Agarwood, also known as Oud is a dark resinous and incense wood, formed in the Aquilaria tree, after it gets infected with a type of mold called sparasitic fungus. Oud has been the face of Arabic fragrances for centuries and is a fundamental ingredient that cannot be replaced. Oud is now extremely popular in the west and used by western perfumers and designers, but not without a heavy price tag, as oud has become incredibly rare and the scent of oud is extremely long lasting with a very loud projection, which makes it one of the most popular scents in the world. Oud is the scent that has brought east and west together. The beauty of Oud is that it matures over time and moulds into something extraordinary.
Rose – The Queen of flowers
Rose is one of the most popular and expensive essential ingredients used in niche fragrances. There are many types of rose species found around the world, and each rose scent brings its own touch of floral essence. There are three types of rose that are frequently used in fragrances; Damask rose, May rose and Turkish rose.
Patchouli is a key essential ingredient used in oriental fragrances, it is earthy, deep green and a dark mysterious aroma, with an essence of musky sweetness and hints of spiciness. Patchouli is a type of mint leaf that grows on a pale pink-white flower, found in tropical regions around Asia. The aromatic herb leaf is harvested and left to dry out before undergoing a distillation process to extract the essential oil.
Ambergris is a grey rock-like substance produced in the intestines of sperm whales, in the digestive system, and has a marine fecal odour, processed by sea salt water and the sun, found on the surface of the ocean. The sale of Ambergris is illegal as the sperm whale is an endangered species. Ambergris is now synthetically made for perfumery.
Saffron is an expensive oriental ingredient, obtained from the Saffron Crocus flower. The threads of this flower are collected and dried, it is the world’s most expensive spice by weight. It is an incredibly strong scent, a little goes a long way with this bittersweet, earthy and leathery essence. Saffron is a very long lasting scent that radiates high projection.
Leather is an exceptional scent in perfumery, it can be synthesized by using other ingredients to create a skin-like leather scent, such as tobacco, patchouli and black tea to synthesize the essence of a leather jacket or suede handbag scent. Traditional natural leather is obtained from raw animal hides, the process includes soaking, cleaning and drying. Natural leather is not used in perfumery, it is synthesized to create the scent of leather and to prevent any animal cruelty.
Tonka bean, also known as coumarin, is the seed that comes from the Dipteryx tree. The essence of tonka bean is similar to the essence of vanilla and almond, in oriental fragrances tonka bean is sweet and honeyed with hints of fruity and spicy notes. Tonka bean is found in many niche fragrances, it displays warmth and smoothness with a milky sweetness.
Musk is an incredibly versatile fragrance, it originates from a specific species of deer called the Tibetan musk deer, which is an endangered species. Like other ingredients obtained from endangered species, the essence of musk has been synthesized to create the original scent. Musk creates an alluring aroma, adds softness and a skin-like scent and prevents the essence of other other notes from disappearing.
Pink pepper comes from the Brazilian and Peruvian pepper tree, it has become quite the popular ingredient to use in niche fragrances. Pink pepper adds warmth with the essence of woody, rosy and citrusy notes.
Myrrh is a bitter, earthy resinous essential oil that is absolutely intriguing to perfumers of this century, it is a resin obtained from the Myrrh tree, and is produced by knocking on the side of the tree while making slits where drops of resin emerge, it is then left to harden into bead like droplets, after this process it is steam-distilled to produce an essential oil.
Tobacco in fragrances is not the same as tobacco in cigarettes, it is a sweet, seductive, smokey and enlightening essence which pairs quite well with blooming florals, exotic spices and oriental notes. Tobacco in fragrances give off a gourmand aroma, with a woody essence in which it can be combined with almost any ingredient out there. It is obtained from a tobacco leaf, it is dried and distilled into an essential oil. Tobacco leaves contain a stimulant alkaloid nicotine which is addictive in fragrances as well, but in a much healthier way.
Salt is an ingredient used to add flavour, even in a fragrance, it adds zest and creates the essence of sea breeze, sea water, sea sand and a gourmand touch. Salt also acts as a balancing ingredient to sweet notes, and it can also be found in ingredients such as ambergris, this will give off a salty essence too.
