Looking for Oud like sweetness

needaname

Well-known member
Jun 5, 2017
I am working on a incense scent at the moment and I really like the sweetness Oud has especially the Cambodian/Thai varieties. But oud is a little too expensive to use in a perfume and I do not have enough to experiment with. All the commercial oud bases I have tried do not really have any sweetness to them at all. So I am looking for alternatives. Something that has a resinous sweetness.

I am already using Labdanum and Benzoin in my scent. But the sweetness is not there yet and it is not the resinous sweetness I get from oud in the dry down. Vanilla, Maltol and the ilk do not work well for what I am trying to build.

Are there any alternative you would suggest for a resinous sweetness?
 

RSG

Well-known member
Nov 26, 2016
I like to use bisabolene and elemnol. And really it's years later and I'm still impressed with the Black Agar base. Just used .5% in perfume and it was just right. Certainly changed and added that sweet woody oud character.
 

Kacper Kafel

Well-known member
Feb 12, 2015
Raspberry ketone is used often in sweet oud fragrance, other is piperonyl acetate and dulcinyl but raspberry ketone is the best in this theme.
 

'Timon

Well-known member
Nov 23, 2014
for sweetness in Oud I would suggest Benzyl acetone, which not only occurs naturally in Oud, but is also very cheap. Although I have to add that the commercial qualities offered have an impurity which I don't like, so I re-distill it myself again.
if you want sweetness mostly in the dry down it's probably not what you are looking for.
It might sound too obvious, but many musks can of course give a type of sweetness as well and you certainly find plenty of synthetic musk in most Oud fragrances out there
 

'Timon

Well-known member
Nov 23, 2014
Raspberry ketone is used often in sweet oud fragrance, other is piperonyl acetate and dulcinyl but raspberry ketone is the best in this theme.
I agree. Actually Raspberry Ketone Methyl ether is found in natural Oud as well (= p-Methoxy Benzyl Acetone)
 

needaname

Well-known member
Jun 5, 2017
Have you tried Isomohanol yet?

Thanks for that, but unfortunately I am anosmic to most sandalwood aroma chems. I had the same problem with Isomohanol when I tried it initially. I will give it another try and see if I can smell it better now and I will try it in small amounts in an experiment and see how it turns out.
 

needaname

Well-known member
Jun 5, 2017
I like to use bisabolene and elemnol. And really it's years later and I'm still impressed with the Black Agar base. Just used .5% in perfume and it was just right. Certainly changed and added that sweet woody oud character.

I have the black agar base at around .2% in the perfume right now. I am using it more for shading and adding depth and modifying the oud I currently have in the scent. I checked elemnol but could not find it with any of the traditional suppliers, where did you get yours?
 

needaname

Well-known member
Jun 5, 2017
for sweetness in Oud I would suggest Benzyl acetone, which not only occurs naturally in Oud, but is also very cheap. Although I have to add that the commercial qualities offered have an impurity which I don't like, so I re-distill it myself again.
if you want sweetness mostly in the dry down it's probably not what you are looking for.
It might sound too obvious, but many musks can of course give a type of sweetness as well and you certainly find plenty of synthetic musk in most Oud fragrances out there

Thanks for that, I noticed only Pell Wall seems to stock Benzyl acetone in small quanitites unfortunately their shipping is way too expensive, I will have to see if I can find it at an alternate source and give it a try. It does sound very interesting.

I have a touch of Ambrettolide in the base along with more dirty musks like Muscenone and Civettone. But it still does not have the resinous sweetness in natural oud. I was just smelling Areej Le Dores Oud Picante and it has that nice resinous sweetness from natural oud and it is mixed in with musks and works really well, I am trying to recreate something like that. I have the musk part to my liking but I am not able to get the right kind of sweetness which is there in natural oud.
 

Mr.P

Well-known member
Apr 6, 2015
How about poplar bud absolute, Labdanum, Nagarmotha, spikenard, benzoin (Siam type)

I don’t think any chemical concoction is going to do even a mediocre job hitting the sweetness of natural oud
 

pkiler

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Dec 5, 2007
Simply by looking over GC results from Oudwood testing results, two that stick out for me as sweet are Benzaldehyde, and 4-Methoxybenzaldehyde.
There are likely others there, but so many of the molecules in Oudwood are unfamiliar.

