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Scent Sleuth: From Profile to Perfume

By: Nancy C. Hayden
Posted: August 7, 2007, from the August 2007 issue of GCI Magazine.

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Jean Paul Guerlain created a signature for all of his fragrances by using specialty tinctures of naturals, ensuring the same qualities of his oakmoss and using a very appealing vanillic amber oriental base. The richness of his fragrances when worn became a trail of sensuality.

Jacques Polge, master perfumer at Chanel, is an expert with the chypre base. His Cocoa collections and Allure and Chance have always made statements on the skin.

Today’s modern materials have much better consistency and staying power. Musk’s popularity is due in part to its ability to drive a fragrance for hours and is a historic fixative. After the top note evaporates, a perfumer must decide if the recognizability will come from the beginning or in the dryout of the base note.

Creating a recognizable scent, while finding the right balance between a signature new chemical and some of the softer, natural perfume ingredients that enhance the scent on the skin, is definitely a challenge to modern perfumery.