Sunday, July 30, 2006

Eau du Soir by Sisley

Eau du Soir by Sisley belongs to my favorite perfume list. This is one of the most beautiful perfumes I've ever smelled. The first time I smelled Eau du Soir I was captivated by this amazingly feminine scent. It's a complex fragrance that's balanced in a very fine way.

Sisley is a French family business which creates and distributes luxury cosmetics, perfumes and makeup. Created in 1976 by Count Hubert d'Ornano, Sisley has rapidly become one of the most successful companies in the cosmetics industry thanks to a new and unique concept ahead of its time: Phytocosmetology. Sisley provides a complete line of high-quality beauty products whose active ingredients are natural plant extracts and essential oils. Phytocosmetology consists in applying natural plant extracts to beauty products. Eau du Soir was made for Isabelle d'Ornano she received the fragrance as a gift from her husband, Count Hubert d'Ornano. He created a unique floral scent that included seringa, a Spanish flower which releases its scent at night. The fragrance reflected Isabelle's childhood in Spain and gave the fragrance its name. Eau du Soir remained the Countess's signature scent for many years, until the persistent requests of friends saw its release in 1990.

Eau du Soir has a lingering aura it starts with fresh notes of citrus fruits like mandarin, bergamot and grapefruit together with juniper balanced with floral heart notes of seringa, rose, Egyptian jasmine and softened with Iris. Build on a base of oakmoss, amber and musk. The fragrance develops subtly on your skin. The start is fresh but I can smell a warm fatty like scent through the citrus notes on a refined way. The fresh topnotes lead you to the sensual flowernotes, they are subtle I can smell the seringa but on a soft way, it's so balanced that you can't detect a single note. It's definitely a feminine fragrance glamorous and elegant. Yesterday I worn this fragrance and got a lot of compliments, the compliments were something like: "Mmm you smell wonderful what kind of fragrance is that, I don't know this one" or "You smell nice, it's an unusual scent but real gorgeous". It made me smile because now I knew I wasn't the only one that is captivated by this fragrance. It's just a wonderful alluring feminine fragrance perfect for a special evening.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Exotic bath

The weather is real hot so I have a lovely blend for bath or shower. It's full of exotic oils, wonderful for the summer:

Exotic bath or shower blend

Ylang Ylang 8 drops
Litsea 1 drop
Jasmin 2 drops
Tonka bean 3 drops
Tuberose 2 drops
Orange 7 drops
Blend these essential oils in 4 table spoons honey and put it in the bath water, or blend them in a neutral showergel.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

A bit nervous

I'm a bit nervous.....Michael Storer meanwhile a good friend of mine asked me to send him some of my fragrances. He's curious about my creations. He sent me already some of his and they are stunning beautiful, I'm not sure he would like mine.

The problem I have is that I don't know when to stop with creating a fragrance I always want to find out what makes it more beautiful, maybe I forgot something, something that will make it perfect. I think I have to make myself stop when the fragrance is real nice and not go on and on with it.

Now I'm thinking about the fragrances I would send him. I'm thinking about the fragrance with the magnolia but I know this one is not finished, that has nothing to do with that I can't stop with it, it's just not finished. But I will send it any way so maybe he can give some advice to me. Another I will send is the fruity chypre fragrance, it's not a real chypre but based on some of the notes of chypre. It has fruity notes of pineapple, lychee, mango and bergamot with a little bit of basil. The heart has notes of jasmin, orris, rose, tuberose and lily. The base is made of oakmoss, cedar and amber. I will send a leather fragrance as well, this one has notes of bergamot, mandarin, orange blossom, rose, amber, castoreum, civet and musk. It's a "dirty" kind of fragrance real animal and leathery.

I'm always afraid that I have something like "wishful smelling" that I think it smells like I had in mind but that another will smell something totally different. I'm always a bit nervous to show my fragrances to someone else, but I will send it to him and just wait to see what he thinks about them.
Whish me luck!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Gourmand fragrances

While working on the fragrance for my colleague with notes of kiwi, chocolate, vanilla etc I was thinking of gourmand notes used in fragrances.

