Once upon a time, Rose de Mai was the main rose absolute used in fine French fragrances. These days the price is prohibitive and the absolute is mainly available to big houses like Dior and Chanel. But all is not lost! You can make your own Rose de Mai.
Brazilian Rosewood oil is becoming harder to purchase on the regular market these days due to scarcity. Typically perfumers these days will use synthetic linalool to fill the gap now left. But genuine Brazilian rosewood had qualities that you simply can’t get from linalool on its own. Those qualities come from trace elements of chemicals such as linalool oxide, camphor, caryophellene oxide, etc.
This is a very basic leather base that has been modified with the addition of a few interesting trace elements to add naturalness and interest. It was created in order to add a complex leather note to my L’Egoiste derived fragrance as opposed to a simpler leather based on just isobutyl quinoline.
The finest Jasmine in the world is Jasmin de Grasse, or French Jasmine Grandiflorum absolute. Unfortunately it is nearly impossible to get hold of because Patou and Chanel still purchase most of the French Jasmine for Chanel No 5 and Joy (and presumably 1,000 which is also still in production).
Neroli is one of the most expensive essential oils still in use in mainstream perfume. It is often now used in trace amounts but in the past it was used more heavily as perfume was more about luxury and less about mainstream marketing. This is a luxury Neroli oil replacer which really is excellent and will extend your neroli ten times. The formula does include real neroli oil but you will obviously still save enormous amounts of money using this base instead of pure oil.
Rose D’Orient (Oriental Rose) bases were early attempts to replicate the essential oils of rose (typically Bulgarian – or Rose Damascena). Two in particular were very popular with one featuring as the main rose in Coty’s La Rose Jacqueminot and later L’Origan.
Jasminum Flexile (also known as Taruni) is native to India. It is a rare and quite expensive variant of jasmine for perfumery but perhaps the best of all the jasmines—surpassing even Sambac.
Louis Appell has some amazing formulae and bases in his book The Formulation and Preparation of Cosmetics Fragrances and Flavors and one in particular is a real favorite of mine. He calls it “Rose W” and has this to say about rose bases in general: “Absolutes of rose [around $4,000 per kg] and jasmine are particularly important.
Orange blossom is one of the oldest and most important perfumery notes. It was central to the first colognes in fact. The price of orange blossom (and the closely related neroli) is very high so replacements of a high calibre are needed. This accord is based on a formula by Poucher with a minor tweak to make it more natural and closer to the best orange blossom absolute I have smelt. It’s a small tweak but makes a big difference. This is also incredibly natural smelling – about as close to the real thing as you can get synthetically I think.
Parma violets have existed since the 16th century when Count Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza cross-bred two types of viola strains. Of the two types of parma violet he created, only one remains and it is that one which gives us the most beautiful of all violet scents.