Orris is one the rarest ingredients used in fragrances, any fragrance that contains orris comes with a high price tag, due to the fact that it is obtained from the bulb of iris. Orris is harvested and left to mature over a period of 3 to 4 years, before being used to add sweetness in fragrances.
Vanilla pods come from a tropical climbing orchid plant, the vanilla itself comes from dried pods that have been removed and processed. Vanilla is the second most expensive spice in the world after saffron. In fragrances today, vanilla is synthesized to match the exact scent, but the natural ingredient can be determined by its earthy, boozy essence.
Amber is a mixture of raw and synthesized ingredients such as patchouli, benzoin, vanilla, tolu balsam, styrax, labdanum and tonka bean. These ingredients are sweet, soft, warm and powdery that create a rich oriental essence. Amber has become incredibly popular over the years and has a category of amber oriental for niche fragrances.
Ambrette or musk mallow, is absorbed from the ambrette flower that comes with a heavy price tag, it is now synthesized and used as a milder musk ingredient. Ambrette displays a slightly sweet and musky scent that was initially used to replace animal musk.
Benzoin is a resin collected from the styrax tree, it has a sweet seductive essence similar to the sweet essence of vanilla. Benzoin is also used in fragrances as a staying agent that allows the scent to last longer, and is widely used in oriental fragrances to amp the essence of incense.
Aldehyde is a chemical compound frequently used to boost or amp the notes in a fragrance, it creates the wow factor. It can be found in natural materials such as rose, cinnamon and orange, but mostly in synthetic processed ingredients and has a similar scent to that of almond. Aldehydes add a soapy, waxy and zesty texture in perfumery.
Almonds come from an almond blossom with pale pink flowers, the oil is extracted from the almond nuts itself. Almonds, usually synthetic in fragrances, create an essence that is gourmand and similar to the sweetness of vanilla but with a slight bitterness. Almonds resemble warmth and comfort in fragrances.
One of the most beautiful, delicious, and synthetic ingredients used in fragrances. Caramel adds a seductive sweetness to any fragrance and is undeniably radiant and flirty, especially when mixed with florals, a scent that is desired on a woman. The synthetic compound of caramel is also known as ethyl maltol.
Chocolate, a gourmand created by the gods, a divine scent that is irresistible in a niche fragrance, especially for chocolate lovers. A synthetic essence captured to perfect the art of deliciousness in a bottle and paired incredibly well with fresh oriental ingredients and florals.
Basil is a delectable ingredient, the oils are extracted from the basil leaves itself. Basil adds an aromatic, sharp spiciness with hints of zest to an oriental fragrance that instantly becomes flavoursome.
Aloe Vera is extracted from the aloe plant itself and can also be easily synthesized. It displays a fresh, green, vegetal aquatic and light scent to fragrances.
Dates add a sweet, natural sugar honey, mouth watering note in fragrances. Dates come from date palm trees, the odour of natural dates are extracted but can be quite expensive, and is rather synthetically produced for fragrances.
Rum is a popular beverage and now perfume engineering has created a synthetic scent in fragrances, it has an aroma that is sweet, aromatic and a delicious spiciness that pairs well with woody notes, leather, resins and typically used in old spice fragrances.
Gunpowder is a spicy, peppery note made from charcoal and sulfur, used in fragrances to capture the fiery spark gunpowder emulates but in a scent. Gunpowder is used in many tobacco, woody and rich niche fragrances.
Black pepper is obtained from the Piper nigrum bush berries. Black pepper adds hot spiciness, and instantly brightens any surrounding notes, this essential oil adds warmth and an oriental charm to fragrances. It is also termed as king of prices.
Tea leaves come from many different tea plantations, one in particular is Camellia sinensis, a tea leaf that is dried and used quite often in niche fragrances. Tea leaves, whether black or green add a radiant herb essence with freshness, especially during summer and spring.
Nutmeg is a fruit that comes from the seed of Myristica Fragrans, and has a slightly bitter, earthy, spicy, powdery and oriental aroma. Nutmeg provides a lighter warm spice note to fragrances.
Coriander is a herb obtained from the coriandrum sativum plant, the coriander oil is sweetened with a beautiful essence of oriental spice with hints of soft woody and green notes.
