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Vanilla is a member of the orchid family. It is a climbing liana that can reach a height of around thirty metres. Originally from Mexico, it is now cultivated on the islands of Reunion, Madagascar, Mayotte and Java. Its three different botanical forms, Pompona vanilla, Tahitensis vanilla (which we use for its more floral facets) and Planifolia vanilla, differ in their scents. The Planifolia vanilla is a vanilla that was born in Mexico thanks to the work of a small bee, the melipone. But since a slave, Edmond Albius, found the secret of fertilising the vanilla, the orchid flower is now pollinated by hand with a small stick in all countries.
In perfumery, vanilla is used in different forms: vanilla tincture (the cut pods are soaked for a while in alcohol), absolute (concentrate where the fatty substances are solidified) or resinoid (extracted from the dry raw material). It takes about 18 months to obtain its fruit. Vanilla is a base note, one of the essential raw materials of the amber or oriental facet for use in particular in the sunny Eau de Rose.
CRAZY FOR TONKA BEAN
It is a magical seed with many facets, a gourmand base note with notes of vanilla, hay, caramel and almond.
The Brazilian teak tree, a gigantic tree that can grow up to thirty metres high, produces treasures, small black seeds called tonka beans. Its fruits are shaped like large almonds and each contains a single black, oval, oblong, shiny seed that wrinkles as it dries.
It is then that it begins to smell and its perfume will become more pronounced. These beans are known throughout the world for their inimitable taste and smell as well as for the coumarin crystals they produce in large quantities. Perfumery has been quick to exploit these golden nuggets in order to bring the fragrance of almond notes into our bottles.