An example of a typical gourmand fragrance is Angel by Thierry Mugler. This fragrance was released in 1994 and created by the perfumers Olivier Cresp and Yves de Chirin both perfumers from Quest. Thierry Mugler asked the perfumers to create a perfume that possesses the smell of a tender childhood memory at the fair, with notes of cotton candy, caramel, vanilla and chocolate.
The main notes of the fragrance are:
Bergamot, Jasmin, red currant, dewberry, honey, patchouli, vanilla, coumarine, chocolate and caramel.
For the sugary note of the cotton candy they used Maltol what makes an interesting combination with Helional an ozonic note resembling the electric ozonic smell around the bumping cars on the fair. For the jasmin note they used Hedione what has an aroma of jasmin and magnolia.
I like Angel really much but only on others, when I wear this fragrance it turn out to smell like burned sugar.

Another note used in some gourmand fragrances is almond milk. I'm not sure which note to use for that but a milky note could be obtained by Milk lactone and an almond note could be from Benzaldehyde.

Of course the vanilla is also real important for gourmand fragrances. There are all sorts of fruity notes like I used the Kiwi in the fragrance for my collegeua. The Aldehyde C14 gives a peach note and the Aldehyde C16 gives a strawberry note.

Other notes used in gourmands are Coffee, Tea or Green tea, Cumcumber, Coconut but also notes of wiskey or cognac. And of course the spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, coriander etc.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006


I received a lot of comments (private and on the blog) about the post Natural versus synthetics. It makes me think again about this subject. It looks like you have to make a choice, be a natural or a synthetic perfumer. I don't like to make a choice between them, I think synthetics don't bite naturals in fact they combine perfectly. Naturals and synthetics are not two worlds it's one world; the perfumery world. Sometimes I feel like some people think that synthetic aromas have a "synthetic" smell, whatever that is.....maybe they think it has to smell like plastic or something. Synthetic aroma compounds can have really really nice scents. And it's also not so that synthetics always are cheaper than natural oils. For example Damascenone which has a beautiful floral fruity rose scent cost about $1633 a kilo I don't find that cheap. I don't use synthetics because they are cheap, I use it because I like them, together with the naturals.

What I find really strange is that some natural perfumers name famous perfumes as their favorites that are famous for their use of synthetics. Like Chanel no 5 which is famous for the high use of aldehydes. Or Shalimar that is known for the use of coumarine and ethyl vanillin. Both perfumes contain real animal absolutes and tinctures from civet, musk, castoreum and ambergrey. So what about the animal cruelty used for obtaining these products. How can you be against synthetics and animal cruelty and love the perfumes made of them? Maybe because they are classics? I really don't understand.

I like to give you an example of how Shalimar was made......

The notes and structure of Shalimar:

Shalimar contain a high percent of natural oils, real animal notes and balsamic notes.
It contain 2% ethyl vanillin(ethyl vanillin is 10 times stronger than vanillin), 9% coumarine.
The topnotes are made of bergamot 30%, other citrus oils, neroli and rosewood inclusive linalool. The bergamot, vanilla, coumarine together with the absolute of civet makes an "ambrein accord" this is enhanced by the use of Patchouli, sandal, vetiver, castoreum, leathernotes and cinnamon bark oil what gives a nice combination with the leather notes. It has rose notes like citronellol, geraniol and rose absolute. The coumarine is enhanced with the notes of tonka bean and benzoin.

This information I found in the book: Perfumery practice and principals by Robert.R.Calkin and J.Stephan.Jellinek.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Sweet Pea

Oh don't you love the smell of Sweet pea? I found a formula of it in an old book:

Sweet Pea

Benzylidenaceton 60 gram
Phenyletyl acetate 15 gram
Heliotropine 60 gram
Vanilline 15 gram
Terpineol 200 gram
Hydroxycitronellal 75 gram
Phenylacetaldehyde 75 gram
Jasmin base 35 gram
Rose bulgarian 10 gram
Neroli base 50 gram
Benzyl acetate 20 gram
Tolu balsam 65 gram
Cananga oil Java 25 gram
Iso Eugenol 5 gram
Eugenol 2 gram

From the book: Handbuch der gesamten parfumerie und kosmetik.
Dr. Fred Winter 1942
The picture is from

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Blooming roses

The roses in my garden are blooming, there are a lot of different roses in my garden. I love the tender smell of it. Strangely enough I sometimes don't like the scent of rose in a perfume. The roses in my garden have a tender smell light soft and sweet like it reflects the soft velvety feeling of their petals, some of them have a honey note but it's still tender. I prefer the tender smells of rose above the heavy smell of some of them. I do love heavy smelling flowers though like the jasmin in my garden, it's not blooming anymore but I made a picture of it when it was full of jasmin flowers:
The fragrance of the jasmin is relieved in the evening, it's an overwhelming sensual scent the opposite of the tender scent of the roses.

