Forbidden Perfumes for Passover

Forbidden Passover Perfumes, originally uploaded by Ayala Moriel.

Craving leavened bread and pastries this Passover? You may want to try these starchy, pastry-like perfumes. Or, alternatively, avoid them altogether. Some particularly zealous Jews even go as far as not using any toiletries made with grain alcohol (if you don’t eat corn and legumes during the holiday).

I’ll leave it up to you whether you use these perfumes to cope with the inert Middle Easter craving for freshly baked bread; or choose to use this list to decide what to clear off your shelves. But these are the starchy, pastry-like perfumes I found in my collection and after the customary soul-searching for leaven prior to the Passover.

My list is divided into three categories, by the degree of danger it may theoretically pose to those observing Passover: the dangerously non-kosher for Passover, containing wheat products; scents with unknown kosherism level that have a very clear pastry or starch-like qualities; and finally – gluten-free, rice-smelling concoctions. Feel free to add to the list as I’d love to hear of more scents from either categories.

Dangerously Non Kosher
These are dangerously non-kosher for Passover, which actually contain wheat absolute.

En Passant
This light cucumbery lilac is reminiscent of the first sprouts of wheat and actually contains wheat absolute. Could be the equivalent of a Hendricks gin in the land of lilac. But honestly, with this name - could there possibly be a more appropriate perfume for this holiday?!

Immortelle l’Amour
These cinnamon waffles are made with wheat absolute, maple syrup and orange. Delicious but definitely will not pass for a Passover brunch!

Questionable Pastries
The Passover kosherism-level of these scents isn’t confirmed but they are quite possibly benign despite the fact that they remind me of pastries or starch;

This liquid version of violet macaroons is creamy and marzipan-like and as far as I can tell has all the baked goods qualities sans the wheat.

Starchy raw root aroma, reminiscent of a semolina dessert.

Vetiver Tonka
With an un-identified cereal note, this vetiver is as warm as roasted nuts with a hint of caramel.

Bois Farine
Another starchy concoction, which is what I would imagine the “bread fruit” to smell like.

Sira des Indes
Named after a dessert of cream of wheat, banana and butter. That can’t be good…

Gluten Free
Consider switching to rice-based, gluten-free fragrances:

Ormonde Jayne’s Champaca
Basmati rice gives champaca absolute the royal treatment it deserves.

KenzoAmour or KenzoAmour Le Parfum
Milky rice with frangipani and an almondy cherry note.

"Robin" Starch Advert, originally uploaded by Motorman Tel.

"Robin" Starch Advert, originally uploaded by Motorman Tel.

While Passing…

Whale Watch, originally uploaded by Weffie.

Things you may find while passing might be the least expected. I passed through to smell the lilacs of En Passant, and in a short snatch, a-la the chess maneuver by the same name, I found myself searching for whales on a misty day on the Sait Laurent river… Unsuccessfully, needless to say, but enjoying the fjords and the moist mist…
The heady, innocent and slightly powdery spring-like scent of white lilac quickly leads my nose to the subtly fragrant branches and stems bearing blossom-vines. These transform into an olfactory green fig leaf scent, and than in a split of a second you find out that you just jumped, head first, into a chilly ocean – smelling the fresh air of the ocean breeze, with its slight saltiness, and the clean, fine mist meeting your face as you watch for whales on the fast-loating boat…

With notes of white lilac, cucumber and wheat, Olivia Giacobetti has created an abstract lilac perfume that is more of a subjective interpretation of the flower rather than an effort to re-create the scent of the fresh blossom. Its ozone and marine cucumber notes are not my personal favourite and the wheat adds to a certain flour-y powdery yet green nuance that is nevertheless interesting and original on its own. However, the result of the final drydown is surprisingly disappointing in its ozonic-oceanism and its reference to l’Eau d’Issey of all perfumes.

Top notes: White Lilac
Heart notes: Fig, Cucumber
Base notes: Water, Wheat, Violet Leaf

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