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Absolute Monographs 2

Absolute Monographs Hyacinth -- Labdanum

Hyacinth Absolute

Hyacinth Absolute was at one time extracted from the flowers of Hyacinthus orientalis, which originate in Asia Minor and the Balkans but were grown in Holland for extraction. To the best of my knowledge there is no genuine Hyacinth Absolute offered today. Generally what is offered as the real absolute is very skillfully bouqueted absolutes created from synthetic and natural aromatic isolates. The perfume houses offering these types of absolutes do a head-space analysis of the living flower and from this they come to know the components of the aroma. They then reconstruct the aroma more or less skillfully. A very high quality Hyacinth absolute, "so-called," can also sell for thousands of dollars per kilo.

According to Stephen Arctander a genuine Hyacinth absolute is generally a reddish-brown to dark brown or greenish-brown, viscous liquid with an "intensely sweet, green, floral, but somewhat share and at first unpleasant odor; later in tremendous tenacity, it tones down to a very hyacinth-like, floral and foliage-green fragrance.

Blends well with galbanum co2 and eo, ylang abs and eo, styrax eo ad resinoid, osmanthus abs, peru balsam eo and abs, kewda ruh and attar, saffron attar and abs, cananga eo, kadam attar, champaca abs and attar, white champa eo and co2, , cassie abs, mimosa abs, boronia abs, Aglaia odorata abs, elder flower abs, jasmin auriculatum abs, orange flower abs, coriander eo and co2, orris abs and co2, tuberose abs, frangipani abs, bakul abs and attar.

"It was the second letter which Steele took in his hands for the twentieth time since it had come to him here, three hundred miles into the wilderness. There were half-a-dozen pages of it, written in a
woman's hand, and from it there rose to his nostrils the faint, sweet perfume of hyacinth. It was this odor that troubled him--that had troubled him since yesterday, and that made him restless and almost homesick to-night. It took him back to things--to the days of not so very long ago when he had been a part of the life from which the letter came, and when the world had seemed to hold for him all that one could wish.

Philip Steele of the Royal Northwest Mounted Police
by James Oliver Curwood

Jasmin auriculatum Absolute
Jasmin auriculatum or Gardenia jasmine is extracted from the tiny delicate white flowers of Jasmin auriculatum which is though to be native to India. In recent years this lovely flower has been grown on a semi-commerical scale for the production of the concrete and absolute.

The absolute is reddish brown and of a soft waxy consistency at cool temperatures which becomes easily pourable after heating in a warm water bath. The odor displays a fresh, sweet, warm, exotic, gardenia-like profile with a rich chocolatey undertone and delicate tea-like nuances. The absolute has good tenacity with a lovely delicate sweet gardenia-tea dryout.

Blends beautifully with Jasmin sambac abs and hydroessence, Jasmin grandiflorum absolute and hydroessence, elderflower abs, cassie abs, mimosa abs, styrax eo and resinoid, ylang abs and ylang fractions, , labdanum abs(incense note), cistus, ambrette seed abs, frankincense eo and abs, davana eo, sandalwood eo and abs, cabreuva eo, ruh kewda, osmanthus abs.

In perfumery the absolute would be an excellent addition high class florals, oriental bouquets, sacred perfumes, tropical composition and leather creations.

" Ah, these jasmines, these white jasmines!
I seem to remember the first day when I filled my hands
with these jasmines, these white jasmines.

I have loved the sunlight, the sky and the green earth;
I have heard the liquid murmur of the river
through the darkness of midnight;
Autumn sunsets have come to me at the bend of the road
in the lonely waste, like a bride raising her veil
to accept her lover.
Yet my memory is still sweet with the first white jasmines
that I held in my hands when I was a child.

Many a glad day has come in my life,
and I have laughed with merrymakers on festival nights.

On grey mornings of rain
I have crooned many an idle song.

I have worn round my neck the evening wreath of
BAKULAS woven by the hand of love.

Yet my heart is sweet with the memory of the first fresh jasmines
that filled my hands when I was a child."

"First Jasmines"
by Rabindranath Tagore

Jasmin grandiflorum Absolute
Jasmin grandiflorum absolute or "Poet's Jasmine" is extracted from the creamy white flowers of the shrub, Jasminum grandiflorum which was once grown extensively in France but now most commerical growing and extraction is conducted in Egypt and India. The golden brown to dark brown viscous liquid displays a rich, warm, delicate, sweet fresh floral bouquet with a elegant fruity, tea-like undertone.

The absolute is used extensively in a wide range of perfumes including high class floral bouquets, tropical bases, oriental accords, chypre and fougere notes, sacred perfumes and historical creations. One of the most classic combinations of natural essences is the rose-jasmine "fond". Would be lovely in a "historical" perfume to commemorate the importance of the flower in Grasse's golden age of perfumery.

Blends beautifully with a wide range of materials including orange blossom abs, neroli eo, benzoin abs, sandalwood, mimosa abs, cassie abs, guaicwood eo, araucaria eo, champa abs, ylang abs and eo, parijata attar, rose leaf abs, rose otto and abs, basil eo, lime eo, orange eo, petitgrain eo, bergamot eo, osmanthus abs etc.


