Cashmeran? Cashmere meets meringue? Er, no, but the synthetic is ubiquitous, to say the least, and is found in everything from Cacharel LouLou EDP (1987) to Nasomatto Duro Extrait de Parfum (2007).
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Discovered by John B. Hall (the same International Flavors and Fragrances chemist who gave us Iso E Super) in the 1970s, it’s also known as blonde woods and cashmir wood.
It’s easy to understand its appeal to perfumers. More complex and versatile than most synthetics, it’s known for its cocooning muskiness and warm woodiness. It also has spicy, floral, fruity, powdery, pine-y nuances and is frequently used to build oud accords.
If you want to smell it in its unadulterated form, best get your nose on Escentric Molecules Molecule 05 EDT.
The names of perfumers are included in brackets after the fragrances in this Best Cashmeran Scents round-up.
Our Shortlist For Best Cashmeran Scents
Frédéric Malle Dans Tes Bras EDP (Maurice Roucel)
You know the niche cliché – the best perfumers and materials, unlimited creative freedom, quality and craftsmanship, blah-blah – but there’s much truth in it when we’re talking about this exemplary house.
As with many fragrances from the company, this 2008 release is an undoubted genre best.
The muskiness of this Cashmeran scent is the star of the show, with all the other notes contributing to its effectiveness.
Violet and heliotropin bring on the powderiness, while sandalwood and white musk add smooth creaminess.
If Frédéric Malle Musc Ravageur is unrestrained one-night-stand torridness, then Dans Tes Bras is the equivalent of a loving embrace.
The House of Oud Breath of the Infinite EDP (Andrea Casotti)
A stunning bottle doesn’t necessarily translate into a stunning perfume. No such worries with this 2016 release from the Italian niche brand that’s increasingly impressing us with its highly developed sense of artistry.
At first, this EDP from the Desert Day Collection whispers the freshness of freesia and peony notes.
And then the powdery fruitiness of peach makes an appearance.
All the while there’s a deep and distinctive sensuality delivered through a blend of Cashmeran, musk, Ambroxan and a touch of Irian oud (sourced from Indonesia).
There’s something quite sombre about it and we keep on coming back for more to try to work it out. But sometimes mystery must be left alone to work its magic.
Nishane B-612 EDP (Chris Maurice)
We love the inspiration behind this 2018 release from the Turkish niche brand’s Imaginative Collection: the smell of the asteroid in The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. We love its execution, too.
It opens with the clean aromatics of lavender, cypress and geranium notes.
The Cashmeran scent gives it lots of musky woodiness, with sandalwood and cedar adding to the woody profile.
Notes of powdery musk and earthy oakmoss in the drydown complete the composition.
Perhaps not as childlike as its inspiration, there’s still something comforting and nostalgic about this scent.
Coach for Men Platinum EDP (Bruno Jovanovic)
The American leather goods brand scored a big hit with their debut male fragrance in 2017, Coach For Men EDT. The 2018 follow-up, Coach For Men Platinum EDP, kept the good times coming in a richer, more sophisticated style.
The opening is fresh, spicy and aromatic, thanks to a combo of black pepper and juniper berry notes. A sliver of pineapple adds a touch of fruity sweetness.
The smooth woodiness of Cashmeran is supported by the aromatics of geranium and sage.
The drydown sees the creaminess of vanilla, sandalwood and a leather accord.
It encapsulates everything we enjoy about the brand: crowd-pleasing affordability.
Bentley Majestic Cashmere EDP (Julie Massé)
When people question the place of automotive brands in the fragrance biz – we can hear the purists and snobs scoffing in disapproval – we swiftly point them in the direction of Bentley.
The brand doesn’t usually follow trends but made the shrewd move of launching Bentley Beyond The Collection in 2019, focusing on specific ingredients and exotic destinations.
Part of the launch collection, Majestic Cashmere takes its inspiration from Goa, the state on the west coast of India.
The opening displays the softly sweet floralcy of ambrette absolute, the naturally derived musk. Incense, warm and spicy, accentuates the exotic vacay mood.
The cashmere in the name of the fragrance references the luxurious shawl but also the synthetic Cashmeran scent, with its seductive woody-musky qualities, that’s complemented by the powderiness of orris absolute and nuttiness of tonka bean.
The drydown highlights the musky properties of vetiver bourbon, patchouli and labdanum resinoid to beautifully sensual effect.
Escentric Molecules Escentric 05 EDT (Geza Schoen)
For this 2020 release, the partner to Escentric Molecules Molecule 05 EDT, brand founder and perfumer Geza Schoen wanted to create a summery Mediterranean island fragrance without the aquatic clichés. He succeeds admirably with a scent that’s simple but evocative.
