Scrumptious Scents : Tonka Bean

The tonka bean, one among my favourite substances seems unprepossessing—a shriveled black pod lined with suspicious white bloom. Nevertheless, its scent of toasted almonds, amarena cherries, solar warmed hay and vanilla custard is without doubt one of the luscious in a perfumer’s palette. What’s extra, the tonka bean was accountable for a revolution in trendy perfumery.

Tonka beans, the seeds of the Dipteryx Odorata tree native to South America, comprise a element referred to as coumarin. It’s current in lots of herbs and vegetation, together with lavender, figs, and cherry leaves, however tonka beans are so wealthy on this fragrant that it crystallizes to the floor of their pores and skin. Certainly, the very title coumarin comes from a French phrase for the tonka bean, coumarou. Coumarin was first remoted from tonka beans within the 1820s, and in 1882 it turned the primary artificial materials for use in a fragrance. To create a fantasy accord impressed by ferns, perfumer Paul Parquet added coumarin to the classical eau de cologne mix of citrus, lavender and geranium. Notes of amber, musk and oakmoss stuffed in the remainder of the composition and Houbigant’s Fougère Royale was born. Together with it, got here a brand new household of fragrances referred to as fougère, which in French meant “fern.”

Fougère Royale continues to be round, albeit in a modernized model, and the fougère household stays one of the crucial standard. But, the tonka bean with its complicated sweetness can lend an fascinating nuance to a variety of fragrances, not simply the herbal-citrusy ones. For example, the baroque plushness of Cacharel Loulou, Caron Pour Un Homme and Chanel Coco is inconceivable with out the standard black beans and their opulent aroma. When Chanel launched a brand new variation on the classical Coco, Coco Noir, the home aimed for a extra clear however wealthy fragrance. They’ve added a fruity accord, a heat backdrop of patchouli, and swapped white musk for the heavier animalic selection. Nonetheless, the caramelized cherries of the tonka bean remained, enjoying up the brightness of grapefruit within the prime notes.

A perfume that explores the luminous sides of tonka beans is Guerlain Vétiver. Vetiver accommodates a touch of contemporary hazelnuts, and this nutty nuance blends harmoniously with the almond accents in tonka beans. Guerlain’s Vétiver makes use of the distinction between heat and funky to create a placing character. The drydown is enveloping and velvety, and but the composition retains a radiant and shimmering impact reminiscent the play of daylight on water.

The pure tendency of tonka beans to evoke darkish, burnished spices was used to a bonus by Ormonde Jayne’s Tolu. The scent of tolu balsam is baroque sufficient to match the tonka bean. It smells of vanilla, cinnamon and smoked almonds. Ormonde Jayne’s fragrance, nonetheless, is predicated on the distinction between the freshness of clary sage and thyme and the heat of cinnamon and amber. The tonka bean and tolu, becoming a member of collectively to create an impression of classic leather-based and praline almonds, add a seductive twist. It’s so scrumptious that it invitations a kiss.

Pictures by Bois de Jasmin