Allyl Amyl Glycolate is an aromachemical patented in 1936 and forgotten for almost 30 years till 1968 when it was used in Italian detergent at high percentage.
Later it was used in fine fragrances too – from trace amounts in Alliage by Esthee Lauder till 1% in Drakkar Noir by Guy Laroche and even 3% in Cool Water by Davidoff. Also used in Trésor, Eternity, Boss Elements Aqua. You can find it in Camay soap too.
When I smell it in 10% solution I do understand why this aromachemical have been forgotten for 30 years till 1968. It’s not love from the first sight fragrance. Smelling it carefully I can find candy fruitiness of pineapple note with sharp metallic undertone, sourness of apple cider and juicy flesh of a pear fruit. There is also a certain freshness in this molecule. And the sour, sharp, metallic note is very familiar – it’s like galbanum shell without its nice woody undertone. It feels very strange when you can smell only one aspect of a familiar smell (like a galbanum shell without its body). There is also another name for this molecule referring to its galbanum aspect – isogalbanate. Chandler Burr has described the smell of allyl amyl glycolate as “a combination of the smell of processed pineapple and the tin of the can it comes in”.
When smelled at 1% I could notice that allyl amyl glycolate becomes softer – the sharpness disappears although there is still a recognizable metallic note. The fruity notes become less candy-like and the green notes are more pronounced. On my skin the slightly synthetic smell of juicy fruity flesh of pear is the most prominent aspect of this aromachemical at 1% concentration. Later it turns completely into a juicy pineapple note. And it smells stronger on my skin than on the blotter at this concentration.
A combination of green galbanum note with a soft fresh sweet fruit gives allyl amyl glycolate a unique property to soften the harshness of green notes. For example, if I take lyral as a base for white flowers (Muguet) and add a drop of leaf alcohol to add green nuances, I see that leaf alcohol can be pretty dominating in this blend. But a drop or two of allyl amyl glycolate will tame the dominating greenness. It’s also interesting to add some Galbanum oil as well. In Vanderbilt perfume allyl amyl glycolate is used together with another pineapple fruity note (allyl cyclo hexyl propionate) to create a green fruity note connecting the heady fruity floral accord of orange blossom and tuberose with fresh citrus top notes.
Allyl amyl glycolate can be used from trace amounts till several percents in the formulae of fine fragrances. Although – the concentrations like 1% or 3% used in Drakkar Noir and Cool Water are considered to be high (what doesn’t have to be a problem when skilfully blended). This aromachemical goes well with green notes – leaf alcohol and its esthers, violet leaf, galbanum; citrus notes (a combination of fresh and fruity) – citrus oils, dihydromyrcenol; white floral components (fruity, spicy, narcotic, green) – ylang-ylang oil, muguet notes; musks and cashmeran, etc. The substantively is 6 hours (according to IFF, but the PerfumersWorld gives it 10 hours odour life). This makes allyl amyl glycolate primarily a top-note.