Ylang Ylang, an olfactory ingredient used by the Society of Scent

Ylang Ylang

A tropical flower from a tree called “Cananga Odorata”, which is native to the rainforests of tropical Asian countries, primarily Indonesia, where the flowers are spread on the beds of newly married couples.

Saffron, an olfactory ingredient used by the Society of Scent

Saffron

It is the dried stigmas of the “Crocus Sativus” flower, the finest of which come from Iran. The name for the plant comes from the Greek word krokosmeaning saffron or yellow and the Arabic word za-fran refers to the spice. Saffron is a part of many foods from around the world, the Minoans had pictures of saffron in their palaces as long ago as 1500-1600 BC, showing how it could be used as a medicine. It can take 75,000 saffron blossoms or 225,000 stigmas to produce a pound of saffron spice making it the most expensive spice in the world. It has a delicate floral note with some suede undertones.

Patchouli, an olfactory ingredient used by the Society of Scent

Patchouli

A bushy, evergreen perennial herb called “Pogostemon Cablin”, native to Southeast Asia, with lightly fragrant leaves, and white, violet-marked flowers. It grows wild in both Sumatra and Java at high elevations. The oil is extracted by steam distillation from the dried leaves of the patchouli plant. Patchouli is known for being the hippie scent-of-choice in the 1960s, but its traditional uses date back thousands of years. Egypt’s King Tut arranged to have ten gallons of patchouli oil buried with him in his tomb. The scent is described as having a dark, musky-earthy aroma profile, reminiscent of wet soil.

Heliotrope, an olfactory ingredient used by the Society of Scent

Heliotrope

A flowering plant “Heliotrope Peruvianum”, with fragrant clusters of small, white or reddish-purple flowers, known as “plant which turns its flowers and leaves to the sun”. Originated in Peru and introduced in Europe more than 200 years ago, the odor profile is powdery, with a sweet vanilla note, a hint of almond and a trace of licorice.

Cypriol, an olfactory ingredient used by the Society of Scent

Cypriol

Also known as “nut grass” in English is the root of a plant with morphology similar to papyrus plants, as both plants are members of the “Cyperus Scariosus” which grows wild in Madhya Pradesh region of India; this papyrus is the same used in Ancient Egypt. The plant is mentioned in the ancient Ayurvedic medicine text Charaka Samhita, and is used extensively in Chinese medicine. The scent is woody (a fusion of cedar, vetiver and patchouli) and earthy with a spicy hint of spice.

Cardamom, an olfactory ingredient used by the Society of Scent

Cardamom

A seed known as “Eletteria Cardamomum” is the popular green cardamom that is native to southern India, where it grows wild in the forests of the Western Ghats. The use of cardamom oil dates back to Vedic times, about 3,000 BC, and it was made mention of some 1,500 years later too in ancient Ayurvedic texts. Cardamom, one of the oldest known ingredients in perfumery, is part of the ginger family. The scent is complex as it has an aromatic camphor first impression and it evolves into a sweet and balsamic undertone

Storax bark, an olfactory ingredient used by the Society of Scent

Storax bark

It is the sapwood/gum of trees called “Liquidambar Styraciflua” and “Liquidambar Orientalis” obtained by pounding the bark of both varieties. L. Styraciflua comes from the Americas (in particular Honduras, Guatemala and Mexico), while L.Orientalis comes from Asia Minor. Styrax resin was imported in quantity from the Near East by Phoenician merchants, and Herodotus of Halicarnassus in the 5th century BC indicates that different kinds of “storax” were traded.

Rose, an olfactory ingredient used by the Society of Scent

Rose

Also known as Cilantro or Chinese parsley, is an annual herb in the family “Apiaceae”. Coriander grows wild over a wide area of Western Asia and southern Europe. Coriander “Coriandrum Sativum” seeds are considered one of the earliest spices in the world. It was used for culinary and medical purposes in Babylonian times. It was also mentioned in the Bible, and was found in tombs of pharaohs as a symbol of eternal love. The essential oil which is distilled from the coriander seeds smells crisp, green with a hint of woody sweetness.

Orris Root, an olfactory ingredient used by the Society of Scent

Orris Root

It is the root of the iris flower “Iris Pallida”, and is almost exclusively cultivated for perfumery in Tuscany, Italy. The rhizome (root) is harvested and left to dry. As it dries, a natural isolate forms inside called irone and the longer it dries the more irone is produced, it’s left to mature form three to five years. One ton of iris root produces two kilos of essential oil, also referred to as ‘orris root butter’ or ‘butter of iris’, making it a highly prized substance. Its’ scent has a floral violet trace and a warm, creamy, earthy-rooty quality with a powdery effect.

