The history of the peony
Peony is a plant native to various parts of Europe to the Far East. It is mainly present in China and today covers around forty different species. In this country, it is associated with the city of Luoyang. Peony is a flower that belongs to the category of plants with tuberous roots. It has for a very long time been classified in the Ranunculaceae family. Still, since the 1950s, it has belonged to an entire family, that of the Paeoniaceae. Its green leaves then contrast with its ball-shaped flowers of different colors depending on the categories.
Peony is a plant that was already known to the Greeks as a remedy. It was used in particular during possible miscarriages. Likewise, many magical properties were associated with it. Theophrastus wrote that “this plant had to be pulled up at night; if you tear it up during the day, and you are seen by a woodpecker picking the fruit, he said, you risk losing your eyes, and if you cut the root, you risk the proliferation of anus.” Likewise, the Chinese believed that the peony enriched the blood and consolidated the yin. It was also considered to regulate the liver and ease pain. Finally, note that the Greek astrologers asserted that there was a unity between the cosmos and the elements of the earth. They thus described kinds of vertical chains connecting the divinities, the stars, the stones, the animals, the plants, and the parts of the body. For them, the peony was directly related to the moon. Thereby, it increased and decreased according to the solar phases, and it is from this power coming from the heavens that its many virtues came to it. Today, all these practices seem to have disappeared. However, we still have its subtle scent.
The refined smell of peony in perfumes
Peony is one of the most famous flowers in perfumery. It is generally very appreciated for its floral and tender aroma. However, the latter cannot be captured in the very heart of nature and must be reproduced from other raw materials in the laboratory. In addition, the scent of peony is quite expensive to design. This makes it an ingredient exclusively used in fine perfumery. In many ways, the peony bears a resemblance to the scent of the rose. Nevertheless, she associates it with lighter vegetal accents somewhat reminiscent of lily of the valley or dew.
Today, we can no longer count the feminine perfumes containing this radiant flower. Nevertheless, among the most famous are the emblematic Alaïa Paris by Azzedine Alaïa, Amethyst by Lalique, Amor Amor Forbidden Kiss by Cacharel, or even Ange ou Démon by Givenchy.