Geranium: 2 posts

Geranium Notes: The Other Rose of Perfume

What do Elizabeth Bennett and geranium share in common? Elisa explains.

I’ve never heard anyone call geranium their favorite flower. Compared to the more photogenic blooms found in bouquets and floral arrangements, geranium might seem like a workaday houseplant.

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Cheery sidewalk geraniums

If rose and geranium were sisters in a Jane Austen novel, rose would be known as the pretty one and geranium as the sensible one. But geranium, like Elizabeth Bennett, has her own beauty, and is indispensable in rose fragrances!

When we refer to geranium notes, we’re usually talking about the oil of the pelargonium graveolens, also known as the rose geranium. Rose geranium oil contains over 50 organic compounds, but primarily consists of geraniol, nerol, and citronellol. Nerol, so named because it was originally isolated from neroli oil, has a fresh rosy scent and can be found in lemongrass and hops. Citronellol is the familiar pungent citrus smell often found in insect repellants – but it’s also important for creating realistic rose accords. Geraniol, one of the primary components in rose oil, smells – you guessed it – rosy and is also commonly used in fruit flavorings. (I’ve noticed that adding clove to a fruity rose can conjure up a raspberry note.)

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Caron Or et Noir : Perfume Review

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Caron Or et Noir, “Gold and Black” was created by Michel Morsetti in 1949 in homage to Ernest Daltroff and the tradition of Parfums Caron. Ernest Daltroff was fascinated with roses and incorporated rose absolutes in nearly all compositions he has created for Caron.

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A fragrance that served as an inspiration for Parfum Sacré, Or et Noir is a dark rose on a rich base of spices and woods. The opening notes are of honeyed red rose blended with the astringent bite of geranium and bergamot. The sandalwood and black pepper provide a wonderful foil for the rich rose accord. Unlike most rose fragrances that start out bright and crisp and then proceed to warm up on the skin, Or et Noir reveals its sensual facets instantaneously. The darkness of Caron accord is like a breath of cool air that renders the sweet and spicy composition light and airy. I always think of Or et Noir as a rose before sundown, petals closing slowly to hide the unabashedly sultry opening.

One of the Urn Parfums, Or et Noir is available at the Caron boutiques as extrait de parfum. Its notes include Bulgarian rose, centifolia rose and geranium; Anatolian rose, lilac and carnation, oakmoss and woody amber.

On Reformulation 3/31/2011:

The femme fatale roses of Or et Noir are still dark and smoldering, with a wonderful mossy-patchouli undertone. The main difference is that I smell less natural rose and more rose alcohols, which lend Or et Noir an unexpected lemony and zesty quality. Still, it is a good dark rose for those who like this fragrance genre.

Picture: 1949 advertisement for Caron.

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