Emeraude by Coty

An eBay picture via
The Muse in Wooden Shoes blog.

Name: Emraude

Brand: Coty

Perfumer: François Coty

Year of creation: 1921

Pyramid according to the H&R Fragrance Guide:

Top notes: Citrusy, Fresh
Main: Bergamot, Lemon
Supported by: Lemongrass, Orange

Heart notes: Sweet, Floral
Main: Rosewood
Supported by: Rose, Jasmin, Ylang-Ylang

Base notes: Sweet, Balsamic, Powdery
Main: Vanilla, Ambrein
Supported by: Opoponax, Benzoin, Sandal, Patchouli

Classification by H&R Genealogy:
Feminine, Oriental, Sweet

Classifications according to the Fragrance Wheel by Michael Edwards:
Oriental, Classical subgroup

Classification by SFP (Société Française des Parfumeurs):
F3f – Ambrée, Ambrée doux (sweet/soft amber) according to the old classification. In 1984 classification F3 is reserved for Ambrée hespéridé (citrusy amber) and F1 is Ambrée doux (sweet/soft amber).

Luca Turin verdict:  1 stars of 5, cheap oriental

In his review Luca Turin admires the original version (smelled at Osmotheque) as well as a scratch sample from a magazine in 1967, but calls the modern drug store release “crap value even at the bargain-basement price”.

This fragrance is often compared to:

Shalimar by Guerlain


Inspired by the emerald jewels of Persian temples François Coty wanted to create “the soul of the emerald in fragrance.”

The bottle:

Initially was presented in flacons by Lalique and Baccarat. Latter perfume bottles were made by Coty’s own glassworks in Pantin.

A Moth Stopper Parfum Flacon by Lalique originally made for Muguet by Coty (source: eBay)

Interesting facts:

Choosing a perfume to match the hair color was the order of the day when Emeraude came out. This perfume was suggested for brunettes and red haired.

In 60’s Coty used the following slogan to advertise Emeraude: “For the woman who dares to be different.”

Personal notes: Emeraude vs. Shalimar.

Similar age, same classification, roughly the same pyramid construction, so the comparison is inevitable. There are even rumors about Coty selling his formulation to Guerlain, but also a contradicting legend about Guerlain creating Shalimar by adding vanilla to Jicky. The truth is there somewhere… The fact is that the structure of both compositions is very similar indeed: a contrast between a classic citrus freshness and a sweet powdery vanilla with a touch of leather or smoke. An in depth comparison is difficult as both perfumes have undergone many reformulations. And the modern version of Emeraude seem to be a pale image of the original.

A modern cologne version of Emeraude
Picture from Walmart.com

Unfortunately I can’t say anything about the original – never smelled the vintage perfume. But I own a modern chartreuse colored cologne version in a squared bottle (see the picture above). It smells a bit cheap to my nose. So I agree with Luca Turin on this, but have to admit that the “cheap” impression is often defined by our olfactory experience. I get a whiff of something that reminds me of a cheap cologne from my past together with a slight soapiness of Emeraude’s floral part and a smoky aspect that makes me think of a burnt incense stick. Those three aspects are making the modern version of Emeraude smelling cheap to me (especially compared to Shalimar).

But once I recognize where those “cheap” associations come from and set them apart, I find Emeraude quite a comforting scent. A nostalgy of a classic bitterness from a fresh citrus top with a lemon candy touch against a sweet and comforting amber with a vanilla powderness and a touch of smoke. I understand the numerous positive reviews. But to me personally it’s rather a house robe I put on at home when feeling chilly than an accessory to complete a look for going out. The floral part is less pronounced here to my nose. And instead a velvety iris of Shalimar I smell just a whiff of ionones here. Can’t get Opopanax or a leathery animalic aspect of Shalimar here, but rather a smoky note of a burnt incense stick (not unpleasant though). The last one also reminds me of Tabu by Dana.

