NATURAL PERFUME ACADEMY GLOSSARY
The Natural Perfume Glossary compiled by Justine Crane & NPA
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relating to the sense of smell
Opoponax 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.
system of storing bottles of perfume making materials typified by stepped shelving
typified by amber notes and spice
The 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.
results of steam-distilled rose petals, particularly Bulgarian and Turkish rose