05-07-2020, 09:02 AM
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"Notes" and the Pyramid Scheme

Often seen in a description of a fragrance is a list of "notes" that it contains, frequently arranged in pyramid form with top, middle, and base notes separated into groups. Sometimes a note refers to an actual discrete ingredient such as rose or orange blossom, but other times it is more loosely used to represent an interaction of two or more factors, and “accord” would be more accurate. This pyramid description provides a useful way to envision a fragrance as it would develop after application. Since fragrant materials differ in their volatility, the olfactory impression of the fragrance changes as it dries down on the skin. So theoretically, first one would smell the most volatile notes, such as citrus and fruit; then the florals would be smelled; and finally one would detect the least volatile musks and woods. However, the fragrance pyramid mostly applies to perfumes created between the 1930s and 1970s. The study of different fragrance materials and their classification in terms of volatility was perfected early in that era by the perfumer Jean Carles (1892-1966,) whose own work on some great classics exemplified the classical pyramid structure. These fragrance mexes were built with a very clear three-dimensional quality, with the characters of the top, middle, and base being very distinct. Earlier 20th century fragrances, prior to the 1930s, were not formulated as a classical pyramid, but were much closer in character to the fragrance blends of the 19th century, based on the use of natural essences fixed in place by oriental components (balsamic, exotic aromas) and animalic materials (such as civet, ambergris, and castoreum, unpleasant in large amounts but providing depth and sensuality in lower concentrations).

A perfume is a unique mixture of scented materials with its own distinctive character that is more than just a sum of its parts, and the list of notes tells only a part of the story. In addition, fragrances made today no longer adhere strictly to the three-tiered structure. Over the past 40 years, there has been a marked shift away from the fragrance pyramid concept and into new structures that give much different impressions. To use a musical metaphor, the theme is there in many modern fragrances from the first movement, and even if you hear a violin at one point and a flute later, the character remains unchanged throughout. Some fragrances might even lack altogether a top note in the classical pyramid sense, with the initial impression being set by a small amount of extremely strong materials that would more typically be considered as middle or base notes. In contrast to more subtle classical mixtures, modern fragrances do not hide or bury their themes, and they frequently represent open character declarations, with side scent notes providing harmonious texture details to the overall "melody." Modern fragrance structures are not necessarily simple, as the creative layering of accords can result in fragrances of remarkable complexity.

Finally, the sheer number of new fragrance launches means that consumers, face with numerous choices, often make decisions based on their first impressions. Fragrance compositions, as well as their descriptions, often are driven by sales considerations, and the pyramid list of notes is sometimes just a marketing concept, crafted for different emphases. For example, some brands might try to avoid listing a perceived heavier component such as musk in their fragrance notes even though their products contain it. Other brands, on the other hand, may want to emphasize and promote notes that they feel are most suited to their concepts: if a fragrance is launched as the new floral to fill a gap in the brand’s product portfolio, its floral notes will be highlighted in the description, even if they play a relatively minor role in the total fragrance composition. Moreover, a descriptor may be inaccurate. A term such as jasmine may not even mean anything that smells truly like a jasmine flower — it may be a luminous hedione note (an ester resembling natural jasmine but actually closer to lily of the valley in character) or a raw material representing just one facet of the flower. And those "woods" anchoring the bottom of a fragrance pyramid scheme are likely to be Cashmeran, a synthesized chemical with a complex woody-musky note.

While the fragrance notes are helpful, they should be seen only as a rough guide. However, since they provide an easily shared and communicated structure, they are commonly used and can be a basis for comparison.

In the pyramid scheme, the olfactory impression of a fragrance is described in a musical metaphor as having three sets of notes, which together constitute the harmonious overall scent accord. Notes are descriptors of individual scents or scent interactions that can be perceived upon the application of a perfume. They are separated into three classes: top/head notes, middle/heart notes, and base/back notes, which denote scents grouped with respect to their varying times for being perceived after application of the fragrance on the skin. Generally, then, this is a volatility grouping, based on a scheme using their respective evaporation coefficients from 1 to 100:

Top Notes: 1 to 14 (most volatile)
Middle Notes: 15 to 60
Base Notes: 61 to 100 (least volatile)

Top or head notes are perceived immediately upon application of a perfume. The compounds that contribute to top notes are strong in scent, are very volatile, and evaporate quickly. They form a person's initial impression of a fragrance and thus are very important in the selling of the product. The scents of this note class are often described with terms such as "fresh," "assertive" or "sharp." Citrus scents and ginger are common top notes.

Heart or middle notes are the second, middle phase of a perfume's fragrance evaporation, occurring after the top note fades away. The heart stage is mainly produced by floral, spicy or woody components, and as its name indicates, it usually represents the heart or dominant tone of the perfume and enables its classification into a fragrance family. Common heart notes are jasmine, rose, lavender, and various herbs. These notes appear anywhere from 2 minutes to an hour after fragrance application, but most commonly require around 10 to 20 minutes to develop fully on the skin. The scent of middle note compounds is usually perceived as mellow and "rounded." These notes often mask initially the unpleasant impression of the later base notes, which become more pleasant over time.

The back or base notes (or fond, meaning "bottom" in French) are the third and last phase of a perfume's life on the skin, the underlying tones that bring solidity and depth. This phase contains the lasting ingredients, such as woods, resins, and animal and crystalline substances. These are the heaviest ingredients, molecularly, in a perfume formula. In heavy fragrances (chypre and Oriental types, for instance), the back note group is so strongly accented that it is even discernible as a first impression along with the top or head notes. Base notes sometimes impart their own scent; they help to fix other notes in the perfume formula (i.e. make them last longer); and they enhance or boost other, lighter ingredients. Base notes generally appear most prominently close to the departure of the middle notes, and the base and middle notes together frequently define the main theme of a perfume and its lasting impression on the person smelling it. Consisting of large, heavy molecules that evaporate slowly, compounds of this class of scents are typically rich and "deep" and are usually not perceived until at least 30 minutes after the application of the perfume or during the period of perfume dry-down.

As noted in terms of the effect of base notes, it should be kept in mind that the presence of one note may alter the perception of another - for instance, the presence of certain base or heart notes will alter the scent perceived when the top notes are strongest, and likewise the detected scent of base notes in the dry-down will often be altered depending on the fragrance materials and lingering smells of the heart notes.

242 14,186
 05-07-2020, 03:00 PM
  • DanLaw
  • Just an old slow fat man
  • Peachtree City, GA
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So really, more of a scent obelisk, no?

5 635
 05-07-2020, 04:57 PM
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(05-07-2020, 03:00 PM)DanLaw Wrote: So really, more of a scent obelisk, no?

A fragrance Tardis.

242 14,186
 05-08-2020, 11:17 AM
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Anise/Star Anise/Licorice

Anise (Pimpinella anisum, known as anisum vulgare), sometimes called sweet cumin, has a unique aroma that is easily recognized in fragrances.  It has been described as sweet, warm, and soft, yet very strong.  Its fruit, from which anise oil is extracted for perfumery, is called aniseed.  

The name 'anise' is derived via Old French from the Latin word anisum or the Greek anison, referring to dill.  Anise is an herbaceous annual plant related botanically to carrots, tarragon, fennel, dill, cumin, caraway, and other members of the Apiaceae (parsley) or Umbelliferae family.  It grows to a height of 3-4 feet.  The leaves at the base of the plant are simple, 1/2-2 inches long, and shallowly lobed, while leaves higher on the stems are feathery pinnate, divided into numerous small leaflets. The flowers are either white or yellow, about 1/8 inch in diameter, and produced in dense umbels (distinctive flower clusters in which stalks of nearly equal length spring from a common center and form a flat or curved surface).  The aniseed fruit is an oblong dry schizocarp (splitting into single-seeded parts when ripe).  
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As with all spices, the composition of anise varies considerably with origin and cultivation method.  Anise products typically contain more than 0.2ml volatile oil per 100g of spice.  The essential oil is obtained by steam distillation or supercritical carbon dioxide extraction of the seeds, producing a yellow to nearly colorless liquid.  The yield of essential oil is influenced by the growing conditions and extraction process, with supercritical extraction being more efficient.  Regardless of the method of isolation, the main component (80-90%) of the oil is anethole, which produces the characteristic odor and flavor.  Anethole (also known as anise camphor) is an organic derivative of phenylpropene, a type of aromatic compound that occurs widely in nature. In additon to contributing a large component of the odor and flavor of anise, star anise, and fennel, it also is present in anise myrtle (Myrtaceae), licorice plants (Fabaceae), camphor, and magnolia blossoms.

