دانه تونکا (Tonka Bean)

دانه تونکا Tonka Beanدانه تونکا Tonka Beanدانه تونکا Tonka Bean
Tonka Bean
lat. Dipterix Odorata
Group: Spices
Tonka Bean Dipterix Odorata
Tonka Bean Dipterix Odorata
Tonka Bean Dipterix Odorata
Odor profile: Very popular note coming from the Dipteryx odorata seeds where the principle aromatic constituent at a ration of 1-3% i coumarin (the scent of new mown hay with a bittersweet almond facet).

Tonka Bean is one of the most common ingredients in perfumery. These black, wrinkled seeds of the Dipteryx odorata (often mentioned as "cumaru" or "kumaru") are also found in numerous other products such as soaps or tobacco, where they are used to improve aroma. Cumaru belongs to the Fabriceae family of plants and it is native to South America. Therefore, some of the world’s largest producers are countries of this region including Brazil, Venezuela and Guyana. The name “Tonka” originates from Galibi language, native to population of French Guyana. The Galibi word tonqua or tonquin translates to “bean”.


In the Pagan and Occult tradition, Tonka bean is believed to have magical properties. Mages believe that crushed Tonka beans brewed in herbal tea may help to cure soul, relieve symptoms of depression and confusion, chase away negative thoughts and boost the immune system. It is also believed that holding the bean in one hand, while whispering a wish, leads to its fulfillment.
 

The journey of Tonka bean to the heart of perfumery begins in 1793, when the cumaru fruit was first introduced to French people. The plant was cultivated and grown as a tropical tree with beautiful purple flowers, each containing one bean. Black Tonka beans, distinguished by their wrinkled surface, are dark brown from the inside and they spread characteristic vanilla-like flavor that reminds of the scent of cinnamon, saffron, almond and cloves. The beans are also commonly used as a replacement for vanilla and their olfactory impression has a powdery-sweet effect with intensive balmy, warm, gourmand and intoxicating character.



Tonka bean belongs to oriental category of perfumery notes. It shares some of the common characteristics with tobacco and amber, and goes well with patchouli, sandalwood, rose, lemon peel and lavender.


Tonka bean absolute is obtained by soaking Tonka beans in rum and letting them sit anywhere from 12 to 24 hours. The beans are then dried to let the white crystals of coumarin appear on the surface. These powdery icy crystals are known to intensify aromas of essential oil during extraction. Coumarin was first discovered in 1868, and marked with a Latin name – Dipteric Coumarou. This is the substance responsible for pleasant smell of the bean, even though it has a darker side. Coumarin is very bitter to taste, signaling that larger doses of Tonka beans may provoke serious liver damage, and even be fatal. The beans are forbidden for eating in the USA, even though numerous old recipes still list coumarin aromas for sauces, cakes and ice-creams. Nowadays, natural coumarin has been completely replaced by synthetic one.
 

Compositions for women that contain sweet, balmy and gourmand aromas of Tonka are: Lolita Lempicka - Lolita and L, Thierry Mugler - Angel, Givenchy - Ange ou Demon, Dior Addict, Chopard Cashmir, La Prairie - Silver Rain, as well as many others, while the editions for men containing Tonka are: Thierry Mugler- A*men, Dior Fahrenheit, Jean Paul Gaultier - Le Male, YSL - L'Homme, Givenchy - Pi, Lolita Lempicka - Au Masculin etc.

Photos: joana hard, mecredis


   Author: Sandra Raicevic Petrovic
                 (sandrina_bambina)

   Fragrantica Executive Editor, Writer and Designer

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