Nature never finishes to surprise us! The great development in the perfumery leads us to think that we have discovered everything there is to know about the vegetal kingdom: however research and exploration have brought to light some little rare treasures which we would like to share with you today.
White Ginger Lily
It is a flower which originates in the Himalayan mountains, between India and Nepal, where it is known as “Dolan Champa”. Its botanical name is Hedychium Coronarium, and it is exported throughout the world. It is highly perfumed, voluptuous and at the same time delicate, with hot spicy accents and the characteristic fruity connotation of sunny exotic plants. In Indian tradition it is associated “Ganesh”, the elephant god, in fact in Maharastra (the region of Mumbai) during the Ganesh Chaturti (a festival lasting 10 days in the honour of the divinity) it is present in all the temples, houses and in public places. It is eaten in salads, soups, fried, prepared in tea infusions and in the preparation of medicines. The slaves taken to Brazil from Africa used its soft leaves to make mattresses. It is the national plant of Cuba, where it can be found growing wild in gardens: it is much appreciated for its beauty and the grace of its shape and colours so much so that it is known as Mariposa (butterfly in Spanish). In the colonial period women used it as an ornament in their hair or as a necklace.
Its botanical name is Nymphaea Caerulea, introduced into the Egyptian culture following the Persian divinity, and should not be confused with the white (Nelumbo Lucifera) present in Asiatic cultures linked to Buddhism and Hinduism. This flower is particular in that it opens in the early hours of the morning. Its floral soave perfume is delicate with fresh and grassy shades, in some aspects it is similar to Hyacinth, a fresh flower with green connotations. Its main constituents are benzyl acetate (just like Jasmine), cinnamic acetate and cinnamic alcohol which give the Blue Lotus aromatic and spicy accents. Among Egyptians this flower was associated with the god “Ra”, due to its aspect which makes it seem like a sun which shines in the sky. It was used in some shaman rituals because it contains some hallucinating substances which is said can lead to states of ecstasy. It was said to be the flower of oblivion and was cited in the Odyssey: Ulysses and his men ate these flowers on the island of Lotofagi.
It is a wood originating from Africa. Its pleasant and characteristic perfume has won it the name of “African Sandalwood”. Its botanical name is Brachylena Hutchinsii (it is a Legume) and is used in aromatherapy and in the perfumery for its qualities as a fixer and for its warm, milky and slightly floral odour: the essence is obtained from the distillation of the wood. It is also used for very refined parquet and ornamental objects with a strong ethnical and lively impact: its colour varies from beige-brown to yellow-orange.
The Selenicereus Grandiflorus is decidedly unusual: in fact its perfume can only be appreciated at night, when the flower opens, a motive which makes this flower fascinating and mysterious. The perfume of this flower is one of the most potent of all the vegetal kingdom: the fragrance can be perceived at a distance of 300 ft. It possesses an unmistakeable odour, dense and honeyed, with touches of vanilla and exuberant fruity accents. It is generally found in the whole of central and southern Africa, the flowers are very large (up to 14 in diameter), white and protected with thorns like the stalk of the plant.
It belongs to the same family as the papyrus and the rhizomes are distilled. In India it is known as nagarmotha. In India it is known as the nagarmotha and sold under the name of cypriol: it is believed that by putting a drop of its oil on the forehead it guarantees a man success in love. It is one of the most important plants in ancient times, and described by Plinio as a sort of cane which came from Egypt or from Rhodes, with an odour similar to Nard. The essential oil of cypriol gives fragrances a deep and mysterious woody note with earthy accents, with olfactory evocations which echo cedar wood and vetiver with slight spicy shades of cinnamon.