Tag: aldehydes

Baghari by Piguet – a review

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This is a review of a modern version of Bahjari from 2006. For the scent pyramid and classification, please see the “perfume dossier”.

While browsing through the reviews of Baghari one may easily notice two curious facts. First its comparison with Chanel N5. And almost opposite variations in the perceptions of this scent. It can be described either as sharp and difficult to wear or as smooth and pleasant.

The resemblance with Chanel N5 is quite understandable. Both fragrances belong to the floral aldehydic family and their olfactory pyramids are quite similar. But my personal perception of aldehydes in those perfumes is quite different. In Chanel N5 my nose tends to interpret them as a part of a fantasy floral bouquet. In Baghari aldehydic accord gives me a sensation of coldness. Combined with the fluffy powderness of iris and vanilla it paints a snow covered winter landscape. The candy-like citrus accord on the other side combines its orange brightness with the soft light of brittle resins creating a feeling of weak, but warm winter sunrays. All together it makes a picture of a nice sunny white winter day. The floral heart of Baghari seems to be frozen. It almost rasps with its metallic aspect at first, but later melts into an elegant bouquet of creamy lipstick roses. Sometimes I catch a picture of Chanel N5 in Baghari, but it reminds me much more of La Myrrhe by Serge Lutens.

When I smelled Baghari for the first time I was a bit shocked by the harshness of its aldehydic frost on the sharp edges of resins in combination with a dazzling effect of an abundant citrus accord. But later I fell in love with the sweet warmth of its base touching my skin like a soft fur. I think it’s in the nature of Baghari – it can appear hostile at first, but loses its spikes and turns into a warm furry housecat with wear.

P.S. The photo impression of Baghari used as illustration is based on the picture of Karin Laurila.

Floramye by L.T. Piver, the first aldehydic floral?

Name: Floramye

Brand: L.T. Piver

Perfumer: Jacques Rouché (perfumer and administrator of L.T. Piver) and George Darzens (fragrant chemist and the director of Piver laboratory); some sources refer Pierre Armingeat

Year of creation: 1905 (discontinued and re-launched in 1991)

Perfume notes: not much known except a floral bouquet with aldehydes on top

Classification by SFP (Société Française des Parfumeurs): B3f Floral, floral bouquet, feminine (probably based on the older version)

Fragrance Wheel (by Michael Edwards) classification: Chypre, Crisp/Petillant, subcategory Green/Vert, feminine (probably based on the new version)

Interesting facts:
Being a fragrance chemist George Darzens has synthesized and introduced new aromachemicals into perfumery. One of them was 2-methylundecanal better known as aldehyde C-12 MNA (methyl nonyl aldehyde) in 1904. This new chemical was the first aldehyde used in perfumery in Floramye in 1905 on the top of the floral bouquet. Also it was used in the re-rofmulation of Rêve d’Or, another Piver creation from 1898. In 1905 its balsamic aspect was enriched by paring a newly discovered aldehyde with the incense note. In 1907 the same C-12 MNA aldehyde was used in Pompeia (again by Piver), but this time in combination with other aldehydes.

Some visual impressions:

An older version of Floramye from L’Art Français (http://www.artfrancais.nl/l-t-piver-floramye.html):

Floramye1

Another picture from the same website (http://www.artfrancais.nl/floramye-van-l-t-piver.html):

Floramye2

Another version of Floramye submitted to the Parfumo database by Florblanca user (http://www.parfumo.net/Perfumes/L_T_Piver/Floramye):

Floramye3

Chanel N5

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Name: No. 5

Brand: Chanel

Perfumer: Ernest Beaux

Year of creation: 1921

Pyramid according to H&R Fragrance Guide:

Top notes: Aldehydic
Main: Aldehydes
Supported by: Bergamot, Lemon, Neroli

Heart notes: Elegant, Floral
Main: –
Supported by: Jasmine, Rose, Lily of the Valley, Orris, Ylang-Ylang

Base notes: Sensual, Feminine
Main: Vetiver
Supported by: Sandal, Cedar, Vanilla, Amber, Civet, Musk

Notes mentioned by Chanel: Top notes Neroli from Grasse blend into the sensual, floral notes of two exceptional raw materials, May Rose and Jasmine from Grasse.