Anethole has been extracted in the laboratory from anise and fennel since the Renaissance, initially by alchemists.  It was first investigated clinically by the Swiss chemist Nicolas-Théodore de Saussure in 1820.  In 1832 the French chemist Jean Baptiste Dumas determined that the crystallizable components of anise oil and fennel oil were identical, and he determined anethole's empirical formula.  And in 1845, the French chemist Charles Gerhardt coined the term anethole — from the Latin anethum (anise) + oleum (oil).

The plant is native to Greece, Egypt, and southwest Asia but is now also grown extensively in Spain and the West Indies.  Anise was first cultivated in Egypt and the Middle East about 4000 years ago.  Romans cooked it into little flavored cakes called mustaceoe that were served at the end of feasts, and it may have been used in Biblical times for paying tithes and taxes.  It was used in Greece as a cure for insomnia, chewed in the morning to freshen the breath, and mixed with wine as a remedy for asp bites.  In Turkish folk medicine, its seeds have been used as an appetite stimulatant, a tranquilizer, and a diuretic.  By the 19th century it was brought to Europe for use in medicinal products, either in small doses as aqua anisi ('Water of Anise') or larger doses as spiritus anisi ('Spirit of Anise'), and including digestives and carminatives (flatulence reducers).  It has been used in several cultures to treat helminthic, nematodal, bacterial, fungal, and yeast infections.  Anise still is taken as a digestive after meals in parts of Pakistan and India.

Anise also finds uses in flavoring foods and drinks in many cultures.  The leaves and seeds, whole or ground, are used alone or in combination with other herbs in preparation of teas and tisanes, as well as in curries, seafood dishes, alcoholic beverages (in which its slight solubility in water but high solubility in ethanol causes certain anise-flavored liqueurs to become opaque when diluted with water, the 'ouzo effect'), breads, cakes, and candies and other sweets.  It is used in the United States in some root beers, such as Virgil's.  

Anise is used on fishing lures to attract fish, and fishermen and hunters use anise soap to mask human scents from their hands.  Builders of steam locomotives in Britain incorporated capsules of aniseed oil into white metal plain bearings so that the distinctive smell would give warning in case of overheating.  And anise is a natural food plant for the larvae of some species of butterflies and moths, despite its potent fumigant insecticidal and repellant properties.  Anethole is an inexpensive chemical precursor for paramethoxyamphetamine (PMA), a designer drug of the amphetamine class, and is used in its clandestine manufacture.

In perfumery, anise often is combined with vanilla, spices, musk, woods, florals, and earthy scents.  It sometimes is presented as the dominant note but most often as a subtle minor one.

Masculine fragrances featuring anise:
l'Aqua di Fiori U.Man XS
Instituto Espanol Aire de Barcelona
Nickel Ull Lala
X-Bond Orange
Kenzo Air
Zara Scent #2
Chanel Allure pour Homme 
Givenchy Pi
Sigilli Pyrgos
Benetton Cumbia Colors Man
l'Instant de Guerlain pour Homme
Axe Shock
Azzaro pour Homme
Cereus No. 11
Lavoisier Lider Black
Brut Black (Brut Titan)
Crabtree & Evelyn Black Absinthe
Emper Elegante
Ligne St. Barth Homme
Arran Lochranza
Yves St. Laurent La Nuit de l'Homme 
Ralph Lauren Chaps Musk
Roger & Gallet Open White
Herrera 212 VIP Black
DKNY Energy for Men
Mugler B*Men
Antony One Black
Versace Blue Jeans
Claiborne Curve Wave
Michael Jordan Legend
Marc Joseph for Men
Aramis Tuscany per Uomo

Star anise (Illicium verum, meaning 'true enticement'), unrelated to anise, is a spice plant indigenous to northeast Vietnam and China and now also cultured in Japan and areas of Southeast Asia.  It grows as a small- to medium-sized evergreen tree, a member of the magnolia family with dark green leaves.  It produces tiny flowers followed by the distinctive star-shaped fruit with (generally) eight points, each point containing a seed.  The fruits are harvested just before ripening, when the essential oil content is highest.  Sun-dried, the whole fruit and seeds can be used as flavorings, and both can be ground.  It is the dominant flavor in Chinese 'five-spice powder.'  It has been used widely in Asia to flavor pork and chicken, in teas, and as a table seasoning, and it is a major ingredient in phở, a Vietnamese noodle soup.  It is used in French mulled wine called vin chaud (hot wine), and it deepens and enriches the flavor of coffee when steeped in it.  In the West it also is used to enhance the flavor of meats.  As with aniseed, the flavor comes primarily from anethole oil, but the flavor of star anise is considered to be stronger and more bitter than aniseed.  
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The ornamental tree is often grown for its appearance, scented flowers, and fragrant leaves. In French it is known as La Badiane.  Star anise is said to ward off the 'evil eye,' bring good luck in money and love matters, and give clarity to health matters in the form of visions. Whole dried pods can be placed near one's bed for protection, purification, and prevention of nightmares.  The powdered bark of the tree is used in incense in Japanese temples, and the trees are planted around temples and on graves for consecration and protection.  The fruit has been used in Oriental medicine for over 3,000 years for its stimulating effect on digestion.

Star anise is considerably less expensive to produce commercially than anise and has gradually displaced P. anisum in Western commercial food and perfume markets, often substituted for anise or licorice in candies and oral hygiene products and becoming the predominant scent of this type in perfume products, by volume, by the 1990s.  

The clear to pale yellow oil is steam-distilled from fresh or partly-dried pods.  In perumery, the fragrance of star anise oil is more pungent than anise and has strong licorice tones, but is also soft, powdery, and floral.  Its spiciness performs well with cardamom, bay, coriander, lavender, neroli, orange, petitgrain, mandarin, cedarwood, and rosewood.

About 90% of the world's star anise crop has been used for extraction of shikimic acid, a chemical intermediate used in the synthesis of the antiviral drug oseltamivir (Tamiflu), and Tamiflu shortages caused by the 2009 swine flu pandemic caused large star anise price increases.  But by 2018, fermentation of E. coli had become the predominant manufacturing process to produce shikimic acid.

Japanese star anise (Illicium anisatum), a similar tree, is highly toxic and has caused severe neurological and inflammatory effects when used through accidental or economically motivated adulteration of star anise tea products.  However, it has been used safely in Japan when burned as incense.

Masculine star anise perfume products:
Annick Goutal Mandragore
Cardin Signe Cardin for Him
Cardin Revelation
Armani Code
Armani Attitude Extreme
Azzaro Cockpit
Cerruti pour Home
Perry Ellis Male 2004
Ferrari Black Signature
l'Instant de Guerlain pour Homme Eau Extreme
Yves St. Laurent Opium pour Homme
Yves St. Laurent Rive Gauche pour Homme
Yves St. Lauarent l'Homme Libre
Paco Rabanne Ultraviolet Fluoressence for Men
l'Occitane en Provence Eau du Badian
Zileri Concept No. 18
Oriflame Embrace Him
Moschino Forever
Castelbajac Homme
Aquolina Blue Sugar
Dior Sauvage
Trumper Paisley

Licorice root (Glycyrrhiza glabra), in its true form, is intensely sweet (13 times sweeter than white sugar).  But the extracted anethole itself produces the herbal, peppery, almost bitter taste associated with licorice candy.  The roots are wrinkled and fibrous and have a sweet, earthy odor.  They are boiled to extract the flavor and fragrance, and the water then is evaporated to produce a thick liquid extract or even a solid block that can be cut into bars and wrapped in laurel leaves.
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Licorice has been found in the Egyptian pyramids.  Romans had it in Britain, and it has been found along Hadrian's Wall.  Hannibal gave it to his elephants to chew as they crossed the Alps, and Bedouins are said to give their camels licorice to quench their thirst. Hindus have believed for centuries that it increased sexual vigor when prepared as a beverage with milk and sugar.  And the Chinese, who have used it for 3,000 years, thought that eating the root gave them strength and endurance, and they prepared tea from it as a medicine.  It has been employed as a sweetener and a flavoring, since it can mask unpleasant tastes and odors.  In the 19th century it was introduced commercially as Sen Sen, a candy that was called a 'breath perfume' and was thought to help ease coughs and sore throats. The root also has been used in breweries to add flavor, dark color, and foam stability to dark beers.  Similarly, it adds flavor to oral hygiene products, and it has been used in fire extinguishers to assist with the foaming action.

