The recent discovery of guaiac wood in perfumery
The Latin origins of the small South American guaiac tree mean wood of life, perhaps because it is one of the densest and most resistant woods in the world. Thus guaiac wood, long before being exploited in perfumery or even for its medicinal virtues, was used to build certain parts of boats, wooden toys, furniture or even… bowling balls!
However, the resin obtained from the bark of guaiac wood was recognized as early as 1884 as a medical remedy for its anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-rheumatic and even aphrodisiac properties! It was not until the appearance of woody perfumes on the market in the 1960s that guaiac wood finally won the favor of the major perfume houses for its chemical and olfactory properties.
In perfumery, it is particularly appreciated for its qualities as a binder between heart and base notes in woody, oriental, amber or fern accords. It also has much more important olfactory qualities to offer to the fine noses that create our perfumes
Guaiac wood and the phenomenal rise of woody scents
Until the phenomenal success of woody perfumes for men, guaiac wood only served as a fixer when it could offer much more!
Guaiac wood essence offers smoky, woody, slightly balsamic scents reminiscent of certain leather notes. Naturally, from the very first success of the woody perfume, Vetiver by Carven in 1957, the essence of guaiac was one of the almost essential components of woody perfumes for men, so much the roundness of its fragrance ennobles and coats the scents of vetiver, sandalwood. or even cedar. While woody scents are becoming classics for men, guaiac wood becomes one of the essential raw materials for a woody fragrance.
However, make no mistake, guaiac wood is also used by many other scent families. It goes perfectly with the amber notes of sandalwood or ambrette but also with gourmet notes of vanilla. Finally, even more surprisingly, guaiac wood achieves perfect compositions with floral notes of champaca or palmarosa!
If we tend by its smoky and woody scents to think that guaiac wood belongs exclusively to the masculine woody family, we are making a serious mistake! First of all, because woody scents are attracting more and more women followers of powerful vegetable scents and suave and deep essences such as guaiac wood. Finally, quite simply because guaiac wood, exhibiting remarkable stability as well as a perfect blend of different olfactory notes, is now one of the most widely used raw materials in perfumery.