How to get a powdery effect

Logocracy

Well-known member
Jan 11, 2021
Hi folks, I was smelling a sample of Diptyque's Orpheon and it has this wonderful soapy powdery drydown. I was wondering how do you manifest an intentional powdery effect? I was thinking some combination of Ionones and White Musks or sandalwood? But none of these are listed in the marketing for this scent in particular (they say Jasmine, Tonka and Cedar). Are there 'go-to' aromachemicals to enhance a powdery-like smooth facet in a fragrance?
 

mnitabach

Well-known member
Nov 13, 2020
Hi folks, I was smelling a sample of Diptyque's Orpheon and it has this wonderful soapy powdery drydown. I was wondering how do you manifest an intentional powdery effect? I was thinking some combination of Ionones and White Musks or sandalwood? But none of these are listed in the marketing for this scent in particular (they say Jasmine, Tonka and Cedar). Are there 'go-to' aromachemicals to enhance a powdery-like smooth facet in a fragrance?

For powdery soapy drydown, you can try combo of coumarin, nitromusks, ethyl vanillin, and heliotropin. This is what we discussed in the Mousse de Saxe thread as explained by Paul K as underlying the very powdery MdS long drydown.
 

Logocracy

Well-known member
Jan 11, 2021
For powdery soapy drydown, you can try combo of coumarin, nitromusks, ethyl vanillin, and heliotropin. This is what we discussed in the Mousse de Saxe thread as explained by Paul K as underlying the very powdery MdS long drydown.
The coumarin and e. vanillin would explain the 'tonka'; and there probably is Ambretolide in there too. I'm not sure about the Helitropin. The powdery effect in Orpheon is quite 'jasmine washing powder-like'. I've seen a few reviews liken it to a public bathroom air freshener. I can understand that, the scent takes me back to when I was in either a hotel or a cinema in the 1980's as a kid. Hit me in the nostalgics, no doubt because some similar scent was used in some cleaning product back then. I still think it's wonderful, though.

I don't know where in the formulation the Cedar is, I can't smell it, but I'm sure I detect a sandalwood molecule (perhaps Ebanol) in the base.
 

Casper_grassy

Well-known member
May 5, 2020
I forgot what fragrance I was reading about and the note list had a ton of “floral” notes, and it was such a fluke the perfumer literally used one singular molecule that would be a major constituent of each floral and the marketing was like “oh there’s PEA? Ok rose de mai it is. Eugenol you say? Ok carnation” some gangsta s*** how they play people. Or my favorite is “night blooming jasmine”. Pull my leg any harder and it’ll rip off
 

celo

Well-known member
Oct 28, 2020
vanillins, musks, ionones, azabre, benzoin, lilial, benzophenone, cedroxy, methyl diantilis, honey chords, okoumal, some rose materials...
 
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Oct 17, 2021
Hi folks, I was smelling a sample of Diptyque's Orpheon and it has this wonderful soapy powdery drydown. I was wondering how do you manifest an intentional powdery effect? I was thinking some combination of Ionones and White Musks or sandalwood?
Hi, Logocracy!
Orphéon is a relatively new fragrance and I haven't smelled it. However, if you are interested in "powdery note" in general, I could add to what others mentioned this combination of aromachemicals:
Ambroxan, Ethyl vanillin, Coumarone, Cosmone, Javanol, Amber Xtreme (or other so-called "superambers" molecules - Ambermax, Ambrocenide, etc).
 
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AJ Dave

Well-known member
Aug 5, 2020
I can add that benzyl salicylate and alpha irone smell like makeup (I'm one of those people who can smell benzyl salicylate very well). Probably some other salicylates that they put in cosmetics for UV absorption also have a powdery association because of this. Raspberry ketone also sometimes smells like powdery makeup. L'Origan by Coty (1905) is said to have this classic powdery makeup smell, so you might also want to look into that. Lyral and cassie are also powdery, but it's doubtful it's this since Lyral is banned and cassie is pretty expensive.
 

