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Syringa, the white flower that illuminates the garden
Native to China and North America, particularly Quebec, the syringa has been cherished for its fragrant flowers in parks and gardens for centuries. The hybrid versions of syringa, developed by 19th-century gardeners, introduced this enchanting and intense aroma to its delicate blossoms.
Given its sweet fragrance, it's no surprise that perfumery sought to incorporate syringa in floral compositions. However, like certain other plants, essential oil cannot be extracted from syringa. Consequently, each major perfume house has developed its unique formula to recreate the captivating scent of syringa in their fragrances.
The syringa note in floral fragrances
Unsurprisingly, the syringa note is perfectly suited for floral perfumes, lending itself to stunning compositions of white, sweet, fruity, and ethereal flowers. One of the first fragrances to feature a syringa note was the elegant Eau de Camille by Annick Goutal, which opens with top notes of honeysuckle and syringa to offer refined and tender green floral notes, mirroring the designer's daughter for whom the fragrance was created.
Following this, Eau Belle by Azzaro enhances the floral and aromatic trail of syringa with invigorating citrus fruits. This beautiful water then unfolds into an exquisite floral note, finishing with a bath of soft amber and delicately sensual warmth.
Nonetheless, the fragrant and delicate note of syringa soon returned to its floral origins, featuring almost exclusively in pure and charming top notes or deep and intoxicating heart notes of bucolic compositions. Many perfumes incorporate this orange and floral note to create either the tenderness of sweetness or the tangy freshness of a citrus flower, as seen in “Contradiction” by Calvin Klein, “Tender Touch Women” by Burberry, and “Aqua Allegoria Flora Nymphea” by Guerlain.
With its multifaceted nature, the syringa note accentuates floral or even some citrus elements with its sparkle and grace. Though predominantly used in fragrances for women, particularly young women, there is a notable exception in the male fragrance world: “Immense pour Homme” by Jean-Louis Scherrer, which also contains a syringa note. Despite this deviation, the delicate scent of syringa appears to flourish more effectively in feminine fragrances than in their masculine counterparts—for now.