In perfumery, the distinction between licorice and anise often blurs, but classically licorice is seen as a slightly darker and warmer scent.  If a perfume has the word 'reglisse' in the name, it most likely features licorice prominently.  Licorice works well in fragrance preparations with leather, woods, and lavender and other herbs.  Lolita Lempicka by Annick Menardo first brought licorice notes to mainstream perfumery with the eponymous perfume that combined it with violet, cherry, almond, and heliotrope.  Lolita Lempicka au Masculin takes more of a fougère structure, with lavender and coumarin.

Masculine perfume products with licorice:
Joop Go Electric Heat
Oriflame Free Motion
Masaki Matsushima Very Male
Lolita Lempicka au Masculin
Givenchy Play in the City for Him
Carolina Herrera 212 Men Ice
Nina Ricci Memoire d'Homme
Alviero Martini GeoBlack Man
Azzaro Decibel
l'Atelier Boheme Rhizomes
Cereus No. 5
Cafe Black Label
Dior Fahrenheit
Verino Pure Man 
Lacose Live

242 14,186
 05-09-2020, 10:26 AM
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Headspace Technology

Headspace technology is a method pioneered in the 1970s and 1980s of "capturing" scent molecules and reconstructing their smell for perfumes.  A belljar-like apparatus is placed over the scented object and the aromatic compound molecules, such as fatty acid derivatives, benzenoids, and isoprenoids, are extracted and saved.  
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Once they’re analyzed, a synthetic version can be created.  This is how fragrances that are hard to distill or do not lend themselves well to other extraction methods, like gardenia, rose, or lily of the valley, and notes like dirt, such as that in Demeter’s Dirt perfume, are created.  The various perfume manufacturers have their own fragrance capture systems based on this technology, examples being ScentTrek (Givaudan), Aromascope (Takasago), and NaturePrint (Firmenich).  Similar techniques also have been used to analyze and recreate the interesting scents of particular locations and environments such as tea shops, classrooms, and sawmills.  Headpace technology extends the perfumers' pallette, even providing them with new and unique scent "profiles" from nature, such as the mineral-filled smell of freshly rain-soaked cobblestones, pure air in the high mountains, washed laundry drying in the wind, the odor of hot dust from a lightbulb, or burned rubber (for the race car enthusiast).

The headspace equipment involves a hollow dome or sphere-like object, which forms an airtight seal over the target object.  Inert gases are passed into the space, or a vacuum is created, so that the odor compounds are removed from the headspace.  The compounds are then captured using a variety of techniques, including cold surfaces, solvent traps, and adsorbent materials.  The sample is then analyzed with gas chromatography, mass spectrometry, carbon-13 nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy.

One of the early pioneers of this technology is Roman Kaiser, a Swiss fragrance chemist.  Since 1968, Kaiser has been working at Givaudan, in Dübendorf near Zürich, the world's largest flavor and fragrance company.  His main research activity centers around analysis and reconstitution of natural scents for use in perfumery, and he been using headspace technology for this purpose since 1975.  His recent work has been focused on the plants of the canopy and understory layers of tropical rainforests, allowing reconstitution of scents of endangered plant species there.
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There is a common misconception that natural perfumes are safer than and superior to synthetic aromas.  But synthetic chemicals have been used in perfumery for almost acentury without consumers being able to detect the differences.  In fact, synthetic chemicals are often less volatile, and more stable, than natural chemicals whose smell changes over time.  And certain plants are so rare that it is prohibitively costly for companies to harvest them for their smell.  In addition, a synthetic copy of a scent often can be less complex and thus easier to use in mixes than the naturally occurring compound.  And finally, over-harvesting of perfume plant sources and environmental care are becoming increasing concerns and have an effect on consumer demand and manufacturing processes.

In the 1971 cult classic movie "Harold and Maude," the eccesntric octogenarian character (played by Ruth Gordon) takes the young, death-obsessed character Harold (Bud Cort) back to her house and shows him her "odorifics" machine, a kind of recorder of smells.  Says Maude, "Then I became infatuated with these, my odoriics.  Give the nose a treat, I thought, a kind of olfactory bandwidth.  So I began first tiwh the easiest: roast beef, old books, mown grass.  And Mexican farmyard.  Here's one you'll like, Snowfall on 42nd Street."  Maude gives Harold a face-mask attached to a tube that runs from the machine and provides him with the captured smells: subway, perfume, cigarettes, and snow.  An precursor of headspace technology!
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242 14,186
 05-12-2020, 08:52 AM
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Strictly defined, natural musk is a secretion from the abdominal apocrine glands (musk sacs) of the Asian musk deer (Moschus moschiferus), a very small, unhorned but fanged deer living primarily in Pakistan, India, Tibet, China, Mongolia, and Siberia.  
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The secretion is produced only by the mature male deer during the December-January rutting season.  In the past, the granular pods of musk obtained from the sacs were dried in the sun or on hot stones, or were dissolved in hot oil.  The resulting black 'musk grain' was used in an alcoholic dilution (tincture).  In its pure form, the dried secretion has a sharp and repulsive  animalic smell, but it becomes richer, deeper, warm, and sweet in the diluted tincture. 
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The word musk originates from the Sanskrit term for 'testicle.'  Used since antiquity in the perfume industry, musk has in fragrance mixes a pungent animalic smell that provides a warm, sensual note.  The primary molecule producing the scent is muscone (3-methylcyclopentadecanone).  

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Musk also has strong fixative properties, balancing and extending the life of compounds without adding heaviness.  It makes a fragrance formula have a cleaner, more pure tone and gives it liveliness.  The cost of natural musk has always been very high, due to the fact that the sacrifice of up to 50 deer was required to produce a kilogram of musk.  The deer were almost killed to extinction, and in 1979 they became protected by an international trade convention.  Today, the limited harvest of legally obtained natural musk is used almost exclusively as a component in traditional east Asian medicines.  However, natural musk is extremely stable in storage over time, and very small amounts of it are still available for commercial use, although much of what is offered for sale to the public is counterfeit - actually synthetic. 

Natural musk has been largely replaced now by more ethical and much less expensive synthetic musks, which usually are called "white musk."  Musk Bauer, the first synthetic musk, was discovered in 1888, when Albert Bauer, while searching for new explosive materials, noticed that the reaction of trinitrotoluene (TNT) and tert-butyl halides produced a very pleasant odor.  In 1894, Bauer developed musk ketone, which was reputed to resemble natural musk fairly closely and was used for decades in many perfumes.  
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Other 'nitro musks,' all with a warm, powdery scent with an ambery/animalic overly, include musk xylol, musk Tibetene, musk ambrette, and moskene.  These became especially popular, including as single-note musk fragrances, during the Woodstock 'back-to-nature' hippie days of the 1960s and 1970s.  Nitro musks began to fall out of favor in the 1980s due to the hazards associated with their production and their lack of stability.  New families of synthetic musks, the macrocyclics (habanolide, thibetolide, globalide, velvione) and polycyclics (phantolide, celestolide, traesolide, tonalide, galaxolide), subsequently were developed.  And more recently, more diverse musk variants, with an extremely wide range of scent profiles, have been produced, including helvetolide, nirvanolide, and muscenone.  The first true combination accord, developed for Emporio Armani White for Her by Alberto Morillas, was created in 2001.  The neurologic and dermatologic toxicity and demonstrated carcinogenic properties of the aromatic nitro musks and polycyclic musk compounds resulted finally in banning or significant reduction of their use in most countries.  Macrocyclic or linear musk compounds still are generally considered to be safer and are most commonly used now.  

