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Carnation in perfumery

The different shapes of carnations and their meanings

Carnation is a perennial plant with generally serrated petals and belonging to the caryophyllaceae family. There are many varieties including the very fragrant Mignardise carnation, the poet's carnation whose flowers form a bouquet naturally, the Chinese carnation with two-colored but odorless petals or the Indian carnation which actually belongs to the family of Asteraceae and which is therefore not a carnation strictly speaking. Legend has it that the carnation was born from a whim of Diane who would have torn the eyes of a young shepherd before throwing them to the ground and seeing them germinate, thus giving birth to the carnation, hence the name of this plant. Already used in ancient Greece to crown athletes or the bride and groom, the carnation was brought to Europe by the invasions of the Roman Empire.Its excellent conservation once cut was then very appreciated and this flower was used to make wreaths and garlands. Likewise, many paintings dating from the Middle Ages highlight the carnation. This one is present in particular on the painting of The Madonna with the victory of Mantegna or The Virgin and the child of Raphaël. In addition, this attraction to this flower continued until the end of the 19th century. Likewise, the carnation is very popular with poets, cited many times by Melle de Scudéry or Louise de Villemorin. Finally, historically, let us note that the red carnation is a strong symbol of the revolutionary party and the workers' movement. If it was blue, it related to the national anti-Semitic league of France in 1889. Finally, Oscar Wilde's green carnation was, for its part,a subtle way of announcing his homosexuality.

Carnation in perfumery

If there is indeed a carnation absolute from Egypt, it is very rarely used by perfumers. Indeed, this variety does not really correspond to the spicy carnation as we do not commonly imagine. It used to be used just because it smelled good. Today, it has given way to its synthetic reproduction. In this case, the natural scent of carnation consists mainly of eugenol, one of the main constituents of cloves, which explains the spicy profile of this flower. So, when perfumers recreate the scent of carnation, they use eugenol in large quantities. It is then advisable to add to it a touch of balmy emanating most often from cinamic alcohol. Finally, the whole thing is completed with a floral touch. To do this,perfumers incorporate benzyl salicylate, natural ylang-ylang, heliotropin or rose into their synthetic composition. The whole is still rounded with a hint of vanilla. The iris also sometimes comes to complete this formula reinforcing the powdery aspect of this mixture. However, it should be noted that the use of eugenol has been severely restricted by the body responsible for the control of raw materials used in perfumed products, the IFRA. In order to avoid any risk of skin sensitization, its use is thus limited to 0.5% for an eau de toilette. This is why many perfumers are now replacing it with substitutes such as methyl-diantilis.heliotropin or rose. The whole is still rounded with a hint of vanilla. The iris also sometimes comes to complete this formula reinforcing the powdery aspect of this mixture. However, it should be noted that the use of eugenol has been severely restricted by the body responsible for the control of raw materials used in perfumed products, the IFRA. In order to avoid any risk of skin sensitization, its use is thus limited to 0.5% for an eau de toilette. This is why many perfumers are now replacing it with substitutes such as methyl-diantilis.heliotropin or rose. The whole is still rounded with a hint of vanilla. The iris also sometimes comes to complete this formula reinforcing the powdery aspect of this mixture. However, it should be noted that the use of eugenol has been severely restricted by the body responsible for the control of raw materials used in perfumed products, the IFRA. In order to avoid any risk of skin sensitization, its use is thus limited to 0.5% for an eau de toilette. This is why many perfumers are now replacing it with substitutes such as methyl-diantilis.eugenol has been severely restricted by the control body for raw materials used in scented products, IFRA. In order to avoid any risk of skin sensitization, its use is thus limited to 0.5% for an eau de toilette. This is why many perfumers are now replacing it with substitutes such as methyl-diantilis.eugenol has been severely restricted by the control body for raw materials used in scented products, IFRA. In order to avoid any risk of skin sensitization, its use is thus limited to 0.5% for an eau de toilette. This is why many perfumers are now replacing it with substitutes such as methyl-diantilis.

If the craze for the carnation has known ups and downs, it seems more than ever to have the wind in its sails since the beginning of the years 2010. It thus appears in Vitriol d'Œillet by Serge Lutens, L'Heure Cartier's coveted or Prada's Carnation Infusion.

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