Marine notes and the song of the siren

Discover the secrets of marine notes and their aquatic olfactory facets that take us to the open sea...

After a scented walk in the forest alongside the woody notes, we take you on another olfactory stroll to the open sea! In recent decades, marine notes have been swarming into the collections to plunge you twenty thousand leagues under the sea. Aquatic notes have found their place in our fragrances and the smell of coastal spray won our captivated noses. Discover the origins of this true scented flourishing wave.

When synthesis puts water in a bottle

If nowadays marine perfumes are part of our favorite smells, you have to know that this trend is quite recent. Unlike floral fragrances worn since the dawn of time, the main ingredient of the aquatic accord appeared only in the last century. And perfumers are not at the origin of this creation but the pharmaceutical industry. It was in 1951 that researchers at the Pfizer laboratory discovered calone (technically called Calone 1951), a synthetic material with a particular smell. This chemical compound will finally be marketed in 1966 and patented in 1970. We will find it a few years later in scented compositions.

A revolution in perfumery

And yet, the fate of the calone was at the beginning far away from the world of fragrances. Originally, Pfizer’s chemists sought creating a food additive with the taste and aroma of watermelon. Instead, they managed to “make” a white powder that reproduces the smell of sea spray. In fact, this molecule has a structure similar to the one of pheromones produced by certain species of algae. In the form of crystals, calone has an acrid and burning odor. It is only once diluted that it releases this iodized facet so characteristic. A discovery that had a nose since calone will soon create a small revolution in the world of perfume…

The perfumes take the plunge

A new wave

At the beginning of the 70s, people prefer perfumes with powerful and opulent notes. This is why, for a long time, calone was confined to pharmaceutical care and has even perfumed household products. It is only twenty years later that this molecule will be used for the first time in perfumery. In the United States in 1988, the perfumer Yves Tanguy creates for Aramis a composition one of a kind. In its blue bottle, the New West perfume seeks to capture the scent and the spirit of the West Coast. However, this fragrance will not meet with the expected success, especially in Europe.

A drop of water

But marine perfumes did not say their last word, quite the contrary! In the early 90s Japanese fashion designer Issey Miyake says, “I want a fragrance that smells like water.” He realizes his wish in 1992 by creating a fragrance with an evocative name: l’Eau d’Issey. And this Eau will mark a real turning point in the history of modern perfume. This fragrance meets very quickly a global success and perfumes women of all over the World. It will even be in the top of French favorite perfumes for many months. A fragrance with marine notes that will leave in its wake new enthusiasts of aquatic facets and pave the way to many fresh and pure creations.

Marine notes : ingredients and scents

Synthesis and natural union

As we have seen above, calone is one of the main ingredients of marine perfumes. But synthesis is not the only way to give aquatic facets to a composition. Indeed, some natural plants are also used in this olfactory category. This is the case for example of lotus, blue cypress or sea fennel and algae. We also find oakmoss in the marine accords because it has iodized hints, even salty notes. Fruits are sometimes added to bring an aqueous touch and thus contribute to this harmony. We speak about water fruits such as watermelon or melon.

But since the discovery of calone, chemistry is making good progress and new synthetic molecules have been added to the noses’ olfactory palette. Molecules as melonal, floralozone, algenone, transluzone or even scentenal are variations of calone. They are also bursting and each have their own olfactory properties and add to a fragrance a scent of freshness, a feeling of dampness but also mineral notes.

A scented breeze

Thanks to these different raw materials, marine notes let escape from their bottles a sea air. The aquatic notes evoke the ocean, the freshness of sea spray or seaweed. Soft but persistent notes that appeal to women and men, to lovers of nature and elegance who seek a fragrance full of vitality. Light perfumes to wear both in summer to stroll along the beach, or in winter to escape to the big blue!

La Baigneuse jumps in the deep end

Our first ambassador, La Baigneuse, was already predestined to splash around in the crystalline juice of marine perfumes. Thus, ïōdé joined our eaux de parfum collection from the very beginning of our olfactory adventure. This aquatic fragrance includes a marine harmony that blends a chypre and flowery middle note thanks to lily of the valley and rose that leave behind an impression of vitality. A fragrance of freedom that combines with a base note both woody and amber to give it even more character.

We could not stop at a single marine fragrance, and that is why the last born of our Carrément Belle collection also has aquatic facets. Unveiled almost one year ago, alõ heads straight for your noses! An intoxicating fragrance inspired by the memory of a gin cocktail savored by the sea, where calone imposes itself in an intense middle note. This fragrance unites the freshness of citrus (lemon, bergamot, bitter orange) with the thrill of spices (pink berries, juniper berries, ginger) to finally soothe you gently by the warm and woody smell of vetiver. The perfect program to take the plunge!

ïōdé et alo are the two perfumes in our collection that have marine notes, the first is a flowery chypre and the second is created as a spicy gin cocktail around the calone!
On the left ïōdé, a marine and floral fragrance and on the right alõ, which highlights calone in its middle note.

An inspiration that will last

This marine wave continues to seduce the noses and skins of many enthusiasts. For some time, perfumers have not only sought to offer an aquatic aspect to a fragrance. They envisage making these marine notes as a singular new olfactory construction. The marine could thus become a new olfactory family in their own right alongside the woody or the chypre, and not just a “sub-category” that must to be associated with other families.

Do you like marine notes? What does the theme of water evoke to you?

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