this still is done using wood from trimmings and immature trees killed by disease. Sandalwood has been used in solid perfumes for centuries by Arab perfumers. In the 18th century it became a popular ingredient in European perfumes and cosmetics, and it also was used then to scent Spanish Córdoban leather.
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Sandalwood oil and wood have been a part of many different religious practices, including Hinduism, Sufism, Jainism, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, Shamanism, and Taoism. The wood of the tree is powdered and made into a paste that is integral to many rituals and ceremonies, and it is used to decorate icons and altars. The paste and oil (applied to the forehead, neck, or chest) and the smoke from burning sandalwood incense have been thought to calm and focus the mind for meditation and prayer. Indian paintings show images of snakes curling around sandalwood trees, representing legends in which the tree is said to release such a beautiful scent that serpents are charmed by it.
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The essential oil is used in aromatherapy for its stress-reducing, calming, and soothing properties, and it is considered to be an aphrodisiac, especially in massage oil. It is a natural astringent, firming and toning the skin. It has been used for centuries in Chinese and Indian Ayurvedic medicine as an antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, analgesic, diuretic, emollient, expectorant, hypotensive, and sedative. Sandalwood is claimed to be beneficial for rheumatism and gout, and it may have benefits for treating anxiety and depression and even cancers. Synthetic sandalwoods have been shown to stimulate skin OR2AT3 receptors, which may promote wound healing and scalp hair growth.

Aboriginal Australians eat sandalwood seed kernels, nuts, and fruit, and early European settlers there used the fruit in making jams, chutneys, and pies. Modern chefs have experimented with the nut as a substitute for macadamia, almond, and hazelnut, especially in Southeast Asian-style cuisine. The oil and some of the synthetic sandalwood analogues are used as a flavoring agent in candy, ice cream, baked goods, puddings, gelatin, and beverages. Due to its preservative and antiseptic properties, sandalwood often is included in soaps, other beauty products, candles, air fresheners, and industrial products. Finally, because of its low fluorescence and optimal refractive index, sandalwood oil has been used as an immersion oil for microscopy. There has not been extensive research conducted on the safety of sandalwood oil, but because there have not been any significant adverse effects documented in the scientific literature, it generally is considered quite safe and continues to be used commonly.

Many sandalwood perfume products have 'sandalwood,' 'sandalo,' or 'santal' in their names and can be identified easily. Other scents without those words in their names but with significant a sandalwood presence and usually designated as masculine include the following:

Aesop Marrakech Intense
Amouage Interlude, Epic, Memoir
Aramis Havana
Balenciaga Eau
Blanche Byredo Blanche
Burberry Mr. Burberry
By Killian Sacred Wood
Calvin Klein Liquid Gold Euphoria, Contradiction
Cartier Declaration d'un Soir
Caswell Massey Tricorn
Chanel Egoiste, Bleu
Christian Dior Leather Oud, Patchouli Imperial, Vetiver
Comme des Garcons Concrete, Wonderwood
Creed Himalaya, Bois du Portugal, Silver Mountain Water
D.R. Harris Marlborough
Davidoff Cool Water
Dior Fahrenheit
Diptyque Tam Dao
Dolce & Gabbana D&G
Donna Karan Chaos
Dunhill 51.3 N
Fabi per Lui
Fragonard Zizanie
Fulton & Roark Shackleford
Gucci Envy, Rush
Guerlain Habit Rouge, l'Eau Boisee, l'Instant, Heritage, Arsene Lupin Voyou
Guy Laroche Drakka Noir
Hermes Bel Ami
Histoire de Parfums 1725 Casanova
Jean Paul Gaultier Le Male
Jill Sander Man III
L'Acqua di Fiori Tennis
Laurent Mazzone Black Oud
Le Cherche Midi
Lush Smuggler's Soul
Maître Parfumeur et Gantier Grain de Plaisir
Maurer & Wirtz Marrakech Tale
Oscar de la Renta pour Lui
Pal Zileri Sartoriale
Penhaligon's Hammam Bouquet
Prada l'Homme
Profumum Roma Olibanum
Proraso Red
Revillon pour Homme
Rochas Macassar
Rosendo Mateu No. 1, No. 6
Scorpio Gold
Shaik Gold
Stetson Preferred Stock, Caliber
Tom Ford Exxtreme, Noir
Tom Frank Black 1
Valentino Noir Absolu
Van Heusen
Versace Black Jeans
Xerjoff Richwood
Yves St. Laurent Jazz
Zadig & Voltaire This is Him
Zara For Him 2018, No Night

250 14,673
 06-23-2020, 09:54 AM
User Info
Fragrance Classification and Fragrance Wheels

In perfumery there have been four main fragrance categories traditionally: Fresh, Floral, Oriental, and Woody.  Within these four main groups fall generally accepted families; and beyond these are numerous combinations of notes that blur the lines of distinction.  

The original classification of fragrances, which emerged around 1900, consisted of 7 entities:

•Single floral: dominated by a scent from one particular flower, in French called a soliflore.
•Floral bouquet: containing a combination of several flowers in a scent. 
•Ambery or oriental: sweet, spicy, and exotic, featuring vanilla and animal scents together with flowers, woods, and spices such as cardamom and clove, sometimes enhanced by camphoraceous oils and incense resins. 
•Woody: dominated by wood scents, typically of sandalwood, oak, and cedar. Patchouli is commonly found in these perfumes. 
•Leather: featuring the scents of honey, tobacco, wood and wood tars in the middle or base notes and suggesting leather items. 
•Chypre: fragrances built on an accord consisting of bergamot, oakmoss, patchouli, and labdanum.  Named after a perfume by Francois Coty.
•Fougère: having a base of lavender, coumarin, and oakmoss and characterized by a sharp herbaceous and woody scent. 

Since 1945, due to technological advances in compound design and synthesis and to style evolution, additional categories of scents have emerged:
•Bright floral: combining the traditional Single floral and floral bouquet categories. 
•Green: a lighter and more modern interpretation of the chypre type. 
•Oceanic/Aquatic/Ozone: the newest category, appearing in 1991, a clean, modern smell invoking the sea or the smell of rain, and leading to many of the modern androgynous perfumes. 
•Citrus or Fruity: a very old fragrance family that until recently consisted mainly of "freshening" eau de colognes due to the low tenacity of natural citrus scents such as lemon, orange, bergamot, grapefruit, and mandarin. Development of newer fragrance compounds has allowed for the creation of stable primarily citrus fragrances. 
•Gourmand: scents with "edible" or "dessert"-like qualities, often containing notes like vanilla and tonka bean, as well as synthetic components designed to resemble food flavors. 

However, there is not a complete consensus, and according to some experts, there should be eight major families: four feminine ones (Chypre, Floral, feminine Citrus, and feminine Oriental) and four masculine ones (Aromatic, Woody, masculine Citrus, and masculine Oriental).

Fragrance Wheel

The Fragrance wheel (or aroma wheel, fragrance circle, perfume wheel) is a relatively new classification method that is widely used in the fragrance industry. It is represented by a round diagram.  The method was first used in 1949 by Austrian perfumer Paul Jellinek and was titled the Odor Effects Diagram:

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Subsequently U. Harder at Harman & Reimer and others developed several variations of the Fragrance Circle.  And in 1983 Michael Edwards, a consultant in the perfume industry, designed his own scheme of fragrance classification after being inspired by a fragrance seminar by Firmenich. Since its creation, Edwards' wheel has been modified several times, and it is the most widely used model.  

The wheel scheme first was created in order to simplify fragrance classification and naming on a logical basis, as well as to show the relationships between individual classes, based upon odor similarities and differences, which previous classifications had overlooked.  

The five standard families on most wheels now consist of Floral, Oriental, Woody, Fougère, and Fresh, with the first four families being the more "classic" ones, while the Fresh category consists of newer, bright and clean-smelling citrus and oceanic fragrances that have arrived due to improvements in fragrance technology.  With the exception of the Fougères, each of the families is in turn usually divided into three sub-groups and arranged around a wheel:

1. Floral 

 1.Floral - notes of fresh-cut flowers
 2.Soft Floral - aldehydes and powdery notes
 3.Floral Oriental - main notes of orange blossom and sweet spices

2. Oriental  

 1.Soft Oriental - incense and amber 
 2.Oriental - vanilla and oriental resins such as frankincense 
 3.Woody Oriental - sandalwood and patchouli
3. Woody  

 1.Woods (added 2008) - aromatic woods and vetiver
 2.Mossy Woods - oakmoss and amber
 3.Dry Woods - dry woods and leather
 4. Fresh  

 1.Citrus - bergamot and citrus oils
 2.Green - galbanum and green notes 
 3.Water (Oceanic/Aquatic) - marine and aquatic notes
(4.Fruity - added 2008) - berries and other non-citrus fruits 
 5. Aromatic/Fougère 

The idea is that the wheel represents the circular continuum of fragrances which humans can perceive, with each group blending into and overlapping with its two neighbors, with implied common olfactory characteristics. For instance Floral Oriental scents consist of a mingling of florals with sweet and spicy notes, while the adjacent Soft Oriental group frequently includes a slight flowery touch.

Until recently, the Fougère family was placed at the center of the wheel since it takes fragrance elements from the other four families, citrus from the Fresh, oakmoss and woods from Woody, coumarin and incense from Oriental, and lavender from Floral.  This is shown in the 1983 wheel: 

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With a further modification in 2010, the Aromatics/Fougère group was moved to a space between Dry Woods and Citrus to synchronize the chart with newer studies of smell perception, and in some charts it actually is included under the Woody class.  The 2010 Edwards chart:

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In order to differentiate further, some experts have divided each of a family's subclasses in turn into Fresh, Crisp, Classical, or Rich compositions, while others have simply divided a subclass further into the individual scents themselves.

As a class, Chypres is more difficult to place since it usually would be located under parts of the Oriental and Woody families. For instance, Guerlain Mitsouko, which is classically identified as a Chypre, would be placed under Mossy Woods, but Hermès Rouge, a Chypre with a more floral character, would be put under Floral Oriental.  Attempts have been made to incorporate the Chypres into a chart scheme, such as that of the Lebermuth Company, which sets it between the Fougères and the Camphoraceous (eucalyptus, rosemary, and pine), in addition to showing the presumed relationships of individual scents:

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Another wheel example is that of the Chemia Corporation, which divides fragrances into different groups based upon their somewhat subjective predominant character, including "food-like" ones, as shown here:

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Still another chart which differentiates more is the Atelier wheel:

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And the Drom Fragrance Circle further subjectively aligns scents with gender:

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A more recent chart, outlining aroma-chemical relationships rather than smell perceptions, is the non-circular Givaudan Scent Ingredients Map:

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And finally, some constructs attempt to express the recently well-described connection and cross-sensory interrelationship between the senses of smell and taste, such as the Aromaster chart:

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Despite these attempts at classification, individual perfume products often remain difficult to characterize objectively.  Fragrances may share notes, accords, or other characteristics, but each perfume is an individual entity with unique notes.  Because of this uniqueness, a perfume can be seen to fall into more than one category of fragrance, especially since it will have a different smell on one person than on someone else and will vary in its overall personality with body chemistry changes and with the passage of time.

250 14,673
 06-26-2020, 09:31 AM
User Info

Benzoin, commonly called storax, gum benzoin, or gum benjamin, is a balsamic oleoresin (a mixture of resin and essential oils) from the Styrax tree.  Styrax (also called storax or snowbell) is a genus of around 130 species of shrubs or trees in the family Styracaceae and is native to temperate-tropical regions of the Northern Hemisphere. The majority of trees are in Eastern and Southeastern Asia (especially Sumatra, Java, and Thailand), but they also are found now in parts of southeastern North America and in South America, with a single species in the Mediterranean. The trees have deciduous or evergreen, alternate, ovate leaves and white flowers. The fruit is an oblong dry, smooth drupe (stone fruit).
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Benzoin resin is harvested like frankincense and myrrh once the trees are at least 7-10 years old. The hill tribe farmers climb to a height of 10 meters using rope ladders and make V-shaped incisions in the bark, and after several weeks the exudate forms tear-shaped lumps that look like caramel toffee. The tears are cleaned, sorted, and graded into quality groups. The first 3 years of a tree's life produce the best resin. Production continues for 10-12 years, after which the tree is cut down and the residual gum is scraped from the bark. Commonly used are the resins of the species S. tonkinensis, S. benzoin, and S. benzoides. Benzoin should not be confused with the balsam of the same name, which comes from the Hamamelidaceae family.
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Benzoin resin can be distilled, but most often it is solvent-extracted with alcohol from the resin. This produces are dark brown solid mass which is diluted with dipropylene glycol to varying ratios to give resinoids of differing viscosity. For perfumery it is further diluted in ethanol (to about 30% alcohol).  

Most of the resin is used by the cosmetic and food industries. It has a sweet, light, nutty odor sometimes described as smelling like root beer, grape juice, or vanilla, with chocolate and almond-cherry undertones. In perfumery, it most often is used as a base note. It also has excellent fixative properties, especially for fragrance middle notes. 

There are two main types of benzoin resin. Benzoin Sumatra, from S. benzoin primarily, with some from S. paralleoneurus, comes predominantly from Java and Sumatra. It contains cinnamic acid and has a smoky, woody, and incense aroma and is mostly used in pharmaceutical preparations. Its scent composition is cinnamic acid 20%, benzoic acid 18%, and vanillin 1%. 
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Benzoin Siam, obtained from S. tonkinensis, is found across the highlands of Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam. It is mainly used for perfumery and food flavoring and has a sweet-balsamic aroma with a distinct note of vanilla. The Laotian resin is thought to be the best quality, with a velvety finish and pronounced fruity note. The chief constituent is benzoic acid 32%, with vanillin 2% but no cinnamic acid.
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Benzoin gives a luminous 'body' to perfumes. Highly versatile, benzoin is frequently used in amber and spicy Oriental fragrances and also complements citrus, woods (cypress, juniper, cedarwood, sandalwood, laurel), and florals (jasmine, lavender, rose, geranium). It mixes well with frankincense, myrrh, vetiver, and patchouli, and it has a special affinity for other sweet and rich notes like vanilla, leather, and tonka bean. It is used sparingly since its richness easily can overwhelm other ingredients. Says perfumer Alienor Massenet, "Benzoin is as suave as vanilla, and has a touch of cinnamon to it. I use it for feminine and masculine fragrances: it gives an 'openness' and sensuality to fragrances."
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The name probably is derived from the Arabic lubān jāwī (meaning 'Javan frankincense,' as it was called in the 14th century). At times it has colloquially been called benjamin or benjoin. Records from ancient Egypt indicate that benzoin was mixed with other aromatic resins like pine, juniper, cypress, galbanum, and labdanum to create an aromatic powder that dancers applied to their heads, and it was used in embalming and for incense. Herodotus of Halicarnassus indicates the in the 5th century BC different kinds of storax were traded. 

