creating scents

Patchouli 5th avenue style

Yesterday, I talked to my preferred supplier of essential oils, synthetics and other delights. We discussed the oh my! so expensive Champaca absolute, and they will source me some, later this or early next year. It will neatly fit into my recently acquired Osmanthus (yummieh!) treasure. And my new quality Patchouli essential oil that I got from Spain the other day: Think Patchoulol!

Patchoulol is a molecule that is part of Patchouli essential oil and makes about 30% of it. By selective distillation you can get Patchouli oil that is enriched in Patchoulol, to about 65% for instance. How the molecule looks you see on the right side of this post.

This Patchouli, rich in Patchoulol, smells like Patchouli, but 5th avenue style. Think rich and expensive patchouli instead of amusement park patchouli. More on the woody side. Just wonderful.

Thus, like every year towards the end of the year I venture into new molecules and new natural delights that will keep me busy in the next year. Now, this does not really translate directly into new fragrances. I have launched enough recently, and even if I come up with new fragrances, it might well be that they will never go into production. I am learning these days that I can also create fragrances for myself and a few: Folks who care and do not need the full blown fragrance launch thing with flacons, labels etc.

But for sure these delights translate directly into fun for the perfumer, learning and exploring uncharted territory. Exploring new raw materials is one of the most exciting ventures you can get as a perfumer. Following the material during its development on paper strips, learn how it behaves in combination with others, see how it disappears and comes back is thrilling and inspiring.

These natural raw materials are like a primordial soup, a pool where new ideas are born and let out to pass the survival test.