Day 3 – Perfume Genealogy

We start the day with a test of 10 previously discussed natural materials.
Bergamot, Cedar- Virginia, Frankincense, Vetiver (which I mistake for Sandalwood- omg!), Tonka Bean, Rosemary which I mistake for Lavadin, Vanilla, Nutmeg, Jasmine which I mistake for Ylang, and Geranium. (Thankfully at least my mistakes are at least in the same aroma family. :0) nose must not be awake!


We proceed again onto oil description and exploration; Mimosa absolute from Morocco with its Honey, Green, softer floral. Mandarin oil from Italy with its wonderful fruity (I can’t help but think of Christmas) not as fresh as lemon but will warm the top note of an accord.
Oak-moss Absolute amazing wood, seaweedy, salty, earthy, ozone characteristics and a much used base and fixative in Chypres and Fougeres. Restricted now and replaced mainly with the oakmoss synthetic replacer – Evernyl
Myrrh Oil warm and liquorice, frankincense like and perfect for gourmand perfumes like Lolita Lempicka. Onto the amazing Cistus Oil;  warm, amber, round, animalic, leathery, fresh,and  piney.
Iris (Orris) Concrete (8% irone) amazingly powdery, green wood, and violet like used in Chanel 19 and Shalamar.
Lime Oil a wonderful top note from Mexico, lemon like, but greener.
Fir Balsam abs from Canada so soft, warm, pine working great as a base and fixative, and of course reminds me of Christmas
Cary Sage Oil with it fresh leading to lavender and citrus, coumarin, even tea note
Artemisia Oil (Wormwood) medicinal, aromatic, camphoreous, drys to woody. Contains the dangerous Thujone and smells like walking through a field at the farm in Alberta.

We move onto doing some comparisons Lemon and Lime, Violet and Mimosa and Iris, Patchouli and Cistus and Vetiver and Fir,  Frankincense and Myrrh and Cistus and Clary Sage.
More description work on Civet, Birch Tar, Veltol (Ethyl Maltol) with it’s caramel.

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We all scramble into the two GIP cars and off for lunch at the restaurant. It was a real treat when Alain Ferro, Directeur chez ASFO Grasse joined us for lunch .


A cat also joins us and makes itself known to patrons until the owner moves him out to the doorway.

(Photo courtesy of Belle Lam -

(Photo courtesy of Belle Lam –


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After lunch we work through the perfume families and the genealogy; smelling important examples of the each family and the sub families:
Eau de cologne,  Citrus, Woody, Floral, Oriental, Spicy, Chypre, Fougere, Ozonic, Fantasy, Gourmand, Marine, Fruity.

The nose is very tired by the end of the day…. and so am I.


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