Tonka Bean – the sweet and rich aroma with magical powers

Tonka beans are very popular in the perfume industry, but they have also deserved their place in the tobacco and food industry. Their sweet and rich aroma adds depth and warmth to many famous perfumes. Once used as a vanilla substitute, tonka beans are extracted from the seeds of the Dipteryx odorata. This is a plant that grows in Brazil, Venezuela, Nigeria, Columbia, and Guyana – the main exporters of tonka beans. Except for vanilla, tonka beans have subtle notes of cinnamon, baked cherry, and almonds and their warm oriental essence is highly appreciated by perfume houses from all over the world.

perfumes with tonka beans

In the past tonka beans were even considered to have magical powers – they were used as a cure for depression and confusion and it was believed that they can cure your soul. Except for their magical powers, tonka beans were widely used in medicine as a treatment for cramps, nausea, cough, spasms, and tuberculosis. They were also considered an aphrodisiac. Tonka beans found their place as a perfume ingredient at a much later stage, though (they were introduced to France in 1793).

It is an interesting fact that the essence of tonka beans, coumarin, is forbidden for eating in the USA as big doses of this substance can be dangerous for the health. Even though its use as a food additive is illegal, there are many old American recipes that have this ingredient. Besides this, it is still present in some elite menus. It is actually the USA that is the biggest importer of tonka beans (but they are used in the tobacco industry). Another interesting fact about tonka beans is that the tree on which they grow was first grown in Europe for its beautiful purple flowers.

Tonka beans have very much in common with tobacco and amber and they blend very well with notes like rose, lavender, sandalwood, and patchouli. Their complexity and richness, as well as their great fixative properties, make them one of the most commonly used perfume ingredients (especially for masculine oriental fragrances).

It was believed that tonka beans can even make your wish come true. Well, in case your wish is to get a warm, rich, and sweet aroma from your perfume, then tonka beans may actually make your wish come true!

Here are some of the perfumes with tonka beans notes that you can find in our website:

Do you think tonka beans note is more appropriate for men’s fragrances than for women’s fragrances? What is your favorite perfume with tonka beans?

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