NATURAL PERFUME ACADEMY GLOSSARY


The Natural Perfume Glossary compiled by Justine Crane & NPA




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Phototoxicity

legsPhototoxicity results from an overheating reaction between a chemical (either ingested or topically applied) and ultraviolet light. The reaction can cause severe burns and in some cases may cause permanent scaring.
Entry link: Phototoxicity

Powdery

a note obtained through the blending of sweet, woody notes with fruity, green or citrus notes; typified by the use of vanilla, patchouli, benzoin, labdanum, cananga/ylang-ylang, rose, sandalwood and/or bergamot

Entry link: Powdery

Olfactory

relating to the sense of smell

Entry link: Olfactory

Opoponax

OpoponaxOpoponax comes from the Commiphora Erythrea tree which grows wild in parts of Africa. Good quality crude botanical resin is dark red. It is rich and sweet and very aromatic with resinous animalic notes.

Opoponax Resinoid is used in perfumery as a fixative. It is used most often in oriental style perfumes or perfumes with mossy forest base notes.

High grade opoponax essential oil is worth looking for if preparing your own resinoid is not possible. Make sure that good quality opoponax is used in the distillation process. Myrrh and opoponax are very closely related. Opoponax is spicy and animalic compared to myrrh which is fresh and clean. Opoponax must be used with great care in perfumery as it can quickly take over a blend.

Entry link: Opoponax

Organ

system of storing bottles of perfume making materials typified by stepped shelving

Entry link: Organ

Oriental

typified by amber notes and spice

Entry link: Oriental

Orris

Orris RootThe aged root of the Iris (Iris florentine) Pallida is used to produce orris absolute, orris concrete (Beurre d'Iris) and orris resinoid.

The powdered aged root is used in cosmetic preparations and as a fixative in herbal sachets and pot pourri.

Orris absolute is one the most expensive perfumery materials and is rarely found in todays perfumes. The absolute is extracted by solvent washing the orris butter from which the resulting liquid absolute is carefully vacuum distilled. Orris absolute is described as a very pale yellow oil with a delicate floral smell.

Orris concrete is produced by steam distillation of the prepared orris root which have been aged 3 years. Because it is steam distilled it is not technically a concrete, rather it is so called because of its solid consistency.

Orris butter is produced in France, Italy and Morocco.

The smell of aged orris is warm, sweet and violet like due to the high percentage of alpha-irones it contains.

Orris resin, which is extracted from the aged root using a solvent like ethyl alcohol, is technically a true concrete. It is called a resin due to it honey like consistency. The 'resin' is cheaper than the steam distilled butter.

Sources: Steffen Arctander's Perfume and Flavor materials of natural origin.

Entry link: Orris

Otto

results of steam-distilled rose petals, particularly Bulgarian and Turkish rose
Entry link: Otto

Narcotic

intense and intoxicating essences such as rose, jasmine, hyacinth and other rich florals

Entry link: Narcotic

Note/Notes

refers to the melody within the composition, the song of the perfume, the theme, or to a particular part of a perfume or aromatic used within the composition ('galbanum is a note in this perfume'), or it refers to how the composition is perceived, i.e. ‘floral notes’, ‘woody notes’, ‘green notes’

Entry link: Note/Notes


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