Agreements in perfumery

When we talk about perfumes and the ingredients that compose them, we often use words that recall the world of music: therefore the single ingredient, the raw material, either natural or synthetic, is called a "note", the mixtures of at least two or more ingredients are called "chords" and the final perfume, the fragrance obtained by mixing notes and chords, is called the "composition".

In the art of perfumery, the perfumer's creativity is based on the careful and profound knowledge of notes and how they can best be used to obtain an olfactory balance, first in the creation of the chords, then in the final composition.

The chords are the structural pillars of a perfume. They determine the perfume's main olfactory characteristics and very often represent the main theme around which the perfumer works to shape his formula, through the choice, quality of the ingredients and the balance between notes and chords that it uses, to ensure that the final result is original and captivating.

Agreements are generally identified in relation to the nature of the main ingredients used in their formulation. Let's look at some:

Citrus agreements

In perfumes with citrus agreements, the main ingredients used are citrus fruits such as bergamot, lemon, mandarin and grapefruit: fresh, sparkling, dynamic, these agreements characterize Colognes such as the famous 4711 and Eau de Cologne by Roger & Gallet and Perfumes such as Cologne Bigarade by F. Malle, and Calvin Klein's CK One.

Floral agreements 

Perfumes with floral agreements include bouquets of elegant, sophisticated, sensual flowers that give life to an infinity of famous perfumes including Chanel's iconic  n5, created in 1921, with its precious rose and jasmine agreement that was made original by the addition of aldehydes, or JOY by Patou of 1929 which was considered the most expensive perfume in the world for the use of an agreement that included rose, jasmine, ylang ylang and tuberose, some of the most expensive essences of perfumery. More recent examples of perfumes with floral agreements are: Dior's J'Adore and Issey Miyaké's L'Eau d'Issey.

Amber agreements

The amber agreement is a basic composition of perfumery. The simplest version is obtained from the union of labdanum, a resin, with vanilla or vanillin; it is a warm, intense, persuasive agreement and to heighten its intensity, patchouli, benzoin, or rose can be added. A historical perfume where this accord was used is Coty's Ambre antique (1905). Famous commercial amber perfumes are: Habit Rouge by Guerlain, Hypnotic Poison by Dior, Habanita by Molinard, Opium by YSL and Le Male by JP Gaultier.

Some agreements made by famous perfumers then became milestones in the history of perfumery, characterizing, with their unique olfactory profile, many fragrances, so much so as to give their names to some important families of perfume.

The Chypre perfume family takes its name from the first perfume that used a precise agreement created by Francoise Coty comprised of bergamot, rose, jasmine, patchouli, sandalwood and oakmoss, in 1907; the name Chypre derives from Cyprus, the island that mythology claims to be home to the goddess Aphrodite from which Coty was inspired. Classic examples of Chypre perfumes are: Aromatic Elixir by Clinique, Mitsouko by Guerlain and Miss Dior by Dior.

The Fougere perfume family also derives from the famous perfume, Fougere Royale, which was created in 1882 by the perfumer Paul Paquet for the French brand Houbigant. The agreement was comprised of lavender, geranium, patchouli, labdanum, oakmoss and coumarin and was inspired by the aromatic coolness of an ideal undergrowth of ferns (fougere in French), where the warm tones of the wood and oakmoss combine with the sweetness of lavender and the freshness of geranium. The perfumes of the Fougere family are typically masculine, classic representatives are: Drakkar Noir by Guy Laroche, Escape for man by Calvin Klein, and Egoiste by Chanel.

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