FragOz

Active member
Jan 8, 2022
Anisyl acetate is quite a key AC for powdery effects. Cylamen aldehyde + anisyl acetate works nice (from Arctander vol 1., entry anisyl acetate). Tried and works wonders, not too sweet. Anisyl acetate and eg alpha Irone can trigger a sweetness blast if any vanilla AC's are present however, like (Ethyl)vanillin, Vanitrope, Isobutavan.
 

apolo085

Well-known member
Feb 18, 2019
There is a infinite ways to pull out a powdery effect in a composition, and not every powdery note will be pleasante.
This question is as abstract as asking for how to dress elegantly.
The way you want to make a powdery note is up to you and the idea behind your composition, having that clear in your mind is the first step and may be to us as a second phase.

There is no surprise that this question comes back every time here without having practical answers, because people able to answer to that in an effective way (assuming they wish to do so) don't understand what's the idea behind the powdery effect people want to give.

Having that said, mastering powderiness is harder than you may think, really hard, pointing you toward such or such compound will not help much if you don't have the expertise and the understanding of the each compound's functions/effects/textures in conjunction with others, this will take you years of continual hard work.
 

FragOz

Active member
Jan 8, 2022
Thanks apolo085 for adding your perspective, it adds a very useful context to other entries here. Indeed powdery can have much different meanings and there is no single solution, I certainly agree with that.

My intention of sharing some insight is to make this forum entry helpful by providing some examples. After all, we have to learn from each other and I found much inspiration in posts here in the DIY forum. Not clear solutions, but inspiration. I've read great examples that helped me to rethink just the things you mentioned, to get the picture of what you want to make straight. Things can indeed be as abstract as you said like how to dress elegantly, but that is exactly where examples can help you shape your own ideas and interpretation. Indeed things may take years to master, but I feel some examples and inspiration on the way can be very helpful.

So Logocracy and others including myself are still helped by examples, which I hope will still be posted here. Together with the perspective you provided I hope this forum entry is valuable for those seeking info about powderiness.
 

Logocracy

Well-known member
Jan 11, 2021
There is no surprise that this question comes back every time here without having practical answers, because people able to answer to that in an effective way (assuming they wish to do so) don't understand what's the idea behind the powdery effect people want to give
I disagree. The advice I got in this thread has been very helpful to me. I'm starting from a point of trying to understand which ingredients can produce a powdery effect. And I got suggestions for which I can run my own experiments, which I have done and are now better informed about the materials that can help produce the effect I want. To say the answers are not practical is incorrect and quite negative. They were highly practical and valuable to me and I'm grateful for them at this point in my journey.
 

AJ Dave

Well-known member
Aug 5, 2020
The thing is what does powder actually smell like? I think it's mainly just an association people have from smelling scented cosmetics and talcum powders.
 

FragOz

Active member
Jan 8, 2022
Good question AJ Dave, the - I guess well known - info on perfumeshrine helped me to get the idea. Via Fragrantica (scroll all the way down)
I checked the website of Santa Maria Novella pharmacy and that helped me to get the picture. Check Google for the scenic views of the location and dream away . . .

I like to appoint some typical AC's to a certain note, I used the tip from Arctander of Cylcamen aldehyde with Anisyl acetate. This combination is now my self-appointed standard for 'powdery'. I use it as a reference. It also shows that you don't necessarily need musks for it, although I love them. Globalide for chique and Aurelione for more sensual here. My reference for the related 'dry' note is sniffing 10% Vanitrope in DPG. I'll try to combine them and post about the results here.

If you need a perfume as a sort of standard then the link to Fragrantica will help you. For me its Narciso Rodriguez Poudree, although overly-poudree :)
 
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apolo085

Well-known member
Feb 18, 2019
I disagree. The advice I got in this thread has been very helpful to me. I'm starting from a point of trying to understand which ingredients can produce a powdery effect. And I got suggestions for which I can run my own experiments, which I have done and are now better informed about the materials that can help produce the effect I want. To say the answers are not practical is incorrect and quite negative. They were highly practical and valuable to me and I'm grateful for them at this point in my journey.
I am not gonna repeat myself nor explain my fairly very simple English.
Have it your way.
 

mnitabach

Well-known member
Nov 13, 2020
I am not gonna repeat myself nor explain my fairly very simple English.
Have it your way.

