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Comparing Notes: Woody Notes and Perfumery Puzzles

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Perfumer Maurice Roucel of Symrise sees many threads of the lineage of woody materials in Ysamber K (Symrise), the ethylene ketal of isolongifolanone.1 On this day, he and colleague David Apel are smelling blotters of a 20% dilution in alcohol. “It’s a humid woody note,” says Apel. “At the same time it has a very sharp, almost Cedramber (IFF) character to it, too—a sharp, linear woodiness. I love it with clary sage and patchouli; those bring out the more natural aspect of the woodiness.”

Roucel, who recalls perfumery’s woody note transition from Vertofix Coeur (IFF) to Iso E Super (IFF), says, “For me, Ysamber K could be almost a new Iso E Super; this could be the next generation. There’s a little tonality that’s a little bit more dry … a little bit like Timberol (Symrise) and Ambrocenide (Symrise). You have a lot of Iso E Super [character] with a lot of different ‘windows’: clary sage, Cedramber, cedarwood, Cashmeran (IFF), Timberol, Ambrocenide. It’s rich, interesting. You have facets of all these new molecules that have been extremely popular since the success of Dolce Gabanna Light Blue.”

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