Perfumery Index - Phlur Blog

Ginger Scent in Perfumery

What is Ginger?

Ginger is a widely known spice ingredient but is also used by perfumers to create a fresh, slightly spicy scent that blends well with citrus, floral, and woodsy notes. This fragrant root of the Zingiber officinale plant, offers an invigorating aroma that can add a touch of lively exoticism to fragrances, resulting in unique and memorable scents.


Ginger has been utilized in perfumery for centuries, with its origin tracing back to ancient times in Asia, particularly in China, India, and the Middle East. It was valued not only as a spice but also as a fragrant ingredient in perfumes, incense, and traditional medicines. Over time, ginger gained popularity and became a widely used component in perfumery, known for its versatility and ability to enhance the scents of other ingredients.


In perfumery, ginger is used to add warmth, spiciness, and depth to fragrances. It acts as a top or middle note, contributing a fresh, zesty, and slightly spicy scent that blends wonderfully with other ingredients–including citrus, florals, and woods. The use of ginger in perfumes helps to create a lively, invigorating, and exotic fragrance. Its bright, energizing aroma adds depth and warmth to the final scent. Ginger also helps to enhance the longevity and complexity of the other fragrance ingredients.

Ingredient Type:

In perfumery, ginger can be found in both natural and synthetic forms. Natural ginger is obtained from the aromatic root of the ginger plant, while synthetic ginger is created in a laboratory to imitate the scent of the raw material. 

Both forms provide a fresh, zesty, and slightly spicy scent, but the natural form is considered more authentic and of higher quality due to its botanical origin.

Scent Profile:

Ginger’s scent profile is typically described as warm and spicy, with a hint of sweetness. Its fresh, citrusy top note subtly evolves into a woody and slightly musky base note, introducing a pleasant warmth and depth to a fragrance. Ginger is often paired with other spicy fragrance notes, such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom, to create complexity and a sense of coziness. Additionally, ginger can be combined with citrus notes, like lemon or grapefruit, to enhance a bright, invigorating fragrance.

Variations of Ginger in Perfumery:

There are many variations of ginger used in perfumery, including fresh, dry, and candied ginger. However, Zingiber officinale, the botanical name for common ginger, is often preferred for its warm, spicy scent with hints of lemon and black pepper. Each variation possesses a unique aroma, and it is not unusual for perfumers to use two or more in combination to create layered fragrances.

What Fragrance Family is Ginger in?

Ginger is typically categorized as a spice note and associated with the amber fragrance family. Amber fragrances are characterized by their warm and exotic scent profiles, featuring a variety of fragrant ingredients like spices, resins, and exotic woods. Ginger blends seamlessly with other ingredients like amber and vanilla to create a rich and captivating fragrance that is irresistibly inviting. Like other fragrances within this family, it can be added to woody or citrus fragrances to introduce an element of spice.

Phlur Perfumes Containing Ginger:

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Oud Scent in Perfumery

What Is Oud?

The Arabic word for wood, oud, is extracted from agarwood, which is the resin created by  Aquilaria trees. Oud is revered for its animalic, earthy, dark and rich woody scent profile. Oud oil is known to be one of the most expensive botanical ingredients in the world when it comes to perfume raw materials. Many sources list the cost of oud at $5,000 per pound. Due to both the cost and scarcity of natural oud, safe synthetic variations of oud are used in modern day fragrances.


Oud is created from agarwood trees which are primarily found in Southeast Asia, most commonly in India and Sri Lanka. Oud oil is the resin distillate produced by agarwood trees, which are a type of evergreen tree. Oud is very rare, as only a small portion of Aquilaria trees actually produce agarwood/oud. When the oil from agarwood has aged, it becomes intensely fragrant and aromatic. Oud oil smells differently depending on its age and the region it was derived from. Due to the popularity of oud oil in fragrances, the Aquilaria tree moved from a ‘‘vulnerable’ to a ‘critically endangered’ species according to the ICUN in 2018. In order to protect the Aquilaria species, Asian countries have shifted to the mass plantation of Aquilaria trees to sustainably obtain agarwood to produce oud.


Oud is most commonly used as a base note of a fragrance due to the strength and complexity  of the scent. The complex nature of oud also contributes to a longer-lasting scent on the skin. Using oud as a base note can enhance other scents incorporated into a fragrance as top notes.