It is simultaneously true that there are many different routes to "powdery" AND that there exist some simple accords that exemplify "powdery". Exploring the latter in various contexts is useful & instructive to the goal of broader understanding of what "powdery" means & how it can be achieved.
 

mnitabach

Well-known member
Nov 13, 2020
And BTW, I think it is a fascinating question whether powdery is a true innate scent characteristic, or whether it is purely an association with traditional scenting of powder grooming/cosmetic products (or some combination). My view is that there is definitely a component to powdery that is an intrinsic scent character. I actually place it on a continuum with ambery & mossy, as "tingly" scent characters.

For me amber, as exemplified by norlimbanol, karanal, ambrocenide, etc (or occurring naturally in ouds & vetivers) is tingly with the largest size of granularity & greatest sharpness of the edges of the granules. Mossy, as exemplified by evernyl (or occurring naturally in oakmoss & treemoss) is tingly with a smaller granularity & less sharp, smoother edges. And powdery, as generated by various accords in various contexts, is tingly with a very fine granularity & very smooth soft edges.

Then I think the learned association to historical scents of actual powder products is contributed mostly by musky & floral effects forming accord with the intrinsic effect and reinforcing the perception of "powdery". I think this is why powdery accords frequently include floral, woody, and "tingly" components (aldehydes could serve this tingle too, IMO). The cyclamen aldehyde, anisaldehyde accord mentioned above could be in this category.
 

Logocracy

Well-known member
Jan 11, 2021
Very interestingly put, that "powdery" provides a "tingle".
I put a simple sandlewood accord (Dreamwood, Ebanol, Sanjiol) into a humidifier and the scent in the room became what I would call 'powdery', (none of those are discussed in this thread yet) but I also sensed there is a tingle and a softness. I've just never thought of it like that.
 

is_this_a_phase

Well-known member
Dec 27, 2021
a little bit of this stuff will make it very powdery
 

FragOz

Active member
Jan 8, 2022
Just playing around with the idea that 'powdery' is related to the trigeminal system. What Mike said about the 'tingle' relates to this. Another thing is that alpha-ionone is said to desensitise the smell receptors in the nose (Arctander, Perfumeshrine and several other sources). Ionones are also strongly related to 'powderiness'.

The link to face/body powders is cultural and helps to link a picture or an idea to the sensation we call 'powdery'. This word is also under heavy influence of the marketing people, causing some bias. But in a more causal sense the powdery aspect arises from the scents used to perfume face/body powders; mainly rose and iris. Indeed scents that contain ionones/irones.

The trigeminal nerve is seen as a sentinel, an olfactory warning system based on more than smell alone. It prevents you from inhaling dangerous stuff, plainly said. Some scientific researchers (Link1, Link2, Link3) have shown that the trigeminal and the olfactory systems influence each other, the sensitivity to smell and even influence the words we choose to describe the sensations (esp. Link1). The trigeminal system can detect 4 types of stimulus: irritation, pain, warmth and coolness. The general reference materials: irritation - Allyl isothiocyanate , pain - not tested, coolness - Eucalyptol, warmth - Cinnamic aldehyde.

The idea to play with - feel invited - is: can powdery be explained as absence of any trigeminal effect? As powdery is not associated with those 4 stimuli, can it be regarded as a sort of 'safe' signal from the trigeminal system?

To prove what is not there is difficult, but we can translate the idea into a usable question: do you know any material that you would definitely label as 'powdery' but also as irritating, painful, warm or cool? Which material is that?

Looking forward to your suggestions, feel free! Also to discuss the topic in general.
 
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