"A walk of ten minutes brought him to the iron gates of a great white
villa, over the high walls of which climbing roses and geraniums and
jasmine ran riot. The night air was heavy with their perfume. He
opened the side gate and walked up the gravelled drive to the terrace
whereon stood the house, commanding a wonderful view of the moon-lit
Mediterranean and the far-off mountains of Italy."
Mademoiselle of Monte Carlo
by William Le Queux

Jasmin sambac absolute
Jasmin sambac absolute is extracted from the flowers of the shrub, Jasminum sambac. Main extraction takes place in South India but the flower is grown in many other states, particularly in Uttar Pradesh for the production of Motia Attar and Motia/Bela Ruh. Grown extensively in China(for tea), Philippines, Thailand and Hawaii in gardens an for local aromatic industries.

The absolute is a amber in color with is a freely flowable liquid to waxy solid at room temperature(depending at what temperature the alcohol/concrete solution is cooled during the conversion from concrete to absolute) If it is a waxy mass at room temperature then gentle warming may be required for it to become a flowable liquid which then mixes nicely with other carrier oils and high proof perfumers alcohol.

From and olfactory standpoint the absolute displays a sweet, rich, floral, sultry, indolic note(the intensity of the indolic note can vary considerably from batch to batch) with a delicate fruity, tea-like undertone.

In perfumery the absolute would be a valuable addition to white floral's, oriental bases, tropical notes, sacred perfumes etc. It is one of the most important flowers in Indian garlands which are used for temple worship, marriages etc and would be lovely in a "garland" perfume along with rose, tagetes, tuberose and holy basil.

Blends beautifully with other white flower essences(Jasmin grandiflorum abs, Jasmin auriculatum abs, White Champa CO2, Tuberose Abs), Styrax eo, Peru Balsam eo and abs, cistus eo, fir balsam abs, angelica co2, holy basil eo, frangipani abs, frankincense eo and abs, mimosa abs, orange blossom abs, ambrette seed co2 and abs, patchouli co2 and abs, green tea abs and co2, vanilla abs and co2, pomegranate abs, henna leaf abs.

"Now the Future Buddha, after he had sent Channa on his errand, thought to himself, 'will take just one look at my son;' and, rising from the couch on which he was sitting, he went to the suite of apartments occupied by the mother of Rahula, and opened the door of her chamber. Within the chamber was burning a lamp fed with sweet-smelling oil, and the mother of Râhula lay sleeping on a couch strewn deep with jasmine and other flowers, her hand resting on the head of her son. When the Future Buddha reached the threshold, he paused, and gazed at the two from where he stood."
The Buddha/Jataka Tales

Jonquil absolute
Jonquil absolute is extracted from the fragrant narcissus species, Narcissus jonquila. It main area of extraction is in Provence, where the flower is cultivated for this purpose. Only very modest amounts of genuine absolute are produced today although there is a plentiful supply of the "bouqueted" Jonquil absolute which is often sold as the genuine material and at very high cost. The pure absolute is one of the most costly of absolutes when it can be procured.

The absolute is viscous, dark brown or dark orange to olive-green liquid with a heavy, honey-like, deep-sweet floral odor with a strong green undertone and a tenacious rich herbal, somewhat tobacco like dryout. Interwoven in the total bouquet is a sublime ethereal freshness which gives the absolute a unique warm lift.

Used sparingly with high-end floral compositions. Would be a delightful addition to literary perfumes, spring bouquets, and chypre bases.


"The soft breeze of spring, fragrant with the scent of yellow jonquils and snow-white narcissi, ripples over the grassy plains and patches of growing wheat, bearing it with it in varying cadences the song of innumerable larks or the distinct, broken notes of a nightingale trying its newly found voice in the thickets of bramble and briar-rose hidden away in on of the little ravines abounding in the Roman Compagna."

Donna Diana
By Richard Bagot

Labdanum absolute
Labdanum absolute is extracted from crude labdanum gum which in turn is derived from the boiling the leaves and twigs of Cistus ladaniferous in water. The plant is gathered and extracted mainly in Spain but is found growing wild in South France, Morocco and other Mediterranean countries.

The absolute is a dark brown, viscous liquid or plastic solid with a deep, sweet, dry, resinous/balsamic odor with a fine rich herbaceous,powdery, mossy, leather undertone of good tenacity, radiance and overall fixative value.

In perfumery labdanum abs finds extensive use in amber type perfumes, fougeres, chypres, lavender compositions, colognes, leather notes, oriental/incense creations, conifer blends.

Blends well with ambrette seed abs and co2, giant fir eo, douglas fir eo, fir balsam abs, oakmoss abs, lavender eo and abs, lavindin eo and abs, calamus eo and co2 extract, tonka bean abs, hay abs, flouve oil, , clay sage abs and eo, bergamot eo, yuzu eo and abs, patchouli co2 and abs, frankincense eo and abs, vetiver eo and co2 extract.

"TWIXT ancient Beersheba and Dan Another such a caravan Dazed Palestine had never seen As that which bore Sabea's queen Up from the fain and flaming South To slake her yearning spirit's drouth At wisdom's pools, with Solomon.

With gifts of scented sandalwood, And labdanum, and cassia-bud, With spicy spoils of Araby And camel-loads of ivory And heavy cloths that glanced and shone With inwrought pearl and beryl-stone She came, a bold Sabean girl. "
Dreams & Dust
by Don Marquis


Absolute Monographs    Lavindin - Lotus

Lavindin Absolute
Lavindin Absolute is extracted from the flowering stems several hybrid cultivars of the perennial herb Lavindin which is a cross between Lavandula augustifolia and Lavandula latifolia. It is widely grown in France, Italy, Yugoslavia, Hungary, etc but main extraction of the absolute takes place in France.

