Comparing Notes: Complexity, Performance and Natural Effects

When overdosed, guaiacwood imparts the distinct smokiness of bacon, but when employed with finesse, this relatively inexpensive natural provides versatile olfactive effects. Smelling a blotter of guaiacwood, Robertet junior perfumer Donna Ramanauskas says, “I think it fits well into all aspects of perfumery—fine fragrance, household and personal care.” Perfumer and colleague Olivia Jan agrees, “It’s very efficient and works in many directions. It’s a very intriguing material.” Jan adds, “Once you learn how to use it in a small amount, it’s very interesting because it gives this little smoky black tea note. It also has a spicy note once you get past the smoky note. When I’m using it in a women’s floral note like a spicy lily, it gives … warmth and more facets. It goes very well in oriental, leathery and woody notes. If you want to give more facets to a tea, you use a very low dosage. If you want a leathery note you can use more. Also, in masculine notes you can use it at higher levels, blending with a very ambery dry wood. It cuts back the smoky notes.”

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