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Benzoin in Perfume theme

You can order all perfumes featured in this theme as a pack of samples.

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In this theme

Benzoin is a rich gum resin obtained from the bark of a group of trees called styrax that smells sweet and smooth like vanilla. An excellent fixative, including benzoin in a composition helps slow the dispersion of other aroma molecules and materials and as a result it’s used a lot in perfumery as well as in the production of incense and in medicine for its antiseptic properties.

A material with oodles of depth, benzoin has many facets. It’s a core ingredient in the construction of vegetal amber (along with patchouli and labdanum) and benzoin’s recognisably vanilla-like sweetness can sometimes smell a little smokey like whiskey. It can smell rich and ceremonial like incense does or it can be sharply gourmand and balsamic. Adding an affluent aspect to the hearts and bases of the formulae it’s included in it’s a widely celebrated ingredient for a reason: it smells fantastic.

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PG25 Indochine Pierre Guillaume - Parfumerie Générale Honeyed woods

A very good example, a perfume where 1/3 of the composition is benzoin then paired with honey in perfect harmony. The honey brings the overtly syrupy sugar tones whilst the benzoin seems to want to play the spicy notes. Balancing that interplay with the rounded, sharp spice of cardamom is the key to Indochine’s outlook.

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Ombre Indigo Olfactive Studio Fruity herbaceous

There are a lot of very confident bit players in Ombre Indigo - by that we mean a lot of the ingredients like to shout above each other. Petitgrain, plum, tuberose, incense, papyrus, vetiver, leather.... they’re all incredibly vocal materials but the benzoin is key in helping to smooth the middle ground over.

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Bijou Romantique Etat Libre d'Orange Velvety resinous

Benzoin and patchouli are great bedfellows and work incredibly well together, complimenting each other completely. Bijou Romantique downplays the power of the two materials a little letting the heart notes take the focus but the benzoin and patchouli are the backbone of this fragrance.

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Phul-Nana Grossmith Bright floral

Phul-Nana’s citrus and neroli character really does penetrate the entire way through the life of the perfume and that is - in part - thanks to the inclusion of benzoin. It grabs some of the bright characteristics and anchors them into the base of the fragrance.

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Terre de Sarment Frapin Rubbery woody

The benzoin in Terre de Sarment is combined with vanilla and smoky amyris wood in the base of the perfume. It adds to the overall sweet and rubbery impression of the lower layer which is then exposed to the hard spicing of the heart with cinnamon, nutmeg, cumin and incense.

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Tabac Rouge Phaedon Paris Clouds of spicy tobacco

For the purpose of this pack, it’d be perfect to note that the key to Tabac Rouge’s success is the inclusion of benzoin, wouldn’t it? Honestly it’s likely more the interplay of spice and sweet, the blend of cinnamon and ginger with the honeyed tobacco that turns the most heads but the benzoin adds to the deep and textured, powdered sweetness wonderfully.