Carrots in perfume?

What I love about natural perfumers and perfumers working for niche fragrance lines, is the opportunity for creativity to lead the way, rather than a design brief aimed at creating a fragrance that will appeal to the masses to churn over millions of dollars. For instance, I can’t see a carrot based perfume taking off in the mainstream. Despite the fact I hate carrots – galvanised further after once making carrot soup, I find the thought of a carrot perfume intriguing and can’t help myself by either trying unique perfumes or making them myself with ingredients I don’t particularly have an affinity with.carrots

Carrot seed essential oil has a very dry, earthy, herbal, seed aroma and is quite pungent and you wonder how it can work in a perfume – well, I have tried two perfumes where it does work.

The two perfumes that I have tried with carrot listed as a note are Honore des Pres ‘I Love Carottes’ by perfumer Olivia Giacobetti and Providence Perfume Company’s ‘Eva Luna’ by perfumer Charna Ethier.

Honore des pre I Love Carottes‘I Love Carottes’ notes include: carrots, orange, orris, vanilla, patchouli and benzoin. This fragrance starts off with a big carroty hit and takes me back to my health kick juice days where I would throw a carrot in the mix and down the juice rapidly trying to avoid my taste buds.  The carrots are green, herbal and earthy on top of an underlying sweetness and my stomach churns just a teensy bit as I remember the carrot juice. I also detect a subtle aniseed quality. As it develops, the perfume becomes sweet and powdery but still with a dominant vegetal carrot sharpness. Once the carrot hit subsides it becomes a sweet, powdery fragrance.

providence perfume eva luna

‘Eva Luna’ notes include: fresh carrot, mint, tuberose, rose, mimosa, violet leaf, frankincense, ambrette and orris. This perfume may list carrot, but I don’t get a big in your face carrot at all. Straight up it is very sweet, honeyed and floral with an underlying green, moist, dewy freshness and for me pretty much stays that way throughout the evolution of the perfume on my skin.

To choose between the 2 is a hard call. With first impressions I would probably choose ‘Eva Luna’ as it is simply sweet and delicious compared to the unique herbal carrot hit from ‘I Love Carottes’. Despite not particularly enjoying carrots as a food, ‘Eva Luna’ is one of my favourites from the Providence Perfume range.

I just opened my perfume vault (well, a box in the cupboard) – the place where I lay to rest all my perfume experiments that I’m unsure about. I’ve found one of my early creations, it’s my very own carroty fragrance of carrot, sweet orange, tarragon, ginger, orange blossom, immortelle, patchouli, vanilla, benzoin, ambrette, orris and white cognac – it’s actually ok and a bit challenging much in the same way as ‘I Love Carottes’.

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Tuberose and its use in Aftelier’s Cepes and Tuberose

tuberose

tuberose

Tuberose – A night blooming flower possessing a mesmerising scent often described as intoxicating with heavy, sweet, tenacious, carnal, creamy, buttery, fleshy floral notes. A fragrance so sexy, young girls were forbidden to inhale the scent because of its aphrodisiac qualities. It is extremely popular in fragrances and yet despite this, it is also known to be an extremely polarising ingredient. Folk either love it or hate it.

Myself? I have been somewhat of a fence sitter with tuberose. I appreciate it on its own and when I wear it diluted (as I am now) it is magnificent. It has this amazing cool quality underscored by a lush voluptuous floral scent. Deeper still is a backdrop of a meaty, musky, earthy aroma. As an ingredient it is practically a stand alone fragrance, having an amazing tenacity even at low dilution.

9ntmeluy3w0dleynSo why am I a fence sitter if I love it so much on its own? It is because the perfumes I have tried that include it, I find extremely nauseating. I will admit I have not tried every tuberose fragrance, however, the ones that I have tried seem to amplify the sickly sweet creamy side of the flower. Somehow I think of being trapped in a Brady bunch special, smothered in super sized leis.

Aftelier - Cepes and Tuberose

Aftelier – Cepes and Tuberose

I have not as yet purchased cepes absolute to work with but I was very intrigued when I came across Aftelier’s Cepes and Tuberose natural perfume and was eager to find out how they worked together in the fragrance. My first impression was of a subtle rose and then came the mushroom! I remember thinking this is plain mad: a mushroom perfume. It just smelt like mushrooms and initially I wanted to keep my wrist very far away from my nose! I do remember thinking “what was she thinking!” But then some kind of magic happened. The cepes and tuberose are like pure genius together – by highlighting the musky earthy element of tuberose, Mandy Aftel has maintained the glory of tuberose yet nicely restrained its potential to be cloying and bought a little extra oddball pizzazz to the mix!

It is definitely not a fragrance for the faint hearted. If you like run of the mill perfumes then this will be a challenge you may not overcome. Mandy describes it on her site as “one of my more enigmatic perfumes”. It certainly is!  As for my own creations with tuberose – so far I have succeeded in amplifying the notes that make me feel nauseous. Fingers crossed, one day I’ll make magic happen!