I love love love love bases. When I love them. I'm still trying to understand Givco's Birch Leaf, but I see how it could be useful. I ADORE Givco's Sampaquita. Tropifruit is nice too--it seems to give a floral effect. And of course I'm gaga for their Castoreum. That's seriously nice.
But let's talk about a couple I've just experienced today. Fir Balsam from IFF. Admittedly, I can't recall what fir balsam absolute smells like off the top of my head. But this base smells incredible. Natural, very Christmas tree, kind of ambery, with what I think is an oily, slightly mossy drydown (but I'm thinking of a synthetic moss, instead of the beautiful, dark, complex odor of oakmoss absolute). Maybe there's a berry note (raspberry ketone?) in that drydown too.
Teak from Firmenich: Fresh, very clean, bracing woody note. If you need a general fresh wood note, this is it. It smells like it just popped out of a mens cologne. If I needed a woody note and didn't want to use an essential oil or build anything from aromachemicals, I'd use this. It almost seems to have a green note to me, it's so fresh. The woodiness of the chemical makes me think of Timberol.
Now let's talk two violets. Orriniff 25% in IPM: I love this. It's that soft, kinda transparent orris note that smells maybe a bit like sap. It's fresh, rather transparent, surprisingly persistent, a bit powdery. I'm thinking this would be something one would use to impart that "high class" orris smell. Perhaps not by itself, though. But it's really quite lovely. I like it very much, and I like it better as it fades on the li'l card I put it on. Now the other: Koavone. This is less persistent than the Orriniff; it's a topnote. So of course it's more intense. Orriniff is softer than this. Koavone has the typical woody-orris-violet-fresh smell, more woody than floral, and a bit harsh at 100%. It's a nice smell, though. Woodsy/outdoorsy/autumny, to me. It makes me think of Déclaration by Cartier. I wonder what it would smell like in a light woody/acorn/leafy/twiggy scent.