Anatomy of a Scent: Gorseland
Welcome to Anatomy of a Scent, a series where in-house master perfumer Euan McCall dissects much-loved scents from our collection of unique, niche Scottish fragrances to reveal their inner workings. This time we're looking at Gorseland, the sunshine-in-a-bottle from our Scottish Odyssey collection with realistic gorse, marijuana and sour lemony elements.
Pineapple weed, Neroli oil, Chamomile, Gorseflower, Crab Apple, Lemon oil, Astilbe, Lavender Absolute.
Gooseberry, Milk-vetch, Elderflower, Catchfly, Woodruff, Gorsewood, Zdravetz, Kush Accord.
Triplal® + Methyl Laitone® = Realistic Gorse flowers
Ask anyone to describe the aroma of gorse flowers and they will say ‘coconut’. These little yellow flowers do indeed exude a soft tropical fruity coconut aroma however the profile is more complex and interesting. With Gorseland I wanted the coconut element to present itself as it does in nature. There are a number of gorse-centric perfumes on the market however in my opinion, they sit one-dimensionally coconut in tonality. The gorse note in Gorseland is more complex (as befitting a luxury niche fragrance) and leans towards green, waxy and pollen facets with a hint of coconut rather than just coconut. As such, it smells alive – and more akin to smelling the entire shrub in bloom in nature.
To achieve this I used the super versatile material Methyl Laitone® (produced by Givaudan). Methyl Laitone® is a powerful broad spectrum material possessing facets of fruit, cream, tonka, woods, exotic flowers and yes, coconut. To push this sensation closer to my desired pollen-rich gorse flower in nature setting, I added a little dash of Triplal®. Triplal® is an intensely green smelling material with a lot of impact and leafy density. To me, Triplal® smells like cutting into dry stems (not fresh stems!). This leafy character lends just the right amount of waxy dryness. This aromatic dyad is extended by Stemone™ that makes up a large proportion of the marijuana note also found with Gorseland.
Stemone™ + Lavender Absolute + Armoise = Fresh Marijuana
Moving on from our shrubby Gorse sensation, let’s discuss the marijuana note that many perceive in Gorseland. This facet was created intentionally using the existing Gorse dyad (as discussed) and extending with a few choice materials.
First, why marijuana? Gorseland is a perfume that captures the Scottish spring and summer and early Summer here in Edinburgh can best be enjoyed by a visit to Arthur’s Seat. As you walk down the Royal Mile, past the Scottish Parliament and the Palace of Holyrood, you’ll soon reach the base of Arthur’s Seat which will be a riot with gorse flowers in bloom and you will most likely have walked past many students enjoying the sun and smoking marijuana. The combination of sunbathing gorse and marijuana is the scent of city summers at the bottom of the Royal Mile in Edinburghs Old Town: the perfect inspiration for a Scottish perfumer.
An important material used to recreate this effect is lavender absolute. I discussed lavender absolute in more depth in this blog piece. Exquisite lavender absolute is supplemented with Moroccan armoise, adding fresh terpene and green lift to the accord. Armoise is a powerhouse material and one that I really enjoy – it is a complex essence finding use in so many different type or perfume.
The final material helping to create the fresh marijuana effect is Stemone™. Stemone™ imparts green freshness and naturalness with just the right amount of funkiness to infer marijuana.
As a target profile, marijuana can be created in countless ways due to the complexity of the substance. For Gorseland, I wanted this facet to be present but not dominant and as such, created this well proportioned (albeit much fresher) profile and calibrated it into the formula accordingly.
Lemon oil (Sfumatrice) = Sunshine
The sunny side of Gorseland can be attributed to many of the materials used in the perfume. However, nothing says sunshine quite like citrus oils (and perhaps some white flowers thrown in for good measure).
Lemon oil (Sfumatrice) does much of the heavy lifting on the opening of Gorseland, lending a beautiful zesty rush as you apply Gorseland. Lemon oil (Sfumatrice) keeps much of the characteristic citrus profile intact whilst removing the pesky furocoumarins via molecular distillation – as such, we can use more lemon oil should we need to. The lemon oil we use presents a well balanced and full bodied lemon character: a little sherbet, fresh fizzy, rounded citrus sweetness, dewy floral and a mouth-puckering tartness – creating the perfect summer fragrance that can be worn all year round.
As a side note, Gorseland could be categorised as a very modern and contemporary example of a Fougère style fragrance.