Would you like to know more about the raw materials and essences used in our fragrances? Would you like to know what type of accord can be created with wood, moss, resin, and white flowers? We are pleased to share with you our ingredient dictionary to help you navigate through the art of perfume making.
In perfumery, an accord is created when two or more notes from natural raw materials or synthetic materials are assembled together with the objective of creating a new scent that is different from the individual materials from which it was derived. Just as a musician uses his individual notes to create an accord, the perfume-maker has his or her palette of different components from which different accords can be created. The number of accords that a perfumer can create is unlimited.
In the perfume history, ambergris was an animal-derived ingredient naturally created by whales, which added a very distinctive scent to perfumes. Nowadays, the perfume industry only uses a synthetic essence of ambergris.
A juicy, green, fruity accord reminiscent of a freshly cut apple.
The Bergamot tree grows in Italy, Spain, South America, Western Africa, and California. Its name, “Bergamot”, comes from the Turkish words, Beg-âc mû dî, which signify “Prince of Pears”. The Italian Gian Paolo experienced great success when he capitalized upon the bergamot’s marvelous virtues in his “Aqua Mirabillis” which was to become “Eau de Cologne”. The bergamot’s delicious perfume is among the ingredients in the famous Earl Grey tea. Its essential oils are obtained by using the cold expression process to obtain the green fruit’s zest. The scent is fresh, clean, and lively, with light hints of suave orange and Earl Grey tea.
Native to Tibet, the shrub that produces the black currant grows all throughout Northern Europe, especially in France (Burgundy region), Holland, England, and Poland. Methylene chloride is used as a method of extraction to obtain the Concrete from the buds. From this Concrete, ethylic acid is used as a method of extraction to obtain the Absolute. Its scent is fruity, sulfuric, green, and minty.
This spice originated in Asia and its use in Europe dates back a very long time. During the Middle Ages its use by members of the church during religious services was forbidden by royal decree as its perfume was deemed too sensual. Steam distillation is used to obtain the essence from the dried seeds, which is then used in perfumery for its spicy and woody perfume that has notes of camphor, aniseed, and aldehyde.
The cinnamon tree grows in the wild but is also cultivated in Sri Lanka, southern India, and in China. Steam distillation is used to obtain the essential oil from the small pieces of dried bark. Its perfume is warm, strong, and at the same time sweet with fruity-vanilla and spicy, peppery elements.
Native to the Middle East, these bushes grow in the wild all along the Mediterranean perimeter but the branches are only cultivated in Spain and in Morocco. The Resinoid and Labdanum Absolute are obtained through extraction with volatile solvents. Cistus essence is obtained from the leaves and the branches through hydrodistillation. Its warm and intense perfume smells of amber and has animal, floral, and balsamic notes.
The citrus-based family is primarily derived from citrus fruits such as bergamot, lemon, orange, mandarin, and grapefruit. Known for their freshness and lightness, this family’s aromas are very distinctive. Floral and spicy notes are added as a final touch, depending on the fragrance.
The Eau de Parfum has a high oil concentration between 12 to 20%, and leaves behind a pronounced sillage. The scent trail will be more long-lasting than with an Eau de Toilette.
The Eau de Toilette has a lower concentration of perfume oil - between 8 and 12%. The scent trail it will create is rather understated. The Eau de Toilette is the perfect concentration to be easily worn on an everyday basis and that can be reapplied more frequently throughout the day
Floral fragrances are formulated using one or several floral notes. This family includes several sub-families, such as the floral-fruity perfumes, the floral-woody perfumes…Characterized by their natural-smelling aroma, floral notes are some of the most important compositions in feminine perfumery.
Often described as olfactory desserts, a gourmand fragrance consists of notes such as honey, chocolate, vanilla or candy. The top and middle notes are often blended with base notes such as patchouli or musk. Gourmand scents are usually sweet and delicious and wear nicely in the cooler seasons.
This accord is reminiscent of the scent of a green tea infusion with the added element of freshly cut grass.
Native of the Far East, currently Italy (Florence region) and Morocco are the principal countries producing Iris. The Iris essence or butter (falsely called concrete) is obtained through steam distillation of the rhizomes that have been peeled, dried, and ground. Purification of the essence eliminates the fatty acids and makes it possible to obtain the Absolute. Its fragrance is subtle and very powerful, floral, violet powdery and green-woody.
Whether growing in the wild or cultivated, Lavender is found all along the Mediterranean basin. France is the principal producer of lavender, followed by Bulgaria, Russia, and China. The name Lavender comes from the Latin word “Lavare” which means “Wash” because the Romans used Lavender in their bath. Lavender essence is obtained from the fresh stems and flowers through steam distillation. Its perfume is floral, herbaceous, balsamic, woody, and camphorous.
The lime tree is cultivated in all of the Mediterranean regions, the United States, South America, and Western Africa. The essential oil is obtained from the zest of the ripe fruits through cold expression. It has a fresh, bright, and acidulous scent.
Often referred to as India Carnation due to its resemblance to the carnation (dianthus caryophyllus), the marigold is a flower native to South America. Marigold essence is obtained when the blossom is distilled. The perfume is fruity with hints of both mandarin and apricot nectar.
Oakmoss grows on the trunks and branches of oak trees in humid regions. It is harvested in France (Massif Central), in Morocco, and in Yugoslavia. The concrete is obtained through extraction with solvents and in turn the Absolute is extracted with alcohol. Its scent is distinctive: a mossy scent that is strong and earthy, and smells of humus and woody mushroom, with slight marine notes.