The absolute is a very dark green or brown viscous sometimes grainy liquid with a fine, deep, sweet- herbaceous odor. The richness of the odor continues deep into the dryout. It has little if any of the camphoraceous or camphine- like top notes found in the essential oil.

Lavindin absolute is used in fougeres, new-mown-hay, herbaceous-floral fragrances, forest compositions and colognes. It is valued in perfumery for its ability to soften and round off rough edges in a composition.

Blends well with patchouli eo and co2, clove bud abs and eo, cabreuva eo, all citrus oil, petitgrain sur fleur neroli, oakmoss, spice oils, sage clary, labdanum abs, tonka bean abs, flouve eo and abs, fir balsam abs, hemlock spruce abs and eo, white cedarwood abs.

Lavender Absolute
Lavender Absolute is extracted from the flowering stems of the perennial herb, Lavandula augustifolia. It is now cultivated in many countries including France, Bulgaria, South Africa, India, China, Bosnia, USA etc but main extraction for the absolute takes place in France.

The absolute is a dark green, somewhat viscous liquid displaying a rich, warm, sweet herbaceous aroma with a smooth hay-like, fruity, tangy herbaceous undertone.

Excellent in colognes, fougeres, forest notes, herbaceous blends, new mown hay bases, historical perfumes, and literary creations.

Blends well with oakmoss abs, labdanum abs, vetiver co2 and eo, patchouli abs and eo, pine needle eo and abs, clary sage eo and abs, geranium abs and eo, flouve eo, helichrysum eo and abs, templin eo, fir needle eo, fir balsam abs, costus co2, calamus co2 and eo, frankincense eo and abs, cistus eo, davana eo, basil eo and abs, bergamot eo, lime eo, petitgrain eo, broom abs, zdravetz eo and abs.

" There was a beautiful serenity about her, evident in every line of her face and figure. Time had dealt gently with her, and except on her queenly head had left no trace of his passing. The delicate scent of the lavender floated from her gown and her laces, almost as if it were a part of her, and brought visions of an old-time garden, whose gentle mistress was ever tranquil and content. As she sat there, smiling, she might have been Peace grown old."
--from Lavender and Old Lace
by Myrtle Reed

Longoza Absolute
Longoza Absolute/White Ginger Lily Absolute is extracted from the flowers of Hedychium flavum and Hedychium coronaria. It is also known as Garland Flower as it is used extensively in India for that purpose. Main extraction occurs in Madagascar (now very rarely done) and India (limited production).

The absolute is dark brown or orange-brown, very viscous liquid-in cooler temperatures may be hard to pour hence requires gentle warming.

The odor is extremely rich, sweet-floral, deep-fruity-honey-like, with a fine vanilla-spicy-tuberose undertone.

A wonderful additional to white floral compositions, oriental bouquets, tropical blends. Its power is often underestimated. Very good tenacity and penetrating power. Even small amounts can impact a perfume creation.

Blends well with tuberose, orange flower, jasmin auriculatum abs and hydroessence, jasmin sambac abs and hydroessence,, frangipani abs, bakul abs,tonka bean abs, hay abs, fir balsam abs, cabreuva eo, sandalwood eo and abs, peru balsam eo, ruh kewda, osmanthus abs.

"To the White Ginger Lily

Oh, Ginger sweet on the mountain side,
So fragrant and white and pure,
How you lure me up on a summer's day
To climb the heights, and roam the paths
Where the gently cooling zephyrs play.

How I love at night by the moon's soft light
To rest neath the sparkling sky,
White the odor sweet of the ginger flower
Takes my heart to days gone by.

Oh Ginger flower in your quiet nook
Hidden sometimes like the souls of us,
How the world if it knew of your sweetness rare,
Would come to worship and cherish and love
The ginger blossoms on Tantalus."

"A song of Hawaii" by Lewis Edwin Capp
Blue Lotus Absolute
Blue Lotus Absolute is extracted from the blossoms of Nymphaea careula which is extracted in both India and Thailand. Two methods of extraction are practiced-one is phytonic extraction using a refrigerant hydroflurocarbon 1134a and the other using hexane. The results of the two extraction processes are quite different.

The phytonic extraction of blue lotus is done exclusively in Thailand and produces a lovely transparent, golden slightly waxy/jelly like absolute which becomes a flowable liquid with very gentle heat. the absolute reveals a very delicate, sweet, high ethereal, floral bouquet which is which is the essence of simplicity and clarity. The gently exhilarating aroma has the effect of standing in high pristine mountain pass on a cool day inhaling the pure distilled aroma of aromatic plants growing in valleys lying beneath ones feet.

The hexane extract has a more earthy, spicy,powdery dimension interwoven with the higher ethereal floral note. With the passage of time this initial top/middle note diminishes in strength and the floral note quietly emerges. It has a heavier waxy consistency than the phytonic extract.

Blue Lotus absolute would serve well in mythological and sacred perfumes, historical creations, elite floral compositions, and oriental bouquets.

Blends well with agarwood, white lotus abs, rose otto, ruh gulab, rose abs, sandalwood abs and eo, jasmine abs, ambrette seed co2 and abs, frankincense abs and eo, frangipani abs, tuberose abs, ylang abs and eo, champaca abs and attar.

