Perfumed Alphabet: H is for Hexenol-3-Cis (aka Leaf Alcohol)

The merry-go-round

Spins quickly counterclockwise

The clock ticks backward

No matter its name or chemistry, hexenol-3-cis is instantly recognizable as the scent of fresh-cut grass. I remember as a child getting dizzy on a merry-go-round and rolling off it onto the grass, or trying to swing as high as the frame and later jump off onto the grass. No AstroTurf in my earliest playground memories.

As an adult, one of my favorite things to do is lie on the grass on a sunny day. I don’t even need a blanket, but the ground can’t be wet, buggy, or strewn with goose poop… which makes opportunities more limited. To lie calmly and breathe in the grass, the earth, the breeze—these moments are precious.

Hexenol-3-cis is the smell of lush grass clinging to earth. The maximum recommended concentration of this green top note ingredient in a perfume is 8%.

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