Well-known member
Jan 15, 2008
Compiled from the Note Identification Project thread:

Clary Sage, France, Eden Botanicals – Gorgeous note. Clear, green, shimmering, a bit minty, rather sweet, soft, but full and diffusive. I could see lots of use for this in perfumery to soften up green notes and to clean up florals. I love this, too.

Clary Sage: aromatic, medicinal, camphor, little bit sweet

Clary sage (EO, Aura Cacia, Salvia sclarea from Bulgaria/France/Russia)--3 drops on cotton, wafted
Nutty and aromatic, sage-like, but less bitter. It is almost like a mild rosemary with a little bit of soft anise. Drydown is very medicinal, very much like rosemary, and the faint anise note is still there, but less strong.


Well-known member
Sep 2, 2006
I always wondered why "clary sage" smelled nothing like the sage that most people use for their Thanksgiving stuffing. And it smelled nothing like the Russian sage plant that grew in my yard. Nor the sage that grew in our local botanical gardens.

Why? Because clary sage is not the same thing as culinary sage.

I've smelled clary sage only twice, from different sources. Both times it was a yucky smell. Dirty, dark, bitter. Which is why I was so confused, because it doesn't smell at all like the distinctive spice sage, which can be aromatic, but yummy. Clary sage is often said to aid in clairvoyance. Whether that is true or not, I don't know. But it certainly didn't help me with its own identity.


Well-known member
Jul 2, 2005
A good clary sage is a great note. It's soft and diffusive, very round and almost "fluffy" in texture. To my nose it registers primarily white in color, if I were to translate olfactory perceptions to visual, with light green and purple accents. It has elements of lavender in its odor profile, and also has elements of green tea. Imagine a less medicinal, less resinous but more fluffy interpretation of opoponax. It is featured prominently in the opening of Zino and The Dreamer (the new formulation, at least), and also is very evident in Versace PH after the initial citrus burns off (here, it adds a salty element, alongside its soft texture).


queen of the universe
Basenotes Plus
Jun 8, 2008
Clary sage is the common note in so many of my favorites, and Asha's description of both the herbal and anisic notes confirms this. It seems to last forever on my skin and in my brain, thus My Sin, Antilope, Ma Griffe, and Miss Dior—all vintage—arrive at a common destination after about an hour, and even overnight. I love it's gentleness; I honestly never tire of it. Amongst these, I like Antilope the best, and have all told over 200 ml of the vintage stuff.

fwiw, I find fragrantica's [notes] tab to be very helpful; key in the note your looking for and you get a list of fragrances in return. Very handy and it may help me find a modern fragrance that is more easily attainable than my vintages.


Well-known member
Dec 8, 2008
I love this sage EO I bought at a deli by Nature's Alchemy. It smells very much like the pineapple sage plant I grow in my window, suedelike, green and fuzzy and slightly soapy and citrusy like coriander.

Chris Bartlett

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Jul 17, 2011
Just reading through these, everyone seems to be describing the Essential Oil, which certainly does have that soft, velvety quality and is very versatile.

But Clary Sage also comes as an Absolute, which is a much darker more muscular beast. I often use it to boost oakmoss or tobacco as it has that dense masculine quality with woody/mossy notes.


Well-known member
May 20, 2006
Not to be underestimated in masculine creations....I adore it. A muscular beast is a great description of the absolute Chris.


Active member
Jul 25, 2013
Anyone purchased a good Clary Sage Russia recently? I'm looking for that heady, sweet, slightly aquatic, herbaceous smell. Recently purchased Clary Sage Russia from Eden and Mandy Aftel's Clary Sage EO/chef's essence and found that both, unlike previous orders, are lacking in that heady sweetness, more bitter, and lacking in depth. Thanks for any help.

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