The Origin Of Perfume Essence

  • Sunday, December 20, 2015
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From the dawn of times, the human nose has learned to discover odors and smells and to make the difference between the good and the bad ones.

In terms of manufacturing, essences have been extracted first from natural elements of animal and vegetal origins, and more recently, while the animal extraction was abandoned, the vegetal one became predominant. However with the development of chemistry, artificial essences were created to replace mainly the animal ones, as well as new essences unknown before. Nowadays, some firms can extract essences from environmental materials like concrete or rubber or even petrol.

Let’s take a look at the current classification of the essences as per their origins and usage and the manufacturing techniques:

Flowers and Herbs: The Rose, the Jasmine, the Orange Blossom, the Lavender, the Mimosa, the Ylang-Ylang, Tuberose, Gardenia, Carnation, Neroli, as well as the Thyme, the Rosemary, the Basil, the Coriander, Mint, Sage etc
Leaves: Patchouli, Geranium, Violet, Petit grain
Fruits and Pulps: Bergamot, Orange, Mandarin, Grapefruit, Hatkora, Strawberry, Coconut, Apple, Plum, Cassis, Raspberry etc
Spices & Grains: Cinnamon, Coriander, Cumin, Clove, Nutmeg, Pepper, Cardamom, Saffron etc
Roots : Vetiver, Iris, Ginger etc
Woods: Agarwood, Sandal, Cedar, Gaiac, Birch etc
Animal Origin : Ambergris from the whale, Musc from the deer, Castoreum from beaver etc
Synthetic Essences: They are chemical copies of the natural essences, and are cheaper, but can sometimes provoke allergies. Chanel No. 5 was the first perfume ever to use an aldehyde, a chemical component in a perfume.
Manufacturing Techniques of Perfumery Raw Material:

There are three main types of manufacturing techniques of the perfumery raw material:

Distillation: Like the extraction of the Oudh oil. The Agarwood chips are boiled in specially engineered boilers, and then the precious oil is collected. The same technique applies to other materials.
Enfleurage: Cold extraction. It is an old method that is now abandoned. Flowers and petals were spread on a layer of animal fat, the collected and replaced by new ones until the fat layer is saturated. This layer was then washed, and the essence collected.

Volatile solvent extraction: The materials infuse in a mixture of water and solvent at 60 degrees. Then the solvent is allowed to evaporate, and the residual block of fragrant material is processed to extract the oils from it.

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