L'eau d'Issey Pour Homme

Yuri-G

Well-known member
Sep 13, 2020
Hi all.

Thought I'd share a formula I came up with kinda by accident which is very close to l'eau d'issey pour homme. I was playing around with anisaldehyde in an indolic floral and the simple accord I made, which ended up more muguet, seemed only a hop a skip and a jump away. It's not a spot on copy. More my own spin. Some of the listed notes like nutmeg and tobacco are missing. I think it's basically the interplay between citrus/DHM/aldehydes, calone and indolic florals centred around muguet.

I think it needs more aldehydes and maybe some more prominent aquatics (I only have calone), but it smells pretty good I reckon.

Any other hints much appreciated. I thought maybe some vertofix?

Anisaldehyde 22 2.19%
Linalool 175 17.52%
PEA 88 8.76%
Nerol 88 8.76%
Benzyl salicylate 88 8.76%
Indole 1 0.09%
Ambroxan 9 0.88%
Sandalore 88 8.76%
Coumarin 22 2.19%
Beta ionone 29 2.89%
Exaltolide 44 4.38%
Lyral 88 8.76%
Calone 9 0.88%
DHM 44 4.38%
Evernyl 9 0.88%
C12 MNA 1 0.09%
Lemon EO 88 8.76%
Green mandarin EO 88 8.76%
Bourbon geranium EO 14 1.45%
Vetiver EO 9 0.88%
 

Yuri-G

Well-known member
Sep 13, 2020
Hi all.

Thought I'd share a formula I came up with kinda by accident which is very close to l'eau d'issey pour homme. I was playing around with anisaldehyde in an indolic floral and the simple accord I made, which ended up more muguet, seemed only a hop a skip and a jump away. It's not a spot on copy. More my own spin. Some of the listed notes like nutmeg and tobacco are missing. I think it's basically the interplay between citrus/DHM/aldehydes, calone and indolic florals centred around muguet.

I think it needs more aldehydes and maybe some more prominent aquatics (I only have calone), but it smells pretty good I reckon.

Any other hints much appreciated. I thought maybe some vertofix?

Anisaldehyde 22 2.19%
Linalool 175 17.52%
PEA 88 8.76%
Nerol 88 8.76%
Benzyl salicylate 88 8.76%
Indole 1 0.09%
Ambroxan 9 0.88%
Sandalore 88 8.76%
Coumarin 22 2.19%
Beta ionone 29 2.89%
Exaltolide 44 4.38%
Lyral 88 8.76%
Calone 9 0.88%
DHM 44 4.38%
Evernyl 9 0.88%
C12 MNA 1 0.09%
Lemon EO 88 8.76%
Green mandarin EO 88 8.76%
Bourbon geranium EO 14 1.45%
Vetiver EO 9 0.88%
Oh, and I'm not 100% convinced of my musk choice.
 

mnitabach

Well-known member
Nov 13, 2020
Lyral:calone:evernyl in that 10:1:1 ratio is an extended long drydown accord that I had stumbled onto while putzing around a while back & it's absolutely gorgeous!!! I think muskwise that 4:1 eb:exaltolide might be worth a try in place of the pure exaltolide, or even 4:1:1 galaxolide:eb:habanolide. This latter musk accord I've been on a kick with lately, as it seems so diffusive & transparent & exalting of florals & woods. I think it might be worth trying less geranium bourbon to see if that opens everything else up a bit, and try adding a touch of vertofix (not much more than 1% to heighten the amberiness of the vetiver (I find vetiver + vertofix creates a powerful mossy/ambery accord, especially with the Firmenich Vetiver SFE material).

ETA: Should have said at the outset, this looks very interesting, and I will definitely try it out soon!
 

Yuri-G

Well-known member
Sep 13, 2020
Lyral:calone:evernyl in that 10:1:1 ratio is an extended long drydown accord that I had stumbled onto while putzing around a while back & it's absolutely gorgeous!!! I think muskwise that 4:1 eb:exaltolide might be worth a try in place of the pure exaltolide, or even 4:1:1 galaxolide:eb:habanolide. This latter musk accord I've been on a kick with lately, as it seems so diffusive & transparent & exalting of florals & woods. I think it might be worth trying less geranium bourbon to see if that opens everything else up a bit, and try adding a touch of vertofix (not much more than 1% to heighten the amberiness of the vetiver (I find vetiver + vertofix creates a powerful mossy/ambery accord, especially with the Firmenich Vetiver SFE material).

