Surprising olfactive illusions

Louise, our professional perfumer, discusses the theme of surprising olfactory illusions that happen when we mix certain ingredients and, once blended, they remind us of a scent not used in the mixture...Let´s shed some light on this mystery!

April 23, 2020

Before writing down his formula, the perfumer always thinks first about his ingredients. Which mixes should he do? How to combine his tools to create anew?


A little bit like an alchemist, by the way, mixing elements (or ingredients) to give birth to the philosophical stone.


At The Alchemist Atelier, the beauty of the process rests upon the fact that all of our ingredients were designed to blend together in the most harmonious way. No risk for any explosive combination then! However, sometimes, the blend creates a new scent: an olfactive illusion. This happens when the mix of different ingredients blends perfectly and the reaction creates a new element.  


I recently faced this surprise and wanted to share it with you. 


A client did a workshop with me, liking very different fragrances, mostly Colognes and soft florals. Discovering the ingredients, she aimed for luminous bases and quite surprisingly for deep fruity and sweet accords. The result of the first blend was stupefying as we discovered together a scent completely different from what we both expected. I recognized the smell but at the beginning couldn’t put a name on it even though I had it on the tip of my tongue. After a while, it reached my mind. I recognized a scent I smelled when I was living in Brazil: the coconut water!


Usually, in perfumery, we create a coconut smell by blending sandalwood notes with a fruity powdery ingredient recalling of peach and coconut. In our case, the addition of Jasmine Flower gave a depth to the scent, the Marine Breeze accord increased the watery feeling and the citruses from the base created a lively effect as if the coconut was freshly cut. The Yellow Fruit accord with the tonka bean from the Oriental Vanilla accord gave a juicy yummy effect.


I couldn’t take my nose out of this smell so I tried to make my own.


Here is the one I want to share with you today:


Fresh Coconut Water in Ipanema

Juicy Citrus 8

Creamy Wood 4

White Chypre 4

Cut Grass Green 1

Marine Breeze 4

Jasmine Floral 2

Yellow Fruits 2

Oriental Vanilla 2

Soft Musk 2


Did you encounter such kind of olfactive illusions? What was yours?

Fragrancely yours,