Below a lovely poem by Monica Engeler with pictures of the roses from my garden:

The Rose

A beautiful red rose stands alone
Each petal is flawless on its stem
And perfuming a scent all its own

Something so perfect can not die
It is an elegant gift from nature
But a rose survives only for a time

Sad that such a blossom will wilt away
One can count the blades as they drop
One, two, three perish on the overlay

For each leaf that falls, a heart is broken
The rose bears a powerful magic
A demeanor that is not easily forgiven

Love and beauty are its arrogance
Never doubt the potencies of a rose
It is the favor of everlasting romance

At last the final flake dies on the tray
The flowers beauty ended sorrowfully
As a teardropp washed it slowly away.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Comparing different magnolia fragrances

While working on my magnolia based perfume I was testing some fragrances with a magnolia scent. Some of them are build around the magnolia and others just have a magnolia scent in it. I compared these fragrances with my own magnolia perfume:

On the picture is a solid perfume shown while I have the Magnaolia perfume extrait oil but I couldn't find a picture of it. I think I have a real old perfume of L'Occitane, I once bought it on internet. The smell of this perfume oil doesn't look the same as my fragrance at all, it has a heavy smell, it doesn't smell like a perfume but it could be nice for a candle scent. It's not a soft velvety magnolia scent but more a neroli, jasmin, honeysuckle scent.

Very Valentino is lighter than my fragrance it has a more green light topnote with a lactonic(milky, creamy) heart. My magnolia based fragrance is more velvety. But I like the scent of Very Valentino, it does have a magnolia fragrance but it's more centered around a lilly of the Valley scent with soft green notes. It's a discrete perfume

Magnolia by Yves Rocher is no longer be sold. It's a girlie fragrance it's nice but it fades away real quickly. It's a light fragrance, soft and gentle. It doesn't have much nuances it's a bit like a cologne with a soft flowery note without a solid base.

L'Instant de Guerlain is a wonderful nice fragrance. It has some resembles with my magnolia, when I have to choose which one will look the most like mine it will be L' Instant. It has a wonderful smoothness that I really like, the base has a warm ambernote like my magnolia fragrance. But L'Instant is much sweeter and honeylike. It starts with a honey sweet smell and mine starts with fresh notes and than starts to be sweeter, but not as sweet as L' Instant, my fragrance has more fresh white flowers.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Kiwi and chocolate

I always like to experiment and that's why I ask people what kind of fragrance they would like. I asked my colleague what kind of perfume she would like and she told me that it would have notes of peach, gardenia, kiwi, ylang ylang, dark chocolate, honey, vanilla and coconut.
For the fun I made a photo composition of the notes:

For the chocolate note I used a cacao absolute and an aroma chemical with a chocolate note and for the kiwi note I used Styralyl acetate that has a kiwi/rhubarb note and is sometimes used in gardenia as well. For the peach note I used Aldehyde C14. The honey note is from a honey absolute and Ethyl phenyl acetate. I used a patchouli and benzoin note as well and a real warm sweet amber note to warm it up. To sweeten the fragrance I used benzyl salicylate and vanilla.

I thought the chocolate note would be too much but smelling it I can't detect the chocolate so I will make another formula with more chocolate notes. I don't want to make it a chocolate fragrance but I think it could have more of it. The combination of gardenia and chocolate is real nice. The fragrance turned out to be a dark warm fragrance with a bit of flowery fruity notes. I will keep on experimenting with it because it could turn out real nice.

I would love to hear from you what your favorite fragrance would smell like and what kind of notes it would have.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

A different approach

Today I used a different way to create the fragrance that is based on magnolia and white flowers. See other posts about this fragrance here and here. I started with the basic notes I had in mind and added alcohol and put this base(phase 1) on a smelling strip. After that I put another oil in the same bottle and dipped the smelling strip in it and named it phase 2, after that another oil phase 3 until I had 8 smelling strips. This way I can see how the different oils fit in the fragrance, if there is to much of it in it or that it don't fit in it. I know that the formula isn't accurate this way but it gives me an idea how the different components work together. After bottle one, I go on with bottle two with all the information in mind I learned from the first bottle. And start to experiment again with 8 different smelling strips. I think this method learned me the impact of the oils and is a nice way to control the formula.