Camellias are a very popular winter- and spring-flowering shrub, offering splashes of colour at a time when few flowers are in bloom.
They were first found in Asia (east & south), and are revered from the Himalayas to Japan and over to Indonesia. There are some 100–250 recorded species. Linnaeus named the genus after the Czech Jesuit botanist George Joseph Kamel.
Camellia has no fragrance ?
Loved for their masses of superb blooms and their lush, evergreen foliage, Camellias are, beyond question, a standout amongst the most alluring plants to develop.
Blossoming for a considerable length of time during autumn to spring (depending the variety and climate), they delight us with their stunning flowers in a variety of shapes and colours, at a time of the year when our gardens lack in colour.
Leaves of the Camellia Sinensis blooms are used to make the finest tea and Camellia Sasanqua is equally used to make in Japan.
By pressing the seeds of Camellia Oleifera and Camellia Japonica a sweet seasoning and cooking oil is produced, which a popular oil for cooking in Southern China.
Hence, it is surprising that an oil extracted from Camellia does not produce a pleasant perfume oil for use in fragrances. All scents with camellia are essentially ‘fantasy notes’ build around the beauty of camellia as a concept rather than its fragrance.
There are exceptions though and here are the three most common fragrant varieties:
Camellia Lutchuensis: the most scented species. Early in the 1960s, breeders created varieties that incorporated its fragrances leading to a number of hybrids that treat our senses with colour and perfume. The weakness of these is that they have less blooms and evergreen leaves.
Camellia Sasanquas: has some fragrance and blooms in the autumn (single and double blooms). Sadly, the flowers only last a few days.
Camellia Japonica: a variety of cultivars also have a scent.
Here in London, blooming camellias can be admired at various times throughout the year in the following places:
Great Windsor Park & Savill Gardens
At Chiswick House one can admire a collection of camellias which is widely regarded as one of the finest. In the restored conservatory is the oldest collection of camellias in Britain in a variety of colours: white, pink, red and striped.
The collection includes 33 different varieties, amongst which are some of the earliest varieties brought to Britain in 1828. One of these varieties is the unique camellia ‘Middlemist’s Red’, originally introduced to Britain in 1804 from China by John Middlemist, a botanist from Shepherds Bush in London. It is one of only two in the world.
Great Windsor Park & Savill Gardens
During Spring both gardens, Windsor Park & Savill Gardens, show their best side with beautiful, colourful displays of rhododendrons, camellias and magnolias.
In July, a rare Chinese tree (Cladrastis Sinensis) within the New Camellia Garden, produces white-pink flowers. The New Camellia Garden is located within Great Windsor Park, close to Virginia Water lake.
When autumn turns to winter, the early blooming camellias are a delight with their bright flowers.
TEA notes have always been close to the heart of every perfumer and the team here at PAIRFUM have enjoyed following and attending the events of the ‘afternoon tea’ week. A variety of events run during the week of 10th – 16th August 2015 across the UK and you should really take the opportunity to check what is happening close to your home.
Here are some of the highlights of the week that stand out for us here at PAIRFUM:
From an olfactive point of view, tea tends to be classified as part of the green and herbaceous family.
Tea leaves infuse perfumery accords with a unique aromatic profile, depending on which tea leaf variety a perfumer chooses: green, red, white, black, Oolong, …
These are some of the best known varieties of black tea: Assam, Darjeeling and Ceylon teas.
In perfumery, accords inspired by black tea are noted for their roasted, smoky fragrance. Examples are L’Artisan Parfumeur Tea for Two or Bulgari Black.
The secret of Oolong Teas lies in their production, after picking, the leaves are not allowed to fully oxidize, which means they are “semi-oxidized”. This partial oxidisation places Oolong leaves in between a black and a green tea. With the amount of oxidization being variable, the flavour of Oolong Tea varies greatly. Less oxidised Oolongs have a fresher and brighter flavor, similar to a green tea. On the other hand, a more oxidised Oolong has a darker and more woody flavor, not unlike a black tea.
Oolongs varieties exhibit a multitude of subtle flavours: floral-fruity accents of peach, pear, plum and lilac. An example of Oolong in fragrances is Atelier Cologne Oolang Infini.
