Perfume

Fascinating Perfumery : What Do Modern Violets Smell Like

The discovery of ionones gave modern perfumery a distinctive violet inflection. In the first article on this topic, I’ve described how ionones were discovered, what was significant about them and how they were used in classical perfumery. Today, I would like to talk about contemporary fragrances.

The fragrances mentioned in this episode include

Of course, ionones are used not only in perfumery, but also in cosmetics (e.g., shampoos, soaps), household detergents, flavoring agents. It’s one of the most important ingredient for imparting a soft, sweet scent and to lend a natural note to fruit and berry flavors and accords. If at the end of the 19th century, the scent of violets was rare and luxurious (it took 33,000 kg of violet flowers to obtain 1 kg of violet essential oil), today’s global usage of α-ionone and β-ionone is between 100 and 1000 metric tons per year! Despite its ubiquity, the violet aroma retains its charm.

The first film in the violet series: How Ionones Made History.


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