There is some uncertainty about exactly which resins old written sources mention. Turkish sweetgum (Liquidambar orientalis), an unrelated tree in the family Altingiaceae, produces a similar resin now traded as storax or Levant storax, as do other sweetgums. Turkish sweetgum occurs only in a small area of southwest Turkey, not in the Levant at all. Presumably some of the 'storax resin' of ancient Greek and Roman sources was this sweetgum rather than a Styrax, although genuine Styrax resin (probably mainly from S. officinalis) was imported from the Near East by Phoenician merchants. Since the Middle Ages, Southeast Asian benzoin resins became increasingly available, and today there is very little international trade in S. officinalis and Turkish sweetgum resins. 

In medicine benzoin has been used for millenia for arthritis and rheumatism, spasms, asthma, bronchitis and coughing (as a mild expectorant), sore throat and laryngitis, eczema and chapped skin, cuts, and bruises, and stress. Avicenna discusses S. officinalis in his Al-Qanun fi al-Tibb, indicating that the resin, mixed with other antibiotic substances and hardening material, makes a good dental restorative material. Benzoin resin is a component of the 'Theriaca Andromachi Senioris,' a Venic treacle recipe in the 1686 d'Amsterdammer Apotheek. It acts as a styptic, stopping minor bleeding, and an antiseptic; the antibiotic activity seems to be due mainly to benzoic acid and benzoic acid esters. Tincture of benzoin (also called friar's balsam), which is the resin dissolved in alcohol (approximately 20% resin and 80% alcohol), was invented around 1790 by Joshua Ward and was used in 19th century European antiseptic and cleaning preparations. It is commonly used now in first aid for small injuries, since it acts as a disinfectant and local anesthetic and may promote healing. The tincture also is a topical adhesive agent that is used to provide tackiness and enhance the sticking properties of medical tape, especially 'butterfly' bandages and tape over sutures (Steri-Strips). This is particularly helpful for facial areas. It has also been used as a preoperative antiseptic for wound preparation. Benzoin is used commonly in veterinary medicine.

After being blended with other oils, benzoin can be used to treat skin irritations such as itchiness, dryness, and inflammation. However, it can cause contact dermatitis, primarily due to its benzyl benzoate. There has been little modern research on the medical properties or safety of the resin.

In aromatherapy, although it is thought to be a mild stimulant, benzoin has a calming and grounding effect, providing a 'padded zone' between the user and external events. It is said to 'heal the wounds of the soul.'

Most benzoin is used in the Arab states of the Persian Gulf, Indonesia, India, and the horn of Africa, where it is burned for fragrance on charcoal grills. In the Middle East, an incense of scented wood chips called Bakhoor contains benzoin. Bakhoor is used on coal fires as an Arab outdoor air freshener. It is also used as incense in Roman Catholic, Orthodox Christian, and Greek Christian churches. The incense is mentioned in the Book of Exodus. Styrax was incorporated into Japanese, Indian, and Chinese incense, as well as in the European Papier d'Arménie, a paper strip burned indoors and still sold in small booklets. Although toxic benzene and formaldehyde are produced when Styrax incense is burned, a strip of Papier d'Arménie burned every 2-3 days produces less of them than do many modern synthetic air fresheners. Styrax resin from southern Arabian species was burned in fields during frankincense harvesting because it was thought to drive away poisonous snakes. 

Several species of Styrax are popular as ornamental trees in parks and gardens. The wood of larger species is suitable for carving and handicrafts; wood of S. japonicus ('egonoki') is used to build Japanese bowed musical instruments. 

The resin is used as a flavoring in foods (beverages, baked goods, chewing gum, frozen dairy, gelatins, puddings, soft candy) and medicines. Benzoin resin and its derivatives also are used in tobacco cigarettes as flavoring agents and to increase transmucosal nicotine absorption. It is used for scenting toothpastes, soaps, and other personal care products.

The chemical benzoin (2-hydroxy-2-phenylacetophenone) actually is not found in benzoin resin in measurable quantities at all. The resin does contain small amounts of the hydrocarbon styrene, named for the unrelated Levant storax from which it was first isolated. Industrially produced styrene is now used to make polystyrene plastics, including Styrofoam.

Synthetic chemicals are replacing real benzoin resin in some perfume products and are said to blend well with other fragrance materials. Marketed by several companies, they typically are called 'benzoin resin replacer.'

Perfume products for men with significant benzoin include:

Acqua di Parma Colonia Intensa
Annick Goutal Ambre Fetiche
Aramis JHL
Ashley Oud
Azzaro Elixir, Elixir Bois Precieux, Onyx
Balenciaga Cristobal
Battistoni Marte Evolution
Boucheron Jaipur 
Bvlgari Man (various), Aqva Atlantiqve
By Kilian Back to Black
Carolina Herrera Men Prive
Cesare Paciotti Oriental Supreme
Chanel Allure
Chris Adams MP 
Christian Dior Feve Delicieuse
Comme des Garcons
Davidoff Silver Shadow, Relax, Hot Water
Diesel Only the Brave Tattoo
Diptyque Benjoin Boheme, Volutes
Elemi Incense with a Twist of Lemon
Francis Kurkdjian Oud Satin Mood, Grand Soir, Absolue pour le Soir
Franck Olivier Red
Giorgio Armani Myrrhe Imperiale, Code Absolu Gold
Giorgio Beverly Hills VIP Special Reserve, Giorgio
Givenchy Pi (various)
Goldfield & Banks Australia Desert Rosewood
Gucci Guilty
Guerlain Bois d'Armenie, Arsene Lupin Voyou, Habit Rouge, Coriolan
Halston Catalyst, Z
Hermes Terre d'Hermes (various), Rocabar
Hugo Boss Dark Blue
Imaginary Authors Memoirs of a Trespasser
Issey Miyake l'Eau d'Issey Intense
Jil Sander Man II
Karl Lagerfeld Photo, KL
Kenzo Jungle
Lancome Sagamore
Lanvin Avant Garde
Laura Biagiotti Roma
Leonard Cuir d'Ambre
L'Erbolario Dolcelisir
Marly Oajan
Mauboussin pour Lui in Black
M. Micallef Jadu SE
Nino Cerruti
O Boticario Coffee Duo, Malbec (various)
Pierre Balmain Carbone de Balmain, Ambre Gris
Prada Infusion
Prince Obolenski Russian Leather
Ralph Lauren Chaps
Serge Lutens Ambre Sultan
Thera Cosmeticos Urano
Thierry Mugler A*Men Pur Havane
Tom Ford Atelier d'Orient Plum Japonais
Trussardi Amber Oud
Van Cleef & Arpels Midnight in Paris
Versace Versus
Xerjoff Mamluk
Valentino Vendetta
Yves St. Laurent Body Kouros, Jazz Prestige

250 14,673
 06-30-2020, 11:20 AM
User Info
Aromatic and Herbaceous

The term 'aromatic' is sometimes used, especially by laymen, to refer to the assertive, fresh fragrance produced by sweet balsamic and resinous green-herbal notes, such as that of pure lavender essence.  But strictly speaking, it means an organic compound with a benzene (or arene) hydrocarbon ring structure.  The name was originally given to these compounds, before their chemical structure was known, because of their somewhat sweet scent.  Aromatic notes are not typically syrupy sweet, but are not at all bitter either.  Aromatic compositions are most typically found in fragrances for men.

Herbaceous aromatic materials pair quite well with citruses and spices, in that way lending themselves to fragrances for women as well as unisex perfumes, in addition to the better known masculine ones.  Lavender is the prototypical aromatic substance and is used very commonly in perfumery.  With its pleasant association with the outdoors and cleanliness, it is a mainstay of the fougère/fern family and frequently is combined with ferny smells with which it has overlapping qualities.  The term 'aromatic fougère' is used especially with masculine fragrances, forming a subclassification typified by heavier use of cool, refreshing herbal top notes.  Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche pour Homme is the perfect example of this genre.

Aromatic accents are used with classic cologne-like notes, providing a somewhat sharper, tonic scent such as that of the 4711 Acqua Colonia series, and are also used to provide a contrasting brightness with darker resinous notes such as incense, as is found in Serge Lutens Encens et Lavande.

In addition to lavender, herbal contributors of aromatic-green camphorous notes, frequently used together in combination, include rosemary and sage, present for example in the top notes of Dior Eau Sauvage, Caron pour Un Homme, and Guerlain Habit Rouge, as well as cumin, mugwort, star anise, and other plants with a very intensive grassy-spicy scent.  Examples include artemisia, basil, estragon, marjoram, peppermint, tea, and tobacco.

Other well-known fragrance products with a prominent aromatic nature include:

Acca Kappa White Moss
Acqua di Parma Blu Mediterraneo series
Alfred Dunhill Pure
Alt-Innsbruck Eau de Cologne
Amouage Sunshine Men
Annick Goutal Eau de Lavande
Aramis A, Black, and New West for Him
Atkinsons Rockford and Sport Blue Sky
Aubusson Man in Blue
Azzaro Aqua Verde and Pour Homme LE 2014
Baruti Berlin Im Winter
Borsari Acqua della Macchia Mediterranea
Brooks Brothers New York for Gentlemen
Burberry Summer for Men
Bvlgari Eau Parfumee au The Bleu
By Kilian Moonlight in Heaven
Calvin Klein Eternity Summer and Reveal Men
Caron Pour Un Homme
Caswell Massey Michelsen's Bay Rum
Christian Dior Fahrenheit Summer 2006 and Eau Sauvage
Claus Porto Agua de Colonia No. 4 Spearmint Tea
Coty Gravity series
Crabtree & Evelyn Black Absinthe
Creed Silver Mountain Water
Davidoff Cool Water Freeze Me
Flamboyant Royal White
Floris Lavender
Giorgio Armani Code Ice and Diamonds Summer Fraiche
Givenchy Insense series
Hermes Eau de Gentiane Blanche
Jil Sander Ultrasense
Kenneth Cole Blue and New York Men
Marbert Man Personality
Masaki Matsushima M
Maurer & Wirtz 4711 series
Paco Rabanne Ultraviolet series and XS Sensual Summer
Paul Sebastian Fine Cologne
Penhaligon's Douro and Lavandula
Perry Ellis 360 Degrees and Portfolio Green
Pierre Cardin Vertige
Ralph Lauren Polo Red White & Blue
Roger & Gallet L'Homme
St. Charles Shave Bulgarian Lavender
Santa Maria Novella lavanda Imperiale, Porcellana, Potpourri
Serge Lutens Laine de Verre
Taylor of Old Bond Street Luxury Lavender Water
The Body Shop White Musk
Tom Ford Lavender Palm
Truefitt & Hill 1805
Yves St. Laurent Kouros Eau d'Ete 2006

The term 'herbaceous' often is used more broadly to refer to components derived from or reminiscent of herbal plants in general, which produce a naturally cool, dry, leafy, or hay-like note, such as chamomile, lavender, rosemary, or clary sage.  The term 'grassy' is used to refer to a similar but different green, sharp tone like the scent of a freshly mowed lawn or crushed green leaves.  Examples include the fragrances of Balmain Vent Vert and L'Artisan Premier Figuier.  It should be noted, however, that 'herbaceous' and 'grassy' are not exactly the same as 'aromatic.'  Purely herbaceous or grassy materials typically are cool (and especially produce that sensation when blotted and pressed to the lips), while more characteristically aromatic substances tend to be spicy and warm.

250 14,673
 07-03-2020, 12:40 PM
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Fragrance Concentrations

Perfume products are a blend of a scent and a base, never just a pure fragrance. The scent is composed of essences, oils, and aromatic compounds. The base usually is either ethanol (ethyl alcohol) (or 'rectified spirit,' highly concentrated ethanol that has been purified by means of repeated distillation) or water or a mix of alcohol and water. Scent is not used alone because it would be overly strong and too expensive and because the base helps the scent to radiate off the skin and project farther. In addition, alcohol in the base acts as a stabilizing agent to preserve the more volatile oils in a perfume. However, some fragrances are offered in alcohol-free forms for those with skin sensitivity to alcohol. Some perfume oils also can be diluted with neutral, unscented oils such as fractionated coconut oil or liquid waxes such as jojoba oil.

The fragrances that are applied to the skin are meant to be absorbed so that their oils blend with the skin's natural oils, resulting in a unique scent. Thus it is thought best to apply them, especially those of higher concentrations, to pulse points where the blood flow is closest to the surface and the constant temperature can release the scent of the oils to the air.

The industry is not standardized for concentrations, and perfumers use different definitions for the types of fragrances, with various 'expert' sources providing different ranges of concentration (by percent volume of perfume oil) for them. But a general consensus is that the aromatic compound concentrations are as follows:

Eau fraîche 1-3%
Aftershave 2-5% (usually less than 4%)
Cologne/Eau de cologne (EdC) 2-8%
Eau de toilette (EdT) 5-15% 
Eau de parfum (EdP) 15-20%
Parfum/Perfume 20-50%
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The terminology is imprecise. The oil in an EdP from a given perfumery will always have a higher concentration than an EdT from the same house, which in turn will always have a higher concentration than an EdC. However, perfumers use different range definitions for the various types of fragrances, as well as varying amounts of scent oils in their mixtures, so an EdT from one house may actually have a higher concentration than an EdP from another house. In addition, some fragrances with the same product name from a given perfumer but with different concentrations may also have different oil mixtures. For example, in order to make the EdT version of a fragrance brighter and fresher than its EdP, the EdT oil may be 'tweaked' to contain slightly more top notes or fewer base notes; so the EdP, EdT, and EdC may in fact be different compositions. And in some cases, words such as extrême, intense, or concentrée that might be interepreted as indicating a higher aromatic concentration actually refer to completely different fragrances, related only because of similar accords. An example is Chanel Pour Monsieur and Pour Monsieur Concentrée.

As the oil percentage increases, so does the intensity and - generally - the longevity and sillage of the scent, although the longevity can vary depending upon other factors such as the different component proportions of the accord. Historically, women's fragrances had higher levels of aromatic compounds than men's fragrances, and those marketed to men were typically sold as EdT or EdC rather than EdP or perfume. This is changing as fragrances become more unisex. However, women's fragrances still mainly appear only in EdT, EdP, and parfum concentrations.

