Refers to any number of flowering species of aromatic plants within a specific genus which is also dubbed geranium, and who’s flowering plants are commonly identified by their somewhat colloquial name, cranesbills. Many of the flowers borne by these plants possess unique and stark characteristics, which are many times almost identical to an array of other known aromas. This has led to many enthusiasts labelling cranesbills as the chameleons of the fragrance world. Geraniums often bear scent similarities to orange, mint, rose, and apple, just to name a few. Many distinct cultivars are used in the production of some notable products, with different regions of the world producing their own prime examples, each carrying a set of unique and defining attributes. Perhaps one of the most revered of geranium cultivars is that of the Bourbon variety, which acts as a primary ingredient in the much loved Bourbon essential oil.
Geranium plays an essential role in perfumery, being one of the most widely used raw materials in the global industry. Geranium oil — a key ingredient in many fragrances — is procured through steam distillation, which captivates the beauty and subtleties of geranium flowers in their entirety. Geranium oil is often sought after as an ingredient in high-end fragrances. There exist many types of geranium derived products, each carrying their own distinct flair, although the rose-like qualities exist as a shared feature throughout all of the varieties. As such, geranium products are often used to infuse rose nuances into compositions, whilst remaining unaccompanied by the added powdery characteristics often sensed in true rose blends. Some germanium extracts feature their own unique taken on the characteristic rose note, with some emphasizing the more floral, heady aspects of roses, and others possessing a more refined and fresh rose-like aroma.
The likeness to rose is embodied in the cultivar known as rose geranium, who’s aroma profile has been developed specifically to mimic that of the rose. This cultivar’s purpose is primarily to produce rose-like distillates and absolutes for uses in rose themed fragrances. The primary oil derived from the plant is also used extensively in perfumery, as adulterants in rose oils and blends, or as a supplement in the more high-end, fine rose oils.