All to know about spices in perfumery

Bon Parfumeur is happy to extend your summer 2020 holidays with some details about exotic fragrances. 

Ready for a trip? 
At Bon Parfumeur we do love spices, whether there are in a curry or in a fragrance! Since our first day we have been using some extravagant ingredients to develop our perfumes. And we are not the only ones! It is actually a pretty common among perfumers…

Some history about spicy perfumes 

Egyptian used spices contained in incense to engage with spiritual rituals. So did they in their hygiene rituals. The “Royal Perfume” (1 AC) used in Egyptian baths contained cinnamon, saffron, clove and nutmeg. Can you imagine the smell of pharaohs bathrooms… 

In perfumery, perfumers refers to two distinct type of spices : warm and cold ones. The warm spices are spices like cinnamon, saffron or chili pepper. The cold spices often refer to ginger, coriander and cardamom. 

Focus on our favorite spice, the pepper! 

Pepper and spices are especially appreciated in perfumery because they bring a warm and sensual side to the perfume. Associated with other olfactory families, floral, gourmet, fruity and more, the scope of possibilities is ENDLESS! The citrus blend as known in Allure Homme Édition Blanche by Chanel with vanilla and other spices, made this fragrance iconic. 

When it comes to pepper, aka “the queen of spices”, perfumers are going wild! The iconic Hermès Twilly was one of the first fragrances to feature black pepper and surf on its rather masculine touch. Pepper perfumes belong to the great “Oriental” olfactory family. Obtained from the berries of pepper trees, mainly found in South West India, the pepper bears the somewhat barbaric name of "Piper Nigrum". Black pepper can also be found in Indonesia, Brazil, Madagascar and Malaysia. Peppers are classified according to their ripening stage that translates into four different colors: white, green, black and red. 

We appreciate the pepper for its subtlety, its freshness and its delicate spiciness. This ingredient is found mainly as a base note, in oriental, woody or spicy compositions. 1 Million Intense by Paco Rabanne, Black Opium Nuit blanche by Yves Saint Laurent or Absolu by Rochas: pepper is a real favorite in more fragrances than you might think! It is also found in our 602 patchouli perfume, mixed with cedar and pepper. 

Be aware of “false peppers”, that come from very different plants and have other botanical characteristics and different scents. For example, the Nepalese berry found in our 903, made with saffron and oud, has that ultra fresh / spicy character but is milder than a classic pepper. 

Pepper, pepper… What about other spices?

The very fashionable pepper is not the only spice "hit" in perfumery. 
Cardamom, for example, became increasingly popular in the past few years.
The spice is in fact the fruit of cardamom trees cultivated in India, Indonesia and Guatemala. The seeds contained in the fruit capsule are distilled and give an essence with a spicy, woody, camphoric, aniseed and aldehyde scent (quite "technical"!).

Want to give it a try? Head to our 301 perfume, subtle mix of sandalwood, amber and cardamom! Want to know more about our spicy scents?

Feel free to send us a little love note at for more infos!



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