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Box # 0001; Rose Deity x Galbanum CO2

Updated: Apr 11, 2022

Find out what makes Rose Deity a goddess among fragrances, and discover the source of her je ne sais quoi. Enjoy a sneak peek into the world of the perfumer as we take an in depth look at the exotic raw materials in this perfume.

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The Featured Raw Material: Galbanum CO2

This month we are sharing a very special raw material with you: Galbanum CO2. I think we can all agree this is a strong one! Galbanum CO2 is typically described as very intense, sharp bitter green , leafy, earthy, and bell pepper-like, with a smooth woody/balsamic undertone. However, I like to describe it as the sharp bitter green note you might find in a pineapple. This material is so strong, diffusive and tenacious, that even 0.1% can completely change the character of a fragrance. In the fragrance Rose Deity (+), Galbanum CO2 is only used at 0.5% of the entire formula and that is actually relatively high compared to typical use in fine fragrance. From my perspective, the addition of this material took a typical rose oud fragrance and gave it an unexpected modern green twist, setting it apart from other fragrances and suggesting a natural and unisex quality.

Rose Deity:

Notes: Galbanum CO2, Pineapple, Bulgarian Rose Oil, Violet, Musk, Sandalwood, Vanilla, Oud Assafi, Amber, Venezuelan Tonka Bean, Patchouli MD, Sweet Resins, Chocolate.

You may find fragrances that fall into the same category as Rose Deity in a Nordstrom or Bloomingdales, but I would be shocked if you could find its doppelganger. However, I will admit that this fragrance was inspired by Oud Silk Mood by Maison Francis Kurkdjian, another sweet gourmand rose - oud. This fragrance inspired me to use sugary sweet gourmand materials like ethyl maltol, tonka bean and benzoin paired with powdery violet materials like Isoraldeine 95 (a beautiful molecule produced by Givaudan). There are many fragrances in the states these days that claim to be “oud” fragrances but do not actually contain any real oud. This is probably for two reasons. First, oud is extremely rare and prohibitively expensive. Second, while the highly animalic, cheesy, and almost manure-like aroma of oud is widely accepted and appreciated in the middle east and Asian territories, it has only recently made its way to the western market. One might argue that like coffee, oud is a bit of an acquired taste. I was compelled to use oud Assafi (a Firmenich specialty) in Rose Deity due its wonderful ability to underline the gourmand qualities of the patchouli, tonka bean, and vanilla. I also found that the natural oud oil improved the overall tenacity of this formulation and pushed the sweetness of the Bulgarian rose oil. With that said, I find that Rose Deity is truly a luxury fragrance with an approachable price tag at $75 / 30 mL.

Now back to the featured raw material…

What is Galbanum?

As the green earthy odor might suggest, galbanum is a natural material derived from a plant. Galbanum itself is actually a gum resin that is collected from the roots of a plant called Ferula Gummosa. This plant is similar in appearance to mustard flower, with clusters of small yellow flowers and can be found growing in the mountainous regions of Iran.

What is a CO2 extract?

This might be a little more technical to explain, but I’ll try to keep it simple. A CO2 extract is a type of supercritical fluid extraction (SFE). Here, carbon dioxide at its critical point is passed through a botanical (Ferula Gummosa in this case) to extract the aroma chemicals contained in the plant structure. A supercritical fluid is a unique substance that possesses both liquid and gas-like properties. Due to the highly diffusive nature of supercritical fluids, aromatic substances can be efficiently extracted from botanicals while leaving no trace of residual solvents. In CO2 extractions, the gas can be recollected and used again, making it a “green” extraction technique. In addition to being an environmentally friendly extraction technique, it also has advantages over the traditional steam distillation technique used to make essential oils. In a traditional steam distillation, aromatic compounds are removed from botanicals by passing hot water vapor through the sample. This hot water vapor carries these fragrant molecules along and is later condensed (cooled back down the liquid phase) in a collection vessel. Once the water is removed, you are left with the essential oil. BUT! There is a slight disadvantage to this technique: Heat. Because this method requires the heating of water to produce vapor, some of the very tiny/highly diffusive molecules are lost, and thus, are not found in the essential oil. For this very reason, supercritical CO2 extracts are becoming increasingly popular when a true-to-life aromatic profile is desired.

Now that you have smelled Galbanum CO2...

So now that you have trained your nose to identify Galbanum CO2 and its effect(s) in perfumery, what do you think?

Feel free to share any questions or comments you have on Box#0001, I would love to hear your thoughts! As always, thank you for subscribing. I work very hard to make this subscription as fun, engaging, and educational as possible, but I am always seeking suggestions for improvement.

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If you like what this raw material has to offer, I do suggest sniffing the perfumes listed below:

Recommended Fragrances

Chanel No. 19, Guerlain Vol De Nuit, Cartier Must, Balmain Vent Vert, Fresh Galbanum Patchouli, Prince Matchabelli Cachet, Il Profumo Chocolat, Bill Blass Nude, Les Parfums de Rosine Rose d'Amour, Molinard Les Fleurs: Fleur de Figuier, Issey Miyake A Scent, Prada Infusion d'Iris, Chloe Eau de Fleurs Capucine and Azzaro Couture. Etienne Aigner Private Number, Serge Lutens Borneo 1834, Aramis Devin, Miller Harris Patchouli, Laura Biagiotti Roma Per Uomo, and Versace Blue Jeans for Men.

-Miriam Shechet

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