"....An adult will recall a perfume or an aroma from his childhood far more readily than any sight or sound. For me, barely a toddler still short of my first birthday it was the wonderful smell of the lotus, the rich caress of the perfume of the blue flower of the River that stroked my heart and haunted the corridors of my young memory. With one of the few words at my command, I asked my nurse, Maia, who was holding my hand, 'Smell?'

'The smell is is the fragrance of the blue lotus. Look over here!'

She led me to one of the offering tables in the court of the small temple of the Sun called Hwt Aten. She lifted me onto her hip so that I could look down on the table. It was groaning under the weight of the choicest fruit and various shapes loaves of bread. Around the edge of the table was a frieze of fresh blue lotus blossoms. As the sun poured its trays upon the flowers, the perfume hidden deep in the petals vaporised and filled the air with its heady scent. for one as small as I it was almost overpowering. It caused me to draw in my breath and the strength of the perfume made me dizzy."
--from Tutankhamun Speak My Name
by Anthony Holmes

Pink Lotus Absolute
Pink Lotus Absolute is extracted from the blossoms of the pink variety of Nelumbo nucifera which grows  extensively in ponds of South India. It is a dark orange viscous liquid which can also be soft waxy in consistency. Like white lotus it can also display significant odor differences depending on the location of the ponds, the weather, etc. It is not grown under cultivation but appears in ponds over a wide area in Tamil Nadu.

In general the absolute displays a delicate soft sweet powdery floral bouquet with a somewhat fruity, ambery undertone in which a medicinal note may appear as well. At times the same heavier notes that appear in white lotus absolute may appear in pink lotus as well and visa versa. Much depends on the location where the blossoms are harvested. The odor of white and pink lotus growing in the same locale tends to be quite similar

In perfumery white and pink lotus absolute can be used to great advantage in exotic tropical bouquets, sacred perfumes, ambre compositions, and high class florals.

Blends well with labdanum abs, cistus eo, frankincense co2 and abs, ambrette abs and co2, sandalwood abs and eo, agalia odorata abs, carob abs, cassie abs, mimosa abs, costus co2 and eo, agarwood eo and attar, amberi attar, amberi shamama attar, orris root co2 and abs, boronia abs, hay abs, broom abs, spikenard eo, osmanthus abs, orange flower water abs, orange flower abs, jasmin sambac co2 and abs, fir balsam abs, tuberose abs.

" The delicate fragrance of a lotus which was gathered yesterday from the lily-pond of a neighboring Buddhist monastery, fills my room and I begin to write of this peerless flower of Farther India. It bends gracefully over the rim of the glass vase holding the fountain of " heaven water" from which it draw refreshment. It petals are rose-pink, growing brighter and redder toward the tips, where one can almost imagine the life-blood of the flower oozing out and will soon drop upon the white mat of the table. Opening the rosey lips, the golden heart of the flower is disclosed surrounded by a silky fringe of stamens of the same hue, edge with pure white pollen. The leaves of the plant are dark green, almost round and lie or float upon the bosom of the lake. The stems are like long green serpents rearing their spiral forms from the black ooze beneath the water, and holding aloft their banners of green, and blossoms of beauty and fragrance."
-from Siam: Or, The Heart of Farther India
by Mary Lovina Cort

White Lotus Absolute
White Lotus Absolute is extracted from the blossoms of Nelumbo nucifera which grow in ponds throughout Tamil Nadu and Karnatika States in South India. There is considerable variation in the odor as the ponds in which they are located are spread over a huge area with varying climates, soil types etc.

The absolute is dark brown in color with a soft waxy consistency. With gentle heat the absolute becomes a flowable liquid. The aroma is heavy, somewhat earthy-mossy, chocolatey, powdery with a sweet floral/fruity undertone. In its initial olfactory impact there is definitely something of the aroma of the water and mud in which it grows, giving way to its more ethereal qualities with the passage of time. As with all absolutes its true olfactory character cannot be properly evaluated in its pure absolute form. Dilution and aging bring out its character in a more profound way. The earthy-mossy note is less pronounced in dilution and the sweet ethereal floral-fruity note comes forward.

" I stood upon a balustrade that I might enjoy the freshness of the evening breeze. The autumnal wind wafted towards me the fragrance of the white lotus flowers, and shining like water I saw the horns of the new moon..."
-from The New Monthly Magazine


Absolute Monographs   (Lovage -- Myrrh)

Lovage Root Absolute
Lovage Root Absolute is extracted from the roots of Levisticum officinale. The main center for growing the roots is in central and south Europe. The roots are generally sent to France for extraction.

The absolute is a viscous dark brown or dark amber liquid displaying a warm, rich, sweet, spicy, rooty odor with a with a precious woods, coumarinic, slightly musky undertone.

In perfumery it is appreciated for the unique effects it creates in tiny amounts. It creates a warm background in oriental creations, spicy bases, and fougere bouquets. Would be a great addition to period perfumes that endeavor to capture the odor of old-time apothecary shops and drugstores. Its spicy notes can be used very effectively in carnation and rose bases.

Blends excellently with galbanum eo and abs, costus eo and abs, opoponax eo and abs, hay abs, flouve eo, bay leaf eo, oakmoss, lavindin abs, lavender abs and eo, allspice co2, angelica abs and eo, black musk attar, choya loban, choya nakh, choya ral, celery seed abs, fenugreek eo and co2.