Eau fraîche ('fresh water' or 'cool water') is the most diluted version of a fragrance, usually with 1-3% perfume oil in alcohol and water. It is often marketed with a name such as splash, mist, or 'veil.' Aftershaves have about the same oil concentration range but have added ingredients for beneficial skin effects (soothing, moisturizing, etc.). Eau fraîche and aftershave are usually applied by hand, and eau fraîche is often applied during or right after bathing. Although some contain alcohol, they usually are mostly water and are intended just to refresh the skin. Aftershave's original purpose was as scented alcohol, to be used as an antiseptic for cuts from shaving, with medicinal herbs or balms such as witch hazel often added to clean and soothe. With advances in personal hygiene, aftershaves in recent decades also have become sources of both pleasing scents and skin sensations for the overall shave experience, although they usually still have relatively high levels of alcohol. With their very low scent concentrations, both aftershave and eau fraîche scents tend to last no more than an hour.

Cologne (or eau de cologne, EdC) first appeared in Europe in the 17th century as fragrance compounds to counteract odors from poor hygiene. But the term 'cologne' itself originally was created in Köln, Germany, as the name for a low-concentration citrus fragrance. It is said that in 1709, Giovanni Maria Farina created what he called Kölnisch Wasser (Cologne Water), named after his new town of residence but intended to remind him of an Italian spring morning, with mountain daffodils and orange blossoms after rain. (It was also believed to have the power to ward off bubonic plague.) Historical examples of cologne include Mäurer & Wirtz 4711 (1799) and Guerlain Eau de Cologne Impériale (1853). In the 20th century the name has become a generic term for a lighter, less concentrated interpretation of a stronger product, typically a parfum. More recently the term has been used somewhat imprecisely in North American to denote masculine fragrances in general. In the same way that a woman may be said to wear 'perfume,' regardless of the actual fragrance concentration, a man is said to wear a 'cologne,' even when it actually is an EdT. Colognes typically are light-bodied and fresh, sometimes with a delicate bergamot citrus head. They are composed of 2-8% perfume oils in alcohol and water, most often around 5%, and they tend to be used especially in fragrances for younger people. Colognes can be sold in spray bottles or 'splash' bottles. The scent usually lasts for about 2 hours on the skin. A cologne is often the lightest concentration of a given line of fragrance products. Colognes have minimal alcohol content, remaining from the alcohol used to distill the aromatic compounds; thus they are less drying, and they don't have the antibacterial, astringent, and soothing and healing properties of aftershaves and should not be applied to freshly shaved skin.

Eau de toilette (EdT) is usually just a diluted eau de parfum. It most often comes in a spray bottle, with a composition of 5-15% (most often around 10%) pure essence dissolved in alcohol, and generally lasts for 3-4 hours with lower quality ones such as those sold in drug stores and 5-8 hours for those of higher quality. EdT is actually the precursor of colognes, dating back to use in 14th century Hungary. The current name is derived from a 19th century French term for the practice of personal grooming (faire sa toilette or 'getting ready') in the powder room, with the product added to bath water or applied to the skin at the dressing table after bathing. Eaux de toilettes are generally the best-selling form of a particular fragrance. EdT is considered by some to be most appropriate for daywear, and it is the most common form of masculine perfume products.

Eau de parfum (EdP) or Millésime (sometimes included in the perfume category and, in fact, frequently sold labeled as 'perfume') usually has a concentration in the 15-20% range, typically ~15%, and also comes in a spray bottle. It is a more common variant than parfum since it is more affordable, and some perfumers only market an eau de parum as their luxury version of a fragrance rather than an additional parfum. Its scent can last around 8-10 hours, allowing a single application to last throughout most of a day or evening. Some consider EdP to be best for nightwear or more formal occasions. While it has a higher concentration of alcohol than parfum, it generally is better for dry, sensitive skin than fragrance types with lower levels of aromatic compounds (and higher alcohol levels), such as EdT or cologne. A less common term for it, arising in the 1970s and popular mainly in the 1980s, is parfum de toilette (PdT).

Esprit de parfum (ESdP) is a seldom-used term for a fragrance with a strength concentration in between those of EdP and parfum (generally in the 15-25% range).

Parfum/Perfume (from the Latin phrase per fumum, meaning 'through smoke') is slightly oilier, composed usually of 20-30% pure essence and having a scent lasting up to 24 hours. The first fragrance labeled as a 'parfum' was Guerlain Jicky in 1889. Perfumes come in a spray bottle or a dab bottle, the latter offering more control of application than the spray atomizer. 'Extract,' 'perfume extract' or 'elixir' is a subcategory of perfume with an even higher concentration, sometimes up to 50%.  Some argue that perfumes offer the best value for the cost, since the fragrance lasts much longer with even a small amount, and they do not require reapplication later to maintain the skin scent. In addition, the lower alcohol content of perfumes can make them a better choice for those with skin that tends to dry. Some people recommend application of an EdP or parfum to one's clothing in addition to or instead of the skin, especially if the skin is sensitive to any of the ingredients; but others counsel against this since the fragrance does not interact with the skin oils and evaporates more quickly, and some of the products can stain clothing.

Some traditionalist experts argue that an aftershave and a fragrance product (cologne, EdT, EdP, or parfum) that are used together should always be from the same fragrance line, but this is by no means a consensus opinion, and increasingly consumers are experimenting with combinations of lines that balance and complement each other.

250 14,673
 07-09-2020, 11:09 AM
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The two main ingredients in most aftershaves are alcohol and witch hazel, both acting as antiseptics and astringents. Alcohol tightens the skin and closes pores so that bacteria can't invade. Witch hazel also has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Unlike alcohol, which dries the skin and damages its natural barrier function, witch hazel is a moisturizer. It improves skin hydration, elasticity, and softness. The alcohol used can be ethanol or methanol. Aftershaves with alcohol tend to have a stronger scent.

Roman barbers, whose trade was developed when Roman legionaries became the first soldiers required to be clean-shaven and short-haired, were said to apply a plaster made from materials including spider web soaked in vinegar and oil and perfumed with lavender. This mix was thought to have some antiseptic, healing, and moisturizing qualities. Actual aftershave liquids were introduced initially in the 18th century by barbers, who used their high alcohol content (the only known effective antiseptic then) to kill bacteria and decrease the transmission of disease from one client to another by shaving instruments that frequently caused nicks and cuts. Being clean-shaven became fashionable and beards became much less common at that time, but many men did not have the tools for shaving themselves and relied on going to the barber for beard removal. Early aftershaves also sometimes contained witch hazel and bay rum. Subsequently aftershaves became popular because of the tingling and revitalizing effect caused by the alcohol and fragrance together. Some speculate that the first commercial men's aftershaves simply represented a new use of women's cosmetic beauty washes, pastes, and 'washballs' for the skin. 
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As new, sharper types of steel razor appeared and made shaving more efficient and comfortable, perfumers and hairdressers also saw a new market for their products. The perfumer Charles Lillie advertised in 1744 a 'Persian (or Naples) soap' that he claimed was soothing following a shave, and others like 'Paris Pearl Water' were said to freshen and brighten men's skin. In 1752, a J. Emon advertised a powder that he said was 'good for tender faces' after shaves; and in 1801, Elenora's Lavo Cream was claimed to be 'particularly agreeable to Gentlemen after shaving, as it cools and heals the remaining heats.' Jean-Jacques Perret, credited with inventing the first guard razor in 1762, also wrote a book titled "The Art of Learning to Shave Oneself,' in which he touted the use of post-shave colognes. By the 1850s Victorian age, a large number of aftershave lotions and scents were available, including the widely advertised Rowlands' Kalydor, which was 'found greatly refreshing to the complexion, dispelling the cloud of languor and relaxation, allaying all irritability and heat, and immediately affording the pleasing sensation attendant on restored elasticity and healthful state of the skin.' 
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In the 19th century manufacturers began to use claims of aftershave efficacy based on scientific knowledge, in line with the increasing public interest in science. For example, Louis Pasteur discovered disease-causing germs in 1822 and found that alcohol killed them, which stimulated its use in aftershaves. Listerine, now popular as a mouthwash, was first marketed as an aftershave, 'because Listerine used full strength is a deadly enemy of germs.' In the 1830s, the perfumer Edouard Pinaud was contracted by the Hungarian Cavalry to develop a product to combat men's skin infections from shaving in the field, and he came up with Lilac Vegetal, which was used both as an aftershave and as a body splash between baths. Shortly thereafter, Napoleon II gave Pinaud the title of Royale Parfumeur, and aftershaves soon became very popular throughout European society. Other ingredients gradually were added to aftershaves in the 19th century, including glycerin. Unfortunately, some of them at that time also included poisonous potassium cyanide.
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Before the mid-20th century, commercial men's fragrances for shaving mostly were limited to typical barbershop aftershaves such as Bay Rum and Florida Water. But with World War II experiences, men came home more accustomed to using products that kept them clean-shaven and fresh-smelling, and by the 1950s such products as Aqua Velva, Seaforth!, Old Spice, and Canoe had become quite popular. With the launch of the top-selling Revlon scent 'Charlie' in 1973, American fragrances in general became more 'sporty' and less dependent upon emulating traditional European perfumes, and the associated aftershave market exploded.
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An aftershave provides a soothing finish to a shave. For normal skin, a liquid aftershave (splash or lotion) generally works well.  For oily skin, gel or a liquid with a moisturizer will help. If the skin is dry or winter air is dry and cold, a balm with a moisturizer is probably the best choice. Unlike cologne, which mostly is applied at pulse points, an aftershave is used on any shaved area. Before the aftershave, rinsing the face first with cold water removes residual lather and hairs, closes pores, tones the skin, and makes it less vulnerable to potentially harmful product additives. Wiping with witch hazel removes any further residue left behind by the water. Skin is then lightly dried and the aftershave is applied, spreading it around evenly and massaging gently to generate mild heat that aids absorption. Some experts recommend letting a little of the alcohol in a splash or lotion evaporate on the palms for around 5 seconds first to decrease its burning and drying effects.

The most common forms of aftershave are the liquid splash, lotion, balm, and gel. There is some overlap of these, of course, and various marketing strategies also confuse their distinctions. 

This is an antiseptic liquid product. Most splashes contain alcohol, some up to 70% by volume, which helps to kill bacteria. They often also contain skin-conditioning allantoin and glycerin, as well as scents. They are designed generally to refresh and invigorated the skin, as well as reducing inflammation. They are not as suitable for sensitive or dry skin as other forms, and their skin tightening effect may promote ingrown hair. There are unscented and/or alcohol-free alternatives now available. Dermatologists now are more frequently recommending against use of splash aftershaves because the alcohol's antiseptic property is not needed as much as in the past and because its drying effect removes the natural oils that provide a barrier against skin wear and aging.

Lotions are 'milder' versions of their corresponding splashes, with less alcohol and less drying effect. They are combinations of water, mineral oils, glycerin, myristyl propionate, aluminum starch, and fragrances. They are intended to primarily both refresh skin and prevent dryness, although many maintain some antiseptic qualities. Lotions typically have higher viscosity than their splash counterparts, but this varies. Most have scents that are more subtle than those of the splashes. Lotions are most often massaged into the skin with the hands but can be applied with pads or cotton balls. The glycerin in lotions sometimes can worsen acne. Although they are sometimes preferred by those with sensitive skin, lotions overall are the least popular type of aftershave. 

Balms usually do not contain alcohol, since their focus is primarily to moisturize and nourish the skin rather than act as an astringent. Most are composed mainly of glycerin, aloe vera, and allantoin. They sometimes use other natural substances such as tea tree oil to give a tingling and cleansing effect somewhat similar to that of alcohol. Many of them contain carrier oils such as coconut, jojoba, soy, avocado, and castor oil, at concentrations intended to mimic the natural sebum from sebaceous glands and to be absorbed within a few minutes rather than leaving the skin feeling oily. Some balms contain witch hazel for astringent and toning properties. The viscosity of balms can be equivalent to that of lotions, but they usually are thicker and creamy or even a paste or semi-solid. Balms are especially popular with those who do not want to 'feel the burn' and those with skin that is sensitive and prone to razor burn/irritation or that tends to be very dry. Balms generally are lighter in scent intensity and longevity than the other forms. Some have cooling agents to provide more razor burn relief. Balms are applied like lotions, but they are absorbed more slowly. 

Gels provide coolness and moisture to delicate skin, with faster absorption than other aftershave forms. They seem to perform best in humid climates. Gels are the most soothing for aftershave soreness. Some contain added antibacterial compounds.

Common aftershave ingredients:

-alcohol(s): antiseptic, astringent
-witch hazel: antiseptic, astringent, toner
-stearate/citrate: antiseptic, sometimes as alternative to alcohol
-allantoin: anti-inflammatory; conditions, moisturizes, protects, enhances loss of dead skin cells
-glycerin or glycerol: smooths, lubricates, hydrates
-propylene glycol (1,2-propanediol): moisturizes, conditions, prevents moisture loss; solvent, decreases product viscosity
-isopropyl myristate: conditions, cleanses; stabilizes products, increases viscosity, prevents caking
-myristyl proprionate: conditions; slows product deterioration
-lanolin: moisturizes, lubricates, softens
-dipropylene glycol: maintains solution, decreases viscosity
-glyceryl stearate: lubricates, decreases moisture loss; emulsifies
-carbomer: distributes solids, prevents emulsion separation
-mineral oil: moisturizes, softens, conditions, provides soft feel; stabilizes scent
-acetate: promotes healing, sunscreen
-phthalate: moisturizes
-aluminum starch: prevents product caking
-menthol: cools, numbs irritated skin
-fragrances, including some unnamed
-oils/botanical ingredients (including vitamins such as Vitamin E, aloe vera, shea butter, kokum butter, chamomile, grapefruit seed extract, lavender): hydrating, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial or antifungal, calming and soothing, wound healing, skin protecting

250 14,673
 07-21-2020, 11:33 AM
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Ambergris ('ambergrease') is a solid, waxy substance at one time thought to come from an unknown creature believed, according to a 1696 letter published by the Royal Society of London, "to swarm as bees, on the seashore, or in the sea." Some at the time thought it was a product of underwater volcanos or the droppings of seabirds. Marco Polo knew that Oriental sailors hunted the sperm whale for ambergris, but he thought that the whales swallowed it with their food. It is known now that ambergris is produced as a fatty bile duct secretion of the digestive system of some species of sperm whales (especially Physeter macrocephalus or P. catodon). It appears that only a small percentage of the whales, and perhaps only the male whales, produce it. Ambergris can be found floating on the sea surface or washed up on coastal shores, most commonly in the southern hemisphere, and it sometimes is found in the abdomens of dead whales. The name comes from the Latin ambra grisea or Old French 'ambre gris,' meaning grey amber (to differentiate it from ambre jaune, the yellow vegetal resin now just called amber).
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Because the horny beaks of giants squids have been discovered within lumps of ambergris, scientists have theorized that the substance is produced to ease the passage of hard, sharp, irritant objects that the whale has eaten. There is some uncertainty and controversy about how ambergris is expelled from the whale, and no one has witnessed it. Previously it was assumed that the whales simply vomited it, but the current predominant idea is that it is primarily passed in fecal matter, but with masses that are too large to be passed through the intestines expelled instead through the mouth. It is not known exactly how it is formed or whether the process is normal or pathological. In Moby Dick (1851), Herman Melville notes the irony that "fine ladies and gentlemen should regale themselves with an essence found in the inglorious bowels of a sick whale."

