Our master perfumers celebrate the “spring time” fragrance of Hyacinth and its prevalent use within the modern world of perfumery. Explore it’s fragrant history, what makes it such a timeless fragrance and a few of our recently-composed Hyacinth fragrances designed for an array of scented products.
The name of this bell-shaped flower derives from the Greek, meaning flower of rain. It is as green and lush as the verdant grass of early spring. Hyacinth’s poetic, potent fragrance develops as the flower blooms.
As buds, the scent is light and delicately floral, but as it opens it becomes intensely intoxicating while still retaining a damp, green character.
The floral facets of this glorious bloom are nuanced by vegetal, aquatic accents and sweet and spicy notes. These are often featured in white floral perfumes and other scents formulated by our master perfumers that seek to capture the essence of the vernal season.
Indigenous to the eastern Mediterranean region, Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon and Syria, hyacinth is steeped in romantic Greek legend.
Hyacinthus was a young and handsome Greek lad who was adored by both Apollo, the sun god, and Zephyr, the god of the west wind both of whom vied for his attention.
He was killed with a strike to the head from a discus thrown by Zephyr in a jealous rage. Apollo, heart broken, named the flower that grew from his blood, hyacinth.
It has become a symbol of peace, beauty, power and pride, and in Christian churches is considered a symbol of love, constancy and happiness.
Hyacinths can range in color from almost white to purple, which is the most common hue, but they can also be found in shades of pink, blue, violet, white, yellow and red.
The flowers can grow to a height of 6 to12 inches, and blooms can be single, double or in thick clusters. These multi-floral layers can become so heavy as they grow that they droop, making it seem almost as if their delightful fragrance is pulling them down into the earth from whence they came.
The leaves are long, narrow and folded in half. The most popular variety is the H. orientali, in which clusters of highly fragrant flowers grow on a spike. They are long lived re-blooming plants and their sweet perfume never dies as long as the plant lives.
The sweet fragrance of hyacinth that is so attractive to both humans and bees is the result of its chemical makeup.
The compounds inherent in this richly perfumed flower include: sweet and pleasant smelling benzyl acetate, rose-tinged phenylethyl alcohol, sugary, balsamic benzyl benzoate, and aromatic hydrocarbon trimetoxybenzene, which exudes a strange, animal-like odor.
Modern perfumers rely on synthetic hyacinth for their springtime perfume formulations because the distillation process necessary for extracting the essential oil is extremely costly and it is almost if not entirely impossible to detect the difference.
Perfumers have had differing levels of success in duplicating the smell of hyacinth down through time. For many decades it was considered an old fashioned flower shrouded in Victorian mystique and floral symbolism.
Slowly, it regained popularity throughout the 20th century and into the modern era, being incorporated into perfumes in new and interesting ways, but still retaining the same qualities that define its bold, sweet and distinctive character.
A Few Interesting Facts About Hyacinth
Hyacinths were well known in the ancient realms of Greece and Rome and the writings of both Homer and Virgil noted their sweetness.
Hyacinths were especially popular during the 18th and early 19th centuries because many associated them with Madame Pompadour, who was so in love with the blooms that she encouraged Louis XV to add them to the royal gardens between 1745 and 1765.
Hyacinth flowers adorned the great halls of European palaces and graced the dresses of ladies who used them to accentuate their plunging necklines.
The majority of hyacinth bulbs are grown commercially in the Netherlands and they are also cultivated as cut flowers.
The hyacinth is used in the celebration of the Persian New Year, which is known as Nowruz. It occurs on March 21, which is the official transition from winter to spring. Besides hyacinth, tulips and daffodils are also celebrated.
Hyacinth bulbs are poisonous if ingested, and protective gloves should be worn when handled.
The juice from hyacinth bulbs can be used like glue and was once a popular binder for books.
In the Victorian Language of Flowers, the hyacinth represents sport or play. The blue variety symbolized sincerity.
There are more than 300 varieties of hyacinth known to the modern world.
Our Most Recently-Composed Hyacinth Scents
We design and supply fragrances for an endless array of scented product manufacturers throughout the U.S. and the globe, and the hyacinth is one of many ingredients often infused within those compositions. The following represent just a sampling of those that contain the fragrance of hyacinth.
Water Lily and Hyacinth
The intense fusion of fruity, green and floral hyacinth with leafy, green and shimmering water lily form the head notes of this Victorian inspired fragrance.
These aspects seamlessly drift into a heart note streaming with facets of dreamy. musky rose, dusty, woody violet and fruity, sugary grape.
This unforgettable Alpha Aromatics scent completes with a dry down dominated by elegant and lush vanilla.
Wisteria and Jasmine
The spicy, floral, clove and lilac nuances of this glorious flowering plant immortalized in the stained glass art of Louis Comfort Tiffany, stream through the opening notes of this stunning fragrance.
Symbolizing beauty and mystery, a beguiling wild flower heart note bouquet soon follows characterized by flowing facets of sumptuous mountain rose, fragile, feminine and lemony lily-of-the-valley, sugary, milky and intense lilac, green, nutty and floral hyacinth and fresh, intoxicating night-blooming jasmine.
The scent completes with a base note of warm, inviting and earthy musk.
Iris And Amber
Streams of tart, uplifting grapefruit, succulent orange, and crisp and crunchy green apple form the head notes of this soft, graceful and delicate feminine fragrance.
These facets seamlessly fade into a floral heart note marked by ambrosial, rich, passion flower, romantic, musky rose, mellow, fruity iris, spicy, sugary and green hyacinth and potent, showy and rosy peony.
A delightful dry down characterized by aspects of dark, warm and honeyed amber, sensual, ardent and erotic musk and dry, somber cedar wood complete this complex and pleasing fragrance.
Pink People Mangosteen
This Alpha Aromatics fragrance captures the essence of tropical splendor with its initial burst of sugary, piquant mangosteen, dense, fresh and green pear and lush, honeyed tangerine.
These facets soon drift into a heart note marked by aspects of floral, earthy hyacinth, fresh, almond-like and green lilac and dazzling, sugary peony.
This alluring scent finishes with a base note of lush and welcoming vanilla, musky and earthy patchouli and enticing, sensual musk.
Spiced Woods And Coriander
This tropical fragrance flows with opening facets of luscious mandarin and spicy, floral and refreshing bergamot.
These aspects harmoniously fade into a splendid heart note bouquet featuring elements of wild and sugary lotus, vanilla-nuanced, gingery mango, pure, slightly sharp coriander, earthy, fruity and green hyacinth and delicate, dusty muguet.
A heavy dry down of earthy musk, dark, potent patchouli, warm, rich and honeyed amber and dry cedar complete this compelling fragrance.
The beauty and timelessness of hyacinth will always ensure that it is a treasured ingredient in the many memorable formulations we develop.
If you’re looking to discover a new, exciting and specifically designed hyacinth-inspired fragrance that will best suit the needs of your particular scented product, whatever it may be, reach out to our teams today!
Photo Credits: Pixabay and Alpha Aromatics