Around the World in 10 Raw Materials
Explore 10 perfumes with raw materials from various locatoins across the globe: from nutmeg harvested in Mulucu to Canadian fir resin.
Naiviris (Huiteme Art)
Kigelia Africana |Central Africa
While looking up what the key material in Naiviris was (Kigelia Africana aka sausage tree) we came across a fascinating description of a voodoo practice associated with it. If a man is after enlarging a very important part of his body he needs to go to a Kigelia tree, pick a young fruit, shower it with semen and then the very important part will gradually grow as will the chosen fruit. The key factor is to come back and pick the fruit when you are satisfied with the result and don't want to go any bigger. There are certain risks though: you forget which fruit it was, an elephant picks it, the fruit falls off, etc. We hope no one’s BIG plans got ruined in the production of the Kigelia extract for Naiviris..
Cape Heartache (IA)
Fir | Coniferous forests of Canadian Alberta
This perfume’s formula has an authentic raw material to take you to the quietude of a boreal forest: Douglas fir resin mixed with a wild strawberry accord, vanilla, and hemlock.
Nox (Angela Ciampagna)
Hinoki | Hot Springs Onsen Baths in Japanese mountains
Hinoki cypress is very rarely used (we only have one formula with that material) and Nox is indeed a one of a kind perfume with its cool, aqueous character evoking aromas of fragrant wood and slate soaked in water:
Birch tar | Deciduous Forests of Central Russia
Birch tar is the main component in a classic perfume recipe: the smoky leather ‘cuir de Russie’ which got its name because of the Cossacks who chased Napoleon out of Russia all the way to Paris only to facsinate the Parisians with how they looked, behaved and… smelled.
Cossacks, being a cavalry army, would wear long soft leather boots which they would treat with birch tar for shine, flexibility and waterproof effect. Ultimately, Tonnerre is more cuir de Russie than any perfume on the market at the moment as perfumers pushed the birch tar content as high as modern regulations would allow for their outstanding smoky "burning ships/gunpowder smoke accord".
Tobacco | Bulgaria
Fascinating how well travelled this formula is. The perfume house is from Canada, the nose from USA, the core material – tobacco – originally comes from South America but in Rhinoceros case the tobacco absolute comes from a farm in Bulgaria.
Close-Up (Olfactive Studio)
Green Coffee | Brazil’s Santo Province
Close-up has real green coffee extract in the opening and the material's green astringent character balances the sweet remainder of the formula: generously boozy cherry, Atlas cedar, Grasse rose, patchouli, tobacco, tonka and musk.
Palo Santo (Carner)
Gaiac | Tropical forests of Paraguay
Gaiac wood (aka palo santo, aka lignum vitae) is a deep sweet, ambery, creamy and quite smoky material when it comes to aroma, it’s also valued for its medicinal properties as well as very dense wood. Apart from gaiac Palo Santo’s formula features a whole bunch of exotic woods from South America and the Caribbean: tonka from Venezuela, amyris from the Dominican Republic and quite fittingly a rum note. Ahoy!
Golden Chypre (Grossmith)
Nutmeg | Moluccas
Nutmeg, the spice from a group of islands in the Malay archipelago, the spice over which naval empires waged wars for centuries untill the British East India and the Dutch East India companies signed a pact agreeing that Brits will leave the Dutch alone in the Malay region in exchange for the island of Manhattan. Some fragrant story, we say.
Moko Maori (Gri Gri)
Chamomile | Italy
Although Moko Maori is conceptually about fresh shores of New Zealand, most of the notes in the perfume description are accords, work of perfumer’s imagination who used chamomile, basil, mimosa and other raw materials to create scented phantoms of tussok grass, New Zealand flax, kowhai and Manuka.
Anima Dulcis (Arquiste)
Wild Vanilla | Yucatan
The Yacatan peninsula, the part of the world that gave us vanilla, cocoa (as well as chocolate, the mix of the two) and chili among other things. It's quite hard and dangerous work for farmers - collecting wild vanilla pods in the jungle. Vanilla vine only climbs on other trees, and you I can't return to the same tree every season. Then it's carrying the precious crop around and trying not to cross paths with dangerous types growing drugs in hidden locations in the forest. The Mexican vanilla absolute smells divine though. In Anima Dulcis it's mixed with chilli absolute, sesame, cumin, cocoa and cloves. It’s a sultry dark gourmand perfume.