How many different ingredients are there in a typical fragrance?

    How many different ingredients are there in a typical fragrance?

    post #1 of 15
    Thread Starter 

    Le Labo's line of fragrance has got me thinking about the number of ingredients used in a typical fragrance. (They name their fragrance by the most dominant scent and next to it the number of ingredients used in the fragrance.)

    Their "Gaiac 10" or "Ambrette 9" are very mild and soft, probably because the perfumer didn't mix a lot of ingredients in it? But "Iris 39" has 39 ingredients!? I honestly can't imagine what really go in that bottle. Is it common to have that many ingredients in a common fragrance? I wonder if they remove one little ingredient, will the scentsmell very different?

    post #2 of 15

    It varies greatly. It seems to me on average - 9 (three top notes, three heart notes and three base notes) but no steadfast rule at all.

    post #3 of 15

    There are far more ingredients than you see in a pyramid. The Le Labo thing is a gimmick. Most fragrances contain more than 200 ingredients. Minimalists like Jean Claude Ellena use less than that, an average of 150 or so.

    post #4 of 15

    It varies.

    post #5 of 15
    Thread Starter 
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by pluranView Post

    Most fragrances contain more than 200 ingredients.

    Wow, 200 ingredients are a lot.I wonder if there is a typical "soup stock base" that is comprised of, say 50 most-used ingredients and a perfumer starts off from there. :)

    post #6 of 15

    It depends so much on the type of fragrance, but I would say that the average number of ingredients in a typical "fine fragrance" is between 40 and 70 materials. That includes both Aroma Chemicals, Essential Oils and Natural Extracts. There are simpler formulae, and more complex ones.

    Of course, if you were to count every chemical present (all those in Essential oils etc.) then the number would increase into the hundreds, if not thousands.

    post #7 of 15
    Yes I've read that perfumes contain hundreds of ingredients but LL says its the number beside the moniker.

    Could it be that LL simply uses less ?

    Or do they classify what they claim as the 'key ingredients'.

    Who knows.
    post #8 of 15
    Don't know about the whole ingredients list. From what i read, many of them use 150 to 300 odors in one formula and Jean-Clude Ellena perfers 10 to 20 different odors in his creation.
    post #9 of 15

    There's a Luca Turin TED video, Luca talks about Beyond Paradise by Estee Lauder. He asked how many molecules were in the fragrance. Nobody would tell him. He put it through a gas chromatograph and it turned out to be "about 400".

    post #10 of 15
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BeftusView Post

    There's a Luca Turin TED video, Luca talks about Beyond Paradise by Estee Lauder. He asked how many molecules were in the fragrance. Nobody would tell him. He put it through a gas chromatograph and it turned out to be "about 400".

    As I said, if you include every chemical present (including all the chemicals in every Essential Oil) you will find many hundreds, if not thousands of chemicals.

    post #11 of 15
    Thread Starter 

    Thanks, Beftus! Here's the video:

    post #12 of 15

    I didn't know that about Le Labo. I thought the numbers were just ways to organize the names or acknowledge the order, or in a similar sense how a football player has a numbered outfit.

    As for the number of ingredients. The pyramids aren't always 100% accurate.

    1. They are made simple to be appealing. If the company released a 30-note pyramid, the consumer will be overwhelmed.

    2. Synthetic ingredients are often used. So you aren't smelling specific notes, but just chemicals with long names that smell like things we find in nature.

    3. You can't expect me to believe the Cloves are the only mid-notes in kouros.

    post #13 of 15
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hedonist222View Post

    Yes I've read that perfumes contain hundreds of ingredients but LL says its the number beside the moniker.

    Could it be that LL simply uses less ?

    Or do they classify what they claim as the 'key ingredients'.

    Who knows.


    Who knows? Le Labo knows for sure, but aren't telling. There's so much lies, gibberish, drivel and half-truths surrounding fragrances I'm not inclined to believe anything brands say or write about them. Want to know for sure? Have the stuff put through a gas chromatograph by a technician, and even then there still remains guess work as to what it exactly contains.

    post #14 of 15

    It can vary from two eg Molecule 01 (ISO E Super + ethanol) to - as Dave Ruskin has said - many hundreds if you include all the chemicals in the naturals.

