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Thread: Clary Sage

  1. #1
    Asha's Avatar
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    Default Clary Sage

    Compiled from the Note Identification Project thread:

    Clary Sage, France, Eden Botanicals Ė Gorgeous note. Clear, green, shimmering, a bit minty, rather sweet, soft, but full and diffusive. I could see lots of use for this in perfumery to soften up green notes and to clean up florals. I love this, too.

    Clary Sage: aromatic, medicinal, camphor, little bit sweet

    Clary sage (EO, Aura Cacia, Salvia sclarea from Bulgaria/France/Russia)--3 drops on cotton, wafted
    Nutty and aromatic, sage-like, but less bitter. It is almost like a mild rosemary with a little bit of soft anise. Drydown is very medicinal, very much like rosemary, and the faint anise note is still there, but less strong.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Clary Sage

    I always wondered why "clary sage" smelled nothing like the sage that most people use for their Thanksgiving stuffing. And it smelled nothing like the Russian sage plant that grew in my yard. Nor the sage that grew in our local botanical gardens.

    Why? Because clary sage is not the same thing as culinary sage.

    I've smelled clary sage only twice, from different sources. Both times it was a yucky smell. Dirty, dark, bitter. Which is why I was so confused, because it doesn't smell at all like the distinctive spice sage, which can be aromatic, but yummy. Clary sage is often said to aid in clairvoyance. Whether that is true or not, I don't know. But it certainly didn't help me with its own identity.
    "Embrace those things which give you pleasure, after all, there is so much mediocrity to endure elsewhere." -- Inselaffe

  3. #3

    Default Re: Clary Sage

    Quote Originally Posted by Aiona View Post
    Clary sage is often said to aid in clairvoyance. Whether that is true or not, I don't know. But it certainly didn't help me with its own identity.
    That made me chuckle!

  4. #4

    Default Re: Clary Sage

    A good clary sage is a great note. It's soft and diffusive, very round and almost "fluffy" in texture. To my nose it registers primarily white in color, if I were to translate olfactory perceptions to visual, with light green and purple accents. It has elements of lavender in its odor profile, and also has elements of green tea. Imagine a less medicinal, less resinous but more fluffy interpretation of opoponax. It is featured prominently in the opening of Zino and The Dreamer (the new formulation, at least), and also is very evident in Versace PH after the initial citrus burns off (here, it adds a salty element, alongside its soft texture).
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Clary Sage

    Clary sage is the common note in so many of my favorites, and Asha's description of both the herbal and anisic notes confirms this. It seems to last forever on my skin and in my brain, thus My Sin, Antilope, Ma Griffe, and Miss Dior—all vintage—arrive at a common destination after about an hour, and even overnight. I love it's gentleness; I honestly never tire of it. Amongst these, I like Antilope the best, and have all told over 200 ml of the vintage stuff.

    fwiw, I find fragrantica's [notes] tab to be very helpful; key in the note your looking for and you get a list of fragrances in return. Very handy and it may help me find a modern fragrance that is more easily attainable than my vintages.
    What do insomniac perfumers do to fall asleep? They count chypres!

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Clary Sage

    I love this sage EO I bought at a deli by Nature's Alchemy. It smells very much like the pineapple sage plant I grow in my window, suedelike, green and fuzzy and slightly soapy and citrusy like coriander.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Clary Sage

    Just reading through these, everyone seems to be describing the Essential Oil, which certainly does have that soft, velvety quality and is very versatile.

    But Clary Sage also comes as an Absolute, which is a much darker more muscular beast. I often use it to boost oakmoss or tobacco as it has that dense masculine quality with woody/mossy notes.
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