Aldehydes : Perfume Vocabulary & Fragrance Notes

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%.)

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7 Comments

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

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

  • lynn: Rive Gauche is the ONLY perfume I ever got compliments on from complete strangers searching me out of the crowd. Back in the day when I worked in NYC, it was no small task to seek me out to ask…”What is that fragrance you are wearing?” I’m sure a lot of that had to do with my very overactive hormones…but, sure wish I could duplicate that just one more time. October 9, 2015 at 1:02pm Reply

  • Dinesh Gaikwad: i want know all types of combination of notes, kindly mail me. I just started my business in perfume dealing. so i want know how to make combination of different fragrances. Thank you. October 27, 2015 at 4:51am Reply

  • Becky: Fantastic thanks i really appreciated your input, i have always loved fragrances, my husband has bought me some fabulous ones. But I have to say i adore the new L, ‘interdit,. I am have to do a 1 minute sales pitch for an interview Thursday, iam using my L’ interdit, any ideas as best way to do this please thank you February 25, 2019 at 2:28pm Reply

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