Perfumed Alphabet: D is for Damascone

Blackcurrant dripping

Juice down a chemical rose

My still-life outline

Damascones are a friend when it comes to fruity florals. Commonly used ones come in alpha-, beta-, and gamma- isomers. I haven’t smelled alpha-damascone on its own but apparently it leans more toward apple and occurs in the natural flavor of tea and tobacco. Beta-damascone is found in the oil of the Damask rose (Rosa damascena) in small concentrations with great impact. To me, it smells green and pungent, almost like a mentholated syrup, at full concentration. It is used to evoke the scents of blackcurrant, plum, and rose. Delta-damascone is synthetic and smells to me sweeter and more rounded, like a rosy apple. It is meant to be a diffusive blackcurrant note. All are skin sensitizers with their use restricted to trace amounts in a fragrance.

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