Cardamom: this hot and sensual spice from India
Originally the berries of the tropical cardamom plant were mainly used by Ayurvedic medicine for its digestive and tonic properties. The Egyptians, great lovers of Indian spices, imported cardamom for uses as varied as they were surprising: making scented waxes and… papyrus!
The Greeks and Romans will more easily use the small spicy cardamom berries for medical and culinary use without forgetting of course olfactory and… aphrodisiac! Thus, legend tells us that Cleopatra, very in love with Marc-Antoine, used to burn cardamom perfumes before her romantic dates.
The tropical plant, of which only the berries are used to make essential oil, for centuries perfumed homes and high places of life. When the method of distilling essential oils was found, fine perfumery obviously made great use of it for its elegant and delicately spicy scent, intoxicating the most delicate noses in its wake.
The use of cardamom berries in our current perfumes
Cardamom, a cousin of ginger, has the advantage of exuding fresh and elegant spicy scents. If usually the spicy olfactory notes mainly dress masculine or feminine oriental fragrances, cardamom, by virtue of its delicacy, can also dress lighter notes for both men and women.
Thus two major fragrance trends will use cardamom as a raw material: oriental and woody of course, but also milder scents such as floral or citrus. However, cardamom has long remained mainly on female skin, its male use being relatively recent.
Thus in the oriental family, Kenzo Jungle by Kenzo aspires to offer its users powerful scents, like an explosive and opulent cocktail of spices to exhale. Its male equivalent, Kenzo Jungle pour Homme, will reveal with more refinement and discretion what cardamom offers from sensual and light heat to masculine scents.
Thus many woods, seeking luxurious and refined spicy heart notes will delight in cardamom to trace a warm trail such as Dzongkha by L'Artisan Parfumeur or the woody male models Bulgari pour Homme by Bulgari. The citrus scents will also use the finesse of cardamom as a heart note to exhale citrus fruits by offering long and original scents like Bulgari's Eau Parfumée au Thé Vert.
Cardamom is therefore a spice currently widely used in feminine perfumery and, more recently, in men. The undeniable advantage of these small berries lies in their discreet and powdery olfactory charm while being exotic and spicy. Thus, many perfumes that want to be fine and chic can take advantage of the use of cardamom as a heart note. Did you know that Alien, the great success of Thierry Mugler, was composed of cardamom and cumin?