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  • Writer's pictureMatthew Meleg

76 Materials You should Study: Materials A & B

Updated: Jul 2, 2023

I highly recommend making friends with the following perfume materials.

These are both natural and synthetic materials, listed in alphabetical order.

  • Aldehyde C-12

Aldehyde C-12 is a synthesized aromatic chemical used in perfumery. The "C-12" refers to the fact that it contains 12 carbon atoms. Aldehyde C-12 comes in a few varieties, but two of the most popular ones are Aldehyde C-12 MNA (Methyl Nonnal Acetate) and Aldehyde C-12 Lauric, which differ slightly in their olfactory profiles.

  1. Aldehyde C-12 MNA has a scent profile that is rich and soapy with a powerful waxy-floral note. It has nuances of citrus and violet, contributing to its overall fresh and clean character.

  2. Aldehyde C-12 Lauric tends to be a bit more subdued with a distinctive soapy-waxy character, displaying a balanced floral-citrusy aspect.

Aldehydes, including Aldehyde C-12, are perhaps most famously used in Chanel No. 5, where they contribute to the perfume's iconic abstract floral bouquet. Aldehydes add a unique "lift" and sparkle to the top notes of a perfume, as well as a certain richness and depth to its heart. They can bring out the floralcy in a composition, making it seem more diffusive and expansive.

Beyond Chanel No. 5, Aldehyde C-12 is commonly found in many floral and chypre type fragrances. It's an essential component in creating fresh, clean linen-type scents as well, and can be found in numerous soaps and detergents for its fresh, clean smell.

It's important to note that aldehydes, while synthetic, are derived from natural components. In fact, aldehydes are found naturally in many essential oils and are part of what gives cinnamon, rose, and citrus oils their distinct scent profiles.

  • Aldehyde C-18

Aldehyde C-18, also known as gamma-nonalactone, is a key ingredient used in perfumery for its unique and desirable scent profile. It has a strong, diffusive aroma that's often described as being similar to coconut, with a creamy, tropical, and somewhat fruity character, featuring nuances of peach and apricot.

In perfumery, Aldehyde C-18 is used extensively to evoke tropical or exotic atmospheres and is a staple in beachy, summertime fragrances. Its pronounced coconut-like aroma lends itself particularly well to 'solar' and 'suntan lotion' accords. It is also frequently used in gourmand and fruity compositions to add a luscious, mouthwatering quality.

In addition to these, Aldehyde C-18 is also employed to enhance floral notes, particularly those found in exotic flower accords. Its creamy, rich aspect can add a velvety depth and opulence to a range of flowers, from gardenia and tuberose to ylang-ylang.

Moreover, this aldehyde is quite versatile and finds its use in a variety of products beyond just perfumes, such as lotions, soaps, candles, and various cosmetic products for its pleasing and inviting aroma.

  • Animalis Hypo 27

Animalis Hypo 27 is a synthetic aromatic compound formulated to simulate the characteristics of natural animal musks. The term "Hypo" denotes that it's a hypoallergenic version, which makes it suitable for individuals who may have sensitivity to other musk compounds.

In terms of its olfactory profile, Animalis Hypo 27 has a deep, warm, and animalic scent, reminiscent of leather and musk. It is a powerful and long-lasting base note that is often used to give perfumes a rich, complex, and enduring character.

In perfumery, Animalis Hypo 27 serves a crucial role in adding depth, sophistication, and staying power to fragrances. It's primarily used in heavier, opulent perfume compositions such as orientals, chypres, and rich florals, where its sensual and complex nature shines.

Because of its potent intensity and distinctive character, Animalis Hypo 27 is used sparingly and carefully blended with other ingredients to avoid overwhelming the overall scent composition. It is often balanced with lighter and fresher top and middle notes to create a harmonious olfactory journey from the initial application to the final stages of the dry-down.

While the use of natural animal musks has been largely discontinued due to ethical and sustainability concerns, synthetic versions like Animalis Hypo 27 provide an essential tool for perfumers to create fragrances with the rich, captivating allure of the traditional musks, without the associated ethical issues.

  • Basil (Sweet) EO

Sweet Basil Essential Oil (Basilicum ocimum) has a fascinating and multifaceted aroma profile that makes it a valuable ingredient in the art of perfumery. Its scent can be described as herbaceous, sweet, and slightly spicy with a fresh, green top note. Underneath these immediate impressions, it also contains a subtle balsamic, licorice-like nuance, adding depth to its overall profile.

