• Mushrooming
  • Aromas of AutumnCèpesFall 2010


Mushrooming, originally uploaded by Ayala Moriel.

There seemed to be a bit of a theme going during my Fall Sale. My brand-new Vetiver bath salts got completely sold out and there were a number of orders of Schizm and Vetiver Racinettes perfumes - two quirky and rather obscure perfumes that rarely get that much attention.

Schizm is an Animalic Chypre with all the powerhouse white florals: tuberose, jasmine and orange blossom. Vetiver Racinettes, on the other hand, has no flowers whatsoever - nary a suggestion of floralness either - it's a thick concoction of vetiver roots from around the world with some tarragon and kaffir lime leaves to lift it up form the ground.

"So what do these two extremely different perfumes have in common?", you may rightfully ask... And the answer is:

Cèpes absolute, to be more exact, which is non other than the solvent extraction of Porcini mushrooms. These wild mushrooms can be harvested in the wild in Italy and also some places in North America; or found dried quite widely in grocery stores. They have a meaty texture and a robust flavour which complements beautifully dishes such as risotto con funghi, stewed, sauces, or grilled with other vegetables or roast potatoes.

The absolute extract is dark both in colour and aroma: it has a sharpness at first, reminiscent of the yeasty English Marmite spread, with an underlining rich, dark chocolate-like scent and a surprising dry down of buttery pecan nuts! But the most important aspect of it is that it has a cruelty-free animalic and carnal personality that is definitely a love it or hate it, the kind of reaction that civet and castoreum often garner.

I don't use it in perfume too often, but when I do, a little goes a long way. And I also used it in my Black Summer Truffles. In Vetiver Racinettes it adds depth and richness to the vetiver, something that would normally happen by adding floral notes and that I decidedly avoided in this perfume. In Schizm it is used as a vegetal musk type of scent - and a very dark musk at that, and along with the undergrowth note of oakmoss and the dry Virginia cedar, it is very autumnal.

Autumn Duo - Mushroom, originally uploaded by Ayala Moriel.

Fall is mushroom-picking season in British Columbia and although this is something I'm yet to learn how to do, I find the scents of mushrooms, with its crisp, earthy strangeness and mysterious spore reproduction to be a characteristic scent of fall. The idea of roaming the forest picking rare mushrooms is both romantic and intriguing.

P.s. Those of you interested in learning more about mushrooms in Vancouver area can join the Mycology Group. Thanks to Shayne for the tip!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone
  • Aromas of AutumnCèpesFall 2010
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