Anyone who has drunk Turkish coffee will know of cardamom’s ability to nonchalantly bat aside other strong flavours; innocent looking little pods of potency. Used with a judicious hand however it adds a highly unique resinous-citrusy note.
Made from the seeds rather than the love-it-or-hate-it leaves. Spicy citrus.
It is hard to imagine anyone smelling nutmeg and thinking of using it to cook with; it simply smells so old. More accurately: fusty and slightly peppery it has the same effect as when you open up a really old book and so is perfectly apt in VACHETTA. New leather’s fine but it is old leather that we look upon so fondly.
It takes (about) 7,000,000 flowers to make 1kg of jasmine oil; picked by hand in the early hours when the oil content is at its highest. The reward for such endeavors is an oil densely honeyed and floral but with an animalic note that takes it beyond mere prettiness.
Where lightness and transparency are needed (jasmine oil is far heftier than the flower itself) the synthetic, Hedion, can also be used.
Lapsang Souchoung is a Chinese black tea where the leaves are dried over smoke. Replicating this complex aroma involved creating a suitably complex accord; supplementing the smoky woody notes from the leather accord with mate absolute (smoky hay), spices, and citrus notes.
Mildly smoky wood with a cheerfully fruity/rosy note.
The smell of leather has to be constructed with an accord (there exists no ‘leather oil’ although there are various pre-made bases that can be used in the same manner) and its variable smell can be interpreted in many ways. For VACHETTA two leather bases were used, along with the super smoky birch tar and pryrogene storax oils.
Musks are colourless, synthetic and contrary to what some people will lead you to believe, will not mysteriously attract members of the opposite sex. Nevertheless they are pretty miraculous; giants of the molecule world (about the limit to how large a molecule we can detect) they are very handy for adding staying power and feel to a fragrance. ‘Warm musks’ refers to the animalic notes they can bring.