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On 31 December 2014 one of my readers asked me:

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

I replied:

Hi, 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! Andrea

Now, quite intrigued by this amusing request, I wanted to actually test my suggestions. So I came out with this accord. It took me only one essay. I wanted to share it with you:

# Supplier #
CITRONELLIC ACID PCAS 20,00
9 DECENOIC ACID BEDOUKIAN RESEARCH 10,00
ETHYL LAURATE PCAS 100,00
ETHYL LINOLENATE PCAS 600,00
CEDROL TEXAS IFF 100,00
AMYRIS OIL commercial 100,00
                                                                 Tot: 930,00 grams

old bookAs you can see, amyris oil is in much less quantity than originally thought, it is more of a modifier and a topnote, than the backbone. Cedrol plays a very interesting role adding a refined, sweet, velvety, powdery effect, and some consistency to the composition, along with amyris oil (which, however, is more of a topnote). But the core of the accord is undoubtedly Citronellic acid. Books, and old books in particular possess an odor that I could describe as: acidic (a choking effect), fatty (linseed oil-like, for instance), powdery, (and animalic, costus-like, especially in old books).