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  1. #1
    Paul Kiler
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    Default Chart of Most Frequently Used Perfume Notes by Deborah Dolen

    I thought that this was interesting data...

    From Deborah Dolen: "
    If you are just getting started at making perfume, I created a chart, below, as a "basis." I took a list I created a few years ago, of the Top 300 Designer Perfume Blends and created the chart based on that data."

    Chart of Most Frequently Used Perfume Notes
    by Deborah Dolen
    Most Popular Top Notes Most Popular Heart Notes Most Popular Base Notes
    1. Bergamot
    2. Peach
    3. Mandarin Orange
    4. Greens
    5. Aldehydes
    6. Lemon
    7. Coriander
    8. Black Currant
    9. Galbanum
    10. Black Violet Leaves
    11. Pepper
    12. Grapefruit
    13. Rosewood
    14. Pineapple
    15. Plum
    16. Raspberry
    17. Marigold
    18. Sage
    19. Tangerine
    20. Apricot
    21. Cardamom
    22. Mango
    23. Lime
    24. Passion fruit
    25. Pear
    26. Petigrain
    27. Strawberries
    28. Water Lilly
    29. Coconut
    30. Ginger
    31. Cassis
    1. Rose
    2. Jasmine
    3. Ylang Ylang
    4. Lily of the Valley
    5. Tuberose
    6. Hyacinth
    7. Orange Blossom
    8. Neroli
    9. Carnation
    10. Iris
    11. Orris
    12. Narcissus
    13. Violet
    14. Gardenia
    15. Geranium
    16. Honeysuckle
    17. Lilac
    18. Orchid
    19. Red Currant
    20. Heliotrope
    21. Wisteria
    1. Sandalwood
    2. Musk
    3. Amber
    4. Vanilla
    5. Oak moss
    6. Patchouli
    7. Vetivert
    8. Civet
    9. Cedar wood
    10. Benzoin
    11. Incense
    12. Tonka Bean
    13. Honey
    14. Moss
    15. Clove
    16. Spices - Anise
    17. Styrax
    18. Opoponax
    19. Bay Rum
    20. Leather











    Perfume Notes Propensity Chart
    © Deborah Dolen 2011
    Paul Kiler
    PK Perfumes
    http://www.PKPERFUMES.com
    Gold Medal for "Best Aroma"; Los Angeles Artisan Fragrance Salon

  2. #2

    Default Re: Chart of Most Frequently Used Perfume Notes by Deborah Dolen

    Unless she means 'the smell note of', then validity of this is more than extremely doubtful without any aromachemicals mentioned. Iso-e-super for instance. I would have liked to see the note of codswallop mentioned.
    Currently wearing: Beautiful by Estée Lauder

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Chart of Most Frequently Used Perfume Notes by Deborah Dolen

    "codswallop" = "nonsense" (I had to look it up...)

  4. #4
    Paul Kiler
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    Default Re: Chart of Most Frequently Used Perfume Notes by Deborah Dolen

    She is taking the notes of the fragrances, from the perfumes themselves,... this isn't a very specific inventory, but the general odor notes. There are a few specifics, but it's not meant to be specific ...

    It's "However you get there..."
    Paul Kiler
    PK Perfumes
    http://www.PKPERFUMES.com
    Gold Medal for "Best Aroma"; Los Angeles Artisan Fragrance Salon

  5. #5

    Default Re: Chart of Most Frequently Used Perfume Notes by Deborah Dolen

    Sorreeee..... not being very serious.
    Currently wearing: Beautiful by Estée Lauder

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Chart of Most Frequently Used Perfume Notes by Deborah Dolen

    sooo lovely .... look at the place of patchouly only 6th , and then vetiver, top 5 all 100% synthetics....

    i dont even know what cassis is never came across it!

    i think pepper and spices are beeing heavily used nowdays

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Chart of Most Frequently Used Perfume Notes by Deborah Dolen

    Is there an opoponax sub. these days?
    Tried a Madini oil & nearly drowned in it the other day.
    Please excuse the ignorance, but interested, although have some real stuff still.
    Last edited by lpp; 7th April 2013 at 08:44 PM.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Chart of Most Frequently Used Perfume Notes by Deborah Dolen

    Quote Originally Posted by iivanita View Post
    i dont even know what cassis is never came across it!
    Cassis is French for blackcurrant - that's what it refers to in culinary usage, anyway.
    Smelling good on a budget!

  9. #9
    Paul Kiler
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    Default Re: Chart of Most Frequently Used Perfume Notes by Deborah Dolen

    And it's easy to be confused between Cassis and Cassie and Cassia - Too...!

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by lpp View Post
    Is there an opoponax sub. these days?

    I just found out about Chironiax from Firmenich yesterday!

    http://www.thegoodscentscompany.com/data/rs1059181.html
    Paul Kiler
    PK Perfumes
    http://www.PKPERFUMES.com
    Gold Medal for "Best Aroma"; Los Angeles Artisan Fragrance Salon

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Chart of Most Frequently Used Perfume Notes by Deborah Dolen

    Thank you, Paul

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Chart of Most Frequently Used Perfume Notes by Deborah Dolen

    "10. Black Violet Leaves"

    what? how can something i've never heard of be at the number 10 spot.

    i can see such a note pop-up, say in tom ford's black violet marketing blurb; but high ranking in a list with the most popular topnotes, that's rather peculiar.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Chart of Most Frequently Used Perfume Notes by Deborah Dolen

    Do these notes come from marketing blurbs, though? Clearly they're not literal. For example, it would be difficult at best to come remotely close to L'air du Temps by using these either as extracts or synthetic replacements:

    Top Notes: Bergamot, peach, rosewood, neroli
    Heart Notes: Gardenia, carnation, jasmine, May rose, ylang-ylang, orchid, lily, clove, orris
    Base Notes: Ambergris, musk, vetiver, benzoin, cedarwood, moss, sandalwood, spices

  13. #13

    Default Re: Chart of Most Frequently Used Perfume Notes by Deborah Dolen

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Roberts View Post
    Do these notes come from marketing blurbs, though? Clearly they're not literal. For example, it would be difficult at best to come remotely close to L'air du Temps by using these either as extracts or synthetic replacements:

    Top Notes: Bergamot, peach, rosewood, neroli
    Heart Notes: Gardenia, carnation, jasmine, May rose, ylang-ylang, orchid, lily, clove, orris
    Base Notes: Ambergris, musk, vetiver, benzoin, cedarwood, moss, sandalwood, spices
    Trying to duplicate a fragrance by marketing blurbs only, is not the best idea.
    Last edited by Irina; 9th April 2013 at 08:29 AM.
    @SomethingSmelly

  14. #14

    Default Re: Chart of Most Frequently Used Perfume Notes by Deborah Dolen

    I found this interesting snippet when I did a google search on the name. I presume it is one and the same.

    How to Market Your Book or Product by Deborah Dolen Author

    It works doesn't it? I wonder when the book of fragrances is coming out.
    Currently wearing: Beautiful by Estée Lauder

  15. #15

    Default Re: Chart of Most Frequently Used Perfume Notes by Deborah Dolen

    Quote Originally Posted by Irina View Post
    Trying to duplicate a fragrance by marketing blurbs only, is not the best idea.
    Yes, and I didn't mean to imply it was. Rather, it was an attempt to illustrate that these appear to be only marketing blurbs, or otherwise-inaccurate descriptions, with little real resemblance to the components of the formulation. If having the original in hand and being stumped on how to get closer to it, the listing would I think be more misleading than helpful.

    I have some interest though in where the descriptions come from. Are they even from the perfume houses in all cases, or are they from editors of websites, authors of articles or books, etc? Are the descriptions Deborah Dolen's own work? Basenotes of course also provides listings of notes at least broadly like this, but I never thought they were presented literally or were necessarily from the perfume houses.

    There is a website where members vote on how much of each note they perceive. At first I was pretty astonished that so many people were picking up so many things and so much agreeing with each other, then I was seeing that in many cases what they were agreeing on didn't even seem to be right, and then I found that they were spoon-fed what was "supposed" to be in there, namely specific notes as above, and I-suppose-unsurprisingly they were reporting detecting what they were told was there.