Cinnamon spice is obtained from the bark of a cinnamomum tree, and sometimes the scent is obtained from the leaves and twigs. Cinnamon adds a sweet, powdery, and sensational spiciness and pairs quite well with oriental citrusy ingredients.
Cardamom is known to be the third most expensive spice in the world, the oil is extracted through distillation. It is an extreme aromatic flavour that only needs a few drops of oil here and there to create loudness in any fragrance, it has a sweet resinous spicy scent with a bitter end.
Jasmine flower is a floral ingredient made for perfumery, the petals are distilled and the oil is extracted. Jasmine has a rich intoxicating essence that has an intense floral sweetness with an animalic scent.
Neroli comes from a seville orange tree, it is a bitter orange scent, with citrusy, green, earthy notes. The while neroli flowers are the perfumers choice as it brightens your olfactory sense when used in a fragrance, however the leaves and twigs give us the essence of petitgrain.
Peony oil is extracted from the peony flower, this flower is an opulent ingredient, it is known as the king of flowers. Peony in a fragrance is light, delicate, fresh flower scent. Absolutely divine in a ladies parfum.
Freesia is a flower used seldomly in fragrances, but an ingredient that is slowly growing in perfumery. Freesia displays a spicy powdery essence with a fresh floral note.
Anise or aniseed is a herb, it resembles the scent of licorice and fennel and contains a rich compound of anethol. Anise has a beautiful oriental sweetness to it, and is nowadays commonly used in fragrances
Iris is a delicacy, a leathery flower of divinity with powdery, earthy, woody notes and purple floral power radiating from within. The floral powdery base is absolutely loved by perfumers as it adds a note to fragrances that cannot be explained.
Sage in fragrances is an essential oil steam distilled and it has an aroma that is zesty, slightly peppery, aromatic and hazy. It pairs well with green ingredients, herbs and woody notes.
Angelica is an umbrella-like plant, it has a bright green aromatic scent that gives off a musk and woody essence, the root of this flower is also known to be sweet, which creates a candied effect in fragrances.
Geranium essential oil is steam distilled and has a rose-like scent, with green aromatic notes. The stems also give off a complex amount of ingredients that are lemony, fruity and minty. Geranium is frequently used as it has a variety of scents in a single component.
Labdanum is from the rock rose bush and is used often in oriental woody fragrances to boost the intensity, it is a brown resin that gives off a sweet leathery and ambery scent.
Cherry blossom also known as sakura, is a soft bright pink, powdery, blooming floral note that adds a sweet, charming essence to fragrances.
Violet flower leaves are distilled, the oil is sweet, soft and powdery, it gives off a romantic essence in fragrances, with a green aquatic scent.
Eucalyptus oil is steam extracted from the eucalyptus shrubs and trees, it adds a green freshness with lemony and fruity notes that is therapeutic in fragrances.
Rosewood trees come from rainforests, the oil is felled but only a little oil is extracted. Now under protection as it is an endangered species, the essence of rosewood is synthesized and also extracted from other woods. Rosewood scent gives off a spicy, rich dark wood and floral essence.
Elder flower is now synthetically produced as it takes a large amount to produce a small quantity of oil, it is a costly process. The synthetic oil used in fragrances produces the same sweet, herb-like, floral aromatic essence.
Water lily is a delicate, soft and slightly sweet essence and a lighter version of the lily flower. It is an elegant fresh floral that gives off an aquatic note, used quite often in ladies fragrances.
The term fougere comes from fern-like essence and notes in a fragrance, fern gives off a fresh,woody, sweet, cool and shady aroma that adds an amazonian green atmosphere in a bottle.
Orange blossom is an amazingly fresh fruity, deliciously sweet and intoxicating odour that is absolutely divine in a bottle. Fragrances containing orange blossom are addictive and quite popular in today’s niche category.
Petitgrain is a bitter orange white flower and a keynote used in floral fragrances, it adds a bitter-sweet, green citrusy scent, the oil is extracted from the stems, leaves and petals of this flower.
Ylang-ylang has grown quite popular in niche fragrances, and is commonly found in the heart or middle notes. It has now become a leading floral note with a high price tag. It is an exotic, tropical scent with essence of banana, wood and sour notes.
Frangipani is also known as the west indian jasmine and it comes from the plumeria flower, the essence of this flower is soft, peachy, creamy and fruity and pairs well with tropical fruity notes. It adds sexiness and desire to fragrances, a scent that attracts.
