Rich, sultry scents, these fragrances heavily rely on materials with a low evaporation rate, making them quite tenacious on the skin. Orientals were named during the first decades of the 20th century, when Western fascination with the Far East was growing in Europe.
The public’s imagination was captivated by the languorous essences of India and the Middle East, where precious tree resins, Biblical balms, and exotic blossoms mingle to give an intoxicating scent that recalls 1001 Nights. Materials like amber, fir balsam, musk, honey, precious agar wood, and sandalwood, are all classic ingredients in this prolific category of heady scents.
The starting point can often be a tangy, sour note of citrus, very often mandarin or orange, which are sweeter than the rest, blending effortlessly with the denser molecules.
But modern orientals, aided by modern techniques and novelties, can be lighter, airier, relying less on heaviness overall, emphasizing depth instead.