Marine notes and refreshing fragrances

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

For decades, marine notes have plunged us into an olfactory immensity, a journey twenty thousand leagues under the sea. Aquatic notes have found their place in our fragrances, and the iodized scent of sea spray is now a favorite of many noses. Discover the origins of this invigoratingly successful fragrance wave.

When synthesis sends the sea 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.

And yet, the fate of 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 marine perfume takes 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: the 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!

Our marine perfumes alõ and ïōdé

It would seem that our noses were already predestined to dabble in the crystalline juices 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 jasmine. A fragrance of freedom that combines with a base note both woody and amber to give it even more character.

And because love doesn’t count, we have decided to create another marine fragrance with alõ! 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!

An inspiration that will last

This marine wave, imbued with a captivating iodine aura, persists in its charm, bewitching the senses and epidermis of fervent enthusiasts. Today’s master perfumers are no longer content to lend an aquatic tone to their olfactory creations. They are elevating these marine notes to a distinct, assertive olfactory family, like the woody or chypre genres. In this way, marine fragrances emancipate themselves from their status as a mere “sub-category” to become an olfactory entity in their own right, free to stand alongside the great traditional families.

Do marine notes inspire you? Do you already have a hankering for the rhythms of sea spray?

Discover the fragrances mentioned in the article


Discovery Set
Try our perfumes


eau de parfum


eau de parfum

the sea mari


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *