USEs & BENEFITS
It’s not possible to overstate the importance of florals to fine fragrance. Florals are the essences extracted from flowers and they—particularly rose and jasmine—have been the beating heart of perfumery almost from its inception, and for very good reason. That very good reason is pure sensory delight. Flowers neither look nor smell like other beautiful things.
They make things beautiful.
So enthralling is that beauty that most fine perfumes up to the end of the 1800s where based on a single floral essence with few or no other notes. Even today in a world of complex compositions laced with synthetics, it would be well near impossible to find a perfume that didn’t contain floral notes. Yet there is more to the allure of natural rose, for example, than just a great note.
Perhaps there is a metaphysical mystery, memories of a distant origin that only flowers can unlock in our consciousness. Maybe it has something to do with the chemistry of attraction—flowers are, after all, the reproductive organs of plants and plants reproduce by attracting animals. Maybe there’s truth in both notions. Who knows? What I do know is that there is something about florals that keeps us coming back for more. Even in this age of modern medicine when we no longer depend of flowers as much for healing, the romance with florals continues.
Yet, though many florals are associated with romance and love, getting your hands on the genuine material takes more than flowery language. Some oils, like rose, are very costly to produce well, and so adulteration is widespread.
Other oils that may be much less expensive to produce can still become victims of poor craftsmanship. Zaza’s florals are called precious because no effort is spared in ensuring that only the finest raw materials and expertise go into their production. So, whether it’s aromatherapy or simple olfactory bliss that you’re interested in, these florals are the finest way to get the job done.
While clinical evidence concerning the potential physiological effects of scents in general is lacking, studies have shown some florals to be effective as anti-bacterial and anti-fungal agents, as mood enhancers, and at boosting brain function.
Aromatherapists maintain that some florals assist with suppressing depression, repairing damaged skin, treating infections, and rectifying hormone imbalances.
Whatever may be said of such claims, I’m sure that if you try Zaza’s florals you will be left with no doubt concerning their power to bring a smile to your face and, just maybe, put love in the air!
Before the 1920s the rule was that fine perfumes were natural products that prominently featured florals. Synthetic aromatics first appeared in the 1800s but were rightly considered crude and overpowering by perfumers and consumers alike. As I’ve pointed out before, when Guerlain first released Jicky in 1889 many consumers were put off by what perfume-heads today call its “innovative” use of the synthetic aromatics.
But as the years went by, technological, social, and artistic revolutions transformed societies and tastes the world over. As empires collapsed and electricity, quite artificially, dispensed with the darkness of night, there emerged a fascination with all things man-made. A fascination that, I say, was as monstrous as anything Shelley’s Frankenstein could have unleashed.
Yet, unleashed it was.
The 1920s brought the success of Chanel No 5—a potent, vaguely floral, and clinically dry concoction with enough aldehydes to mummify a pharaoh. With its success, it would become clear that the public, under the influence of an emerging breed of chemist-perfumers, was ready for the dark reign of “clean”, “fresh”, “powdery” death-fogs we now know as modern designer perfumes.
Yet, there’s no point in crying over spilt juice.
Today it appears to me that most floral notes and accords in designer perfumes are in fact synthetic “molecules”. Even when essential oils are used the high alcohol content along with other “enhancing” additives ensure that the general abrupt, cloying effect is similar to synthetics. Industry perfumers will moan about natural florals not being consistent or reliable enough for their art and craft, meaning their product.
Well, the fact of the matter is that “products” can’t begin to do justice to the exquisite complexity of a jasmine essential oil or a rare Japanese rose oil. Whether you want to be transposed to a lush orchard of tropical fruit or relish a delicious sweetness that’s literally good enough to eat, or simply stroll through a garden, there is a precious floral right here that can take you there.