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The karo karoundé is a rare and unique species, bearing resemblance to jasmine, but distinguishable by its distinct sweet scents. The karo karoundé flower possesses both floral and spicy notes, which perfumers have expertly showcased in both feminine and masculine fragrances.
The Enigmatic Karo Karoundé Flower: Often Confused, Never Equaled
The delicate karo karoundé flower thrives in South Africa on a shrub known as the rock shrub. Discovered during the colonial times of the early 19th century, botanists initially took an interest in its similarity to jasmine, believing the shrub to be a new variety. Consequently, the essence of karo karoundé was initially sold and labeled as the absolute essence of bushy jasmine from Guinea. However, this assumption proved to be incorrect.
Although the shape and appearance of the karo karoundé flower may resemble jasmine, its fragrance is not entirely comparable. The notes of karo karoundé evoke the sweetness of gardenia and jasmine, while exhibiting a more floral aspect through its ylang-ylang facet and more potent green notes, all while maintaining a subtle spicy touch.
Upon its discovery, curious noses eager for new raw materials could not ignore the karo karoundé flower. Thus, the production and manufacturing principles used in Grasse were emulated to transform it into an essence suitable for use in high-end perfumes.
Karo Karoundé in Perfumery: A Multifaceted Star
The karo karoundé note is considered a luxury raw material in perfumery due to the flower's scarcity and low yield. For a long time, perfumers utilized this magnificent South African flower in rare bottles or sparingly within their creations.
It wasn't until the release of Cartier's floral oriental Panthère in 1987 that karo karoundé emerged as a heart note, complementing jasmine, gardenia, and tuberose. That same year, Nino Cerruti pour femme also featured karo karoundé as a heart note, pairing it with rose and tuberose in a woody oriental fragrance.
A few years later, in 1993, Azzaro's Oh Lala showcased karo karoundé as a top note, combined with peach, orange blossom, and mandarin to offer aromatic, floral, and distinctively oriental scents. A captivating fragrance for some, but perhaps too potent for others.
Until the 2000s, the karo karoundé note was primarily used in oriental or chypre perfumes for its exotic floral facet and the strength of its fragrance. However, once the new millennium arrived, karo karoundé transitioned well into lighter and predominantly woody fragrances, such as Marron Chic from Nez à Nez or Timbuktu from L'Artisan Parfumeur. It also found its way into floral and fruity compositions, as exemplified by Paco Rabanne Pour elle, where karo karoundé takes on a softer and more powdery quality.
Fun Facts About Karo Karoundé
- Karo karoundé is a rare and unique flower native to South Africa, often confused with jasmine due to its appearance.
- Distinct from jasmine, karo karoundé has a complex scent profile, combining floral, green, and spicy notes.
- The karo karoundé flower gained popularity in perfumery due to its versatility, making it suitable for both masculine and feminine fragrances.
- Initially used in oriental and chypre perfumes, karo karoundé has since been incorporated into lighter, woody, floral, and fruity compositions as well.
- Its low yield and rarity make karo karoundé a luxury raw material in perfumery, often reserved for high-end and exclusive fragrances.
As a versatile and captivating ingredient, the karo karoundé flower continues to enchant perfumers and fragrance enthusiasts alike with its multifaceted nature and unique scent profile.