In perfumery, Sweet Basil Essential Oil is primarily used as a top to middle note. It introduces an uplifting, stimulating element to fragrance compositions, often deployed in the initial "burst" of a scent. Its green and sweet facets can also provide a unique bridge between floral and herbaceous notes, making it an interesting and dynamic blend component.

Due to its distinctive character, Sweet Basil Essential Oil is particularly favored in aromatic, herbal, and chypre compositions. It's also used in certain floral and spicy concoctions to add complexity and a sense of naturalness.

Moreover, it is considered a 'modifier' in perfumery. Modifiers are ingredients that bring harmony within the perfume accord. They support the main theme and give fullness to the perfume composition.

It's worth noting that the quality of the oil can vary depending on where the basil is grown, as the composition of essential oils can be influenced by regional factors such as soil composition and climate.

In aromatherapy, Sweet Basil Essential Oil is also known for its stimulating properties and is believed to help refresh the mind and improve concentration, although its therapeutic use should be under professional guidance.

  • Benzoin Ollifac

Benzoin Ollifac is a synthetic aromatic compound that seeks to emulate the rich, balsamic notes of natural benzoin resin.

In terms of its scent profile, Benzoin Ollifac has a warm, sweet, and vanillic aroma, combined with a slightly smoky, resinous undertone. It is reminiscent of the comforting scent of balms and powders, and can impart a 'caramel' or 'cocoa' like note.

In perfumery, Benzoin Ollifac is primarily used as a base note, due to its profound warmth and depth. It's often deployed in perfume compositions that aim for an oriental, balsamic, or gourmand theme.

Benzoin Ollifac's sweet, vanillic nuances make it a wonderful addition to dessert-inspired fragrances, like those that aim to capture the essence of vanilla, caramel, or chocolate. On the other hand, its resinous and slightly smoky qualities make it fitting for more complex, exotic compositions that lean into the opulence and mystery of the orient.

Furthermore, Benzoin Ollifac is used as a fixative, due to its ability to stabilize more volatile ingredients and help to prolong the overall life of the fragrance on the skin. Its own tenacity and persistence mean that it has a good long-lasting effect, adding depth to the final stages of the scent's evolution.

It is important to note that even though it's a synthetic ingredient, Benzoin Ollifac's warmth and richness can add a certain naturalness and complexity to a fragrance, making it a valuable tool in the perfumer's palette.

Benzyl Acetate

Benzyl Acetate is a commonly used synthetic compound in perfumery. It is one of the many esters of benzyl alcohol and is often utilized for its sweet, fruity, and slightly floral aroma.

The scent profile of Benzyl Acetate is reminiscent of jasmine, with a nuanced note of ripe banana and pear. Its fragrance is also marked by a slight balsamic undertone, making it a versatile ingredient for perfumery. In the context of perfumery, Benzyl Acetate is frequently used to add fresh, sweet, and fruity characteristics to a perfume composition. It's often a part of the formulation of fruity and floral fragrances due to its ability to emulate the sweet, rich tones of natural jasmine. It's also used to add volume and a natural feel to various fruit and berry notes.

  • Bergamot - EO (BF) - Calabria, IT

Bergamot Essential Oil (Bergaptene Free) or "Bergamot - EO (BF)" from Calabria, Italy is a treasured component in the perfumery world. Calabria is particularly famous for producing the finest quality of Bergamot oil, due to its ideal growing conditions.

Scent Profile: Bergamot oil has a wonderfully complex scent that is citrusy and fruity, sweet with a slight floral quality. This aroma is also fresh and yet subtly spicy, with a hint of bitter undertone characteristic of most citrus peels.

Bergamot oil from Calabria, in particular, is known for its bright, fresh top notes with a warm, slightly floral and sweet body and balsamic undertone, which can give depth to a fragrance composition.

Use in Perfumery: Bergamot is often used as a top note in a wide range of perfumes due to its fresh and invigorating scent. It gives the initial burst of freshness to a fragrance and is especially appreciated for its ability to blend harmoniously with a wide variety of other scents.

