Bitter Peaches: Peaches in Perfumery
A peach, like a rose, for example, is a plant that has arisen through human intervention. The David peach (Latin Prunus davidiana) can be considered a distant wild ancestor of the peach tree, while the modern cultivated peach is a hybrid of David's peach, along with many other species (common almond, Chinese plum, quince, Gansuan peach, and common apricot).
Peach or common peach (Latin Prunus persica) is a plant species of the Plum genus, the Almond subgenus of the Rose family. Yes, formally, from the point of view of botanical classification, peach is plum; its scientific Latin name literally translates as "Persian plum."
It is believed that peach first appeared in northern China, and from there it came to India and then to Persia (modern Iran) and from Persia it came to Europe. In Italy, peaches were already known at the very beginning of the first millennium.
There are many varieties of peaches. Traditionally, peaches are called as such only if they are fruits with velvety skin and easily detachable pits. If the pit is difficult to separate from the pulp, such fruits are called pavia. Peaches with plum-smooth skin are called nectarines; they are sometimes distinguished as the subspecies Prunus persica var. nucipersica. Nectarines pits should also easily separate from the pulp, otherwise, it is called bruignon.
Peach is perhaps one of the first fruits whose aroma perfumers have learned to recreate. This became possible thanks to the emergence of a substance called γ-undecalactone. The velvety peach peel warmed by the sun you smell in the legendary Guerlain Mitsouko is γ-undecalactone.
Lactones play a very important role in the peach scent, but in nature, they are mainly lactones with an even number of carbon atoms: γ-hexalactone, γ-octalactone, γ-decalactone, δ-decalactone.
While lactones are responsible for the warm, creamy facet of the peach scent, the fruity aspects are formed by an intricate blend of esters, primarily acetic acid esters (acetates.) Often perfumers like to embellish the fruity component of the peach scent - that is when all kinds of pivalates, valerates and butyrates can help.
In addition to the aforementioned lactones and esters, aldehydes (in addition to the "usual" aldehydes, we separately mention benzaldehyde, which is responsible for an important "almond" nuance), alcohols and ketones (including linalool, ionones, phenyl ethyl alcohol, terpineol, geranyl acetone), and some terpenes (limonene, ocimene, theaspirane) also contribute to a smell of peach. A hyper-realistic peach will require trace amounts of specific sulfur and nitrogen compounds to add a subtle tropical nuance. When creating your own peach accord, look at frutonile, peach mercaptan, and epach thiazole.
Perfume peaches are a great opportunity to talk about an important class of fragrances. Many of you will remember that natural musky substances are macrocyclic structures. This is true for substances of both animal and plant origin, with only one fundamental difference: vegetable musks are macrocyclic lactones, and animalic ones are macrocyclic ketones:
If by analogy, we change the ester group to the ketone group in γ-lactones, we then get a number of cyclopentanone derivatives that are very valuable for perfumery.
With ketones, in contrast to lactones, there are significantly fewer waxy coconut and coumarin aspects, but flower facets are distinguishable in them. This is half a step from the lactone profile in the direction toward cis-jasmone (comparing the structures,) and then, moving forward in time, somewhere methyl jasmonate and hedione. Ketones have another important advantage: chemically they are much more stable and can be used in fragrances for fairly aggressive household products.
Usually, having a palpable lactone/ketone note in a fruity context is enough to add a peach smell to the scent pyramid, as in the case of Lancôme Trésor, Lancôme Poême, Dior Dolce Vita, Chanel Allure, Hugo Boss Scent For Her, D&G The One, Gucci Rush. If the profile is more floral, then we can see "peach flowers" in the pyramid, as in Lanvin Eclat d'Arpege, Amouage Dia or Burberry Weekend.
Bringing peach to the forefront and building a whole scent around this note is rarely done: Usually, you get a frivolous fantasy on the theme of fruity bubble gum and a bit of a beach cocktail. (Brocard Peachy Sky, Zara Peach Margarita, Victoria's Secret Peach Squeeze, The Body Shop Vineyard Peach, CSP Vanille Peach)
Probably many will agree with me that one of the most striking peach-themed fragrances of recent times is Tom Ford Bitter Peach, which does a trick with peach, similar to the one that was demonstrated in Lost Cherry with cherries. The fragrance is made in the current "delightful" gourmand style, the central accord of peach liqueur is carefully modified to a full-fledged aroma.
At the beginning of the fragrance, the peach's own aldehyde facet is ingeniously enhanced by juicy tart greens, slightly cooling cardamom, and infused with alcoholic notes that support the illusion of liqueur. In the heart, fruity notes are balanced with floral notes, a tropical peach tone is framed by fruity-currant davana (perhaps, in terms of ranking, it is in second place in the aroma.) Gradually, the "beach" mood transforms into something more formal and strict: The base of the fragrance is inherently chypre and built on a serious portion of patchouli, woody materials, labdanum, and other resins.
What are your favorite peachy scents?
Matvey Yudov Author, editor
Matvey Yudov is a chemist, perfumer, and musician. Mat is a researcher and specialist in the chemistry of aromatic materials. He graduated from Lomonosov Moscow State University in 1999. He writes for the popular perfume blog leopoldray.blogspot.com (in Russian).
Write your comment: Bitter Peaches: Peaches in Perfumery
Fragrance Reviews: 1100180
Perfume lovers: 654157
Online right now: 1506
Encre Noire by Argo
Eternity For Men by krazyrandy
Acqua di Giò Profumo by krazyrandy
Coach Blue by ZckPtrsn87
Encre Noire Sport by krazyrandy
Chateau, 1970 by keyshaedreana
Elie Saab Le Parfum Rose Couture by MimesOtto
Musk Deer by EhrenE
Viva la Juicy by zbise
Ylang in Gold by mamiman
L'Heure Bleue Eau de Parfum by drugstore classics
Japanese Cherry Blossom by Dark_Lady
Angel Nova by zbise
Burberry Her London Dream by Miss.Tara
Fragrantica in your language:
| Deutsch | Español | Français | Italiano | Русский | Polski | Português | Ελληνικά | 汉语 | Nederlands | Srpski | Română | العربية | Українська | Монгол | עברית | Luxois Watches | Beauty Almanac |
Fragrantica® Inc, San Diego, CA United States