Chemistry 101: Gamma-Undecalactone / Persicol

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Gamma-undecalactone, Periscol, Peach Aldehyde, C14

“Jacques Guerlain built Mitsouko by breaking the power of the oak moss with a natural jasmine and, more significantly, a new synthetic molecule that had recently appeared. Jukov and Schestakow might have patented aldehyde C-14 (actually not an aldehyde but a lactone; it’s real name is gamma-undecalactone) in 1908, but Michael Edwards reports that it had been available from other suppliers, and it was probably Firmenich that introduced Jacques Guerlain to the molecule in the form of a base it called Persicol, which it had put on the market in 1908. C-14 was a marvel, a fruity, aromatic, delicious scent that gave ripe peach skin. Guerlain plugged C-14 into the equation perfectly (the rumor is, actually, similar to Chanel 5, that he in fact accidentally overdosed the stuff; who knows), and Mitsouko became a thing of subtle opulence, strength and balance and silken twilight.”  Chandler Burr

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Perfume Lovers London Chypre Glorious Chypre with Virginie Daniau

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1st May 2015 030

This past Thursday, 30th April, Fragrance Consultant Virginie Daniau lead the Perfume Lovers London group through a sampling of some of the benchmark Chypre fragrances of the 20th century. She began her talk by introducing the group to two key ingredients of Chypre fragrances, Labdanum and Oakmoss, before leading us through a sampling session that included such fragrances as Christian Dior’s Miss Dior and Gris Montaigne, Grossmith’s Golden Chypre, Ruth Mastenbroek, Atelier Cologne’s Trefle Pur, and Aromatics Elixir.

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Celebrating World Smell Day at Angela Flanders

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16th June 2014 006

To celebrate World Smell Day yesterday I made myself an appointment to explore Angela Flanders’ range of perfumes at her boutique on Artillery Passage in Spitalfields. Although I had read much about Angela’s fragrances I had never ever actually been to her shop in Spitalfields so today being World Smell Day seemed like the perfect excuse for a trip to East London. I met with Rachel, who works at the boutique, and she was a fantastic guide in helping me to get acquainted with the line. She was super knowledgeable and really down to earth and lead me through sampling the fragrances. There is something about taking in scent with another person that I always find to be a bit of a bonding experience.

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