Components of Perfume: Ingredients of Common Fragrances
We all wonder what are the components of our favorite perfume or cologne and some of us even wonder why some people love the perfume other people can’t handle. There are many perfumes out there, each different from the other and we will speak about the ingredients that make each perfume so unique and special.
… so let’s have a look at the main fragrance components to be able to recognize them in any composition.
Beautiful fragrances are often produced from extremely smelly substances. Sensuous umbra, is e.g. the excretion of a sperm whale and when it’s fresh it reeks of fish. Dried for a few months it becomes a valuable perfume ingredient with a warm, lush and sensuous aroma.
Musk is a good fixative of fragrant compositions so it is a basic component of all perfume. Natural musk has a disgusting odor of ammonium and it’s a secretion of musk-deer scent-glands. Dissolved in an alcoholic solution it turns into a sensuous animal scent found even in delicate compositions.
Castoreum and tybet are similar to musk. Castoreum is a substance used by beavers to grease their fur and tybet is a secretion of a civet – an African animal. Both ingredients give perfume a warm and sensuous note and they are much appreciated for their fixative properties.
Vanilla with its balmy scent is a warm and sweet perfume component, whereas cardamom is obtained from small grains of a slightly fruity aroma which are the base of fruity and woody scents.
An interesting perfume component which is used in men’s perfumes is black pepper fruit oil and an extract from a field bean.
Grass, moss and herbs make green notes.
A grass root of resinous and powdery scent dominates in the men’s fragrances world but it can also be sensed in feminine ones.
Provencal basil and geranium oil give flowery note.
Oak moss and mace sage enhance, especially men’s compositions, with an herbal aroma.
Also resins can be found in perfume. Myrrh and incense are tree resins that were used early in ancient times. The first smells like brush-wood and the other smells of a tree-root. Benzoic resin that comes from Vietnam is characterized by a deep and intense smell.
Almost every fragrance contains a dose of sandalwood that makes perfume sweet, resinous and slightly musky.
Flowers are also widely used perfume components. Rose and jasmine are the most frequent. Although narcissus is also becoming more and more popular with its strong pervasive and stupefying aroma that permeates the whole composition.
Some other components are mimosa and bergamot. Although mimosa is delicate and elusive it has its fans. Bergamot is a small inedible orange and although it’s a citrus its oil smells worldly and is presentin almost all types of perfume where it’s in the top notes.