Since this is not my project, and was a simple curiosity for me, I am going to stop doing your research for you...
 

parker25mv

Well-known member
Oct 12, 2016
Just a little bit of Cedryl methyl ether can add a little facet of "cotton candy" incense-like sweetness feeling, in addition to being ambery and having an edge of cedar dryness.

You might also want to add very tiny slight hints of benzaldehyde (cherry accord) and vanillin, just to add a benzoin-like nuance.

I personally find some oud to have a "bubblegum" like nuance to it.

The components of "bubblegum" I looked up are mainly cherry, banana, and strawberry notes mixed together.

And certainly some raspberry ketone should be used to add nuance to oud as well. I definitely seem to detect a tiny hint of that in sweet oud.

Consider a hint of coumarin.

Real oud also seems to have a very subtle almost grapefruit note, in my opinion. (I don't know how you could copy this, maybe methyl pamplemousse with vetikone might give some approximation)
 

needaname

Well-known member
Jun 5, 2017
How about poplar bud absolute, Labdanum, Nagarmotha, spikenard, benzoin (Siam type)

I don’t think any chemical concoction is going to do even a mediocre job hitting the sweetness of natural oud

Thanks for that, I do not have poplar bud absolute but it sounds interesting. Nagarmotha and spikenard are the wrong notes, they do not really have the sweetness I am looking for.
 

needaname

Well-known member
Jun 5, 2017
Simply by looking over GC results from Oudwood testing results, two that stick out for me as sweet are Benzaldehyde, and 4-Methoxybenzaldehyde.
There are likely others there, but so many of the molecules in Oudwood are unfamiliar.

Since this is not my project, and was a simple curiosity for me, I am going to stop doing your research for you...

Thanks for looking that up. I checked a GCMS a while back but I do not have the vast majority of chems on hand and when I checked locally the people I contacted had very high minimum order quantities. Like I wanted Benzaldehyde for another project and they wanted me to order a minimum of 25kg, I could not finish that much in a life time.

I know you probably buy aroma chems in much larger quantities but I was wondering where do you usually buy things like Benzaldehyde from? And do they sell in smaller quantities? (10-100gms max)
 

needaname

Well-known member
Jun 5, 2017
Just a little bit of Cedryl methyl ether can add a little facet of "cotton candy" incense-like sweetness feeling, in addition to being ambery and having an edge of cedar dryness.

You might also want to add very tiny slight hints of benzaldehyde (cherry accord) and vanillin, just to add a benzoin-like nuance.

I personally find some oud to have a "bubblegum" like nuance to it.

The components of "bubblegum" I looked up are mainly cherry, banana, and strawberry notes mixed together.

And certainly some raspberry ketone should be used to add nuance to oud as well. I definitely seem to detect a tiny hint of that in sweet oud.

Consider a hint of coumarin.

Real oud also seems to have a very subtle almost grapefruit note, in my opinion. (I don't know how you could copy this, maybe methyl pamplemousse with vetikone might give some approximation)

I already have some cedramber in my scent, but that is more to support the cedar note I have going in the scent. I cannot say I have ever noticed a cotton candy note in cedramber.

Curious I have never smelled a bubblegum note in Oud, But then there are so many types of Oud maybe there is a type with that note, with that said, I am not really looking for that note.
 

amateurperfumer

Well-known member
Dec 28, 2018
To me there is almost a toffee caramel type note when Cambodian oud dries down. Have you considered caramel furfural or maple furanone? I have only just started using the latter and havent used maple furanone yet but it seems like they would be suitable for your requirement. Perhaps also a touch of isobutavan?
 

pkiler

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Dec 5, 2007
I wanted Benzaldehyde
Benzaldehyde is restricted, due to being a drug precursor.
I have a supplier who knows and trusts me, so I filed DEA paperwork with them and they sent it out.
I don't know of anyone who will sell you in small qty, because of the Federal DEA paperwork required.
 

parker25mv

Well-known member
Oct 12, 2016
Cherry fragrance accord is mostly benzaldehyde in scent.


I already have some cedramber in my scent, but that is more to support the cedar note I have going in the scent. I cannot say I have ever noticed a cotton candy note in cedramber.