The overall character of synthetic musks ranges from erotic and dark (termed 'dirty' or even 'skanky') to fresh and light (called 'clean').  It can be balmy, sweet, spicy, resinous, and powdery or animalic, fig-like, leathery, dry, nutty, and woody, but always with a common tone of warmth, sweetness, and sensuality.  Popular with perfumers and versatile, musks are used very widely, anchoring other notes in around 99% of fine fragrances, especially the 'clean' musks that are present in the majority of the products.  The 'clean' ones have even used for decades in laundry detergents and fabric softeners, in which they are extremely hydrophobic (and thus don't wash off clothes).  In a few perfume cases, such as in Chanel No. 5, Narciso for Her, and Sarah Jessica Parker Lovely, musks manage to smell both 'dirty' and 'clean.'  The versatility of musk is demonstrated by its use also in insect repellants, toothpastes, fruit flavorings, chocolates, hard and soft candy, and chewing gum.

In more recent times, the term 'musk' in perfumery refers not only to the specific ingredient, but also to the simulation of the natural musk scent.  This is true especially with the drydown phase of a perfume, when the musk tone becomes most prominent.  Fine fragrance compositions usually include a cocktail of different musk scents, due to the fact that anosmia to musks (inability to smell them) is very widespread among perfumers, nearly as common as anosmia to the violet notes of beta-ionones.  This is partially because the very large size of the musk molecules prevents their binding to nasal receptors, and partly it is due to genetic factors.  Perfumers get around this problem by using a range of various musk components of differing molecular weights. 

In contrast, one reason for the interesting and prevalent 'love or hate' human response to musk is that some odor perception genetic phenotypes actually produce specific hyperosmias (heightened odor perception), including one to musk, sometimes making the scent almost intolerable.  This seems to be an autosomal recessive trait in families.  And generally, women seem to have lower thresholds for perceiving musk, smelling it when men are unable to do so.

Musk Families

In perfumery, musk scents can be divided into fairly well definied families, of which White Musk is by far the most common.  It was first created to provide a sensory image of 'fresh cotton and linen.'  White Musk is often used alone, giving its name to the product, such as the famous Jovan White Musk and The Body Shop's White Musk.  The latter's components include galaxolide, the most ubiquitous of the synthetic musks in both fine fragrances and functional products (especially fabric softeners), which gives a clean but flowery-woody, sweet, and powdery tone.  Globalide, also called habanolide, a metallic smelling, fresh, radiant musk, is also used in White Musk compositions, sometimes coupled with helvetolide.  It is prominent in Jennifer Lopez Glow, Thierry Mugler Cologne, Serge Lutens Clair de Musc, and Trish McEvoy #9 Blackberry Musk.

Another prominent family is Egyptian Musk.  This actually does not originate in Egypt, but is named because of its predominant tone.  It is a musk blend in which the clean, sensual, scrubbed-skin character is dominant.  The 'laundry day' feel of white musk is still present, but in general the effect is subtler, much less shrill.  Auric Blends Egyptian Goddess is an example of a plain, unadulterated Egyptian Musk with no other tonalities.  Other examples in which Egyptian Musk is present include Narciso Rodriguez Musk for Her, Ava Luxe Pearl Musk, and fragrance lines from Dawn Spencer Hurwitz and Sonoma Scent Studio.

Other defined musk families include African Musk (essentially just variations of Egyptian musk despite the name, soft, clean, and inoffensive, with an added inclusion of sweet vanilla); Red Musk (similar to white musk but with an incense note); Black Musk (much like the Red Musk concept, but with a slightly dirty, woody undertone); Blue Musk (close to African Musk, with a sweeter tone); China Musk (bright and refreshing, combining the metallic feel of white musks with the smoothness of Egyptian Musk); Oriental Musk (the same as China Musk but with more of a powdery underlay and a jasmine inclusion); Tunisian Musk (a sweeter variation of the Egyptian type); Turkish Musk (somewhat more sophisticated and drier than white or African Musks, with dark tarry topnotes suggesting black tea and with leather notes); Tibetan or Himalayan Musk (warm and sweet, sometimes layered with other fragrances to make them softer); and Nude Musk (intended to smell erotic, "like skin but better," examples being Creative Scentualisation Perfect Veil, Sonoma Scent Studio Opal, and Bonne Belle Skin Musk).  There are also individual 'outrider' musk variants that have unusual qualities and do not fit easily into a family.

Musky odorants as a group also include glandular secretions from other animals, such as civets, musk shrews, musk ducks, musk oxen, musk beetles, musk turtles, and even alligators.  Confusing the picture is a reference by some people to castoreum from muskrats and beavers as a musk.  In addition, some plant substances, such as ambrette seed, galbanum, angelica root, musk flower, and muskwood, produce compounds that have very similar characters, and these have been used quite successfully in commercial musky fragrances such as Malle Angeliques Sous la Pluie, Chanel Les Exclusifs No. 18, and Annick Goutal Musc Nomade.

It has been reported that techniques have been developed for extracting the natural musk from deer without harming them, which theoretically could bring back its use in perfumes.  However, meanwhile, new synthetic musks are being created each year, producing fourth or even fifth generation families that are being incorporated into commercial products.  They are targeted to be nontoxic and biodegradable, chemically stable, and low in production costs.  A few of these also display subtle new variations in the musk scent profile.

As noted, there are a great many commercial fragrances with a significant musk component, including the following:

360 for Men Arabian Oud, Acca Kappa Muschio Bianco, Airness Musk Instinct, Al Haramain Musk Al Ghazal, Al Musbah Prince of Musk, Alyssa Ashley Musk for Men, Annick Goutal Musc Nomade, Antonio Visconti Musk de Roy, Aqua Velva Musk, Armani White for Him, Ava Luxe Nude Musk, Avon Musk series, Axe Musk, Azzaro Pour Homme, Barbasol Musk, Bigelow Musk, Bond No. 9 New York Musk, Bruno Acampora Musc, Brut Musk, Bulgari Pour Homme, Calvin Klein be, Carrington Musk Men, CBMusk, Coty Musk for Men, Crabtree & Evelyn Leather Musk, Creed Cypres Musc and Acier Aluminium, Dana Musk, Dawn Spencer Hurwitz Musk Eau Natural, De Nicolai Musc Intense, Denim Musk, Dior Eau Sauvage, English Leather Musk, Ermenegildo Zegna Musk Gold, Etat Libre d'Orange Sécrétions Magnifiques, Fabergé Musk, Ferrari Essence Musk, Frederic Malle Musc Ravageur and Dans tes Bras, Helmut Lang, Houbigant Monsieur Musk, Hugo Boss Wool & Musk, Jade East Musk, Jar Ferme tes Yeux, Jeris Musk, Jovan Musk series, Kiehl Original Musk, Kouros, King Solomon Ruthvah, l'Artisan Parfumer Mûre et Musc, Le Labo Musc 25, Madini Musk Pierre and Musk Gazelle, Maison Francis Kurkdjian Absolue Pour Le Soir, Max Factor Citrus Musk, Mazzolari Lui, Miller Harris l'Air Rien, Milton Lloyd Musk series, Mona di Orio Les Nombres d'Or Musc, Montale Musk series, Muelhen 4711, Mure et Musk Extreme, Musk Collection Sledge Hammer, Narciso Rodriguez for Him Musk, Nasomatto Silver Musk, Neville Tobacco Musk, Nike Urban Musk, Old Spice Musk, Oriflame Power Musk, Paco Rabanne Pour Homme, Parfum d'Empire Musc Tonkin, Parfum Satori Musk Blue, Parfumerie Generale Musc Maori, Paul Sebastian, Penhaligon's Racquets and Sartorial, Pierre Cardin Man's Musk, Pinaud Clubman Musk series, Pino Silvestre Black Musk, Prince Matchabelli Musk for Him, Ralph Lauren Chaps Musk, Ramon Monegal Cherry Musk, Rasasi Faqat Lil Rijal, Renee Musk, Roja Dove Musk Oud, Romane Musk, Royal Copenhagen Musk, Royall Muske, Santa Maria Novella Muschio, Serge Lutens Musc Koublai Khan and Clair de Musc and Bois et Musc, Smell Bent Musk series, Sonoma Scent Studio Sienna Musk, The Body Shop White Musk, Tom Ford Musk series, Trumper GFT, Versace Pour Homme Musk, and Williams Mon Triomphe.