Ambergris is found in lumps of various shapes and sizes, usually weighing from 15g (1/2 oz.) to 50kg (110 lbs.). One chunk found in the Dutch East Indies weighed 635kg (about 1400 lbs.). Initially black, soft, and viscous, with a strong fecal odor, it gradually hardens following months to years of aging and photodegradation and develops a light grey or yellow color and a more crusty/waxy texture (described as being like clay). With further oxidation in the ocean, a white coating forms and thickens over time. Aged ambergris has a subtle, sweet, and animalic scent, which has been described as a richer and smoother version of isopropranol. It is soluble in volatile and fixed oils. When raw ambergris is heated in alcohol and then cooled, it produces white crystals of the triterpene alcohol ambrein. When oxidized, ambrein breaks down to ambroxide and ambrinol, the main scent components.
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Ambergris seems to require years to form. It can float for years before making landfall. It is found primarily in the south Atlantic Ocean and on the coasts of South Africa, Madagascar, the East Indies, the Maldives, Brazil, China, Japan, India, Australia, and the Molucca Islands. Most commercially collected ambergris comes from the ocean around the Bahamas. Dogs are attracted to the smell of ambergris and have been used to find it by commercial searchers. Fossilized ambergris dated to 1.75 million years ago has been found.

Freshly produced ambergris has a marine, fecal odor. As sperm whale expert Hal Whitehead of Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, says, "It smells more like the back end than the front." As it ages, the smell grdually transforms into a sweet, earthy scent. Says ambergris broker Bernard Perrin, "It ages like fine wine." In perfumery, ambergris was commonly ground into a powder and dissolved in dilute alcohol. Its perfume fragrance is often described as velvety but crisp, warm, marine, sweet, earthy, and animalic, and it sometimes is termed woody, voluptuous, or having a salty seaweed, caramel, or cured tobacco leaf aspect. Ambergris is widely used in accords with florals, woods, and musks and other animalic notes to add an opulent, seductive quality. Much as salt enhances flavors, ambergris seems to enrich other scents. Its most unique aspect has been said to be its radiance and tenacity. Although the scent itself is not heavy or overwhelming, it has greater sillage than nearly all other perfume components. As a large, heavy, lipophilic molecule with an affinity for other perfume molecules, ambergris also has fixative and stabilizing properties and probably was used for that purpose initially rather than for its scent.

Perfumers consider ambergris to have three main quality categories:
White/Grey Ambergris - This has been in the ocean for the longest time (usually 20-30 years or more) and mainly occurs in smaller pieces due to weathering. Ideally it has a whitish or partly white coating from air/salt water oxidation and a light interior color. Very old pieces can be brittle and powdery. The fragrance has at least some sweetness and is light and subtle. This is the highest quality.
Standard Ambergris - This is normally colored brown/grey or ash, layering can be seen, and pieces can be larger. The fragrance, while still pleasant, is somewhat too strong.
Low Quality Ambergris - This often is black and usually is still soft and pliable. The scent is quite rough, heavy, animalic, and/or fecal (sometimes described as being like that of an uncleaned stable).
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Complicating the use and perception of ambergris is the fact that due to the complexity of its fragrance and variations in people's olfactory senses, individuals may have quite differing experiences of the scent, similar to reactions to other animalic aromas such as musk. While a particular sample might have an earthy, mossy, agreeable smell to one person, to another it might simply have the neutral or disagreeable odor of freshly turned soil or even compost.

Ambergris also has been used for centuries in food and drink. It has been added to foods as a spice: eggs with ambergris reportedly was a favorite of King Charles II of England. It was used as a flavoring agent in Turkish coffee and in hot chocolate in 18th century Europe. A recipe in the English and Australian Cookery Book from the mid-19th century called for ambergris to be added to rum, almonds and spices to make Rum Shrub liqueur.

Ancient Chinese and Egyptians burned ambergris as incense, while in modern Egypt it still is used for scenting cigarettes. During the Black Death in 14th century Europe, it was believed that carrying a ball of ambergris could help to prevent infection. And during the Middle Ages, Europeans used it as a medication for headaches, colds, epilepsy, and other ailments. Middle Eastern populations have powdered and ingested it to increase strength and combat heart and brain disorders, and some cultures have considered it an aphrodisiac.

Because of declining whale populations, the International Whaling Commission instituted a ban on commercial whaling in 1982. Although ambergris is no longer harvested legally from the animals, many countries also prohibit its trade as a component of the more general ban. For example, Australia bans commercial export and import of ambergris under its Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act of 1999. Importation of marine mammal products has been banned in the U.S. since 1972, according to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES); however, ambergris is not mentioned specifically by name. It is actually considered by some to be a waste product, not a physical part or direct derivative of the species and therefore not covered by the provisions of the Convention. Since natural ambergris is extremely rare and valuable, illegal harvesting of whales for it continues in some areas of the world.

The cost, rarity, and legal ambiguity involved with ambergris use has led most perfumers to search for viable, sustainable synthetic alternatives. Ambroxan (Kao), a synthesize form of ambroxide first developed in 1950, is now produced commercially and used extensively in the perfume industry. It is synthesized from sclareol, a component of the essential oil of clary sage. Sclareol is oxidatively degraded to a lactone, which is hydrogenated to a diol and then dehydrated to form ambroxide. The plants make sclareol only in small amounts, and it is very labor-intensive to extract and purify it. But researchers have isolated the DNA which produces two enzymes that create sclareol in the plant and have inserted it into E. coli bacteria to produce large amounts of sclareol cost effectively. University of British Columbia scientists developed a similar process for the balsam fir tree. They transferred part of the tree genome that produces the scent compound cis-abienol into yeast, which can be used to make large quantities of it much like the yeast is used to make malaria medication ingredients. Cetalox is a similar commercial synthetic that is sometimes employed, and the related chemical compounds ambreine, grisalva, Ambrox (from balsam fir, Firmenich), and Ambrofix (Givaudan) also are used. True ambergris is an ingredient very rarely in American perfumes now but can still be found in a few, especially those from before 1980; and it still is used in some Middle Eastern and European (primarily French) products, because not all of its scent qualities have been synthesized commercially, and the synthetics do not completely mimic the natural form. The sperm whale population is slowly recovering from its near extinction in the late 19th century, so it is possible that natural ambergris will once again become more commonly found and utilized legally.

'Masculine' perfume products with significant ambergris include the following:

Abercrombie & Fitch Batch No. 46
Acqua di Parma Colonia Ambra
Aquaflor Firenze Azar
Axe Provocation
Beverly Hills Polo Club Sport 9
Burberry Mr. Burberry Element
Creed Aventus, Green Irish Tweed, Acier Aluminium
Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue Swimming in Lipari
Francois Deli Fumee Toxique
I Profumi di Firenze l'Uomo di Pitti
Karen Low Pure Blanc
Louis Armand Ultimate Drive, Alter Ego Espirit
Miraculum Red
Penhaligon's Mr. Harrod
Thera Cosmieticos Serifos
TianDe Joss
Yanbal Arom Absolute
Yves St. Laurent l'Homme
Zara Aromatic Future

250 14,673
 07-31-2020, 09:15 AM
User Info

Vetiver (Chrysopogon zizanioides) is a long, tropical, fast-growing, perennial bunchgrass that is native to India but is also grown now in Haiti, Indonesia, and China, and in lower quantities in Java, Japan, the Philippines, Brazil, El Salvador, Angola, and the French Indian Ocean island of Réunion. It is most closely related to sorghum but shares morphological characteristics with lemongrass, citronella, and palmarosa. Its structure make it drought-, frost- and wildfire-resistant and allow it to survive heavy grazing pressure. Its name is derived from the Tamil word vettiveru, meaning 'root that is dug up.' In India its Hindi name is khus or khas. In the United States the cultivar is named Sunshine after the town in Louisiana where it was first grown. 
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Vetiver processing was introduced to Haiti in the 1940s by Lucien Ganot. In 1958, Franck Léger established a commercial production on the grounds of his father's alcohol distillery there, and in 1984 the business was taken over and expanded greatly by Franck's son Pierre, making it the largest producer in the world. The Haitian operation owned by the Boucard family is another major one.
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For perfumery, vetiver essential oil (frequently named with the French spelling, vetyver) is primarily steam-distilled from the web-like roots, although in El Salvador hydrodiffusion is used instead. About 80% of the world's total oil comes now from Haiti. The oil is viscous and ranges in color from dark brown to amber. It takes 200-250kg of vetiver roots, primarily from 18- to 24-month-old plants, to produce 1kg of the oil. 
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After the distillate separates into essential oil and hydrosol, the oil is skimmed off and allowed to age for a few months to allow undesirable notes to dissipate. Like patchouli and sandalwood oils, vetiver oil's odor evolves and improves with aging, becoming more ambery and balsamic. Turbulent tropical weather and destabilizing geopolitical influences in its growing regions add to sourcing difficulties and vetiver oil's high cost.
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The personal care industry uses around 250 tons of vetiver roots per year. Vetiver has a damp, woody earthiness that has made it a favorite perfume ingredient for centuries, and it is found prominently now in around 20% of all male fragrances, and it is present in about 40% of women's perfume compositions.  

In India, vetiver essential oil was an ingredient of ancient perfumes and was called the 'oil of tranquility.' It was a common ingredient of incense powders in India and Sri Lanka. A French vetiver plant was purchased by the new US government in 1803 and was planted in the Louisiana town of Sunshine; since then the US cultivar has been called 'Sunshine.' An artisan vetiver perfume called Kus Kus has been produced continuously in New Orleans since 1843. The perfume company Carven, however, claims to have produced the world's first truly commercial vetiver-based scent in 1957, but it was Guerlain's Vétiver in 1959 that gave the fragrance breakout status, and it became even more popular with Lanvin's version in 1964. 

Paola Paganini, product development and innovation director at Acqua di Parma, explains vetiver's popularity, saying, "Its warm and luminous accents have always been used to convey a sense of timeless and discreet elegance. It has a less 'dry' effect than other woods such as cedar. On the other hand, though, it brings a smoky-earthy note in drydown." Adds British perfumer Roja Dove, "Vetiver is commonly associated with freshness in a scent, but what it is actually doing is bringing sophistication and depth to make them more universally enjoyable." The scent is also very persistent and has excellent fixative properties for other more volatile or delicate ingredients.

The note often is used as a main theme, sometimes by itself, and added to other scents it is used as a drydown accent. In that way it is a chief component in many old-time barbershop fragrance products. Vetiver is famous for blending beautifully with citrus materials, adding warmth and depth to their fresh accord, and it has been a prominent note in compositions with strong berry, chocolate, or ozone tones. It has been called a chameleon note, presenting as clean or dirty, sweet or bitter, depending upon what other ingredients are used with it. In its top, the terpenes (especially those in young roots freshly distilled) provide slightly green or resinous pine notes, but the greenness generally does not persist, and its frequent incorrect association with overall scent greenness probably stems from the fact that the original Carven perfume was packaged in a green box. Vetiver has an ambery smoky quality that is considered distinctly masculine and has been likened to incense and cigars. Dove says, "It really is the ultimate men's scent. Vetiver showcases a refined, natural elegance that represents the ultimate in how a man should smell."

Vetiver's complete profile is described as earthy, warm, sweet, peppery, and lemony, often compared to the distinct smell of uncut grass on a warm day, but the scents of vetivers from various parts of the world differ markedly from each other. The oil from Réunion and Haiti is said to be floral, clean, and ethereal, while the Javanese one is smoky and dusty. Réunion is generally considered by experts to produce the highest quality vetiver oil, called 'bourbon vetiver' because the location was originally called Bourbon Island, with the next most favorable being oil from Haiti and then that from Java. (However, Indians argue that their oil, obtained from wild-growing rather than cultivated vetiver and mainly consumed within the country, is superior.) 

"Vetiver is an ingredient with a lot of complexities," says Emmanuelle Moeglin, founder of the Experimental Perfume Club. "The first impression is fresh and earthy before settling into a deep and warm woody note with smoky and nutty nuances." It is sometimes said by consumers to be reminiscent of pencil shavings or green grapefruit, with underlying notes like sweet violet and orris.

The first chemical analysis of vetiver oil was done in France on extracts from roots imported from Réunion. It has been found to have over 100 recognized components. Synthetic alternatives have been developed for a few of these, such as Firmenich 'Vetyrisia' and 'Vertofix' (cedryl methyl ketone). But because of the complex chemical composition, and despite improvement of analytical techniques, there is currently no overall synthetic substitute available for use in perfumery. Other woody natural notes like patchouli, cedar, and amyris are sometimes used to approximate vetiver's properties, with other ingredients such as grapefruit essential oil, veticol acetate, nootkatone (a natural compound found in Nootka Island cypress trees, as well as in vetiver's base), or methyl pamplemousse (from Givaudan) added at times to further boost or mimic vetiver's effect. Studies have been done on the parameters of vetiver distillation, including use of differing metals (such as traditional copper, which gives the oil a cumin and cedar effect), modification of distilling and fractionating equipment and techniques, and changes in pressure and duration. This has led to commercial modulation of some of the factors, especially with Javanese oil, which has produced new oil qualities such as increased sweetness and density of woodiness, added slightly sulphurous/matchstick tones, increased grapefruit zest, and lessening of unpleasant earthy, smoky, or potato peel aspects. 

