Comparing Notes is a continuing series in which perfumers exchange insights into raw materials, formulation techniques, finished fragrances and their experiences in the fragrance industry.
Coumarin is present in a wide variety of natural sources, from grass to hay to citrus peel, says perfumer Kevin Verspoor, seated in drom’s New York fragrance studio. Its character, he adds, is such that even synthetic coumarin imparts a natural effect. As Verspoor talks, he passes around blotters of coumarin. “It’s one of the great, premier fragrance materials of all time,” he says. “It works so well in almost any construction. Not only is it the backbone of the fougère [fragrance family], but it’s also used in chypres, orientals, fl orals and citrus blends. It’s really almost a universal material that lends itself to all fragrance constructions.”