Further reading:

  1. A study on Coty perfumes with a detailed story on Emeraude flacons on the Coty perfumes blog.
  2. The Muse in Wooden Shoes shares her personal connection with Emeraude and compares different versions.
  3. An overview of Coty fragrances at Ça Fleur Bon blog.

Shalimar by Guerlain

Picture from guerlain.com

Name: Shalimar

Brand: Guerlain

Perfumer: Jacques Guerlain

Year of creation: 1925 (or 1921, see interesting facts)

Pyramid according to the H&R Fragrance Guide:

Top notes: Citrusy, Fresh
Main: Lemon
Supported by: Bergamot, Mandarine, Rosewood

Heart notes: Woody, Floral
Main: Patchouli
Supported by: Rose, Jasmin, Orris, Vetiver

Base notes: Sweet, Powdery, Balsamic
Main: Opopanax
Supported by: Vanilla, Benzoin Siam, Peru Balsem, Leather

Classification by H&R Genealogy:
Feminine, Oriental, Sweet

Pyramid according to “Perfume Legends” by Michael Edwards:

Head notes: Sparkling

Heart notes: Fleeting
Rose, Jasmine

Soul notes: Seductive
Opopanax, Vanilla, Iris, Tonka Bean

Classifications according to the Fragrance Wheel by Michael Edwards: Oriental, Classical subgroup

Classification by Symrise Genealogy:
Feminine, Oriental, Ambery, Citrus

Classification by SFP (Société Française des Parfumeurs):
F3f – Ambrée, Ambrée doux (sweet/soft amber) according to the old classification. In 1984 classification F3 is reserved for Ambrée hespéridé (citrusy amber) and F1 is Ambrée doux (sweet/soft amber).

Guerlain (guerlain.com) describes the perfume as:

Voluptuous, sensual, spellbinding.

A flight of flowers and bergamot whips up the top notes with a breeze of freshness. The heart is warmed by enveloping and delicately powdery notes of iris, jasmine and rose. To conclude, the presence of vanilla, rounded balmy notes and the gourmand warmth of tonka bean orchestrate a sensual symphony for the dry-down.

There is also a short movie by Guerlain about Shalimar:

Luca Turin verdict: 5 stars of 5, reference oriental

This fragrance is compared to:

Shalimar is often referred as the first Oriental perfume. Its sweet vanilla accord has inspired many other creations (often recognized by the word “amber” in their name). Luca Turin uses Shalimar as a reference point and compares many other scents to it.

Habit Rouge, another Guerlain perfume, is often called a “Shalimar pour homme” among the perfumista.

There is a lot of resemblance between Shalimar and Emeraude by Coty (old formulation). There are even rumors suggesting that Coty has sold his formula to Guerlain (which seems to be less likely if you take 1921 as the year of Shalimar’s creation, same as Emeraude).


“Shalimar” means “abode of love” in Sanskrit.

The inspiration behind Shalimar is the story of love told to Guerlain by a maharajah. It’s about Shah Jahangir, the emperor of Mughal who laid the gardens of Shalimar, his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal who died during the child birth and the famous Taj Mahal created in her memory.

A version of this story is worked out in a beautiful movie about Shalimar:

The bottle:

The original urn shaped bottle (often referred as chauve suris or the bat flacon) is designed by Raymond Guerlain and Baccarat and represents a bowl of fruits. The blue stopper is inspired by a palm fan.

Picture from Wikipedia

A glimpse on evolution of Shalimar Flacons

Picture from Fragrantica

Interesting facts:

Jean-Paul Guerlain tells that the main accord of Shalimar was created by his grandfather by adding a new vanilla material (ethyl vanillin presented to him by Justin Dupont) to the bottle of Jicky.

A famous quote by Ernest Beaux (creator of Chanel N5) on Shalimar is: “If I had used so much vanilla, I would have made only a crème anglaise, whereas Jacques Guerlain creates a Shalimar!”

Some sources mention 1921 as the year of creation. And indeed the perfume was finished by 1921. But Jacques Guerlain waited till April 1925 to present Shalimar at the International Exhibition of Decorative Arts in Paris.

