Flowers continue to reveal themselves in this article that will wrap your nose in a soft and enveloping sensation. After the spicy ones, it’s the turn of the powdery flowers to tell us all their sensual and regressive notes at the same time. Iris, mimosa, cassia and many others deliver for you their cottony nuances in which we like to curl up tenderly…
In the floral olfactory family, I ask for the powdery…
Among the different olfactory families found in perfumery, there is one that particularly attracts noses, and this for centuries! Indeed, the floral family is so vast that it abounds in possibilities and perfume associations that the creators of fragrances never tire of exploring. Each olfactory family reveals several “sub-categories” called facets. And floral perfumes are no exception to this rule, since they gather different nuances, directly linked to the properties of the ingredients used. We can talk about white flowers, with a sweet and balmy scent, or spicy flowers with pungent and aromatic notes. In another register, you will also be able to smell all the softness of the powdery flowers.
Powdery flowers: portraits of these bewitching beauties
Iris: the star of powdery shades
It is in the XVIIth century, thanks to Catherine de Medici, that we start to use the powder of iris rhizomes. This substance was mixed with rice powder to whiten the skin and perfume the wig. The iris then became the very first powdery flower to be used in perfumery. Noses distinguish two varieties of this exceptional plant: the Padilla and the Germanica. The first comes straight from Florence and is one of the most expensive raw materials in perfumery. Its mesmerizing scent reveals notes of mimosa and violet, with woody undertones and a slight sweet note of raspberry and carrot. The iris Germanica is produced in Morocco. Its smell is more raw, less subtle than the Padilla, although it remains quite interesting olfactory speaking.
The mimosa, fluffy and powdery flower
A spring flower par excellence, the mimosa is a small shrub that is cultivated for its very fragrant yellow flowers in the form of small balls. If it is cultivated today in Egypt, Morocco and France, in particular on the French Riviera for its favorable climate, the shrub comes straight from Australia. It was the inspired Josephine de Beauharnais who first planted it in her gardens. In perfumery we use the absolute of mimosa, obtained by the extraction with volatile solvents of its small yellow pompons. It has a warm, honeyed scent with floral and straw-like accents, with a nice touch of almond. The olfactory sensation of this plant is powdery and flaky. The nose can also distinguish a more green facet, reminiscent of violet leaf. Depending on the associations, the mimosa can give off a solar and powdery perfume, quite rich.
The mysterious cassia
A close cousin of the mimosa, the cassia is a rare shrub native to tropical America that belongs to the mimosaceae family. It reveals a dense and green foliage which hides flowers in the shape of balls, with a bright yellow color (doesn’t it remind you of someone?!). The cassia is also called yellow acacia or fragrant acacia because its flowers give off an intense perfume with floral notes, reminiscent of the smell of the mimosa, with an even deeper and more mysterious side. To add a powdery facet to a fragrance, the perfumer can use cassia absolute, obtained by extracting volatile solvents from the flowers. This raw material also reminds the smell of the violet with a honeyed side. Its perfume also has pungent notes and animal tones that reminds ylang-ylang, with aldehydic accents.
The intrepid violet
Violet also delivers a very interesting powdery flower fragrance. However, despite its captivating natural scent, its exploitation in perfumery remains complicated because it has a very low yield. Indeed, it takes more than a ton of flowers to obtain barely 30 grams of extract…! It is thus the chemistry of synthesis which comes to the rescue of the perfumer. To reproduce the floral and powdery nuances of the violet, the nose can use a family of chemical compounds called ionones. These are now widely present in compositions, because they allow to obtain a soft, flowery, powdery and warm note at the same time which reminds the violet candies.
Heliotropin, sweet and powdery perfume
The heliotrope is an herbaceous plant which produces small flowers with white, purple or blue shades. There are more than 200 species in the world. Those used in perfumery come from South America. The smell of the heliotrope is complex with floral notes but also balsamic and sweet shades. Its odor oscillates between sweetness and powder, with nuances of vanilla and almond. Perfumers use this ingredient to add “creaminess” to a composition. Noses can reproduce its fragrance through synthesis or use the headspace technique to isolate its different fragrant compounds. It is from natural heliotrope that chemists have been able to create heliotropin, a synthetic molecule with a floral and powdery scent.
The use of powdery flowers in perfumery
Powdery flowers, in their natural or synthetic version, are generally used to bring softness and sensuality to a formula. They can then be added to white musks to create a very mellow and enveloping olfactory sensation. Powdery flowers add a little “retro” touch to a more classic floral bouquet, without being too old-fashioned. It is also possible to combine them with greener notes to create a fresh and humid impression. Finally, the note of powdery flower agrees perfectly with oriental perfumes in which it sublimates vanilla, incense or amber… In short, the perfume of powdery flowers is revealed all in subtlety, playing the card of sensuality and tenderness… And this is verified as well in the fragrances known as male as female!
Carrément Belle and the powdery flowers
Seduced by the multiple facets of these bewitching petals, we distill by touches the perfume of these flowers in some of our creations.
The iris notes of 555
In the eau de parfum 555, your nose will be able to curl up comfortably, and for a long time, in the powdery softness of the iris found in the base note. This precious and delicate material combines with the power of pepper to reveal an atypical contrast in the heart of this unisex fragrance. In this unclassifiable formula, the iris is also combined with a sparkling and citrusy opening, to fade into a very sensual and warm amber base.
Gourmand powder with vanille
Like a big hug, vanille envelops you in softness and comfort. In this gourmand and sensual fragrance, we find the perfume of heliotrope. Thanks to its creamy and balmy tones, this powdery flower accentuates the almond and regressive side of the fragrance. Finally, nuances of tobacco and coumarin bring even more depth to this composition that we like to spray without moderation!
The violet in the middle of label rose
Label rose is a fresh and precious composition that first offers a green and citrusy start. Then, it is a real heart of flowers which blooms on your skin. Alongside Damascena rose, a peony accord and jasmine flowers, violet reveals all its elegance by bringing powdery and sensual notes. Its wake ends up releasing a woody and musky accord that does not lack character… A spring fragrance, to be adopted all year round!
Do you like the scent of powdery flowers?
Discover the fragrances mentioned din the article