Lily of the valley
Lily of the valley is a royal flower, it has a fougere, green, herb essence that has a bright floral freshness to its presence, mostly used in feminine fragrances.
Lavender is an extremely popular and desired scent. Steam distillation is used to extract the essential oils of lavender, it provides an aromatic floral essence with fresh spiciness, green and licorice undertones. Lavender is a soothing ingredient that gives off a relaxing scent in fragrances.
Oakmoss is the lichen that grows on oak trees, it is a keynote in chypre and fougere fragrances. Oakmoss contains essence of wood, green, ambery and botanical fragrant. It is usually found in the base of fragrances.
Rosemary is a strong lavender-like, minty and herb qualities that projects a fresh floral green to a fragrance. It has a radiating essence of camphor and eucalyptus, which adds to the aroma of oriental herb greenery.
Tolu Balsam comes from the Myroxylon Balsamum tree bark, it is a dry resin that has the aroma of musk, animalic scents and amber notes with sweet floral elements of vanilla and spice notes of cinnamon.
Lime is extracted from the fruit itself, it is a dry, sweet and citrusy essence that is usually found in the top notes of a fragrance, this creates a fresh opening that settles quickly but not without creating an impact on the remaining notes.
Strawberry can be an artificial or natural note in fragrances, it adds a juicy, sweet, fruity and sometimes creamy essence. Strawberry pairs well with citrus and floral notes, and has a gourmand touch which is delectable in a fragrance.
Bergamot comes from the bergamia tree, it is a yellow-green fruit that is similar to lemon. The use of bergamot in fragrances has become a must in the opening notes, this adds a citrusy freshness with a slight bitterness. It pairs exceptionally well with tea elements and does well with any floral, fruity and woody notes of a fragrance, it truly is a perfumers key top note to a fresh citrus.
Mandarin Orange is a favourite ingredient as it is a mild fruit that has a balance of citrus, freshness and is not as bitter or sour as lime and lemon. It has a juicy fruity sweetness to it that attracts perfumers to using it.
Blackcurrant berry is distilled from the Ribes Nigrum plant and has a tartness that is pleasant, a fruity note with an animalic aroma. It pairs well with fruity and floral notes and adds a delectable sweetness to a fragrance.
This fruit comes from the bitter orange tree and sometimes so does neroli, orange blossom and petitgrain. It has a soft, citrus, fresh, bitter and sweet aroma. It can be a fragrant on its own and adds deliciousness to any fragrance it’s indulged in.
Blackberry is a lucious, sweet, sharp juicy and sometimes slightly tangy and sour. Blackberry has become a sensation in fruity-floral fragrances and pairs with almost any ingredient used in fragrances.
Pear can be extracted naturally from the fruit or synthetically produced. It adds a fresh juiciness, with a sweet essence and a powdery note. Pear adds a beautiful note to a citrus, fruity and floral fragrance.
Peach is a fresh, fruity, sweet, powdery and nectre essence that creates a soft tartness in fragrances and can be a main ingredient as it has quite a lot of notes within its juice.
Raspberry has an incredible tangy-sweetness, it is similar to the components of strawberry, cranberries and blackberry, with a lush juicy explosion, making any fragrance bloom.
Juniper Berries have pine essence, it is powdery, slightly bitter, fresh and aromatic.
Cedarwood has a soft woody freshness with a slight essence of resin and green freshness, usually synthetically produced as cedarwood trees are quite scarce and are slow growing trees. Cedar adds a divine woody essence in fragrances and is commonly used in the base notes to create a lasting impression.
Sandalwood is an exceptionally beautiful woody fragrant that adds a smooth, soft, milky and rich oriental energy to any fragrance and is an ingredient that can be used independently, but adds an everlasting essence. Nowadays the scent is synthetically produced as it is extremely rare and endangered.
Cashmeran is a synthetic ingredient that produces a scent that is woody and musky with a modern cashmere touch.
Vetiver is the roots of a type of grass, it has a soil-like, pleasing earthy and green essence that adds a woody green freshness to any fragrance. Vetiver is becoming quite a popular ingredient to use in fragrances as it is versatile yet unique.