Guerlain L’Instant de Guerlain Eau de Toilette Paco Rabanne 1 Million It’s collected from the stems in small drops (‘tears’). Cartier Le Must de Cartier The task of the rose-picker is to pick the dew-drenched blooms before 10 a.m. at the latest, when the sun evaporates their exquisite magic. Word is that next, perfumery is looking to the Orient:  China is just discovering the joy of perfume. Burberry Body David & Victoria Beckham Signature for Her Estée Lauder Pleasures You know that so-distinctive smell when rain falls onto earth…? Cookies enable certain functions on our site, let you access your account, place orders, allow us to analyse website traffic and usage, and personalise content. It has a waxy, soft floral quality, in perfumes – almost as if it lightly dusts the perfume with pollen. Diesel Loverdose It was the legendary fragrance Angel which really put caramel as an ingredient on the map: that sweet, seductive, eat-me quality which gourmand fragrances embody. The rise (and rise) of fruity scents has given a new lease of life to this fruit, once reserved for the pudding course and jam-making. And expensive, so expensive! (Mostly men’s, but a few shared and women’s scents; it goes really well with other aromatics, such as fennel, licorice, tarragon, basil and fennel, in aromatic and oriental creations.) Juicy Couture Peace, Love & Juicy Couture It’s burned today in Catholic churches and Anglican high church ceremonies – and perhaps as a result, it’s a love-it-or-hate-it ingredient, depending on whether you were forced to sit through endless sermons and hymns on Sundays. Because Andy observes: 'My white lilac blooms early, due to an early spring in Zurich. But in the hands of a gifted perfumer…? Intoxicating, hallucinogenic, life-threatening plants – yes, truly – datura (a.k.a. In a fragrance…? Serge Lutens Un Bois Vanille, Vanilla doesn’t just smell sweet, nuzzleable and delectably comforting:  it’s kind of magic, in flavour and perfume terms. Cristobal Balenciaga Le Dix Molecules that are synthesized in a lab. Apples have been a part of fragrance creation right back to the medieval era of Arab perfumery. Yes, if we eat it:  nectarines are of course smooth-skinned, and have a whiter flesh. There are two types of civet:  one African (its habitat spans Ethiopia through to South Africa), and Indian, native to Nepal, Bangladesh and Vietnam. Collection of agarwood from natural forests is now illegal under CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endanged Species of Wild Fauna and Flora), but some is now beginning to be plantation grown in Vietnam. Although ink-y notes can come from natural materials like oakmoss, it generally isn’t really ink that you’ll smell in a scent. Lacoste Pour Femme It’s generally used as a fixative or stabiliser in many perfumes – helping to make sure that a favourite scent smells consistent, and keeping it ‘true’ for many years in the bottle. Camphor – which comes in the form of a white, crystal-like powder - is actually quite popular in Arabic perfumery:  it’s present in a quarter of the legendary formulations from a renowned perfumer known as ‘al-Kindi’, as well as being is in widespread therapeutic use: for embalming, as a medicine (see aforementioned chest rub etc. Floris Edwardian Bouquet The Pheasant’s Eye Narcissus (a.k.a. Neroli’s perfect in white florals, or in Colognes, which accent its citrus edge – and it’s popular in fragrances for men, as well as for women. Estée Lauder Private Collection Nowadays, it’s widely cultivated:  orange groves flourish from North Africa to North America, France and Italy. (It’s actually been proven to quell anxiety and promote sleep.) But wait! ), The supposed Greek legend linked with the flower is well-known:  Narcissus was a handsome youth who fell in love with his own reflection, on seeing it in a pool. Dior Miss Dior (Pink pepper – a.k.a. Because its feels like a glorious smell. Yes, really:  ambergris is produced in the digestive system of sperm whales - to make it easier for the whale to digest shard objects (like squid beaks), so it’s thought. Water lilies – Nymphea – get their name from Greek mythology, from the nymphs who played in springs or pools. If not, they travel further down the gut and are covered in ambergris:  a sticky, gelatinous material which dries to a lump with a resinous texture and then floats on the surface, ending up on beaches in places like South Africa, the East Indies, China, Japan, New Zealand – even Dorset. On a blotter, meanwhile, a single drop of patchouli can last for months. Hermès Un Jardin Sur Le Nil Pepper, is metallic and spiky, sharp. If any single ingredient can create those effects, it’s musk. Chanel Eau de Parfum Let´s call them "raspberry coupé". Katy Perry Purr Elizabeth Arden Red Door Britney Spears Believe (It also helps to develop rose notes, in soap-making.). Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille There’s a fog of confusion about amber, and ambergris. They’re wonderful in the home, possibly the perfume-lover’s must-have bloom. Highly aromatic, merely brushing against the dark green leaves releases the potent scent, all varieties of the plant have some common characteristics - mostly perennial, mint simply adores to be near water, pools and in partial shade. Amouage Interlude. L'Occitane Orange Leaves Eau de Cologne An ancient natural remedy, lavender’s a flowering member of the mint family – well, several members, because different types of lavender are used in perfumery. Chanel No. Caron Infini L’Occitane Immortelle de Corse, One of spring’s favourite flowers, hyacinth gets its name from the Greek language:  ‘flower of rain’. As a flower, orange blossom has long played a role in weddings:  maidens have carried it in bouquets and woven it into bridal headdresses since the time of the Crusaders, when trees were brought from the East to Europe, and began to flourish here. Vivienne Westwood Boudoir In recent years, perfumers have been giving thanks for celery. Dior Dolce Vita The Different Company Rose Poivrée Miller Harris La Fumée Arabie (Strangely, the flower itself is scent-less.). Guerlain Mitsouko Juicy Couture Juicy Couture Aromatherapeutically, juniper is used for arthritis, sore muscles, poor circulation and (when sniffed) as a ‘pick-me-up’ – and as a perfume ingredient, it certainly revs up a composition. A detailed look at vegan perfumes, cruelty free perfumes, eco-friendly perfumes, toxic and unknown ingredients and other ethical issues. Both are lovely, but the poodle mostly just hops and jumps. Calvin Klein Eternity Ylang ylang grows in the Phillipines, Java, Réunion and the Comoro Islands. To extract the deep, sweet woodiness, wood or root chippings are steam-distilled. Here, you can read about literally hundreds of the different perfume elements in use today. Boucheron Jaipur Saphir Read more about it here. In general, it’s a ‘fantasy’ or synthetic note you smell, rather than any essence from cocoa beans themselves – but it’s there for the sheer, pleasurable links with one of man’s (and especially woman’s) most indulgent foods…, Cartier Le Baiser du Dragon DKNY Energising for Women ), Other ingredients, too – like extracts of ambrette seed, galbanum and angelica root – can also deliver a musky sensuality to a perfume. Serge Lutens A La Nuit As a medicinal, use of this exceedingly bitter herb goes all the way back to Egypt. Take C7 – or heptanal, naturally occurring in clary sage, with its herby-green odour. Penhaligon’s Quercus Yves Saint Laurent Belle d’Opium, In the wrong hands, strawberry can smell sickly-sweet and synthetic. Tauer Perfumes Zeta Amouage Ciel Pour Femme Oh, and also ‘German jasmine’. The note is steam-distilled or solvent-extracted from the creamy flowers of the tall plant (Cananga odorata) – it can be either a tree or a vine, growing to almost 20 metres. Maybe that’s chameleon-like heliotrope, in the blend…  A touch of vanilla? Lilies have been used in perfumery since ancient times:  they were very well-loved in Egypt, as part of a perfumed ointment ‘based on the flowers of 2000 lilies’, while the ancient Greeks used Madonna lilies to make a perfume called Susinon. The raw materials in the balsamic family are sweet and woody. The good news, however, is that plantations in Australia are now coming on-stream, producing sandalwood oil of high quality – to the relief of ‘noses’. This product of the galbanum plant is used as a top note, instead – and some very famous fragrances (see below) get their character from this VIP perfume ingredient – most notably Chanel’s No. We like this comment from Perfume Shrine, a great scent blog:  ‘When people complain “I can’t smell a thing!”, it’s not necessarily anosmia, but too much ionones!’, Goutal La Violette It’s mostly the foliage (from trees grown in the Atlas mountains of Morocco, or Virginia in the USA) that is steam-distilled to produce the intense oil, which is also used in aromatherapy for calming and balancing. Xerjoff Shooting Stars Collection:  Esquel. Guerlain Chant D’Arome The fragrance note itself is synthetically created, adding a touch of syrupy bitter-sweetness – most often, as we’ve said, to gourmand perfumes. Donna Karan DKNY Golden Delicious So why use tolu at all? The bounteous bitter orange plant – where would perfumery be without it? (Think:  barns…)  It’s not the actual essence-of-dried-pasture – used to feed cattle, horses, goats and sheep – that you’ll smell in a perfume bottle, however: hay notes are created synthetically - yet they’re no less glorious for that… (Do also read about coumarin, here: it’s another, quite similar synthetic, which gives us the scent of new-mown grass…), Etat Libre d’Orange Jasmin et Cigarette To enhance floral perfumes. ) savvy perfumers, however, shouldn ’ t love smell! A single ingredient: no wonder many perfumers perfume ingredients by brand it. ) stimulating and anti-depressant synthesised, adding a warmth! And gardenia - and a little like orange blossom ’, mentioned the... Wafting in the sun thanks to fragrance creations actually ‘ desensitise ’ the nose Christine Nagel explains 'Freesia... At the same time. ) Fragonard citron goutal Eau d ’ Artiste Yves Saint Laurent opium the wonders the! 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