" The closet door stood ajar. Amanda noticed that with wonder. There was a glimpse of purple drapery floating from a peg inside the closet. Amanda went across and took down the garment hanging there. She wondered how her sister had happened to leave it when she cleaned the room. It was an old loose gown which had belonged to her aunt. She took it down, shuddering, and closed the closet door after a fearful glance into its dark depths. It was a long closet with a strong odour of lovage. The Aunt Harriet had had a habit of eating lovage and had carried it constantly in her pocket. There was very likely some of the pleasant root in the pocket of the musty purple gown which Amanda threw over the easy chair."
--from The Wind in the rose-bush and other stories of the supernatural
by Mary Eleanor Wilkins Freeman, 1852-1930

Marigold absolute
Marigold absolute is extracted from the flowers of Tagetes minutea. The main area where the plant grows is in South Africa where the extraction also takes place. France also produces limited amounts of the absolute.

The absolute is orange-green or dark-greenish brown in color with a semi liquid mass or viscous liquid consistency. It displays a intensely green-herbaceous, with a sweet fruity undertone and a somewhat bitter herby dryout.

In perfumery one should greatly dilute the absolute so that olfactory contribution to the perfume in which it is used may be pleasant and interesting. In perfumery it is used to soften floral compositions and add a rich natural base to the same.

Useful in herbal creations, fougere, chypre and lavender bases as well as in certain floral perfumes i.e. jasmine, violet leaf, gardenia where the herbaceous-green notes play an important role.

The flowers origin is Mexico and has a long history of cultural use there. Frangipani, tuberose, vanilla, lime and many other aromatic plants are native to Mexico and could find use in a lovely regional perfume.

Blends well with sage clary eo and abs, flouve eo and abs, bergamot eo, yuzu eo, tangerine eo, arnica abs, mate abs, henna leaf abs, rose leaf abs, davana eo, hyssop eo and co2 extract, , pennyroyal, fennel co2 and eo, blackcurrant abs.

"Dazzling white the picotees shone; the golden-eyed marigold glittered; the nasturtiums wreathed the veranda poles in green and gold flame. If only one had time to look at these flowers long enough, time to get over the sense of novelty and strangeness, time to know them! But as soon as one paused to part the petals, to discover the under-side of the leaf, along came Life and one was swept away. And, lying in her cane chair, Linda felt so light; she felt like a leaf. Along came Life like a wind and she was seized and shaken; she had to go. Oh dear, would it always be so? Was there no escape?
--from The Garden Party and Other Stories
by Katherine Mansfield

Mastic Absolute
Mastic Absolute is extracted from the oleo resin of the tree, Pistacia lentiscus, which grows in Turkey, Morocco, Greece, Algeria and the Canary Islands. Main extraction takes place in France from the oleoresin collected in Greece and Morocco.

The absolute is a dark green-brown to black viscous plastic mass displaying a warm,fresh, green, sweet resinous odor, with a rich, penetrating bitter green-herbaceous undertone that shares some attributes with galbanum.

In perfumery the absolute contributes produces a fine fixative effect in the perfumes that utilize it. It is sometimes used in citrus colognes, fougeres, mimosa bases, incense bases.It is considered a fine addition to straight floral bases where it imparts a bitter-woody natural undertone in trace amounts.

This lovely absolute would also be a core ingredient in both a "historical" perfume and a "regional culinary" perfume as it has a rich history stretching back to the time of the early Greek and Roman empires and also was extensively used in various regional drinks and dishes. The island of Chios, where Mastic collection still continues as in a traditional way as it has been done for centuries would provide a fine research background for the mentioned perfumes. In combination with broom/genet absolute, pine needle absolute and eo, laurel leaf abs and eo, rosemary abs and eo, labdanum abs, cistus eo orange eo, lemon eo and mandarin eo etc it could well express the heart of that ancient land.

Blends well galbanum co2 extract, galbanum abs and eo, fir balsam abs, frankincense eo and co2 extract, labdanum abs, cistus eo, costus root co2 and eo, cardamon co2 and eo, davana eo, grand fir eo, spruce eo, hemlock spruce abs, douglas fir eo, juniper berry eo an co2 extract, fir balsam abs, cypress abs and eo.

"In the little southern parlor of the house you may have seen with the gambrel-roof, and the gable looking westward to the green, at the side toward the sunset, with the window on its right, stood the London-made piano I am dreaming of to-night.

Ah me! how I remember the evening when it came! What a cry of eager voices, what a group of cheeks in flame, when the wondrous boa was opened that had come from over seas, with its smell of mastic-varnish and its flash of ivory keys!

Then the children all grew fretful in the restlessness of joy, for the boy would push his sister, and the sister crowd the boy, till the father asked for quiet in his grave paternal way, but the mother hushed the tumult with the words, 'Now, Mary, play.' "

--from The Complete PG Works of O. W. Holmes

Mate Absolute
Mate Absolute is extracted from the leaves of Ilex paraguayensis which grows wild and is cultivated in Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil.

The absolute is a dark green, semi-solid, sticky mass with a peculiar, rich-herbaceous, dry leafy, woody-foliage and somewhat smoky, medicinal odor.

In perfumery the absolute lends a rich body and undertone of unique tenacity to fougeres, new mown hay and hay compositions.

