Known since the dawn of time, oriental notes are revealed in warm fragrances. Considered to be one of the most widespread olfactory families, these fragrances make us travel in a few drops to ardent lands with tales and legends full of mystery. Opulent, soft and sweet, fragrances with oriental notes create a hushed and almost mystical atmosphere. Between animal scents, spices, balms and other fragrant woods, what are they really hiding behind this sensual family?
The origins of oriental notes
Oriental notes origins in Europe date back to the Middle Ages. It is thanks to the explorations carried out during the Crusades in the 12th and 13th centuries that the Orient was discovered, along with its various olfactory richness. Crusader knights’ ships came back in Europe, the holds loaded with all sorts of hitherto unknown ingredients. Nutmeg, camphor, myrrh, pepper and other balms were exchanged thanks to new trade routes. The West discovers new perfumed materials that contrast with flowers and other herbs used at the time. Musk, amber and civet were soon to conquer the highest noses. The nobles would relax in spice scented baths and proudly wear a pommander filled with so-called aphrodisiac scents. Very quickly these ingredients are adopted by the whole population. The oriental notes then impose themselves in all their power and richness.
Mythical compositions, iconic juices
Ingredients from the Orient have seduced almost all noses for centuries, and today they continue to be in the foreground when it comes to perfumery. But since the Middle Ages and with the advent of modern perfumery, the work of composition has been refined. As a result, oriental fragrances have become much more voluptuous without being heady. The very first perfume to have paved the way for oriental notes was Jicky by Guerlain, launched in 1889. The composition then integrated vanillin and coumarin, derived from the tonka bean, and a touch of civet. Coty then imagined his Ambre Antique in 1908, composed of ambergris and vanilla. In the face of these great successes, most of the perfume houses will then create their own fragrant version of the Orient.
Oriental notes: a not-so-mysterious accord
But what do these addictive fragrances contain? A clever blend of softness, warmth and sensuality!
The main ingredients
The oriental notes are part of a large family that gives off a soft and powdery wake with a subtly spicy scent and delicately sweet nuances! These accords make it possible to create both feminine and masculine oriental fragrances with rich and powerful ingredients. These notes are not the prerogative of a single ingredient, but of a combination of scents. The main materials of the oriental accord are ambergris, vanilla, tonka bean and patchouli. In addition, there are different types of balms such as benzoin or Peruvian balsam with woody and vanilla scents, but also myrrh, incense, styrax, musk… We also think of spices such as cinnamon or cloves. All of these ingredients have one common denominator: they all contribute to the power and sensuality of a composition.
Usually placed as the base note in the olfactory pyramid, oriental notes blend with many types of compositions. If vanilla or spicy orientals are the most common, woody orientals became widespread as early as the 1980s. With the addition of precious woods such as sandalwood or cedar, this new association will seduce those gentlemen who were previously reluctant to wear oriental fragrances. Oriental notes can also be combined with fruity facets to give them pep and freshness. The flowery orientals, for their part, create very voluptuous accords between lightness and opulence.
The Carrément Belle road to Orient
At Carrément Belle, we have always been seduced by these sensual and mysterious notes. That’s why we have wanted to interpret them since the beginning of our history, in different fragrances that will undoubtedly take you on a journey.
kilim: an oriental patchouli
Like an invitation to travel, kilim rolls out its magic carpet to invite you to an express round trip to the Orient. From up there, take the time to admire the stalls of a noisy and colorful market. You will be able to smell the fresh and sweet scents of fruit: apricot, raspberry, orange, apple and lemon already tickle your nose. These smells blend with the sweetness of jasmine flowers and lily of the valley to slowly fade into the oriental warmth of patchouli, amber, benzoin and vanilla… Have a nice trip!
ippi patchouli: the bewitching accord
With ippi patchouli, travel is guaranteed! In its luggage, this fragrance puts the woody and resinous scent of patchouli at the top of the list. A flagship ingredient that it combines with the softness of vanilla, the sensuality of amber and the elegance of musk. A warm touch of labdanum, a few fruits (apricot, peach, coconut) to refresh the whole, and a beautiful bouquet of flowers (orange blossom, jasmine, tuberose and rose) finally complete this deliberately addictive juice.
Its formula reveals itself even more differently in a citrusy, sweet and sunny version with ippi patchouli clair, a collector edition.
SO: amber under the skin
SO is a perfume designed as an ode to sensuality. Its oriental side is revealed thanks to the amber that gives it warm and sunny tones. Combined with the flavor of spices, the freshness of citrus fruits and the sweetness of tonka bean, vanilla and musk, this composition is as surprising as it is subtle.
SO is a perfume that is discovered over time and that leaves no one indifferent!
vanille: gourmand and spicy
Vanilla is at the heart of the oriental fragrances and we wanted to highlight it in one of our creations. Sweet and delicate, the eau de parfum vanille incorporates Ugandan vanilla absolute, a precious raw material with a strong scent. It is adorned with gourmand ingredients such as almond and caramel, as well as coumarin and tobacco to give it warm and spicy nuances.
A gourmand and comforting perfume that’s just right for you!
555: the elusive contrast
This bold fragrance blows hot and cold on your skin. In 555, oriental notes of amber, musk and incense reveal a warm and bewitching heart. Cinnamon, clove and white pepper sprinkle the composition with a sparkling and sensual character. The iris deposits a powdery veil.
An eau de parfum that suits all noses that are not afraid to be tempted!
Are you a fan of oriental notes? What are your favorite scents?
Discover the fragrances mentioned in this article
Oriental notes has been around ever since. To me, is among the first notes to hit and sends memory to ones olfactory sense.
They are part of our favorite olfactory families with their sensual and comforting notes that make us travel in a few drops…