As green tea leaves are not given a chance to oxidize, they retain their green colour and anti-oxidants as a consequence.
The major distinction is between Japanese green teas with their grassy and ‘vegetal’ nuances and Chinese green teas which exhibit flavours from earthy and toasty to fresh and mild.
The first fragrance with a significant green tea accord was Bulgari Eau Parfumée au Thé Vert. Thereafter green teas inspired many perfumes: L’Artisan Parfumeur Thé pour un Été, Elizabeth Arden Green Tea, Lancôme AromaTonic, Calvin Klein CK One, Tommy Girl, Bvlgari Eau Parfumée au Thé Bleu and PAIRFUM’s SPA.
Typically in fragrances, the green tea note is achieved through Jasmine, Hedione and / or Ionones (Woody Violet).
A few years back, green tea in combination with citrus fruits (mandarine, lime, grapefruit…) was very popular in both Home Fragrance and Skin Care.
Of all teas, white teas are the least processed. In spring, the new leaf buds are plucked when they first emerge. Thereafter the leaves are protected with great care to prevent blemishes, breakage or exposure to extreme heat or humidity. This results in white teas producing a delicate and gentle flavour and retaining their level of antioxidants.
In home fragrance, white tea perfumes have come onto the market but we are not aware of any major Prestige Fragrance House launching a white tea note.
Here at PAIRFUM, we are proud of our own home fragrance note ‘bergamot & white tea’ which includes elements of thyme and rosemary.
This is a variation on white tea, as it is produced in the same way (unwilted and unoxidized) but the leaves are allowed to yellow.
We are not aware of any ‘yellow tea’ based fragrance.
The best know ‘red tea’ is Rooibos (or ‘red bush’) and is from the leaves of a South African shrub, also known as honey bush, and is not really tea (i.e. not Camelia Sinensis leaves). Rooibos produces a sweet herbal infusion
This tea inspired the creation of Bulgari Eau Parfumée au Thé Rouge. The inspiration for this note was the sweet woodyness found in Rooibos.
Herbal teas are also not made from ‘tea leaves’ (Camellia Sinensis). Instead, herbal teas can be blended from a variety of leaves, flowers, roots and even stems coming from a multitude of plants. Herbal teas usually do not contain caffeine. Popular examples of herbal teas are rosehip, chamomile and mint. Sweetened mint teas are at the heart of the Moroccan ‘tea ceremony’.
Not surprisingly, many newer herbal blends are based on Rooibos, with other herbs added to create a more pleasing taste.
Many of the ingredients used to blend herbal teas can be found in perfumery, home fragrance, skin care but also household cleaning products, e.g. mint.
Special ‘Afternoon Tea’ Setting
For anyone that cannot make it to one of the ‘afternoon tea’ week events, we have the following suggestion: just light one of our ‘bergamot & white tea’ candles, set the table with your best vintage tea service, put the kettle on and then sit back, relax and enjoy ! XX
In perfumery and home fragrance, the rose, also known as the “queen of flowers”, is coming back to prominence with new creations that are full of character, more daring, outlandish and less old-fashioned.
Few consumers will be aware but elements of rose are are at least to some extent in most fragrances. Roses lend charm to many of the fragrances we describe today as the classics, such as Joy de Patou. It evolved over time, especially in the form of the famous rose-violet accord, and can be found a powdery form in Paris by Yves Saint Laurent, a fruity version in Tresor by Lancôme and a woody variation in Stella McCartney. Burberry’s My Burberry presents roses with greener, more aqueous facettes, just like the “the essence of a London garden after the rain”.
In home fragrance, the classical ‘tea rose’ has been a most popular note due to its combination of performance (or strength) and its appreciation by consumers.
These fragrances all center around the themes of a ‘romantic rose’, a floral bouquet or a rose in a garden. In recent years however, some new creations managed to stand out and it feels like a change of tone. The note is not the same anymore.