The leaves are the main component of mate tea which originally was a national drink in Paraguay but is now appreciated in many parts of the world. Considering this one could consider using mate absolute in a culinary perfume of the "tea type". It could also serve as the base for a "cultural" perfume which could in aromatic terms reveal special qualities of the countries where it originates. Such special beverages and the aromas which they radiate often capture a feeling of culture which is unique and profound.

Blends well with orange flower bases, jasmin abs, oakmoss abs, hay abs, flouve abs, narcissus abs, arnica abs, tea leaf abs, davana eo, cedar leaf eo, cananga eo, spice oils, etc.

"The Guaraní (Guarani, in Brazilian Portuguese) people started drinking mate in the region that now includes Paraguay, southern Brazil, north-east Argentina, and Uruguay. The Guaraní have a legend that says that the Goddesses of the Moon and the Cloud came to the Earth one day to visit it but they instead found a Yaguareté (a kind of jaguar) that was going to attack them. An old man saves them, and, in compensation, the Goddesses gave the old man a new kind of plant, from which he could prepare a 'drink of friendship'. "
--from Mate (beverage)

Mimosa absolute

Mimosa absolute is extracted from the flowers of Acacia decurrens and other Acacia species which grows wild and is cultivated in France, Morocco, Egypt and India.

The absolute is a yellowish or amber colored very viscous liquid(not pourable at room temperature) sometimes plastic sticky mass with a delicate, warm, rich, creamy, sweet-floral, slightly powdery, spicy odor with a fine fruity undertone.

It is valued in natural perfumery not only for its own fine olfactory qualities but for its ability it work to bring about fragrant harmony between other ingredients in the composition. Its radiant virtues also gives a lift to the formulas it is used in. Traditionally it has been used in a wide variety of perfume categories including violet, lily-of-the-valley, lilac and new mown bases, as well as chypres, colognes and amber perfumes.

The Mimosa tree is an emblem of Australia and could be worked into a fine perfume that would capture the beauty of the country along with other Australian natives like sandalwood, boronia, blue cypress, lemon myrtle, etc

"Perhaps no one ever beheld a more strangely assorted group than the one which now walked along the road, through pretty green fields and past groves of feathery pepper-trees and fragrant mimosa. Polychrome, her beautiful gauzy robes floating around her like a rainbow cloud, went first, dancing back and forth and darting now here to pluck a wild-flower or there to watch a beetle crawl across the path. Toto ran after her at times, barking joyously the while, only to become sober again and trot along at Dorothy's heels. The little Kansas girl walked holding Button-Bright's hand clasped in her own, and the wee boy with his fox head covered by the sailor hat presented an odd appearance. Strangest of all, perhaps, was the shaggy man, with his shaggy donkey head, who shuffled along in the rear with his hands thrust deep in his big pockets."
--from The Road to Oz
by L. Frank Baum

Myrrh Absolute

Myrrh Absolute is extracted from the oleo gum resin of the tree Commiphora species-which grows in Yemen, Ethiopia, Somalia etc. Main extraction takes place in France.

The absolute is a dark reddish brown or brown, very viscous liquid or solid stick plastic mass. The absolute reveals a mild but rich, warm, balsamic slightly spicy odor with good tenacity. It does not possess the more intense sharp balsamic, slightly medicinal topnote of the eo. It is softer and milder which makes it ideal as a fixative.
In perfumery it is an excellent fixative in oriental perfumes, chypres, woody bases, forest notes, etc. Could serve as a superb addition to a number of sacred perfumes and liquid incense creations as it has played a significant role in spiritual traditions in different parts of the world.

It blends very well with patchouli eo and co2, ambrette seed abs and co2, geranium abs and eo, spice eo and co2 extracts.

"Of wealthy lustre was the banquet-room,
Fill'd with pervading brilliance and perfume:
Before each lucid pannel fuming stood
A censer fed with myrrh and spiced wood,
Each by a sacred tripod held aloft,
Whose slender feet wide-swerv'd upon the soft
Wool-woofed carpets: fifty wreaths of smoke
From fifty censers their light voyage took
To the high roof, still mimick'd as they rose
Along the mirror'd walls by twin-clouds odorous."

--from "Lamia"
by John Keats


Absolute Monographs    Narcissus -- Orange Flower

Narcissus Absolute*

* I have not had even a good sample of Narcissus absolute for a long time so I am going to have to depend entirely on Stephen Arctander for its description. This material seems to be becoming increasingly rare in its pure form.

Narcissus absolute is extracted from the flowers of Narcissus poeticus. Narcissus absolute is a dark green or dark orange, occasionally dark-olive colored, viscous liquid, at times somewhat grainy due to a separation of waxes which have not been eliminated quantitatively during the alcohol washings.

The odor of Narcissus absolute is strongly foliage-green, very sweet-herbaceous over a faint but quite persistent floral odor. The tenacity is very good.

Narcissus absolute is appreciated for its contributions to high class floral bouquets and rich, floral-green creations. It would serve as a wonderful component in a mythological perfume and its role in Greek mythology is renowned.

Blends well with clove bud absolute and clove bud co2, carnation absolute, orange blossom absolute, ylang absolute and ylang complete eo, rose de mai absolute, mimosa absolute, violet leaf absolute, jonquil absolute, frangipani absolute, bakul absolute, tuberose absolute, karo karounde abs, osmanthus absolute, ruh kewda, peru balsam abs and eo.



