Lychee fruit


Basenotes Dependent
Oct 12, 2016
The following may be useful in a lychee fruit accord:

Beta-damasone - This is pretty much the single most important note in a lychee accord, but only extremely small amounts are needed since it is very potent
Rose oxide, or Doremox (Doremox is actually less expensive and I think works even better in this situation, it is kind of fruity like a green unripe starfruit)
citronellyl acetate - adds some of the sour lychee fruitiness
a small hint of geraniol
(optional) an extremely tiny hint of beta-caryophyllene, can add some spicy woodiness in the background
Magnolan and maybe a little glycolierral, can help add some of the semi-opaque white milky feeling of lychee fruit.
A very smaller amount of gamma-decalactone can give a more explicit creaminess, in a much less opaque way. (Probably the use of both is the best way to go)

Paradisamide, for the pungent tropical guava or passionfruit nuance, and possibly a little Cassifix
buchu mercaptan, for a sulphury cassis note (or, if not available, some people believe a tiny hint of dimethyl sulfide could also be useful here)

(optional) small amounts of isoamyl formate and a hint of berryflor might be useful.
a hint of Apritone can help add a fruity davana oil like feel, not the main note of lychee but can add a hint of complexity in the background
some esters like ethyl heptanoate (ethyl heptylate), isoamyl formate, and maybe even a little hint of furfural, can help round things out.

(optional) linalool oxide can also work well with lychee

Big L

Super Member
Nov 23, 2019
I have also recently been working on a Litchi note (you can experience it in the Pink Lady formula).

I agree about the Beta-damasone. The second most important one I would say is probably the Buchu Mercaptan. A simple, straightforward way to experiment with it would be Firmenich's Cassis Base 435B, together with Beta-damasone, which is how it is done in the formula mentioned above.


Basenotes Dependent
Oct 12, 2016
The second most important one I would say is probably the Buchu Mercaptan.
I am not claiming that you are "wrong", but in my personal opinion the second most important one is rose oxide.

Doremox is (at its most fundamental level) similar in feel to rose oxide, and the two can be used as substitutes for each other in this situation, but in my personal opinion the best possible smelling lychee accord would use a bit of both. Maybe in a 1:3 ratio (since rose oxide is the stronger smelling one). Though you do not absolutely have to use both and could select either.

Buchu mercaptan is really helpful for that sulphury currant note, lending an aspect of pungentness adding more depth to a lychee accord, but it is possible to make a lychee accord without it. It will just be a little bit of a different lychee fragrance. Lychee is moderately complicated accord and there are different possible aspects within that accord that can be played up. It will depend what type of lychee note you are after. More fruity, more clean floral, pungent and tropical fruity? More realistic or fantasy.

Citronellyl acetate is maybe the third most important one, in my opinion, but there are many different combinations of substitutes for it that are not bad. I think this one is the best though. Again it depends on what sort of aspect you are trying to play up. This is the sour tart "lemony" fruitiness in lychee, more like a flavor.

Citronellol with other acetates like linalyl acetate, geranyl proprionate, and various fruity esters can be used instead. And linalool oxide sort of half falls into this category too. You can play around with some different combinations and ratios.

You could say there are different "families", citronellyl ("lemon"), linalyl ("floral lavender") geranyl ("sharp red rose") even neryl ("orange/lemon") and these could be in their alcohol (-ol) form or combined with esters; acetate, proprionate, butanoate, etc. (I think in natural lychee it is much longer esters like ethyl octanoate and ethyl decanoate that are responsible for much of the waxiness note, but these esters may not be the most optimal ones for perfumery) but this part is not too important and you don't need to get it "exactly right". But the variation that is listed in my formula is what I think is the best.

Some of these esters could make it too fruity and "edible" for some.
Mar 26, 2022
Imo Citronellyl acetate is possibly the most obvious starting point. Also consider hexalon and some muguet elements. fwiw, the lychee note in Master is something I made from scratch.


Basenotes Dependent
Oct 12, 2016
Also consider hexalon and some muguet elements.
Hexalon (alpha allyl ionone), that's like the Galbascone version of ionone, isn't it?
I'm not sure it really goes here, or should only be used in tiny amounts, if you wish to add a subtle pineapple aspect to the lychee. I think it depends what type of lychee, what side of lychee, you are going for. That might be a little too fruity-edible. This isn't going to be a "clean" lychee if you add it. I'm not sure about the pineapple note. I think natural lychee might have a tiny bit of something similar to a pineapple note in it, but I don't think it's actually pineapple. Then again, fantasy impressions are open to interpretation. I think this is going to remind me of an overripe lychee.
If you want the tropical fruity aspects in lychee there are plenty of others that could work.
Ionone could brighten the lychee fragrance a little, and they have detected small amounts of naturally occurring beta-ionone in lychee.

You know, I am thinking Hexalon might find some use in trying to recreate the smell of Quince fruit.


Basenotes Dependent
Oct 12, 2016
I took a smell of an elderflower liquor and it is very reminiscent of lychee, or rather something in the aroma of lychee. It doesn't really smell like lychee, overall, but rather seems like half the smell that is in the fragrance of lychee.
It is kind of pungent, so I suspect there is a thiol (mercaptan) that is largely responsible for the smell of elderflower. Unfortunately, I did some research and was not able to find out exactly what this thiol is. (Thiols are extremely potent in smell and usually occur in only trace amounts, so they are often not the easiest to identify in an odor analysis)

There is something called "lychee mercaptan acetate" ( 3-(methylthio)hexyl acetate ) that is supposedly useful for making artificial lychee flavors. Unfortunately it doesn't seem to be commonly commercially available. (Just because it has "lychee" in the name doesn't necessarily mean it actually naturally occurs in lychee)

The research did reveal that nerol oxide is a part of the smell of elderflower. That would be kind of similar to linalool oxide.
Rose oxide and beta-damascenone are also a part of the fragrance of elderflower, which probably explains some of the similarity in smell.

Another source I found stated that hotrienol is responsible for the elderflower like notes in wine. Probably this is the "sweet tropical" notes in the smell of hotrienol (although it is also woody myrcene/ocimene, fennel and ginger in smell).

This source says:
"The characteristic elderberry odour is due to dihydroedulan and beta-damascenone, of which the former occurs in relatively high concentrations in the headspace of elderberry juice."
"Olfactory and quantitative analysis of volatiles in elderberry (Sambucus nigra L) juice processed from seven cultivars", K. Jensen, January 15, 2001, Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, Volume 81, Issue 2, pages 237-244.

It is possible I am mistaking the smell of dihydroedulan for the type of smell of a thiol.
If you look at the molecular structure of Cassifix (a synthetic molecule that smells like black currant, or cassis), it seems like it may be similar to the sort of smell of dihydroedulan. Even though the natural smell of black currant comes from a thiol (mercaptan).

It looks like they did find fairly high amounts if cis-edulan in osmanthus. (That would be very similar to dihydroedulan)
"Analysis of aroma-active compounds in three sweet osmanthus (Osmanthus fragrans) cultivars by GC-olfactometry and GC-MS", Xuan Cai, J Zhejiang Univ Sci B. 2014 Jul; 15(7): 638–648.
And I have stated in the past that osmanthus is another that might be useful in trying to use in recreating a lychee smell. So there is another possible connection. (although they found high levels of linalool oxide in osmanthus too)

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