The Aldehydic Group: We all have to recognize the genius of the perfumer who first discovered the value of this very difficult smelling group – the Aldehydes – and tomorrow, when you are about to reject a new chemical, think that it could give you something as special as the Aldehydes did years ago. Though Chanel No. 5 is recognized as the first Aldehydic fragrance, created in the mid-twenties, the truth is that the first Aldehydic fragrance was Reve D’Or, or Golden Dream, created in 1905 by Armingeat. Its success was tremendous around the world. This group of chemicals really helped to create a new class of fragrances as modern today as they were seventy-five years ago… from Chanel No. 5 to Arpege to Madame Rochas, with the addition of peach, to Calandre, that modernized the note with the addition of Hedione. What a group of creations!
The Green Fragrances: Vent Vert, created in the early 1950’s, was really the first green fragrance. A genius of a perfumer, Germaine Sellier, thirty years before anyone else, considered the influence of nature and sports on our lives. She created a very green scent that is still very unusual today. When the sports fragrance category became fashionable, Alliage, Grey Flannel and Devin came into existence.
Now I move into another great family that I call Chypre: Francois Coty made the first one in the early twenties. He understood how to create a modern fragrance using Patchouli and Oakmoss, this very warm undertone of so many fragrances today. Then Guerlain had the brilliant idea of adding peach to make his Mitsouko, the first of a new generation of fruity fragrances. The peach note gives a natural effect to the perfume. It goes well with the skin and is very sexy. Femme followed that trend and increased the fruity note in such a way that it became the top note.
Other perfumers took this mossy theme again and added aldehydic notes and produced great names such as Crepe de Chine, Aphrodisia, Caleche. Let’s not forget Ma Griffe, created just after the war, which is still so modern with Styrallyl Acetate, peach and aldehydes, used in such a way as to give tremendous diffusion. This trend of mossy fragrances still shows many possibilities.
We can now take the same group again and with Styrallyl Acetate and I.B.Q. move to Cabochard or Cachet, that are so sexy and long-lasting. Another creation was Halston with a new woody feeling due to a new chemical, Iso Cyclemone. If you just think of all the great names that I just mentioned, the Chypre group really still gives tremendous possibilities for new creations.
If I mentioned green fragrances earlier, I must also mention Miss Dior as the first modern fragrance to use Galbanum as a top note. With its strong Patchouli and Peach notes, it is still very modern forty years later. Patchouli is used in many fragrances but rarely as the central theme with its sexy and warm notes like those in Aromatics, Coriandre, or Polo for Men.
The next two great classical groups are the Oriental Fragrances such as Shalimar, Youth Dew, Opium, that show such a great balance and unique diffusion of the fresh, floral, sweet and warm notes, and the oriental types with orange flower and spicy notes that we find in L’Heure Bleue, Bal a Versailles, Private Collection, Halston Night and Oscar, also great successes with their warm, diffusive and sexy notes.