Citrus fruits are so forthcoming with their aroma that their oils can be produced simply by cold pressing their peel. The advantage of this are oils, untainted by heat or solvents, that resemble the actual fruits very closely and so are perfect for adding fresh, zesty notes to fragrances.
Part of the vast citrus bowl in SICILIAN WOOD, tangerine oil adds some honeyed sweetness to round off any sharp edges.
The best bergamot oil for fragrance (the oil we use) is produced in Calabria, Italy. Responsible for giving Earl Grey tea its distinctive taste, bergamot’s sophisticated, aromatic citrus note is one of the building blocks for all colognes.
Anyone who has drunk Turkish coffee will know of cardamom’s ability to nonchalantly bat aside other strong flavours; innocent looking little pods of potency. Used with a judicious hand however it adds a highly unique resinous-citrusy note.
Mildly smoky wood with a cheerfully fruity/rosy note.
It takes (about) 7,000,000 flowers to make 1kg of jasmine oil; picked by hand in the early hours when the oil content is at its highest. The reward for such endeavors is an oil densely honeyed and floral but with an animalic note that takes it beyond mere prettiness.
Where lightness and transparency are needed (jasmine oil is far heftier than the flower itself) the synthetic, Hedion, can also be used.
Lily of the Valley
Lily of the Valley is one flower whose wonderfully delicate aroma cannot be extracted and so must be recreated by the perfumer. While nothing can quite replicate the real thing, molecular anaylsis (using Headspace technology) and a range of synthetics designed to do exactly that means it is still a valid term, shorthand for a note with rose, lemon, grassy green and white floral aspects.
Amber, as in the fossilised tree resin used to make jewellery, carries little smell and is not used in perfumery. Rather, the term refers loosely to a sensual, vanilla-resinous note that at most is an interpretation of the golden glow present in the real thing. The family of ingredients classed as amber is large and contains both naturals and synthetics as well as pre-made bases.
Super crisp, clean and dry wood.
from Sri Lanka
A victim of its own success, sandalwood oil from Mysore, India was used so extensively (being of very good quality and rather low price) that it became a totally unsustainable resource; inadequate management meant the tree population was dangerously diminished. Since a ban was placed on its production the murky business of smuggling oils and/or cutting with other oils has arisen; something we want no part in. Fortunately Sri Lanka has provided the answer, producing oil that is both sustainable and of quality similar to Mysore (something Australian sandalwood could not offer).
So why all the fuss? Sandalwood oil is one of the few ingredients you could happily wear by itself. A unique milky note sits softly over a nutty-woody base.