Damascones: 2 posts

My Name is Red : Chanel Rouge Allure Ink and Guerlain Nahema

“I’m so fortunate to be red! I’m fiery. I’m strong. I know men take notice of me and that I cannot be resisted… Wherever I’m spread, I see eyes shine, passions increase, eyebrows rise and heartbeats quicken. Behold how wonderful it is to live! Behold how wonderful to see. I am everywhere. Life begins with and returns to me.” Orhan Pamuk’s description of my favorite color in My Name is Red has stayed with me ever since I first read the book, and I often think of it whenever I see another red that draws my attention–fabric, autumnal leaves, lipstick, the lacquer of Japanese bowls or perfume. Yes, perfume can also be red.

The impression of red in fragrance is subjective the way synesthesia tends to be, but Guerlain Nahema is a perfume that makes me feel as if I’m enveloped in layers of crimson silk. The effect comes from the combination of rose essence and the damascones, aroma-materials with the aroma of rose jam and stewed apples. This accord alone has a lipstick red hue, but paradoxically it comes across as even more saturated against the background of green citrus and hyacinth. Reds often stand out best against contrasting colors, and this is the case with Nahema.

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Damascones : Perfume Ingredients

If the light pouring through stained glass windows, dancing in vibrant red and orange and flickering on the skin, had a scent, it would be the fragrance of damascones, aroma materials derived from the Bulgarian rose oil (rosa damascena). Encompassing rosy and fruity aspects, damascones have a vibrant and potent scent, marked by woody and tobacco like qualities, depending on the type. Some derivatives of damascones have very interesting nuances, from green apple, stewed plums and ripe figs to nuts and woods. First isolated between 1970 and 1980, damascones and damascenons produced a true breakthrough given their fascinating olfactory profile and intense fragrance.

Nahema by Guerlain (1979) was one of the first fragrances to incorporate damascones into its rose veiled structure. Damascones decorate the rose notes in the way that gold jewelry enhances the beauty of princesses from the Arabian Nights tales by which Nahema was inspired. …
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