ETA: Should have said at the outset, this looks very interesting, and I will definitely try it out soon!
Thanks Mike. I'm comparing the two today and I'm slightly less convinced by the drydown. Mine is lacking a soapy bite in the base. Vertofix can give that so I'll try around 1% as you say. I've also discovered a lovely pairing (courtesy of Quay Limey) of exaltolide and cashmeran, so I might try adding some of that too. Again, a nice sharpness in the base.

Weird, EB was my first choice (it's kind of my go-to musk) so I like that suggestion. I'm wondering if the soapiness requires some habanolide too. Or aldehydes could do that perhaps. It was weird smelling the original after a long time and thinking "ooh, aldehydes!" It's as though I know things now, having seen behind the curtain.

We have a bottle, unloved at the back of the cupboard. I like it a lot more than I remember. It's so unlike anything else I can think of that's marketed towards men these days. I think it's the indolic aspect maybe.
 

Contrapunctus

Well-known member
Mar 4, 2021
I'm not sure if I remember this fragrance correctly, because my experience with it is dating back to the late 1990s. So, recent formulations are most likely different from my memories. However, I would have expected (from my old memories) some of the usual suspects like Helional (quite crucial for the Issey's IMO), Cyclamen aldehyde, Hedione, Lilial and Methylionones.
 

Yuri-G

Well-known member
Sep 13, 2020
Yeah, helional. That would be part of the aquatic top middle notes I'm missing. I should invest in something like that.
 

Contrapunctus

Well-known member
Mar 4, 2021
...and while you're looking for Helional, you may also look for some fruity/aldehydic diffusive materials like Melonal or (even better) Methoxymelonal (aka Aquaflor), Scentenal and a touch of some diffusive pineapple molecules. - Just suggestions. And I'm talking only about the aquatic-floral part. There's definitely more ongoing in the mid-base section in terms of some well-blended spice notes (e.g. eugenol, maybe traces of cinnamon molecules?). - I don't have any valid informations about the actual scent. Finally, my material collection is only of a modest size, so there are probably other/more appropriate materials, but I stick to the molecules I really know. So, other more experienced may help/adjust.

The only valid information I can provide is the description from H&R Fragrance Guide:

L'eau d'Issey pour Homme (1994)
Top: (fresh, cool) = Bergamot, Green Notes, Lemon, Orange, Tarragon, Melon, Aldehydes, Pineapple
Mid: (fresh, floral, cool) = Cyclamen, Lily of the valley, Rose, Jasmine, Carnation, Reseda, Orris
Base: (ambery) = Cedar, Sandal, Amber, Musk, Vetiver, Moss
 

pkiler

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Dec 5, 2007
Looking over a couple of formulas, they are more than twice as long as yours, and have many more naturals. One has 11 naturals, one has 16 naturals.
Yes, you need Helional and C aldehydes in touches. Galbanum /type too. One has six musks, one has four musks, both have a load of Galaxolide.
 

Yuri-G

Well-known member
Sep 13, 2020
Looking over a couple of formulas, they are more than twice as long as yours, and have many more naturals. One has 11 naturals, one has 16 naturals.
Yes, you need Helional and C aldehydes in touches. Galbanum /type too. One has six musks, one has four musks, both have a load of Galaxolide.
Thank you. I have C12 lauric, so added a touch of that to accompany the MNA. Any idea what other C aldehydes are important? Those are the only two I own.

I also added (for now) a trace of eugenol and a sizeable amount of hedione and galaxolide.

I'll look into helional and other aquatics/ozonics like precyclemone b and floralozone.

I think my version is less transparent than the original.
 

pkiler

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Dec 5, 2007
Both formulas have Melonal, Helional, Calone, and precyclemone B.