Shalimar was also known as “No. 90” (for export bottles to UK) for a short time during a legal battle with another company using its name (probably Shalimar by DuBarry PerfumeryCo, England from 1927).

Further reading:

  1. “Perfume Legends” by Michael Edwards, p. 54-59.
  2. A blog post about the Chauve Souris or The Bat flacon of Shalimar and the perfume itself.
  3. A story of Shalimar by Perfume Shrine.

Jicky by Guerlain

Jicky by Guerlain from www.guerlain.com

Name: Jicky

Brand: Guerlain

Perfumer: Aimé Guerlain

Year of creation: 1889

Pyramid according to the H&R Fragrance Guide:

Top notes: Citrusy, Fresh
Main: Lemon
Supported by: Bergamot, Mandarine, Rosewood

Heart notes: Floral, Woody
Main: Jasmin, Patchouli
Supported by: Rose, Orris, Vetiver

Base notes: Sweet, Balsamic, Exotic
Main: Vanilla
Supported by: Benzoin, Amber, Tonka, Civet, Leather, Incense

Classification by H&R Genealogy:
Feminine, Oriental, Sweet

Pyramid according to “Perfume Legends” by Michael Edwards:

Head notes: Fresh, Aromatic
Lavender, Bergamot, Rosemary, Rosewood

Heart notes: Spicy
Geranium, Jasmine, Rose

Soul notes: Warm&Sensual
Tonka Bean, Opopanax, Vanilla, Coumarin

Classifications according to the Fragrance Wheel by Michael Edwards: Aromatic (Fougère), Classical subgroup

Classification by Symrise Genealogy:
Masculine, Oriental, Ambery, Animalic

Classification by SFP (Société Française des Parfumeurs):
C1f – Fougère, Fougère.

This fragrance is compared to: 

“Mouchoir de Monsieur” by Guerlain is often compared to “Jicky”.

“Kiki” by Vero Kern was created as a tribute to “Jicky”.


“Jicky” was named after Aimé’s favorite nephew Jacques (Jicky is a hypocoristic form of this name). But there is also a legend about mysterious Jacqueline (also called Jicky), the first and probably the only love of Aimé Guerlain who wasn’t granted her hand in marriage and therefore left brokenhearted.

The bottle:

The bottle was designed by Gabriel Guerlain (Aimé ‘s brother) and later modified by Baccarat in 1947. Its body represents an old pharmacy jar to honor Aimé’s and Gabriel’s father Pierre François-Pascal who was a chemist. The stopper resembles a champagne cork.

Interesting facts:

In a novel “Queen of the Underworld” by Gail Godwin Jicky is refered as followed: “a sensational perfume that became an instand must-have for La Belle Époche’s aesthetes”. But in the following alinea also mentions that “some people were scandalized by Jicky’s audacious civet base and its idefinable appeal – what French call je ne sais quoi”. Dandies and “woman who is not afraid to be original” seem to adore this perfume.

According to the perfumer Jean-Claude Elléna “Jicky was an abrupt break in with traditional perfumery, which copied nature. It marked the beginning of emotive perfumery, which no longer attempt to imitate the scent of flowers, but sought instead to arouse emotion.”

Luca Turin in his Guide mentions, that Aimé Guerlain was using an impure yellow vanilline from De Lair that contained a residue of guaiacol. It gave “Jicky” a burnt smoky nuance. After the process of vanilla production was improved Aimé Guerlain continued to ask for that low grade vanilline. Nowadays a little bit of birch tar is used to simulate that effect.

At first “Jicky” was produced in a blue straight squared bottle targeting the male audience. But according to Philippe Guerlain: “When they realized that Jicky was too modern for men, they decided to target it towards women”.

Further reading:

  1. Persolaise (Dariush Alavi) comparing the Osmothèque version to a modern one (from 2014).
  2. Grain de musc on the gender of the scent.
  3. “Perfume Legends” by Michael Edwards, p. 15-19.

