|WHAT ARE ALL THESE SCENTS IN MY PRODUCTS, AND ARE THEY EVEN REAL THINGS?|
|BY ROB BRICKEN|
|More like ‘berga-what’ and ‘patch-who-li’, amiright??|
|It can be tough to decipher the scent descriptions on colognes, soaps, body washes and the rest, because most of the ingredients aren’t things we encounter on a daily basis. Luckily, we have a cheat sheet for that!|
Remember how people found dinosaur DNA in Jurassic Park? It was stuck in amber, a.k.a. fossilized tree resin. Known for its woodsy pine scent, true amber is hard to find, but scientists have figured out ways to synthesize its aroma.
Ever had a cup of Earl Grey tea? You’ve drunk bergamot, a Mediterranean citrus fruit. It’s orange-sized but green or yellow, and is incredibly sour to eat, so don’t. But the oil pressed from its rind makes your tea tasty and you smell good.
You know there are cedar trees, right? Well, cedarwood doesn’t actually come from them — it’s mainly made by distilling or pressing juniper and cypress trees. But it produces the authentic, slightly citrusy odor of genuine cedar.
The unmistakable scent of patchouli comes from the flower of the same name. It’s a member of the mint family, which gives patchouli that distinct spicy-sweet smell amidst all the muskiness. Some people even use it as a natural insect repellent!
|Cedarwood doesn’t come from cedar trees, it’s made by distilling or pressing juniper and cypress trees.|
Sandalwood makes up an entire class of trees found in India, Australia and Southeast Asia. The oil is released by steaming the heartwood (a.k.a. the inside part). It’s been used in religious ceremonies and as medicine throughout human history.
While there are shrubs called wintergreens, the name was traditionally used to describe all plants that stayed green through winter — what we now call “evergreens.” Despite its minty scent, wintergreens are not part of the mint family, which is why the aroma is milder.