Whether it is sweet, powdery, subtly bitter or absolutely gourmand, almonds make us all succumb! Its very special fragrance tickles the taste buds as well as the nostrils. It is therefore quite natural that almond notes in all their forms are invited in many olfactory creations… To embellish them with a good touch of regressive pleasure! Let’s discover together this childhood fragrance.
A shell full of surprises
The almond, a seed that must be earned
The almond is a nut from the almond tree, a fruit tree that blooms at the end of winter with its beautiful white and pink flowers. Once the flowers have fallen, the leaves appear as well as a fruit with a green and velvety skin that looks like a small peach. Under the effect of the sun, this envelope will gradually dry and the internal part of the fruit will harden. When opening it, we discover a pit with a rough and cracked shell. This one contains one or two seeds which are edible: almonds. It is possible to harvest the almond at two different times. In July, the producers proceed to a first harvest of fresh almonds, still green. They are consumed quickly and are generally appreciated for their sweet and milky taste. It is in mid-September that we finish collecting all the almonds well dried.
The almond tree is native to the Middle East. Its fruit would have been consumed for the first time in Egypt by the Hebrews. It would then have reached Europe in the 5th century thanks to the Greeks and Arabs who traded it. In the Greek civilization, the almond is the sacred symbol of fertility. For the Romans, the almond tree represents virginity, its white flowers reminding the bride’s veil!
Regardless of beliefs, almonds have occupied an important place in gastronomy since the Middle Ages. During this period, it was used to make almond milk, which could be kept for much longer than animal milk. The fruit was also used in soups and various sweet desserts. In the 16th century, France began to cultivate it by planting the almond tree in the south of the country. The tree was then introduced in North America and particularly in California. This region is now the main producer, followed by Spain.
A small seed with a thousand virtues
If the almond is so appreciated all over the world, it is because beyond its delicious taste, it has many qualities! In traditional Indian medicine, it has been used for thousands of years for its toning properties. We also know that this nut is an excellent source of protein and potassium. It is particularly indicated to reduce cholesterol and eliminate excess salt in the blood. Rich in magnesium, almonds would also be a good natural anti-stress in addition to being a food rich in fiber and a powerful antioxidant. In short, you will have understood: almonds have it all!
Almond notes in perfumery
How to recreate the almond notes?
Despite its strong taste, it is impossible to naturally extract an essence from the almond. To compensate for this lack, noses have had to draw on other resources to recreate its delicate and powdery scent. The perfumer can therefore resort to several fragrance options.
Natural almond notes
It is possible to naturally recreate an almond note by hydrodistilling the inside of the apricot pit. This method allows the extraction of an odorant compound called benzaldehyde, which will then be integrated into formulas to recreate the olfactory sensation of almond. As for natural raw materials, perfumers can also turn to the tonka bean. Filled with coumarin, this little seed we talked about here, reveals multiple facets of tobacco and almond, with a little gingerbread side. The coumarin is therefore a good alternative to reproduce fairly accurately the perfume of the almond.
When synthesis helps us
The fragrance of almond notes can also be expressed through the diversity of synthetic molecules. In 1869, scientists sought to recreate the bewitching scent of the heliotrope, a mute flower that naturally reveals balsamic and creamy smell. So they developed heliotropin, a synthetic compound with a sweet and powdery smell, somewhere between vanilla and almond. Heliotropin is also naturally present in small quantities in the violet flower. A few years later, researchers developed a new molecule with almond notes: anisic aldehyde. This one is a little more tenacious than the heliotropin, with even more flowery accents.
What about bitter almonds?
But the almond notes have not said their last word! Indeed, it is possible to use bitter almond essential oil in order to integrate it into the formulas of compositions. Bitter almond is the fruit of the wild almond tree. It is well known for its particular smell which immediately reminds us of the almond cream of a good king’s cake with frangipane! To obtain this concentrate of sweetness, we use essential oil of bitter almond. This substance is delivered through steam distillation of plum and apricot pits. All traces of hydrocyanic acid, which is toxic to the body, are then removed from this substance. This natural essence can thus be used in cooking and in perfumery. In the world of fragrances, this raw material has only made its appearance late. It reveals a vanilla, floral and balsamic note, which often enchants oriental compositions.
A soft and powdery olfactory profile
In perfumery, designers never tire of using almond notes in their compositions. First appearing in the 1850s, these olfactory facets have been able to impose and reinvent themselves. The almond can be invited in its most gourmand and sweetest costume. In a spirit of sugarplum, macaroon or calisson, the fruit is felt as a mixture between powdered sugar and almond powder. The bitter almond, as for it, will bring to a perfume this side frangipane and marzipan which puts us in appetite and makes us travel in our olfactory memory! Still in the sweetness side, we can give an “amaretto” aspect to the almond by accompanying it with stronger and leathery notes.
In its simplest form, almond also develops a floral and powdery aspect. This makes it light and luminous to bring a breath of freshness and spring. Almond notes are also used to compose other accords. To create a cherry note, whose essence does not exist naturally, the perfumer combines red fruits and almond notes. Thanks to its multiple facets, the almond has more than one trick up its sleeve to match many formulas!
Our almond recipe
If you didn’t know it yet, at Carrément Belle we have a very sweet tooth! The almond notes are now part of our Collection in a fragrance as sensual as it is regressive…
Vanille, a gourmand and almondy eau de parfum
In the eau de parfum vanille, the almond expresses all its delicacy and its powdery nuances. This composition is undeniably gourmand, but it also reveals oriental, spicy and even more floral facets thanks to the orchid. Almond notes are recreated here thanks to coumarin and heliotropin. With the addition of a nice dose of vanilla absolute and a generous amount of flowing caramel, this fragrance is dressed in sensuality but also in a tender sweetness. To spray without moderation!
And if you enjoy the subtle almond notes on your skin, we bet you’ll love them just as much in your home with the scented candle.
Do you like to smell almond notes in your perfumes?
Discover the fragrances mentioned in this article