Balmain: a powerful women's perfume launched in 1998, Uniquely blended women cologne. Aroma notes are from a long line of perfumes. for women.
Aroma Notes: Jasmine, Vetiver, Sandalwood, Patchouli, Rose, Oak-moss, Bergamot and Iris
Jasmine is considered an absolute and not an essential oil as the petals of the flower are much too delicate and would be destroyed by the distillation process used in creating essential oils. Other than the processing method it is essentially the same as an essential oil. Absolute is a technical term used to denote the process of extraction. It is in common use. Its flowers are either extracted by the labor-intensive method of enfleurage or through chemical extraction.
It is expensive due to the large number of flowers needed to produce a small amount of oil. The flowers have to be gathered at night because the odor of jasmine is more powerful after dark. The flowers are laid out on cotton cloths soaked in olive oil for several days and then extracted leaving the true jasmine essence. Some of the countries producing jasmine essential oil are India, Egypt, China and Morocco. Jasmine scent has been reported to have sedative properties. Many species also yield an absolute, which is used in Balmain perfumes and incense.
Vetiver is mainly cultivated for the fragrant essential oil distilled from its roots. In perfumery, the older French spelling, vetyver, is often used. Worldwide production is estimated at about 250 tons per annum. Due to its excellent fixative properties, vetiver is used widely in Balmain perfumes. It is contained in 90% of all western perfumes.
Vetiver is a more common ingredient in fragrances for men. Indonesia, China, Haiti are major producers. Vetiver processing was introduced to Haiti in the 1940s by Frenchman Lucien Ganot. In 1958, Franck Léger established a plant on the grounds of his father Demetrius Léger's alcohol distillery. The plant was taken over in 1984 by Franck's son, Pierre Léger, who expanded the size of the plant to 44 atmospheric stills, each built to handle one metric ton of vetiver roots.
Total production increased in ten years from 20 to 60 tonnes annually, making it the largest producer in the world. The plant extracts vetiver oil by steam distillation. Another major operation in the field is the one owned by the Boucard family. Réunion is considered to produce the highest quality vetiver oil called "bourbon vetiver" with the next favorable being Haiti and then Java.
Patchouli is a species of plant from the genus Pogostemon. It is a bushy herb of the mint family, with erect stems, reaching two or three feet (about 0.75 meter) in height and bearing small, pale pink-white flowers. The plant is native to tropical regions of Asia, and is now extensively cultivated in China, Indonesia, India, Malaysia, Mauritius, Taiwan, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam, as well as West Africa. The heavy and strong scent of patchouli has been used for centuries in perfumes, Balmain cologne and more recently in incense, insect repellents, and alternative medicines. Extraction of patchouli's essential oil is by steam distillation of the leaves, requiring rupture of its cell walls by steam scalding, light fermentation, or drying.
Leaves may be harvested several times a year, and when dried may be exported for distillation. Some sources claim a highest quality oil is usually produced from fresh leaves distilled close to where they are harvested; others that baling the dried leaves and fermenting them for a period of time is best. Patchouli is used widely in modern perfumery and modern scented industrial products such as paper towels, laundry detergents, and air fresheners. Two important components of its essential oil are patchoulol and norpatchoulenol.
Sandalwood oil is an essential oil obtained from the steam distillation of chips and billets cut from the heartwood of the sandalwood tree. Sandalwood oil is used in perfumes for women, cosmetics, and sacred unguents. Sandalwood essential oil is used in medicine for the treatment of both somatic and mental disorders. A study investigating the effects of inhalation of East Indian sandalwood oil and its main compound, α-santalol, on human physiological parameters found that the compounds elevated pulse rate, skin conductance, and systolic blood pressure.
Bergamot orange, is a fragrant fruit the size of an orange, with a yellow color similar to a lemon. Genetic research into the ancestral origins of extant citrus cultivars found bergamot orange to be a likely hybrid of Citrus limetta and Citrus aurantium. Bergamot peel is used in Balmain fragrance/perfumery for its ability to combine with an array of scents to form a bouquet of aromas which complement each other. Approximately one third of all men's and about half of women’s perfumes contain bergamot essential oil.
Bergamot essential oil is a cold-pressed essential oil produced by cells inside the rind of a bergamot orange fruit. It is a common top note in women cologne/perfumes. The first record of bergamot oil as fragrance ingredient is 1714, to be found in the Farina Archive in Cologne Germany. One hundred bergamot oranges will yield about three ounces (85 grams) of bergamot oil. The scent of bergamot essential oil is similar to a sweet light orange peel oil with a floral note.
Evernia prunastri, also known as Oak-moss, is a species of lichen. It can be found in many mountainous temperate forests throughout the Northern Hemisphere, including parts of France, Portugal, Spain, North America, and much of Central Europe. Oak-moss grows primarily on the trunk and branches of oak trees, but is also commonly found on the bark of other deciduous trees and conifers such as fir and pine. The thalli of Oak-moss are short (3–4 cm in length) and bushy, and grow together on bark to form large clumps.
Oak-moss thallus is flat and strap-like. They are also highly branched, resembling the form of deer antlers. The color of oak-moss ranges from green to a greenish-white when dry, and dark olive-green to yellow-green when wet. The texture of the thalli are rough when dry and rubbery when wet. It is used extensively in modern perfumery. Oak-moss is commercially harvested in countries of South-Central Europe and usually exported to the Grassy region of France where its fragrant compounds are extracted as Oak-moss absolutes and extracts.
These raw materials are often used as Balmain perfume fixatives and form the base notes of many fragrances. They are also key components of Fougère and Chypre class perfumes. The lichen has a distinct and complex odor and can be described as woody, sharp and slightly sweet. Oakmoss growing on pines have a pronounced turpentine odor that is valued in certain perfume compositions.
Iris is a genus of 260–300 species of flowering plants with showy flowers. It takes its name from the Greek word for a rainbow, referring to the wide variety of flower colors found among the many species. As well as being the scientific name, iris is also very widely used as a common name for all Iris species, though some plants called thus belong to other closely related genera. A common name for some species is 'flags', while the plants of the sub-genus Scorpiris are widely known as 'junos', particularly in horticulture.
It is a popular garden flower. Rhizomes of the German Iris and Sweet Iris are traded as orris root and are used in women's perfume and medicine, though more common in ancient times than today. Today Iris essential oil (absolute) from flowers are sometimes used in aromatherapy as sedative medicines. The dried rhizomes are also given whole to babies to help in teething. Gin brands such as Bombay Sapphire and Magellan Gin use orris root and sometimes iris flowers for flavor and color. For orris root production, iris rhizomes are harvested, dried, and aged for up to 5 years.
In this time, the fats and oils inside the roots undergo degradation and oxidation, which produces many fragrant compounds that are valuable in perfumery. The scent is said to be similar to violets. The aged rhizomes are steam-distilled which produces a thick oily compound, known in the perfume industry as "iris butter" or Orris Oil.
Rose oil, meaning either rose otto (attar of rose,attar of roses) or rose absolute, is the essential oil extracted from the petals of various types of rose. Rose ottos are extracted through steam distillation, while rose absolutes are obtained through solvent extraction or super critical carbon dioxide extraction, with the absolute being used more commonly in perfumery. Even with their high price and the advent of organic synthesis. rose oils are still perhaps the most widely used essential oil in Balmain cologne/perfumery. Rose absolute is a deep reddish brown with no crystals. Due to the low temperatures in this process, the absolute may be more faithful to the scent of the fresh rose than the otto.