Olfactory Observation #9: A Porridge which Tastes like Madame Rochas


Sprinkling some cinnamon on an oatmeal porridge (Quaker Oats) yields the strange illusion that you are consuming mouthfuls of perfumed porridge of the aldehydic chypre variety. This is when you have an aha moment and realize that perfumers must include cinnamon in their compositions to get that je-ne-sais-quoi touch of French chyprey elegance. In fact, you remember Calèche by Hermès with its hidden cinnamon kick which accentuates the rich feeling of an elegant chypre... 

Cinnamon is made up of about 90% of Cinnamic Aldehyde; in a warm oatmeal bowl, powdered cinnamon associated with a bite of sweetness - Stevia here - tastes and smells disturbingly both like a perfume counter in the 1960s and an expensive soap.

Lest some ambient aldehydes were floating about, we repeat the experience. And once more, it's the allure of Madame Rochas more particularly which inhabits the steamy breakfast concoction. So realistic is the impression that it dawns on you that while interesting, it is really hard to savor such a breakfast so early in the morning - only for purists. Only for aldehydes lovers. Only for diehard fans of aldehydic chypres. 

Both fragrance compositions evoked by the "aldehydic porridge" are, as it happens, by perfumer Guy Robert. In 1960, Madame Rochas was launched followed by Calèche by Hermès in 1961. We think we are onto some secret  sleight of the hand performed by that nose. 

Photo: quakeroats.com -- Instant Oatmeal was invented in 1966.

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