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Anatomy of a Scent: Pentimento

Perfumer in white lab coat overlaid with image of pink orchid

Welcome to Anatomy of a Scent, a series where in-house master perfumer Euan McCall dissects much-loved scents from our collection of unique Scottish fragrances to reveal their inner workings. This time we're looking at Pentimento Eau de Parfum, a rich, decadent and earthy niche gourmand scent with orchid, hazelnut and vanilla notes.



Tiaré, Orchid, Hazelnut, Broom Absolute.



Carob Absolute, Tobacco flower, Vanilla, Rum Absolute, Tonka Bean Absolute.


Benzaldehyde + gamma-nonalactone + Methyl Diantilis™ = blooming orchids 

Pentimento exudes a certain exotic elegance – there’s perfumed skin bronzing under the summer sun, lazily drawn cigarettes beneath a canopy of unruly tropical flowers. To achieve this soft orchid solar flare I used two widely used materials; benzaldehyde and gamma-nonalactone in combination with a lesser used floral materials, Methyl Diantilis™.

The result creates a naturally sweet smelling orchid perfume with hints of spicy clove, bitter almond and silky flower petals. Benzaldehyde provided the spicy almond tonality, gamma-nonalactone the creamy coconut fleshiness. Methyl Diantilis™ is an arguably more complex aromatic and provides much of the basking orchid tropical quality with its clove bud sweet-spicy facets and white floral petal velvetiness. 


Ambrarome Absolute + Tonka Bean Absolute + Propenyl Guaethol = Ashy Vanilla beans 

Ambrarome absolute is a wonderful material. This speciality extract of Labdanum is a perfume on its own (and I quite like wearing it as such). With pronounced ambergris, tobacco flower and leaf, coffee and leathery animalic notes, ambrarome absolute provides much of the mineral cigarette ash-tinted vanilla character found in Pentimento.

Ambrarome absolute is used as an unexpected bridging material in Pentimento as it connects the tropical fruity floral notes with the ambergris and animalic underside. Adding a healthy dose of tonka bean absolute creates a more indulgent and pronounced balsamic vanilla bean fragrance quality, extended further by the smoky, tobacco and vanilla-like propenyl guaethol. This trio of materials creates a surprising development, shifting the profile of Pentimento from nutty, exotic flowers and boozy tropical fruits to a very realistic ambergris and sophisticated vanilla fade.  

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