Used since the dawn of time, herbs have made a place for themselves on our plates as much as in our perfumes! These fresh herbs have great odoriferous powers that still deliver their fragrances today in the heart of many compositions. Sage, lavender, thyme, rosemary or basil, the aromatic notes tickle our nostrils with tonic, vegetal and aniseed nuances. Let yourself be carried away by this olfactory wind of freshness!
The history of aromatic notes
Along with woods, aromatics are certainly among the very first ingredients used to create scented compositions. As early as antiquity, these fresh herbs were gathered to create substances to be ingested, burned or rubbed into the skin. Going back more than 5,000 years, aromatic notes already occupy a central place in the use of fragrances. Egyptian priests used to concoct aromatic ointments to wash the statues of deities. These perfumes became “the god’s own smell, the sweat that came out of his flesh”*. The Greeks used local aromatic plants: oregano, thyme or marjoram became essential ingredients to compose fragrant products. Perfumery and aromatherapy are closely linked.
In the Middle Ages, perfume still had a very strong medicinal function. “Simple gardens”, i.e. aromatic vegetable gardens where “simples” were grown, flourished everywhere in the abbeys. These were actually medicinal herbs such as sage, chamomile or tarragon. This was the beginning of phytotherapy.
If the aromatic notes have more or less always cohabited with perfumery, it is however necessary to wait for the beginning of the 18th century for this facet to be really put forward in a fragrance. The very first aromatic perfume will be the eau de Cologne, created in 1709 by the Italian Giovanni Maria Farina. Far from the heavy and opulent scents of the time based on civet or amber, this invigorating composition is actually an hydrolat mixed with eau-de-vie in which citrus fruits and aromatic herbs are integrated. We find in its formulation marjoram, thyme, rosemary, but also angelica roots, wormwood and lavender.
Relegating heady perfumes to the background, colognes will very quickly conquer all noses thanks to this impression of freshness and dynamism created by aromatic and citrus notes. The industrialization of perfumery and its democratization will contribute in the 19th century to diffuse this new perfumed trend. A few years later, the aromatic notes will emancipate themselves from the eaux de Cologne, with the launching of Pour un homme, by Caron in 1934. The perfumery house signed the first aromatic perfume for men, which will pave the way to many other compositions.
Freshness in a bottle
What are really aromatic notes?
In perfumery, the term “aromatic” is used to designate all the fresh herbs that go into the composition of a fragrance. As soon as these notes are “dried” we will rather talk about spicy nuances. This olfactory sub-family gathers natural and fresh raw materials such as rosemary, basil, mint, star anise, lavender, sage… In short, all the plants and aromatic herbs that can be found in our gardens and our cupboards, and which will diffuse their fragrance in the compositions. A wide variety of plants are used in the creation of aromatic notes. To integrate them into fragrances, noses use mostly essential oils with multiple facets, extracted or distilled directly from plants.
Aromatic notes generally evoke fragrances that are sweet, fresh and invigorating. These nuances reveal a rather energetic and dynamic character. The virile and raw side of this facet has made it the emblem of masculine fragrances, the counterpart of floral notes for feminine juices. Perfumes with aromatic notes remain difficult to classify as the nuances vary according to the ingredients used. We distinguish lemony notes that will bring pep to the fragrance, but also mentholated scents that exhale a certain freshness. Among these notes are also camphorated facets, with an almost medicinal aspect, as well as aniseed nuances that evoke an herbaceous, subtly spicy side.
Aromatic notes release quite powerful nuances, although sometimes volatile. They are often found at the top or the middle note of the olfactory pyramid of a fragrance. Often at the base of men’s juices, this facet harmonizes perfectly with fern accords and citrus fragrances. But their timeless and universal aspect also makes them a real olfactory asset to awaken a floral fragrance, to sublimate spicy tones or to enhance a woody composition. Aromatic notes are also harmoniously integrated into marine fragrances to reveal fresh and sunny nuances. They can also be found in chypre and amber juices to bring a hint of freshness.
Our interpretation of the aromatic notes
These subtle, plant-based scents are an integral part of our Collection. They distill their invigorating nuances in some of our fragrances, giving them a real breath of freshness!
In the eau de parfum alõ, an aromatic accord is combined with the freshness of calone, a synthetic molecule that evokes sea spray. With ginger, pink berries and citrus notes, this cocktail is a real festive and invigorating shot. The aromatic power raises the composition to invigorate the noses of an intense scent.
Next stop, ïōdé
Still in the marine register, ïōdé also incorporates an aromatic facet. This fragrance first unveils a marine flight that then blends with a floral heart. Here it is the clary sage that gives this fragrance its aromatic aspect. This raw material brings to the composition an amber and musky smell which allows to create a chypre tone.
The languorous alfred kafé
The aromatic notes give alfred kafé a contrast that is both luminous and languorous. In this caffeinated juice, lavender reveals its green nuances alongside the herbaceous tones of mint and the woody sage. This perfume, initially thought for men, will also seduce the feminine noses which want to awaken their senses with an energizing composition.
What are your favorite aromatic notes?
Discover the fragrances mentioned in the article