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Frankincense and other resin/conifer materials that are more on the fresh uplifting side?

Nov 21, 2020
189
15
Hello,

I know that frankincense can vary in brightness vs smoky incense. I recently tried a perfume (Sancti) and the frankincense had such a wonderful bright cola-like vibe to it. Very enjoyable. And most importantly, not at all like root beer! I’m always looking for ways to achieve a cola aroma. It might be my favorite note.

Are there any specific types of frankincense, elemi, pine, or like resinous/conifer materials you would recommend one to look into that veer more in the fresh, bubbly tonic kind of territory? Very drawn to how it can be citrusy and peppery too.

I had seen in the frankincense thread that the variety boswellia carterii does showcase a cola kind of quality.
 

parker25mv

Well-known member
Oct 12, 2016
2,709
621
If you are looking to ACs, there are various citrus-type aldehydes that can be bright and uplifting, kind of "bubbly". Pinene might be a part of what makes resins uplifting (though that can be subjective). You can use a saffron note for cheery yellowness.
You should probably do a search of this forum for "cola", there is plenty written about it. (I think one member had an interesting observation in another thread: "Benzaldehyde + beta ionone = Cherry soda, cherry juice, and Dr. Pepper smell" )

"Frankincense carterii essential oil has a resonating rich incense aroma with an impressive 48.81% a-pinene and 7.22% limonene level, as well as 7.90% octyl acetate and 3.82% beta caryophyllene."

Octyl acetate can apparently have a very slight green apple note, so maybe that could be playing some small role?

It can be harder to source but the AC cardamom aldehyde would probably go good in a cola fragrance for a bright bubbly invigorating effect.
The citral content in elemi is probably what makes that resin smell so fresh-smelling. A tiny bit of citral (like 0.2, 0.3%) can be added to many fragrances for freshness, though that sort of overly clean lemony direction may not be what you want. I also assume you are already familiar with the effect of linalool in a fragrance.

One of the main ingredients in the aroma of cola is a special type of fragrant lime, so you might want to check out lime ACs, or a high quality lime EO, some of those can be bright citrusy and uplifting. And I think cola also gets some of its "peppery" brightness from cinnamon (which not just coincidentally happens to be an aldehyde, cinnamaldehyde).

I could be wrong about this, but if you get a "green apple" base and experiment with adding a tiny bit of that in your fragrance, below the level where the green apple note is obviously perceptible, you might like the effect of that. Those green apple bases will be likely to contain a small amount of acetaldehyde (i.e. "C-2 aldehyde"). Aldehydes are often described as adding a "bubbly" "sparkling" "effervescent" effect to a fragrance.
 
Aug 19, 2021
236
86
I have a recipe for an Oolong cola syrup and its divine. You could play around with cinnamon, star anise, orange, lemon, and black lime. I don't know if a black lime eo exists but I've been tincturing some black limes for about 6 months now and its pretty spot on, short lived though. Also cassia could be helpful which is like a cousin to cinnamon, in fact most cinnamon they sell in stores is actually cassia not true cinnamon.
 

pkiler

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Dec 5, 2007
13,542
2,350
Limonene is the key for the cola vibe. (along with some other terpenes)
Some Franks have limonene. Look up the GCMS for the product you want to buy for a Frank suitable for this purpose, or just use a citrus oil.
 

David Ruskin

Well-known member
May 28, 2009
10,903
2,114
There are any number of Cola formulae available but the key to all of them is a mix of Lemon, Lime, and Cinnamon.

Frankincense (aka Olibanum) does vary hugely in quality. To achieve that "sparkle" I would suggest you look at some aliphatic aldehydes, especially C12 MNA. Iso E Super will increase diffusivity. Pine Needle oil is, in my opinion, one of the best pine oils available. Touches of galbanum or galbanolene will also have a big effect.

For the citrus sparkle, use citronellyl nitrile, sinocitril (contains tridecene-nitrile), or cithrathal.
 
Last edited:
Nov 21, 2020
189
15
If you are looking to ACs, there are various citrus-type aldehydes that can be bright and uplifting, kind of "bubbly". Pinene might be a part of what makes resins uplifting (though that can be subjective). You can use a saffron note for cheery yellowness.
You should probably do a search of this forum for "cola", there is plenty written about it. (I think one member had an interesting observation in another thread: "Benzaldehyde + beta ionone = Cherry soda, cherry juice, and Dr. Pepper smell" )

"Frankincense carterii essential oil has a resonating rich incense aroma with an impressive 48.81% a-pinene and 7.22% limonene level, as well as 7.90% octyl acetate and 3.82% beta caryophyllene."

Octyl acetate can apparently have a very slight green apple note, so maybe that could be playing some small role?