"And shining clear and true through the mist I see her who was the Spirit
of the Garden. There she stands, on the broad step beside the bed where
the Lilies of the Valley grew, leaning firmly upon her one crutch,
looking out across her garden to each loved group of her flower-friends -
smiling out upon them as she did each day through fifty years -
turning at last into the house and taking with her, in her heart, the
glory of the Hollyhocks against the brick wall, the perfume of the
Narcissus in the border, the wing-song of the humming-bird among, the
Honey-suckle, and the warmth of the glad June sunshine."

--from The Long Ago
by Jacob William Wright

Nutmeg Absolute
Nutmeg Absolute is extracted from the dried ripe seed of the tree Myristica fragrans which originated in the East Indian archipelago. It is now grown extensively in India, Sri Lanka, Grenada and Indonesia. The absolute is a slightly viscous, reddish-orange pourable oil revealing rich, warm, radiant, spicy-woody-balsamic bouquet with a sweet powdery-spicy dryout.

In perfumery it is prized for its use in classic oriental perfumes, spicy colognes, culinary creations, and liquid incense compositions. In minute quantities it can be used very effectively in floral bases such as rose, white ginger lily, carnation, etc.

Blends beautifully with sandalwood abs and eo, vetiver eo and co2 extract, nagarmotha co2 and eo, sage clary eo, oakmoss abs, lavender abs, tonka bean abs. labdanum amber note and labdanum incense note abs, bergamot eo, patchouli co2 and abs, geranium eo and abs, frankincense eo and ab, cistus eo, champaca abs, cananga eo, ylang abs and eo, peru balsam eo.

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"At the first outset, heavy, miry ground and a matted, marish vegetation greatly delayed our progress; but by little and little the hill began to steepen and become stony under foot, and the wood to change its character and to grow in a more open order. It was, indeed, a most pleasant portion of the island that we were now approaching. A heavy-scented broom and many flowering shrubs had almost taken the place of grass. Thickets of green nutmeg-trees were dotted here and there with the red columns and the broad shadow of the pines; and the first mingled their spice with the aroma of the others. The air, besides, was fresh and stirring, and this, under the sheer sunbeams, was a wonderful refreshment to our senses."

--from Treasure Island
by Stevenson, Robert Louis

Oakmoss Absolute
Oakmoss absolute is extracted from the lichen, Evernia prunastri which grows on oak trees. Main collection occurs in central and southern Europe, as well as Algeria and Morocco. Smaller amounts are collected in Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Greece.

The absolute is a dark green very viscous liquid which is seldom pourable at room temperature. It displays a rich, suave, dry, woody, earthy, slightly smoky-odor which in combination give it the distinct mossy odor.

Its use in natural perfumery is extensive. It forms an important part of fougeres, chypres, colognes, new mown hay, oriental bases, forest notes, pine fragrances, lavender bouquets, etc It lends body an naturalness as well as pleasant undertones and high fixative value in compositions which it appears. Its unique balance of olfactory characteristics makes it a great harmonizer of essences possessing widely divergent olfactory characteristics.

Blends well with a wide range of materials.

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" ' This forest is perfectly delightful,' declared the Lion, looking around him with joy. 'Never have I seen a more beautiful place.'
'It seems gloomy,' said the Scarecrow.
'Not a bit of it,' answered the Lion. 'I should like to live here all my life. See how soft the dried leaves are under your feet and how rich and green the moss is that clings to these old trees. Surely no wild beast could wish a pleasanter home.'
'Perhaps there are wild beasts in the forest now,' said Dorothy.
'I suppose there are,' returned the Lion, 'but I do not see any of them about.' "

--from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
by L. Frank Baum

Oleander Absolute
Oleander absolute (also called Nerium absolute) is extracted from the flowers of the shrub, Nerium oleander (syn. N. odorata) which is a native to the Mediterranean coastal countries but is now found growing in many countries. It is extensively grown in South India both for its ornamental value and for making garlands for temple worship. A comparatively small quantity of the harvested flowers is used for the extraction of concrete and absolute.

The absolute is a yellow-green, viscous liquid but pourable at room temperature evincing a exotic, heavy, sweet, green, honey-floral-herbaceous odor.

In perfumery this unique material would find use in tropical bouquets, new mown hay creations, high class floral compositions, temple themes, chypres and fougeres.

Blends well with honey absolute, beeswax absolute, rose otto and abs, fir balsam abs, aglaia odorata abs, mimosa abs, cassie absolute, elderflower abs, henna flower attar, boronia abs, ambrette co2 and abs, araucaria eo, champa abs, ylang eo and abs, basil abs and eo, yuzu eo, bergamot eo, hay abs, helichrysum eo, chamomile eo and co2, broom abs.

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"There is hardly any time of year , except it be when the earth lies parched and panting under the mid-summer sun, that you will not find a profusion of blossoms on this favoured isle; roses run riot among the palms and aloes, myrtle and rosemary and the heavy fragrance of the oleander scent the air even in mid-winter."

--from The Land where East Meets West
By Maude M. Holbach

Orange Blossom/Flower Absolute
Orange Blossom absolute is extracted from the flowers of the evergreen bitter orange tree, Citrus aurantium var. amara which is thought to have originated in China or India but main commercial production of the absolute occurs in Tunisia, Morocco and Egypt with smaller quantities be extracted in Comoros Islands, Italy and occasionally France(where the main production used to be centered).

