Fragrance News This Week in Fragrance: Frankin-crisis, Scent Primers & Aromatic Conifers

This Week in Fragrance: Frankin-crisis, Scent Primers & Aromatic Conifers

12/28/16 10:56:08 (7 comments)

by: Dr. Marlen Elliot Harrison

Irene Banos Ruiz of offers a fascinating yet disconcerting look into the disappearing frankincense forests:

The rocky Cal Madow mountains of Somaliland, a self-declared autonomous republic in Somalia's northwest, are one of the few homes internationally to wild frankincense trees. One of the species located in the area is endemic and cannot be found anywhere else in the world. Harvesting these trees is the second main livelihood for local people in Somaliland, who risk their lives to meet the global demand. However, interest in the natural product is rising at such a rate that trees cannot regenerate fast enough. READ MORE...

What are your thoughts on this challenge to sustainability? How can consumers like us make a difference?

Frankincense trees

Michelle Honig at discusses some of the newest developments in the science of perfume - fragrance primers. She explains:

The [fragrance] industry was ripe for innovation and disruption. Independent brands, not constrained by corporate interests, took on the fragrance industry’s biggest problems: its ephemerality and susceptibility to changes in scent, after application. Linger, a fragrance primer by Scent Invent, seeks to solve the former issue. Fragrance devotees often resort to practically bathing themselves in perfume, assaulting the olfactory systems of their peers, or toting the scent in their purses, so they can touch-up throughout the day. Another fragrance primer on the market is Canvas & Concrete. Launched in 2013, it was truly the first fragrance primer on the market. Like Linger, it creates a barrier between your scent and your skin to help prolong the wear of your fragrance. READ MORE...

I remember Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier once offered accompanying sprays to accentuate and extend specific notes in its fragrances but these products are no longer offered. Have you ever used a fragrance primer? Would you? Tell us your thoughts in a comment below.

Linger Fragrance Primer

Alice Bowe of has some great suggestions for a sweet-smelling winter garden:

At this time of year there are plants with fabulous scent that will suit any size of garden — from upright, space-saving winter-flowering shrubs, to dwarf evergreens, to honey-scented bulbs suitable for the smallest pots and window boxes. Witch hazel (Hamamelis) [pictured below] has one of my favourite winter scents — a sweet, strong and spicy fragrance that will be produced by any Hamamelis growing in moist soil with plenty of sunshine. READ MORE...

Check out her article to learn more. Are you a winter gardener? Can you make any recommendations to supplement those from Alice?


Hannah Meltzer, travel writer for the, offers us a glimpse inside Paris's new perfume museum, located inside the former headquarters of Christian Lacroix (sweetie, darling!):

Immersive perfume museum “Le Grand Musée du Parfum” – set inside a 19th-century mansion – is the first scent-centric attraction of its kind in the world. The museum’s content takes the form of a “multi-sensory” journey through the history and science of scent and perfume-making, featuring a host of hi-tech graphic, video and sound installations [one such example is pictured below; image from the museum website].The olfactory journey starts in antiquity, with the woody pungency of Kyphi, a compound used by Ancient Egyptians to invoke the gods. The nose then travels via some rather unsavoury medieval odours to the Industrial Revolution. By the time we reach the 20th century, things start to get a lot rosier; video installations chart the consolidation of Paris as the centre of scent, while an elegant display explores the marriage of parfum and haute couture. READ MORE...

Have you been yet? How was it? Longing to go? Which features most intrigue you?

The Grand Museum of Perfume, Paris

And since it's the season in the Northern Hemisphere to enjoy the lingering aroma of holiday shrubs (aka Christmas trees), Deanna Connors at explains why pine, spruce and fir trees so smell so good:

I have never met a person that did not enjoy the smell of a pine, spruce, or fir tree. Be it the Christmas tree in your home or a grove of conifer trees in the forest, they smell sharp, sweet, and refreshing. What gives conifer trees their scent? Well, most of that piney odor is due to chemical compounds called terpenes. Many diverse types of organisms produce terpenes besides conifers, including insects, marine algae, and sea slugs. READ MORE...