It can be harder to source but the AC cardamom aldehyde would probably go good in a cola fragrance for a bright bubbly invigorating effect.
The citral content in elemi is probably what makes that resin smell so fresh-smelling. A tiny bit of citral (like 0.2, 0.3%) can be added to many fragrances for freshness, though that sort of overly clean lemony direction may not be what you want. I also assume you are already familiar with the effect of linalool in a fragrance.

One of the main ingredients in the aroma of cola is a special type of fragrant lime, so you might want to check out lime ACs, or a high quality lime EO, some of those can be bright citrusy and uplifting. And I think cola also gets some of its "peppery" brightness from cinnamon (which not just coincidentally happens to be an aldehyde, cinnamaldehyde).

I could be wrong about this, but if you get a "green apple" base and experiment with adding a tiny bit of that in your fragrance, below the level where the green apple note is obviously perceptible, you might like the effect of that. Those green apple bases will be likely to contain a small amount of acetaldehyde (i.e. "C-2 aldehyde"). Aldehydes are often described as adding a "bubbly" "sparkling" "effervescent" effect to a fragrance.
Thank you so much for this information! I definitely plan on trying the cardamom aldehyde. Interesting about the green apple, I would have never thought to do that. Is there any other fruit besides green apple you’d recommend that have the acetalaldehydes?
 
Nov 21, 2020
189
15
I have a recipe for an Oolong cola syrup and its divine. You could play around with cinnamon, star anise, orange, lemon, and black lime. I don't know if a black lime eo exists but I've been tincturing some black limes for about 6 months now and its pretty spot on, short lived though. Also cassia could be helpful which is like a cousin to cinnamon, in fact most cinnamon they sell in stores is actually cassia not true cinnamon.
Hi! Wow Oolong Cola sounds fucking amazing. I’m definitely going to look into this combination. Can you say how black like differs from regular lime? I just ordered cassia eo. I am excited to see how I feel about it compared to cinnamon. Hope I like it more.
 
Nov 21, 2020
189
15
Limonene is the key for the cola vibe. (along with some other terpenes)
Some Franks have limonene. Look up the GCMS for the product you want to buy for a Frank suitable for this purpose, or just use a citrus oil.
thank you for this tip. In your opinion do you find cola to be more lemon centric or live centric? Limo nene is quite lemony with some orange in my perception.
 
Nov 21, 2020
189
15
There are any number of Cola formulae available but the key to all of them is a mix of Lemon, Lime, and Cinnamon.

Frankincense (aka Olibanum) does vary hugely in quality. To achieve that "sparkle" I would suggest you look at some aliphatic aldehydes, especially C12 MNA. Iso E Super will increase diffusivity. Pine Needle oil is, in my opinion, one of the best pine oils available. Touches of galbanum or galbanolene will also have a big effect.

For the citrus sparkle, use citronellyl nitrile, sinocitril (contains tridecene-nitrile), or cithrathal.
Thank you for this information. I recently was sniffing my EOs and found that nutmeg seems to also be quite integral in the aroma. At least for me. Thinking about it now, I wonder if this is where I often run into trouble with cola scents that are on the market: perhaps they focus more on cinnamon as the spice of focus, which might register to me more as root beer than coke. Like in Creation E by Roja. Just a thought.

I’ll have to experiment. I am waiting on cassia EO. Hoping it’s more my speed than cinnamon.

I will definitely look more into pine needle oil. Actually I tried making pine needle soda this past winter, which has somewhat of a sprite aroma and flavor. I can definitely see how it lends itself to a soda/cola scent.
 
Aug 19, 2021
236
86
Hi! Wow Oolong Cola sounds fucking amazing. I’m definitely going to look into this combination. Can you say how black like differs from regular lime? I just ordered cassia eo. I am excited to see how I feel about it compared to cinnamon. Hope I like it more.
Its a very different animal, black limes are fermented and dried, people microplane them on dishes to add a little pop to whatever they're cooking and also beautiful as an aromatic in slow cooked things, like the cola syrup. Its a little hard to describe because I've never smelt anything quite like black limes but the smell is "dusty" but also very zesty and fresh with an earthy quality to it as well. These are the ones I got btw https://www.amazon.com/Sadaf-Black-...632732&sprefix=sadaf+black+lim,aps,125&sr=8-3
 

Capybaron

Member
Jan 28, 2023
71
44
I would look into Frankincense Sacra from Oman, both the EO but especially also the CO2 extract. Those are my favorite ones. Those are far less, let´s say, herbaceous, camphoric and medicinal than many other frankincenses and more on the "lemony" side, especially after the top notes are gone.


I find that combining both Aldehyde 12 MNA and Aldehyde 11 MOA with Frankincense Sacra works very well.

I also recently noticed that adding a bit of Styrax Resinoid to this combination can have incredible effects; if you enjoy cola i think this might be something to look into. At first Styrax resinoid is quite sweet, but also spicy-leathery, and later it provides a very pleasing cinnamon scent. (Due to it containing cinnamic alcohol.)
 
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