"Almond blossom, sent to teach us that the spring days soon will reach us." ~ Edwin Arnold
Random fact - it's national Almond Day today!
Let's give a warm round of applause to this bitter-sweet delight, and specifically appreciate the multi-faceted quality of this beautiful little nut - in perfumery.
Originally from the Middle East and East India, we know that almond oil was also used extensively in Greece and Rome where it formed the basis of many lotions to protect from the sun and cover any...less than flattering smells! In 2003 the oldest perfumery found to date was discovered on the island of Cyprus, the birthplace of Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love, sex, and beauty (we salute you). Whilst the building had collapsed in an earthquake in 1850 B.C., the perfume bottles were miraculously found intact under the very crumbling walls that should have protected them all those thousands of years ago, but have gifted them to us instead. Along with anise, pine, coriander, bergamot, and parsley, almond was one of the key ingredients. The perfumes were also used to honour Aphrodite and for their aphrodisiac effects - and such effects, withstand the passing of time. Oo-er.
An experimental archaeology center in Blera, Italy, tried to recreate these fragrances using documents from the ancient Roman historian Pliny the Elder. He himself was not a fan of this perfumed oil, thinking it a waste of money given its propensity (as an essential oil) to evaporate quickly. In ancient times this was usually reminded by fixing the scent with heavier essential oils such as Frankincense or Myrhh, but more popular today is Vanilla or Sandalwood.
Did you know that today the bitter almond oil used in perfume is not only derived from almonds but also cherries, apricots, peaches, and even prunes. This allows it to express itself in many ways - whether it's powdery and loaded with marzipan clout, delicate and warm, or even with a luxurious cherry like bitterness.
That's why it is the perfect 'connecting' note between our sticky balsamic spiced cherry scent Devious, and its layerable opposite, the soft classical Sincere. We've enjoyed exploring different facets of this adaptable almond note, to create two richly distinctive scents that still manage to create something magical when amalgamated, both subduing and highlighting different facets of the other when layered. Devious uses the bitter almond paired with boozy cherry liquor and warm spices to an almost drowsy-inducing effect. Similarly, but on the opposite end of the scale, the sweet almond, fuzzy peach, and warm milk used in Sincere provide a cozy and nuzzling blanket of a scent. When worn together the almond becomes distinctly rich and nutty.
And on that nut (pun intended) we'll leave you pondering what almond scent you'd like to wear on your skin. If you're curious to try ours don't forget that our scents come in in 50ml, paired 7.5ml travel sets, or even simply 2ml testers. Shop here.