Geranium, an olfactory ingredient used by the Society of Scent

Geranium

It is an evergreen perennial plant “Pelargonium Graveolens” and most come from countries in N. Africa: Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria and Egypt. The essential oil comes from the leaves and the stalks not the flower and it is produced by steam distillation. It is often mistaken for Rose essential oil. A very faceted ingredient; it has a very powerful, green, leafy-rosy odor with a fruity undertone and a rich, long-lasting, sweet-rosy dry down.

Coriander Seeds, an olfactory ingredient used by the Society of Scent

Coriander Seeds

Also known as Cilantro or Chinese parsley, is an annual herb in the family “Apiaceae”. Coriander grows wild over a wide area of Western Asia and southern Europe. Coriander “Coriandrum Sativum” seeds are considered one of the earliest spices in the world. It was used for culinary and medical purposes in Babylonian times. It was also mentioned in the Bible, and was found in tombs of pharaohs as a symbol of eternal love. The essential oil which is distilled from the coriander seeds smells crisp, green with a hint of woody sweetness.

Calamus Root, an olfactory ingredient used by the Society of Scent

Calamus Root

The root of a plant “Acorus Calamus”, 30 to 100 cm tall it is found in wet marshy areas, also known as Sweet Flag, cultivated throughout Europe, Asia and North America. Mentioned (Exodus 30:23) as one of the ingredients in the holy anointing oil, one of the sweet scents (Cant 4:14), and among the articles sold in the markets of Tyre (Ezekiel 27:19) and in Ayurvedic, traditional Chinese, and Native American practices. Calamus root has a unique fragrance of cinnamon, spicy and woody and suede like notes.

Sandalwood, an olfactory ingredient used by the Society of Scent

Sandalwood

“Santalum Album” from India is one of the oldest known perfume materials but is now an endangered species which demand cannot be met. It is used all over the East in traditional incense and perfume yet most of the production goes to chewing tobacco. Australia is the main alternative source and will become the first Santalum Album producer worldwide by 2018. Commercially valuable sandalwood oil requires the trees to be a at least 15 years old to be harvested. The oil is generally steam distilled from the heartwood and roots of the tree. Its distinctive scent is warm, smooth, delicately smoky and milky.

Pink Pepper, an olfactory ingredient used by the Society of Scent

Pink Pepper

It is a deep pink to red berry fruit from the evergreen tree called “Schinus Molle”, it is totally unrelated (botanically) to black pepper. These evergreen trees are native to Peru and Brazil and grow in the arid zone of this region. It produces a slightly sweet fruit the size of a peppercorn with hints of rose and resin. The essential oil is extracted by steam distillation of the pink fruit (peppercorns). The notes is described as warm, sweet, dry, and spicy, with a mix of fruity and floral notes.

Narcissus, an olfactory ingredient used by the Society of Scent

Narcissus

A bulbous plant belonging to the family “Narcissus Poeticus”, of the amaryllis family, also known as Jonquil. The exact origin is unknown; yet it is believed to have originated in Persia and traveled to China through the Silk Route. Often associated with the Greek legend of Narcissus. The absolute is very rare and expensive as 500 kilos of flowers are needed to produce a kilo of “concrete or absolute”, it is produced by solvent extraction. The scent of the absolute is sweet and floral (tuberose like) with green- leafy undertones.

Galbanum resin, an olfactory ingredient used by the Society of Scent

Galbanum resin

A natural gum/resin comes from an umbrella-like Persian grass “Ferula Galbaniflua”, originally grew in the Mesopotamia (Iran) area. It’s collected from the stems in small drops. Its use in perfumery goes back millennia: galbanum appears in the Old Testament as an ingredient in holy incense, and was used an ingredient in Egyptian for Cosmetics and in the embalming process. Steam distillation from the resinoid, that comes from the trunks and roots; has a very powerful, green, woody-resinous odor, reminiscent of sliced green peppers and hyacinth leaves.

Clary Sage, an olfactory ingredient used by the Society of Scent

Clary Sage

An evergreen shrub “Salvia Sclarea” is native to the Northern Mediterranean, growing both in the wild and cultivated. Clary sage essential oil is obtained by steam distillation of the flowering tops and leaves. The Greeks and Romans held it in high esteem owing to the herb’s ecstatic and aphrodisiac (anything that stimulates sexual desire) aspects. The odor has a fresh greenness and grassy, earthy, herbaceous notes.