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Thread: aldehydes

  1. #1

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    Default aldehydes

    My local mall has a Perfume Paradise kiosk set up, and I saw some very nice selections for the first time. They had one by Vicky Teil called Sirene and I'd never heard of it--and they didn't have any testers set up. One of our reviews notes the aldehydes in it.

    I have #5 and #22. I'm quite fond of them, and I know they have aldehydes. I've always thought of aldehydes of as synthetic aroma chemicals with a variety of smells. I've always thought that natural aromas were still largely aldehydic in their molecular structure, and some chemists explored the possiblities in a test tube. I know there is more than one aldehyde used in fragrances. Is this correct?

    My question is, what is the specific nature of "aldehydes" when people speak of them generally? What is that quality of the category that can turn people off, or on, the whole business?

  2. #2

    Default Re: aldehydes

    Aldehydes are scent-enhancers. They do their job in combination with certain notes, bringing them into focus and sharpness, calling your attention to them, making them stand out in the fragrance. They are like MSG for food flavors. The hardest part to get through on aldehydes is the opening notes. They tend to smell harsh at first before they settle down, but the wait is definitely worth it especially, in my opinion, for the way they boost florals. Some people object to the way they make a perfume smell "artificial" or "old-fashioned" but that is what I crave sometimes. It is good for a perfume to smell like a flower, but it is art to make a flower smell like a perfume.

  3. #3

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    Default Re: aldehydes

    Oh! Thanks for the information!

  4. #4

    Default Aldehydes

    Hey, Shycat! Long time, no smell (at least since you flunked my sonnet in your poetry contest. http://community.basenotes.net/showt...=186308&page=2. In the spirit of the holidays, let's not dwell on that. For too long, anyway.)!

    A good place to browse synthetics: http://www.thegoodscentscompany.com/rawmatex.html

    Another good place: http://www.perfumersworld.com/

  5. #5

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    Default Re: aldehydes

    Hey! Thanks for the link to PerfumersWorld. That's a kick-ass site and I'll explore it.

    Uhmmm, I didn't flunk your sonnet! It just came in last!

  6. #6

    Default Re: aldehydes

    There's a very interesting explanation of adehydes in "Emperor of Scent," the book about Luca Turin and his vibrational theory of smell.

    He uses the aldehydes in Chanels as an example. Adehydes are long chains of carbon atoms with an oxygen atom stuck on the tail. They are either odd or even aldehydes (five carbons, six carbons, nine carbons, etc.) and Turin found that even and odd aldehydes have different smells.

    Turin said that even numbered aldehydes smell like mandarin orange and odd numbered smell like smoky candles.
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    Default Re: aldehydes

    Quote Originally Posted by mochi227
    There's a very interesting explanation of adehydes in "Emperor of Scent," the book about Luca Turin and his vibrational theory of smell.

    He uses the aldehydes in Chanels as an example. Adehydes are long chains of carbon atoms with an oxygen atom stuck on the tail. They are either odd or even aldehydes (five carbons, six carbons, nine carbons, etc.) and Turin found that even and odd aldehydes have different smells.

    Turin said that even numbered aldehydes smell like mandarin orange and odd numbered smell like smoky candles.
    This is extremely interesting to me mochi227, thank you for posting it!

    I have a love / hate relationship with aldehydic perfumes and Luca Turin's theory may explain my confusion / ambivalence.

    The aldehydes in Chanel No.5, Chanel Cuir de Russie, Chanel Bois des Iles, or those in Estee Lauder White Linen, Rochas Byzance, Estee Lauder Youth Dew EDP or Rochas Mystere are all painful to me. They are either fatty and tallow like (blown out candle) or I find them piercing like pins & needles, annoying / irritating and they can eventually cause me to have a migrane.

    On the other hand I adore, and can wear with ease, Coty L'Aimant, Houbigant Essence Rare, Van Cleef & Arpels First, Gres Cabochard and Lanvin Arpege. Thinking back now, I would say that they all have a soft 'citrus' tinged edge to the opening sparkle.

