Russian version - click here
Accord is a basic concept in perfumery. In fact it’s a well-balanced mixture of two or more notes (or fragrant materials). But when is accord well-balanced? Well, if you have an idea of a certain smell in your head than “well-balanced” means the combination that gives you the closest match to your goal. But you can also search for a point of “olfactory balance”. The last one is a proportion when neither of two (or more) components dominate and the resulting smell differs from the “sum” of smell the components. Such an accord smells like an individual note and it becomes difficult to recognize what notes it’s made of.
A famous classic example of a well-balanced accord is a mixture of benzylsalicylate and eugenol in 4,5:1 proportion. A deep balsamic and sweet benzylsalicylate and sweet spicy eugenol mixed together yield a sweet spicy floral impression of carnation. This is a main accord used in L’Air du Temps by Jean Carles. Filled up with Ylang and iso-eugenol this accord makes almost 20% of the formula.
But the fact that olfactory point of balance between those two materials is found at 4,5:1 proportion doesn’t mean it’s always used this way. Various carnation bases uses those materials in different proportions that depends on the idea of carnation in the head of perfumer – the goal to be achieved.
One of the example of the perfect accord is Coca-cola. The major part of its smell is based on citrus oils like lemon and orange. But Cola doesn’t really smell citrusy. Here we deal with a perfect accord between citrus notes and spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, coriander). Together they form a new smell that is neither citrusy nor spicy. There are different recipes of Coca-cola in the Internet like this one or that one. I did try one of them and I can say that those recipes are just guide-lines. You still need adjustments to get the olfactory balance between the citrus and spicy notes. Otherwise you get just spicy Fanta lemon. I seem to need more trials to achieve the goal.