Raw Materials Coca-Cola Notes in Perfumery

Coca-Cola Notes in Perfumery

01/22/12 20:02:29 (30 comments)

by: Elena Vosnaki



Who hasn't stood over a tall glass of fizzing Coca Cola enjoying the bursting of the CO2 little bubbles, releasing a powerful aroma with tangy piquancy as they go? Who hasn't thristily gulped this tall glass down, savoring the caramelic after-taste?

Coca Cola and the cola-type soft drinks similar in flavor (Pepsi being the other giant) create their own little scent universe. Sometimes, the association with the flavor is so very strong that perfume lovers seem to "catch" a cola note in their perfumes! In fact Donna Karan advertises its DKNY Delicious Candy Apples Ripe Rasberry limited edition as having a base redolent of coca-cola notes! Grabazzi by Gendarme is another one.

But there are other fragrances, which their makers wouldn't think of promoting as reminiscing the popular soft drink: Lauder's Youth Dew and the flanker Youth Dew Amber Nude most definately conjure the aftertaste of a delicious can of Coca Cola. L'Artisan Parfumeur niche release Mon Numero 10 has a drydown redolent of the famous soda. Dior's Dolce Vita hints at it, having this sweet, thick-ish undercurrent to differentiate it from Feminite du Bois (Shiseido) from whence it sprang, Athena-like from the leg of Zeus—or perfumer Pierre Bourdon in this case.

What gives?
 

       The Coca Cola ad from 1941 by twm1340

Perfumer Jean Claude Ellena uses just four essences to render the definitive scent of Coca Cola in his conjurer tricks for reporters: Vanillin, plus natural essences of cinnamon, orange and lime. Et voila, Coca-Cola!!  The secret lies in the actual formula of the drink, not the perfumes themselves. In reality, the popular soft drink is comprised of much more "perfume notes" than we thought of. Apart from carbonated water, sugars, caffeine, caramel and phosphoric acid, it boasts the following natural flavorings: lime, lemon, orange, coriander (which has a lightly orangey scent), neroli (coming from the steam distillation of orange blossoms), cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla. Too many to remember? The basic flavor in Coca Cola and competing cola drinks comes mainly from vanilla and cinnamon, though Pepsi-cola boasts more lime than most.



Naturally all of the above are long-time notes in perfumes, especially in Oriental blends and the classic hesperidic-spicy-sweet compositions. The association therefore with certain perfumes is totally logical. In fact, the recent discovery of a Coca Cola notebook from the late 1970s with the handwritten list of ingredients has prompted queries as to how the company needs to come out with a Coca-Cola fragrance. It's a well-known flavor in Lip Smackers lip balms, after all....

 


Author: Elena Vosnaki is a historian & perfume writer from Greece and a Writer to Fragrantica. She is the founder and editor of Perfume Shrine, one of the most respected independent online publications on perfume containing fragrance reviews, industry interviews, essays on raw materials and perfume history, a winner in Fragrantica Blog Awards and a finalist in numerous blog awards contests. Her writing was recognised at the Fifi Awards for Editorial Excellence in 2009 and she has been contributing to publications around the world.
 

 



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Lookin4Happy
Lookin4Happy

I always thought the old Escada Pour Homme smelled of soda. Never knew why or what notes made up soda. I have not seen any of that anywhere, but maybe I'll go look on Ebay or something.

Nov
30
2012
LA2000
LA2000

I have always detected a prominent "cola syrup" (the liquid that gets carbonated in the soda fountain) note in Comme des Garcons "Wood Coffee" from the sweet series.

Nov
29
2012
miss mills
miss mills

I smell cola notes in Coco by Chanel - the orange and spice combo, maybe. Yum!

Nov
29
2012
cinema1974
cinema1974

Youth Dew yes has a coca cola backup! I love the smell of coca cola...It would be amazing...

Nov
28
2012
kitsunemagic
kitsunemagic

neat! now if only I could find a scent that smells like Cherry Coke and Vanilla Coke! that would be nice

Nov
28
2012
chanelnumerocinq
chanelnumerocinq

Oh mah gawd, if CocaCola came out with its own legit fragrance I'd be the first in line to get it! YUM! I know it's supposedly bad for me but I love soda!

Nov
27
2012
KATeriCOS
KATeriCOS

Baghari by Robert Piguet happens to have a hint of Coca-Cola in the opening notes to me.
No we need someone to bring out Pepsi notes so that we can smell some Lana Del Rey.

Nov
27
2012
nemesis76
nemesis76

Wow my review of CK One Shock came almost at the same time as this article. I sense Coke in it!

Nov
27
2012
sweetiepea161616
sweetiepea161616

Such a cool article!! Thank you!

