Perfumed Alphabet: H is for Hyraceum

Rhodesian Ridgeback fur
Rhodesian Ridgeback fur


Once upon a time, a hyrax

Peed on a rock. Time and again.

Its friends, according to my facts,

Peed on the same rock. Every day.


Now, humans take this fossilized

Excrement to use in perfume.

Hyraceum smells caramelized,

Leathery, smoky, rich, suffused.


Dare I say, a little meaty?

It shares qualities of other

Animal notes, but fits neatly

Into the cruelty-free order.



I find hyraceum fascinating, as it’s not particularly urinous smelling despite what it is, but its fumes have a tendency to stick around (probably literally) in the nostrils after a few deep sniffs. Then it teeters on the edge of being offensive, but otherwise it’s mostly warm and dense in a comforting way.

Fragrantica listed a lot more perfumes containing hyraceum than I expected to see; many of them are natural perfumes. The most famous might be the eponymous Hyrax by Zoologist, which I may have smelled without remembering it well among many other new and wonderful fragrances I was exploring at the same time. Next chance, I’ll give it special attention.

Do you have any opinions on perfumes containing hyraceum?






4 thoughts on “Perfumed Alphabet: H is for Hyraceum

  1. I don’t think I like that note in perfumes – if to judge by the fact that I don’t like a single perfume from the Fragrantica’s list for this note.


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