Want to know what’s in your fave fragrances? We’re breaking down all those fancy notes and compounds to help you figure out which scents you really love. Today’s topic: aldehydes.

Aldehyde sound like the product of a chemical reaction, and in fact, they are organic compounds found in various natural elements – though modern perfumer uses synthetic versions.

Perfume noses typically reach for aldehydes to  a perfume concoction. In other words, these notes tend to make  the aroma of rose smell more bubbly and airy, while green notes become fresher, and gourmand notes  become soft and lighter.

Aldehydes can also heighten the projection of a scent, or its sillage. Check out our blog post on sillage, diffusion and application more info on how this works in fragrance.

Excellent examples of aldehydes are Amouage’s Dia Woman, or Histoires de Parfums’s This Is Not A Blue Bottle for men.  

Dia Woman will make you want to reach for that LBD – and a cocktail, of course.. This is a scent most accurately described as glamorous and classic, but best described as, aldehyde perfection. The florals are elevated – peony relinquishes its sweetness and transforms into soft bouquet.

When is a scent more than just a scent? When it has a Histoires de Parfums label on it. “This is not a blue bottle is the allegory of a fragrant big bang, a journey from the abstract to the most fiery of emotions in the infinite realm of blue. This is the expression of an olfactory hallucination and a blue page representing freedom of expression for all,” said Gerald Ghislain, the man behind the fragrances

The fragrance is equal parts musky, honeyed and intensely fresh, for an utterly exciting and unique genderless creation that relaxes and excites in equal measure. The aldehydic influence is apparent  from the opening to the dry down: the florals are more powdery than heady, the citrus is tangy the honey is simply heaven.

And a little perfume trivia: Legend has it, Ernest Beaux, didn’t intend to use such a large dose of aldehydes in the composition of this scent, and  that it was actually his assistant who overdosed the fragrance. Whoever’s to blame, Chanel No. 5 is one of the most well-known scents infused with aldehydes.

Have a favorite aldehyde perfume? Tell us on Instagram @Scentbird #MyFavoriteScent

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