leatherHelpful Definitions

Starting with these definitions, our lead perfumer, Michael D'andrea, has put together a collection of technical information geared to help you better understand our fragrances. The Andrea family feels it is our responsibility to help consumers make educated desicions when purchasing our products. We are always available to discuss your needs and applications in order to provide the best possible realization to suit your individual necessities. We're not happy unless you’re ecstatic.


highly concentrated, alcohol soluble extracts of natural perfume materials.

Absolutes are usually prepared from concretes (see below) via alcohol extraction. The alcohol is subsequently removed so that the finished absolute will be completely soluble in designer perfumes and colognes.


Balsams and Resins

Natural raw materials extruded from trees, bushes and other plants

Balsams and Resins are produced by these plants in an effort to protect them from insect infestation or other pathogens. Balsams and resins are usually solid or semi-solid and oil soluble. For ease of use, we offer them at 50% concentrations so they will be pourable at room temperature and therefore easier to mix with other fragrance ingredients. We currently carry Balsam Peru, Balsam Tolu, Benzoin Resin, Myrrh Resin and Labdanum Resin.



Concretes are extracted from non or low-resinous natural raw materials.

In the past, chemical solvents were used for extraction, but today, liquid carbon dioxide is usually employed in the process. After extraction, the solvent is removed, leaving a mixture of concentrated fragrance materials together with natural waxes, and other materials; some of which are not soluble in alcohol or other perfume material. For this reason, many concretes are further processed into Absolutes (see above) for use in perfume. Concretes may be used “as is” for soaps, creams, and pomades.


Essential Oils

These are natural, fragrant oils extracted from plant matter.

Essential oils are most often extracted from grasses, roots, leaves, flowers, fruit and seeds. Extraction is generally done using steam distillation, extraction via liquid carbon dioxide or other solvent or by expression (pressing or squeezing).



These are usually large molecular weight ingredients having a slower evaporation rate, which in turn slow the evaporation rate of the fragrance compound in which they are present.

In the past, natural, animal derived fixatives such as musk (from deer), castoreum (from beaver), civet (from civet cats) and ambergris (from sperm whales) were used. Today, for eco-conservation reasons, synthetic musk chemicals are used instead. Most of the active molecules in natural fixatives have been chemically identified and are produced synthetically for a fraction of the cost.


Fragrance Compounds

These are usually blends of natural essential oils, ingredients isolated from them, synthetic aromatic chemicals, natural resins, balsams and fixatives.

A finished fragrance compound blends a balance of:

  1. Top Notes: The fastest evaporating ingredients, which give the first impression of the fragrance, as well as its “lift.”
  2. Middle notes: The main body of the fragrance, which predominates most of the extent of the fragrance, and provides the main character of the scent.
  3. Base Notes: The slowest evaporating and longest lasting part of any fragrance. They include ingredients which, by themselves, are usually solid at room temperature, as well as fixatives which give longer lasting properties to a fragrance.

Synthetic Aromatics

These are synthetic chemical substances.

Synthetic Aromatics are important fragrance ingredients since many of these are the key active ingredients found in natural essential oils. Most can be manufactured at a fraction of the cost of the natural sources thus making fragrances very low in cost by comparison with the cost of many of the naturals. In creating a fragrance compound, we obtain an analysis of a natural fragrance such as roses or peaches and then try to use as many of the same chemical components in the same proportions found in the original. In many cases, we can closely parallel the same scent as the natural product at a fraction of the cost.

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Princeton, NJ