Tuesday, 27 November 2012

In conversation - Essential oils - not unpleasant?= pleasant?

  • Ylang Ylang (NAHA)

    Ian Brealey This is a useful classification of the emotions invoked by EOs like Jasmine, Mandarin, Pepper and Vanilla used by researchers.
    ‘‘Happiness – Well-being – Pleasantly surprised” for the ‘‘Pleasant
    feeling” dimension.
    _ ‘‘Romantic – Desire – In love” for the ‘‘Sensuality” dimension.
    _ ‘‘Relaxed – Serene – Reassured” for the ‘‘Relaxation” dimension.
    _ ‘‘Nostalgic – Amusement – Mouthwatering” for the ‘‘Sensory
    pleasure” dimension.
    _ ‘‘Energetic – Invigorated – Clean” for the ‘‘Refreshment”
  • Ian Brealey if we could smell most pharmaceuticals I guess we'd run a mile!
  • Wendy Norman I REALLY dislike the smell of Wintergreen. It smells like death to me. Someone told me it's because of the formaldehyde component. Do you have any comment please Ian?
  • Robert Tisserand What about the sulfur compounds in garlic oil, onion oil and leek oil? Or the thiocyanates in mustard oil, horseradish oil and cabbage oil - these contain sulfur and nitrogen.
  • Ian Brealey We really hate filling garlic capsules in the lab I guess that could be why!! So I guess they qualify as unpleasant. They must sneak below the 400 molecular weight barrier too.
  • Ian Brealey Wintergreen is another to add to the list. it is a rather medicinal smell. could be a learned adverse response maybe going to the dentist when you are a kid. or it could be a wise adverse response as wintergreen (methyl salicylate) is not high on everyones list. Im sad they seem to have taken it out of Olbus oil as an oil and replaced it with presumably synthetic. Cajuput Oil,Clove Oil,Eucalyptus Oil ,Juniperberry Oil,Levomenthol ,Methyl Salicylate ,Mint Oil - Cajuput Oil BPC 18.50%, Clove Oil EP 0.10%, Eucalyptus Oil EP 35.45%, Juniperberry Oil BPC 2.70%, Levomenthol EP 4.10%, Methyl Salicylate 3.7%, Mint Oil, partly dementholized 35.45%
  • Ian Brealey Furanocoumarins in the 'news' they get through too and are pretty unpleasant in effect, impressive pics in the name of science here http://www.life.illinois.edu/berenbaum/newpage1.htm

    The furanocoumarins found in wild parsnip are shown at left and play a dominant ...See More
  • Ian Brealey Methyl salicylate is another anti herbivore defence so it could be an evolutionary memory for us Wendy!
  • Ian Brealey We had an appalling rotting cabbage smell when cabbage was served for lunch at school (we were on a 5 veg regime). Must have been the thiocyanates degrading. Just think we had chemistry right there and didnt realise it!
  • Robert Tisserand My point is, essential oils can smell pretty bad too, so let's not pretend they are all wonderful flowery creations! And, I think pleasant/unpleasant are not as clear cut as we might think. Some people just don't like rose...or jasmine....or geranium....in any dilution.
  • Ian Brealey We agree! I too am making the observation that their aromas are not positively unpleasant. the descriptions on the essential oils Ive listed were developed by the aromatherapy trades council and have weathered the storm of 35 years of trading standards so thats good evidence. I think where researchers are missing the point is that memories in the amygdala are associated with unpleasant smells/experiences.
  • Ian Brealey so if researchers for example associate an image or an experience with an essential oil they are likely to be disappointed at the minds recollection of them because they are not positively unpleasant.
  • Ian Brealey Top notes on their own in a perfume blend are not very likeable. For example melissa, bergamot and basil, very citrussy but not very likeable. Ylang calms the whole thing down and then ginger creates a thoroughly likeable masculine fragrance.
  • Ian Brealey which is therapeutic too
  • Ian Brealey I found that by chance intuitively with a delegate in class yesterday I am not claiming to be a perfumer. definitely not!
  • Ian Brealey It seems to be the blend of the oils which creates the positively agreeable experience of a perfume. The descriptions listed on the other thread are more relaxing, stimulating, and in the case of grapefruit most/all would agree the aroma is refreshing.

    Ian Brealey Is this a case where 'not positively unpleasant' is not saying the same thing as 'pleasant'! The fragrance researchers seem to be placing them in ‘‘Happiness – Well-being – Pleasantly surprised” for the ‘‘Pleasant
    feeling” dimension.
    _ ‘‘Romantic – Desire – In love” for the ‘‘Sensuality” dimension.
    _ ‘‘Relaxed – Serene – Reassured” for the ‘‘Relaxation” dimension.
    _ ‘‘Nostalgic – Amusement – Mouthwatering” for the ‘‘Sensory
    pleasure” dimension.
    _ ‘‘Energetic – Invigorated – Clean” for the ‘‘Refreshment”
    dimension. However again they are looking at the oils in isolation rather than a perfumers 'accords' of two or more oils. In reality even shampoos tend to contain two or more oils to create an agreeable effect.

    Ian Brealey Have you done a blogpost on aromatherapy accords Robert? When you write that x blends well with y is that ever from an aesthetic viewpoint rather than a therapeutic viewpoint? I appreciate we are getting into the area of individual preference which can vary widely.

    The Complete Technology Book on Herbal perfumes

    Essential Oil Odour Profiling

    Professional Accords in perfumes 

    The professional accords are not much assistance where we are just looking at the aesthetic compatibility of 2 or more essential oils.