Ingredient Type:

Oud is naturally occuring botanical material, but can also be developed into a safe synthetic. Due to the high costs associated with the harvesting and production of oud, synthetic versions of oud are commonly used in modern day fragrances. Considering oud is a very complex scent, synthetic versions of oud do not smell identical to the naturally occurring botanical. However, extracting partial elements of oud to be produced synthetically can bring about an even more pleasant scent in comparison to natural oud which can be quite unique. Synthetic variations of oud are known to smell a bit sweeter than the traditionally purely earthy fragrance.

Scent Profile:

Oud has a dark and rich woody scent profile. Oud is known to add a warm, sweet, and earthy scent profile to fragrances. It is known for having a stronger scent profile and is generally used as a base note in fragrances. Using oud as a base note of a fragrance can provide a strong and long-lasting scent and can even amplify the scents of other ingredients included in a fragrance.

What Fragrance Family is Oud in?

Oud is in the woody fragrance family, which is associated with warm, wood scents that often have a twist of floral, fruity, or herbal notes. Oud can be both earthy and sweet.

Phlur Perfumes Containing Oud:

No Phlur fragrances utilize oud materials at this time.

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Sandalwood Scent in Perfumery

What Is Sandalwood?

One of the oldest known perfumery ingredients, sandalwood is prized for its smooth, milky, creamy, woody profile. Historically derived from sandal trees in India, ours is synthetically—and sustainably—lab-developed, since natural sandalwood has sadly been overharvested to the point of near extinction and therefore is a vulnerable species. 


Sandalwood has been used in fragrances for thousands of years. It was historically derived from sandal trees in India, and could be found through Egypt, Greece, and Rome. Australian Sandalwood, Santalum spicatum is an alternative to Indian Sandalwood and is easier to produce sustainably on plantations while being aromatically similar. The endangered status of Santalum album is listed as vulnerable. Sandalwood is incredibly commercially valuable and has been overharvested for many years. There are actions being taken to increase the sustainable cultivation of Indian Sandalwood due to the popularity of this ingredient. 


Sandalwood is most commonly used as a base note in fragrances and can elevate other components of perfume ingredients that it is paired with.

Ingredient Type:

Sandalwood is a naturally occurring botanical ingredient extracted via steam distillation. Phlur uses a lab-developed scent molecule variation of Sandalwood that is indistinguishable from natural sandalwood, and is safe for skin and the environment. 

Scent Profile:

Sandalwood has a smooth, milky, creamy, and woody scent profile. It is known to be both warm and relaxing. Sandalwood can bring about a richness to a fragrance it is incorporated into. 

What Fragrance Family is Sandalwood in?

Sandalwood belongs to the woody fragrance family.

Phlur Perfumes Containing Sandalwood:

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Amber Scent in Perfumery

What Is Amber?

Amber in perfumery is not an actual material but is a reference to a synthetically developed full-bodied accord that uses synthetic materials like patchouli, frankincense, myrrh, and vanilla. Often used in “amber” fragrances to give off a warm, rich and sensual feel.


Natural amber is produced through fossilized tree resin and takes many years to form. Amber accords are now produced synthetically, with ambroxan and labdanum absolute used the most frequently in perfume development. Different synthetic variations of amber each come with their own unique scent profile, while all combinations remain warm and sweet. 


Amber is most commonly used as a base note in fragrances. It provides a warmth and depth to fragrances and is known to be a comforting scent. Amber is frequently used in what were previously referred to as “oriental” fragrances due to their complex spice accords.

Ingredient Type:

Amber originally consisted of both natural and safe synthetic ingredients, including vanilla, patchouli, labdanum, styrax, and benzoin. Synthetic amber is now used in the fragrance industry. Ambroxan, utilized when creating an amber accord, smells warm, woody, and leathery. It is the most commonly used amber synthetic in fragrances. Labdanum absolute is a sustainable plant based resin that also has amber notes. Phlur uses safe synthetic variations of amber in our fragrances.

Scent Profile:

Amber provides fragrances with a rich, warm, sweet, and spicy scent profile.

What Fragrance Family is Amber in?

Amber ironically belongs to the amber olfactive fragrance family.

Phlur Perfumes Containing Amber:

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Patchouli Scent in Perfumery

What Is Patchouli?

Patchouli is one of the most frequently used raw materials in perfumery. Often considered a “generational scent”, patchouli originated in India and was traditionally used as insect repellent. The oil actually comes from a leafy-green herb that is part of the mint family. It has a strong, sweet, pungent scent that blends well with sweet accords. 