Dark Burgundy Trend
A few years back, a wave of dark rose perfumes came to the market in both perfumery and home fragrance that were inspired by Arabia with tonalities of amber, honey and typically associated with oud wood. These were modern evolutions appealing to a wider audience, rather than the classical rose-oud accord which still dominates in the Middle East.
Now a stronger and darker burgundy version of rose is gradually appearing as a fragrance theme in perfumeries and home fragrance.
It began in 2013, when Miller Harris chose to focus on spices when creating “Rose En Noir”, with added nuances of tobacco and patchouli.
Terry de Gunzburg enveloped his creation Rose Infernale (2014) in an elegant, sulphurous wave of incense and spicy nutmeg.
Nevermore (2014) by Frapin is a floral, woody and musky fragrance for women and men, dominated by a note of rose oxide to evokes roses on the grave of Edgar Allan Poe. It is this note which lends this creation its polarising character. Other ingredients in the fragrance include nutmeg, black pepper, amber, atlas cedar and saffron. Roses had hitherto rarely been treated in such a dark fashion, neither in perfumery nor in home fragrance.
Launched in 2014, Balenciaga’s Rosabotanica presents roses in a vegetal / green and spicy fashion. The green or vegetal nuances which are naturally present in rose oil, have been highlighted by this creation.
The Botanist (2014) by MiN New York, a green floral woody accord on a base of earthy vetiver, is also built around these lesser known olfactive facets of the “queen of flowers”.
Rose Cut by Ann Gerard (2014) introduces a ‘sharp rose’ through the metallic aspects of aldehyde in its formula.
The brand “Dear Rose” focuses entirely on the rose note by constructing each one of its perfumes around a different, lesser known aspect of this most versatile blossom.
Through the influence of niche perfumery brands and boutique home fragrance houses, perfumes created around rose are becoming more varied as they succeed in presenting the “queen of flowers’ in a new light and with a strong and unique character, after all a Queen should have many Princesses.
Roses in Home Fragrance
Here at PAIRFUM, we have always had a soft spot for Roses with their many different colours, scents and shapes. It is not surprising then, that we have numerous creations in which the Rose takes center stage. We enjoy working on discovering and re-discovering the rose and its multitude of wonderful facets that inspire us to new fragrances.
First, here is our ‘Burgundy Rose’ called ‘blush rose & amber’:
a sensuous, intensely feminine floral bouquet with regal rose in harmony with jasmine, lily of the valley and freesia, supported by an intoxicating base of powdery iris, musk, precious woods and crystal amber.
Here is our new, trendy ‘Pink Rose’ with a beautifully fresh green tonality called ‘pink powder & violet:
a sophisticated and sensual fusion of pink rose petals and violet leaf, that is soft and yet fresh ! It opens with mandarin and pink peppercorn, followed by a full and elegant floral heart (rose, violet, iris, jasmine, heliotrope, orris) that leads into a sumptuously powdery base of smooth patchouli, musks and soft vanilla.
We invite you to review our fragrance collection and when counting the number of perfumes that contain ‘rose’, we believe you will be surprised.
Just click here to go directly to our home fragrance overview:
The Botanist by MiN New York (2014)
Olfactive Group: FLORAL – WOODY MUSK
Top Notes : Citrus, Grapefruit, Peony
Heart Notes : Rose, Lily of the Valley, Aromatic
Base Notes : Woody, Earthy Vetiver
Rose Cut by Ann Gerard (2014)
Olfactive Group: FLORAL – ROSE ALDEHYDE
Top Notes: Aldehydes, Rum, Pink Pepper
Middle Notes: Rose, Peony, Patchouli
Base Notes: Vanilla, Oakmoss, Benzoin
A Capella by Dear Rose (2014)
Olfactive Group: FLORAL – ROSE
Top Notes: Ivy
Middle Notes: Rose, Ozonic
Base Notes: White Wood
We are delighted to announce that new website for PAIRFUM is now live.
Unfortunately, we could not post during the building of the new site on our News Blog about Home Fragrance but hope everybody enjoys the new layout.
