Vanilla was discovered in Mexico, and used as a spice for food. The aroma of vanilla is present in the vast majority of all fine fragrances today, although it is often synthetic.
Patchouli is a unique perfume ingredient used in about half of all men’s fragrances. It has the strongest aroma in the plant kingdom. It is found primarily in India and Indonesia.
Orris is the dried bulbs of the iris plant. The scent is similar to violet, and is often used to make synthetic violet fragrance. The orris root is dried for two years. Orris root has been prized as a perfume since the time of the ancient Greeks. It is one of the most important perfumery materials.
Two leaves essential to the perfumer are labdanum and patchouli. Patchouli, an East Indian mint, has a musty fragrance and is found in many perfumes. It grows in Malaysia and Sumatra. Labdanum is a sweet, sticky substance exuded from the leaves and twigs of a species of rose. It is found in Crete, Cypress, and other Mediterranean regions of Spain and Morocco, and is valued as a fixative.