Do you recall Soda Stream? That was the system which allowed you to create your own carbonated sodas . You could buy the equipment and the carbonating packets at Bed Bath and Beyond, and a few summers ago, in the lost era before the Paleo Diet took serious hold and before gluten became unfit for human consumption, there was soda pop.
Now soda is considered worse than wine, which at least has anti-oxidents going for it. Soda is merely an indulgence, a fattening, tooth decaying indulgence at that. I have to sneak about with my glasses of Dr. Brown’s Cherry Soda. Yes. I know.BUT, my mother was a British immigrant and so I was raised by the philosophy that a little of “what you fancy” is good for you. By this same philosophy I enjoy aldehydes. They are the sequins of the perfume world,and provide the same lift and sparkle that wit gives to conversation, only the scintillating small talk here is of the chemicated sort. I think aldehydes give formulas chic and versatility as well. They are lighter and more buoyant than the heavier “woodies” and synthetic oriental ingredients that tend to weigh down so many contemporary perfumes sequestrating them in the oriental end of the market and generally in either winter or fall.
You find aldehydes in the oddest places. They are in such diverse scents as Krigler’s Sparkling Diamond or in classics like the original Miss Dior. What some aldehydes do wonderfully well is fizz. So when you think of your mother’s or grandmother’s aldehyde fragrance, say Chanel No5 or Arpege, you might contrast it with the modern aldehydes like Atelier Cologne’s Orange Sanguine, or Etat Libre d’Orange’s Vraie Blonde which uses aldehydes to spike its milky accord. The sparkle, if anything, is slightly brighter and the faint sting of the fragrances gives them a modernity than older scents lack now.
Needless to say this newer generation of aldehydes is almost ideal for summer. So feather light that you can wear almost any of them even during heat waves, and because of their fizzing on skin, a delight to store in the fridge.
Perhaps because I’ve owned and used aldehydic fragrances for years I’m just a bit inclined towards more modern applications of these ingredients and happy to see them being used again. Anything containing a “champagne accord” always makes me suspect a least a touch of aldehyde, no matter what is officially listed. So I look at Bendelirious and guess at a bit of aldehyde and wonder too about Ambre Russe because of its nose tingling beginning (my favorite part of that fragrance btw). As for humbler appearances, aldehydes are in Demeter’s Gingerale, one of the first of its perfume bending line, a perfectly marvelous fifteen minute sparkle on skin.
So none of these is as sophisticated as No 5 or Arpege. True. They’re not, but for the summertime, they are as refreshing as one of those chilled and forbidden bottles of pop. Now, I really have to go and find my stash of cream soda…