242 14,186
 05-13-2020, 09:51 AM
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Dry is the term for an odor effect that is the opposite of "sweet" or "warm." It is accomplished through the use of ingredients such as woods, mosses (oakmoss, treemoss), herbs, some grasses (such as vetiver), rhizome (orris/iris), and phenols (tar-like essences such as birch tar, guiacwood, and leathery compounds). Like the trunks and barks of trees, the woody scents (such as cedar, sandalwood, oak, rosewood, and birch) have a solid "presentation" to the nose. The factors that contribute to a dry tone can come from any family, but generally dry fragrances don't have dewy, watery, or acqueous elements that recall crisp vegetation. They can be mineral-like and are purported to keep the skin dry also. Dry notes are used mainly in masculine scents and are particularly useful as fresh, daytime fragrances.

The term "dry" in perfumery is said to have come from early 20th century couturier Jean Patou. He created a cocktail bar in his Paris salon where men could drink and talk while their women shopped for dresses. In 1930, Patou decided that the cocktail bar should be converted into a perfume bar, and his perfumer Henri Alméas was instructed to create "cocktail" fragrances, using the same terms as were used to described the major property of an alcoholic beverage (the relative presence or absence of a sweet taste). The results were the original Jean Patou Cocktail, Cocktail Dry, Cocktail Sweet, and Cocktail Bitter Sweet, some of which are still available from retailers.

242 14,186
 05-15-2020, 10:26 AM
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Essential Oil vs. Fragrance Oil

There can be some confusion about the differences between essential oils (EOs) and fragrance oils (FOs) used in perfume products. Most simply, EOs are extracts derived from plants and FOs are synthetic chemical scent compounds. Generally, EOs can be used for scenting, flavoring, or healing applications (in aromatherapy), while FOs are used in foods or candies for flavor but are mainly used for their scent qualities. FOs are ubiquitous in commercial cleaning products, room air fresheners, personal care products (including hand sanitizers, toilet paper, and tampons), laundry soap, baby diapers, stationary, foods and drinks, toys, and other products. Hand, face, and body soaps and other skin care products, as well as candles, even items labeled 'natural,' often contain FOs. It is common for a label to say 'contains essential oils' when the item also contains fragrance oils, which contributes to misunderstanding.

Essential Oil (EO)

Essential oils are concentrated hydrophobic liquids containing naturally occurring volatile (easily evaporated at room temperature) chemical compounds. They are derived from different parts of a plant, including blossoms, fruits, seeds, leaves, roots, stems, barks, woods, or resins. Generally they are not manipulated significantly, processed, or diluted with a carrier oil or other additives (except for dilution in aromatherapy) before use. They can also be known as volatile oils, ethereal oils, or aetherolea, or simply as the oil of the plant from which they were extracted, such as 'oil of clove.' An EO is considered essential in the sense that it contains the 'essence' of a plant's fragrance. The term essential does not mean indispensable to a living organism the way it does with the terms essential amino acid or essential fatty acid.

Some plants, like bitter orange, can be sources for several different types of EO.

EOs generally are extracted by distillation, usually with steam and most often single-process rather than fractional; but they also can be obtained by cold pressure expression, solvent extraction, sfumatura (mechanical folding), absolute oil extraction, and wax embedding. Most of the common oils, such as lavender, peppermint, tea tree, patchouli, and eucalyptus, are steam-distilled in an alembic. In single-process distillation, water is heated and its steam passes through the plant material and vaporizes the volatile compounds. The vapor flows through a coil, where it condenses back to liquid that is then collected in a receiving vessel. The recondensed water is called a hydrosol, hydrolat, herbal distillate, or plant water essence. Those marketed as hydrosols include rose water, lemon balm, clary sage, and orange blossom water.

Most citrus peel oils are expressed or cold-pressed mechanically, similar to olive oil extraction, and due to the relatively large quantities of oil in citrus peel and the low cost to grow and harvest the raw materials, citrus oils are cheaper than most other EOs. They are obtained for the most part as byproducts of the citrus fruit industry. Historically, prior to the discovery of the distillation process, all EOs were extracted by pressing.

Most flowers contain too little volatile oil to undergo expression, but their chemical components are too delicate and easily denatured by the high heat of steam distillation. Instead, they are extracted with a solvent such as hexane or supercritical carbon dioxide (a fluid state of CO2 in which it is held at or above its critical temperature and critical pressure, expanding to fill its container like a gas but with a density like that of a liquid). Extracts from hexane and other hydrophobic solvents are called concretes. While highly fragrant, they are a mixture of essential oil, waxes, resins, and other oil-soluble plant materials. Usually the concrete is then chilled in an alcohol solution to cause the waxes and other lipids to precipitate out. The precipitate is filtered, and the ethanol is removed by evaporation and/or vacuum purging, leaving behind the 'absolute.'

Use of supercritical carbon dioxide as a solvent in fluid extraction avoids the presence of petrochemical residues in the product and the loss of some perfume 'top notes' that occur when steam distillation is used. The supercritical CO2 process extracts both the waxes and the essential oils, which are subsequently processed with liquid CO2 by temperature lowering under pressure. The cooling separates the waxes from the oils, and the lower temperature prevents decomposition of compounds. When the extraction is complete, pressure is reduced to ambient levels and the carbon dioxide reverts to gas, leaving no residue.

EOs are used for fragrance in perfumes, cosmetics, incense, soaps, and cleaning products, and for flavoring foods and drinks. In aromatherapy, frequently considered a form of alternative medicine and more popular again in recent decades after a period of decline, pure EOs that enter the body through the skin (via massage when mixed with a carrier oil such as jojoba, coconut, wheat germ, olive, or avocado; or via bathwater) or the nose (via volatile diffuser, burning candle or incense, or humidifier) are used to influence physical, emotional, and mental health. They are reputed to enhance mood, relieve inflammation or symptoms such as pain or fatigue, and kill body germs. However, while research continues, there is not yet much clinical evidence that they can effectively treat any specific condition.

Each EO component can have both positive and negative effects either topically or internally, depending upon its particular properties and concentration, and can be toxic. One well-known example is cinnamon oil, touted for its antiseptic and astringent capabilities yet highly irritating to some skin. Children may be particularly susceptible to the toxic effects of improper EO use, especially at high concentrations, and when the oils are swallowed. EOs also can cause immunologically-mediated allergic reactions in those allergic to the source material.

The quality of EOs can vary widely, with the quality of a given batch of oil being influenced by how the plants are grown (including use of insecticides and other chemicals), possible processing (including dilution or adulteration during extraction), packaging and handling (with exposures to heat, light, or oxygen), and storage. The usual shelf life of an EO is around 1-2 years after opening.

EOs have been used in folk medicine for centuries, with the earliest recorded mention of the techniques for EO production believed to be that of an al-Andalusian (Muslim Spain) physician-chemist, Ibn al-Baitar (1188-1248). Modern academic studies typically discuss the specific chemical compounds of which EOs are composed, such as referring to methyl salicylate rather than 'oil of wintergreen.' Medical uses of EOs, for treatment of cancers in particular, are now subject to regulation in most countries.

Finally, some EOs can act as natural pesticides against insects and arthropods, repelling, inhibiting growth or reproduction, or causing animal death at concentrations that are nontoxic for mammals. Some that have been investigated for this use include rose, lemon grass, lavender, thyme peppermint, and eucalyptus. They have been used commercially to a limited extent, and their popularity is increasing among organic farmers and environmentally conscious consumers.