In addition to use in perfumery, vetiver has been used in creams and soaps for both scent and skin care; and with antiseptic and healing properties, it has been prescribed to treat acne and other skin ailments. Vetiver has been a staple of traditional medicine for centuries in South and Southeast Asia and West Africa, prominently in Ayurvedic medicine, used especially for its sedative, antioxidant, antibacterial, immunostimulant, and arterial/lymphatic tonic properties. It is often included in aromatherapy care, where the oil is thought to be a reassuring emotional stabilizer, dispelling hysteria, anger, and irritability, and allowing tranquility and increased concentration.

In areas of Mali and Senegal, vetiver roots and oil have been used to reduce bacterial and fungal growth in water storage jugs, and in India, woven vetiver root pads are used in evaporative coolers to counteract the fishy smell caused by algal and bacterial accumulation in the wood shavings of the coolers. Sometimes vetiver perfume or even pure attar is added to the cooler tanks to scent the air. 

As khus syrup (made by adding the essence to sugar, water, and citric acid syrup), vetiver is used as a flavoring agent for foods such as ice creams and milkshakes, yogurt drinks, and mixed beverages, and as a dessert topping. Muslin sachets of vetiver roots are sometimes dropped into earthen pots containing an Indian household's stored drinking water in the hot summer months, lending a pleasant flavor and aroma to the water.
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The finely strong and deep-growing root system of vetiver helps to protect soil against wind and water erosion, especially on stream banks, terraces, and rice paddies, as well as slowing water flow and increasing the amount of water absorbed by the soil, so it is frequently planted for erosion  prevention. Vetiver mulch is used widely in gardens to promote water infiltration and reduce evaporation, and as the mulch breaks down it adds nutrients to the soil. It also protects crop fields against pests and weeds, especially those of coffee, cocoa, and tea plantations, and the plant root's penetrating ability additionally loosens compacted soils. Vetiver has been planted to stabilize railway cuttings and embankments, including those of the Konkan railway in western India, in an attempt prevent damaging mudslides and rockfalls. One study has shown that the plant is capable of growing in fuel-contaminated soil and even cleaned the fuel from the soil nearly completely. Similarly, vetiver roots are tolerant of and absorb heavy metals. 

Vetiver is sometimes used as feed for cattle, goats, sheep, and horses, although the nutritional values vary. Although the plant has no insect repellant properties, vetiver extracts are used to repel termites from buildings. It was used similarly by trader merchants to protect cloth products from insects while in transit, and small bundles of the roots are still placed near stored home linens to repel mites (including in French Provençal, where it has been combined traditionally with lavender). Vetiver grass is used as long-lasting roof thatch and in making mud bricks with low thermal conductivity for house construction. With its light purple flowers, it is used as an ornamental plant, and garlands of its grass are placed as adornment and offerings in Hindu temples, where its scented water is used in rituals. Finally, its fibrous qualities make it useful for crafts and in making ropes. In Indonesia, the roots are used in the production of floor mats; and in the Philippines and India, the roots are woven to make fans called 'sandal root fans.' Vetiver mats are typically hung in Indian doorways or windows and kept moist by spraying with water, so that the mats cool passing air and emit a fresh smell. 

In a scientific effort to track where mosquitos live during dry seasons in sub-Saharan Africa, the insects have been tagged with strings soaked in vetiver oil and then released, after which they are tracked by dogs trained to detect the vetiver scent.

Some of the best-known masculine perfume products with significant vetiver include:

Acqua di Parma Colonia, various, esp. Ebano, Note di Colonia II
Abercrombie & Fitch Hempstead
Annick Goutal Vetiver
Aquaflor Firenze Empereur
Atelier Cologne Vetiver Fatal
Axes Vetiver Proximity
Bois 1920 Vetiver Ambrato
Bombay Perfumery Les Cayes
Borsalino Cologne Intense
Bourbon French Parfums Vetivert
Bvlgari pour Homme
Burberry Mr. Burberry
Byredo Bal d'Afrique
Carolina Herrera Vetiver Paradise
Cartier Vetiver Bleu
Carven Vetiver
Christian Dior Vetiver, Leather Oud, Eau Sauvage
Comme des Garcons Black, Series 4 Vettiveru
Coty Crossmen St. Andrews
Creed Original Vetiver
Czech & Speake Vetiver Vert
Dior Eau Sauvage
Diptyque Vetyverio
Dolce & Gabbana Velvet Vetiver
Dr. Vranjes Firenze Vetiver e Poivre
D.S. & Durga Cowboy Grass
Durance en Provence Zeste de Vetiver
E. Marinella Muscade
Ermenegildo Zegna Haitian Vetiver
Esika Eros
Florascent Vetyver
Frederic Malle Vetiver Extraordinaire
Givenchy Vetyver, Monsieur, Pi
Gucci pour Homme
Guerlain Vétiver, Homme l'Eau Boisse
Hermes Terre d'Hermes, Bel Ami Vetiver, Vetiver Tonka
Issey Miyake pour Homme
Jardin de France Imperieux Vetiver
Jo Malone Vetiver (discontinued)
Joseph Abboud Black Linen
Karl Lagerfeld Bois Vetiver
Lacoste Red Style in Play
Lalique Encre Noire
Le Labo Vetyver 46
Le Re Noir #116 Vetiver di Genova
L'Occitane Vétiver
Lubin Le Vetiver
Lui Niche Baron
Malin + Goetz Vetiver
Miller Harris Vetiver Insolent, Vetiver Bourbon
Mirato Malizia Uomo Vetyver
Montale Red Vetiver
MPF Arancia
Myrurgia Yacht Man Esencia
Narciso Rodriguez Bleu Noir
Nouveau Paris Perfume Dumann Azure
Oriflame Giordani Gold Notte Man
Ormonde Jayne Zizan
Parfums Berdoues Vetivera Herbacea
Prada Infusion de Vetiver
Provence Sante Vetiver
Roja Vetiver
Royall Lyme Bermuda Royall Vetiver
Santa Maria Novella Vetiver
Serge Lutens Vetiver Oriental
Sigilli Athunis
Theodoros Kalotinis Mentor
Tom Ford Grey Vetiver
Une Nuit à Bali M. Vetiver
Vilhelm Smoke Show
Xerjoff Modoc
Yves Rocher Eau de Vetyver
Yves St. Laurent La Nuit de l'Homme
Zara Vetiver, Legend Iron, Scent #4, Sport 615

250 14,673
 08-15-2020, 12:27 PM
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Galbanum is a gum resin, collected from several species of flowering Ferula plants, whose oil has a pungent, bitter, green, woody-resinous odor reminiscent of sliced green peppers and cut grass.  It provides a "green" and somewhat earthy note to fragrance products.  Galbanum frequently is mentioned as a top note, but its tenacity actually lingers in the heart and base.  As it evolves on the skin, the initial acrid, peculiar scent is followed by a complex green, spicy tone, and then a woody-balsmic tone, after which it finally becomes more musky.  It frequently is used in the creation of tobacco aromas.  When employed as a base note, it usually is combined with musk, oakmoss, or pine.  Traditionally it mainly has been used to give a natural green effect to floral accords, usually featuring hyacinth, gardenia, narcissus, iris, and violet, with which it pairs very well.  Modern (post-1920s) "green" fragrances evoke the outdoors and nature much more than the sophisticated intimacy and animal density of more traditional chypres.  Nevertheless, galbanum is also clearly present in many oriental blends, chypres, and fougeres as well.  Galbanum resin also is prized for its fixative qualities; like other heavy molecules with low volatility, it anchors more ephemeral elements. 

The Ferula plants from which galbanum is obtained originally grew in Mesopotamia and subsequently were exported to India, China, Israel, and Egypt.  Today Iran and Turkey are the primary sources for galbanum.  Galbanum also is produced in South Africa, Lebanon, southern Russia, and Afghanistan.   

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The oil, the form most widely used in perfumery, is steam-distilled from the resinoid - a thick, crumbling, yellowish to greenish-brown paste - which is exuded from wounds cut in the trunks and roots of the plants.  

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Initially the resin is earthy and peaty, but with dilution in alcohol the fruity-floral "bouquet" opens up, and one is reminded of crushed pine needles or pea pods with lemony overtones, fresh, vegetal, and sharp.  The chemical constituents of galbanum are monoterpenes (a and ß pinene), sabinene, limonene, undecatriene and pyrazines.  The pure oil, however, often is adulterated with pine oil, which may be why some batches of imports smell more of green, snapped pine needles than others.  Perfume houses sometimes use additional steps beyond distillation to remove acrid sulfuric and terpenic notes when they are present.

The use of galbanum in perfumes is typified by Chanel No 19, Balmain Vent Vert, Guerlain Chamade, and Estée Lauder Aliage.  It is also prominent in Robert Piguet Bandit, and it appears in Serge Lutens Iris Silver Mist, Atelier Cologne Grand Néroli, and Guerlain La Petite Robe Noire Modèle 2.  

Galbanum also has been used as a medicinal ingredient, primarily as an anti-inflammatory agent, expectorant, and antiseptic, and as an antispasmodic for women during childbirth.  In ancient Eypt it was burned in incense in religious ceremonies and was used in embalming processes. 

Fragrances for men or both genders that feature galbanum include:

Penhaligon's Quercus
Creed Silver Mountain Water, Royal Oud, Cedre Blanc, Iris Tuberose
Czech & Speake Vétiver Vert
Hugo Boss Red
Ineke Hothouse Flower
L'Artisan Parfumeur Premier Figuier
Olfactive Studio Panorama, Still Life
Police Naked pour Homme
Versace Blue Jeans for Men
Hareer Anfasic Dokhoon
Pioneer Boadicea the Victorious
Lush Flower Market
Etienne Aigner Private Number
Pino Silvestre Green Generation
Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab Dragon's Eye
Tom Ford Vert de Fleur, Vert Bohème, Ombre de Hyacinth
Chanel Egoiste Platinum
Wax Poetic Ember
Jeanne Arthes Cobra pour Homme
Emper Bandit, Presidente Sports
Serge Lutens Bas de Soie, Borneo 1834
Maison Martin Margiela (untitled)
Comme des Garcons
Cartier Must pour Homme
Miller Harris Patchouli
Testa Maura Carticasi
Anglia Perfumery Park Royal
Vilhelm Parfumerie Morning Chess
Dolce & Gabbana Velvet Vetiver
Jequiti Aire
Aramis Devin
Phaedon Coton Egyptien
Ava Luxe Figuer
Fueguia 1833 Gálbano
O Boticario Uomini
Gap Established 1969
Esprit de Versailles for Him
Officina delle Essenze Caldo Encens
Swiss Arabian Shadha
Zoologist Macaque
Monsillage Eau de Céleri
Novaya Zarya Driver
Acqua di Stresa Dianthus
Prada No 8 Opopanax, Infusion d'Homme
Ralph Lauren Safari
Guepard for Man
Dina Cosmetics Imperial Silver Black
DSH Perfumes Adoration (Milan), Viridian
Renato Balestra Via Sistina 67 Homme
D.S. & Durga Sir
Laura Biagiotti Roma per Uomo
Azzaro Aqua Verde
Art Deco Perfumes Aventure
Anatole Lebreton l'Eau de Merzhin
Geoffrey Beene Grey Flannel
Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier Eau des Iles
Frederic Malle French Lover

250 14,673
 08-16-2020, 09:54 AM
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Skin Types and Fragrances

There has been much discussion about how fragrances smell differently on different people. The major factor is the skin type, i.e. dry, normal, and oily skin. (This classification does not take into account the issue of sensitivity of skin, another topic entirely.) The effect of skin type on fragrances is most notable with colognes and eaux de toilettes with flowery, citrusy, or fruity aromas because of their relatively light scents and high volatility.

The simplest differentiation is that between dry skin and oily skin. One can gauge the oiliness of the skin by feeling how hydrated it seems to the touch. The less dry it feels, the more oily it is likely to be.

Dry Skin

Most fair-skinned and light-haired people tend to have drier skin. Dry skin is characterized by tiny or nearly invisible pores, low elasticity, and roughness. 
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Fragrances tend to evaporate quickly on dry skin because there is little oil to which their molecules can adhere, as well as being absorbed below the surface more readily. To maximize scent longevity, it is best to moisturize dry skin with water and/or an unscented - or similarly scented - lotion, rubbed in well, before spraying on a fragrance. (In addition, staying away from shower scrubbing implements that remove beneficial oils helps. And frequent use of a high-quality body lotion or body butter, especially after bathing, will help to keep the skin moisturized and enable it to hold scents longer.) If using an unscented moisturizer, some have found it helpful to spray a little of the fragrance onto the moisturizer before it is applied to act as a sort of 'primer.' A small amount of petroleum jelly or shea butter can be applied to pulse points before the fragrance is added. It also helps sometimes to mix a fragrance with coconut oil or grapeseed oil before application. Reapplication of fragrance after a few hours often is needed. Another choice is to buy perfume oils rather than standard fragrance liquids, since oils are much less diluted, or to layer a scented oil with its matching or similar perfume fragrance. It is recommended that those with dry skin avoid rubbing their scented wrists together after spritzing of the fragrance to prevent 'weakening' of the scent.

Says perfume expert Don Donovan, "Dry skin needs bigger fragrances with a good solid base to hold up the fragrance and make it last. Orientals and chypres work well, as do spices and the heavier blooms like tuberose." Intoxicating, stronger, or heavier 'winter' type colognes with high oil concentrations seem to match dry skin well. Musky, spicy, and woody scents or those with very heady floral and aromatic notes such as patchouli and ambergris are ideal.

Fragrances recommended for dry skin include:
Aramis JHL
Bvlgari Aqua
Chanel Egoiste Platinum
Creed Green Irish Tweed
Czech & Speake Cuba, Vétiver Vert
Davidoff Good Life, Zino
Givenchy Blue Label
Gucci Envy
Guerlain l'Instant pour Homme
Hugo Boss Selection, In Motion
Jean Paul Gaultier Fleur du Male
Kenzo pour Homme 
Serge Lutens Ambre Sultan

Normal Skin

Normal skin is characterized by clear complexion and barely visible pores. Since normal skin has more oil content than dry skin, fragrances last longer.