Aldehydes provide airy freshness and lend an abstract effect to the fragrance.

Impression of the scent by Chanel: N°5, the very essence of femininity.

A powdery floral bouquet housed in an iconic bottle with a minimalist design. A timeless, legendary fragrance.

Classification by H&R Genealogy: Feminine, Floral, Aldehydic

Classification by SFP (Société Française des Parfumeurs): B4f Floral aldehydic feminine

Fragrance Wheel (by Michael Edwards) classification: Soft Floral, Classical/Classique, feminine

Verdict by Luca Turin:
EDP – 4 of 5 stars called “aldehydic interrupted”
EDT – 5 of 5 stars called “peachy floral”
Also mentioned in his top 10 list “Best Florals”.

This fragrance is compared to: L’Aimant by Coty, Chanel N°5 Eau Premiere, Liu by Guerlain, Gold Woman by Amouage, Arpège by Lanvin, Nonchalance by Mäurer & Wirtz , Suddenly Woman I by Lidl,

Floral aldehydic perfumes

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For the general classificaiton of Florals, please, read this post.

Floral aldehydic is an interesting example of a perfume family originated from a group of aromachemicals. Technically speaking aldehydes are forming a huge group of chemical compounds containing a “formyl group”. It includes a very big group of perfume odorants. But only few of them are used as a reference for an aldehydic smell in perfumery. Mostly those are alifatic (or “fatty”) aldehydes with 10-12 carbon atoms like C10 (decanal), C11 (undecanal), C11 (undecylenic), C12 (lauric) or C12 (MNA). But there are no strict rules here as other aldehydes may be used as well.

Fatty aldehydes are not really pleasant odorants. Their smell can be described as waxy, fatty, soapy and candle-like with citrus, green, floral or metallic nuances. But when diluted and pared with florals they can bring a sparkle in the top, a soft fantasy floral note in the hart and a powdery nuance in the base of a perfume (often in combination with iris and vanilla).

The use of fatty aldehydes in perfumes goes all way back to the beginning of the 20th century. The most famous aldehydic floral created in 1921 is of course Chanel N5 often referred as the first aldehydic perfume. Chanel N5 might be the milestone of the aldeydic floral family, but the use of aldehydes is also mentioned in earlier creations like Quelques Fleurs by Houbigant from 1912. The first use of synthetic C-12 MNA aldehyde is mentioned in Floramye and Rêve d’Or by Piver in 1905 (read more here).

Aldehydes are often associated with a fantasy or artificial smell. But they do occur in nature. Citrus peel for example may contain up to several percent of fatty aldehydes. In lesser quantities they can be found in herbs (especially coriander), flowers (rose for example), conifers. They form the products of burning and ironing (think of a just-snuffed candle smell and a fresh laundry feeling).

There are three major fragrance classifications used in perfumery: a H&R-Genealogy, classification of the French Perfumer’s Society (SFP-classification) and Fragrance Wheel by Michael Edwards. H&R Genealogy determines Floral Aldehydic group as a part of a bigger Floral Family. SFP-classification uses the similar approach. It defines Floral Aldehydic as a separate group of the Floral Family and assigns it with a B4 code. In earlier version of SFP-classification B5 code was used, which is a bit confusing when reading older books and reviews. The Fragrance Wheel of Michael Edwards doesn’t have Floral Aldehydic group, but uses the term Soft Florals instead to describe this fragrance family. Inside this group he also differentiates Citrus Fruity, Gourmand, Green, Iris, Musc, Marine and White Floral subgroups to emphasize different nuances of Soft Florals. The same perfume can be classified differently. Like My Sin by Lanvin belongs to B3 (floral bouquet) group according to SFP-classification, but is placed under Floral Aldehydic by the H&R-Genealogy.

The milestone aldehydic florals are: Chanel N5, Arpège by Lanvin, Je Reviens by Worth, Calèche by Hermès, Madame Rochas, Climat by Lancôme, Calandre by Paco Rabanne, Chamade by Guerlain, Nocturnes by Caron, Estée by Estée Lauder.