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The Tomato, Its Famous Lycopene, and Its Virtues in Cosmetics
While the tomato is primarily known for its sweet and delicately tangy taste, this fruit contains many secrets within its seeds and leaves. In the 19th century, scientists discovered that lycopene, which gives tomatoes their vibrant red or orange color, possesses remarkable health benefits, including the prevention of certain cancers. Belonging to the carotene family, tomato lycopene also exhibits antioxidant properties and contributes to a healthy, glowing complexion. Consequently, numerous cosmetic products incorporate lycopene or vegetable oil derived from tomato seeds in their formulations.
Tomato leaves have also found their place in perfumery, albeit as a synthetic material. The distinctly herbaceous note of tomato leaf is primarily used in base notes to create powerful, elegant, and refreshing fragrances, often for feminine or unisex scents.
Tomato Leaf in Floral or Citrus Scents
Tomato leaf is a fragrant raw material, rich in freshness and green notes, which closely resembles the unique aroma of the fruit itself.
One of the first fragrances to incorporate the note of tomato leaf was Sisley's iconic Eau de Campagne in 1977. Paired with jasmine and lily of the valley, the tomato leaf imparts a fresh and Mediterranean character, which was groundbreaking at the time. Annick Goutal's "Passion" in 1983 also featured tomato leaf as a top note in a fruity, green, and slightly chypre floral scent. The designer would later use tomato leaf again in "Ninfeo Mio," a green, woody fragrance with top notes of lemon. In fact, lemon and citrus scents often provide a perfect backdrop for the tomato leaf, as seen in Hermès' Un Jardin sur le Nil or Molinard's Une Mouse Green.
Tomato leaf serves as an excellent addition to green, fruity, floral, citrus, and even chypre fragrances. Surprisingly, only a few woody fragrances, such as Parfum d'Empire's "Corsica Furiosa" and Annick Goutal's creation on chypre trails, have utilized the tomato leaf. Moreover, Marc Jacobs' Basil is the only known aromatic fragrance featuring tomato leaf as a heart note, despite the seemingly obvious association. However, the world of perfumery continues to evolve, and we can hope that the captivating tomato leaf will take center stage in future creations.