However, spices haven’t accompanied the history of mankind only from a purely culinary or medical point of view: they have been used in cosmetics and perfumed ointments since the times of the ancient Egyptians.
When considering perfumed compositions which can be found in the today’s Perfumery, spices add a decisive, warm and passionate character to powerful men’s and women’s fragrances. They can never be too dominating in a fragrance, when combined with flowers for example, where the spicy facet accentuates their charm and seductive charge with warming exuberance; they can brightly underline the ethnic touch of woods; highlight with their intensity the opulent, mysterious and embracing richness of oriental notes.
There are certain spices which are more frequently used in women’s fragrances, such as cinnamon and pink pepper and others which are considered more “manly” such as cardamom, black pepper and coriander.
These raw materials which have really come to the forefront in the last two years, can be found in many compositions. We can find the liveliness of Pink pepper in many women’s fragrances such as The Iceberg Fragrance
, Fico di Amalfi Acqua di Parma
, Fendi Palazzo
and Moschino Funny
. From the Cinnamon tree, with the highest quality coming from Ceylon, it is possible to use either the leaves which have a green odour, with a slightly metallic effect, such as in L
by Lolita Lempicka
or I love love
, or the dried bark, with woody touches, warmer and embracing, mysterious and sensual (Feminitè du Bois
by S. Lutens, Black Orchid
by Tom Ford
). Cardamom, with its freshness spanning from shades of camphor to citrus, characterises a great classic like Declaration
. Coriander, aromatic and slightly rosé, is one of the components of Dior Homme
. Black pepper brings decisive and mysterious tonalities (Gucci by Guccy Man
, Hilfiger Est. 1985
, both launched in 2008), whilst ginger has a fresh, pungent and clean effect for fragrances such as Tokyo
, Eau de Gingembre
by Roger & Gallet
or Five o’clock au Gingembre
by S. Lutens
. Cloves with their rich, leathery odour can be found in compositions such as L’air du temps
by Nina Ricci
and in Opium
(1977, still today one of the most sold fragrances for women).
Extremely precious saffron, one of the most expensive natural raw materials, brings its warm notes which evoke hay and cocoa to Ungaro by Ungaro, Panamaby Borsalino and Magnifique by Lancôme. Nutmeg, with its tonic freshness reminds us of familiar places and at the same time gives us images of far away lands, appears in 1919 in the composition of a great women’s classic: Mitsouko by Guerlain; then in Equipage by Hermes, Kenzo Jungle, Arpège pour Homme by Lanvin and in Cacharel pour Homme, and also enflames the dynamic spirit of recent creations such as Le Parfum by Max Mara.