Long Board by MiN New-York

Vol. 1, Ch. 2: Long Board

Illustration to Long Board scent by MiN New-York on their website

On my skin Long Board opens predominantly as a coconut sweetened orange flower mixed with an undertone of sea salt and used to perfume a suntan lotion.

This scent is about surfing, tanned skin, sea, coconut trees and tropical beaches.

According to the creators Dune Road is supposed to be an illustration of:

“Salty Surf.

Warm Sun on bare skin.

Sea birds sing as the ocean whispers.

Balmy, suspended moments
of storytelling & laughter
with friends.”

This scent appeals to the memories I don’t have. Azure colored skies and ivory white beaches, tanned surfers sliding on a turquoise colored water… I’ve seen it on TV. But my own vacations I rather spend in a forest area. And the North Sea I visit sometimes doesn’t look much like a perfect image of a tropical beach.

So the closest picture I can get from the “Long Board” is me watching a TV-program about surfing while sitting next to a warm fireplace. Smelling the cocos and orange flower scented lotion from my skin. Probably mixed with the residues of salty water soaked into my bathrobe after relaxing bath.

Top: Cardamom & Marine Notes
Heart: Coconut, Solar Cream & Orange Blossom
Base: Amber, Vanilla & Vetyver

Illustration for Long Board scent by MiN New-York (an older version)

Similar fragrances to explore: 
There are many fragrances that recall a feeling of summer, tanned skin and a tropical beach. Like the Bronze Goddess by Estée Lauder which smells like a coconut scented body oil on a warm skin. Or Musc Monoi by Nicolai Parfumeur created to recall the smell of Ambre Solaire oil on the skin.

I was wearing Long Board while walking on the North Sea beach a couple of days ago. Hiding my face into a warm scarf from the drafts of a cold wind and looking at the heavy clouds above the rough see I could observe a striking contrast between what the perfume was trying to suggest and what I could see around me. But once I reached a beach pavilion I saw a different picture. A warm open fire and a piece of wooden art with a nostalgic memory of summer were a quite close match for the “Long Board” perfume.

My own experience while wearing a Long Board.

Dune Road by MiN New-York

Scented Stories by MiN New-York
Vol. 1, Ch. 1: Dune Road

Official illustration for Dune Road scent from MiN New-York

It opens like a fresh breeze bringing the smell of rain, wet earth and an intense green scent of foliage after the rain. A light whiff of tropic flowers entwine themselves into the ozonic freshness of the air with the nuances of crushed leaves and wet wood.

A “scented image” is a good name for this collection. To me they are much more “olfactory impressions” than “perfumes”.

According to the creators Dune Road is supposed to be an illustration of:

“Summer walks.
Crisp ocean breeze. Foamy Sand.

Whispers of herbs,
wildflowers & sea grass
from a distance.

Ethereal, captivating
& hazy pleasures.”

Though I recognize the elements from this descriptions in the scent, my own perception of “Dune Road” doesn’t show me much of sea grass and creates the image of a tropical forest after the rain with it’s reach smell of wet soil and sappy green leaves. And on the skin… it’s like running back home after mowing the lawn because of the sudden rain.

Top: Absinthe, Cardamom & Ozone
Heart: Marine, Salt, Sea Grass, Seaweed & Driftwood
Base: Vetyver, Cedarwood & Musk

Similar fragrances to explore:
As in my own perception “Dune Road” is more about a tropical forest after the rain I’d recommend to try Fleur de Liane by L’Artisan Parfumeur (2008) and may be Jangala from the Collection Croisiere which is a fantasy image of a jungle by Pierre Guillaum.

I was wearing this scent during my walks among the dunes here in Netherlands, on the Texel island. The following image would express my feelings of these fragrant walks.

