Updated: May 12, 2022
Spring is here, our orchards are dripping with sweet ripe fruit, and so is the fragrance for this months subscription box! Read about our elegant yet tropical perfume: Pomelo Mist. Discover how the perfumer shifts a typical grapefruit rose to a tropical oasis using the featured raw material: Manzanate.
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Welcome to the LabHouse Perfume blog post. Here you will find detailed write-ups on the subscription box of this month. Without further ado, lets dive right into the fuming details of Box #0004. As a quick reminder, each box contains 2 perfumes and an evaluation sample of this month's featured raw material. The (-) perfume is formulated without said material and the (+) perfume features it. Now would be a good time to dip a small amount of the evaluation sample onto your blotter, have a sniff, and follow along!
Dreams of The Sun
Pomelo Mist is a perfume inspired by a deep longing for the sun. LabHouse perfume is located in New Hampshire and the winters here are long and very cold. The day light is short, with the sun setting around 3pm. As someone who was born and raised in San Diego California, these short gloomy days were tough and Pomelo Mist became my sunny escape!
This winter, after smelling a pomelo in a grocery store, I found myself longing for my childhood days spent in the hot dry heat of San Diego California. When I brought the massive yellow and green citrus fruit to my nose I was wrapped in a cloud of effervescent yellow tropical citrus fruit. The pomelo's aroma is much like a grapefruit if it was yellow, born in the tropics and spent a lot of intimate time with a pineapple. Something about the zesty, yet rotting funk of this particular fruit brought me back to a very specific childhood memory.
While I stood in the grocery store physically, my mind was transported to a small orchard in the back yard of my first grade playmates house. The hot summer sun beat down on my shoulders as my bare feat tasted the crunchy prickly dry grass. I tiptoed carefully avoiding the rotting fruit that littered the ground, uncollected from the trees around me. In my hands I carried a plate with sliced oranges and pineapple as my friend and I made our way across the orchard to her tree house. Was it a tree house or a tropical island? My childhood imagination may have added a a tropical beach to the scene...
With this beautiful vision to cheer me up, I set out to bottle the memory and now you get to smell it!
Notes: Boozy Pineapple, Tropical Pomelo, Jasmin Sambac, Lilly of the Valley, Grapefruit, Pink Rose, Salty Minerals, Metallic Rose, Woody Amber, Water, Pithy Citrus
Pomelo Mist opens with a boozy pineapple, tropical pomelo, and jasmine Sambac then swiftly transitions into a zesty muguet (lilly of the valley), with undertones of grapefruit and pink rose. The dry down leaves you with a smooth salty metallic rose, woody amber and an aquatic pithy citrus.
Pomelo Mist is an escape to the warm and humid climates of Southeast Asia where the pomelo originated. This massive fruit is the largest in the Rutaceae family and an ancestor of the grapefruit. The one I picked up in the grocery store was about the size of my head. In my experience, the flavor of the fruit meat is very similar to a pink grapefruit. However, I have found that the skin of the fruit smells more tropical, like a guava.
The boozy pineapple top notes are key in achieving a tropical pomelo as apposed to your typical pink grapefruit as the two are not worlds apart. There are so many different materials to choose from when it comes to pineapple! Most of my favorites are synthetics with very high vapor pressures so they are sure to rip right off the top and catch your attention. The featured raw material, Manzanate for example, has a vapor pressure of 2.9 mmHg @ 25.00 °C. Compare that to a heavy solid, Ambroxan, with a low vapor pressure like 0.009 mmHg @ 25.00 °C. Vapor pressure is referring to the rate at which the materials evaporate and hit your nose.
When evaluating this material I suggest you smell the blotter quickly, as Manzante diluted in alcohol will evaporate fast. In fact, the blotter is odorless in about 60 seconds. Not only does Manzanate jump off the blotter, it is a very strong material so it takes a very little dose to be perceived. This material is used at 0.8% in Pomelo Mist, and that might be relatively high for a fine fragrance.
I chose this specific pineapple material for it's green bell pepper nuances. While Manzante certainly falls under the pineapple category for me, I would also describe it as having green apple, bell pepper, white cogniac and waxy fruit qualities. Where a material like Ethyl-2-methyl butyrate could be the yellow sugary sweet part of the pineapple, Manzante is more representative of the hard white core. This material is excellent for achieving a more fresh effervescent pineapple, but the ripe rotting tropical funk that pushes the grapefruit towards pomelo is achieved by using a more polarizing material called Sauvignone. At a very low dose, 0.0002% in this fragrance it provides the sulfurous backbone of a guava or black currant note. On it's own, Sauvignone is a little unpleasant, but that is one of the secrets in perfumery. Sugar and spice and every thing nice is not necessarily the way to making a great perfume. Often a material that is unpleasant on its own, like fecal smelling civet, can be the key to adding a sense of realism.
The juicy citrus character in this fragrance is built up on a combination of various citrus material like lemon sfumatrice from Italy and red mandarin oil combined with amarocit. The pink character of the red mandarin is further supported by a rose accord in the fragrance stemming from the use of Phenethyl alcohol (PEA), an alcohol found in roses. The rose character continues into the dry down with the use of rose crystals, which provide a dry dusty rosy long lasting metallic shade. I also incorporated a lychee note by using a bit of rose oxide. Rose Oxide is an interesting material to me because it screams synthetic and yet it does occur in nature. The plastic metallic shade it imparts comes across as pink and tropical in a platform like this one where I have already suggested pineapple.
Compare the (+) and (-)
In the subscription box you will find the (+) and (-) sample of Pomelo Mist, where the (+) includes 0.8% Manzanate in the formula and the (-) excludes it. When I compare the two samples I have found that the distinction between the two is most obvious in the top notes. The (+) version comes across as much more tropical and the sweet aspects of the fragrance seem more emphasized here. In the minus version the top notes open up a little more rosy and pink as opposed to yellow pomelo. As the two samples dry, I find the differences undetectable, which is not a surprise as Manzanate is fleeting.
So now that you have trained your nose to identify Manzanate and its effect(s) in perfumery, what do you think?
Feel free to share any questions or comments you have! 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.
If you like what this raw material has to offer, I do suggest sniffing the perfumes listed below: