TAHITIAN VANILLA Sweet gourmand fragrances have been hugely popular in North America for the past decade. Just look at the sales of Thierry Mugler Angel, Viktor & Rolf BonBon, and Prada Candy. I like to describer these fragrances as a dessert in a bottle with their notes of caramel, benzoin, praline, chocolate, and vanilla. Jessica Simpson first kick-started her empire with a line of ultra-sweet scents over a decade ago called “Jessica Simpsons’s Desserts”.
What started out as syrupy-sweet concoctions has evolved into a more refined palette of gourmand notes for 2015. And there is no better example than the vanilla note. Thanks in part to the popularity of Vanilla Bean frappucinos and vanilla lattes at Starbucks, this note appears in the bulk of scents launching today. Here’s what you need to know about vanilla.
Vanilla: A substance obtained from vanilla beans, derived from orchids or produced artificially and used to flavor sweet foods or to impart a fragrant scent to cosmetic preparations. Unless you are a baker, chef or perfumer you probably do not know that vanilla comes in a variety of flavours, the most popular being Tahitian, Mexican or Bourbon. The extraction process is very expensive and complex. Green vanilla pods remain on branches for nine months before being picked. They then dry for another six months until they produce white crystals which are used for fragrance and cooking. Since this process is so expensive, a synthetic version called vanillin is commonly used fragrances and creates a sweet, cozy feeling.
History: The Totonac people, of the east coast of Mexico were the first to cultivate vanilla. Mexico was the chief producer of vanilla until Edmond Albius, a slave on the Indian Ocean island of Reunion discovered a way to hand-pollinate the plant and cultivate it world wide. The Europeans used in the 17th century as a medicine. Over time, it was considered a powerful aphrodisiac.
“In natural conditions, vanilla flowers are pollinated by hummingbirds and insects.”
Tahitian Vanillia: Tahitian vanilla features a floral, fruity, cherry-like flavor. Tahitian vanilla comes from Tahiti or Papua New Guinea. It is the most rare and expensive variety.
Perfumes with Vanilla
Annick Goutal Vanille Exquise
Dolce & Gabbana The One
Thierry Mugler Angel
Chloe See by Chloe