    And also, as gido already noted, what are "black violet leaves" ? A Google search for "black violet leaves" -"deborah dolen" turns up only one single perfume-related use on the Web. The only other two references to this are by Deborah Dolen, the author of this list. So is the list an actual compilation of any information, even marketing information, from the perfume houses, or from any outside sources? Not that there is anything wrong with a personal list, but I had some interest in where it came from.
    Last edited by Bill Roberts; 9th April 2013 at 03:47 PM.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Chart of Most Frequently Used Perfume Notes by Deborah Dolen

    i think these lists are presented by the perfume houses. tester bottles used to have (maybe still do) a sticker on them with these notes. i've seen such lists on official websites, too. never found them very useful. they say nothing about proportion, for instance. sometimes they can be funny, though, by being either ridiculous or witty.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Chart of Most Frequently Used Perfume Notes by Deborah Dolen

    If that is the case for this list, then maybe it isn't an accurate compilation, because there must be a thousand or more perfumes where you can find such notes with Google, but only one perfume, "L'Artisan Parfumeur Mimosa Pour Moi," has a Web claim of black violet leaves as a note. So as you say, how can this be the #10 most common top note?

  18. #18

    Default Re: Chart of Most Frequently Used Perfume Notes by Deborah Dolen

    Maybe we'd better find her and ask her. Does anyone know her well enough?
    Currently wearing: Beautiful by Estée Lauder

  19. #19

    Default Re: Chart of Most Frequently Used Perfume Notes by Deborah Dolen

    Actually it doesn't match up with her own very extensive list of notes ( http://www.mabelwhite.com/Recipes/PerfumeFormulas.htm ), just as a matter of going and looking. Google allows searching within a given site, and within her own site "black violet leaves " or "black violet leaf" doesn't appear even once.

    Of course, violet leaf is a real note that's hardly uncommon. Violet leaves of any type, plus violet leaf, are listed as a note in only seven perfumes total out of a really large number of perfumes.

    Rosewood, for comparison, though ranked as less frequently used, appears far more often in her webpages of perfume notes than does any kind of violet leaf. So I don't know what to make of the rankings. It may not be a compilation from the perfume writeups on her site. It's an interesting list, but at the moment I'm unclear where it comes from or whether it's accurate even in terms of being the most common marketing blurbs.
    Last edited by Bill Roberts; 10th April 2013 at 12:13 AM. Reason: cleanup, no change in meaning

  20. #20
    Paul Kiler
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    Default Re: Chart of Most Frequently Used Perfume Notes by Deborah Dolen

    I don't need to take the entirety of the list as gospel, nor even worry about it's accuracy, since she clearly states that it is her own list, which by definition is subject to subjectivity and idiosyncracy. She is hardly an industry research wag, but she is offering her opinions, ideas, and experience.

    I take it for what it is, and leave what it isn't.

    To quote myself:

    "I thought that this was interesting data..."

    Data is simply data, and I don't take it to be necessarily accurate. It's just Data to be interpreted and used as appropriately as you see fit.
    Paul Kiler
    PK Perfumes
    http://www.PKPERFUMES.com
    Gold Medal for "Best Aroma"; Los Angeles Artisan Fragrance Salon

  21. #21

    Default Re: Chart of Most Frequently Used Perfume Notes by Deborah Dolen

    Thank you for posting the list, Paul! It is interesting (my being unable to quite make something out does not change it being interesting!)

  22. #22

    Default Re: Chart of Most Frequently Used Perfume Notes by Deborah Dolen

    Quote Originally Posted by pkiler View Post
    I don't need to take the entirety of the list as gospel, nor even worry about it's accuracy, since she clearly states that it is her own list, which by definition is subject to subjectivity and idiosyncracy. She is hardly an industry research wag, but she is offering her opinions, ideas, and experience.

    I take it for what it is, and leave what it isn't.

    To quote myself:

    "I thought that this was interesting data..."

    Data is simply data, and I don't take it to be necessarily accurate. It's just Data to be interpreted and used as appropriately as you see fit.
    It is very interesting and that is why we are talking about it. I really don't think you can post a list like this in a forum full of perfume anoraks and not expect a full dissection of why on earth these ingredients are put in this order. It doesn't look accurate and that is exactly what and why we are discussing it in detail. It's nothing personal.

