To create fragrances, perfumers are inspired by all the elements of nature, especially minerals. For the past few years, their moist and salty facets have intrigued noses that use them to transcribe a new form of fragrant freshness. We decipher with you the olfactory profile of this new mineral notes.
Minerals, what is that?
Before looking at their fragrances, it is important to understand what minerals are. This generic term refers to a solid, inorganic (i.e. its origin is neither animal nor vegetable) and crystallized substance. In short, the mineral is the main material that constitutes the rock. Its birth results from a geological process that goes back to the origin of the world. The mineral evolves and adapts according to the climatic effects of the air, the temperature, the water but also the various bacteria which are in its environment. More than 4700 different types of minerals have been identified. Since the 17th century, they have been classified according to their chemical composition in 8 distinct categories, including sulfates, phosphates and hydroxides.
Mineral notes in perfumery
What do minerals smell like?
At first glance, the world of minerals and the one of perfumery do not seem to have much in common. However, perfumers draw their inspiration from everything that surrounds them. Like flowers, woods or even marine scents, mineral facets evoke a very particular olfactory universe. Thus, mineral notes in perfumery describe a sensation of freshness, both wet and salty. Their fresh aspect is not like the citrus notes, which are much more volatile and luminous. Mineral nuances will last longer and reveal an almost icy freshness as the fragrance evolves. They are more similar to marine notes, with a more contrasted watery aspect and a much more raw and intense character, which also spreads a “clean” side.
The appearance of mineral notes in fragrances
Mineral notes have only recently appeared in the world of perfumery. Their success with noses was revealed in particular by the creation of a perfume that became iconic upon its release in 2006, called Terre d’Hermès, from the house of the same name. Designed by the talented nose Jean-Claude Ellena, this fragrance highlights an invigorating contrast between the elements, the land and the sea. Its ingredients include shiso leaves. This aromatic plant from Asia reveals both mineral and vegetal notes. But it is also one of the first fragrances to feature an unusual ingredient: the flint. Reproduced through synthesis, this raw material brings a breath of freshness to the composition. This ingredient gives off an earthy, powerful, moist and mineral scent. Since then, this fragrance has inspired several designers who have added these facets to their olfactory palette.
As it is not possible to extract an essence from the rock, mineral facets are most often synthetic notes, created in a laboratory. These include “ozonic” notes, such as calone for example. This molecule reveals a fresh and slightly aniseed scent, which you can find in our eau de parfum alõ. But it is also possible to play on the accords and the assemblies of various natural ingredients to obtain a mineral facet. Combining amber notes with greener materials allows you to naturally recreate the scent of wet asphalt or salt stone. Thanks to their intense and pure freshness, perfumers generally position them at the top of the olfactory pyramid. Powerful, they diffuse their cold breath throughout the composition.
Mineral notes, a masculine or feminine scent?
Like all other ingredients used in perfumery, mineral notes cannot be described as masculine or feminine at first smell. However, they tend to be found mostly in so-called masculine fragrances for their freshness and naturalness. They are then combined with woody materials, aromatic ingredients or fern accords. But mineral notes are also subtly present in more feminine juices. They bring dynamism and depth to floral or fruity nuances. Singular, these shades do not follow established rules and can be matched according to your desires!
Did you know about mineral notes? Do you like to feel their fresh and intense scent in your fragrances?
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