Parmantheme – Firmenich

An old base from Firmenich.

It was created in the 30’s, although it was possible to compose such accords back in the first decade of the 20th Century heliotropine was first synthetised in 1869, ionones in the 1890’s, methyl heptine/octine carbonate in 1900.

AD from a 30’s French trade paper

This is the very classical accord of violet, not quite reminiscent of the flower though. An elegant, powerful and longlasting violet, reminiscent of violet leaf absolute (that was possibly meant to replace).

I like to think that this very base shaped consumers for almost a century. This base is the archetype of perfumers’ violet  in fine fragrances and functional products as well. True-to-nature accords are easy to make using p-cresyl derivatives, indol and ionones as a foundation but unpleasant to the general customer.

Green, sweet, powdery, slighlty jasmine-like. You can have a beautiful example of such violet in Paris (Yves Saint Laurent), where I definitely smell this very accord (I cannot prove that Parmantheme was used though).

In Parmantheme I smell nonadienal and/or nonadienol as a powerful topnote: a green, cucumber-like, wet, oily note. This perception seems to be confirmed by S. Arctander in his monography on Nonadienal.

The base is founded on the main accord: methyl heptine/octine carbonate – ionones (an heavy dose!) – heliotropine – powdery musks. Some additional notes might be jasmin or rose.

A simple and beautiful composition that glorifies the green, violet leaf-like, extremely powerful methyl heptine/octine carbonate, quite difficult to use alone (and nearly banned by today’s IFRA standards).

I think that today Parmantheme features some methyl heptine/octine carbonate replacer.

  1. alessandro said:

    I am looking to purchase some of your products there is any way that i can do it . thank you

    • Andrea said:

      Hi Alessandro,

      Which products are you seeking for? I have any sort of products from Firmenich, IFF etc.

      I’ll be glad to help you,


  2. alessandro said:

    Hi, Andrea thank you for answering me. I am kind new for perfumery and this is an hobby of mine that i really love , As fresh apprentice I did some perfumes with natural essence ,some good some very bed but i could never reach the sophisticate notes that you can feel in the commercial fragrances and that is why i am try to get the isolates and molecules like aldehydes , iso e super , habanolide, etc.I live in Miami,Fl .an it’s kind hard to find this products unless you research the internet i did find several sites and in which one of them i found yours, with a lot of informations ( very well made).So i will like to know if you can sale me small quantities like 80 ml .If you cannot thank you anyway .Kind regards Alessandro.

    • Andrea said:

      I answered you in pvt message.

  3. Jessica J said:

    Do you have any recommendations for a papery/dusty isolate? Brand new to this, and all I want is to smell like a library! TIA!

    • Andrea said:

      Thank you for commenting. I think you should try Vetyrisia (Firmenich), a beautiful orris-vetiver base which features ionones, powdery, cardboard-like notes (similar to Chanel N19). There is also orris butter, indeed, and amyris oil: sawdusty, cardboard-like. Between the different vetiver qualities, the one from Haiti is the most dry, papery. Gentiana absolute should also be quite interesting in small amounts for its powdery, earthy, fresh paint-like, fatty, leathery, tobacco notes.
      Thinking about synthetics, I recommend you to work on acids which, generally speaking, have dry, powerful, dusty, sometimes fatty notes. Citronellic acid posesses a dusty, dry, rose petal-like, pollen-like character. 9-decenoic acid is more fatty, waxy, truly reminiscent of an unscented candle (not beeswax), or an old soap tablet.
      I don’t know if orris synthetics could work: Orivone for instance, while possessing a nice dry, orris-like odour is too fatty for a paper accord. Cedrol and cedryl acetate should be useful.
      Other interesting synthetics may be ethyl laurate, methyl/ethyl linolenate, ethyl ricinoleate as modifiers.

      I would start building the accord on an amyris backbone, cedrol, adding traces of citronellic acid, vetyrisia/orris butter, and then play around the products listed above: ethyl laurate, ethyl ricinoleate, 9-decenoic acid, traces of gentiana absolute.

      Hope this helps!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: