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Scent Sleuth: Fragrant Translations

By: Nancy C. Hayden
Posted: November 8, 2007, from the November 2007 issue of GCI Magazine.

page 2 of 3

The fragrance industry has, of late, highlighted an enormous return to the natural notes. Green notes as a trend are coming on strong, signifying the natural organic holistic approach. Homeopathic medicine has seen a society-wide resurgence, bringing with it a return to natural homeopathic fragrance.

Creating a Feeling

Certain perfume notes exude an emotional reaction, such as citrus creating thoughts of fresh, bright and clean; refreshing green notes associated with refreshing, invigorating and soothing; and spices inviting a connection with feelings of warmth. Woody notes are described with words such as soothing and relaxing, while florals are associated with bright, luxurious and beautifying.
Within these categories, myriad scents have been isolated from many new and exotic plant materials.

For example, cucumber has many aspects to its scent. It can be twisted to exude fruitiness or twisted toward its vegetable notes, thus allowing the creation of fantasy fruit and vegetable notes. Many of the same aldehydes exist in plants in nature. Unlimited scent combinations are available to marketers due to a diversified palette of raw materials for perfume houses to draw from.

Escape was one of the first major fragrance launches to build its theme around the melon watery ozone notes. The idea was taken from many of the bath and body products with an aloe-cucumber-melon theme, becoming a grandparent on the family tree of fragrance categories. From that note came hundreds of fragrance takeoffs, thus described as the “Escape type.”

Conversely, there is the ANGEL category of woody amber orientals. The vanilla notes and woody depth of this fragrance has tremendous covering power and depth within bath and body products. Vanilla and musk are primordial, leading to their tremendous staying power. Victoria’s Secret capitalized on this fragrance type in the creation of many of its bath and body products.