Dune Walks on Texel as an illustration for Dune Roads by MiN New-York

The Unicorn Spell by LesNez

The Unicorn Spell

Nose: Isabelle Doyen

What can you find in the bottle:
The Unicorn Spell came into my path as a part of a quest for green fragrances. I was looking for a different take on a violet leaf theme from Grey Flannel and so I met The Unicorn Spell introduced by a friend. Both scents explore the theme of a floral freshness on a background of cold and almost harsh greenness. Something that reminds me of the early spring when the first flowers are coming from the ground resisting the drafts of cold wind. In The Unicorn Spell the different tints of white and green are painting an image of а misty glade where the pearled with dew grass intersperses with little snowdrops. The glade is a part of an enchanted forest surrounded with dark trunks of ancient oak trees surrounded with a purple glow. And once you carefully look between their massive roots, you might find the violet flowers hidden there.

The Unicorn Spell is a violet fragrance with a twist. Instead of showing the fragrant floral heart or play around the candied violet leaves, this fragrance emphasizes the green nuances of a violet leave and the woody aspect of the flowers.

Luca Turin verdict: **** (4 stars of 5), green violet

LesNez on their creation:
“If by dawn still linger on your skin mixed scents of leaves, frost and violet blooms, and that relentless yearning for stellar sights, you will know that, at night, you felt the milky breath of a unicorn.”

Lucky Scent on this fragrance:
“Inspired by the scent of leaves, frost and violet blooms at dawn, by moonlight and transparency”

There are no notes mentioned on LesNez website.

Fragrantica mentions the following notes: Violet, Green notes, Woody notes.

Lucky Scent describe the pyramid as following: “The cold, green top notes, the subtly sweet, berry-like accord in the middle, the delicate woodiness of the drydown.”

Similar fragrances to explore:
1. Fresh takes on violets like in La Violette by Annick Goutal or an eau de cologne violette in Lumen_esce by Nomencalture.
2. Cool florals on a green background like in Grey Flannel by Geoffrey Beene, Ombre de Hyacinth by Tom Ford, Green by Byredo and may be also Eau de Narcisse Bleu by Hermès.
3. Violets share some similar aspects with iris, so the fragrances with iris and green notes combination may be interesting to explore here. From classic Chanel N19 to the modern takes on the same subjects like Bas de Soie by Serge Lutens or the green iris from Iris Cendre by Naomi Goodsir.

Gucci Guilty Absolute


What can you find in a bottle:

  • On a blotter it opens with a civet-like note which is almost shocking. Something rather to expect within a niche range of perfumes than in a mainstream scent. Camels, horses and cowsheds may come into the mind, though oud is not mentioned here. But on the skin it becomes less zoo-like and brings warm and sensual depth into the fragrance.
  • An intimate close to skin scent what you might smell under a worn out leather jacket on a bare male skin. The jacket seems to keep the history of its wearer. Just a few nuances like mineral notes of oil and gasoline or residues of modern fougère perfumes and woody scents ingrained into leather.
  • A very comforting warm and dry woody base.
  • A slightly metallic aromatic vibe recognizable from many modern masculine fougère fragrances.

Fragrant notes: Woodleather®, Goldenwood®, Nootka cypress, Patchouli, Vetiver

Perfumer: Alberto Morillas

Creative Director: Alessandro Michele

Year of creation: 2017

Face of the advertising campaign: Jared Leto (photographer – Glen Luchford).

Alberto Mirullas on his creation: “Absolute speaks to a new generation of men, his wants, needs, passions and his modernity.”

Woodleather® is a new Firmenich captive with an oud scent profile. Also used in “Original Oud” by Mizensir, the fragrance project by Alberto Morillas.

Goldenwood® is another Firmenich captive. As long as it’s under patent protection (as well as Woodleather®), not much information will be revealed.

Nootka cypress (also known as Alaskan Cedarwood) is a conifer growing in the Northwest Rainforest area. Firmenich describes the smell of Cedarwood Alaska essential oil as “sparkling with a fresh and breezy grapefruit crisp due to its Nootkatene and Nootkatone content (grapefruit odorants)”and “less camhoraceous and smoky, but stronger, longer lasting and more linear than the regular Cedarwood oil”.  Also used in Penhaligon’s Blasted Heath Бертрана and Mizensir Perfect Oud (Parfumo.net gives the following list of fragrances using this note – https://www.parfumo.net/Fragrance_Note/Nootka_cypress).

