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Fashion — lavender

Perfume Ingredients | How it's made

Posted by Amy T. on

Perfume Oil Profiles

Clove: Worth its weight in gold?

Spices were big business four hundred years ago. At one point during the 17th century, there was scant change amongst the price of gold and the price of cloves. By turns, the Venetians, Portuguese and Dutch traveled to the Spice Islands where they made their fortunes trading in clove, nutmeg, and other spices. The Dutch even destroyed cultivation of cloves on all but two islands in order to restrict supply and thrust up prices.


The hot, fruity, sweet-spicy aroma of clove evokes its tropical origins. Indigenous to Indonesia, much clove oil now originates from Sri Lanka. The name derives from the Latin 'clavus', meaning 'nail', referring to the shape of the flower buds that are steam distilled to produce the aromatic oil.

Cloves were used in Roman, Greek and Chinese civilizations for their medicinal properties, particularly for digestive and respiratory ailments. Clove oil has antiseptic, antibacterial and antiviral properties and has long been used as a dental analgesic. In the Middle Ages, pomanders – oranges studded with clove buds – were used to provide a pleasant scent to the air and kill off contagious diseases.

Warm, sensual and elevating, in perfumery clove is often combined with cinnamon, nutmeg, and star anise as a base for spicy-oriental Dior j'adore fragrances.

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