Curious I have never smelled a bubblegum note in Oud,
It's very subtle, and everyone uses different words in an attempt to describe specific aspects of smells. You may likely be smelling the same thing I am but you just do not perceive to be the same, in terms of how you cognitively classify it. I'm just saying there's a very slight "sweet" edge to it ("sweet" without being sugary sweet), a little "fruity" or "ethereal" (for lack of better descriptors), which for me is in the same sort of way as cotton candy or bubblegum.
 

needaname

Well-known member
Jun 5, 2017
To me there is almost a toffee caramel type note when Cambodian oud dries down. Have you considered caramel furfural or maple furanone? I have only just started using the latter and havent used maple furanone yet but it seems like they would be suitable for your requirement. Perhaps also a touch of isobutavan?

Ya I also perceive that in some ouds especially the Cambodian like you said although I perceive it as slightly chocolatey. I have a touch of chocovan in the scent along with trace amounts of Strawberry Furanone. I unfortunately do not have caramel furfural or maple furanone.
 

needaname

Well-known member
Jun 5, 2017
Benzaldehyde is restricted, due to being a drug precursor.
I have a supplier who knows and trusts me, so I filed DEA paperwork with them and they sent it out.
I don't know of anyone who will sell you in small qty, because of the Federal DEA paperwork required.

Thanks for that, that is interesting to know. No wonder it is so hard to find on American vendor sites.
 

needaname

Well-known member
Jun 5, 2017
there are many many molecular differences in oud natural oils......but, best oud oil i've ever smelled (only 3 experience with different natural oud oils...;-), it had a raspberry-like sweetness scent...here, i described completely his scent profile ( italian langue) ..

http://oliessenzialinaturali.blogspot.com/2013/10/oud-agarwood-aquilaria.html

Thanks that was an interesting read. I have not perceived a raspberry note till now in the Ouds I have smelled, but I have only smelled 4. But based on inputs from others I am trying Raspberry ketone in the scent to see how it works out.
 

Geco

Well-known member
Jun 14, 2015
Thanks that was an interesting read. I have not perceived a raspberry note till now in the Ouds I have smelled, but I have only smelled 4. But based on inputs from others I am trying Raspberry ketone in the scent to see how it works out.

Thank you. Yes, he had a part of that kind of sweetness, but its best part was wood / forest / bark, incredibly good, magic...
 

parker25mv

Well-known member
Oct 12, 2016
How about other balsams? such as peru balsam, styrax?
Star anise (molecule anethole) has some similarity to styrax (molecule styrene) but sweeter.

Clove (molecule eugenol) is also a little bit towards this direction as well. A very tiny hint may help add a nuance to oud. (Though it might not be the specific type of sweetness you desire)

Many of the balsams may complement oud quite nicely, but I don't think they can at all substitute for it. (I'm not an expert on balsams, however)
 

parker25mv

Well-known member
Oct 12, 2016
One study found that a certain category of 2-(2-phenylethyl)chromones, which accounted for the highest content of chromone-type molecules found in this particular variety of agarwood, were themselves odorless but they created a pleasant scent when heated. The researchers found that when these molecules were heated (pyrolysis at 150 °C, in air) they created benzaldehyde (smell: almond, marzipan, slight cherry nuance) and 4-methoxy benzaldehyde (para-anisaldehyde, smell: sweet, powdery, floral, hawthorn, a little bit balsamic, with vanilla, anise, and coumarin-like and creamy woody nuances).

(source: "The Characteristic Fragrant Sesquiterpenes and 2-(2-Phenylethyl)chromones in Wild and Cultivated 'Qi-Nan' Agarwood", Li Yang, Molecules (journal), January 2021 )

They also found one molecule ((−)-guaia-1(10),11-dien-15-al), that had a "pleasant Beta-damascenone-like woody and floral note with a slight cooling side note". (This molecule has a shape very similar to rotundone, except doesn't have a ketone group, and the methyl group on the heptagonal ring is replaced with an aldehyde group). Just an educated guess, but I would guess if you wanted to try to replicate the "damascenone"-like smell of this molecule, beta-damascone combined with delta-damascone, and possibly safranal, would be the best ones to use (well, at least partially judging by how my agarwood incense smells).
 

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