Most useful synthetics for any perfumer: PEA, first identified in rose, is present in the natural scent of many flowers. Unlike most perfumery materials this one is slightly soluble in water, particularly hot water, which means that when natural rose otto is distilled most of the PEA is lost in the water and does not make it into the oil, so perfumers normally add it back when rose otto is being used - about four times as much as the otto. It has a lovely mild, fresh floral-rose scent that can be easily pushed in the direction of other flowers when used in combination with other materials.
Arctander writes fairly extensively about it: “This material enters perfume compositions at the rate of 5-10-20% or sometimes much more. Its low cost, versatility and general acceptability on odor, its excellent stability are factors speaking strongly in favor of this otherwise relatively weak odorant. However, its odor is clearly demonstrated in an experiment with an apparently weak crystalline ftxative/odorant, such as [rose crystals]. With 5% of the crystalline material, Phenylethylalcohol will smell not only much more rosy, it will last much longer, and its 'rough' topnotes are pleasantly subdued, it has 'three dimensions' instead of two. But it is in the 'everyday' perfumery that the subject alcohol is most appreciated. It is almost never 'out of place' in a composition, be it floral, balsamic, Oriental, mossy, herbaceous or 'modem-aldehydic'. It is an inevitable companion to the 'rose alcohols', Citronellol, Geraniol, Nerol, Dimethyloctanol, etc. and it may receive fixation from Guaiacwood oil, Nitromusks, Coumarin and Heliotropine, Rosetone, Resinoids, etc. It blends excellently with the Linalool family, and with all the newer 'Lily’-alcohols, 'Muguet'-alcohols, etc. as well as in Lime and Spice blends.”