One formula has this, out of 1000 parts:
(This is not a percent... to turn these into a percent, move the decimal point over one digit to the left.)
ALDEIHYDE C-100.10
ALDEHYDE C-12 MNA0.15
 

Yuri-G

Well-known member
Sep 13, 2020
Both formulas have Melonal, Helional, Calone, and precyclemone B.

One formula has this, out of 1000 parts:
(This is not a percent... to turn these into a percent, move the decimal point over one digit to the left.)
ALDEIHYDE C-100.10
ALDEHYDE C-12 MNA0.15
Thanks. That's very useful.
 

German Pujol

Well-known member
Feb 10, 2017
Both formulas have Melonal, Helional, Calone, and precyclemone B.

One formula has this, out of 1000 parts:
(This is not a percent... to turn these into a percent, move the decimal point over one digit to the left.)
ALDEIHYDE C-100.10
ALDEHYDE C-12 MNA0.15
after reading your post, grab my original miyake, and look for the aldehydes, c8 should go.
 

mnitabach

Well-known member
Nov 13, 2020
OK, I just assembled & tested this on skin at 10% in EtOH. Here are some thoughts:

(1) I think it's a very successful interesting formula that performs really well! It's strong diffusive projecting radiant & appealing in the top & mid. So congrats on that. (Knowing the mega-tenacious molecules in there, I'm looking forward to the extended drydown. I love the calone-evernyl-lyral accord.)

(2) I've never smelled L'eau d'Issey, but this smells like a pretty generic citrus, floral, watery, ambery, mossy, woody "sea breeze" style fragrance. Which is a style I happen to love.

(3) It does get a little "empty" in the mid after the powerful citruses evaporate, and I think you could go in two directions (or simultaneously) to play off the PEA: a less tenacious more mid-effect muguet (like lilial, florol, lilytol, etc) and/or citronellol/geraniol to create a rose effect.

(4) Relatedly, to my nose, there is waaaay too much nerol, which dominates the mid with a harsh artificial lime kool-aid effect.

(5) There is a "sea breeze" formula on Good Scents that I've assembled & tested, and it also performs really well. It might be worth comparing & contrasting yours with this one to get some insights into the genre.


ETA: There's some unusual molecules in that formula, which I substituted for successfully with more commonly available stuff. Let me know if you want me to dig up my exact adaptation & I'm happy to share it.

ETA2: I'm thinking that dihydro ionone beta might be worth a try to replace the beta ionone, as the former might serve as a better bridge between the floral & woody. At least to my nose, ionone beta is an almost "piercing" sharp floral note. And regarding woody, I do think your idea to add vertofix (I'd try 2% of formula as a starting point) is a great one & will really enrich the woody note & beautifully enhance & complement the vetiver (incidentally, I used firmenich vetiver sfe).

ETA3: I really like how the coumarin complements the moss & wood (a la fougère)!
 

Yuri-G

Well-known member
Sep 13, 2020
OK, I just assembled & tested this on skin at 10% in EtOH. Here are some thoughts:

(1) I think it's a very successful interesting formula that performs really well! It's strong diffusive projecting radiant & appealing in the top & mid. So congrats on that. (Knowing the mega-tenacious molecules in there, I'm looking forward to the extended drydown. I love the calone-evernyl-lyral accord.)

(2) I've never smelled L'eau d'Issey, but this smells like a pretty generic citrus, floral, watery, ambery, mossy, woody "sea breeze" style fragrance. Which is a style I happen to love.

(3) It does get a little "empty" in the mid after the powerful citruses evaporate, and I think you could go in two directions (or simultaneously) to play off the PEA: a less tenacious more mid-effect muguet (like lilial, florol, lilytol, etc) and/or citronellol/geraniol to create a rose effect.

(4) Relatedly, to my nose, there is waaaay too much nerol, which dominates the mid with a harsh artificial lime kool-aid effect.

(5) There is a "sea breeze" formula on Good Scents that I've assembled & tested, and it also performs really well. It might be worth comparing & contrasting yours with this one to get some insights into the genre.


ETA: There's some unusual molecules in that formula, which I substituted for successfully with more commonly available stuff. Let me know if you want me to dig up my exact adaptation & I'm happy to share it.

