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Handmade fragrances from Brooklyn, NY. www.mcmcfragrances.com

Posts tagged perfumery

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Picture 1I’m honored to have an interview on The Raw Book blog. Alicia wrote me with questions and it’s really great sometimes to tell people what I’m all about and where my love for perfumery comes from. Also, this is the first time I’ve used my married name publicly! It’s been 2 1/2 years since José and I decided to go the hyphen route and I’m slowly integrating it in.

Photo of perfumer Edmond Roudnitska from The Perfume Magazine

Olfactive families are groupings of ingredients into broad categories. There are about 1,500 ingredients that a perfumer can choose from, and grouping them into olfactive families helps to identify, memorize, and understand them.

There are a few different models of olfactive classifications, and the one I learned is by Jean Carles, a perfumer and director of the first big perfume school, Roure, in the 1940s. Jean Carles sorts scents into 26 main categories:

CITRIC   /   ALDEHYDIC   /   ANISE   /   WOODY   /   SPICY   /   FRESH   /   AMBERY   /   FLORAL   BALSAMIC   /   HONEY   /   SEA   /   JASMINE   /   MINTY   /   ROSE   /   VIOLET   /   ORANGE   /   GREEN leaves   /   GREEN aquatic   /   VANILLA   /   POWDERY   /   GREEN   /   MUSK   /                                       FRUITY aldehyde   /   FRUITY   /   ANIMAL   /   MISCELLANEOUS

Under each of these would fall all of the ingredients. For example, cedarwood essential oil, vetiver absolute, cedramber and bacdanol would all fall under Woody. Peppermint, menthol and menthone under Minty. And ambergris, civet, and indole (mothballs!) under Animal. Both naturals and synthetics can be categorized in this olfactive family chart.

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