Understanding The Elements Of A Fragrance Composition !

“THERE ARE NO WEEDS, AND NO WORTHLESS MEN. THERE ARE ONLY BAD FARMERS” – VICTOR HUGO

Everyone and Everything has got a place in this universe. Let us extrapolate the concept of a french writer to the field of art, music and fragrances.

As an artist, in order to understand the composition, we must understand the elements of composition. Like… In case of music, there are no superior or inferior notes. They all contribute to make a complete melody. Same is the case with Fragrances. Eliminating a single raw material will diminish the beauty of a fragrance, like skipping a musical note will diminish the beauty of a composition.

Like in case of Music, Chord “C” is played on guitar, piano, flute & other instruments. Despite their differences, everyone appreciates the symphony created by the composer. Similarly, in case of fragrances, Rose accord is expressed differently by different perfumers, yet they are appreciated in their own ways. Only a fool will say that a Rose from one region is better than others. In reality, they all have differences and only upon deeper understanding, a perfumer chooses the right pick for his creation.

Let’s take an example of Rose (Rosa Damascena) from different regions. Comparing the Rose oil from Kodaikanal (South India), Kannauj (North India), Bulgaria & Turkey. The chemical composition of rose essential oil will vary according to the region and climate conditions. Following are certain chemical constituents which majorly contribute to the olfactory profile of Rose essential oil and slight change in their percentage cause drastic difference in the Olfactory Profile of Rose oil.

Name
Kodaikanal (South India)
Kannauj (North India)
Bulgaria 
Turkey
Olfactory Description
cis-Rose Oxide
0.04
0.30
0.43
0.55
Green, red rose, spicy, floral
Citronellol
12.88
6.70
33.40
42.19
rose, sweet, citrus, terpenic
Geraniol
24.69
39.30
18.40
12.00
floral, sweet, rose, citronella-like
IMG_2094
ONE ROSE IS ENOUGH FOR THE DAWN – EDMOND JABÈS

So, Olfactory Profile of Rose essential oil will vary depending on their respective chemical constituents. This is the main reason why Bulgarian Rose differs from Turkish Rose or Indian Rose. However it does not mean that one is superior than the other. It just mean that their olfactory expressions are different from one another.

 

A fragrance is a fine blend of several raw materials which ultimately is the interpretation of the vision of a perfumer. Similar to a musician, a perfumer also does a lot of trials in order to create a fine blend which will synchronize perfectly with the idea behind the composition. Some perfumers may find Bulgarian Rose perfect fit for their blend, some may find Indian Rose as a perfect blend for their blend.

To summarize the idea of elements of composition in perfumery, we can relate it to Music & chess with a following quote by a soviet Latvian Chess Grandmaster

“SIMILARLY, AS COMPOSERS CREATE FROM A CHAOS THE SOUNDS OF A CAPTIVATING MELODY, THE CHESS PLAYER DRAWS A PRETTY PICTURE, TURNING UP THE BEST MOVES AMONG INNUMERABLE VARIABLES.”

– MIKHAIL TAL

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