Thursday, May 31, 2007

Fiori di Tiglio

Fiori di Tiglio, originally uploaded by luigi.strano.

Linden Blossoms from the Tilia Vulgaris tree are prized for the flavour they lend to honey, and are also used as an herbal remedy when steeped in hot water to make a tisane often called “tilleul”. Linden blossom are very calming and are used in folklore and herbal medicine to treat conditions such as hysteria, anxiety, cold and fever, palpitations and migraines.

Linden is often refered to as “lime blossom” (which is its common name in Britain) but should not be confused with the citrus lime (Citrus aurantifolia), which bears the green lemon-like fruit that you might know from your favourite Mexican food or your Key Lime Pie. The two share nothing in common, neither botanically nor olfactory wise.

The principle constituent of linden blossom is farnesol. This may explain why it is not commonly used in mainstream perfumery. Farnesol is significantly cheaper as a synthetic than the linden blossom absolute (and obviously is often used to adulterate the true absolute...). Therefore, it is not surprising that linden blossom as a note is fairly rare overall. A few perfumes that incorporate linden blossom are mostly delicately green, fresh, light floral, for example:

Dawn Spencer Hurwitz’s Goddess
Fresh’s Violet Moss (1997)
L’Artisan Parfumeur’s La Chasse au Papillons
Ormonde Jayne’s Frangipani Absolute (2003)
Parfums Delrae Début (2004)

Linden Blossom Soliflores:
Aftelier’s Linden Blossom (discontinued, but available through their website as special order through the Product Archives page)
D’ORsay Tilleul (1995)
Jo Malone’s French Lime Blossom (1995)

Natural Perfumes Containing Linden Blossom:
JoAnne Bassett’s Le Voyage (2000)
Aftelier’s Linden Blossom (see above)
Ayala Moriel’s Kinmokusei and the new perfume, Tirzah (see next post announcing its launch today!)

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