Tobacco Flower, originally uploaded by taberandrew.
Fragrant tobacco flowers comes from different species than those used for smoking, chewing, snuff etc. The flower of the Nicotiana affinis species are particularly fragrant, especially as the evening falls, and are an interesting subject for the perfumer.
Although tobacco flower absolute is technically possible to create, it is not normally available to the perfumer, and Arctander’s description is that of the fresh living flowers, rather than the extracted absolute: “ The fragrance of this flower is extremely delicate, yet rich and sweet, spicy-floral, somewhat reminiscent of carnation with a fresher note, almost fruity”, and likens it to “Sweet William” (a type of fragrant carnation).
Poucher includes a formula for tobacco flower base in his 1st volume of “Perfumes, Cosmetics and Soaps”, which includes rose, carnation, clary sage, honey, jasmine, immortelle absolute, birch tar, coumarin, vanillin, para-dimethyl hydroquinone and more to re-create the flower’s unique aroma.
The tobacco that is used in perfumery more often is from the cured leaves, and that will be discussed in greater detail in the second part of the article about tobacco.
For more about tobacco and perfumery click here and here.