Scent Note: What does rhubarb smell like?

Rhubarb in perfumery

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The origins, culture and virtues of rhubarb

Rhubarb is a perennial herbaceous plant of the polygonaceae family. This one is particularly appreciated by gardeners for its robust temperament. Indeed, rhubarb is a vigorous plant which nevertheless prefers temperate regions. This has large petiolate leaves about 50 cm long, roughly triangular and embossed. What is more, note that these leaves are edible. They are born on short rhizomes of green and reddish color, measuring approximately 50 cm in length and 3 to 7 cm in width.

Rhubarb is a plant that has been known since ancient times and whose traces go back to Antiquity. China has recognized this plant for its medicinal properties for a very long time. Indeed, rhubarb is rich in vitamin C and turns out to be very invigorating. Likewise, its fiber-rich texture acts as a laxative and purgative, just like aloe. The minerals are numerous and potassium and phosphorus are present in large quantities.

Finally, the substance secreted for its root is highly appreciated for its antiseptic action which acts directly on liver problems. Likewise, rhubarb is an excellent anti-inflammatory for the oral mucous membranes. It was introduced in Europe by Marco polo and was initially used only for its medicinal and ornamental virtues. It was not consumed as vegetable plants until the 13th century. 

Rhubarb production for perfumery

 Rhubarb prefers deep, cool soils associated with sunny exposure. It is harvested from the end of April to June then from the end of September. A rhubarb plant can then be used efficiently for 5 to 10 consecutive years. Nevertheless, at reduced yield, a rhubarb plant can live about 50 years and some plans of more than 100 years have already been identified! In perfumery, on the other hand, it is not possible to extract the smell directly. Thus, it is reconstituted by the perfumer from other essences. Overall, the rhubarb accord is characterized by a green, fruity and aromatic scent, slightly acidic and floral.

Generally speaking, rhubarb is a product that is essentially reserved for fine perfumery. She is notably present in Adieu Sagesse by Jean Patou, in Tutti Kiwi from the Acqua Allegoria Collection by Guerlain or in several summer editions of the emblematic Ck One by Calvin Klein.

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