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Small and big stories about basil
The Egyptians, keen on botany and great lovers of aromatic plants, would have imported this small Indian plant for its medicinal, taste and also olfactory properties. From the 2nd century, the Romans used basil for multiple uses.
However in the Middle Ages, basil was considered one of the plants of witchcraft. A sacred power still preserved in certain regions of Africa where basil is used to ward off bad luck. In India, on the other hand, it is the object of a mystical cult where each center of Vishnuite belief has, to bring good luck, a pot of basil at its window which is greeted every day!
In France, basil is consecrated much more for its taste properties at the heart of many Mediterranean recipes than for its mystical powers. Its unique fresh and anise-flavored scent made it, from the very first means of botanical distillations, an essential oil highly prized by perfumers eager for powerful fragrances.
Basil: this essential ingredient for masculine aromatic notes!
Aromatic notes have been highly prized for decades in many ranges of men's fragrances. An olfactory family in its own right for these gentlemen, aromatic notes have the definite advantage of offering men already known fragrances while creating and enhancing them with various scents. Thus basil, king of gardens for decades, is available in multiple masculine accords to offer the power of its aniseed fragrance to fern, woody, citrus or even aquatic notes.
Thus from the 1960s, with the very famous Eau Sauvage by Dior, basil finally offered an alternative to the venerable lavender of the many previous scents by opening the fragrances with tonicity to evolve towards chypre-woody notes and more daring citrus. but nevertheless still so reassuring. In 1964, two years earlier, our gentlemen had already discovered basil associated with powerful fern accords in what would become THE benchmark for Brut Brut Original aftershave fragrances.
Then with the advent of natural raw materials in perfumery in the 90s, basil like other magnificent aromatic plants, totally invaded masculine fragrances to offer accords for some classics for others much more daring.
In recent years, we are even looking for ways to work with aromatics with olfactory families that are a priori incompatible to highlight a perfect duality, supposed to represent the man of today. With some perfumers such as the house of Jo Malone, we no longer hesitate to combine basil accords with fruity and gourmet accords to create new and surprising fragrances… even for men!
Obviously, basil is particularly a traditionally masculine olfactory raw material. However, ignoring that aromatics can create feminine fragrances would be an insult to the talent of the nose! Thus Ô de Lancôme, released 3 years after Eau Sauvage, offers a powerful green juice made from basil while being fresh and flowery. A great success in perfumery, Ô de Lancôme will appeal to flower women as well as the most daring women. Finally, years later, Acqua Allegoria Mandarine Basilic by Guerlain will revisit citrus-aromatic accords by offering this fragrance a fresh and powerful duality that is formidably effective. Basil has therefore, a priori, not finished seducing and captivating men and women with its fragrant powers!