    Here's a GC/MS% analysis of just one natural oil. In this case it's cinnamon berry.

    styrene 0.17, alpha thujene 0.55, alpha-pinene 3.09, camphene 0.16, sabinene 2.83, beta-pinene 3.23, 6-methyl-5-hepten-2-one 0.09, myrcene 0.76, alpha-phellandrene 5.90, alpha terpinene 1.20 ,para-cymene 4.24, sabinene 4.59, 1,8-cineole 18.97, trans beta ocimene 0.10, trans beta ocimene 0.31, gamma terpinene 1.67, gamma terpinene 0.16, terpinolene 0.49, linalool 2.19, sabinene 0.09, 2-beta pinene 0.09, camphor 2.59, 3-cyclohexene-1-methanol 0.34, terpinen-4-ol 2.49, cryptone 0.26, alpha terpineol 4.42, phellandrene epoxide 0.27, Z-citral 0.48, carvotanacetone 0.17, nerol 0.11, E-citral 0.59, 1-cyclohexene-1-carboxaldehyde 0.22, carvacrol 0.31, alpha cubebene 0.25,alpha copaene 1.69, methyl cinnamate 18.96, beta elemene 0.13,methyl eugenol 2.18, trans caryophyllene 2.63, alpha bergamotene 0.16, valencene 0.18, alpha humulene 0.40, beta santalene 0.24, beta selinene 0.73, alpha selinene 0.42, bicyclogermacrene 0.26, methyl isoeugenol 1.25, beta bisabolene 0.26, myristicin 5.94, elemicin 0.53, spathulenol 0.32, gamma gurjunene 0.34

    -

    post #15 of 15
    Anywhere for 5 to 200. According to Jean Paul Guerlain, the original Mitsouko only had 8 raw materials (I'm guessing bergamot, iris, Persicol, labdanum, oakmoss, rose, jasmine, and maybe ambergris), while Guy Robert's Gold had somewhere over 200. To be entirely honest, I don't know how many raw materials go into today's perfumes. I know that Beyond Paradise has something like 200 molecules, though this doesn't necessarily reflect the number of materials, given naturals have many molecules and most synthetics are single molecules.
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    5/17/13 at 8:23pm

    Magic Ketchup said:



    Le Labo's line of fragrance has got me thinking about the number of ingredients used in a typical fragrance. (They name their fragrance by the most dominant scent and next to it the number of ingredients used in the fragrance.)

    Their "Gaiac 10" or "Ambrette 9" are very mild and soft, probably because the perfumer didn't mix a lot of ingredients in it? But "Iris 39" has 39 ingredients!? I honestly can't imagine what really go in that bottle. Is it common to have that many ingredients in a common fragrance? I wonder if they remove one little ingredient, will the scentsmell very different?

    5/17/13 at 8:42pm

    hednic said:



    It varies greatly. It seems to me on average - 9 (three top notes, three heart notes and three base notes) but no steadfast rule at all.

    5/17/13 at 8:48pm

    pluran said:



    There are far more ingredients than you see in a pyramid. The Le Labo thing is a gimmick. Most fragrances contain more than 200 ingredients. Minimalists like Jean Claude Ellena use less than that, an average of 150 or so.

    5/17/13 at 8:51pm

    sjg3839 said:



    It varies.

    5/17/13 at 9:00pm

    Magic Ketchup said:



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by pluranView Post

    Most fragrances contain more than 200 ingredients.

    Wow, 200 ingredients are a lot.I wonder if there is a typical "soup stock base" that is comprised of, say 50 most-used ingredients and a perfumer starts off from there. :)

    5/18/13 at 12:26am

    David Ruskin said:



    It depends so much on the type of fragrance, but I would say that the average number of ingredients in a typical "fine fragrance" is between 40 and 70 materials. That includes both Aroma Chemicals, Essential Oils and Natural Extracts. There are simpler formulae, and more complex ones.

    Of course, if you were to count every chemical present (all those in Essential oils etc.) then the number would increase into the hundreds, if not thousands.

    5/18/13 at 3:45am

    hedonist222 said:



    Yes I've read that perfumes contain hundreds of ingredients but LL says its the number beside the moniker.

    Could it be that LL simply uses less ?

    Or do they classify what they claim as the 'key ingredients'.

    Who knows.

    5/18/13 at 6:50am

    CX827 said:



    Don't know about the whole ingredients list. From what i read, many of them use 150 to 300 odors in one formula and Jean-Clude Ellena perfers 10 to 20 different odors in his creation.

