In perfumery, olfactory facets are created to enhance the main theme defined by different accords. Among these perfumed variants, we find the new freshness facet which brings a real tonic wave to a composition. This breath of fresh air blown on the skin has been widely used by perfumers for several decades. Discover how noses manage to create this refreshing olfactory sensation!
The creation of the new freshness facet
The discovery of a molecule…
Its name evokes a wave of natural purity… Yet the new freshness olfactory facet was made from scratch in a laboratory! Indeed, this olfactory sensation halfway between green notes, marine nuances and mineral tones represents a smell impossible to capture in nature. The work of the chemists allowed the perfumer to expand their palette. They created a molecule with a not so poetic name but with a new smell: dihydromyrcenol.
This pure laboratory product is at the origin of the new freshness facet, and it is the company International Flavors & Fragrances, better known under the abbreviation IFF, which developed it at the beginning of the 70s. Initially designed to bring a fresh and clean scent to cleaning products and laundry, dihydromyrcenol, or DHMOL for short, gradually conquered the world of skin perfumery to become a few years later a key ingredient in compositions.
… with a surprising smell!
So what does the new freshness smell like? This synthetic compound reveals a tonic and invigorating scent. It has a “clean linen” aspect that reminds us of laundry. It is also this nuance that differentiates it from aldehydes, more acidic. The dihydromyrcenol acts in a composition as a real citrus booster that brings a sensation of freshness both floral, aromatic and fruity, while revealing a sensation of purity. This molecule synthesized in laboratory diffuses a scent which reminds sometimes that of the limette (a citrus fruit) or the lavender. If the sensation of freshness is immediate, similar to the linen which dries with the free air, and the molecule also reveals in time a slightly amber base note.
Perfectly balanced freshness
But DHMOL is not easily tamed and it must be handled with care to create the new freshness facet. If it is too concentrated in a composition, dihydromyrcenol can quickly give off an olfactory sensation close to “cheap” soap. It is often compared to calone, another molecule emblematic of the marine notes you can smell in our eau de parfum alõ. Less iodized, DHMOL releases a cleaner, less “seawater” smell. However, this compound at the origin of the new freshness facet reveals a more metallic aspect. This can quickly become too present and annoying if the molecule is not dosed correctly. The perfumer must therefore succeed in finding the perfect balance to create a fresh and lasting olfactory sensation!
The new freshness facet in perfumery
After refreshing many laundry detergents, DHMOL was soon invited into skin fragrances. It appeared for the very first time in a perfume in 1975, in a men’s composition created by Azzaro. At the time, it only occupied 2% of the composition. But it was enough to inspire other designers, including Davidoff who launched Cool Water in 1988, a fragrance that marked the birth of the new freshness facet. For the first time, the molecule is not used as a simple odorant compound with its clean scent, but is put in the foreground. Alongside aromatic notes and a woody base, the new freshness is revealed as an iced and dynamic wave that evokes barber’s soaps. This fragrance is a great success and will pave the way for another genius composition a few years later with the famous CK One by Calvin Klein.
There are many ways to bring freshness to a fragrant juice. The nose has the possibility to add marine notes with an aquatic and salty smell, to use citrus fruits for their tangy nuances, or to work aromatic herbs or green shades. Another possibility is to create a new freshness facet. It is almost always built in the same way in the fragrances. Dihydromyrcenol is most often combined with other fresh notes, created by aromatic or marine nuances. To give more structure and hold to these volatile fragrances, the perfumer has several options. He can dress them up with a woody base, generally using cedar, or associate them with a fern accord.
New freshness, a masculine or feminine facet?
While Davidoff’s Cool Water is now considered the leader of the new freshness, it has also long been associated with a masculine universe. Indeed, the fragrances that followed using this olfactory facet were all intended for men. Mostly associated with the vitality of the sporty modern male, the new freshness seemed to be reserved for the men. But the dazzling success of CK One in 1994 will gradually change the deal. More androgynous, this perfume democratized the new freshness to a female public. From now on, this nuance becomes more subtle and airy, while keeping its power and its clean side. It becomes the reflection of a contemporary and sparkling woman, in search of freshness and lightness!
Did you know the origins of the olfactory facet new freshness?
Discover the fragrances mentioned in the article