ETA2: I'm thinking that dihydro ionone beta might be worth a try to replace the beta ionone, as the former might serve as a better bridge between the floral & woody. At least to my nose, ionone beta is an almost "piercing" sharp floral note. And regarding woody, I do think your idea to add vertofix (I'd try 2% of formula as a starting point) is a great one & will really enrich the woody note & beautifully enhance & complement the vetiver (incidentally, I used firmenich vetiver sfe).

ETA3: I really like how the coumarin complements the moss & wood (a la fougère)!
Hey Mike. Thanks for trying this. I agree that the top is the best part. I also like the upper mid. I agree that the extended mid is a bit empty and lacking structure. That's an area that I often struggle with actually. I think it needs more short-lived muguet materials (I have florol, hydroxycitronellol and a sample of lilybelle) and some of the mid note aquatics like helional and melonal, and also some spices. I added a hint of eugenol already.
Oddly I don't smell enrol that well, so I guess I overdosed it! To me it's a very soft watery rose scent. I have dihydro beta ionone. That's a good idea to include that, and I think someone mentioned methyl ionone too.
I haven't got around to adding the vertofix yet as I need to make a dilution, but here's my updated formula with hedione, C12 lauric, eugenol and galaxolide at the bottom. The C12 particularly helped.

Anisaldehyde 17 1.73%
Linalool 138 13.85%
PEA 69 6.92%
Nerol 69 6.92%
Benzyl salicylate 69 6.92%
Indole 1 0.07%
Ambroxan 7 0.69%
Sandalore 69 6.92%
Coumarin 17 1.73%
Beta ionone 23 2.28%
Exaltolide 35 3.46%
Lyral 69 6.92%
Calone 7 0.69%
DHM 35 3.46%
Evernyl 7 0.69%
C12 MNA 1 0.07%
Lemon EO 69 6.92%
Green mandarin EO 69 6.92%
Bourbon geranium EO 11 1.14%
Vetiver EO 7 0.69%
Hedione 138 13.85%
Galaxolide 69 6.92%
C12 Lauric 1 0.07%
Eugenol 1 0.14%

I think you might like the fragrance if you like citrussy aquatics.
 

mnitabach

Well-known member
Nov 13, 2020
Here's your formula as I made it with round numbers for convenience (total is 10.02, so move the decimal two spots to the right for ~ppt), and with two substitutions (robertet geranium heart instead of bourbon: lacks most of the green top notes; aldehyde supra instead of C-12). Incidentally, I think if I rounded up the geranium heart to 20 ppt instead of down to 10 ppt, it would've helped form a more powerful rose effect, as the geranium heart is mostly citronellol & geraniol.PXL_20220113_193601012~2.jpg
 

mnitabach

Well-known member
Nov 13, 2020
OK now it's over 2.5 hours on skin, and one additional thought is that what I suspect is the combo of a pretty substantial dose of exaltolide & shittons of sandalore (and maybe the benzyl sal contributing too) is overly (at least to my taste) smoothing out the ambery, mossy, ozonic "fizzy" effects of the ambrox, veramoss, calone. I like that stuff to slap me in the face a bit! 😹 😹 😹
 

ourmess

Well-known member
Apr 25, 2018
Can I just say how much I appreciate y'all actually making the thing under discussion? Theorycrafting is good and fine but this is ultimately a hands-on field, so actual trials and discussion of results is so good for this community.
 

mnitabach

Well-known member
Nov 13, 2020
Can I just say how much I appreciate y'all actually making the thing under discussion? Theorycrafting is good and fine but this is ultimately a hands-on field, so actual trials and discussion of results is so good for this community.

Some of our friends seem to dislike requests for explanations of the empirical bases for their assertions, and at times react quite aggressively. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Speaking for myself, literally the only reason I'm here is to make shit, not just talk shit.
 

manfred

Well-known member
Aug 6, 2012
I'm not sure if it was for the men's or the women's version but I recall that there was some Canthoxal in the formula. Also 8% of Coranol according to some notes that I took probably from this forum.
 

manfred

Well-known member
Aug 6, 2012
Also here's the list of the allergens written on the box:

Lilial

Limonene

Linalool

Eugenol

Citronellol

Geraniol

Citral

Coumarin

Hydroxycitronellal

Farnesol

Cinnamal

Isoeugenol

So, no Lyral but yes to Lilial.
 