Oily Skin

Those with darker hair generally have oilier skin with more natural moisture and larger pores. Oily skin might be considered the 'best' for fragrances, since scent molecules cling tightly to it and remain present longer. Abundant natural skin oils also appear to trigger reactions among the compounds in a fragrance, making the smell more intense. Those with dark hair and/or oily skin should use less fragrance as a rule.
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Oily skin will hold top notes for longer periods and will also exaggerate certain elements such as sweet nuts or other very sweet notes, which then can be perceived as overwhelming. Fruit, especially citruses, can do very well on oily skin. Very light floral or orange scents are said to be ideal. Oily skin also complements musky fragrances well, the oil molecules bonding together to shape scent character and depth, but the musk smell will persist tenaciously, so only a little fragrance should be used. Says Donovan, "The general rule is that oily skin makes fragrances pop. [It] can turn a quite modest, discreet scent into a magnum opus. However, you have to be careful: certain elements can become too much and upset the balance of a perfume. I had a client who just loved a scent to pieces on the blotter, but on her skin it became syrupy."

It is recommended that those with oily skin moisturize normally but use a lighter lotion specifically created for their skin type. They should choose only one body area to apply a fragrance, as opposed to two or three areas; the neck or the wrists would seem to be ideal. And frequent re-application of fragrance should be avoided. Generally, people with oily skin seem to do best with 'summer' type colognes.

Recommended fragrances for those with oily skin include:
Czech & Speake Neroli, Oxford & Cambridge
Dior Homme Sport, Homme Intense, Homme Eau
Joop Nightflight
Kenneth Cole Black
Le Labo Bergamote 22
Malin & Goetz Lime Tonic
Oscar for Men
Prada Infusion d'Homme
Ralph Lauren Polo (various)
Terre d'Hermes Tres Fraiche
Trumper GFT
Versace pour Homme

Other Factors

One's body chemistry, temperature, oils, and bacterial presence play important roles in how a perfume is expressed on the skin (including the specific notes that emanate), as well as the duration of the scent. Perfume writers state that up to 30% of questions from their readers are about skin chemistry and its effects on fragrance. Among journalists and writers, the opinions often seem to fall into two very different groups: skin chemistry does not matter at all or skin chemistry determines everything. Perfumers generally believe fervently in chemistry influencing the way a fragrance evolves on the skin, and many insist on smelling their compositions on a number of different people before making decisions at various stages of fragrance development. However, states Donovan, "I have to say that, sadly, there has been no scientific investigation into this." Despite this, it appears to most that the top note is where differences are particularly noticeable, although the drydown also can be altered. 

Perhaps the most important skin factors affecting a scent are the pH balance and the temperature. Skin acidity or alkalinity (variances in pH levels) differ from person to person and change with age, chemically affecting a fragrance's ingredients and how they smell in different ways. Normal healthy skin pH usually is slightly acidic at pH 4.4-5.5 (with neutral pH being 7), while alkaline skin has a pH at 7 or above. Medical conditions like eczema can cause skin alkalinity, as can external factors such as some bar soaps, while other types of skin ailments and diabetes can make the skin more acidic, with a lower pH. Skin becomes more alkaline with drying and with aging. There is controversy, but some writers claim that a perfume or cologne is expressed most fully on the skin when the pH is slight alkaline at 7.35-7.45, although perfume fragrances may develop more rapidly on acidic skin. Others believe that the 'ideal' pH for scent projection and longevity varies among individuals, further necessitating a trial and error approach to choosing fragrances despite the general rules. Donovan recommends use of a shower gel designed for sensitive skin, which will help to regulate and stabilize the pH. Interestingly, natural redheads are reported to have slightly more acidic skin than those with other hair colors. 

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Generally, a person with a higher basal body temperature will have warmer skin and fragrances will not last as long, although this is influenced also by the clothing worn and the ambient environment. 

Another factor influencing the expression of a fragrance is the balance of hormones and fatty acids present in the skin, which varies greatly from one individual to another, as well as changing from day to day and with age. Variations in factors such as stress and anxiety also can have an effect through hormone changes. It is thought that the effect of hormones is partly due to their influence on populations of skin bacterial flora, in addition influencing the pH.

A person's lifestyle is a major overall factor, including diet, exercise, whether or not one smokes, whether or not an infection or inflammation is present, and the medications being taken (internally or applied externally, especially if the medications are used for prolonged periods). In ancient times, doctors would smell the wrists of their patients in order to determine their diet and their states of health. An individual with a balanced diet has a different basic body smell than someone with a more rigid diet; vegans and vegetarians smell different than people who eat a lot of meat or fish. People who eat spicy foods, including foods with sulfur such as garlic or onions, and curries with cumin, have a distinct strong smell that seeps through the pores and imparts an undertone to fragrances, sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse. This is not due to a chemical reaction but rather just to the effect of layering a scent over a base of 'eau de garlic.' A low-fat diet will result in lower oil levels in the skin, and fragrances will tend not to last as long. Alcohol intake will also affect a fragrance, since it is secreted through the skin (along with sugars in the case of a hangover), increasing the loss of smaller, lighter scent molecules as well as affecting the pH and bacterial growth. Coffee can have an effect on fragrances, but this seems to be somewhat unpredictable. And generally, those who exercise frequently will notice that their fragrances do not last as long because increased body temperature causes more rapid dissipation.

(A simple experiment to demonstrate the effect of ingested foods is to drink an infusion of fenugreek seeds at bedtime and smell the arm in the morning, at which time a caramel or maple syrup scent should be perceived on the skin.)

Pheromones also seem to play a role in how fragrances smell on a particular individual, although scientific research is lacking and many aspects remain debatable. Pheromones are predominantly secreted on the neck, so fragrances applied in that area will be most affected. 

One obvious factor in the interaction of body chemistry and fragrances is perspiration. When sweat mixes with a fragrance, there are thought to be chemical reactions, which vary with different ingredients, with brands of scent, and due to personal body chemistry. In general, 'summer' scents such as citrus and grasses mix well with and are amplified somewhat by sweat, taking on additional depth as the perspiration evaporates and the scent lingers. Examples of products that seem to do especially well with perspiraton are Hermes Eau d'Orange Verte, l'Artisan Parfumeur Timbuktu, and Chanel Allure. In contrast, some ingredients such as blackcurrant leaf, musk, and woods are not affected well by sweat.

Influences that have been discussed but about which there is no scientific study at all are the blood type and the color tone of the skin. Lighter skin tends to have finer graining of pores, with less oily sebum secreted, so it is likely to project fragrances more 'loudly' and to lose them more quickly. It is said also that more darkly pigmented skin seems to project gourmand and vanillic scents especially well and loses lighter and greener scents relatively quickly, while less pigmented skin may in some way 'hold on' better to aromatic scents.

Although all fragrances are affected by these factors to varying degrees, it is thought that green, fruity, and citrusy compositions seem to be particularly sensitive to them. It seems that clean, dry skin shows less effect than damp skin or skin with added external factors such as dirt. Recently, techniques based on headspace analysis and solvent swabbing have been developed to monitor fragrance concentrations on and above the skin while they are in use, using relatively inert surfaces such as vitreous tile as controls, in an effort to quantitate perfume behavior changes and their underlying processes. So far there has been little evidence released, but there seem to be indications that chemical degradation reactions occur most readily in the underarm area, probably due to microbial catalysis. It may be possible in the future to elucidate these chemical reactions and design specific fragrance effects around them in order to enhance the overall experience for an individual.

250 14,673
 08-18-2020, 11:48 AM
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Incense (from Latin: incendere, "to burn") is composed of aromatic biotic materials which release fragrant smoke when burned.  It is used in religious ceremonies, ritual purification, aromatherapy, meditation, for creating a mood, and for masking bad odors.  The exact origin of incense cannot be traced, but ancient writings provide insight into how religions and cultures of old used the aroma of burning herbs, flowers, tree leaves and other natural sources in their spiritual practices.  The common use of incense may have originated in ancient Egypt, where gum resins and oleo gum resins of aromatic trees were imported from the Arabian and Somali coasts to be used in religious ceremonies.  When the tomb of Tutankhamun was found, archeologists discovered oils, perfumes, and incense around his mummified body.  Incense relics that are thousands of years old have been found all over the world.

When referring to burned materials, the term 'incense' refers to the substance itself, rather than to the odor that it produces.  But in perfumery, the word means a complex aromatic fragrance blend that generally contains wood and spice elements, most commonly frankincense.  In the darker register of oriental fragrances, for instance, frankincense, with its suggestion of green stems and leaves, lends a soft glow and buoyant lift to accords of spices, vanilla, and patchouli; the luminous quality of some of these fragrances is derived from the manner in which their spicy floral notes are modulated by the balsamic dryness of incense.  Incense mixes contain both cold and warm elements: a citrusy, peppery top note and a dark, balsamic finish.  Although this contrast is dramatic, the overall character is serene and calming.  Although incense often tends to be associated with heavy, dark, smoky fragrances, it actually is a common note in many fresh citrus and green fragrances.

Early incense contained nothing more than a few ground herbs, plant gums, and honey, but the preparations have become much more complex and varied.  Fragrance materials found in incense today include woods and barks (agarwood, cedaar, cyprus, sandalwood, juniper, cassia), seeds and fruits, (star anise, nutmeg, juniper berries, coriander, vanilla), resins and gums (benzoin, copal, frankincense, myrrh, labdanum, dragon's blood, mastic, storax, galbanum, elemi, opoponax, tlu balsam, choya loban, copahu, guggul, sandarac, kauri gum, amber), roots and rhizomes (vetiver, orris, jatamansi, calamus, galangal, costus), leaves (patchouli, sage, bay, tea), and flowers and buds (rose, clove, lavender, saffron).  The materials that are used most often now in the making of incense for fragrances are borneol camphor, benzoin, frankincense, makko powder, tolu balsam, myrrh, labdanum, opoponax, and white Indian sandal powder.  There can be various combinations of substances used to create differing tone accords, such as woody, floral, herbal, spicy, or resinous.

Well-known incense perfumes for men and women include Tauer Incense Rose and Incense Extreme; Amouage Tribute and Lyric Man; Czech & Speake Frankincense & Myrrh and No. 88; Gucci Pour Homme; Heeley Cardinal; Comme des Garçons Black, Kyoto, Avignon, and Ouarzazate; Armani Privé Bois D’Encens; Creed Himalaya; Dupont Signature; Cacheral Nemo; Azzaro Visit; Givenchy Xeryus; Perfum d'Empire Wazamba; Serge Lutens Fille en Aiguilles and De Profundis; Donna Karan Black Cashmere and Chaos; Annick Goutal Encens Flamboyant; Aedes de Venustas; Yves St. Laurent Nu; L'Artisan Seville a l'Aube and Passage d'Enfer; Kilian Incense Oud; Atelier Cologne Bois Blonds; Hermès Eau de Gentiane Blanche; Chanel No. 22; Aesop Mystra; Etro Shaal Nur; Norma Kamli Incense; Carlos Santana for Men; Montale Full Incense; l'Occitane en Provence Eau des Baux; and Jovoy Paris La Lithurgie des Heures.

250 14,673
 08-20-2020, 10:25 AM
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The term indole comes from a combination of the words 'indigo' and 'oleum,' because the chemical substance named indole was first isolated in 1866 by treatment of indigo dye with oleum (oil). Indole (also called benzopyrrole) is an aromatic heterocyclic organic compound which contains a six-membered benzene ring fused to a five-membered nitrogen-containing pyrrole ring.  Indole is a colorless to yellow solid at room temperature but has a low melting point temperature (126.5 degrees F).  

Indole is found naturally in some floral derivatives, such as jasmine, tuberose, honeysuckle, ylang ylang, gardenia, and orange blossom, and it is produced by bacteria as a degradation product of the amino acid tryptophan in animal digestive tracts.  The flower substances most closely associated with indole are jasmine and tuberose.  It also occurs in coal tar, which is its main industrial source, with the indole fraction steam distilled, although it also can be synthesized via a variety of methods.  

Indoles smell floral at low concentrations, but fecal at high concentrations (such as in animal waste).  It is thought that this is because when a scent arrives at the nose in high concentration, it binds to a wider range of receptors; too much scent activates the receptors associated with bad smells, while a small amount binds to only a few more acceptable pleasant scent receptors.  However, it is mainly the combination of indole with humidity and certain musky compounds that produces the putrid smell.  Pure indole does not really smell of feces in isolation.  By themselves, the pure white crystals of indole have a musty, stale, mothball smell that is reminiscent of mild decay.  In commercial scents, the term 'indolic' usually means that a fragrance has an overripe or animalic characteristic.  Indole adds a warm depth to perfumes, opulent, "heady," and rich, and sometimes actually clean/fresh.

Indoles are used widely in perfumery, very rarely naturally, but primarily in synthetic form.  Natural jasmine essence, as used in the perfume industry, contains about 2.5% pure indole and is dark and narcotic in character, giving a full, lush, and voluptuous effect in the finished fragrance compound.  However, since 1 kg of natural jasmine oil requires the processing of several million jasmine flower blossoms and costs around $10,000, jasmine indole is usually used in the form of synthetic jasmine oil for perfumery, costing around $10 per kg.  The genuine flower extract is still used occasionally, but only in tiny amounts and in very expensive perfumes.  

Indole is also used in making tryptophan for human dietary use and in making indoleacetic acid, a hormone that promotes root development in plant cuttings for gardening.  In addition, it is used to create chocolate, coffee, and fruity accords in flavorings for food products.

Indolic commercial perfume fragrances include:

Eau Sauvage
Carnal Flower
Mario Valentino Ocean Rain
Serge Lutens A La Nuit and Sarrasins
Chanel Cristalle
By Killian Love & Tears
L'Artisan Parfumeur La Chasse Aux Papillons
Montale Jasmine Full
Gucci Eau de Parfum
Annick Goutal Songes and Néroli 
Jo Malone Orange Blossom
Diptyque Olene
Jean Patou Joy
Bal à Versailles
Bruno Acampora Jasmin
Carthusia Fiori di Capri
Antonia Flowers
AbdesSalaam Attar Tawaf
Amouage Tribute
Saffron James Nani
Penhaligon's Castile and Amaranthine
Guerlain Aqua Allegoria Flora Nerolia
Galimard Rafting
Krigler Juicy Jasmine
Jardin du Nil
Hermes Eau d'Hermes
Calvin Klein Eternity and Escape
Fabergé Brut

250 14,673
 08-22-2020, 09:35 AM
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What does the term 'leather' mean in perfumery?  Does it mean the smell of leather material itself?  Or does it refer to fragrances that suggest the environment in which one finds leather?  Or is it something else?