Now that the News Blog is back, you can again look forward to our articles about the following subjects:
news about couture perfume, home fragrance and scented skin & body care
ingredients from nature: natural / organic / essential oils, flowers and perfume ingredients, beeswax & bees, natural candle waxes, …
home fragrance products: reed diffusers and refill oils, luxury scented candles, perfume room sprays, wardrobe sachets, fragrant botanicals, …
perfumes in all their forms: eau de parfum, eau de toilette, eau de cologne, …
skin & body care: hand & body lotions, hand creams, hand & body washes, foam bath, hand soap, ..
homes & house, interior design & decor, …
articles about Britain, London, the Queen and Royal Family, …
Don’t hesitate to let us know, if you would like to see us write about a particular subject (couture perfume, home fragrance or skin & body care) that you have a strong interest in.
Our writing always endeavors to be entertaining, surprising, elegant, a personal story or scientific in nature. If you are interested in writing about perfumery / home fragrance / skin care and seeing your work published here on pairfum.com, then do let us know. Here is a link to find our about how you can become one of our authors:
Magnificent Magnolias blooming in Great Windsor Park in Spring offer a spectacular sight.
The Valley Gardens, together with The Savill Garden, provide a home to a National Collection of Magnolia trees. Here are some examples:
On leaving the Savill building, visitors are welcomed to a fantastic show by a mature Magnolia loebneri ‘Merrill’, covered in ice-white flowers.
In a far corner of the garden, close to the summer house, is a Magnolia sprengeri ‘Eric Savill’, with large, bold pink flowers.
The Valley Gardens features a glorious collection of rhododendrons, azaleas, camellias and magnolias, best viewed in the spring from the top of the valley, with views down to Virginia Water.
The magnolia family can count approx 200 species mainly found in two regions:
The Magnolia tree was named after Pierre Magnol, the French botanist behind the current nomenclature of botanical classification.
The Magnolia Tree is a significant flower in Chinese and Japanese culture, and has been cultivated for centuries.
The ‘Magnolia Virginiana’ species (from Virginia) was the first Magnolia to be introduced into Europe. In 1687, it was sent across John Banister, an English missionary and naturalist, to Henry Compton, English bishop and a passionate gardener.
Shortly afterwards, Europe was introduced to Chinese Magnolias (Magnolia Denudata and Liliflora).
In the middle of the nineteenth century, the beautiful Star Magnolia (Stellata) from Japan was planted in Europe.
The “queen of Magnolias”, the pink Magnolia Campbellii from the Himalaya, was discovered at the beginning of the last century.
Magnolias in Perfumery
Magnolia flowers (Magnolia Grandiflora) frequently have a fragrance. Their perfume is creamy sweet with hints of citrus. Magnolia is a popular ingredient in floral perfume accords, and there have been some fragrances where Magnolia is the main floral ingredient.
‘Magnolias in Bloom’ by PAIRFUM
Here at PAIRFUM we are proud to have captured the essence of Magnolias in our fragrance ‘magnolias in bloom’:
A spring flowers accord with the fresh top note of ozone, soft white flower petals and a hint of watery melon. The heart is complex and floral with magnolia, lily, geranium, rose and violet, while the base shines with musks and warm rosewood.
‘Magnolias in Bloom’ is available in the following luxury scented candles and natural reed diffusers:
Reed Diffusers (petite, classic and large size and in the bell, cube and tower shapes)
Patricia Arquette’s Oscar speech was inspiring for many women. Did she inspire you ?
You probably saw her on stage during her acceptance speed, saw images of her before & after the Oscars, but did you find out which fragrance she wore on the night ?
According to Fragrantica, the haute couture perfume that Patricia Arquette wears is Guerlain's L'Heure Bleue.
The main ingredients in this fragrance are : iris, heliotrope, carnation, vanilla, benzoin and anise.
How would you like to bring the spirit of the Patricia Arquette into your home ?
Here at PAIRFUM, we are proud to introduce our new 'anise & black vanilla' room fragrance built around 'heliotrope' and the oils of iris, vanilla and anise. It is ideal fragrance to remind you of Patricia Arquette's speech in your home.
'Anise & Black Vanilla' is available in the following reed diffusers, luxury scented candles and room fragrance sprays:
Reed Diffusers (petite, classic and large size and in the bell, cube and tower shapes)