EOs are typically more expensive than FOs because it is costly to plant, grow, harvest, and process the plants, although this varies with the type of oil, the season, and the availability of the product. Steam distillation, expression, and solvent extraction can be complicated and expensive, and a very large amount of plant material is required to produce even a small quantity of essential oil. For example, around 1000 rose petals are needed to make just one drop of rose EO. Citrus EOs, on the other hand, are normally cheaper because they are easier to extract. Each particular EO is comprised of between 50 and 500 different naturally occurring chemicals, which are quite difficult to reproduce synthetically and some of which have not even been identified chemically yet. In addition, depending on the season, climate, and growing conditions of a plant, the biochemical makeup - and thus the scent and/or taste - of a particular EO will vary, and it is difficult for manufacturers and crafters to keep their finished products consistent.

Commonly used EOs in perfumery include lavender, chamomile, rose, hyssop, clary sage, rosemary, ylang ylang, myrrh, vetiver, frankincense, grapefruit, peppermint, spearmint, wintergreen, basil, orange, melaleuca (tea tree), lemon , cassia, and oregano.

Fragrance Oil (FO)

Fragrance oils are artificially manufactured compounds (or natural EOs that have been diluted with a carrier such as propylene glycol, vegetable oil, or mineral oil) created in a laboratory and specifically designed to mimic naturally occurring scents or to invoke a feeling (such as 'spring rain') or emotion. They are also known as aroma oils, aromatic oils, or flavor oils.

The range of FO scents is enormous, and generally they are relatively inexpensive. They are used primarily in the manufacture of perfumes, cosmetics, and flavorings. For reasons of animal cruelty or because of animal population decreases and endangerment, historically popular perfume fragrance notes such as civet, musk, ambergris and castoreum, derived from animals through processes that typically mistreat or kill the animals that create the scent sources, now have been replaced in large part by synthetic versions or products naturally derived from plants producing similar fragrances.

FOs seem to be problematic more often than EOs in personal care products because they can be drying and more irritating to the skin in concentrations commonly used, and they are thought to be capable of causing many other potentially serious health problems. They often are less desirable than plant-derived EOs for allergic or otherwise sensitive people, commonly causing headaches, dizziness, rashes, coughing, nausea and voming, and skin irritation. In official terms of being health hazards, a synthetic version of the same chemical compound as in a natural EO is usually deemed comparable. Recent studies of FOs have suggested 'possible mutagenic and genotoxic effects' and hormone disruptions that are linked to abnormal cell reproduction and tumor growth.

'Natural' vs. Synthetic Fragrance Oils

There is a difference between 'natural' and totally synthetic types of FOs. 'Natural' FOs are made in a laboratory but are created by isolating aromatic components from a naturally occurring complex complete scent. There is debate about whether they can be considered truly natural, since they are still created by human science although derived from a natural source. Totally synthetic FOs are created with chemical compounds that do not exist in nature, often composed of petroleum by-products, which makes them cheap and versatile. Many commercial scent products are made with synthetic fragrances because they retain their aromas for longer periods of time than natural oils. Manufacturers sometimes will market their FOs with midleading names such as 'pikake oil' or 'plumeria oil,' which actually are simply synthetic oils infused with a small amount of exract from the actual flowers. This is true especially with floral scents like cherry blossom or freesia, fruit scents like peach, watermelon, or banana, and scents with names that sound 'natural' such as 'white rain.'

Commonly used fragrance oils in perfumery include ylang ylang, vanilla, sandalwood, cedarwood, mandarin orange, cinnamon, lemongrass, rosehip, and peppermint.

Mixing Essential Oils and Fragrance Oils

Generally EOs and FOs mix well if you wish to combine them. Rather than shaking the mixture, the bottle should be warmed between the hands and then gently rolled on a table or tipped upside down a few times. Any mixture should be left in a cool, shaded area for a week for all the initial components to blend well before it is used or tweaked again.

242 14,186
 05-19-2020, 09:41 AM
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Balsamic is a fragrance description referring to a heavy, soft, sweet, warm scent, usually from the use of plant balsams or aromatic  resin.  The raw materials falling under the umbrella of resins and balsams have been used for many centuries in perfumes.   

Balsamic ingredients characterize Oriental style perfumes in particular.  These fragrances, compositions that rely on rich, opulent notes of vanilla, musk, and ambers, were inspired by the traditional elements of Middle Eastern and Indian perfumes.   As the fascination with everything Eastern and exotic grew at the end of the 19th and early 20th century, these “odalisques and harems” fantasies found their way into the world of scents.  The balsamic materials also lend their depth to other families, such as the Chypres, and more lightly to florals, fougères, and hesperidics.

In perfumery, there are several classes of balsamic notes, but balsams like tolu balsam, peru balsam, benzoin, and styrax are distinctive because they have a strong vanilla/cinnamic note, and they are often used to give a rich and pleasantly spicy quality to accords.  Balsamic notes support a fragrance from within, offering additional richness.  Base notes are sometimes composed of several balsamic materials.  In excess, their rich, heavy fragrance can suppress the overall composition, with other notes hiding under the dense balsamic richness.

Resinous & Balsamic Fragrances

Resinous materials come in the form of solidified, gum-like "tears" seeping from the fluid that circulates into the bark of big trees.  Balsams, on the other hand, usually are thinner liquids, coming frequently from flower pods or bushy twigs.  There are exceptions to this rule, however.  The real basis for differentiation is how the materials actually smell and how they're different or common in scent combinations, rather than their origin.  For purposes of perfume discussion, resinous & balsamic materials are classified into three distinct profiles:

1. Soft balsamic-smelling ingredients, including:
•vanilla (from the pod of the vanilla orchid)
•benzoin gum (from Styrax Tonkiniensis, with a sweetish, caramel and vanillic tone, used frequently to complement citrus, woods, or florals)
•Peru balsam (from Myroxylon - "fragrant wood" in Greek - or Quina/Balsamo)
•Tolu balsam (close to Peru balsam, but a little sweeter and fresher)
•cistus labdanum (leathery, ambery, and deep, from the rockrose bush and traditionally harvested from the hairs of goats that grazed on the rockrose)

These materials have a gentle tone but have a pronounced character. They fix flowers into lasting longer and are used to produce the semi-Orientals or the florientals (in combination with floral essences).   

2. Resinous balsamic smelling ingredients, including: 
•opoponax/opopanax (also inaccurately called "sweet myrrh," scented between lavender & amber)
•frankincense/olibanum (the smoky-smelling exudate of the Boswellia carteri tree)
•myrrh gum (a waxy oleoresin with a bitter profile)
•birch tar (from "cooked" birch wood, pungent, dark, tar-smelling), often used in Cuir de Russie type perfumes
•elemi (a peppery, lemony, pine-like yellow oil coming from the resin of the Canarium Lizonicum), used in masculine blends
•styrax (resin from the Liquidambar Orientalis tree, with a leathery scent reminiscent of glue and cinnamon), providing a supporting note in Cuir de Russie compositions

Resins are among the materials used since ancient times in incense and perfumery.  Traditionally used to make incense, in the Middle East and the Mediterranean basin frankincense and myrrh "tears" have still been highly regarded in modern times.  These materials are deep, with a lingering trail which adds projection to a composition.  They pair especially well with woody scents.

3. A sub-set of powdery balsamic-smelling ingredients which do not strictly come in resin or balsam form but share some of the common olfactory characteristics.  This includes: orris root (the Iris Pallida rhizome and also the synthetic irones-rich reproductions), several musks of synthetic origin, and carrot seed oil.  Amber mixes can also be powdery balsamic-smelling, due to the addition of benzoin (which gives a sweetish, baby powder talc note) and vanilla to the mix of ingredients.  It is important to distinguish between a balsamic/ambery powdery ambience (which is typically sweeter) and one which is powdery/dry, completely different.