    To get much further, we are just going to have to find her and ask her personally. It seems fair that she should be invited to a discussion about her work. I think she would be delighted to attend if she's writing perfume books.
    Last edited by mumsy; 10th April 2013 at 09:17 AM.
    Currently wearing: Beautiful by Estée Lauder

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Chart of Most Frequently Used Perfume Notes by Deborah Dolen

    Quote Originally Posted by mumsy View Post
    Maybe we'd better find her and ask her. Does anyone know her well enough?
    I might.

    - - - Updated - - -

    I compiled by that list by taking the top 300 perfumes in 2011 - removing the name of the perfume - slapping the ingredients of all of the perfumes in WORD - then sorting them alphabetically which showed me how many times each ingredient was used. So, from this I was able to see material frequency used to make most professional perfumes. I was after a few things...

    1) How is it most unprofessional perfumes just don't have the "polish" the professionals have...?

    2) Is there a "go to" note when building a professionally smelling perfume? [Question #1 and #2 could be just one big run on question in my head]

    3) And if I wanted to play at home [which was probably the real entire purpose] what notes should I have on hand?

    I think the data was quite astounding, like, I was not expecting notes of orange or mandarin to be in almost every scent - or at least the top 300 as most frequent.

    I would claim to hate orange anything, but Gucci Guilty has it for certain and that is my all time favorite, although newer than say Chanel #22.

    The violet leaf may have been a mistake, but I don't think so. I think it was repeated in enough top 300 scent descriptions it belongs right where it is. The data that is absent, you may feel important to whatever your discussion was here - is perhaps what perfume notes I did not list.

    Any perfume note that was not frequent enough to be on the list, and only mentioned once or twice was dropped off the chart I created. I did look at those I was dropping and most were weird and not significant to the scent as I knew it. It is my belief many perfumers claim notes that were never in their formula to throw off anyone wanting to copy, or that their marketing simply wants to make it sound "unique" or "exotic" with a note that never existed in their formula. I admit, this hurts the integrity of the list - however, it was still based on frequency and most perfumer's claiming exotic notes that no one else ever claimed, is not on the list anyways.

    Basically, when I run across a perfume or scent I like and want to know what's in it, I look at BaseNotes.net comments which are usually more candid than the perfume box or associated marketing.

    I hope this clears things up. I am a hobbyist.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by pkiler View Post
    She is taking the notes of the fragrances, from the perfumes themselves,... this isn't a very specific inventory, but the general odor notes. There are a few specifics, but it's not meant to be specific ...

    It's "However you get there..."
    Yes ! [I'm in love with you now!]

    - - - Updated - - -

    Now I REALLY like you Paul !

    - - - Updated - - -

    OK, I just finished reading the entire section. I initially just wanted to answer the biggest question, was it my work and why does it list what it lists?

    The actual descriptions I sorted in WORD, were mainly from marketing - as a few of you guessed - I literally pulled each one up and took the most believable fragrance description. I did adjust what I knew was in it - if it was clearly not mentioned. So, will this get me a Pulitzer? Maybe not. I am making perfume now using this as a guide and I am getting FAR more professional finishes than my attempts from internet type old hippie recipes and formulas. I got tired of smelling like an oil laden incense stick.

    Whatever the symphony I am creating now-a-days, it always "blooms" so well when it hits perfumers alcohol. For some reason a high proof alcohol gives whatever I created a few more dimensions. This all may sound utterly basic to this crowd, but allow me the indulgence of still being fascinated at basics. So, if you build a good scent, whether oil, water or both as bases - it will be even better when it has some perfumers alcohol introduced. Good night.
    Last edited by DeborahDolen; 24th April 2013 at 02:27 AM. Reason: missed spelled your site name

  24. #24

    Default Re: Chart of Most Frequently Used Perfume Notes by Deborah Dolen

    Thanks Paul.

    I find it hard to believe that civet is more often used (or listed) as a base note than say, cedar, though. It's really rare to see civet listed these days. Although I suppose her list skews pretty heavily to what we would now consider classics/vintage scents.
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  25. #25

    Default Re: Chart of Most Frequently Used Perfume Notes by Deborah Dolen

    Quote Originally Posted by DeborahDolen View Post
    I might.
    Well a big hello and welcome to the hotseat. It isn't our normal method of introduction, but I have to say you just got the biggest brownie points in the world from me for coming here directly and being yourself. I applaud that sort of directness. Secondly, thanks for taking the time to clarify.

