The note found in tulips covers a wide range of odors (freesia, orange flower, narcissus, chocolate, leather etc) plus some very green types with lotus and watery elements.
Tulips from Hortus Bulborum (the botanic collection in Limmen) were investigated many years ago at Dragoco, now Symrise, and some of them were cultivated in Paris and in Holzminden for further investigation.
The scent of tulips is very green and fresh vegetal on a soft powdery base but also floral like fresh buds (it is not a "blooming" type). It has some similarities with the scent of snowdrops (early spring) and to a minor degree with freesia. Some experimental extractions were done in the past but tulips were often green reconstitutions. I remember some very old scented post cards from Holland (late 60's or 70's) where the perfume of tulips was reproduced under a plastic layer.
The bouquet of tulips on my table has a scent that is very green pungent between freesia, watery hyacinth and soft salycilates. The scent is shy but the shape is sensual like the famous Dior Tulip Line from the late 50's. The bouquet has the following facets:
- Very green like leaves, stems and fresh sap (like Triplal, hexanal and nonanal)
- Soft powdery but also pungent like ethyl salycilate (or isobutyl with a wintergreen facet)
- Pungent green like hyacinth (type phenylacetic aldehyde & hydratropic plus some acetals like Corps Jacinthe and even reseda body)
- A green violet note plus peppery undertones
- A soft honey note almost pungent and a very light orange flower animalic note (but all these notes are in traces compared to the green facet).
The scent is cold and sharp like the morning dew.
I made a short sketch of this green floral note. It is based on a freesia-hyacinth accord, enriched with some accents to round off the pungent aspect of the tulip represented here by 3 ingredients. There is also a lactonic element because tulips might present a "lower lactone" note combined with green-milky-buttery ingredients and a very faint isovaleric shade (difficult to dose). To reproduce the illusion of a tulip scent you need half of these ingredients and not all the "ornaments" and you can also "attack" the note via a lotus or a cyclamen accord.
Galbanum ess 1%
Narcisse des montagnes abs, 10%
(Neril acetate and Farnesol, 10%)
Methyl phenylacetate, 1%
Methyl anthranilate, 0,1%
Nonalactone g, 1%
Dihydro beta ionone
(Saffron rec., 1%)
To evoke the imaginary scent of the Black Tulip - La Tulipe Noire from the famous 1964 movie with Alain Delon there are other elements to add to this floral base. Something darker, sensual and leathery like the unusual facets found in several tulips (there are hybrids with an immortelle facet!).
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Fragrance is the 8th Art - Octavian Coifan - Le Parfum est le 8ème Art