Cardamon and maybe some light vanilla?
I've been playing with EO and aroma chemicals for a couple of years now, and have been having a great deal of fun. The latest project I am considering is designing a men's fragrance containing Ylang. I want your opinions as to what notes you think are complimentary to ylang for this application. What top notes would you use. What basenotes. What other heart notes would help make this floral note into more of a masculine (spice perhaps?).
I look forward to any replies.
Cardamon and maybe some light vanilla?
Believe it or not: try very little mint, almond and some "clean" white musk but with the ylang dominant as the showcase. Makes for a light floral that is not femme-fruity-floral - it's a "warm but brisk gourmand" perfume.
Q: How do you make a feminine fragrance masculine?
A: Add 'Pour Homme' to the bottle
- Pierre Bourdon
I like the idea GourmandHomme, reminiscent of Geranium Pour Monsieur with the interplay of mint and floral on a clean musk base. In a wholly opposite direction, I was thinking leather/tobacco with ylang. The vanilla/spice/floral can be "manned up" by some darker leather notes or tobacco, and some patchouli. Another direction is very green, trying to use ylang instead of lavender in a classic fougere, with citrus/hexenol 3-cis/hexenal cis-3-acetate up top with coumarin, vetiver, and oakmoss or synthetic substitutes in the base - dandy-ish but distinctly masculine. In any case, do tell how the experiment goes, JonB!
Do you have any Cananga essential oil? Very similar to Ylang in some respects, but has a much darker, woodier, and intriguingly spicy facets that make it more in line with masculine fragrances than, say, Ylang Ylang Extra. It's a related subspecies of Ylang Ylang but you'd never confuse the two oils.
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Cananga odorata is the scientific name for ylang-ylang, so the two are from one and the same species, and the names can be used interchangeably. However, I understand that there are subspecies that have slightly different odors. There are many different grades and types of cananga/ylang-ylang oil, so it's worth experimenting with the various ones to find out which works best in your formulation. Sounds like you're getting a lot of good suggestions.
Last edited by JonB; 7th May 2010 at 09:56 PM.
It mixes well with jasmine, and orange blossom, and I think rosemary would make a great top note. Herbal lavenders work well with it, too, as a top note, as would sweet fennel. It can be paired with juniper to enhance the woody facets (to me juniper always smells "white" in color, as does ylang). Iris would combine well. Sandalwood, white musks, helichrysum (immortelle) essential oil, not the absolute. Beeswax absolute would enhance the polleny aspect, making it more floral/narcotic, as would orange blossom absolute and the aforementioned jasmine.
Last edited by SculptureOfSoul; 7th May 2010 at 10:44 PM.
I think I want to go for something a bit powdery and smooth. The ylang certainly lends itself to an overall creamy texture. Yes, and maybe a little jasmine would blend well with ylang. For white musk, perhaps velvione. For more basenotes, maybe tonka and oakmoss as well.
Thanks for your suggestions
Last edited by JonB; 7th May 2010 at 11:23 PM.
Oakmoss and/or patchouli would both work well with the ylang ylang and help to 'darken' it a bit.
Beeswax absolute isn't hard to work with if you have a scale. It is semi solid at room temperature, and hence you need a scale to do any kind of accurate dilution, but I've found that it was 100% soluble at a 20% dilution.
OK, I've played a little bit with ingredients, and have come up with the bones of a nice Ylang fragrance. First let me start out by saying that I have no qualms about using natural or synthetic ingredients. I use whatever gives me the scent I am looking for.
I started out by imagining which components would work well with (or potentiate) the Ylang smell. In my head I came up with Patchouli, and Teak. Patchouli is available everywhere, but as far as I know, there is no source of natural teak essential oil any more. The only teak source I know of is a Firmenich synthetic teak. I also like a bit of yin and yang, so I thought about balancing the sweetness of the Ylang and Patchouli with vetiver. After using vetiver for a while though, I found I actually preferred to use vetiveryl acetate. I found that adding vanilla was also a good thing.
So here is the blend (a woody, spicy oriental with a featured note of Ylang):
These proportions are by weight:
Vetiveryl acetate 2
Ethyl vanillin 1
Note: I've been testing this at Edt strength; 10% oil.
This is a nice blend all by itself, but I've now started thinking about topnotes (galbanum maybe) to add some lift and to make the blend less dense. The previous suggestion of mint I think would be excellent. I've also come to the conclusion that adding some castoreum or leather to the base would really be nice, otherwise the late drydown becomes dominated by vanillin (which many people may not like).
So, if any of you have the ingredients (most of which I got from Perfumersapprentice BTW), I'd love to hear your own tweaks to this basic formula.
Last edited by JonB; 26th June 2010 at 05:28 PM.
For my pennies worth. I was trying on some ginger EO the other day and was surprised how creamy the drydown was if you were looking for creamy with a pingy lift. For a leathery note, I quite like birch tar, but it's certainly powerful.
I would consider spice on the top - cinnamic/rose type and anisic type molecules as well as lemon/bergamot to pick up on the oriental theme of patchouli and vanilla. I also think some leather and musk in the base would help blunt the vanilla - perhaps vanillin instead of ethyl vanillin which is a bit stronger if you find the base dominated by vanilla. Additionally, I love cedar molecules - bois ambrene forte, cedramber, etc, as they interact with exotic florals and spice. Sounds like a great start.
Betel leaf EO is extremely strong and tenacious, but would certainly provide an unusual note. Some people are apparently hyperosmic to Firmenich teak - I know I am - so the amount you have in your base would probably blast me out of the room and mask everything else in your scent. Others seem to love it, so it's just a matter of genetics and personal taste. It sounds like you've already got a great formula, so based on the suggestions others have given you, you could take it many different directions.
Ylang is a woody flower accord that to me smells like jasmine + bitter almond and sometimes citrus (I have about 20 bushes in my garden!). It goes very well with amaretto, and a vetiver base. You could add a bit of tuberose or mimosa also without things becoming too girly, extending those with a bit of animalic indolene if you want.
Depends somewhat on if you want to a light cologne feel or a darker, richer oriental. I'd go for the richer oriental myself, with labdanum, cedar, sandalwood and vetiver base;; ylang, mimosa, tuberose in the middle, and some amaretto with sparkly citrus and ozone notes on the top, probably synthetics to work better with the heavier base. I'd also add a drop or two of birch tar to make the whole composition more 'dirty' and masculine. Remember you need to give in a good slug of Ylang Ylang. While the smell is quite tenacious, it does have a tendency to get lost in complex compositions.
A simpler composition which could still manage to be manly would be a sandalwood, frankincense and vetiver base, mainly ylang in the middle with some jasmine, and mandarin, bergmot and neroli in the top
Clary sage in a men's scent is an interesting idea.
Birch tar is the same as White Birch EO?