Raw Materials Christmas Scents: Part IV, Cloves

Christmas Scents: Part IV, Cloves

12/11/15 06:29:46 (25 comments)

by: Juliett Ptoyan

Friday 's here, so let's continue our discussion about New Year's fragrances! For those who joined us just now: in "Christmas Scents" we are discovering trees, plants and herbs, which are associated with the upcoming holidays. We already looked into spruce, fir, and cinnamon, and now I'd like to talk about cloves, the spice with which everything becomes better.

 
This inexpensive spice that can be found in any local market, is actually the dried flower buds of clove trees (Syzygium aromaticum), imported from Tanzania, Indonesia and Madagascar. The tree belongs to the myrtle family (which already includes eucalyptus, tea tree, myrtle itself and a few dozen other names); as all of them, clove contains a high amount of essential oil.
 
The low cost of this spice is caused by the relative ease of production: unopened buds are harvested, fermented (too much pathos: they're just dried under the sun until they make a cracking sound when breaking) and sold to an intermediary company for packaging and further implementation.
 
 
The essential oil of cloves is produced with steam or water distillation; in this process they include not only the buds, but the leaves and branches too, although the quality of the last ones is considered to be lower. Compared with conifers, the output of cloves is much higher - up to 18%, which gives us as much as 180 ml of oil per kg of raw material. This number varies depending on geography, but in any case it's impressive, isn't it? The same applies to the quality of the oil, but there is a higher dependency on what kind of raw material is used - buds, leaves or branches. Clove bud oil is often falsified, and under this name sometimes the guise of processing of other parts of the plant is sold; dishonest producers can also add here the waste that remains after the separation of eugenol.
 
The spicy, hot, slightly astringent smell of clove oil is caused by its high (73.5 - 96.9%, depending on the part of the plant) concentration of eugenol, which can also be found in  ylang-ylang, rose, basil and some myrtle oils. Like cinnamal, it came under restrictions of the IFRA: up to 0.5% in compound is still ok, but if you add more, it can increase the sensitivity of the skin. Eugenol, by the way, is extracted not only from cloves: it can successfully be synthesized and such an analog, of course, costs cheaper. I have a sample of it... Oh, you should bury it in several boxes, or this thing perfumes the whole house, and no pills will help you to get rid of the headache. Perfumery really is a dangerous thing!
 
 
This ingredient appeared in perfumery in the first half of the twentieth century; saturated colors of clove can be found in many and many vintage perfumes:  Fidji, Paloma Picasso, 1932 by Chanel - just to name a few. Of course, there is sandy L'Elephant Kenzo, burning Carnation CDG; and Lush uses eugenol among other ingredients in Karma - it has a certain New Year's vibe, but for me it seems a rather peculiar variation on the orientals. Pretty cloves we also find in the Royall Spyce: here is clearly visible its fractional texture and it looks surprisingly cheerful in this type of water - an all-purpose lotion is a great thing, and even more so when offered in such cute bottles (and with a spicy gunpowder inside). Ysatis, L'Air du Temps, old Bellodgia - you know what I mean.
 
 
Cloves have been used for more than a couple of centuries in preparing for the New Year: English housewifes, not yet succumbed to emancipation, carefully decorated oranges with these scented tacks and used it as an interior fragrance. The same can still be done - many lifestyle blogs suggest to tie crosswise a silk or velvet ribbon around a citrus and to cover the remaining space with buds. You can hang these beauties from the chandelier, the Christmas tree, or just present them to friends as a souvenir. This pomander smells great, and looks quite a festive.
 
 
Do you love cloves? Maybe your signature fragrance has it, or you plan to make  a  pomander? Do you add it to teas or food?
 
Wishing you a fragrant weekend!
 
 

 

Juliett Ptoyan is a perfume journalist who collaborates with several glossy magazines, organizes perfume workshops and regularly writes for her own blog, bouquetjuliett.ru.

 

 



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FairyDuff
FairyDuff

Oil of cloves to ease toothache.

Apply directly to the tooth with a cotton bud that has been dipped in the oil bottle.


My now-retired doctor grew up in Malaysia, and he recalls his mother giving them a clove to chew on when their teeth hurt.


P.S. I must revisit and test Ysatis and L'air du Temps at the perfume counter. Oh, the nostalgia!

Jun
04
2016
pescha
pescha

Pomegranate Noir by Jo Malone is gorgeous. The clove is not overpowering, albeit very noticeable, because it blends beautifully with the frankincense, patchouli and red fruits. But I, on the other hand, absolutely love cloves. In food, fragrances, tea, you name it.

Dec
26
2015
Leramoon
Leramoon

One of the best cloves in Golconda Jar Parfums, and also I like how sounds Wanted Diane Pernet.
Thanks for the article!

Dec
15
2015
Miss LaCreevy
Miss LaCreevy

Dear Juliett, what a pity that I cannot read your blog...it's in cyrillic alphabet. I am sure it's very interesting.

Dec
15
2015
asimfarrukh
asimfarrukh

This is a really nice and informative article though I really don't like cloves other than in the traditional Pakistani/Indian cuisines. I have Azzaro Visit which I really like for the most part of when I'm wearing it but only thing that kinda Disturbs me , getting Clove like smell out of Incense note. Strange! but true.

Dec
15
2015
Miss LaCreevy
Miss LaCreevy

Great article! and yes, I do love cloves. Although I sometimes don't know what I am smelling: Cloves or carnation? Ysatis and L'Air du Temps are favourites. I like L'Air du Temps even in the current version, and Ysatis is so festive!
My most outspoken cloves are in Serge Noire and Vitriol d'Oeillet.
Have a great chistmas everybody!