Are you a terpene fan? What are some fo your favorite fragrances to feature the sweet, green aroma of conifers?

conifer with snow

Have interesting fragrance news for us to share?
Leave a comment in the new Fragrance News thread HERE.


Image of the author


Dr. Marlen Elliot Harrison

Managing Editor & Columnist

Dr. Marlen Elliot Harrison’s journalism in the fragrance industry has appeared in international print and online publications such as PlayboyMen’s JournalMen’s Health and the New York Times. Marlen is also a regular contributor to and works as a graduate professor, thesis advisor and faculty supervisor for MA programs in TESOL, Education, Writing and Literature. Learn more about Marlen by visiting


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First time I've read about scent primers. Watched the Linger video - a 'scent-invention' to make your scent to stay on longer. I think it works in a similar fashion to an unscented moisturizer, that many here use, to prep your skin so that it doesn't absorb the perfume too fast. Inexpensive - will have to try it!

So sad about the frankincense forests. We've already seen a similar problem with the Mysore sandalwood trees.

Love conifer scents! Some of my favorites: Fille en Aiguilles Serge Lutens, Winter Dasein, Enchanted forest Vagabond Prince, Blackbird Olympic Orchids. Still looking for one that has fir with out a companion note. There are wood scents that feature woods, why not a pine scent that only features different pines?


I am very astonished to read about scent primers.

As the longevity of a perfume is actually not an attribute of quality, but on the contrary points to the use of a lot of synthetic ingredients, I would not wish to use yet another aromachemical to increase the amount of unnaturalness on my skin.

I wonder about the top notes, which should evaporate quickly due to the smallness of their molecules, and which should thus provide a sparkling effect.

So a classical perfume structure containing ingredients of different volatilities which provide an effect of top, middle and base notes would probably be thwarted.

Which might explain the problems encountered by some users.

In my opinion less is more.


I am going to Paris this year for a Guerlain vintage workshop, providing they still offer it. The museum is on my top 5 list.


I would use a fragrace primer that would actually extend the life, longevity and sillage of a fragrace but i will not use a primer like Canvas&Concrete that stops a fragrace from mixing with my chemistry. If it stops a perfume from mixing with your chemistry than your taking all the magic out of the perfume. Personal chemistry makes perfume special and a little different on each person, chemistry adds a special personal touch to each perfume. I love when a scent mixes with me and melts into my skin. If a particular scent doesn't smell good on me then it's not meant for me and i move on. Has anyone heard of or tried fragrance lock? I remember hearing about it on fragrantica.
I am a terpene fan! My favorite piney scent right now is Vagabond prince Enchanted Forest! It's so realistic , fresh, absolutely georgeous and it mixes with my skin perfectly:)


Hamamelis grew in our garden where my great grandfather had planted a very very long time ago. Nothing compares to this smell and I miss it dearly since my parents sold the house.
The smell of Hamamelis is the sweet first reminder that beauty can be found even in the darkest and longest winter.

Jitterbug Perfume Lover
Jitterbug Perfume Lover

Wow, thanks for the link to the Scent Museum in Paris. I'll definitely visit it when I'm there.

I am deeply concerned about the disappearing trees in Somalia. Please let us know how we can help replenish them.


Hello, I think it is sad when a loved ingredient or product becomes rare. It drives the price up and makes people behave in not so nice ways to control production. I do have Canvas and Concrete and have had it since it came out. I don't know how effective it is and I have not used it in awhile. I forget about it honestly. And I love fir and spruce tree smells. Some of my faves are Demeter Blue Spruce. I like Relique D'amour by Oriza L. Legrand and one I don't have that I want is Fir-ever young by Velvet and Sweet Pea. Good article and I will have my mind on my primer and conifers tonight.


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