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    I usually wouldn’t bother you, since you’re an expert professional, I’m only a hobbyist, yet this is precisely why I am now asking you for advice.

    I have been extremely lucky, to have been invited to a friends father’s estate clearing, to pick up some bottles, to find that he used to be a professional perfumer for a local company (Fuller Brush). Unfortunately he used a large amount of chemicals, as well as naturals. Sometimes the labeling does not express clearly which, and if dilluted or not. Lots is garbage. However, there are some very, very nice natural products from Grasse as well. Oakmoss, Treemoss, Neroli, Sandalwood, Amyris, Juniper Berry , Jasmin, Mimosa, Orris, Vanilla, Fir Balsam Absolute, and many more. The question is, could there be spoilage, oxidation, or enhanced sensitation issues, since many are dated as far back as 1964 – 1971. Some are still sealed, often in Aluminum bottles, others nearly completely full, as well as 3/4 and 1/2. There are also two Ambergris tincture bottles – they are only labeled “Ambergris” each 2 oz bottle is about half full with a liquid, but has a heavy white coating on the empty top part, caused by evaporation within the bottle no doubt. It is only a film on the glass, not on the liquid. Could this be the real thing? Could this still be good? The smell is almost imperceptible, but there – not chemical at all, very lightly animalic. Hard to describe.

    One Oakmoss has heavy white crystallization, I assume that’s bad. I also looked up Treemoss, and it seems there were enough sensitation/allergy issues, to not use it in perfume anymore. I can only guess however.

    I would very much appreciate your advice, and thank you very much for your time and invitation to your forum

    Best Wishes, Susanne


    Ciao Suzanne,
    there are 2 points in your questions: are these perfumes natural? and are they still good?
    I cannot tell you about the products being natural until I smell them, for instance white crystals on natural oak moss cannot happen as far as I know and a 30 or 40 years old Jasmine should be completely black and oxidized even if kept in the fridge but… everything is possible and I do not know everything. Only by smelling shall I be able to tell you about this point.
    In Middle East you find with the best perfumers Agarwood seasoned for 30 or 40 years and it fetches prices for Sheikhs only.
    All woods better with age, cedar wood, sandalwood, and even woody like essences such as patchouli and Vetyver, if kept well…
    They are not as strong as when fresh but the smell becomes blended by age in a way more quiet.
    This is true also for frankincense essential oil but it is likely that Myhrr would become solid.
    The ambergris might be natural; when the tincture evaporates it leaves a dirty white coating on the thread of the bottles.

    AbdesSalaam Attar
    Compositore Profumiere


    Thank you so much, Salaam
    Your thoughts on this has been very helpful, confirming what I thought as well. I’ve been testing through these items, with scent strips, researching each the best I’m able to, and also on the skin. Synthetics always make me nauseous to varying degrees. Even good ones, once dilluted and on the skin, will then have this effect. Sadly, this also happened with a Rose Absolute from a reputable seller, which I had every reason to believe to be genuine…
    I’ve since come to be suspicious of all very precious materials – such great demand, so little supply.

    The mosses I will be very careful with, and throw away the crystalized one, and all bottles with the same labeling.

    In regards to the Ambergris, what are your thoughts on dealing with it – rebottle the liquid part of course, but can I re-tincture the white deposit, or has that gone bad? I feel so fortunate. I wouldn’t have dreamt of ever getting to know Ambergris. And I’m so lucky to also be able to ask an expert (you) for advice.
    The Sandalwood is also as you describe – nice, and mellow. It seems light at first, but has incredible depth in development and dryout. No Agarwood I’m afraid – wouldn’t that be amazing. Ambergris and Sandalwood are quite enough though, I think. We’re not done yet, so who knows…

    Many thanks, and all the Best,


    Ciao Suzanna,
    although I certainly cannot confirm that any these products are natural without examining them, i can tell you that the evaporated deposit of real ambergris does not decay and can be dissolved again in pure alcohool 96°.

    AbdesSalaam Attar
    Compositore Profumiere


    Thank you very, very much Salaam. I appreciate your help. Yes, a lot of testing to do. They are all very, very old, which could present issues beyond being natural, or even especially if they are, even if the scent is fine.

    I have to tell you, I very much admire your work. I often read on your website, just because it is sheer pleasure to do. Yes, perfume speaks to the soul, and also allows the soul to speak. Scents, I believe, not only tap into actual memories, but also remind us who we are, and who we are to be. But that’s just my opinion – seems to fit with individuals, as well as trends however.

    Many thanks again, I appreciate your time

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