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  1. #1

    Default Single note fragrances question

    Hello All,

    I was reading a thread in the Just starting out section, and it got me to thinking about fragrances that offer a relatively pure interpretation of a single note. For example, if someone was to ask what bergamot, sandalwood, lavender, iris, vetiver, amber, rose, or whatever, smelled like, where would you refer them, apart from pure essential oils and such? To clarify, I am not asking for your favorites here, but more those fragrances that exemplify a certain note. For example, I love the bergamot in C&S #88, but I think I would refer people to TDCs Divine Bergamot to get a sense of what bergamot really smells like. The other that comes to mind is Vetiver Extraordinaire as a good example of what vetiver smells like.
    Your thoughts?
    Vetiver - Vetiver Extraordinaire
    Bergamot - Divine Bergamot
    Amber - ?
    Laverder - ?
    Iris - ?
    Sandalwood - ?
    Other notes?

    Thanks,
    Slim
    Haikus are easy
    But do not always make sense
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  2. #2
    ChrisW's Avatar
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    Default Re: Single note fragrances question

    A few weeks ago, I think I asked what Patchouli smells like. I was suggested to Givenchy Gentleman by a member. (I'm sorry, I forgot the member and if it was Patchouli or vetiver that I wanted to smell! I do remember that it was Gentleman though, I guess that is the important thing.)

  3. #3

    Default Re: Single note fragrances question

    Quote Originally Posted by SlimPickins
    . . . I love the bergamot in C&S #88, but I think I would refer people to TDCs Divine Bergamot to get a sense of what bergamot really smells like. The other that comes to mind is Vetiver Extraordinaire as a good example of what vetiver smells like.

    Thanks,
    Slim

    [blue]Excellent question/suggestion Slim.

    As a point of interest, here are some of the complicating factors to the perception of individual notes as as I see them:

    Individual notes are modified according to the synergy of the blending and their proportions in relation to other elements. You are absolutely correct in pointing out that *Divine Bergamote* is a better of example of a more predominant "clean" bergamot note than say C&S Speake *No. 88*, where it is more tightly integrated into the accord.

    Furthermore, in most of modern perfumery, notes can sometimes be more of a conceptual notion. A rose note for example might be a subjective approximation of what a perfumer wants to claim is a rose note, or it might be an objective approximation of a rose note by using natural ingredients or by replicating the natural smell of a rose through aroma chemicals, which can also be synthetic (in this case defined as not occuring in nature) or natural (i.e. occurring in nature and but also synthesized in the lab to be "nature identical&quot. Geraniol is such an example of an aroma chemical that occurs in nature but can also be synthesized to be nature identical; it's a widely found monoterpene that occurs in many different kinds of plants material, but which is also found in certain varieties of rose oil (not in all) in significant amounts and is used to produce, with the addition of other aroma chemicals--and less often and to a lesser extent true rose oil--rose effects. There are many of these aroma chemicals used to produce "interpretations" of rose as a note, and, to further complicate matters, most perfumers themselves recognize 17 specific types of rose scents from natural sources.

    Another element is how we individually process single notes. There are some people who lack personal experience with certain notes or lack the facility to discriminate one note from another. On top of that there are the individual vagaries of perception. I have smelled bergamot for a large part of my life and have always had bergamot oil on hand, but, when it is well-blended, I have great difficulty distiguishing it from other elements. That's not the case with most other notes, which even when well-blended or in small amounts I can usually discriminate from other notes. It's like I have a blind spot with bergamot. I don't get bergamot in Czech & Speake *No. 88* when I am not looking for it very specifically and in a concerted manner.

    I will confirm these individual perceptual quirks by noting that my good friend Vicomte de K many a time has pointed out notes in fragrances that I have worn and known for many years but failed to notice. Some of us seem to be more sensitized to particular notes and some people have a greater facility (either through experience or innate ability) to distinguish notes than others.

    I have noticed that I have a decided sensitivity to civet, whereas others don't. I am frequently amazed when civet dominant fragrance are discussed without the mention of civet, *Monsieur de Givenchy* being one of them.

    I think the idea to provide a list of fragrances in which certain notes are clear, "clean", and predominant is an excellent idea.

    It will be interesting to see if there's unanimity on the choices.

    scentemental[/blue]


  4. #4

    Default Re: Single note fragrances question

    Amber: L'Eau d'Ambre by L'Artisan and Ambra by Etro.
    Lavender: Old English Lavender by Yardley.
    Iris: Hiris by Hermes.
    Sandalwood: Sandalwood by Floris (not Santal) and Sandalo by Etro.

    You could also drop by a Diptyque candles dealer. Most of those candles (and roomsprays) are single notes and really true to nature. Their Roses, Iris, Santal and Feuilles de Lavande are perfect examples.
    BTW: At Roja Dove's perfume consultations at Harrod's Urban Retreat Haute Parfumerie, the SAs often ask the customers to sniff several Diptyque candles. This way they can determine wich notes the persons like and what fragrances they might show them.

  5. #5

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    Default Re: Single note fragrances question

    I agree with what my friend scentemental has said. I cannot pick out the civet in Monsieur de Givenchy [which was my SOTD], Givenchy Gentleman, or Jicky EDT. However, there are a number of people on the board who can. It might be that my nose cannot detect it, or I haven't smelled it in a high enough concentration to recognize it.

    I think the best way to pick out notes is really to smell essential oils. But sometimes this can falter. Vetiver for example, smells wildly differently in an essential oil than it does in most EDTs. As an essential oil, IMHO, it is downright earthy and disgusting. Blended into a frag it can be grassy and refreshing. (Goutal Vetiver being the exception for me.)

    Anyhow if I had to pick a frag that best reflects certain notes:
    Lavender - Jicky EDT
    Amber - M7
    Sandalwood - ??? Too tough to answer for me ???
    Verbena - YSL PH
    In rotation: YSL PH HC, Bogart Citytower, Fahrenheit, Paco Rabanne PH, Escada Magnetism for Men, Halston 1-12
    Currently wearing: No. 19 by Chanel




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