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Sugandhi and Madhuban Newsletter

Sugandhi Floral and Madhuban Coniferous Chypres

I hope that the 2 previous newsletters on Chypre have proved useful to those of you who are interested in venturing into the realm of natural perfumery.

We are going to conclude this series by doing an investigation of the different types of Chypre, the essences used in them, types of diluents for perfumes, etc. It will conclude with a simple recipe for a floral Chypre which I call Sugandh i(which means "beautiful fragrance" in Hindi) Chypre and a coniferous Chypre which I call Madhuban (which means "fragrant forest" in Hindi).

Chypre Perfume Subcategories:

1. Floral Chypre--Floral chypres can draw upon a wide range of sweet floral absolutes and eo's to create aromatic highlights from the exotic to the classical. Essences that can be incorporated into this category- Jasmin auriculatum abs, neroli eo , orange blossom abs, white champa co2, ylang abs, rose otto, rose abs, and Jasmin grandiflorum abs.

2. Floral/Animalic Chypre--In this subcategory one goes deeper into the exotic notes-adding to the florals such fine essences as ambrette seed abs and co2, shamama attar, amberi attar, black musk attar, costus root eo and co2, black currant abs, valerian co2 and eo, angelica root co2 and eo, agarwood attar and eo, calamus eo and co2, nagarmotha co2 and eo

3. Fresh Chypre-this category of chypres relies on the diverse range of citrus essences to give added sparkle and life to the composition in which they are used. Essences that can be incoporated into fresh chypres are lemon verbena abs and eo, wild verbena eo, lemon balm eo, litsea cubeba, lemon petitgrain, tangerine essence and eo, green mandarin eo, yuzu eo, lime essence and eo, grapefruit eo, bitter orange eo.

4. Green/Herbal Chypre--this category of chypre relies on leaf, herb and scented grass oils to give this subcategory of chypres its restful, comforting and garden sanctuary feel. Moroccan chamomile eo and abs, erigeron eo, geranium eo and abs, basil eo and abs, tarragon eo and abs, helichrysum eo and abs, blue chamomile eo and co2, english chamomile eo, bay leaf eo and abs, davana eo, hyssop eo, hops eo and co2, sage clary eo and abs can be effectively used in this sub category of chypres.

5. Leather Chypre--A select number of essences are selected to create a rugged ambiance of outdoor living. Often the oils displaying dry, leathery, smoky notes are counterbalanced with sweeter floral notes in this type of chypre. Cade eo, choya ral, choya loban, birch tar eo, mate abs, betel leaf eo, black tea abs, henna leaf abs, angelica abs, all work well in leather chypre.

6. Coniferous Chypre-- The coniferous chypres draw upon the deep fir, pine and cedar absolutes in combination with their lighter essential oil counterparts to create essences which reflect a contemplative mood. Fir balsam abs and eo, White cedar abs and eo(Thuja orientalis), blue spruce abs and eo, silver fir eo, forest/scotch pine eo, ocean pine eo, cypress abs and eo, douglas fir eo, cedarleaf eo, oakmoss abs.

7. Woody Chypre-- Precious woods notes are carefully chosen to convey a feeling of restrained elegance. Oils that display warm and dry notes are incorporated in this category of chypre. Coriander eo and co2, cabreuva eo, atlas cedarwood eo, sandalwood eo and abs, agarwood eo and co2, himalayan cedarwood, siamwood eo, vetiver eo and co2, rosewood eo, araucaria eo, orris root eo and co2, guaicwood eo, carrot seed eo and co2.

Dilutents and Carrier Oils
Once one has created their concentrated blend of essential oils, co2 extracts, absolutes etc that form the particular type of chypre one wishes to create then a further decision needs to be made as to which diluent to use as well as the concentration level of the chypre perfume.

Regarding diluents there are a number of options depending on what the end use is to be. One can use high proof perfumers alcohol. If one can procure 190 proof of 200 proof undenatured grain or grape alcohol it is ideal. The denatured alcohol's contain toxic chemicals and often have an off odor.
You can get a wealth of information about denatured and undenatured alcohol at:

The following are good sources for organic grape alcohol:

One can also use any number of carrier oils as a diluent for their fine creations such as fractionated coconut oil, jojoba oil, and marula oil. One would ideally choose a diluent with relatively little odor of its own so that it would allow the chypre perfume to display its own fine qualities. Many other carrier oils can be used such as grape seed, sweet almond, etc but one has to consider the rate at which the oil they are using goes rancid. Some carrier oils have a relatively short shelf life and others have a long shelf life. Carrier oils may also be selected for their therapeutic qualities so that one gets both a lovely fragrant creation along with a nourishing skin elixir.

Here are some useful websites regarding carrier oils and their qualities, including shelf life:


Lastly the issue of concentration in final product needs to be considered. This depends entirely on what the end use might be. Following is a list of concentrations used in various categories:

* Perfume extract (Extrait): 20%-40% (IFRA: typical 25%) perfume concentrate
* Eau de Parfum (EdP): 10-30% (typical ~15%) perfume concentrate
* Eau de Toilette (EdT): 5-20% (typical ~10%) perfume concentrate
* Eau de Cologne (EdC): 2-5% perfume concentrate

A natural perfume concentrate may also be added to a wide variety of other products like lotions, massage oils, candles etc and the percentage must then be determined by the formulator.

If one is going to venture beyond the simple enjoyment of perfume creation as a hobby (which is what I do) and wishes to enter into the arena of semi-commerical or commerical production then one should consider searching for a mentor who has professional experience in that arena. There are distance learning courses that can help in these early stages of experimentation but if one feels compelled to pursue the subject in a more penetrationg way then it is often the best to find someone to guide them in their endeavors. Such a quest for a teacher is highly individual and must be based on some intuitive sense that they can benefit from a particular individual. The search itself often brings to light many hidden talents that one may not realize they had.

Sugandhi Chypre

Chypre Basic Accord (as published in previous two newsletters)

Floral Tier-

1 ounce Jasmin sambac absolue

1/2 ounce Carnation aboulute

1/2 Neroli eo

1 ounce White Champa CO2 or eo


Madhuban Chypre

Chypre Basic Accord (as published in previous two newsletters)

Coniferous Tier-

1/2 ounce Fir Balsam Absolute

1 ounce Templin(Silver Fir Cone) eo

1 ounce Giant Fir

1/2 Blue Spruce Absolute