Patchouli is a shrub-like plant with white and purple flowers and large green leaves. When patchouli is fresh, it is hardly scented, but the aromatics shine through once the plant is dried. Patchouli essence is derived through steam distillation of the dried leaves. It takes 250kg of dried patchouli leaves to produce 1kg of patchouli essence.


Patchouli is native to Southeast Asian countries and is most prominent in India. Europe imported patchouli leaves through the Silk Road and France used the leaves to cover silk fabrics traveling by boat. The patchouli essence scent from the dry leaves transferred to the clothing and fabrics, thus patchouli being introduced as a raw material in perfumery. Patchouli rose in popularity during the 60s and 70s for both men and women, and is still referred to as a “hippy scent” in the fragrance world.


Due to the strong scent of patchouli, it is typically used as a base note in perfume development. Patchouli can add depth to a fragrance and is known to be grounding.

Ingredient Type:

Patchouli oil is a botanical raw material in perfumery. Patchouli oil is also being synthetically engineered through yeast by biotech companies to further commercialize the ingredient and allow for consistency in aroma.

Scent Profile:

Patchouli has a woody and earthy scent profile. It has a strong, sweet, pungent scent that blends well with sweet accords.

What Fragrance Family is Patchouli in?

Patchouli belongs under the main Woody fragrance family of perfumery. 

Phlur Perfumes Containing Patchouli:

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Ambergris Scent in Perfumery

What Is Ambergris?

Ambergris is a grayish, waxy, sticky material that is the by-product of sperm whales. It floats to the surface of beaches that have a high sperm whale population. It is extremely valuable as natural supplies are erratic by nature and because it cannot be cultivated. As you can imagine, trade has been restricted by most countries in order to deter the exploitation of sperm whales.  Along with other modern, sustainable brands, Phlur has chosen to use a synthetic variation of ambergris in any fragrance oils we develop.  The synthetic Ambroxan is now commonly used to provide the same musky-marine, sweet, and earthy aroma.

Origin of Ambergris:

Ambergris is rarely used in modern day perfumery due to both its scarcity and regulations supporting the protection of the sperm whale population. It is now developed synthetically, most frequently in the form of Ambroxan.  It was first introduced into perfumery because of its unique animal notes and since it is a strong fixative in fragrances. Modern day variations are a bit more earthy and sweet.


Ambergris was commonly used as a fixative in perfumery. Fixatives increase the tenacity of fragrances. In the past, Ambergris was generally used as a base note in fragrances and could elevate other olfactory notes that it was paired with. 

Ingredient Type:

Ambergris itself is a natural raw material derived from whale sperm, but Phlur and other modern day perfumeries now use Ambroxan as a synthetically produced replacement. Ambroxan is a sustainable substitute for ambergris that emits a similar woody-ambery odor with a delicate animal tonality.

Scent Profile:

Ambergris has a woody, ambery, sweet-earthy, and musky-marine scent profile. It has similar scent qualities to sandalwood and tobacco.

What Fragrance Family is Ambergris in?

Both Ambergris and Ambroxan belong to the Amber Fragrance Family.

Phlur Perfumes Containing Ambergris:

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Elemi Scent in Perfumery

What Is Elemi?

Elemi, when referenced in perfumery, is the resin obtained from the elemi tree (Canarium luzonicum), found in the Philippines. In development, it is used as a fixative and base note, and is valued for its fresh, lemon-pepper aroma with a slightly balsamic and incense-like undertone. Elemi helps to enhance the longevity and diffusion of other notes in a perfume, and is often used in light, fresh, and uplifting fragrances.


Elemi has a long history in perfumery, dating back to ancient times when it was utilized by the Egyptians, Greeks and Romans for incense, cosmetics and medicine.


Elemi is regarded as a top or middle note in perfumery with its fresh, slightly spicy, and balsamic aroma.  It contributes depth and complexity to a fragrance and is frequently blended with other notes to create a balanced scent. Additionally, elemi can be used as a fixative to extend the longevity of a fragrance.

Ingredient Type:

Elemi can either be a natural or synthetic ingredient in perfumery. Natural elemi resin is derived from the elemi tree and has a long history of use in traditional perfumery. Synthetic elemi, on the other hand, is produced in a laboratory and provides a cost-effective and consistent alternative to natural elemi, while replicating its fragrance and fixative properties.