242 14,186
 05-23-2020, 08:53 AM
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Chypre is the collective term for a group or type of perfumes which get their character through the combination of a fresh Eau de Cologne-like top note and a foundation comprised mainly of oakmoss, labdanum, and patchouli.  Pronounced 'sheepra,' French for 'Cyprus' the term is often credited with first use by François Coty, a Mediterranean merchant from Corsica, to describe the aromas he found on that Greek island.  He created a woodsy, mossy, citrusy perfume named Chypre, which was launched by his Coty company in 1917.  Classic chypre fragrances generally had sparkling citrus, fruit, and floral notes over a dark, earthy base.  Modern chypre fragrances usually use less (or no) oakmoss because of regulatory restrictions; sometimes they use synthetic substitutes.

The classical chypre is defined as a combination of three key notes — citrus (often bergamot), floral (classically, rockrose, labdanum, or jasmine), and oakmoss (a tree lichen that grow on oaks, mainly in the Balkans), combined with animalic, woody (often patchouli) tones and amber or musk.  Some experts claim that all five elements must be present.  The past few years have seen the revival of the family in both men's and women's products.  When the market is flooded with many new launches each year, the ability to stand out is important. But at the same time, fragrance companies are afraid that too strong of a character will be a deterrent.  Chypre fragrances are often able to strike the middle ground in this respect, which may partially explain the renewed interest in them.  While chypres have seen varying popularity in most countries, they have remained a steady favorite in southern Europe.  In addition, with fashion trending towards retro, it is not surprising that fragrance families with long histories such as chypre are coming back.   

The chypre family actually was not created by François Coty when he launched his Chypre in 1917.  In fact, the oldest perfume factory in the world, dating to 4000 years ago, was discovered in Pyrgos Mavrorachi (Greek for 'fortress on the black slope') on Cyprus.  And chypre was a common blend of mossy and animalic raw materials during the time of the Roman empire.  During the Middle Ages and Renaissance, Cypriots experimented with 'Cipria,' a cosmetic face powder infused with their local aromatic blends.  The vogue for powdered wigs in western Europe in the 17th century made Cipria one of the most widely used cosmetic products, and the name is still referenced in Italian to this day for cosmetic powder.  Chypre as a name for an accord is often mentioned in 18th century perfume manuals.  In the early 20th century, Guerlain had at least two chypres, Chypre de Paris and Chypre, both pre-1917.  Still, Coty must be given credit for solidly establishing chypre as a fragrance family.  He took the classical idea and gave it well-defined structure and distinct form.  The classical chypre as we know it today is largely due to Coty Chypre establishing this convention.  Ironically, its novelty was the reason for an initial brief resistance at the time of its launch – the rather startling, rough beauty of Chypre is mesmerizing, but it often remains too aggressive.  However, chypre quickly became widely popular and created a trend for such 'heavy green' perfumes.  

In addition to producing a chypre at least 8 years before Coty did, Jacques Guerlain — the great perfumer heading the house with his name – refined the chypre family shortly after Coty's launch of his product.  In creating Mitsouko, Guerlain softened the animalic impact of Coty’s Chypre, infused it with the sweetness of ripe peaches, and added a spicy touch against the backdrop of a mossy-woody accord.

The unique combination of accords in chypre creates a sensual and mysterious effect, due to the warm/cool contrast of the materials.  While classical chypres are often dark and rich, modern chypres based on experiments with various moss aroma materials and the new family of ambers tend to have a transparency paired with complexity and depth. 

Over the years, the family has evolved tremendously and become more varied and complex.  Now, as long as the key elements of chypre are present in some form, a fragrance can be called a chypre.  Because they smell like perfume, i.e. an 'external fragrance,' chypres project an image of luxury, sophistication, and status. They can be cerebral, cool and aloof or they can be intimate like scents wafting from the boudoir.  Because of their variable tones, it is common to confuse the chypres with the heavily woody Orientals or with green woody florals.

Chypres can distributed generally into family subcategories based on their dominant tone:

- Green: grassy, herbal
- Fruity (citrus): singular or blends of bergamot, orange, lemon or neroli, other fruits less often
- Woody (primarily oakmoss): mossy and woody
- Patchouli: camphoraceous and woody
- Animalic or Musk: sweet, powdery, and animalic. (Usually synthetic in modern products.)
- Floral: flowery

On the basic scaffolding of key elements, the perfumer can add accent pieces that make the perfume lean this or that direction, placing it somewhat into one of the subcategories.  Add more of the green notes of grasses, herbs, and green-smelling florals (such as hyacinth) and one has 'green chypres.' Emphasize the woodier notes of patchouli, vetiver, and pine needles and one has the 'woody chypres.'  Increase the notes of ripe fruits - such as citrus or plum and peach - and one has the historically important 'fruity chypres' (such as Guerlain Mitsouko).   Add lots of discernible flowers and the 'floral chypres' are produced.  Additional aldehydes on top make for an 'aldehydic chypre.' With the inclusion of copious animal ingredients the 'animalic chypres' appear.  Finally, although technically a separate family, according to La Société Française des Parfumeurs, called 'cuir/leather fragrances,' there are a few perfumes that mingle notes reminiscent of leather goods with the general elements of a chypre, such as Chanel Cuir de Russie. 

In the commonly used Michael Edwards classification system, chypres fall mostly into the 'mossy woods' category, as Edwards doesn't include a chypre family per se, but rather places them between woods and orientals.  'Nouveau chypres,' introduced in the early 2000s, are not technically chypres in the classical sense, but rather 'woody floral musk' fragrances, with a 'clean' patchouli and vetiver base standing in for the reduced ratio of oakmoss allowed by modern industry regulations regarding allergens.  (Oakmoss is considered a skin sensitizer.)   

Since the mid-1980's, Karl Lagerfeld cologne, simply called 'Lagerfeld,' has been the quintessential modern chypre scent for both men and women, although there are many others.  Men's chypre fragrances include Antonio Puig Sybaris; Atkinsons Duke; Avon Class Act and True Force; Basile Uomo; Borsalino for Men; Bronnley English Fern and James Bronnley; Caesars Man; Coty Stetson; Creed Erolfa and Vintage Tabarome; Domenico Caraceni 1913; Floris JF; G.F. Trumper Curzon Cologne; Halston Z; Kappa Nero Man; Lancome Sagamore and Trophee; Lanvin Monsieur; Lentheric Hallmark; Liz Claiborne for Men; Maxim's Pour Homme; Novaya Zarya Chypre and Only You; Penhaligon's Racquets, Quercus, and Douro; Perry Ellis Night; Ralph Lauren Polo Crest; Romeo Gigli for Man; Royal Copenhagen for Men; Shiseido Basala; and Yves Saint Laurent La Collection Pour Homme.  And among the most popular have been Aramis 900 and Devin; Guerlain Habit Rouge, Mouchoir de Monsieur, and Shalimar; Knize Ten; Yatagan; Caron Pour Un Homme; Yves Saint Laurent M7; Guerlain Derby; Chanel Pour Monsieur; Gucci Pour Homme; Nicolai New York; Armani Eau Pour Homme; Versace L'Homme; Dior Eau Sauvage; Tom Ford Moss Breches; Geoffrey Beene Grey Flannel; and Monsieur de Givenchy.  Finally, marketed for both sexes, Guerlain Mitsouko remains the standard for the fragrance family.