Dec
15
2015
Bambi Bells
Bambi Bells

It's beautiful and scented good too. A gift to olfactory senses. Nice one...I love fragrances with cloves. It is a bit spicy and I enjoy spices in some seasons.

Dec
15
2015
Pusur
Pusur

Fidji. I know others and I would like som much to try this one. Personally I love carnation, but to be honest not all perfumes keep this amazing warm christmas crisp of carnation. Anyway lovely note that brings to perfume notes of exclusive exotic.

Dec
15
2015
RayF
RayF

Great one! My favorite perfume with cloves is Dries Van Noten by Frederic Malle. Such a sensual and warming scent to wear during cold weathers here in Toronto.

Dec
14
2015
persefoni
persefoni

Oh i adore cloves, in perfumes as well as in cooking! My favourite scents are:
* L'Eau by Diptyque
* Arabie by Lutens (although the dried fruits also play center stage here)
* Ambre Soie by Armani (shares the throne with anise!)
* KL by Lagerfeld (what a gem!)
* Youth Dew and Cinnabar by Estee Lauder
* Elephant by Kenzo and
* Loewe 7 (so many cloves in there!!)
Did you know that adding cloves to your tea is anti-inflamatory, digestive, migraine soothing and antiseptic??

Dec
14
2015
Econochrist
Econochrist

I love the spices and real love smell of cloves! They are with pepper probably my favourite spices. I have quite a lot of scents with cloves note. My favourite are Rouge Bunny Rouge Embers, Sensei of my countryman Piotr Czarnecki and Slumberhouse Jeke. Moreover I sense cloves in Loewe 7 Natural while aren't given in his composition.

Dec
14
2015
risarii
risarii

My favorite clove Christmas fragrance is the classic Coco. It reminds me of Christmas so I wear it almost exclusively in November in December. It's warm and the clove-rose combo is addictive.

Dec
13
2015
kinetisphere
kinetisphere

Dunno why..
but i love cloves!
:)

Dec
13
2015
drugstore classics
drugstore classics

Ahhh, cloves! I used to be so intimidated by the spicy, almost bitter pungency that I substituted allspice in every recipe calling for cloves, always with good results. But. Something changed. I now crave cloves, adore cloves, LOVE Cloves! I think it happened because of L'origan. How can one not love a perfume so filled with the spicy goodness of a scent unlike any other???

Other clove-rich scents like Tabu have only enforced this passion. I also feel a strong clove presence in the very airy and unique Wind Song ( probably the carnations, also created with eugenol? ) and Thrilled that they are in my life....

Excellent article, thank you Juliett! <3

Dec
13
2015
Fragaria
Fragaria

Clove is an addicting smell to me. I remember the oranges with cloves also, from a very young age. This has always been an incredible smell to me. I love L'origan because it has a clove smell that I crave. Very fun reading!

Dec
12
2015
nastyamason
nastyamason

Serge Lutens Serge Noire

Dec
11
2015
orabsolute
orabsolute

Thanks for the article! Clove is one of my favorite notes. I love it in Caron's Third Man, and in bay rum.

Dec
11
2015
NebraskaLovesScent
NebraskaLovesScent

I like many that you mentioned in the article (though L'Elephant and I did not get along). My favorite fragrance with clove is Jo Malone Pomegranate Noir.

I used to make the clove-orange pomanders when I was a kid. They do smell great! Maybe I'll revive the hobby for this festive season.

Dec
11
2015
interdite
interdite

There is a gorgeous clove note in Olympic Orchids Little Stars...! It's very nice with ylang ylang. But my all-time favorite clove is definitely in vintage Tabu. It's perfect.


I use cloves in pickled eggs, when making the vinegar. I remove them before sealing the jars.

Dec
11
2015
woodlandwalk
woodlandwalk

I've enjoyed the last two in this series as I've been trying to perfect a mulled wine recipe so I've been immersed in cloves and cinnamon more than usual, though I use them a lot for Indian dishes.

I find clove quite harsh - both in mulled wine and in perfume, I'll tend to lean toward cinnamon and cardamom, but I also find cinnamon slightly animalic, maybe that's just me. Anyway, while serving my mulled wine I wore Feminite du Bois which blended seamlesly! I also love Dolce Vita and Cimabue by DSH perfumes. Lovely stuff

Dec
11
2015
Macassar
Macassar

one of my favourite note ....like in "Poivre" Caron ( or "Coup de Fouet" in eau de toilette )

Dec
11
2015
marina md
marina md

Chanel Coco. . .

Dec
11
2015
ntabassum92
ntabassum92

I didn't realize Ysatis had a clove note until you just mentioned it! It is gorgeous. I love the way cloves smell, sometimes in our culture we chew them as a breath freshener ;)

Dec
11
2015
the big totoro
the big totoro

Awesome article Juliett! Cloves can be quite beautiful in perfume when it is used in the right amount. My favorite is Eau Lente from Diptyque. Opoponax, cloves,and cinnamon. So wonderful this time of year.

Dec
11
2015
Desertmirage93
Desertmirage93

Great article Juliett! My favorite Clove perfume is 'Safwa' from Al Haramain. It is a Clove, Labdanum, Amber, Vanilla and Black Musk bomb. Very soothing and comforting, but beast mode for 24+ hours. Check it out!

Dec
11
2015

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