It opens with bright citrus notes of bergamot and orange. Hints of fig and fig leaf add to the sunny ambience.
There’s more freshness of the aromatic variety from notes of juniper berry, rosemary and laurel, with the distinctive earthiness of cypress towering above it all.
The drydown displays Cashmeran at its resinous pine-y best, with supporting depth from mastic and labdanum. ISO E Super and Ambroxan also feature in the mix.
Roberto Cavalli Paradise Found for Men EDT (Jean-Christophe Hérault)
Roberto Cavalli must be one of the most under-rated designer brands around. And this 2020 release from the Italian fashion company is a good reminder why it’s worth checking out.
Inspired by an exotic garden of pleasure (very Roberto Cavalli), the EDT gets going with the soft sweetness of spicy pimento berry oil and fruity pineapple. Their warmth is contrasted with the freshness of lush greenery.
A large dose of the Cashmeran scent leads the way into musky territory, with support from clary sage, patchouli and Ambroxan.
It all adds up to produce a scent that’s not typical designer fare and so reasonably priced.
Fragrance Du Bois New York 5th Avenue EDP (Shadi Samra)
With its seductive-sounding name, Petales de Cashmere EDT, we thought that 2016 release from the French niche brand must be a Cashmeran treat. We were wrong. The synthetic is to be found in all its glory in the 2020 release New York 5th Avenue.
Inspired by winter in the city, it opens with a crisp take on bergamot and especially rose.
It gets sweeter and warmer with the richness of caramel and the spicy earthiness of cypriol oil. A subtle note of violet adds a touch of powderiness.
The drydown of vanilla, musk and guaiac wood is given a silky-smooth finish via Cashmeran.
While undeniably sweet, it’s seriously sophisticated stuff.
Electimuss Mercurial Cashmere EDP (Sofia Bardelli)
An apt name for a fragrance that changes from the light and bright to the sensual and deep.
This 2021 release from the London-based niche brand starts out in fresh and spicy mode with notes of Madagascan pink pepper, cardamom and Italian bergamot.
The powder of iris and violet is paired with the white floral intensity of tuberose and the slight saltiness of a note of ambergris.
The Cashmeran scent is at its musky-woody best in the drydown. There’s more sweetness (just enough) from notes of caramel, vanilla and tonka bean. We don’t pick up much of the listed oud note, but that’s just us being fussy.
Named for the Roman god Mercury, it might imply a rapid change in mood from charming to nasty, but this beauty is definitely about the former.
Caron Narcisse Blanc EDP (Jean Jacques)
The venerable French house that was founded by Ernest Daltroff in 1904 is experiencing a renaissance under the leadership of investor Ariane de Rothschild and in-house perfumer Jean Jacques.
Originally launched in 1923 and recreated in 2020, it begins with the citric tones of essences of Italian bergamot, sweet orange, Tunisian neroli and Tunisian petitgrain. It’s fresh and slightly green. The quality of the ingredients is evident.
It moves into more heady and honeyed territory with Tunisian orange blossom absolute and narcissus absolute. They are given a delectably creamy infusion with Cashmeran and vanilla, while another popular synthetic Ambroxan ensures it doesn’t collapse into heaviness.
Superb stuff! The little extra you’ll pay for shipping from France is worth every cent.
Christian Provenzano Musc Poudré (Christian Provenzano)
One of the world’s master perfumers, a rare and prestigious accolade in the industry, Christian Provenzano’s résumé of impressive achievements in his 50-year+ career includes: Agent Provocateur EDP (2000), Jo Malone Wild Fig & Cassis Cologne (2002), Clive Christian C for Men Parfum (2010), Kilian Pearl Oud EDP (2015), Penhaligon’s Halfeti EDP (2015) and Fragrance du Bois Cannabis Blue EDP (2020).
He’s also highly regarded for his creations for British niche brand Boadicea the Victorious, such as Nemer (2012), Blue Sapphire (2013) and Nebulous (2017).
The global director of Dubai-based CPL Aromas launched his own brand, Christian Provenzano Parfums, in 2018. Despite its founder’s reputation, we reckon it’s the perfume world’s best-kept secret.
The fresh fruitiness (bergamot, geranium, raspberry) of this 2021 release gives way to the sensual floral powderiness of orris, Moroccan rose, Bulgarian rose and violet.
The Cashmeran scent gives the drydown of vanilla, patchouli and tonka beans lots of refined spicy woodiness.
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Richard Goller is a fragrance and grooming blogger. His blog is called Fragroom. A senior editor with 20 years' experience, his blog allows him to combine two of his passions: engaging content and the always-intriguing world of fragrances. When he isn't blogging, you'll find Richard indulging in his newly found passion for balcony gardening.