Scent Profile:

Elemi is a fresh, slightly spicy fragrance with layered undertones of balsamic, lemon, pine, and frankincense. Its scent is often described as bright and invigorating, with a touch of uplifting sweetness.

Variations of Elemi in Perfumery:

In perfume development, two variations of elemi are commonly used - natural and synthetic. Natural elemi is sourced from the resin of the elemi tree and has a fresh, slightly spicy, balsamic scent profile. Synthetic elemi, produced in a lab, provides a similar fragrance at a lower cost.

What Fragrance Family is Elemi in?

Because of the complex scent profile of elemi, the topic of its fragrance family is widely debated. Most commonly, elemi is categorized as a member of the amber or fresh fragrance families. These families generally have fragrances with scents that are invigorating, bright, and slightly sweet; elemi's scent profile of fresh and subtly spicy notes fits well within these categories. However, others believe it to be better-suited to the woody fragrance family, due to its uniquely warm, grounding qualities. 

Phlur Perfumes Containing Elemi:

No Phlur fragrances utilize elemi materials at this time.

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Cyclamen Scent in Perfumery

What Is Cyclamen?

Cyclamen is a sweet and floral fragrance note derived from the cyclamen flower. Known for its versatility, it can enhance and complement a variety of other fragrance ingredients.


Cyclamen was first introduced to the perfume industry in the 1980s, originating in Europe, the plant's native region. Its popularity as a fragrance note has grown exponentially, due to its distinctive sweet, floral, and green scent.


Cyclamen is typically utilized as a top or middle note in perfume development to create a fresh, floral, and sometimes spicy fragrance. Its purpose is to enhance the scent and balance the perfume's aroma by introducing a light, bright and sweet element. With its impressively versatile scent profile, cyclamen complements a variety of other fragrance notes.

Ingredient Type:

Cyclamen is now a synthetic ingredient in perfumery, because the natural aroma compound found in the cyclamen plant is extremely rare and expensive. Also, synthesizing the aroma compound enables greater consistency and control over the scent in the final product.

Scent Profile:

In perfume, cyclamen has a floral, green, and slightly spicy scent. It is described as fresh, delicate, and reminiscent of lilies or roses with a hint of pepper.

Variations of Cyclamen in Perfumery:

In perfumery, there are many variations of synthesized cyclamen used to create specific scent profiles. These include:

  • Cyclamen Aldehyde for a fresh and floral aroma

  • Methyl Cyclamen Aldehyde for a more intense, spicy and sweet scent

  • Cyclamen Alcohol for a softer, more well-rounded floral scent

  • Methyl Cyclamen Alcohol for a warm, woody and slightly spicy aroma

With these variations, perfumers can precisely refine the fragrance, adding specific floral and spicy notes to achieve the desired scent profile.

What Fragrance Family is Cyclamen in?

Cyclamen belongs to the Floral fragrance family, characterized by its fresh, powdery and green notes with delicate hints of rose and peppery spices.

Phlur Perfumes Containing Cyclamen:

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Cedarwood Scent in Perfumery

What Is Cedarwood?

Cedarwood is a fragrance ingredient used in perfumery to create woody, warm and slightly spicy scents. It is extracted from the wood of cedar trees and can come from various species such as the Atlas cedar, Virginian cedar, Texas cedar and others. Cedarwood oil has a strong, earthy and slightly sweet aroma, making it a popular choice for use in unisex, woody and amber fragrances.


Cedarwood has a rich history in perfumery, originating in ancient Middle Eastern times where its oil was extracted from cedar trees for use in perfumes, incense, and medicine. Its popularity as a fragrance ingredient spread globally, including Europe and North America, where it remains a common ingredient in perfumes and personal care products. Cedarwood is prized for its woody, balsamic aroma and long-lasting fragrance.


Cedarwood is typically used as a base note in perfumery, with a warm, woody, and balsamic aroma that is particularly long-lasting - making it an ideal base note ingredient. When incorporated into perfumes, cedarwood is often combined with other fragrances, such as floral, citrus, or spicy scents, to create a harmonious fragrance composition.

Ingredient Type:

Cedarwood used in perfume development can come in two forms: synthetic and natural. Synthetic cedarwood is made in a lab with chemical compounds and used as a budget-friendly option. Natural cedarwood, on the other hand, is derived from cedar trees via steam distillation and is favored for its genuine scent, especially in luxury fragrances. While both types can be utilized, natural cedarwood is deemed to have a superior quality and a more authentic aroma.

