Raw Materials Cashmeran: the Blond Woods of Perfumery

Cashmeran: the Blond Woods of Perfumery

02/24/12 20:53:52 (4 comments)

by: Elena Vosnaki


Among the many popular synthetic ingredients in the perfumer's palette today some are used more frequently than others. Be it thanks to their pliability, which fits like a glove many diverse compositions of different fragrance families, or thanks to their diffusiveness and tenacity, they form the core of many a modern perfume formula. Cashmeran is definitely among them; a synthetic not found in nature but copiously used in products we use every day.
 

NAME, IMPRESSIONS & REALITY

The proper name of Cashmeran is 1,2,3,5,6,7-hexahydro-1,2,3,3-pentamethyl-4h-inden-4-one. Though commonly refered to as "blond woods" in perfume speak, the reality is that the ingredient Cashmeran (an International Flavors and Fragrances appelation) is actually a musk component with a yellow, trickly texture. Its scent profile takes over a vast sea between woods and ambers, abstract and indefinable.

The name Cashmeran derives from its tactile feel which recalls the smoothness and softness of cashmere wool. Among the first perfumes to use it in a considerable degree is Loulou by Cacharel. It was also used prominently in Sexy Grafitti by Escada (2002). Tempting though it may be to imagine that modern best-seller Cashmere Mist by Donna Karan (1994) is full of it, in reality the powdery soft perfume doesn't use it.

CASHMERAN IN PERFUME COMPOSITION


Insoluble in water and hydrophobic, it's therefore a prime target for use in functional perfumery too, since it won't rinse out: detergents, fabric softener, alcoholic lotions, deodorants, shampoos, you name it... But fine perfumery has profited of its advantages as well.
 

The diffusive, musky-woody scent is reminiscent of concrete (especially the abstract woody scent that concrete gives when hit upon by rain, a cityscape in the rain), also lightly spicy, lightly powdery. Though perfumers sometimes describe it to also have apple and pine facets I admit I haven't detected these myself. It is however used as a powerful floralizer as it aids the expansion and diffusion of floral notes, especially accords of jasmine, as in Thierry Mugler's Alien or the lighter Flora Nerolia by Guerlain (where it's married to neroli and frankincense as well). In Histoires de Parfums' Tuberose Trilogy, Gislain chose to include the note in the Tubereuse Virginal offering, where blond woods coexist with naturally cohabitating, heady white flowers on a base of patchouli and vanilla.



Blending well with other modern ingredients (ambroxan, allyl amyl glycolate, damascones, ethyl maltol...) as well as natural ingredients (frankincense, clary sage, citrus, geraniol, linalool, patchouli, tonka bean, vetiver, etc.), Cashmeran presents a vista of options for the creative perfumer. It can serve woody or warm musk compositions (see Miami Glow by JLo), formulae resting on rose and saffron, tobacco or oud masculine blends (see Nomaoud by Comptoir Sud Pacifique or Byredo's Accord Oud), even perfumes with jonquil or cassie. It can even aid aqueous olfactory scapes, such as in Armani's Acqua di Gioia Essenza.



Another one of the advantages of this fairly inexpensive musky component is that it has a medium potency in volume projection, but a long trail that surpasses a full day's length. Being a mild sensitiser, its ratio is currently restricted to no more than 2% of the compound. It's clear we will be seeing it more and more admitted as such in official perfume press releases in the years to come.


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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lukkyme
lukkyme

im sure this is in all the newer estee lauder -sensous & sensous nude - dark etc . . . . & wood mystique & alot of others . . . .i like the smell but i like ALOT of smell's & it aggravate's me 2 think that they'' will be using it just because it's cheap:( i dont mind what something cost's if its the most beautiful thing ive smelled in a while . . . you could tell me that everything it is made out of is cheap & generic & as long as it smells good 2 my nose that's ALL that would matter & on the otherhand i would NOT respect any perfumer who i picture going out into nature ''even tho im sure its a big sterile lab''& smelling & getting inspired 2 put together a beautiful perfume & then saying well ill sub this 4 that due 2 cost:( . . .now i.d.k much about the 'cost' of ingrediants & im sure there is 1 or 2 that are a little more expensive than others but im sure i speak for many when i say WE ARE willing to pay ! & i feel that we do! perfume is NOT cheap . . . .not the majority of them. even the celebrity scents are 25-100 dollars a bottle . . . just saying

Feb
25
2012
mseidoom
mseidoom

Glad to see the Cashmere Mist reference. This article was lovely and now I see why it's used so much.

Feb
25
2012
mimi.smell
mimi.smell

With all my respect... great ARTICLE!
Thank you.

Feb
25
2012
A.M.H.2
A.M.H.2

Wow!
Excellent article / topic!
Thanx for the info ;>

Feb
25
2012

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