    I wonder if they genuinely differ in that way or whether it is just my nose and it is all just hit or miss. This makes me think that it would be great to find out which aldehydes (odd or even) are in which scents so that I can tell straight off whether a scent is going to annoy me or not!

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  8. #8

    Default Re: aldehydes

    Thanks for posting that, Mochi! Very interesting!!

    I'd be willing to bet you a dollar to a donut that the Chanels have the odd numbered aldehydes. No. 5, No. 19, Bois des Iles - they all smell basically the same to me - like wax of some sort...candle wax perhaps? I don't know...I just know it's aweful on me, which is a shame, since they are such classy scents.
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  9. #9

    Default Re: aldehydes

    Yes, thanks for sharing that Mochi. I had read an article a while back about them, I sure wish I could remember where. I like them in the Chanels, but have not smelled them in other things that I know of. Purplebird7, I was going to use that metaphor also about the food enhancers. Using a non technical explanation like food enhancers, I thinks it's BHT or something, it can be done really nice and it can be over done. But aldehydes do occur naturally in some things, I just can't remember where for the life of me that I read about them.

  10. #10

    Default Re: aldehydes

    I think I have a problem with aldehydes.

    I've tried many Bond No. 9 and Creed fragrances. For example, I put on a sample of Madison Soiree and although I really liked it at first, something in it is nauseating me. Literally. I felt the same way about Creed's Spring Flower. When CJ and I were at Hall's in KC, the overzealous SA doused me in Spring Flower EDP and body oil. Phew.

    The other offender for me is violet. Anything with violet in it makes me queasy and sick. I couldn't find any violet in Madison or Spring Flower, so maybe it's the aldehydes?

    My twin sister constantly mentions aldehydes whenever I bring up Songes. However, I am CONVINCED that Songes has zero aldehydes because I love it and it doesn't make me sick. I guess that she read that aldehydes have a "powdery" scent and so she automatically assumes that anything powdery equals aldehydes, which is definitely untrue.
    Last edited by linnea; 11th August 2007 at 07:12 PM.



  11. #11
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    Default Re: aldehydes

    Linnea, you say this happened with Spring Flower body oil? The reason I'm seeking clarification is because we had a discussion going at POL about mass-market fragrances and the nature of the alcohols used by fragrance bottlers. As I understand it, some use grain-based alcohol and some potato-based alcohol.

    Regarding violet: it's one of the handful of flowers I can't smell (others being honeysuckle, lilies and water lilies). So maybe there's something peculiar about certain flowers.
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  12. #12

    Default Re: aldehydes

    Hey Linnea, we must be scent twins. I hate aldehydes and violet too!

  13. #13
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    Default Re: aldehydes

    Aldehydes and I are strange friends - I don't like what they do to most Chanel scents (I get a hairspray note...) but I love the way Lauder handles them (White Linen is...da' bomb). Having said that, I steer clear of aldehyde-heavy frags, because like moondeva said, they can be piercing and headache inducing for me.

    On a side note, I have found a few other frags that conjure up an olfactory feeling of 'effervescence' to my nose: Ananas Fizz by L'Artisan, Terre D'Hermes by Hermes and that YSL scent 'In Love' I think it's called ( I could be wrong on the name). I always wondered if the effect was being achieved with or without aldehyde's.

  14. #14

    Default Re: aldehydes

    Quote Originally Posted by linnea View Post
    I think I have a problem with aldehydes.


    My twin sister constantly mentions aldehydes whenever I bring up Songes. However, I am CONVINCED that Songes has zero aldehydes because I love it and it doesn't make me sick. I guess that she read that aldehydes have a "powdery" scent and so she automatically assumes that anything powdery equals aldehydes, which is definitely untrue.
    Linnea I feel very much the same way you do about aldehydes, I just cannot do them - THE END! But I love Songes and I stand firmly behind and in support of your statement above . Songes cannot have any aldehydes in it, I would know it for sure - the frag would have been ruined for me for sure had there been any in it. On the other hand, this morning I was sampling Dew Musk and on initial application I did not detect them, but oh dear goodness, when a few hours I woke up to aldehydes in full bloom I thought I was going to faint.
    Last edited by Agent Provocateur; 12th August 2007 at 12:43 AM.
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