The campaign:


Poême de Lancômе

What can you find inside the bottle?

  • A bunch of sultry flowers like jasmine, orange blossom, tuberose, rose and ylang-ylang spreading their heady and suffocating aroma between the landscapes made of honey and vanilla.
  • A meadow full of yellow flowers bathing under the golden sunlight.
  • Daffodils. The poisonous greenish aroma along the lines of Chloé Narcisse.
  • Downy powderness that recalls the fluffy mimosa flowers.
  • Warm orange blossom that plays between the seductiveness of a white flower and the powdery blossom dust.
  • The poisonous Angel trompet flower or datura similar to Datura Noir by Serge Lutens.
  • Blue poppies from Himalaya supposed to be there. Can’t really find them, but can easily imagine the heat of orange and red poppies.
  • Abundant character combined with a very strong projection and tenacity. Beware, it can be suffocating!
  • An effect of a nourished skin as if it’s moisturized with a reach luxury body cream (similar orange blossom, lily, gardenia and tuberose aroma are often used to perfume luxury nourishing creams). I had a similar effect in Twilly by Hermès.
  • An ancestor (one of many) of modern floral oriental perfumes.

Pyramid (a compilation from various on-line sources):

Top Notes: Blue poppy, Datura (Angel’s trumpet or thorn-appel), Bergamot, Green notes, Mandarin, Narcissus, Peach, Plum, Blackcurrant

Heart Notes: Freesia, Heliotrope, Jasmine, Leather, Mimosa, Orange blossom, Rose, Tuberose, Vanilla blossom, Ylang-ylang, Jonquil, Daffodil

Base Notes: Amber, Musk, Tonka bean, Vanilla, Cedar

Perfumer: Jacques Cavallier

Year of creation: 1995

Classification by H&R Genealogy:
Feminine, Floral, Sweet (2000 – 2001 version)

Classification by SFP (Société Française des Parfumeurs): F4f – Ambrée-Orientale (Oriental/Amber), Ambré Fleuri Boisé (Amber, floral, woody), feminine.

Fragrance Wheel (by Michael Edwards) classification: Floral Oriental, Classical/Classique, feminine

Luca Turin Guide verdict: * 1 star of 5 calling it “horrid floral”
“…combining the worst of Amarige (the hideous tuberose), the worst of Spellbound (triple-distilled oil slick), and a novel, uniquely unpleasant, peppery-floral chrysanthemum note all its own.”

The fragrance was presented as: “A rich floral-oriental parfum created by Jacques Cavallier who used two flowers that had never been used in a fragrance before, the Himalayan blue poppy and the datura, desert flower.” according to Perfume Intelligence Encyclopedia.

Bottle design: by Fabien Baron

Narcisse Noir by Caron

Narcisse Noir creates an illusion of a non-existent flower which is quite convincing. The dry green bitterness with oil-paint like nuance evokes the image of narcissus. And the animalic darkness of civet in the base does paint it black. Although reading about this fragrance makes me to think that the original version of this perfume was much heavier on civet than its modern interpretations. But to me Narcisse Noir is mostly about the orange blossom. It represents an interesting aspect of the orange flower which I perceive as a slow thickening of sunlight during a sunset. The color changes from a warm orange glow to a dark orange and almost brown before it falls into the darkness. Warm, sultry, heady and definitely fatal.