The absolute is a slightly viscous amber or dark orange colored pourable oil radiating a intensely sweet, elegant, floral, sultry, warm yet delicate and fresh, tenacious odor with a fine herbaceous, tea-like undertone possessing excellent radiance and good tenacity.

The application of orange blossom absolute in perfumery is wide ranging. It imparts its treasured aroma to heavy oriental perfumes, light citrus colognes, chypres and ambres, high class floral bouquets. Would prove a splendid addition to geographical perfumes, culinary compositions and historical essences as its role in these three domains is significant. The combination of orange blossom absolute which is extracted from the flowers and neroli eo which is distilled from the flowers creates a unique perfume in itself as the extraction and distillation techniques captures different dimensions of the flowers essence.

Blends excellently Jasmin sambac abs, Jasmin auriculatum abs, Jasmin grandiflorum abs, all citrus eo's, lemon verbena abs and eo, petitgrain eo, myrrh abs and eo, ambrette seed abs and co2, amberi attar, shamama attar, black musk attar, ylang abs and eo, davana eo, lemon balm eo, tuberose abs and attar, geranium eo and abs, black tea abs, green tea abs, henna leaf abs

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"On the following morning, Doctor Antonio brought Lucy a sprig of orange flowers, its pure white blossom nestling among the glossy green leaves. 'Here, I present you,' he said, 'with what may be called the crown of our shores.'
'You beautiful thing!' apostrophized Lucy, as he gave into her hand; then inhaling the odour eagerly,
'Now, where does such a fragrance come from!'
Antoino detached from the flower one of its thick white petals, and bade her hold it up between here and the light, 'Do you see those transparent dots in the texture?' he asked.
'Now then,' he added, 'you see where the smell comes from. Each one of those diaphanous dots is a diminutive essence bottle; it holds a particle of the essential oil, which perfumes the flower, as you might scent your wardrobe with a cassolette of attar of roses.'

--from Doctor Antonia by Giovanni Ruffini
by Guy de Maupassant
Orris Root Absolute
Orris Root Absolute is extracted from the dried aged roots of Iris pallida or Iris germanica which is mainly grown in Tuscany, Italy and Albania.

The absolute is variable in color and appearance depending on the method of extraction being anywhere from a pale white or yellow liquid to a greenish-brown or brown viscous liquid or even a brownish waxy solid.

The absolute extracted from properly aged orris roots displays a delicate, warm, powdery, sweet floral-woody, distinctly violet-like odor with very good tenacity and radiance. The initial impact of the absolute is not overpowering but one should not underestimate its true power which grows just underneath its initial delicacy.

Orris root absolute is used in high class floral perfumes, amber bases, violet compositions, oriental creations, chypres, colognes and forest perfumes etc. It would be an excellent choice for a geographical perfume representing the fine aromatic traditions of Italy. It would also be a good choice for a historical perfume as well as a holiday pomander essence.

Blends very well with cedarwood eo, labdanum abs, sandalwood eo and abs, mimosa abs, cassie abs, sage clary eo and abs, bergamot eo, lime essence and eo, yuzu eo, cinnamon bark eo and co2

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"But from the memories which the fragrance of the orris stirs for me I desire no deliverance-they are too beautiful; for whenever a breath of its perfume blows across my way, I see again these pale purple lakes, wind-ruffled beneath the clinging silver mist of the olives; recall once more those still summer nights when the air was full of the scent of the drying roots, and in the profound silence, while the fire-flies wove their magical embroidery above the corn fields, the rising moon poured its pale gold upon the country, and the stars looked down upon the sleeping land."
Tuscan Feasts and Tuscan Friends
By Dorothy Nevile Lees

Osmanthus Absolute
Osmanthus absolute is extracted from the flowers of the tree Osmanthus fragrans which is a native of China.

The absolute is pourable brownish liquid with revealing an immensely rich, complex bouquet that is sweet, ethereal, floral, fruity, and somewhat leathery in character. possessing good tenacity and exceptional radiance.

In perfumery the absolute is valued for in high class floral perfumes, oriental bouquets and amber bases and leather accords. Trace amounts would produce exceptional results in fougere type essences. It would be an fine addition to a geographical perfume as the tree is much revered in China and would also be an invaluable addition to sacred perfumes meant to convey the grand mystery and sublimity of the spiritual traditions of the Far East.

Blends very well with champa abs, benzoin abs, styrax eo, agarwood eo, agalia odorata abs, cassie abs, mimosa abs, amberi attar, ambrette seed abs, shamama attar, ylang abs and eo, davana eo, saffron attar, ruh kewda, jasmine sambac abs, jasmin auriculatum abs, , broom abs, karo karounde bs, orange blossom abs, fir balsam abs, tuberose abs, frangipani abs, bakul abs.

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" We met by chance
In this unfrequented ancient garden
And we stand talking to each other
Tonight in the autumn drizzle

I speak by staring
voiceless questions
And offer you a quiet solace
From root to crown

You speak with vitalizing fragrance
Who's candid eloquence
Waters the field of my heart
Now and again

You've stood for a thousand years
Blossoming gorgeously a thousand times
A thousand times predicting
Autumns of red oranges and yellow shaddock
Though heaven and earth turn upside down
Your language never changes
But goes on fragrant as ever, always sweet scented...

Together then
In our own languages
Lets steadfastly
Pour out our deepest belief"

"A Fragrant Osmanthus Tree Planted in the Song Dynasty"
by Zhao Lihong