Aldehydes : Perfume Vocabulary & Fragrance Notes

chanel5 4

Aldehydes are organic compounds present in many natural materials (eg. orange rind, rose, cinnamon bark). Various aldehydes can also be synthesized artificially. There is hardly a fragrance without some type of aldehyde in it; however, it is the vividness of aliphatic aldehydes (a specific subgroup of the aldehydes family) that gives Chanel No 5, Lanvin Arpège, Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche and other floral-aldehydic fragrances their characteristic impressionist sparkle.

Their scent ranges from metallic, starchy and citrusy to green, fatty and waxy (for instance, aldehyde C-11 commonly found in rose and cilantro smells like metal and dirty hair to me, but in tiny quantities it adds an impressive lift and freshness to fragrances.) Aldehydes were used previously by Robert Bienaimé in Houbigant Quelques Fleurs (1912) and by Henri Alméras in Rosine Le Fruit Défendu (1914), Chanel No 5 became famous for its unprecedented overdose of several different aldehydes (a total of almost 1%.)

Enjoyed this? Get blog posts via email:

Or, stay updated via:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • RSS

4 Comments

  • dee: Love it, thank you! February 9, 2011 at 11:57am Reply

  • Carla: I love aldehydes! Rive Gauche is a fave. I love how it’s sort of metallic. February 9, 2011 at 1:27pm Reply

  • Victoria: I just wanted to write something succinct, since we often speak of these materials. February 9, 2011 at 4:04pm Reply

  • Victoria: I also love Calandre, a bolder Rive Gauche, so to speak. I wear RG more though. February 9, 2011 at 6:26pm Reply

What do you think?

From the Archives

Latest Comments

  • Jackie in Many Wonders of Facial Mists: I have to weight in here too! Figuier, I really cannot recommend enough Murad’s hydrating toner, and the “layering” Victoria and Kat mention. While your face is still damp from… March 26, 2015 at 11:08pm

  • Jackie in Many Wonders of Facial Mists: I agree about both those products, Victoria. I think I need to accept that there’s just no perfection with sunscreen: some degree of irritation seems inevitable, for me at least.… March 26, 2015 at 10:58pm

  • Lavanya in Many Wonders of Facial Mists: I used the sandalwood one during my first pregnancy. It worked well but surprisingly i didnt enjoy the scent as it smelled like a bit yogurty to me. I must… March 26, 2015 at 8:12pm

  • Rebecca in Many Wonders of Facial Mists: One of the reasons this is one of my favorite websites to visit regularly is because of posts like this. Perfume, skincare, flowers, food, grandmother’s recipes, I love reading about… March 26, 2015 at 5:59pm

Latest Tweets

Design by cre8d
© Copyright 2005-2015 Bois de Jasmin. All rights reserved.