Some authors suggest that it means a fragrance type that resembles the sweet, pungent, animalic smokiness characteristic of the ingredients use in the process of tanning leathers, achieved through use of castoreum, labdanum, and synthetic chemicals.  Others argue that it is a fragrance tone suggesting hay, leather itself, the manure and dirt of wood stalls, the odor of urine (used to make leather pliable), and the rich, earth scent of horses themselves.  Leather perfumes, whether natural or synthetically derived, can have several accord variables and satisfy different interpretations, which makes the overall perception and definition of 'leather' variable and somewhat confusing.  This is further complicated by the modern addition of a 'suede' note, a synthetic slightly salty tone.  In terms of imitation of the actual scent of leather itself, there is also the question of differentiation among the different animals producing the leather hides: cowhide smells quite different than horseside or pighide, for example.  And many people detect vague gasoline impressions from leather perfumes, which appears to be due to their methods of production.

Leather in perfumery is sometimes defined as a subdivision of the chypre family, but with added fougère and oriental tones.  However, the Société Française des Parfumeurs puts it in its own separate family, Category G, which is subdivided into true leathers (G1), floral leathers (G2, usually with touches of iris or violet), and tobacco leathers (G3, with smoky, woody, and blond tobacco notes).  And modern perfume classifications seem generally to be following this trend, although some people divide leather scents into Russian ones (inspired by the sharp odors of military garments) and Spanish ones (characterized more by the essence of herbs, flowers, and fruits).  Probably the best known leather fragrances are those of the Cuir de Russie family.  The word 'cuir' has French origins and is derived from the latin word corium for leather or hide.

Historically, leather is one of the oldest basic notes in perfumery, dating to a French Guild of Glovers (Gantiers et Parfumeurs) that was incorporated in 1268 and became well known for scenting the leather gloves of the aristocracy, especially in the 16th century.  Guild members used pleasantly scented essences to mask the unappealing odor of newly tanned leather, which was redolent of curing materials such as urine and dung.  In Italy, frangipani was used for scenting, in Spain it was camphor and ambergris, and in France orange blossom, violet, iris, and musk were preferred.  In addition to providing a way to overpower the residual odors of leather curing, the essences used to scent gloves were employed as a way to bring something pleasant to the nose when one crossed the streets of the time, which were in fact open sewers transporting human and animal waste to rivers and ultimately to the sea.  The Gantiers, as they were called, were given a place in the Six Corps, which were the six most powerful manufacturing societies of that time and which had preferential access to expensive raw products from overseas.  Leather was primarily produced in the tanneries of Montpellier and those of its economic rival, Grasse.  

Catherine de Medici (1519-1589), Queen of France from 1547 to 1559 and mother of three kings, took her favorite perfumer, René le Florentin, with her when she left Italy to marry Henri, Duc d'Orleans.  In addition to his perfumes, he devised special toxic mixes for her to use to dispose of her enemies, including the one that scented the gloves with which she poisoned Jeanne d'Albert, mother of Henry IV.  René eventually became the first perfumer to open a commercial shop in Paris.  Catherine also sent for a Florentine perfumer, Tomarelli, and had him work in Grasse, renowned for its flowers, instructing him to capture their scents in perfumed essences.  One of his products was the famous gloves called Gants à la Frangipane, named after a Roman family of the 12th century and using leather odorized with fresh jasmine flowers fixed with civet and musk.  From these gloves came the term 'frangipani.'

The first officially documeted leather scent, still available today, was Creed Royal English Leather, worn by King George III.  It was created as a body fragrance at the request of the king because he was very fond of the smell of scented leather gloves.

Natural Materials

Birch - Traditionally used in tanneries in Northern Europe, and especially in Russia and Finland, its bark produces tar and resin with an intensely wintergreen and tar-like odor that has been used frequently in Cuir de Russie type scents.  For a soft deer leather smell, the birch scent is dissolved in vanilla or floral notes.  Birch is often used in Russian leather perfumes.

Juniper and cade oil - Cade is a dark viscous oil produced when juniper trees are burned, possessing a smoky aroma reminiscent of forest campfires.  It also has been used in Cuir de Russie scents along with birch.  It has mold-suppressing properties and has been used for binding leather books to prevent deterioration.

Styrax - Liquidambar trees, from both Central America and Asia Minor, produce a sapwood (styrax) when their bark is pounded.  An essence derived from the sapwood by vacuum distillation or use of volatile solvents is used to give a leather undertone which is sweeter than that of birch.

Cassie - The bark of the cassie tree, a tree in the mimosa family, as well as an absolute from its flowers, are used for giving a deep, intense leather note to perfumes.

Castoreum - This secretion from the glands of beavers, a by-product of the fur industry in Russia and Canada, has a very intense and repulsive odor when concentrated but provides a desirable dry leathery scent and fixative properties when highly diluted.  It is prized for smelling like real leather.

Myrtle - Although it can produce a leather note (and is used in tanneries for curing hides) and is infrequently used, myrtle has a camphoreous, green tone that makes it not a preferred choice.

Cistus labdanum - This can give a more smoky/ambery leather note when such is desired for a perfume background.

These natural factors are especially good at rendering leather notes when they are combined with other essences such as black tea, patchouli, or tobacco.


Synthetic materials giving leathery notes in perfumery appeared in the 1880s with the discovery of quinolones, a family of aroma chemicals that were then used early in the 20th century in the production of modern Cuir de Russie scents such as Chanel Cuir de Russie, Caron Tabac Blond, Lanvin Scandal, and Piguet Bandit.  The chemical name of the quinolone ingredient primarily used is 4-(2-methylpropyl) quinolone, commonly called isobutyl quinolone.  Used in a concentration of 1% or less, it has a strong odor profile described as ambery, woody, and tobacco-like, as well as earthy, rooty, and nutty, similar in some ways to oakmoss and vetiver.

Another newer synthesized note is the suede accord, much more subtle and less aggressive than that of the quinolones.  Suggestive of velours, it has been used in perfumes such as Lutens Daim Blond andDonna Karan.

Less often used is safraleine, an aroma chemical present in isolates of saffron that gives a smell combining elements of shoe polish, black cherry, and air conditioning/refrigeration fluid.

Aldehydes are also used in leather perfumes to balance and smooth the composition.

Well known leather perfumes/colognes/aftershaves for men include the folowing:

Acca Kappa 1869; Acqua di Parma Colonia Leather; Adidas Dare; Amouage Memoir Man; Antonio Banderas Diavolo Club; Atkinsons The Excelsior Bouquet; Aubusson Homme; Avon Black Suede Leather, Infinite Seduction, and Urban Edge; Axe Instinct; Baldessarini Private Affairs; Bond No. 9 Dubai Emerald; Bvlgari Man in Black "All Black"; Burberry Brit Rhythm; Byredo Baudelaire and Accord Oud; Carolina Herrera Men Prive; Cerruti L'Essence; Choppard 1000 Miglia Extreme and 1927 Vintage Edition; Christian Dior Homme Parfum and La Collection Couturier Parfumeur Leather Oud; Coach Leatherware series; Crabtree & Evelynn Sienna; Creed Royal English Leather; D.R. Harris Windsor; Davidoff Leather Blend; Dolce & Gabbana Velvet Exotic Leather and Velvet Wood; Donna Karan Men Summer 2014; English Leather; Floris Mahon Leather; G.F. Trumper Spanish Leather; Giorgio Armani Prive Cuir Majeste and Cuir Noir; Givenchy Cuir Blanc; Guerlain Cuir Beluga, Cuir de Russie, Derby, and Habit Rouge Rider Edition; Hermes Cuir d'Ange and Eau d'Hermes; Houbigant Duc de Vervins; Jack Black Signature Black Mark; Jean Patou Pour Homme; John Varvatos Dark Rebel Rider and JV Platinum Edition; Knize Ten; Marbert Man No. 2; Maurer & Wirtz GranValor Tabac; Missoni Uomo; Molinard Cuir; Montale Aoud Cuir d'Arabie; Oscar de la Renta Pour Lui; Paco Rabanne 1 Million Absolutely Gold and Black XS; Perry Ellis for Men Original and PE Red; Pierre Cardin Centaure Cuire Etalon, Enigme, and Collection Cuir Intense; Ralph Lauren Polo Supreme Leather; Robert Piguet Knightsbridge; Roberta Andrade Tabac Blanc; Santa Maria Novella Nostalgia; Serge Lutens Boxeuses and Cuir Mauresque; The Crown Perfumery Eau de Russe; Tom Ford Neroli Portofino Forte and Tuscan Leather; Truefitt & Hill Spanish Leather; Valentino Uomo; Versace L'Homme; and Yves St. Laurent Noble Leather.

250 14,673
 08-26-2020, 10:48 AM
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The Music of Fragrance

A major problem with language and fragrance terminology is that, as is said, "All art is a lie." 'Understanding' a perfume note or accord or describing its essence is meaningless in a way, similar to describing the particular key of a musical work. Many musical pieces are written in D minor, for example, yet each is a unique work of art. As perfumer Huib Maat says, "Throughout history we have sought to express ourselves in many different ways, and one of the most beloved forms of expression is the Alchemy of Scent. When perfume speaks to you, how do you listen? With your nose, your mind, your heart, your soul? A good perfume makes you sit up and take 'note' with every fibre of your being." Or as Jacques Guerlain put it, "I felt something so intense, I could only express it in a perfume." And as one perfume writer said, "The language of fragrance is unlike any other because it is not really about communication; it is meant to be vague."
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Terminology similar to that of music has been used to describe aspects of perfume, such as in discussions of accords and harmonies. A great fragrance is as complex and harmonizing as a great musical composition and is also carefully composed of notes, as many or as few as are required to capture the perfumer's vision. Despite being technical and highly creative, the language of perfumes remains somewhat ambiguous because it is conveying ineffable qualities, just as description of a voice goes beyond the actual spoken words. 
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In 1857, perfumer and chemist G.W. Septinus Piesse published a guide called The Art of Perfumery, in which he introduced the idea of thinking about fragrance in terms of musical notes. In it he outlined a comparative scale of 46 different aromas called the 'Gamut of Odors.' He used the methodology of scaling notes, for instance assigning the F note to civet and ambergris and the C note to jasmine and rose. Although this methodology was never widely accepted, his terminology did become popular in perfume descriptions.
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In the same way that one sings or plays together several notes in music to create a chord with a unique sound, a perfume accord is a balanced blend of raw material ingredients that lose their individual indentity but complement one another to create a completely new, unified odor impression. One simplistic example of this is violet + bergamot + jasmine = tea accord. In perfumery there is no theoretical limit to the number of ingredients that can be combined, but like in music, there is usually a carefully chosen balance of several notes. Natural perfumes often have 10-25 different notes combined in various accords, while fragrances mainly composed of synthetics can have 200 or more blended notes. When the perfume materials are properly and harmoniously mixed, they are said to be in accordance with each other, and the individual notes are not easily detected in the accord(s). (Enthusiasts and experts alike debate often and heatedly the presence or absence of particular notes in a fragrance.) And as in a musical melody, fragrance notes follow each other over time, overlapping in pleasing accords or jarring discords, while outlining a theme that keeps its unified character through several transpositions. In this process, the timing and expression of a single scent note is as important as its identity and strength.

A musical chord, although a combination of multiple unique tones, is built from one primary note called the 'root note.' If someone says a chord is a C chord, that means that its root note is a C. The type of chord being played depends upon the intervals between the notes, the main musical chord types being major (happy and simple), minor (sad or serious), diminished (unpleasant or tense), major seventh (thoughtful, jazzy), minor seventh (moody and contemplative), etc. Similarly, a fragrance accord will have several blended notes but is definied mostly by a single 'root' scent note. The creative blending of this root scent note with other unrelated notes structures the character of the fragrance, such as fresh or green. (It is interesting that a traditional French perfumer's workstation, at which raw scent materials are arranged by top, middle, and base notes, is called an 'organ.')
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Within an accord, notes are indicators and descriptors of individual smells. The word note is borrowed from musical language to specify an olfactory impression of a scent or aroma and to describe the experience itself, usually but not always due to more than one single ingredient. (This is in addition to the other use of the word 'note' to indicate the stages of a perfume: top, middle, and base notes.) In other words, a perfume note may correspond to a single musical note, but more often is instead a larger scent experience similar to the musical note's tone quality, which is due to how it is struck, sustained, and modulated. Such fragrance notes may represent reality but sometimes are created to represent imagined/fantasy scents that can't actually be extracted or distilled from nature, such as leather or amber notes. These more 'complex' notes might be considered a transitional stage toward being an accord. 
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Like the function of the root scent note, the 'main accord' of a finished perfume reveals the overall theme, the story that is tells, and gives the perfume its olfactory classification (for example the classic accord of bergamot, labdanum, and oakmoss falling in the chypre family and the accord consisting of geranium, lavender, and bergamot being found in the fougères). This main accord can be situated in the top, the heart, or the base, or it can persist across the perfume's life from the opening all the way to the final base notes. Although dominant in a way, it is often just a minor percentage by volume of a mix and frequently is complemented by important secondary notes that emphasize a side aspect or prolong the accord's impression. Two of the most popular main accords are citrus and floral. Main accords often situated in the base include woods, Oriental, and amber. And those that frequently span the whole fragrance evolution include chypre and fougère.

In discussions of accords, there has been some confusion about the difference between an accord and a base. Some think of a base as being more of a finished product (perhaps bottled and with a commercial name), formulated with a simple concept such as 'fresh cut grass' or 'morning dewy rose' and used by a perfumer as a module that is the foundation for final fragrances. A fragrance base of this type, like an essential oil (which a base sometimes is created to approximate), might be considered as an accord or combination of accords that can be reused over and over as an underlying platform, to which other notes or accords are added in varying mixes to yield a number of completely different stand-alone fragrances. One good example is the combination of dihydromyrcenol, amborxan, allyl amyl blycolate, and ambergris tinture, which is present in many of the various Creed perfumes, giving all of them a specific freshness despite their differences. The word accord, on the other hand, often has a more abstract meaning, something that is imagined and may be approximated but never exactly or completely expressed. However, some say that a base and an accord are essentially the same things, both describing a combination of ingredients to form a new one for inclusion in a fragrance, and these writers use the words interchangeably in perfume discussions.

(As an aside, use of a scent base has several benefits: it can blend difficult or overpowering scents into a more tolerable incorporation; it may provide a better overall scent approximation of a particular object than the object itself regardless of how the object is processed; and it provides a way for the perfumer to quickly rough out a concept and present it to others for feedback, after which its 'edges' can be smoothed.)

