“Notes from the Lab” Part 5: Perfume Ingredient Alphabet

My new monthly contributor series on award-winning perfume blog, ÇaFleureBon called “Notes from the Lab” continues this month with the topic “Perfume Ingredients”. Below is an excerpt, for the full article head on over to ÇaFleureBon here.

After many years of working as a perfumer, writing formulas has become second nature to me. I find it to be calming and therapeutic. When I hear “experts” talking about fragrances—their notes, the latest status of “naturals,” ingredient labelling, niche vs. artisans— my mind wanders back to my formulas.


Last month I shared some notes from my early journals when I began studying raw materials in 1991; their origin, chemical nature, smell, and even their taste in some cases. Continuing on, please enjoy the following review as I work my way through the raw material alphabet from Hedione to Phenyl ethyl alcohol.

Hedione is one of the most widely used ingredients in perfumery today. Although natural isomers of this ingredient exist in jasmin, the main one for commercial use is a synthetic derivative. Hedione is used in just about every jasmine and floral scent on the market today and it’s no wonder, considering its lovely sheer floral projection and tenacious nature.

Phenyl ethyl alcohol is one of the defining notes of a rose.  It would be difficult to replicate the scent of a rose without it. Phenyl ethyl alcohol has a versatility that has made it a staple in many products from lipstick to face lotion to fine fragrances.  My favorite example is Stella McCartney’s Stella, which took rose to a whole new level by combining it with sharp amber woods, fresh fruit, and musk.

I hope these ingredients will continue to inspire you to connect with your own relationship with the array of notes found in your favorite fragrances from Hedione to Phenyl ethyl alcohol.

March 2, 2018
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