    Your subject has led to a lot of interesting discussion and you will not get any Pulitzers here. Just oodles of help to get things correct. We all help each other out here, but also, as you have found out the hard way, we also pick each others opinions to bits but only out of perfumers interest and in the direction of further learning.

    I hope in turn, you will stay here and hobby away with the rest of us. It is the most wonderful hobby IMO.
    Currently wearing: Beautiful by Estée Lauder

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Chart of Most Frequently Used Perfume Notes by Deborah Dolen

    I will definitely pull up a seat and stay. Your better than "Words with Friends" as I had to look up "codswallop" last night and the main definitions I found in the states was "cod fish scrotum" so I found a way to take that as a compliment.

    Seriously, I am busy writing a few environmental fiction thrillers - a trilogy - [I love anything bees, and environmental plots that are not-so-fiction-after all; diminishing water supplies causing global corporate privatization - adding DNA to the water and subsequently enslavement of the masses who have to sign consent forms to drink it, as well as the genetically modified food greed mongers [who thought they were first in line for global enslavement] where the only question is...who wins? The corporation owning the water or the one owning the food? Meaning whoever consumes the DNA altered water or food is owned as a "patent." Stay tuned.

    So, I will be in here on break, as my "go to" place and try to talk about perfume when I am. Or maybe, just maybe, one of my characters will be named "Mumsy" who creates a perfume that lures everyone away and has such a beautiful scent no one needs to drink the water or eat the food. Maybe we can call the perfume "Mana."

    Am I hired yet?? "))

  27. #27

    Default Re: Chart of Most Frequently Used Perfume Notes by Deborah Dolen

    Quote Originally Posted by DeborahDolen View Post
    I am making perfume now using this as a guide and I am getting FAR more professional finishes than my attempts from internet type old hippie recipes and formulas. I got tired of smelling like an oil laden incense stick.

    Whatever the symphony I am creating now-a-days, it always "blooms" so well when it hits perfumers alcohol. For some reason a high proof alcohol gives whatever I created a few more dimensions. This all may sound utterly basic to this crowd, but allow me the indulgence of still being fascinated at basics. So, if you build a good scent, whether oil, water or both as bases - it will be even better when it has some perfumers alcohol introduced. Good night.
    That's good enough for me. Unpretentious , honest and helpful too.
    Well done. You've got my vote anyway.

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Chart of Most Frequently Used Perfume Notes by Deborah Dolen

    hello deborah,

    since you mention violet leaf, the absolute is a well known and well used perfume ingredient, and i can recommend it. it consist a rather peculiar green note, intensely strong, and a tiny amount of it can make all the difference between good and great. your synthetic violet flower note (ionones,) as the most obvious example, will suddenly seem natural.

    but black violet leaf? i suspect that that's just a dreamed-up name, it's not a common ingredient in any case. :)

    but nitpicking aside ;)

    welcome!

  29. #29
    Paul Kiler
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    Default Re: Chart of Most Frequently Used Perfume Notes by Deborah Dolen

    Thanks for the Love Pass, Deborah...

    Your list has been an interesting thing to ruminate ove, thanks so much for the compilation. It made me look at formulation with a new nose and mind... Which I suppose is what you meant for yourself, and have experienced in your hobby type work. Good on you!

    I'm thinking I will print this out and post it on my Perfumarium wall for references...
    Paul Kiler
    PK Perfumes
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    Gold Medal for "Best Aroma"; Los Angeles Artisan Fragrance Salon

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Chart of Most Frequently Used Perfume Notes by Deborah Dolen

    With the help of a friend, I had made a compilation of the data contained in http://www.mabelwhite.com/Recipes/PerfumeFormulas.htm few weeks ago for comparison. I just exclude some repeated perfumes and some perfumes without details about notes (top-heart-base). I do not know how to include it in the forum. So, follow the link to download:

    http://www.4shared.com/file/EVTzAsVX...otes_Rank.html

    If we combine notes with similar smells and disregard the “Black violet leaves” we get around at a chart well approximated.

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