Pyramid according to H&R Fragrance Guide:

Top notes: Fresh, Flowery
Main: Bergamot
Supported by: Mandarin, Petitgrain, Lemon

Heart notes: Dry, Floral
Main: Narcissus, Jasmin
Supported by: Jonquil, Orange Blossom

Base notes: Floral, Sensual
Main:  –
Supported by: Civet, Musk, Sandal

Perfumer: Ernest Daltroff

Year of creation: 1912 (or 1911)

Classification by H&R Genealogy:
Feminine, Oriental, Sweet (1985 version)
Feminine, Oriental (end 2000’s version)

Classification by Symrise Genealogy: Feminine, Oriental, Woody, Animalic

Classification by SFP (Société Française des Parfumeurs): B1f-09 – Floral, soliflore, Narcissus

Fragrance Wheel (by Michael Edwards) classification: Floral, Rich/Profond, orange blossom, feminine

Luca Turin Guide verdict: ** 2 stars of 5 calling it “woody jasmine”. In her review Tania Sanchez shares her regrets on reformulations of this great classic and describes the modern version as followed: “Fragrance Wheel (by Michael Edwards) classification: Floral, Rich/Profond, orange blossom, feminine.”

Smelling a modern version can raise a question about the placing this scent inside an oriental family. I guess the key here is the reformulation Tania Sanchez is complaining about. I think the animalic note of civet was much more pronounced in original and made it much closer to those animalic musk attars from the East. But it’s in the past. And nowadays Michael Edwards describes it as a floral perfume with a predominant orange blossom note.

Interesting facts:

Barbara Herman in her “Scent and Subversion” mentions that Ernest Beaux, the creator of Chanel N5 described Narcisse Noir as “a perfume of the most striking vulgarity.”

Ostrom, Lizzie in her “Perfume: A Century of Scents calls” it “a lawsuit perfume” as “Caron lawyered up against several firms, including Du Moiret for their Moon-Glo Narcissus, and Henri Muraour & Cie for their Narcisse Bleu. […]
Caron, holding the trademark for the complete phrase ‘Narcisse Noir’, argued that any use of the word ‘narcisse’ in fragrance from a competitor should be disallowed.”

The new (for the time of creation) aromachemicals para-cresol and its esters were used in Narcisse Noir for the first time (according to Perfumer&Flavorist, Vol. 15, November/December 1990). Para-cresol and its esters (like para-cresyl acetate) possess a harsh phenolic smell with heavy floral nuances (when diluted) resembling the smell of narcissus, orange blossom, ylang-ylang, lily and animalic accents.

Orange blossom studies

During a blind test of a fragrance I found myself having a problem with recognizing an orange blossom inside a heady cloud of a white flower which I thought was tuberose. So, it’s time for some olfactory training and tuning on orange blossom.

So, it’s time to get the Orange Blossom absolute from the Osmoz set (Firmenich). According to the guide the smell supposed to be jasmine-based, indole-based, honeyed, rubbery and warm. To me it’s first of all rubbery. Almost unbelievable it’s a natural raw material and not an industrial accord. Just once I smelled a very similar effect in a mandarin petitgrain (mandarin leaves) essential oil. I thought it was a smell of a shoe factory in a bottle. The bitter green freshness as I know it from petitgrain essential oil joins the show. It’s not a surprise why petitgrain oil can be widely used in adulteration and falsification of orange blossom absolute. More in the depth I can smell idolic aspect and honey. Not really sweet, but definitely raw honey. The floral jasmine-like aspect is harder to find here for me. I do smell a salty flowery note reminding me of the infusion of jasmine flowers served as tea. This orange blossom absolute is less sweet than I remember it from a perfumery palette.

Anna Zworykina, the Russian natural perfumer told be it must be a specimen of orange blossom absolute from Tunisia which appears to have less honeyed sweetness than the one from Morocco.

As you can see from the picture the following perfumes are suggested to understand the orange blossom note: Poison by Dior, Poême by Lancôme, Fleurs d’Oranger by Serge Lutens.

There is also a good article on The Best Orange Flower fragrances of 2017 on Fragrantica. They are suggesting the following orange blossom perfumes: Roberto Cavalli EDP, Narcisse Noir by Caron, Classique by Jean Paul Gaultier, J’Adore in Joy by Dior and also Fleurs d’Oranger by Serge Lutens.