Known Entity


I’ve indulged in enough idle chat about chypres lately—it’s about time I attempted to make one!

For this I referred to a 1961 series of articles by Jean Carles, titled A Method of Creation and Perfumery. It might be telling that the first illustrative example is of creating a chypre note. I wasn’t set on creating a particular type of chypre accord, so I started by gathering all the ingredients I had that were in the table of “substantially conventional” materials.

Celery was included in the list of “accessory products,” and I wanted to try out celery seed essential oil. It ended up taking over the mixture, making something reminiscent of a clear vegetable juice. Not in a bad way, though, just a bit salty.

Between the first and second mods, I bought a batch of new botanical ingredients. Of these, I included ylang ylang and red spikenard in the second mod, and omitted the celery seed.

Ethereal, if I say so myself—in a very green way. At least in the top notes, the freshness of a miniature garden blooms assertively up my nostrils, half-jokingly hinting at the potential to become medicinal. It reminds me of a brightness from colognes of past decades… now if only I could name either the effect or the ingredients.

Beyond the top notes, it gets a bit heavy, and on skin, the “essential oil smell” prevails… alas. Further experimentation is warranted.

Anatomy of my first “fantasy chypre”:

  • Citrus component: bergamot
  • Floral components: linalyl acetate, geranyl acetate, geraniol, linalool, rose accord,* neroli, jasmine sambac, ylang ylang, Hedione®
  • Green components: petitgrain, dihydro eugenol, oakmoss, clary sage
  • Base, earthy components: patchouli, vetiver, labdanum, red spikenard, Ambroxan

Unbeknownst to most, I’m calling it… Known Entity!


*Per Perfumer’s Apprentice demonstration formula.






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