Further adding to the language confusion around perfumes is use of the term 'facet,' borrowed from the vocabulary of gemology, which can sometimes mean the same as the word accord but at other times refers to a quality somewhere in between accord and family, an assembly of similar related notes with a defining character. One scheme that often is used to guide creation of accords includes use of 17 different fragrance facets that are stratified by their volatility from top note to base, each defined generally by the unique character it contributes to a composition. These consist of hesperidic, marine, aldehydic, new freshness, aromatic, green, floral, solar, fruity, spicy, woody, chypre, eastern, gourmet, musky, powdery, and animalic facts. This defining term contributes to the overall 'olfactory family' classification of the perfume that is depicted on fragrance wheels. The predominant theme is 'dressed' with one or more lesser facets to outline the complete architecture of the perfume.

Perfume, like music, creates an atmosphere and mood and has the ability both to influence and to mirror our feelings. A fragrance can be loud or quiet, energetic or peaceful, light or heavy, and simple or complex, and it too evolves and transforms over time like music. Some compare the quickly-evaporating top notes of perfume to the lighter, higher-frequency musical instruments like chimes or harps; the heart notes to a lead guitar or solo voice; and the heavier base scent notes to drums or the base viol. Perfumer Francis Kurkdjian has said, "To me music and perfume are very much related because they use a common medium - the air. You hear music when the vibration of the sound in the air hits your ears, the same way that perfume needs the movement of air to come to your nose. Both mediums are invisible, compared to painting or literature. This is why they are so deep in our soul, in a way."

250 14,673
 09-02-2020, 08:06 PM
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Tonka Bean/Coumarin

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Coumarin is a fragrant organic compound in the benzopyrone chemical class, considered a lactone. Its name comes from kumarú, the name in the native Galibi (Carib) and Old Tupi languages of Guyana for the Cayenne Gaiac tree (Dipteryx Odorata), and from the derivative French word coumarou. This large tropical tree, indigenous to the rainforests of Central America and northern South America, produces the tonka bean, in which coumarin is present in high concentration (1-3%) and from which it was first isolated. Radiocarbon dating has established that in the wild the trees can live for over 1,000 years. The tree originally was cultivated for its beautiful purple flowers. Each tree produces many fruits, with each fruit containing one bean that has a black and wrinkled outer surface and a smooth brown interior, inside a pod about the size of a Brazil nut. The trees produce 1-3kg of beans each per year. Venezuela, Brazil, Columbia, and Nigeria are the major commercial producers of tonka beans, and the U.S. is the largest importer, almost exclusively for the tobacco industry.
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Natural coumarin also can be found in a variety of other plants, including Chinese cassia, sweet clover, sweetgrass, sweet woodruff, lavender, mullein, and angelica, as well as in sour cherries, strawberries, black currants, and apricots. It is found at high levels in some essential oils, such as cinnamon leaf and bark oils and lavender oil. Related compounds are found in some specimens of the genus Glycyrrhiza, from which the root and flavor licorice are derived. It has appetite-suppressing properties and a bitter taste, and it is thought that in this way coumarin may act in the plants to discourage predation.

The coumarin molecule was first isolated from tonka bean and sweet clover in 1820 by the German chemist August Vogel, who mistook it for benzoic acid. French pharmacist Nicholas Jean Baptiste Gaston Guibourt identified this error the same year and first named the compound. In 1856, Friedrich Woehler determined its structure, and in 1868 William Henry Perkin first synthesized it in the lab. Ten years later Perkin developed the industrial process for production of commercial coumarin.
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Fallen pods are harvested from January to March, and the fresh fruits are picked in June and July. Distilling it is not effective, so the primary method of extracting the oil is by dissolving it to an absolute. The hard outer shell is removed, and the beans are spread out for 2-3 days to dry. They are drenched in alcohol for 12-24 hours, then dried again. Subsequently they shrivel, and a crystal structure, the absolute, appears on their surface. This absolute is a semihard bulk, light brown-yellow in color, and the character of this crystal layer is an indicator for buyers of the quality. Tonka bean absolute contains 20-45% (and rarely up to 90%) coumarin and is famed for displaying a very complex scent profile not matched by any single component, including the coumarin itself.
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Ground tonka bean was first used in Europe for its smell when it was introduced in France in 1793, sometimes being used as a substitute for musk in scents for freshening clothing. Coumarin was one of the first commercial chemicals used in perfumes, appearing in Houbigant Fougère Royale (with a main accord of lavender, oakmoss, and 10% coumarin) by Paul Parquet in 1884 and subsequently in Jicky by Aimé Guerlain in 1889. It became renowned after its use in Shalimar by Jacques Guerlain in 1921. By the 1940s, artificial coumarin was readily available and inexpensive. Now among the most popular ingredients in modern perfumery, it is included in almost 90% of all perfumes. Descriptive lists of perfume notes might call it tonka bean, vanilla, marzipan, or tobacco. (Although tobacco absolute does not contain significant coumarin, they often are paired in accords called just 'tobacco.') Most commonly it is synthesized artificially now for perfumes.  
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The scent of coumarin is soft, sweet, and fresh, reminiscent of newly mown grass or hay. Along with the herbaceous tone, it has a slight spicy inclination and a prominent vanillic aspect, as well as complex notes of cherry, smoke, cinnamon, almond, tobacco, and caramel at higher concentrations. It has many diverse character facets and is famously versatile. It is rich and powdery and provides a voluptuous, Baroque tone. Coumarin generally arises from the base and extends through heart of a fragrance, bringing warm depth and character and lingering on the skin. Coumarin and tonka beans seem to work best in spicy and sweet fragrances featuring notes that are somewhat similar to it in character, including clove, vanilla, heliotrope, bitter almonds, cinnamon, patchouli, sandalwood, rose, lemon peel, lavender, benzoin, and balsams such as tolu and peru. It is particularly popular in masculine Gourmand, Fougère, Chypre, and Oriental compositions, in which its warmth offsets the aromatic-citrusy sharpness of the top notes. Coumarin has good fixative effects, further accounting for its use as a base element. 

Besides its use in perfumes, coumarin is put into many personal care and laundry care products, including deodorants, shower gels and shampoos, detergents and soaps, air fresheners, and insect repellants, bringing a sweet vanillic character where natural vanilla would be too expensive, and combining especially well with floral accords. When ingested, it is moderately toxic to the liver and kidneys and is thought to be somewhat dangerous. It was banned by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 1954 as a food additive because of its liver toxicity in rodent research. Despite this ban, it is used legally as a flavorant in cigar and sweet pipe tobacco and in the form of sweet woodruff in certain alcoholic drinks. It is used more widely in Europe, where it is allowed in some breakfast cereals and baked goods and in some restaurant foods, especially stews and desserts. Some chefs claim that a single tonka bean can flavor as many as 80 dishes, and French cooks have been so obsessed at times with its flavor that their enthusiasm has been called 'tonka fever.'

Coumarin is subject to some restrictions in its topical use (1.6% or less in a finished perfume and 0.1% in cosmetics) because of concerns regarding its safety if absorbed and about possible allergic sensitization, but evidence for it causing allergic reactions is disputed and unclear. Related compounds, the furanocoumarins (or phytocoumarins) occur in a variety of plants and can be hazardous. One of them is bergapten (from bergamot), which is easily absorbed through the skin and can cause severe sunburn with light exposure. In the search for possibly safer alternatives and a broader scent palette in perfumery, new coumarin-like products have been developed, including coumane, Bicyclo Nonalactone, Givaudan's Methyl Laitone, and Symrise's Cantryl, but while being sweet, nutty and vanillic, these tend to have more of a creamy coconut-like odor property. One exception is Tonkene, whose structure was obtained through computer simulation of true coumarin's 'molecular vibration' and which is claimed to have a scent profile very much like the natural substance.

Coumarin is used as a precursor reagent in the synthesis of synthetic anticoagulants, known as coumadins (4-hydroxycoumarins), which are designed to have high potency and long duration times in the bodies of rodents. These rodenticide chemicals produce death from internal hemorrhaging after a period of several days and are still in use, although more modern rodenticides have been developed. Coumarin can effectively mask many unpleasant smells, and in the past it was used often in the pharmaceutical industry in the preparation of potions containing substances such as fish oil or iodoform. Concern was raised about coumarin's potential in cosmetics to be absorbed and to cause hemorrhaging, but this has been proven to be unwarranted since the coumadins themselves are completely absent from cosmetic products and coumarin is not metabolized to them in the body. Coumarin dyes are used extensively as gain media in commercial blue-green tunable organic dye lasers. The flowers are still sold commercially, and the tree bark (known as Brazilian teak) has become very popular as a durable hardwood for flooring.
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It is transformed by a number of fungal species into the natural anticoagulant dicoumarol, which was responsible historically for the bleeding disorder in cattle known as 'sweet clover disease,' due to the animals eating moldy silage, early in the 20th century. A compound related to coumarin, the prescription drug warfarin (Coumadin), inhibits vitamin K synthesis in humans. First synthesized in 1948, it has been used as a medical anticoagulant, inhibiting formation of clots in the treatment of deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism. Coumarin also has limited approval for a few other medical uses, such as in the treatment of lymphedema. In basic research, there is preliminary evidence suggesting that it has anti-inflammatory, antitumor, antioxidant, and antimicrobial and antifungal properties. Although not supported by studies, it has been claimed that tonka beans can strengthen immune system functions. In the past, especially in folk medicine, the beans were used as a medicine for treatment of cramps, nausea, cough, spasms, and tuberculosis. Tonka oil and ground beans have been used in aromatherapy, in which they are said to promote relaxation, reduce anxiety, and relieve stress and depression. In some cultures the bean has been considered an aphrodisiac, as well as having the power to summon courage and promote acquisition of wealth.

Masculine fragrances with significant tonka bean/coumarin include the following:

4711 Acqua Colonia Hazel & Tonka
Aeropostale Benton
Alfred Dunhill Fresh
Amouage Honour, Journey
Avon Musk Iron, Open Road, Trekking
Azzaro pour Homme
Bella Bellissima Perfect Man
Breil Milano Complicity
Brut Prestige
Burberry Touch, Brit Rhythm
Carolina Herrera Chic
Caron pour un Homme
Chanel Allure Homme Sport Eau Extreme
Clive Christian VIII Rococo Immortelle
David Beckham Night for Men
Davidoff Brilliant Game
Dolce & Gabbana pour Homme
Galimard Eau de Romarin
Giorgio Armani Code (var.)
Givenchy Play Intense, Pi
Guerlain l'Homme Ideal
Hermes Equipage
Houbigant Fougere Royale
Hugo Boss Bottled Intense
Jean Paul Gaultier Le Beau, Le Male
Jequiti Prive Homme Absolu
John Varvatos 10th Anniversary Special
Joop Freigeist Black Edition
Karl Lagerfeld Private Klub
Kokeshi Tonka
Lacoste 2000
Lancetti Mood Man
Laura Biagiotti Essenza di Roma
Liz Claiborne Curve Connect
l'Occitane Au Bresil Cumaru
Master Perfumer Blue Spice #25
Mennen Skin Bracer
Moliard Musc
Montblanc Legend
Narciso Rodriguez Musc Oil
Oriflame Be the Legend
Otto Kern Signature Eau Fraiche
Paco Rabanne Black XS Los Angeles, One Million
Pineider Cuoio Nobile
Prada Luna Rossa Black
Ralph Lauren Polo Black
Remy Latour Cigar Vanille Tonka
Robert Graham Fortitude
Scorpio Noir Absolu
Shaik Gold
Sothys Homme
St. Hilaire Private White
Star Wars Empire
Thera Cosmeticos Klaus, Arcade
Thierry Mugler A*Men
Tom Frank Tobacco Crystal
Versace Eros, Pour Homme, Blue Jeans
Yanbal Zentro
Yardley Bond Street
Yves Rocher Hoggar
Yves St. Laurent l'Homme, La Nuit de l'Homme, Rive Gauche, Kouros
Zara Gourmand Leather, Kilsbergen, C4SHMER4N, Nightfall Blue, Denim Jacket

250 14,673
 09-03-2020, 10:39 PM
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Love reading this thread.
Thanks for posting in it.

25 6,912
 09-04-2020, 12:11 PM
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(09-03-2020, 10:39 PM)CHSeifert Wrote: Love reading this thread.
Thanks for posting in it.

You're welcome. Thanks for the kind words.

250 14,673
 09-08-2020, 11:55 AM
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Mastic (also called lentisque), a plant resin from a small shrubby tree (Pistacia lentiscus) found almost exlusively on the southern part of the Greek island of Chios, is a rare ingredient in perfumery, particularly as the most prominent note in a fragrance.  A hard, brittle, bitter green or yellow resin, it is derived by sun drying from the transparent ‘tears’ of liquid mastic produced from incisions in the trees.  There is a legend that as St. Isodore of Chios cried out in pain during his martyrdom, God blessed the mastic tree, which then began to cry its tears. 

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Mastic was used as a remedy for snakebite in ancient Greece and burned in North Africa as an incense.  It also has been used medicinally for a large number of body disorders, especially stomach problems, as a seasoning in Turkey and Egypt, as a liqueur, candy, and pastry flavoring, and as a varnish.  The oil from the seeds is called shina oil and is used for cooking.  Mastic resin has been used as a kind of chewing gum, becoming soft and bright opaque white when chewed.  In pharmacies and nature shops it is called arabic gum and Yemen gum.

Similar to pine, cedar, and olibanum, the complex smell of mastic is clean, balsamic, dry, lemony, and crisp, somewhat reminiscent of a fresh morning forest.  It provides a sharp and pungent top note and a deep, smoky dry down to fragrance mixes, especially citrus and lavender-fougere colognes, and it has good fixative properties.  It blends well with various herbs, frankincense, black pepper, coconut, tonka bean, vanilla, blood orange, carnation, violet, lavender, rose, juniper, and cedarwood.

The essential oil used in perfumery is produced by steam distillation or alcohol extraction of the resin and also of the leaves of the tree.  It is a relatively expensive ingredient.

Mastic or lentisque perfumes include:

Annick Goutal Ninfeo Mio and Encens Flamboyant
Maurer & Wirtz 4711 Wunderwasser Elixir
Floris Soulle Ambar
Hussein Chalayan Green Comme des Garcons
Tom Ford Noir Extreme and Costa Azzurra
Acqua di Parma Blue Mediterraneo - Mirto di Panarea
Calvin Klein Reveal Men 
John Varvatos Artisan Acqua
Davidoff Cool Water Night Dive
Aramis Black Aramis
Faena Mastic Tree Artisan Aftershave 
Queen B French Mastic
Phaedon Lentisque
Baruti Berlin im Winter and Indigo
Sisley Eau d'Ikar

250 14,673
 09-12-2020, 02:36 AM
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Don't want to break the flow, but this would be great as a sticky.

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