Unlike flowers that attract attention in daylight with their beautiful colors and amazing shapes, white flowers steal the show at night seducing the senses when their intoxicating fragrances are at their peak. Unable to compete with roses, peonies, and irises on a visual level, jasmine, gardenia, tuberose and other white florals evolved over time to attract bees and insects using the power of their scent. The result is big, sweet, sensual floral aromas.
Indole is a molecule that is unique to the white floral family and occurs naturally in jasmine, lilac, honeysuckle, gardenia, and orange flower. It imparts a narcotic floral effect that is characteristic of these flowers. Isolated, indole has an overwhelming scent that is heavy, mothballs, tar-like and suffocatingly sweet. Yet when diluted, it imparts a beautiful floral effect in perfumery.
white flowers in perfumery
Jasmine is native to India and the most widely used perfume ingredient. Opulent, sensual, and rich with a sweet fruity notes of apricot and banana and animalic undertones.
Tuberose is native to India and Mexico. It is heady, powerful and rich with notes of orange, fruit, honey, jasmine and a hint of indole.
Gardenia is a creamy, white floral with a strong sweet scent, green notes and a hint of mushroom.
Ylang Ylang is sometimes referred to as “the poor man’s jasmine.” However, this description doesn’t do justice to the powerful aroma which has an unusual opening of wintergreen and orange, tones of melon and fruity apricot, spices and warm balsamic notes.
Orange Blossom is extracted from the flowers of the bitter orange tree with solvents to create what is called an “absolute.” It is warm, rich, sweet, and jasmine-like.
Neroli is extracted from the flowers of the bitter orange tree through steam distillation creating a scent that is greener, fresher, and spicier than Orange blossom.
White Flower Fragrances
Carnal Flower Frederic Malle (tuberose)
Fracas Robert Piquet (tuberose)
Tuberose Criminelle Serge Lutens (tuberose)
Kai Kai (gardenia)
A La Nuit Serge Lutens (jasmine)
Jasmin de Nuit A Different Company (jasmine)
Chanel No. 5 Chanel (ylang ylang)
Chamade Guerlain (ylang ylang)
Neroli 36 Le Labo (neroli)
Fleur d’Oranger L’Artisan Parfumeur(orange blossom)
Orange Blossom Jo Malone (orange blossom)
White Flowers Yosh