Tobacco Flower Absolute

14th August 2023: As mentioned in my newsletter in July I have found a new source for Tobacco Flower Absolute. To my nose the profile is very similair to the batches I have had from my previous source with one big difference….price. Via the new producer I can now offer tobacco flower absolute for 399 Euros instead of 799 Euros per 10ml. However, to cover myself, I am listing this aromatic using the “on-sale” function (even though its not a sale price at all) and keeping this message in place. Reason being my relationship with the new source is in the early phases, and after selling this batch, maybe the next batch I sample will be terrible. Thats a very real possibility when dealing with artisans, and especially within India. I would then have to revert back to my original producer (if he would have me) and charge the 799 Euros again. Of which no doubt would be pounced on by various rivals looking for an angle to create drama for me. At the same time by using the “on-sale” function, this listing will get a lot of additional attention of which I feel it deserves. It is a holy grail after all, and a 400 Euro saving is absolutely huge for an absolute that normally resells for as little as 600 Euros for European productions, to as much as 900 Euros per bottle for Indian and Chinese artisan productions. Thanks, Adam  : ) 

Adam Michael has this to say “Yes, as of 20/02/20, we now possess tobacco flower absolute, without question, one of the rarest natural aromatics in existence.

Smelling from the bottle and via a strip, the material exudes plum jam, dark cherry, bitter cocoa nuances, and qualities reminiscent of raw green coffee beans and the headspace of a living gardenia flower. This is all underpinned with a green and astringent belly which is especially present in the top. The material finishes with gardenia qualities and fleeting tobacco character that is of a very dirty, musty, raw, fuzzy, and almost naughty nature. The green character can be better described I think as smelling a mash up of freshly distilled galbanum with violet leaves. If you enjoy such aromatic notes, this is a true treat to behold and treasure.

On my skin, tobacco flower absolute is a slightly different proposition that reveals a few additional notes. The aroma on my skin is dark berry scented chocolates, eugenol spiced, comparable to  carnation absolute, cocoa beans and green notes that on my skin are somewhat leaning in a green vegetative direction, comparable to Aleppo Pine and with a mustiness that is more noticeable in angelica seed oils. As time plays out, the cocoa bitterness seems to briefly morph into a crowd pleasing chocolate note that sits on a bed of spice and green facets. Very pleasant on the skin but note you would never conjure up an image that you are smelling some high class floral. This wows only if you have an awareness of the scarcity of what graces your skin. Far more enjoyable than smelling the living flowers which I truly detest with a passion, and a material that genuinely sits well with legendary Steffan Arctander’s written descriptors, even though as he states, he never smelled the absolute. The aroma lasts for days on the strip and just over 2 hours on my skin.

At 20% dilution in ethanol, the aroma profile is also pretty consistent with the pure form and present with fleeting walnut and pine nut aspects.

One thing is clear, the aroma is saturating and on a smelling strip, can and will over power your environment. Also, based on my own findings, I would strongly advise the material is always diluted prior to evaluation. Evaluating neat potentially results in a not so nice euphoric rush, causing your head to spin, and your reaction times to slow greatly.

As mentioned above, I do not enjoy smelling living tobacco flowers, they do absolutely nothing for me and whether it be the living flowers or absolute, I do not interpret either experience as some floral joyous wonder to behold, like say smelling lemon flowers, chinotto flowers, osmanthus flowers or burying my nose into the many roses we grow in our garden, or the blue lotus’s we grow here throughout the summer in large pots of soil and water. I have encountered living tobacco flowers twice here in Tuscany. The first experience took place in a botanical garden in Siena (photo taken by me in Siena), the second in a botanical garden in Florence. I found both experiences incredibly underwhelming and honestly quite a sickly and meh experience.

Overall the aroma profile of this absolute, whilst containing a lot of different notes, is a very straightforward and easy to understand experience, olive green in colour, both alcohol and oil soluble, of a mobile viscosity and produced from the concrete via solvent extraction. Aside from being one of the ultimate trophy pieces for aromatic connoisseurs I do still wonder how this material can be uniquely utilised within perfume creations, and as I type, I am still wondering. I think and feel it is only right to write this as I am highly aware of this materials scarcity and how we can all fall into the honey trap of thinking something rare and expensive must provide unmeasured aromatic pleasure, which in this instance at least for me, is not the case. I would encourage all to sample this material and to smell the flowers for yourself. This absolute is on point, it does deliver the tobacco flower experience and provides additional interest compared to just smelling the living flower. In this regard the producer has excelled and I applaud him as such a project is no easy undertaking.”

Origin: India

Botanical Name: Nicotiana tabacum 

Alcohol Soluble: Yes 

Oil Soluble: Yes