Present all along the Mediterranean perimeter, Orange Blossom is principally cultivated in Morocco and Tunisia. Orange Blossom Absolute is extracted from the blossoms of Bitter Orange Trees with the use of volatile solvents. The perfume is floral, waxy, green, powdery, sweet, and heavier and less fresh than the essence of Neroli.
Oriental perfumes derive their warmth and sensuality from ingredients such as musks, vanilla, and precious woods. They are often accompanied by exotic flowers and spices.
The Perfume is the purest version of perfume. Designed to cloak the skin and with the highest oil concentration, between 18 and 30%, the perfume produces a different effect on each woman and creates both a lingering scent and complexity that are very unique.
A tropical plant native to Asia, especially Indonesia and the Philippines. The patchouli plant has large, scented leaves from which an essential oil has been extracted since Antiquity. Steam distillation is used to obtain essential oil from the dried and fermented leaves. The strong scent of patchouli is woody, earthy, camphorous, green, and mossy.
The name mint comes from the nymph Minthe, with whom Pluto was in love and whom a jealous Proserpine transformed into a plant. Peppermint is cultivated in the United States, Spain, France, Italy, the Balkans, and India. The plant is harvested early when it is blossoming and after it has dried a little; its essence is extracted by steam distillation. Its perfume is « minty », fresh, a little bit herbaceous, and green.
A fruity note that is both exotic and distinctive. The herbaceous pineapple plant belongs to the Bromeliaceae family and is native to Central America and the Caribbean. Its very subtle aroma is highly valued in perfumery.
Pink peppercorns are also referred to as “pink pepper” and they do indeed belong to the pepper family. They are native to Reunion Island, South America, Florida, Madagascar, and New Caledonia.
This accord smells just like plum jelly.
Various rose varieties are used, especially the Rosa Centifola, or Rose de Mai, and the Damascena, or Damask Rose, from the Rose family. The varieties that are used to obtain rose essence are cultivated in France, Italy, Morocco, Bulgaria, and Turkey. The Concrete and Absolute are obtained through extraction with volatile solvents. The essential oil is obtained from the freshly handpicked petal through steam distillation. Each variety of rose gives off a different fragrance. The White Rose has flowery green/hyacinth aspects. The Red rose has fruity aspects (strawberry/raspberry). The Tea Rose has tea and apricot aspects.
Sandalwood grows in Southeast Asia, mainly in the Indian province of Mysore. The essential oil is obtained by taking dried shavings from the heart of the tree, as well as the roots that have been dried and ground into powder, and using the steam distillation process. The fragrance is woody, oriental, balsamic, powdery, milky, warm, and velvety. The fragrance really clings to skin and is very long-lasting.
Siam Benzoin is a balsamic resin exudate from the Benzoin tree that is native to Indochina. It is cultivated in Malaysia, Laos, and Vietnam. The exudate flows from the tree once incisions have been made to the bark and the exterior portion of the tree. Its semi-liquid consistency quickly hardens and breaks down when it comes into contact with the air. The Resinoid (used in perfumery) is obtained by extracting « benzoin tears » using solvents. The scent is sweet with elements of vanilla. It is long-lasting and retains its resinous and balsamic elements while also being milky, powdery, and spicy.
The pepper bush grows in India, Indonesia, and Southeast Asia. Steam distillation is used to obtain the essential oil from either whole or crushed berries that have been picked before fully ripening. The perfume is spicy-fresh with a light herbaceous nuance.
Stephanotis, or Madagascar Jasmine, is native to Madagascar, China…A symbol of happiness, its star-shaped flowers are used for their beauty and their perfumes. The Absolute is obtained from the flower through solvent extraction. This flower’s fragrance is very floral and is similar to that of Jasmine, but with more fruity notes such as plum, coconut and vanilla bean.
This accord reminds us of the distinctive smell of strawberries, with the wild strawberry accord being greener, with a touch of violet flowers.
This accord defines a very dry wood scent that is almost spicy.
This accord recreates the distinctive smell of toffee.
Native to Central America, Tuberose is mainly cultivated in India, but also in France, Morocco, Egypt, and the Comoro Islands. The Concrete is obtained by taking handpicked flowers and applying the enfleurage process. In turn, extraction through volatile solvents is used to obtain the Absolute from the Concrete. The floral fragrance is heady, fruity, and lactonic, with notes of orange, jasmine, and honey.
A vine native to Mexico, in the 17th century vanilla was introduced in the Indian Ocean area, in Madagascar, Reunion Island, and Comoro Islands. This vine orchid can grow to be up to 50 meters in length. The Absolute is obtained by processing the beans that are picked prior to full maturity and having them undergo 34 month long maturation process. The fragrance is sweet and balsamic with a sugary note.
This tree is native to the United States, especially the state of Florida. For many different peoples, the Cedar, a tree that is both resistant and unyielding, was considered to be the home of the god of thunder and the most sacred of all the plants. Cedar was used in ancient Egypt to embalm the bodies of the deceased. Cedar wood oil is extracted from wood chips and sawdust using steam distillation. Its woody scent is sweet and harmonious. Those essences derived from the Floridian trees have a smooth and balsamic tone while those originating in the Atlas Mountains give off a leathery, animal-like note.
Synthetic products, musks are essential in perfumery because they provide elements which support diffusion and long-lastingness.
As their name indicates, woody perfumes are dominated by woody notes such as vetiver, cedar, sandalwood, patchouli…These blends are warm, dry, and elegant all at the same time, and are often accompanied by a touch of citrusy freshness or aromatic notes.
Ylang-Ylang (Cananga odorata), or ilang-ilang, is a tree belonging to the Annonaceae family. Native to Southeast Asia, it is cultivated for its flowers. Through distillation, an essential oil that is widely used in perfumery is obtained.