    5/18/13 at 10:24am

    Beftus said:



    There's a Luca Turin TED video, Luca talks about Beyond Paradise by Estee Lauder. He asked how many molecules were in the fragrance. Nobody would tell him. He put it through a gas chromatograph and it turned out to be "about 400".

    5/18/13 at 11:56am

    David Ruskin said:



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BeftusView Post

    There's a Luca Turin TED video, Luca talks about Beyond Paradise by Estee Lauder. He asked how many molecules were in the fragrance. Nobody would tell him. He put it through a gas chromatograph and it turned out to be "about 400".

    As I said, if you include every chemical present (including all the chemicals in every Essential Oil) you will find many hundreds, if not thousands of chemicals.

    5/18/13 at 5:22pm

    Magic Ketchup said:



    Thanks, Beftus! Here's the video:

    5/18/13 at 9:25pm

    noirdrakkar said:



    I didn't know that about Le Labo. I thought the numbers were just ways to organize the names or acknowledge the order, or in a similar sense how a football player has a numbered outfit.

    As for the number of ingredients. The pyramids aren't always 100% accurate.

    1. They are made simple to be appealing. If the company released a 30-note pyramid, the consumer will be overwhelmed.

    2. Synthetic ingredients are often used. So you aren't smelling specific notes, but just chemicals with long names that smell like things we find in nature.

    3. You can't expect me to believe the Cloves are the only mid-notes in kouros.

    5/19/13 at 9:40am

    Beftus said:



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hedonist222View Post

    Yes I've read that perfumes contain hundreds of ingredients but LL says its the number beside the moniker.

    Could it be that LL simply uses less ?

    Or do they classify what they claim as the 'key ingredients'.

    Who knows.


    Who knows? Le Labo knows for sure, but aren't telling. There's so much lies, gibberish, drivel and half-truths surrounding fragrances I'm not inclined to believe anything brands say or write about them. Want to know for sure? Have the stuff put through a gas chromatograph by a technician, and even then there still remains guess work as to what it exactly contains.

    5/25/13 at 4:22am

    Skelly said:



    It can vary from two eg Molecule 01 (ISO E Super + ethanol) to - as Dave Ruskin has said - many hundreds if you include all the chemicals in the naturals.

    Here's a GC/MS% analysis of just one natural oil. In this case it's cinnamon berry.

    styrene 0.17, alpha thujene 0.55, alpha-pinene 3.09, camphene 0.16, sabinene 2.83, beta-pinene 3.23, 6-methyl-5-hepten-2-one 0.09, myrcene 0.76, alpha-phellandrene 5.90, alpha terpinene 1.20 ,para-cymene 4.24, sabinene 4.59, 1,8-cineole 18.97, trans beta ocimene 0.10, trans beta ocimene 0.31, gamma terpinene 1.67, gamma terpinene 0.16, terpinolene 0.49, linalool 2.19, sabinene 0.09, 2-beta pinene 0.09, camphor 2.59, 3-cyclohexene-1-methanol 0.34, terpinen-4-ol 2.49, cryptone 0.26, alpha terpineol 4.42, phellandrene epoxide 0.27, Z-citral 0.48, carvotanacetone 0.17, nerol 0.11, E-citral 0.59, 1-cyclohexene-1-carboxaldehyde 0.22, carvacrol 0.31, alpha cubebene 0.25,alpha copaene 1.69, methyl cinnamate 18.96, beta elemene 0.13,methyl eugenol 2.18, trans caryophyllene 2.63, alpha bergamotene 0.16, valencene 0.18, alpha humulene 0.40, beta santalene 0.24, beta selinene 0.73, alpha selinene 0.42, bicyclogermacrene 0.26, methyl isoeugenol 1.25, beta bisabolene 0.26, myristicin 5.94, elemicin 0.53, spathulenol 0.32, gamma gurjunene 0.34

    -

    5/25/13 at 10:12am

    treeman5823 said:



    Anywhere for 5 to 200. According to Jean Paul Guerlain, the original Mitsouko only had 8 raw materials (I'm guessing bergamot, iris, Persicol, labdanum, oakmoss, rose, jasmine, and maybe ambergris), while Guy Robert's Gold had somewhere over 200. To be entirely honest, I don't know how many raw materials go into today's perfumes. I know that Beyond Paradise has something like 200 molecules, though this doesn't necessarily reflect the number of materials, given naturals have many molecules and most synthetics are single molecules.





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