It rapidly became incredibly desirable (in every way) as a perfume ingredient, with artisans using civet (albeit highly-diluted) to scent gloves, in Shakespeare’s time. Camphor – which comes in the form of a white, crystal-like powder - is actually quite popular in Arabic perfumery: it’s present in a quarter of the legendary formulations from a renowned perfumer known as ‘al-Kindi’, as well as being is in widespread therapeutic use: for embalming, as a medicine (see aforementioned chest rub etc. Citral is lemons, while C11 gives a ‘cleanness’ to fragrance (it’s naturally present in coriander leaf oil). Miller Harris Fleur de Sel. Happy crafting! (Although eugenol is also produced synthetically, nowadays.) But if the Christmas tree’s the most familiar member of the pine family, it’s just one of 115 varieties that grow mostly in the Northern hemisphere. Once upon a time, dried fruits were a serious luxury, for the wealthy to enjoy in haute cuisine. It’s a ‘fantasy’ note, of course: as perfumer Christine Nagel explains, 'Sugar doesn't exist in perfumery - but sugary facets can be found in synthetic notes called maltol and ethyl maltol'; that sweet and caramel tone is very much used in perfumer, these days. How cool is that? Thank you Callie! Plus the leftovers the next day make for the best lunch! Tom Ford White Patchouli. Lancôme La Vie Est Belle (It helps to dispel parasites – hence its name…) In fragrances, wormwood is also bitter and green – and so used with the lightest touch, generally (in men’s but also women’s scents), because it’s pungent and intensely herby. Could this be done in the crockpot? Aldehyde C10 – decanal – powerfully conjures up orange rind. Writing this after eating spoonfuls of the stew while I wait for my rice to finish lol. A gum resin, tapped from the True Myrrh tree, or Commiphora Myrrha which originates from parts of Arabia, Somalia and Ethiopia; the resin’s produced by tapping the tree to make small incisions, from which small teardrop-shaped droplets emerge – and are left to harden into bead-like nuggets, which are then steam-distilled to produce an essential oil. Equally bewitching. (In fact, Hyacinthus orientalis originated in Syria, but it’s now grown ornamentally all over the world.). As the excellent fragrance blog Perfume Posse puts it, ‘Musk speaks carnally in whispers or shouts…’ And it’s in almost every scent we dab, spritz and splash onto our skins - because at the end of the day, most of us wear perfumes to feel more alluring…, But musk does more than this. It does more things to your mind and body than just set off your scent sensors. The genius of perfumers is knowing just what they have to do, to blend those into perfectly constructed scents for us to wear. Either way, the drop in temperatures of course has me craving all the coziest of foods. Jo Malone London Tuberose Giorgio Armani Idole d’Armani Black pepper’s variously referred to as ‘the King of Spices’, or even black gold, and it’s been traded since the Roman empire, when the ‘spice routes’ to China and India opened up. Chanel Cristalle Chanel Les Exclusifs 31 Rue Cambon Gucci Flora The davana herb (a member of the silver-leafed Artemisia family) is native to India, and once it’s steam-distilled has a sweet, tea-like smell, reminiscent of dried fruit. Most famous as a recreational drug, the fibres of the plant can be woven into tough cloth – hemp – and every part of the flower is edible: hemp seed oil is highly nutritious, and great for skin, too (internally and externally).
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