    There are many types of professional accords like Chypre, Fougere etc Here are some of them:

    Ambre accord
    Has beside ambernotes also vanilla, cinnamonlike,
    spicy, dry fruitlike aspects. Together with balsamic
    notes like: Benzoin, Tolu and Labdanum.

    Ambrein accord
    Bergamot, Vanilla or Vannilin, Coumarine and Civet
    makes the Ambrein accord, together with balsamic
    notes like Benzoin, Opopanax, Tolu, Labdanum. Mostly
    combined with wood and rose notes.
    Typical perfumes made of the ambrein accord are
    Shalimar, Must de Cartier and Obsession

    Chypre has a harmony between the freshness of bergamot and the
    intense fragrance of oak moss. Mostly combined with roses and
    jasmine. The base contains beside the oak moss also patchouli,
    cedar and labdanum. Chypre was the name of a perfume made by
    coty in 1917. It does not exist anymore but many chypre perfumes
    are inspired by it.
    An example of a Chypre formula:

    Bergamot 15
    Sandalwood 8
    Vetiver 6
    oakmoss 5
    Rose 6
    Jasmin 5
    Gamma Methyl Ionone 3
    Patchouli 5
    Musk ketone 3
    Clary sage 2
    Neroli 2

    Fougere is a type of perfume that has lavender,
    patchouli, oak moss and the fragrance of hay from
    coumarine, Tonka bean or Hay absolute. In French Fougere means fern.
    In 1882 Houbigant made Fougere Royal. The Fougeres
    are related to that perfume. Fougere based perfumes
    are mostly men perfumes.

    Mellis accord
    The Mellis accord has Benzyl salicylate,
    Eugenol combined with Patchouli, Hydroxycitronellal,
    spices, woodnotes and Coumarine together with balsamic notes.
    Typical Mellis perfumes are Youth Dew, Opium and Coco Chanel.


    Accord: It is equivalent to a chord in music. An accord in perfumery describes a balanced complex of 3 or 4 fragrance notes which loose their individual identity to create a completely new, unified odor impression. Each component material is in balance and harmony with each other so that no single component can be detected.
    • Top note is strongest when a fragrance is first applied
    • Middle note develops next and will last for a few hours
    • Base note lasts all day
    Perfume (Extract): Most highly concentrated form of fragrance, containing a high percentage of perfume compounds (about 20-50%), the strongest and the longest lasting.
    Eau de Parfum: An alcoholic perfume solution containing a relatively high percentage of perfume compound (about 10-15%). Eau de Toilette: An alcohol/water based perfume solution containing a moderate percentage perfume compound (about 3-8%).
    Cologne (Women’s): A light form of specific fragrance with a relatively low concentration of perfume compound (about 3%) in an alcohol water base. The term is derived from Eau de Cologne, one of the original fragrance compositions.
    Compound: Term used in the industry for the concentrated perfume or flavor mixture before it is diluted or used in products.
    Cologne (Men’s): More concentrated than the women’s cologne (about 5-8%). It is similar to the strength of a women's Eau de Toilette. A men’s After Shave by comparison will be somewhat lighter (about 3-5%).
    Chemicals produced by living organisms and are used to transmit messages to other member of the same species. Nature has provided them so that we can communicate rapidly and efficiently by means of scents. The secret to pheromones lies in their discreet strength and the way they affect our personal environment.
     Perfume Family
    Chypre: The basic chypre accord consists of a combination of fresh notes (ex: citrus) and a mossy-woody complex. The inspiration of 20th century chypre-type perfumes is ‘Chypre de Coty’, created by Francois Coty, launched in 1917. Citrus: Fragrance accords are reminiscent of fresh impressions coming from citrus peels, ex: Lemon, Bergamot, Orange, Grapefruit, Tangerine, Lime.
    Floral: Fragrance accords are reminiscent of flowers, such as the "first ladies of flowers": Jasmine, Rose, Tuberose and Ylang-Ylang. Floriental: It is a lighter variant of the typically heavy Oriental type of perfume, in which floral notes are accentuated. Fougère: It is a French word meaning ‘fern’. Fragrance accords result from a harmonious blend of fern-like notes blended with herbal notes such as Lavender. It was coined after Houbigant’s ‘Fougère Royale’ a century ago. One of the first modern fougère perfumes to become highly popular was the masculine fragrance ‘Brut’, launched by Fabergé in 1964.
    Fruity: It refers to sweet or sour edible fruit odors (excluding citrus), ex: apple, berries or melons.
    Oriental: Fragrance accords create corresponding associations by the interplay of balsamic, sweet and ambery aspects, ex: wood, benzoin, tolu, amber, and vanilla, often contrasted with fresh, citrus aspects. These fragrances tend to be more heavy and intense.
    Woody: It refers to the aroma of freshly cut, dry woods such as Cedarwood, Patchouli, Vetiver or Sandalwood.
     Perfume Tips
    • Coffee will help to clear the nostrils between scents.
    • Place your fragrance on pulse points, inside wrists, back of knees, and behind your ears.
    • When you spray perfume into your hair, every time you turn your head you will release fragrance.
    • When applying perfume you should never rub. Rubbing crushes the molecules of fragrance and ruin the scent
    • You should test the perfume on yourself, not your friend. Perfumes will smell different on different people.
    • Storage perfume at room temperature and not directly in sunlight.
    • When choosing a perfume for someone else, chose the lighter floral fragrances, they are acceptable for everyone. Heavier perfumes with oriental notes are more risky.

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