Nov
26
2012
DarkViolet
DarkViolet

I smell Coca Cola in the top notes of Shalimar Parfum Initial :)

Nov
26
2012
sherryberry
sherryberry

I think of Coco-Cola, when I smell Chanel #5!!

Nov
25
2012
caro78
caro78

I smell a Cola note in Allure EDP

Nov
25
2012
sistermoon
sistermoon

I agree with Youth Dew Amber Nude- it really does have that coca cola "flavour". Speaking of soda notes: Karma by LUSH = Fanta!

Nov
25
2012
ScentsAreEverything
ScentsAreEverything

Nice article, thank you!

My 2 cents:

Few (5-6) years ago, I somehow obtained a bottle of "Intimately" by David & Victoria Beckham. Yeah, it is a cheapy, run of the mill spicyness-soapyness, BUT upon spraying it, the following always comes to my mind:

- Whiskey
- Cola
- Tea

in a Gucci pour Homme II way. It's worth a shot, nice, but not great. I can't really wear it.

Nov
25
2012
Kharnak
Kharnak

Cola itself, that captivating, richly spicy blend... elusive, defying description. Yet so compatible to so many things, like Vanilla, Lemon, Lime, Orange, Chocolate, Ginger, go on, mix up your sodas. Coriander, Marjoram, you'd be surprised what Cola contains. It's truly a classic perfume recipe all on its own. I wish i could smell it elsewhere, like room odorizers, ....aftershaves? Perfumed sodas.... Jasmine? Rose Cola?

Jan
24
2012
LauraBruni
LauraBruni

Great article!
I agree with 'Lance': Escada Magnetism for Men has a significant smell of Coca-Cola in it, combined with some cherry vibe, pepper, saffron and musk, and it's one of my husband ('VanAllan') preferred fragrance...and mine on him, of course :)

Jan
24
2012
ANGELICA07
ANGELICA07

I hate drinking "Coca-Cola" (I never do it) BUT it would be great to find a fragrance that captures the essence of this note because this smell is pleasant, unlike the drink.

I've read about "Dinner" by Bobo but I can't find it here in Belgium ....

Jan
24
2012
Lance
Lance

Magnetism for Men by Escada has the most intensive Coca-Cola scent!

Jan
24
2012
NukerCC
NukerCC

Cola is an awesome smell and taste! I happen to of just got a new 5lb bag of cola gummy candys.

I picked up a bottle of "Metal Jeans - Versace" fragrance from FragNet. last year and its a decent Cola scent much like dr. pepper not so much Coca-cola.

Jan
23
2012
pumpkintime
pumpkintime

Penhaligon's Malabah smells like cola too, especially that first sniff just after you've applied the scent.

Jan
23
2012
Pv52fa
Pv52fa

i'll be the first to buy that coca cola frag when or if it comes out!

Jan
23
2012
Looby72
Looby72

When I was a crazy messed-up teenager, back in the day, I used to wear patchouli oil, and I always thought it smelt of Coca-cola. Now when I smell patchouli in perfumes, I think of Coca-Cola, so I'd be interested to go and sniff some perfumes with an actual Coca-Cola note, rather than patchouli, and see if I can tell the difference! (Sorry if this makes no sense whatsoever, it makes sense in my head!)

Jan
23
2012
calyx93
calyx93

I haven't seen it in a while, but L'Aromarine made a cola EDT and parfum at one point. Smelled quite good too!

Jan
23
2012
Chickenboo
Chickenboo

Thank you for the article, Elena. I love the scent/taste of Coco-Cola! Now if I can find a Dr. Pepper scent...

Jan
23
2012
Helsinki
Helsinki

Musc Ravageur EDP definitely has a feeling of Coke to it, before turning into something much more softer low-toned and alluring.

Jan
23
2012
tshav
tshav

Is good article indeed. Thank you!

Opium YSL (specially in EDT concentration) has the notes of Coca-Cola. Also Dinner by Bobo

Jan
23
2012
fragaholic79
fragaholic79

What a lovely article. Who'd have thought Vanillin, plus natural essences of cinnamon, orange and lime would produce the scent of coca cola! Love the vintage advert.

Jan
23
2012
mutmiu
mutmiu

Nanadebary Classic Pink has a coca cola-note too.

Jan
23
2012
cshekhar
cshekhar

Nice article

I love the note coca cola..........

Informative...............

thanks

Jan
22
2012
SculptureOfSoul
SculptureOfSoul

Thanks for the great article!

A few other scents that have cola aspects to them:

Idole de Lubin (cola + rum.. yep, this smells like a Jack & Coke)

Escada Magnetism for Men - smells more like vanilla coke, but definitely has a cola vibe present.

Romance Silver - a lighter cola accord with hints of great and suede.

CK One Shock for Him - a bit of a cherry coke accord in the heart of this.

Jan
22
2012

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