Almost exactly like Fisherman’s Friends, which is to say a combination of eucalyptus and menthol.
Rosemary oil after distillation smells more like the dried herbes de provence with a stronger menthol note.
from Madagascar, Ivory Coast and Nigeria
Ginger has the great ability to smell both cool and warm at the same time, an aspect put to good use in REVERIE and VSOP. Thankfully, unlike many of the more delicate natural ingredients distilled into oils, ginger emerges unscathed; smelling like it has just been grated.
from the Philippines
The elemi tree emits a resin with citrus ambitions. Rather like lemon sherbet.
from Italy, France and Morocco
Precious iris concrete is made from the root (not the flowers) of the iris germanica and iris pallida plants. Extremely labour intensive, each root has to be dried for 5 years during which time oxidation develops an aroma that is powdery grey and beautiful to the point of sadness.
Like the noble rot that produces Sauternes or the mould in a blue cheese, shatteringly expensive oudh is the result of fungal attack. The Aquilaria genus of tree when infected releases a protective oil over the sick area. These darker parts of the tree are removed, aged and distilled. Trying to describe its smell is a thankless task other than to say it is extremely potent, complex and weird.
Resinous benzoin siam smells almost exactly like the unpolished, more obscure parts of a wooden antique.
Synthetic version of ambre gris, the all but unobtainable substance produced by the sperm whale. Although it lacks the marine note of the real thing, it does have the same ability to impart a soft roundness to a fragrance and boost the reach of naturals. Unusually for a synthetic it is produced from a plant (clary sage) and so shares many of its forebears characteristics albeit in muted form.
Known as ‘nagarmoota’ in its native India. Leathery wood with a dry, spicy note reminiscent of vetiver.