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Bitter almond in perfumery

The almond or the fruit of fertility from the Greek world

If the almond tree and its fruit almond appeared only 16 th century France, the Greeks, as often recognized in this tree, its nuts and the famous almond milk, a sacred existence linked to Fertility. Conversely, Christians have consecrated the almond as the fruit of Mary's virginity… However, whatever beliefs may be, the almond has been a fruit that has been appreciated for millennia.

Despite centuries of existence of the almond tree, the essential oil of bitter almond, which comes from plum or apricot kernels, has only recently been produced in large volumes. Indeed, the essential oil of bitter almond is obtained by distillation of the kernels but it is absolutely necessary to work this substance with care to remove the highly toxic component of hydrocyanic acid.

Fortunately today the bitter almond can be used in our cosmetics and our perfumes without any danger, and we thus benefit from its sweet scents with notes of cherries and hay in our greatest perfumes.

Gourmet feminine perfumery and bitter almond 

One of the very first perfumes to highlight the bitter almond and more particularly its essence, will be “L'Instant Magic” by Guerlain in 2007. Base notes of bitter almond mixed with musks, vanilla and woody notes offers a flowery and powerful juice while being greedy thanks to the almond note. And it is thanks to the family of gourmet perfumes, brilliantly opened by “Angel” de Mugler in 1992, that the return of bitter almonds will be successful.

Between floral and feminine Orientals, bitter almond propels its slightly balsamic notes while offering delicate and powdery reminiscences of cherry. Many great perfumers and great successes in perfumery use the note of bitter almonds in their juices.

As for Orientals, bitter almond appears to bring sweetness and delicacies to strong fragrances such as Hypnotic Poison by Christian Dior or even the beautiful La Vie est Belle by Lancôme. On the other hand in flowery scents, bitter almond offers delicacies and a facet of cherry in the heart or base notes for bucolic and sweet flavors. Numerous examples of these gourmet fragrances currently perfume our senses: “La Petite Robe Noire” by Guerlain, “Mon Jasmin Noir L'Eau Exquise” by Bulgari ...

Thus bitter almond is a raw material that appeared relatively late in perfumery, nevertheless the power of its perfumes and the incredible diversity of its facets propelled it very quickly into the shelves of the great perfumers. On the other hand, when it comes to men's fragrances, the bitter almond still has a long way to go to seduce these gentlemen. Note, however, that it is used in a Guerlain “L'Homme Idéal” juice. Oriental, gourmet and spicy, “L'Homme Idéal” is very innovative for a men's range!

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