Yuri-G

Well-known member
Sep 13, 2020
Can I just say how much I appreciate y'all actually making the thing under discussion? Theorycrafting is good and fine but this is ultimately a hands-on field, so actual trials and discussion of results is so good for this community.
Yes, and figuring out what doesn't work about the formula is just as useful as what does.
 

Yuri-G

Well-known member
Sep 13, 2020
OK now it's over 2.5 hours on skin, and one additional thought is that what I suspect is the combo of a pretty substantial dose of exaltolide & shittons of sandalore (and maybe the benzyl sal contributing too) is overly (at least to my taste) smoothing out the ambery, mossy, ozonic "fizzy" effects of the ambrox, veramoss, calone. I like that stuff to slap me in the face a bit! 😹 😹 😹
Yeah, had my initial aim been "make L'eau d'Issey", I'm not sure I would have included certain materials. Exaltolide, beta ionone, anisaldehyde. I was only trying to make a diffusive floral accord.
I think I lean on sandalore in general to bring warmth to the woods and ambers, which I can find scratchy. Benzyl salicylate I do find fizzy and diffusive though. I know that not everyone smells that one the same way.
 

greeneaj87

Well-known member
May 25, 2020
Lyral:calone:evernyl in that 10:1:1 ratio is an extended long drydown accord that I had stumbled onto while putzing around a while back & it's absolutely gorgeous!!!

Just whipped up a 5g batch of this (9% concentration in EtOH, formula ratios below). I added in a little ambroxan and musks (maybe too much musk?). Maybe I shouldn't have added more materials, but I couldn't help myself.

Anyways, it is gorgeous, you weren't joking. Watery, clean, diffusive, calm, transparent, very pleasant and not cloying at all. Maybe some ambrinol and labdanum could push it more in the marine-like direction? Maybe a little bit of hivernal neo to enhance the "cool water" quality? Maybe vertofix or vetiverol/vetiveryl acetate for some sort of driftwood accord or something??? It seems like it can taken in a few different directions, I'll play around with it some more.

Thank you, Mike! These simple accords are always a great lesson, and I am grateful to find them on BN.

1Calone
1Evernyl
3Ambroxan
5Exaltolide
10Lyral
25Galaxolide
 

mnitabach

Well-known member
Nov 13, 2020
Just whipped up a 5g batch of this (9% concentration in EtOH, formula ratios below). I added in a little ambroxan and musks (maybe too much musk?). Maybe I shouldn't have added more materials, but I couldn't help myself.

Anyways, it is gorgeous, you weren't joking. Watery, clean, diffusive, calm, transparent, very pleasant and not cloying at all. Maybe some ambrinol and labdanum could push it more in the marine-like direction? Maybe a little bit of hivernal neo to enhance the "cool water" quality? Maybe vertofix or vetiverol/vetiveryl acetate for some sort of driftwood accord or something??? It seems like it can taken in a few different directions, I'll play around with it some more.

Thank you, Mike! These simple accords are always a great lesson, and I am grateful to find them on BN.

1Calone
1Evernyl
3Ambroxan
5Exaltolide
10Lyral
25Galaxolide

Just for testing on its own, it makes perfect sense to add some musks & ambrox. I think it is worth also trying just with e.b. instead of galax + exaltolide.

ETA: Helional goes really well with calone for a "sea breeze" or "cool water" effect. I would try it in your formula at 10 & see what it does.
 

Big L

Well-known member
Nov 23, 2019
These simple accords are always a great lesson, and I am grateful to find them on BN.
I haven't jumped into this thread yet, as I have no memory of how this perfume smells.

In case it's related to the feminine version, as some of the "his" and "hers" perfume do, basing the man's perfume formula on the feminine one and pushing it into the masculine side using things like Ambrox and Evernyl. I would recommend studying the One Eighth Pink Champagne formula. It is closely related to the central theme of the women's version of L'eau d'Issey.
 

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