It is an essential component in different perfume genres, particularly in the citrus category, floral compositions, and is a key ingredient in classic Eau de Cologne and Chypre fragrances. It is also often used in 'Fougère' or fern-like perfumes, a fragrance family built around lavender, oakmoss, and coumarin.

Bergamot Essential Oil (BF) means it is 'bergaptene free'. Bergaptene is a natural constituent of the oil, which can cause photosensitivity or reactions when skin is exposed to the sun. By removing it, the oil becomes safer for use in cosmetics and personal fragrances.

In summary, Bergamot - EO (BF) - Calabria, IT is a versatile essential oil in perfumery, appreciated for its citrusy, fresh, and complex scent and its ability to blend well with other fragrance notes, adding brightness and freshness to perfume compositions.

  • Beta Damascone

Beta Damascone has a rich, sweet, fruity aroma, similar to ripe plums or apricots. It also possesses a refined, rose-like floral note that adds depth to its scent profile. There's also a subtle undertone of tobacco and wood that gives it a unique character.

  • Birch Tar

Birch Tar is a compelling and unique material used in perfumery. Extracted from the bark of the birch tree through a process called dry distillation, it has a long history of use, particularly in the creation of leathery and smoky fragrances.

Scent Profile: Birch Tar possesses an intense, smoky scent that is reminiscent of a burning campfire. It carries heavy, phenolic and tar-like notes, with a subtle undertone of leather. Its aroma also has hints of wintergreen, lending a refreshing facet to its overall robust character.

Use in Perfumery: Due to its powerful and distinctive aroma, Birch Tar is typically used sparingly and as part of the base notes in a perfume composition. It is often utilized to create smoky, leathery, and woody facets in a fragrance.

It is a traditional ingredient in the 'Russian Leather' accord, a classic perfume style characterized by its intense, rich, and masculine notes. Moreover, it can bring depth and intensity to forest and woods-inspired fragrances. Birch Tar also blends well with other robust notes such as vetiver, patchouli, and cedarwood.

However, it's essential to note that due to its strong aroma and potential sensitization, Birch Tar must be used in moderation. Some regulations limit the use of Birch Tar in perfumery, so it's crucial for perfumers to be aware of these guidelines.

In conclusion, Birch Tar is a fascinating material that can lend a profound, smoky-leathery character to fragrances. Its usage, albeit carefully monitored and controlled, can add an undeniable intensity and depth to a fragrance composition.

  1. Eugenol

  2. Exaltolide

  3. Fir Balsam Reconstitution (IFF)

  4. Frankincense (Olibanum) EO

  5. Galaxolide

  6. Galbanum Oil

  7. Gardenia - Key Accord

  8. Geraniol (95)

  9. Ginger Fresh Madagascar

  10. Hedione

  11. Hexenol 3-CIS

  12. Hexyl Cinnamic Aldehyde

  13. Hydroxycitronellal Pure

  14. Indole

  15. Iso Bornyl Acetate

  16. Iso Butyl Quinoline

  17. Iso E super

  18. Isoamyl Salicylate

  19. Ionone Beta

  20. Jasmin Specialty

  21. Jasmine Grandiflorum (Absolute)

  22. Jasmone CIS

  23. Labdanum Absolute

  24. Lavender Diva

  25. Lemon EO

  26. Linalool

  27. Magnolan

  28. Methyl Salicylate

  29. Muscenone

  30. Nutmeg EO

  31. Oakmoss Absolute

  32. Orange (Sweet) EO

  33. Orange Flower (Neroli)

  34. Oud Synth

  35. Patchouli EO

  36. Petitgrain Paraguay EO

  37. Phenethyl acetate a.k.a Phenyl Ethyl Acetate

  38. Phenyl Ethyl Alcohol

  39. Pink Peppercorn EO

  40. Rhodinol 70

  41. Rose - Absolute

  42. Rose Geranium

  43. Rose Givco

  44. Rosemary EO

  45. Sandalwood Givco

  46. Styrallyl acetate

  47. Styrax (Storax) Essence

  48. Star Anise EO

  49. Tuberose Artessence (Biolandes)

  50. Tobacco Absolute

  51. Vetiver EO - Indonesia

  52. Vetiveryl Acetate

  53. Vertofix Coeur

  54. Ylang Ylang

  55. Ethylene Brassylate

  56. Ethyl Linalyl Acetate

  57. Ethyl Vanillin

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