Sunday, August 12, 2007

Vetiver, Vanilla and Angel

Right now it's raining here in Wolvega, in spite of the rain that is falling down at the moment, we had a lovely sunny weekend. I spent most part of the weekend on sniffing some of my new fragrance materials, and working on my fragrance with magnolia. I tried some different versions and compared them with each other. In one trial I added some more vetiver to the base notes and I like it, it's nice in combination with the cedar that I used. Vetiver is also interesting with the vanilla, it makes the vanilla less sweet. I like vanilla to be a bit smokey and woody.

Because of the nice weather I took some smelling strips that were dipped in the new materials with me outside to evaluate their smell. I took some smelling strips dipped in my older materials with me as well, to see if they would combine with these new materials. Sometimes I take different smelling strips in my hand and waft with it under my nose like a Spanish fan, to analyse the smell of the combination of these different materials.

I read somewhere the basic notes of the perfume Angel by Thierry Mugler and just for fun tried a combination of different smelling strips with these notes: Helional (ozonic, melon, sweet), Cashmeran ( musky, sweet), Maltol ( sugar, caramel), Isobutavan (chocolate, vanilla) and Patchouli oil. I held these smelling strips in one hand and waft it under my nose, and yes, it does smell like a simple version of Angel. It's an accord for sure, the combination of these notes do create a complete new scent. This is a great way to find out which notes do create an accord. Here is a video with perfumer Arthur Burnham where you can see what I mean with using the scent strips as a Spanish fan.


chayaruchama said...

I enjoy vetiver w/ vanilla, perhaps along the lines of Habanita, a longtime love.

Another, earlier Molinard [ Nirmala] smells much like Angel, only far less synthetic, to my nose [and therefore, much more satisfying, overall].

[The 'Spanish fan' is a wonderful device !]

I enjoy hearing about all your activities...

Liefs !

Jenny said...

Mmm Habanita, it's been a while since I smelled this lovely fragrance. I never smelled Nirmala.

Can you describe for me what synthetic smells like? I wonder what people mean by that, does it mean that you can't relate it to a smell found in nature or a plastic smell or something like that?

Angel is not created for my skin; it smells like burned sugar on me, but it smells wonderful on others. When it was created it was very new and refreshing, it's a new classic and many perfumers are inspired by this perfume. Eventhough Angel is not meant for me, I admire the creation a lot.

Veel liefs terug!

Andy said...

I always find Vanilla very tricky to work with, especially when combined with flowers like a rose absolue. I think you are very right about the vetiver and vanilla (=vanillin?), bringing out this touch of woodiness that lingers hidden in Vanilla, especially the natural vanilla. Funny enough: I touched Maltol once, but the two of us never got along.

Jenny said...

Vanilla is tricky to work with indeed, it can overpower the other notes real easy, and make the perfume smell dull. However a little use of vanilla is real nice in some fragrances.

I use different kinds of vanilla smelling materials, vanilla absolute, Vanillin, Ethyl Vanillin(more creamy and stronger than normal vanillin), Veratraldehyde (more woody than normal vanillin)and Isobutavan (sweet vanilla, white chocolate, didn't work with it yet)among others.

I once read that the perfumes of Guerlain contained a 'dirty' natural vanilla absolute, when the company that sold them this untreated vanilla, changed it into a 'clean' vanilla absolute, they asked for the vanilla that was untreated, the 'dirty' vanilla, because it gave their perfumes this wonderful smell. I wonder what could have been the 'dirty' components in this vanilla absolute.

Maltol is a strange animal and is not suitable for every perfume, but sometimes it can give novel effects in some perfumes like in a Chypre perfume. Did you, despite your first dissapointing acquaintance with Maltol, ever tried it in a composition? I mean, if you meet a person for the first time, you can get the wrong impression, you have to get to know the person a bit better to form an opinion, the same with perfume materials.... You have to give them a little chance.

Have a wonderful fragrant evening!

michael Storer said...

Thanks Jenny for putting up the video clip with Arthur Burnham~


Jenny said...

You are welcome Mike, it's great fun to work with smelling strips this way. You don't blend anything just playing with the smelling strips, finding strange combinations you never thought of before.