What are aldehydes?
Aldehydes are a group of synthetic compounds that have revolutionized the perfume industry since the beginning of the last century. Incidentally, certain aldehydes also occur in nature. For those who love the technical details: they are organic compounds with a carbonyl group to which a hydrogen atom is attached: R-CH = O).
How does it smell?
Well combined in a complete perfume it gives the whole creation a lift. Which can give a soapy powdery clean feeling, it gives a certain radiant sparkling character and lifts the whole scent. If you would hold a pure, unmixed aldehyde under your nose, it is difficult to identify what you smell. You have no frame of reference that reminds you of existing scents from nature, for example. Our best description is that you smell it "high" in your nose, spiky. There are many different aldehydes with different scent profiles. Most have a very strong scent with a slightly greasy waxy character with a thin almost metallic twist. Other aldehydes can also give off a citrus-like, mandarin-like fragrance or a rose-like accord.
The history of synthetic aldehydes
Around 1900, the chemical fragrance industry discovered the possibilities of synthetically made aldehydes. Chanel No 5, the most well-known perfume worldwide, was the first perfume in which aldehydes were applied. There are several stories circulating about how the perfumer Ernest Beaux applied an unprecedented amount of aldehydes in his perfume proposals for Coco Chanel. Was it a calculation error by the perfumer's assistant, who accidentally put an extra zero behind the formula, or was he deliberately so innovative? Other perfumes where the aldehydic character is strong include Estée Lauder's White Linen, Caron's Nocturnes, MariaL Yours Truly and YSL's Rive Gauche.
Its use in perfumes
Aldehydes do not immediately have a fantastic fragrance that invites them to take this as the central theme for a perfume. Their strength is only expressed when aldehydes are combined with other fragrance components, such as flowers. Small amounts often give the best effect.
In addition to perfumes, aldehydes are also widely used in detergents, and contribute largely to the now so typical clean laundry scent.
Discover here the perfumes in our collection where aldehydes play a leading role.