242 14,186
 05-23-2020, 09:02 AM
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Frankincense, also known as olibanum (or Levonah, Luban, Khunk), is an aromatic, congealed, resinous sap obtained from trees of the genus Boswellia in the family Burseraceae.  The name comes from the Old French encens ('high-quality incense'); the word franc meant 'noble' or 'pure.'  Its other name, olibanum, comes from the Arabic al-luban ('that which results from milking'), possibly a reference to the milky resin.
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True frankincense comes from five main species, the purest from Boswellia sacra.  The gum resin is produced under the bark of small tree shrubs that grow in limestone-rich rocky outcrops, cliffs, or dried riverbeds of Southern Arabia (the Dhofar region of Oman and Yemen), India, and Northern Africa (Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Kenya).  It sometimes sprouts even on solid rock by means of attachment by a bulbous disk-like swelling of the trunk.  (This feature is slight or absent in trees that grow in less stormy areas or in rocky soil or gravel.)  The plants obtain moisture from morning mist.  Trees begin to produce resin at about 8-10 years of age.  The resin is harvested by striping (making incisions in the bark) and then allowing the exuded resin to bleed out and dry for about a week into streaks called tears before being cut off as hardened crystal and then hand-sorted for quality.  The longer it is left on the tree, the harder it becomes.  Striping or tapping is usually done twice a year (spring and fall), with the final tap generally producing the best resin due to its higher content of aromatic terpene, sesquiterpene, and diterpene.  Differences in soil and climate create even more diversity of the resin.  It is graded by quality based on aroma, purity, color, age, and shape, with the first, lowest grade being the most common.  This grade is brownish and has many bark particles in it.  The highest grades are called Silver and Jojari.  Most of the annual harvest comes from Somalia and India, and the finest resin is said to come from Somalia and Djibouti, where the Roman Catholic Church purchases most of its stock for incense.
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The dried resin is crushed to a powder, put into an oil bath, and steam distilled to produce the essential oil.  Content of essential oil in the resin is about 8%.  The distilled liquid is pale yellow-brown to green and has a very strong aroma.
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Frankincense tree populations appear to be declining gradually, partly due to over-exploitation by populations with few other sources of income, which decreases germination rates.  In addition, burning, grazing, insect attacks, destruction in armed conflict, and conversion of frankincense woodlands to food agriculture in poverty-stricken areas are decreasing the numbers of trees.  In 1998, the International Union for Conservation of Nature warned that Boswellia sacra was 'near threatened,' and a 2006 ecological study demonstrated that Boswellia trees were becoming more difficult to find.  A 2019 study predicted a 50% reduction in some Boswellia species within two decades.

Popular folk etymology suggests a connection with the Franks (especially Frankish Crusaders), who reintroduced the spice to Western Europe during the Middle Ages.  Frankincense has been traded on the Arabian Peninsula and used in religious ceremonies for thousands of years (and named in Christianity as one of the three gifts from the Magi to the infant Jesus).  Some of it was traded as far as China.  The Greek historian Herodotus noted that frankincense resin was dangerous to harvest because of venemous snakes that lived in the trees, and he described an Arabian method of burning the gum of the styrax (snowbell) tree to produce smoke that drove the snakes away.

In perfumery, the odor profile is sweet, balsamic, somewhat green, warm, woody, and spicy with a hint of citrus and a piney undertone.  Initially it is reminiscent of freshly ground black pepper with a lemon peel twist, and as it dries down it reveals its woody character, both rich and crisp, with a dark, balsamic finish.  With both cold and warm elements, it is quite versatile.  It is associated often with Oriental and heavy, dark fragrances, especially those with amber, cedarwood, spices, vanilla, and patchouli.  But it also supports and blends quite well with lighter, effervescent orange, bergamot, and green tones.

Frankincense has been used in perfume products, essential oils, cleaning products, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and 'natural' medicines.  It is inhaled in aromatherapy or applied to the skin for its supposed health benefits, including calming, clearing, and relaxing the mind.  Folk remedies include it for treatment of nausea, indigestion, cough, hypertension, depression, and anxiety.  In Chinese medicine, frankincense (called ru xiang), when combined with myrrh, was thought to have antibacterial properties as well as blood-stimulant value, when used topically or orally.  In Persia, it was said to be used for diabetes, gastritis, and stomach ulcers, and ancient Egyptians cleansed body cavities with frankincense and natron during the mummification process.  By itself or in incense (its most common use), it has been burned in many Hebrew and Christian churches, including Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, and Roman Catholic, partly because it is believed to aid prayer and meditation.  Both Christian and Islamic faiths have mixed it with oils to anoint newborn infants and church initiates and in burial rituals.  The resin powder or oil are put into potpourri, and oil and smoke from burning incense are used commonly to scent room air.  In addition, the smoke is effective for driving away mosquitos, thus reducing the incidence of malaria.  Finally, frankincense can be used as a flavoring agent, giving a peppery-balsamic flavor.  It is added to foods, drinks, and toothpastes, and in the parts of the Middle East it is chewed as a gum to freshen the breath.

Masculine fragrances with significant frankincense:

Abercrombie & Fitch Oud Essence
Amouage Jubilation for Men
Armand Ultimate Drive
Aquaflor Firenze Azar
Armani Privé Bois D’Encens
Ashley Oud pour Lui
Aziza Dark Entity
Bvlgari Aqva Amara; Kobraa; Ambero
Caron Parfum Sacré
Comme des Garçons Incense Series Avignon
Dior Sauvage
Guerlain Arsene Lupin Dandy
Hermès Eau de Gentiane Blanche
Lise London Perfect Gentleman
Malone London Incense & Cedrat
Mauboussin Cristsal Oud
Osmo Encens Epice
Prada Infusion d'Homme
Regence Kolnisch Juchten
Sonoma Incense Pure
Tauer Incense Extreme
Zegna Passion

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Perfume Fixative

A fixative is used to equalize the vapor pressures, and thus the volatilities, of the raw materials in a perfume oil and thus to increase their tenacity (retention of fragrance on the skin).  

A misconception is that if a fragrance has more tenacity (lasts longer) it will smell stronger.  A fixative may or may not affect the strength of the fragrance.  If an agent increases the strength of a perfume it is called an enhancer or 'booster.'  Enhancers with little scent of their own are sometimes marketed by themselves and used in layering with perfume products by consumers.

Fixatives are materials that:
1.Slow down the rate of evaporation of the more volatile materials in a perfume composition, causing only gradual changes in the aroma of the perfume as the ingredients in it fade away (during the drydown phase).
2.Lend a particular note to the perfume throughout all stages of evaporation but do not significantly affect the evaporation rate of the other materials in the perfume.
3.Improve, fortify, and/or transport the vapors or lend a combination of a diffusive or retentive effect, typically through the addition of trace amounts.
4.And perhaps are odorless or almost odorless and lend a stabilizing action by halting the odor of the low-boiling (volatile) materials in the perfume. Fixative materials that may or may not have or impart an aroma of their own to a blend. Some nonodorous fixatives are glucam P20, isopropyl palmitate, diethyl pthalate, glycerin, benzyl benzoate, PVP, hydroxyethyl cellulose.  Example of fixatives with significant scents are fixolide, vanilla and vanillin, cinnamic alcohol, benzophenone, musk ketone, fixative 505, balsam of Peru, benzoin resin, tonka bean, sandalwood, amyris oil, and copaiba oil.

Fixatives may make up a small or a large percentage of the overall perfume blend depending on the technology employed and the type of fragrance being created.

The fixative qualities of an oil and its tenacity do not necessarily mean the same thing. Tenacity is the lasting effect of a perfume material and its ability to linger on the skin. An aromatic perfume ingredient may have immense tenacity but may have little impact on the evaporation rate of the other perfume ingredients with which it is combined (i.e. able to impart fixative qualities). While a botanical fixative will impart longevity and help extend the sillage of a natural perfume, in most cases it will not be as effective as a synthetic fixative.

In Piesse’s 1862 Art of Perfumery, he writes that a blend of crushed orris root and rectified spirits is "never sold alone, because its odour… is not sufficiently good to stand public opinion… But in combination its value is very great… it has the power of strengthening the odour of other fragrant bodies." The Perfume Handbook, published in 1992, lists 42 separate botanicals with fixative properties.

Natural fixatives are plant resinoids/gums (e.g. frankincense, myrrh, benzoin, balsam of Peru) or low-volatility substances (e.g. vetiver, oakmoss) and animal products. Synthetic fixatives include substances of low volatility (diphenylmethane, cyclopentadecanolide, ambroxide, benzyl salicylate) and virtually odorless solvents with very low vapor pressures (benzyl benzoate, diethyl phthalate, triethyl citrate).

Some common botanical fixatives:

Balsam of Peru
Cedarwood (Atlas)
Clary sage
Liquidambar (Styrax)
Tolu balsam
Violet Leaf 

Animal product fixatives:

Civet (the only one still commonly used, since its collection does not harm the animal)

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