The scent of eucalyptus has never been that of fond memories for me, having too many colds and ear infections as a kid that my parents lovingly treated with eucalyptus steam session (yuck!). Therefore, I was never particularly interested in it from a perfumer's point of view.
However, like most things less than positive in my past lives, they tend to make full circle and come to my present from a different angle, making them smell glowingly positive or even romantic.
Driving to Santa Cruz, the dry wind in the freeway brings to my nose the smell of redwood forests baking at 90F or so, a dry woody aroma with a compelling sweetness that is oh so different from the Pacific Northwest conifers. And strolling under gigantic eucalypti on the way to Santa Cruz beach not surprisingly smells of these very same trees whose scent make me melancholy if anything at all, except for the one time when I was fortunate for a private screening of the Australian aboriginal scene from Michel Roudnistka's Un Monde en Senteurs.
They must be a different variety than what grows in Israel, as their silhouette was different, as well as their berries (which were gigantic in size - almost as large as acorns). The same aromas hit my nose driving to Sonoma coast on 4th of July, by than it being a somewhat nostalgic, fond summer memory...
On this very eve, I will unearth some eucalyptus samples I've got, because not all eucalyptus are born equal. Most smell very, very camphoreous and medicinal - blue gum (E. globulus), blue malee (E. polybractea) and even the gentler narrow leaf (E. radiata). Lemon eucalyptus smells like citrus (E. citriodora), and some smell like precious Shamanic wood (Eucalyptus dives). I'm determined to create a perfume with eucalyptus, that will not smell like an aromatherapy treatment for congestion.