Very popular in perfumery, balsams and other resins create what are called balsamic notes. Soothing and warm, they coat your fragrances with a soft and sensual wake. But how are these deep and sweet scents used in your perfumes? Discover the key ingredients in these notes and how they are combined in your compositions.
What are balsamic notes?
Not to be confused with vinegar, the term balsamic comes from the Latin balsamum which means fragrant balm. For the anecdote, balsamic vinegar refers to the balm of the barrels in which it is kept. Thus, the balsamic notes evoke the balsams and resins that are regularly used in perfumery. These ingredients are among the oldest raw materials used in the composition of fragrances.
Balm & perfume
You may already be using lip balm or other kind of balm to moisturize your body. Indeed, the balm is a thick and fatty paste, generally used in cosmetics and medicine to soothe pain or clear the airways for example. But what about your perfume? In fact, a balm is an exudation (an effusion of liquid), naturally secreted by plants and usually by trees. It is alternately called gum, resin or tear. This substance has initially a liquid, fatty and viscous aspect, which will then dry in contact with the air and harden, while releasing a powerful odor. To collect the balsam, it is necessary to cut the trunk and collect the sap that comes from it. Depending on the source of the raw material, the balsam will be distilled with steam or extracted with volatile solvents to obtain essence or absolute.
The main balms
In perfumery we find different balsams used by the noses: the balsam of Peru, Copahu, Tolu and benzoin. These last two are the most representative materials of balsamic notes. Benzoin comes naturally from the Sytrax tree. Its tears reveal a very sweet, milky and spicy scent, which evokes the roundness of vanilla and the warmth of incense. The balsam of Tolu is mainly produced in Colombia. Its absolute has a warm and woody smell, with sweet, unctuous tones. The balsam of Peru comes from a tree native to South America. Its olfactory sensation is also sweet, almost caramelized, but it offers waxy and leathery undertones as well, with animal notes. Finally, Copahu balm, from the copayer, is more aromatic and woodier, with spicy and sweet notes.
The other ingredients of the balsamic notes
Beyond these four balms, balsamic notes can be recreated by many ingredients. This is the case with myrrh, for example, a gum-resin with a sensual, woody, almost fruity scent. Although its tones are woodier, frankincense is also an ingredient of choice for balsamic notes. We also think of the labdanum gum, delivered by the cistus leaves, which evokes an amber and animalized scent. These raw materials offer even deeper and more persistent scents with earthy or even leathery nuances. These crystallized resins come from the bark of trees and combine perfectly with woody and amber formulas.
Use in perfumery
Overall, balsamic notes have a soothing, balmy, warm, even animalic or slightly medicinal scent. They are strong and persistent notes that envelop a fragrance. They often support and complement the vanilla in a fragrance. It is also excellent fixers, usually found at the middle or the base of the olfactory pyramid. Thanks to their gourmand and smooth nuances, balsamic notes bring an oriental dimension to any composition, both masculine and feminine. They also blend perfectly with more floral or fruity notes to reveal all their sensuality and a touch of mystery…
Carrément Belle and the balsamic notes
These soothing notes are found in many of our fragrances. They bring a touch of Orient and warmth to these compositions to be worn with abandon!
555 with amber incense heart
The eau de parfum 555 is a mysterious and bewitching fragrance. After a citrusy start, its heart becomes warmer and warmer thanks to the subtle power of incense. Combined with cinnamon, white pepper and licorice, its wake becomes sweet and enveloping. With iris powder and amber in its base note, 555 offers a sensual fragrance that will leave a bursting and powdery imprint on your skin…
In a few drops, kilim takes you on a journey on its flying carpet, straight to the burning lands of the Orient. The balsamic touch is expressed here thanks to benzoin which reveals its bewitching and sweet facets, alongside flowers and spices. Patchouli marks an oriental imprint on this languorous and adventurous fragrance that will take you in its wake!
The resinous ippi patchouli
With ippi patchouli, plunge back into the heart of the seventies and their woody and earthy scents. The mythical patchouli expresses its resinous and earthy scents, accompanied by more floral and sweet ingredients. Labdanum gum reinforces these tones and adds depth with its amber and floral notes. The mythical and eternal fragrance of Carrément Belle…
Now that you know more about the facets and ingredients of balsamic notes, can you tell if you like to find them in your fragrances?
Discover the fragrances mentioned in the article