Lift and Bloom

I recently received a promotional mailing from Firmenich discussing products of theirs that they feel are good for adding lift or “bloom” to fragrances.  They listed products in the usual categories you’d consider for lift, like damascones, aldehydes, hedione, some powerhouse green and/or ozonic chems, some woodsy and ambery chems, and various musks.  Of couse naturals can also provide lift, but they tend to be shorter lasting and this promotional mailing focused on Firmenich synthetics.


I don’t like using ozonic notes and often I want to minimize aldehydes, so I end up with a more limited palette for creating bloom.  I love damascones, hedione, and various woods, ambers, and musks, but you have to pick what is appropriate for the scent you’re creating and you need lighter notes to contrast with the heavier woods and ambers.  Sometimes I get the basic scent I want but then need to experiment before finding the right additional ingredients that will add extra lift and life to a blend.  I don’t want huge sillage in my scents, but I do want enough life and zip to them.  With experience you learn more combinations that work and mentally file these notes away for future use, but the right combination also depends a great deal on the specific formula at hand and your goals for that scent.


I was very interested to read Jean-Claude Ellena’s comments on this topic with reference to the creation of the Hermes fragrance Un Jardin sur le Nil in Chandler Burr’s book The Perfect Scent.  Even Ellena pondered various options to add volume and lift to his mods along the way to the final creation.  It was interesting to read about the interplay between his creative process and the industry requirements placed on him.  I love many of his scents and enjoyed a peek into the process.


I’m struggling with these issues on the white floral I’ve been working on for a few months.  It does great for a few hours while the floral aspects are at their peak, but it needs a better base to pick up the dance when the florals wane.  I want the base to be soft though so that the florals really shine in the first few hours.  Still experimenting…

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  1. I’m glad to read that you’re a fan of my perfume god too 🙂 I’ve said it before in other places – I may not love everything JCE does, but there’s not any of his scents that I couldn’t wear if I had to. There are a number of them that I adore beyond all reason, L’Eau d’Hiver, Bois Farine, In Love Again…….

    But on to you now 🙂 So, I can retire in four years. Is it okay if I come and learn how to make perfume with you? Seriously, I would love to take up something like this in my retirement. And I’m a good go-fer!

  2. Hi Gail,

    Lol, you don’t know how tempting your offer is! 🙂 There’s always too much to be done and an extra nose and set of hands would be a treat. Yes, JCE has some magic and I was so excited to read the chapters about him in that book. I read all those parts first and then went back and read the other story. I especially love some of the things he did for the Hermessence series, but the list of his greats is long. My Dad has a bday coming up later this month and I was thinking of getting him Terre d’Hermes; he doesn’t usually wear any scent and I thought it might be a good choice.

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