Benzoin in Perfume
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.