Scent Profile:

Cedarwood is a versatile fragrance ingredient, known for its warm, woody and balsamic aroma with subtle hints of spice. It has a grounding and comforting scent reminiscent of pine forests, with a long-lasting fragrance profile that evolves over time. Its aroma has the ability to enhance other fragrances and can vary slightly based on the species of cedar tree, extraction method, and location of growth.

Variations of Cedarwood in Perfumery:

In perfumery, different species of cedarwood can be used to achieve different aroma impressions, each with their own unique scent profile. Some of the most commonly used types of cedarwood include:

  • Atlas Cedarwood (Cedrus atlantica): This species is native to the Atlas Mountains in Morocco and has a warm, woody, and slightly sweet scent. It is one of the most popular types of cedarwood and is often used as a base note in perfumes.

  • Virginian Cedarwood (Juniperus virginiana): Native to North America, this species has a slightly sharper, more herbal scent compared to Atlas Cedarwood. It is often used as a middle or top note in perfumes and provides a fresh, invigorating scent.

  • Texas Cedarwood (Juniperus ashei): This species is native to Texas and has a more pungent, spicy scent compared to other types of cedarwood. It is often used as a top note in perfumes and provides a warm and lively fragrance.

  • Siberian Cedarwood (Pinus sibirica): A native of Siberia, this species has a more balsamic and resinous scent compared to other types of cedarwood. It is preferred as a base note and provides a deep and rich fragrance.

What Fragrance Family is Cedarwood in?

Cedarwood belongs to the Woody fragrance family, a category characterized by its earthy, warm, and woody scents - making cedarwood a natural fit.

Phlur Perfumes Containing Cedarwood:

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Cashmeran Scent in Perfumery

What is Cashmeran?

Cashmeran is a synthetic musk commonly used in perfumery. This lab-made molecule replicates the scent of natural musks, offering a warm and sensual aroma with woody, amber, and floral notes. It is highly valued for its ability to provide long-lasting and scent enhancing effects, making it a popular choice for creating complex and sophisticated scents. Cashmeran is frequently used in perfumes, colognes, and scented candles to add depth and longevity to the fragrance.


Cashmeran, developed by the fragrance house IFF (International Flavors & Fragrances) in the 1970s, is a synthetic musk used by perfumers as an alternative to natural musk. This synthetic material gained popularity for its warm, long-lasting and sensual scent, and its ability to enhance fragrance longevity and depth.


Cashmeran is utilized in perfumery as a substitute for natural musk, providing a warm and long-lasting scent with woody, amber, and floral undertones. As a base note in fragrance development, it provides the foundation of the fragrance and its lasting aroma. Cashmeran's ability to enhance and extend the longevity of the fragrance, as well as add depth and complexity, has made it a popular ingredient in creating unique and sophisticated scents.

Ingredient Type:

Cashmeran is a synthetic ingredient utilized in perfumery as a fragrance fixative and enhancer. It provides warm, musk-like undertones with woody and floral notes to fragrances. Cashmeran works in combination with other ingredients to create sophisticated, long-lasting scents.

Scent Profile:

Cashmeran is a synthetic ingredient used in perfume development to impart a warm, woody, musky scent with floral and spicy undertones. Described as amber-like and velvety, it introduces a sense of richness and depth to fragrances. Cashmeran is a versatile ingredient that is used to enhance  floral, woody, and musk-like scents. However, its exact scent profile can vary depending on its source, form, and use level in a fragrance.

Variations of Cashmeran in Perfumery:

There are variations of cashmeran used in perfume development, each one lending unique qualities to the final fragrance:

  • Cashmeran White has a lighter and fresher scent with prominent floral and green notes.
  • Cashmeran Wood has a stronger, more intense woody aroma with spicy and amber undertones.
  • Cashmeran Amber has a distinct amber scent with woody and musky undertones.
  • Cashmeran Musk has a prominent musky scent with woody undertones.

What Fragrance Family is Cashmeran in?

Cashmeran belongs to the woody musk fragrance family because of its characteristic aroma profile, which evokes a sense of warmth and comfort. 

Phlur Fragrances Containing Cashmeran:

No Phlur fragrances utilize cashmeran materials at this time.

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